Daisy Buchanan On What It Means To Be A Wife In 2015

What It Means To Be A Wife In 2015

wife, 2015, daisy buchanan, marriage

by Contributor |
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*A very recently married Daisy Buchanan, explores what it means to be a wife in 2015. *

This year, so far, I have been to three weddings. I will go to another three before the year is up. I’m a guest at a wedding this weekend. My friends, sisters and cousins are all getting hitched, and when we’re together we talk about weddings. Alternative cakes, and money saving tips for flowers. The benefits of an interactive photo element. Whether it’s worth giving your wedding a hashtag so that it’s easier to search for the pictures on Instagram afterwards. What we’re not talking about is marriage.

One of the weddings I’ve attended was my own. I’ve been a wife for exactly 12 days, and so far, marriage is total bliss. This is largely because our lives have gone back to normal and we’re not spending every spare second talking about the sodding wedding.

When we were planning the day, there was no shortage of advice available. Everyone had opinions, from people we knew and loved to kindly internet strangers. And wedding blogs are like porn - it doesn’t matter how niche or weird your idea is, someone will have done it, documented it and filtered it in Amaro. But no-one really brought up what would happen afterwards. When it came to marriage, we were on our own.

In a way, that’s as it should be. Weddings are big parties with creative and logistical challenges. What happens between two people once they’ve promised to spend their lives together should be much more private. But surely, by inviting people to your wedding and asking them to witness you making those promises, you’re including them in your marriage too?

According to research conducted by the ONS last year, half of all people currently in their twenties will never marry. It makes sense that Millennials have different priorities, and post recession we’re putting our cash towards families and houses rather than blowing it on a single day. But my Facebook feed presents a very different picture - couples that have cohabited for years are rushing to sign up to an old fashioned institution, pledging their troth in churches that they haven’t set foot in since a teenage vomiting episode during Midnight Mass in 2002.

So why are we bothering, what’s the appeal and what does it mean to be a wife in 2015? How is it different from being someone’s girlfriend? If you already share crockery and a Netflix subscription, why do you need a special ceremony? I suspect every single newlywed’s answer would be different, but here’s mine.

I knew I wanted to marry my husband when I realised I didn’t need to. I’d been in relationships where I dreamed about a proposal, because I felt insecure and wanted some evidence that the person I was with saw a future for us. With Dale, I felt so sure of him, and sure of us, that I knew I could be happily unmarried to him forever. And that meant, paradoxically, I wanted to make the biggest legal commitment I could to him, with flowers and candles and all the people that we love. There was also some parental pressure, as my traditionally minded Mum and Dad got me on my own over a dinner table and said ‘WE LIKE HIM. WHEN IS HE GONG TO MARRY YOU?’

And now I am his wife. So far, it doesn’t feel different at all, but at the same time it feels completely changed. It’s a new era - the relationship version of joining the Brownies, getting past the six week trial period and being given a certificate and a badge. Only, instead of promising to pray to the ghost of Lord Baden Powell and a stuffed owl, we’ve committed to other Brownie style activities - doing our best by each other and being kind to each other. It’s not that we didn’t do those things before, but now we’re so dedicated to it that we’ve told our closest friends and family that they can hold us to account.

I think it’s going to be fun, and it’s going to be hard. Just this morning I accused my husband of running off with my phone charger, shouting ‘WHY DID I MARRY YOU, YOU POWER THIEVING BASTARD?’ before finding it in my handbag. I know there will be unpredictable periods when we question our commitment, or start to feel scared - but I hope we’ll always find each other when we reach out in the dark. I think this is what it means to be married to someone. This time next year my answer might be completely different, but I hope I can still say ‘it feels like the best thing I ever did’.

***Words by Daisy Buchanan. ***

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