Before I started this blog, I went around googling a couple things to see if there was already a good blog like this, both to look for examples and make sure I wasn't treading on anyone's toes. I didn't find a ton, but one I found referred to the kind of relationship I had as a "mini-marriage."
I was actually kind of insulted by this. As someone who went through it too, I'm sure the author didn't mean it to offend, but it still did. She also said they used to be referred to as "starter marriages." For some reason this didn't offend me quite as much, but still not a term I like. Probably because both treat it as if it wasn't a "real" marriage, so it needed to be given a different name.
The kinds of relationships they are referring to is a marriage that starts when the couple is relatively young, doesn't last more than a couple years (or less) and there are no children as a result of the relationship.
Ok, my relationship fits into that criteria, but I still don't feel like either of those terms are an accurate description. A "starter" marriage insinuates that it was just for practice. Both of these terms seem to trivialize how monumental the emotions were going into it. I didn't take my decision to marry lightly, in fact I had nightmares that I was making the wrong decision. And yes, it was the wrong decision. But it still doesn't mean I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I was gravely serious in my decision making. It's wasn't a "mini" marriage, it was a real marriage. We (I use this term lightly, I really can't tell you how X felt or what he thought, as I mentioned in the previous entry that I honestly believe I didn't know him at all after the way he acted at the end) were in this for the long haul, we had made plans for our future and were doing things to move towards that plan. We had talked about when we wanted to have kids, how we wanted to raise them, what kind of school we'd like them to go to. We (often disagreeably) talked about our future, and we seemed to have a real plan. We'd been together 2 1/2 years when we got married, and we had been friends for years before that. We didn't just... up & get married impulsively like I see a lot of my peers doing.
So no, I don't appreciate these kinds of terms. It was a marriage. Plain and simple. It was short, and it didn't produce any children, but that doesn't make it any less a marriage than one that ends 20 years from the wedding WITH kids. I'm thankful that it didn't involve any children, but marriage isn't about children. Children happen with or without marriage. Marriage is about making a public commitment, and divorce is about giving that up. I got married, I had a wedding, and I failed at having a successful marriage. All these feelings are just as valid as any other divorcee, no matter the circumstances.