While being best friends, people - family, friends, strangers - often told us we should get married. We resisted their suggestions. Finally, after about three years, we realized we both had stronger feelings for each other. It took another six months (five of which we refused to talk to each other) for us to get on the same page.
Interestingly enough, those same people that said we should get married suddenly had a change of heart. J was told that if he married me he would be out of God's will for his life. That marrying me would be the worst thing for J to do. That I was going to be the downfall of J. Friends of J refused to attend our wedding. My Canadian friends were not at all sure about this American I was marrying so suddenly.
We had the support of the people that mattered. Our immediate family. They knew our truth.
The plan was to get married in October. Then September. Finally, we looked each other one Monday in August and said: "Why are we waiting? Let's just get married this Friday if we can get it worked out." And we did.
That's when we were asked, repeatedly, if I was pregnant. Nope. Not even overly horny. An immigration attorney laid out my options. Elopement was one of them. So we did. Funny thing is, as we found out years later, J is sterile. Ha! Proof we weren't pregnant when we eloped. ;-)
I never wanted a big wedding. The thought of walking in front of 100+ people staring at me was immobilizing to me. It still is. I can give a speech to 500 people but make the whole event about me? No but thank you.
Eloping with the blessings of our parents and siblings and then having a great big reception at Widney Manor three months later was perfection.
Have the last 14 years been perfection? No. Did we think we were riding off into happily ever after land when we got married? Nope.
We said before we got married that there would be times when we wouldn't want to look at each other. That we would not always be the lovey dovey couple holding hands and sitting next to each other.
There have been hard times for sure. Times that made us question if we would last. But at the core of our marriage is our friendship. We are best friends. Even if we could live without our spouse, we can't live without our best friend.
We still hold hands when we drive together and walk together. We still hug whenever we get a chance. And we still sit next to each other. Unless we have been on a long road trip, we still have a lot to say to each other.
It's been 5,114 days together as man and wife. We are pretty sure we have said "I love you" to each other at least 20,000 times because there is seldom a day that goes by that we don't say or text that we love each other multiple times.
So what do I say to the naysayers? The people that doubted our marriage? They have almost all apologized. Years ago. I've been told that I'm the best thing that ever happened to J. I needed to hear that. But you know, so far, we are the best thing that has happened to each other. I do think that we could get divorced now and our marriage would still be considered a success.
14 years! Cheers to us!