Freedom and independence in my marriage started with me not taking my husband's last name and has continued to be important to me. When I got married 29 years ago, I was insistent on the wedding vow passage where it states that when we join in marriage we still remain as two separate individuals. As my father, who married us, said,
Like two streams running together into a river these two people do not end at being two streams.
Our marriage, right from the beginning, was open and honest, creating the basis for a strong marriage. I used to share everything with him. And I mean everything. Now, I feel I don't want to do that anymore. I just want to explore the opportunities that come my way without having to answer to anyone but myself. We have been married long enough that he knows he can trust me.
I think about those girlfriend getaways where I was out with my BFFs. That sense of freedom and having some uninhibited fun that you really do not want to explain to anyone about.
Granted, I could tell him about these little morsels in life but they have nothing to do with us. And I know telling him would cause far more distress in our marriage than what it would merit. I also don't want to feel guilty about them when they really are merely nice little memories.
I am not sure if it is because I am feeling the backside of being over 50 or not, but I want to experience life and some of these experiences may not have anything to do with my marriage. So, I am pondering about introducing the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy into my marriage. The United States had this policy for homosexuals in the military. There was a good reason for it: Why bring anything up that has absolutely nothing to do with one's performance in the job? The same can apply to marriages. If it does not affect the marriage do we really need to tell our spouse everything?
Of course, this is different when you are first married. The honeymoon stage of getting to know each other completely and gaining the other trust is paramount in the first few years. After you have been married for so long and the trust is completely imbedded in the relationship with a strong foundation, there can be this freedom for which you can simply do what you want to do because of mutual respect and love for each other.
That is one of the wonderful things about being in a long term marriage. The ability to feel loved and supported, as well as trusted, and, at the same time feel the freedom of being who you want to be.
Life is too short to live any other way, no?