Seven years, that is how long my husband and I waited to tie the knot.
We lived together for six, and we have now been married for three years with our second child on the way. That’s a lot of numbers, I know, but I often find that when people ask how long I have been married, the answer to the question does not do us justice.
I usually respond that we have been together for ten years because I feel those seven years of unmarried life are worth so much and seem to get undervalued.
I feel like we have already experienced the “seven-year itch” even though technically, we have only been married for three. It is an interesting scenario that is becoming more and more common nowadays.
One study found that dating for at least three years or more decreases the likelihood of divorce by 50%!
So why did we wait seven years to tie the knot?
Well, there were many reasons, I suppose. One is that my husband was divorced, and he wanted to make sure that we spent plenty of time dating before rushing into marriage.
He was also fearful of jumping into the abyss of marriage only to get spat back out again. For him, dating was comfortable and safe.
My husband also had a son, and he wanted to make sure that he was going to get married to someone who would be staying around and someone who would be able to support the fact that he already was a father.
For us, and for many, life was complicated. We both felt that marriage held a lot of weight, and we both wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into.
This was going to take time.
My husband and I lived together for years before getting married. This is something that some may still find controversial, but I would not change it. We learned so much about each other from living together.
I honestly could not imagine if we had not lived with each other until getting married. The first couple months of living together were quite a learning transition. Adding getting married to the mix would have made it even crazier.
By the time we finally did get married, I was as used to his snoring as I would ever be; he was aware that I lost my cell phone in the couch on a regular basis, and so on. There were no secrets. There was less to find out.
It’s also important to note that six years into our relationship, I was more than ready for marriage, and I expressed this to him. Although we had spoken about it, we never acted on it, and my husband knew after six years of ups and downs that the time had come. We would make it, and we were ready. He proposed to me on a stereotypical Valentine’s Day, and here we are.
There comes a time for some people when you don’t want to wait any longer, and for me, six years was it. We were engaged for a year, and I knew six years in—that we would be taking the next step.
Although by the time we reached the aisle, we were a little older than most newlyweds, we also felt secure. We thought that we knew our ins and outs, we were capable of weathering the storms, we were capable of staying in love because we already had done those things for seven years prior.
There were no surprises; we were who we were. We could live together, and by this time, we had also had our crazy fun times and were just ready to settle down.
Seven years in, we were ready to grow old together.
I don’t feel like those years were wasted in any way. I think that they were beneficial. The truth is, during those years when we were living together and dated, my husband and I were immature. We weren’t ready for marriage.
I don’t know if we would have lasted if we did get married during those times.
Marriage is so much about timing and where you both are at that point in your lives.
When we were dating, even though we resided in the same place, we had some stuff we needed to work through before settling down.
We had the opportunity to work on our marriage before it happened, and I know we are better off because of this.
It took us seven years to tie the know because that’s the time we needed to ensure we would be successful. We are in the right place now; we are happy, and although we still drive one another nuts every once in a while (a trademark of marriage), we work, we get each other, we still love each other, and I am glad we waited.
Regarding a lifetime, seven years is a small portion of the time.
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About the Author: Amanda Clark resides with her family in Ocala, Florida. In addition to contributing works for Peace Quarters, she also creates educational content for Atlas Mission. She is recently transitioning from a full-time middle school English teacher to a stay-at-home mom, tutor, transcriber, and writer. She has written four books of poetry: Looking at the Moon, Beautifully Mixed-Up World, Flying Fall, and Through the Blinds. She loves technology, juggling pins, and playing with her two-year-old son who will become a big brother in February. She also is a pro at multitasking.