This transition has been around too long: from girlfriend to fiance, and then wife.
Before I continue, I must confess that I have for a time expected that the role of wife was not for me. Fiercely independent (to the point of being stubbornly arrogant), I had plotted to be perfectly self-sufficient and defiantly happy even if almost everyone in my world is getting married, having babies, and pompously asking me about my turn.
Falling in love and finding each other have led Cory and me to marriage. We were both raised with Catholic values which elevated marriage as something sacred (and in the Philippines, it is so sacred that it’s still a country without divorce). Deep inside, if Cory and I were to be extremely honest, we both looked at marriage as a way to manifest how beautifully certain we are with our love.
Now that I’m a Mrs., I’m unabashedly admitting that I’m still making peace with all the changes it brings.
On a superficial level, I still need to get used to writing my new name. I’m a feminist who used to say that I would not change my name for any man, and I felt sad for wives whose first names are dropped when addressed as “Mr. and Mrs. Husband Full Name Only.”
What changed me? Very simply: mad mad mad love. My husband gets so proud calling me his Mrs. Dianne Willey, and the bursting pride in his eyes, I find, is worth forgetting my erstwhile stand on keeping my name. (Are you currently thinking I’m a total weaksauce? I don’t care. :))
As a Mrs., I still fully intend to underscore my feminist principles, not defined by the name I dropped, but by the values I still uphold. My husband is the first person who will admit to respecting my strength and equality as a woman. He values my opinions, acknowledges and takes pride in my career, my educational attainment and my achievements, and acts as my partner and ally. He gives importance to my passions and to my happiness. He shares my roles and is unafraid to let me make decisions for us when he knows my decision is the best for the situation.
As a new wife and a fresh new Mrs., I am going to learn a lot of things about myself. And I hope I can reconcile these discoveries with my vision of the wife that I want to be, and the wife that my husband wants and needs.
I wonder about the many changes I will continue to do. I’m fortunate that my parents raised me to be adaptable to changes. As much as I have supposedly toiled and built my self-identity, I know that I will have to evolve (as we all do) to take on new roles and changes in our lives.
Being a Mrs. is my most important role, as marrying the man I chose to marry is by far the most important life-changing decision I have ever made.
I would like to assume that I’ll take on my role as Mrs. with flying colors. But I have to admit that there will be times of self-conflict and inner struggles, mostly because I know the complexities of my character, of the nature of marriage, and of life.
Where do I start? By looking back at the beginning, and always believing in the insanely hopeful joy it brought.
Being Mrs. Willey is the opportunity for me to be version 2.0 of myself. We never always think we need an upgrade, but I’m a believer (as much as iOS is) that we all need an upgrade from time to time. My version as a Mrs. should be more loving, giving, accepting, and forgiving. Less of me, more of us. My dreams will be bigger because they’re not just my own this time.
I’m full of optimism for this life ahead. There will be good days, and better days.
I’m looking forward to sharing these triumphs and challenges with you. Stay around!