Thirteen years is a long time to share a life with someone. I should know; I've now done it twice. Once with my ex-wife, and this time with my partner ... you know, the gay one.
I know, it's not 25 or 50 years, but God willing, I'll at least get to 24 with my partner ... oh wait, make that: my husband!
Yep, I got hitched and just in the nick of time. Dec. 31, 2014, 3:00 p.m. Pacific time. (How's that for a New Year's Eve party?) I slipped right under the calendar year for those tax benefits. That's not why we did it, of course. Nor did we do it to piss my parents off, even though we've yet to hear a congratulatory remark out of them.
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We didn't do it because we had a head start on our New Year's Eve, got drunk and accidentally made it to the courthouse. No, no, no. This was a conscious, well thought out decision. Okay, maybe it wasn't planned quite perfectly.
A few family members—those who would've liked to witness our union—weren't able to make it because we made this decision in the moment: less than 3 weeks from "should we?" to "I do."
I'm sure someone reading this article is sitting on his or her high horse seat of judgment thinking, "This will never last." Really? In an age where heterosexuals run away from the altar and divorce rates are well over 50 percent, why is our marriage less likely to make it?
Heck, we've laid the groundwork—dated, mated, co-habitated—and built a life together for over a decade. It's clear we're already pretty solid as a couple, so why get married now? Other than the obvious tax benefits, avoiding fights with hospitals about whether we're really family, and reducing attorney fees to get all our ducks in a row, for us, there's one main reason we got married ... LOVE.
Oh, sure, on the surface nothing has changed now that we "put a ring on it", but spiritually and emotionally something has shifted; for my husband (I just love saying that) and I, the connection grew deeper.
Do you honestly think heterosexuals deserve to corner the market on deep, intimate, romantic, spiritual feelings in their relationships? I think not. We're all human beings and all capable of experiencing the deeper things in life. It's our inalienable right to feel emotions, act upon them, and embrace them. I'm pretty sure our forefathers called that "the pursuit of happiness."
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The day of our marriage, a lesbian friend of mine posted her congratulatory remarks on my numerous Facebook posts, followed by a private message asking, "Why now?" She and her partner have been together for over 20 years and she was curious as to what the tipping point was for us.
When I flipped the question back to her, "Why would you get married at this stage?" her response was similar to my own: it's a spiritual thing.
From my perspective, spirituality and love intertwine. The spirit, who we are at our core, operates from a center of love. To dishonor our spirit is to dishonor love. Thus, I believe that not honoring my homosexuality sends a direct signal to my spirit that I am not worthy, and thus, not loved.
My marriage now, just as my first marriage was, honors that I love and care for someone very deeply. The only difference is that I'm aligned with my spiritual gender, as well as my physical attraction gender.
So, why did I get married to my gay partner after 13 years? Here's the reasons, exactly in the order of importance:
1. I love him. I love him today more than I did yesterday, and the day before that, and nothing is ever going to change that love.
2. I'm honoring my values of truth, honesty, and integrity. I can't honestly, truthfully, and with integrity love my husband 100% if I'm not permitted to love him as my husband.
3. I'm standing up for what I believe. Love is love. For me that means if you love someone and you want to make a life with them, you should legally be able to do so, if that's what you desire. PERIOD.
4. I'm paying respect to all those who have fought for our rights as gays and lesbians to have this freedom to marry. This doesn't mean I think you're disrespectful if you don't get married as a gay or lesbian. We all have the right to create our relationships as we see fit.
5. I want people to know that I value our relationship enough to publicly declare that he's my guy. He's not just the guy I call my partner, my lover, my co-parent, my rock; he's my husband.
6. I want all the damn perks and benefits that come with, once again, being a married man from a legal and tax perspective.
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Now, if my list doesn't tell you where my priorities are then you need to re-read it. The reason I got married was because I felt moved to say, "I do!" out of love.
Any more questions?
This article originally appeared on YourTango.