Friday, 7 June 2013
OUR SECRET IS OUT
A couple of years ago, after 20 years of living together and bringing up four children, my other half and I got married which was something we didn't really want to do but were forced into thanks to the Govt removing our long standing common law rights.
We are not religious and neither do we believe that the state should have right to approve a loving relationship between two people whether gay or straight, but to ensure next of kin rights that were taken from us when civil partnerships were created, and from which we were excluded, we had to get married just to get back what had been legally ours before the law changed.
We didn't tell anyone because as two oldies we were a bit embarrassed and we wondered what our children would think of us so we just picked the next available date after our initial enquiry to the local register office. This was close to Christmas 2011. We asked a couple of acquaintances if they would be our witnesses. They were sworn to secrecy and they didn't let us down. They said nothing to anyone until today - the day we finally told all our relatives and our friends and let the cat out of the bag and into the public domain.
We've never been big believers in the traditional sort of marriage. I'd been married before but it didn't work out and so I wasn't keen to do it again. The natural law of love, dedication and commitment was worth far more to both of us than a union granted by God or the Prime Minister. A civil partnership isn't really an alternative either for people like us but at least it would have allowed us to choose another way to secure joint rights to the lives we have both built up over two decades without betraying our principles.
After our secret wedding, we had a quick drink with our witnesses to say thanks and then it was home to get changed and then get back to work.
After we had done the deed, we both resolved to keep it secret and the longer the weeks, months, years went on it became harder and harder to tell our children what we'd done. My other half told his mum at the time his dad had died and that meant the race was then on to ensure everyone in the family knew.
We planned to tell them at my father-in-law's funeral but then it wasn't really appropriate to put ourselves at the centre of such a sombre occasion held to honour the life of a very good man who passed away. The next opportunity came when daughter No 2 told me she was getting married - but then I didn't want to steal her thunder or impact upon her good news. Another chance came when daughter No 1 had her second baby a week or two ago. We almost told her then - but again it would have detracted from her celebrations, her news, her family's special occasion and we didn't want to impose.
We finally told them yesterday, girded our loins in anticipation of perhaps angry kids who felt excluded from something they might have liked to celebrate with us or possibly upset that we had this secret for so long, but they were all as pleased as punch for us.
So now it's done, both the wedding and the informing of relatives was no where near as traumatic as I'd expected and I hope me and my other half get to live many more years happily together with our children and our five grandchildren.
Who says romance is dead.