Today, August 15, is our (Aaron, my spouse and myself) third wedding anniversary. Three years of marital bliss and harmony! All right, I’ll try to be real and amend that to be three years of one year of compromise (33.3%), one year of bliss (33.3%) and one year of tolerance (33.3%). It has been happy, fun and adjustment, but we both agree it’s much better than eight years of nothingness. If you’re having trouble with the math, we lived together and shared the same bed for five years and three months before we stood before a justice of the peace and promised ourselves to one another!
No, we didn’t promise to obey one another. Neither one of us are really fond of any dominant/submissive role-play or fantasies. We’re strictly an equal opportunity couple and politely take turns spanking each other (that’s just yours truly being facetious except for that one time he noticed me staring a little too long at this one strangers anatomy – and again, I’m joking)! We’re celebrating three years of legal recognition and validation despite living in an area that would rather all same gender loving couples, irregardless of gender, would simply disappear.
We, Aaron and I, aren’t going anywhere. We both firmly believe that our love for one another will endure – forever. That may seem somewhat trite and overused by some, but that’s exactly how we see our relationship. Although in 2014, our present state together wasn’t even on our “couple radar.”
That all changed with the U.S. Supreme Court deciding that Virginia’s ban on recognizing marriage equality was unconstitutional. It overturned the state legislature’s law validating marriage as between one man and one woman – only. The Court’s ruling affected not only Virginia, but the entire district’s area, including Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia (Washington), West Virginia and North Carolina. That one decision automatically legalized same gender marriages in six states as well as the federal district.
In fairness, Virginia’s state attorney general, Mr. Herring, deemed the state ban not worth defending and refused to argue against same gender marriage before the U. S. Supreme Court. Our then state governor, Mr. MacAuliffe, agreed that the ban was indefensible. I’m certain their stand helped the high court determine that the ban itself was homophobic and not based on any sound legal principle.
Once the ban against marriage equality was overturned, both Aaron’s parents and my parents began their campaign for the two of us to get married. Our mothers began planning (via emails and telephone calls) a huge wedding and our fathers began putting the pressure on us both. The advocacy from our fathers began as very subtle comments such as “Isn’t that good news about the Supreme Court allowing gay marriage?” gradually increasing in determination until the ultimate ultimatum “You know your mother is going to keep insisting on this until she gets her way, right?”
We were boxed in. No escape. Trapped. Cornered. Defenseless. Helpless. We were both also laughing our buttocks and other anatomical body parts off! What our parents didn’t know is that we had discussed our thoughts on getting married long before the Supreme Court ever agreed to hear the challenge case. We were light years ahead of their joint campaign in favor of us getting married. Their attempts to manipulate and to “guilt” us into marriage knew no bounds and it was a shameless example of what lengths some parents would go to in order to coerce their adult sons (grown men) into bending to their will.
Aaron and I “laughed ourselves silly” (although it my case it wasn’t that difficult) over their strategy and technique. It became an ongoing “good parent” vs. “bad parent” routine, similar to the good cop vs. bad cop scenario on TV’s Law&Order series (any version). They were relentless in their approach and we were adamant in our resistance until the early summer of 2015 and Aaron’s mother telephoned him (in tears) and told him that he was too cruel and ungrateful. Before he could end the call, she had him in tears also.
I’ll admit, I’d never seen Aaron cry before in the five years that we’d been together. He was heartbroken and I was depressed. All of a sudden, our resistance to our parent’s scheme failed. We caved. Gave in. Surrendered. We got married.
We became husband and husband. Man and man. Groom and groom. Dude and dude. With the simple “I do” we consented to wedlock and, in turn, locked our hearts together as one. Funny, neither one of us can remember where we put the key to that lock!
That’s where we are today. Here. Still together. Aaron and Roger and Mystic (our Siberian Husky). Three years (and counting), two men in love and their dog.
PostScript: We, to date, have not shared with our parents that we had decided and agreed to marriage before they began their coercion tactics. We’re still their sons and they’re still our parents. In the end, we all got what we wanted. There’s no need to open the proverbial Pandora’s Box how!