I’m getting married on Thursday. 🙂 10-11-12.

We’re going to Savannah for four days. We’re not having a ceremony, not even a small one. We’re just signing papers. We do have rings, but we’ll exchange them privately. No wedding, no reception. Simple, stress-free and private.

I haven’t made a big deal out of getting married. It’s not really. I guess that sounds bad. It is a big deal to get married, but it’s not a big deal for Wood and I to get married because …. well, I feel like we already are. In our hearts. In our minds. In our souls. We’ve been through a lot the past two years. We’ve grown. We’ve changed. We’ve fought. We’ve questioned our future, but in the end (or more like the beginning) we committed to each other, and this marriage is just a formality.

To be poly and married in a mostly monogamous world is strange. People assume a lot. They assume you aren’t dating anymore. They assume you get jealous if someone finds your spouse desirable. They assume you don’t flirt with other people or tell your spouse about a new crush. It’s strange sometimes to walk around in a world where the rules you live by are so different from everyone else’s. But that’s just what it feels like to be a minority I guess. As a white woman born in 1986, I haven’t had to feel that much even though I am a woman.

Why get married? Well, I think part of it is just following our raising. We were raised to get married when you fall in love. Wood has never been married (I have, but that’s another post), and I think that is especially true for him. He wants to experience it. Another reason is mostly practical– it’s  just really hard to function in this world as an unmarried couple. There are so many things that marriage qualifies you for. It legalizes your relationship to the federal government and gives you access to all kinds of benefits and protections. Family health insurance. Tax breaks. Legal rights in crisis and death. It makes your partner your “default” person in the eyes of the government, so that you have rights to information, money, decisions that you wouldn’t otherwise have without that signed piece of paper.

This special recognition is what same-sex couples are fighting for, that ability to designate their “default” person. It opens up your world in a practical way, but it’s also very gratifying to be “legal” in your own country and recognized by your own government. I believe it is something that opposite-sex monogamous couples take for granted.

Getting married will not change that Wood and I are polyamorous. There is nothing that could change that. Sometimes I worry that being married might bother some future partners, but there are a lot of married poly couples. Like I said it’s the only way to function in the world. For truly poly people, it will not matter. They will know that I can love more than one person, and being married to one person will not change that.

Being poly, I hope that this isn’t the last time I do this. I hope that I find someone else or a couple someones to make this promise of forever to. Perhaps Wood will make that promise to those same people or maybe it’ll be different people. There are too many possibilities. I hope one day that my other partnerships will be legally recognized by the government. Once same-sex marriage is legal and the “man” and “woman” parameter of marriage has been removed, I think it will be the next step to challenge the number.

My wedding ring has four aquamarine stones in it. I chose aquamarines because Wood and I have the same birthstone, and I hope one day to replace a couple of the aquamarines with the birthstones of my other life partners. I don’t imagine I will want to have a wedding for those marriages either. It’s just not my thing. Too stressful, too much attention, too showy. So we might do the same thing, exchanging rings privately, signing papers. Hopefully they’ll be actual marriage licenses and not just legal papers drafted by a poly-friendly lawyer. I cherish the day that I’ll marry my best friend because even though I’ll get married again, it will not be to Wood and no one will ever be him. Each relationship will be special and important, loving and accepting, open and honest, all held in our rings, our hearts, our souls, and our decision to join together.