Honoring Your New Role as Wife

A marriage is a beautiful thing and so beautiful to honor the love and commitment between two people. When I was getting married I spent a lot of time focusing on how we wanted to be as a couple and having a part-time job as event coordinator planning the wedding event. My fiancé (now husband) and I did not come from marriages that we necessarily felt we wanted to follow. As with each new generation, we hope for something better. We signed up to work with a therapist for pre-marriage counseling. It was incredibly eye opening, challenging, vulnerable and productive. We really felt that it gave us a guide for the foundation of our marriage in actionable words that we created into our vows. We articulated our bond and relationship vision beyond a feeling of love. We would use these vows to express and remember our love at this point.

One thing that was not really talked with me about was my transition as a woman into a marriage. I am not sure how often this is talked about in general, but I know I felt a huge dose of emotions when I was about to get married and in the few months after being married. Emotions ranged from huge excitement and love, to relationship fear, to completely changing my identity.

I knew that I wanted to change my last name to my husband’s and I did so right after we got back from our honeymoon. This is a tedious task from standing in a long line to officially changing my driver’s license and social security card, to creating a new email address. I looked the same, but mail arrived with the slow changes; some with my new married name and some with my maiden name- an identity I had known for almost 30 years. Who was this new woman? How do I let go of who I was?

In transitioning into wifehood, I believe it’s important to acknowledge the transition. The only thing certain about life is that there is constant change. We are changing physically in our body all the time, creating new cells and shedding skin by the minute. As life is constantly changing around us, our soul and who we truly are never changes. Life can bring us further from remembering our Self, especially in intense times of change. As we evolve, it is important to pause, reflect and question our intentions to make sure we remember who we truly are and use that as our compass.

I remember as I felt a slew of emotional ups and downs, I judged myself for not living a life of newlywed bliss. Turns out, this is normal. When emotions rise up, they have messages for us. Sometimes these messages serve us, sometimes we just have to honor them and release. All in all, it’s important to take the time to look at them and let them flow. Then comes bliss. After we sort everything out, without taking action, we are able to re-remember and connect to who we truly are. Carrying that light into our next phase of our ever-changing life.

As I became Emily Marquis, it was a time for me to look at the parts of Emily Herl that were no longer serving. They were no longer serving to me nor to my Self as being in a sacred committed relationship. It gave me the opportunity to grieve the parts of me and my independence that did serve me for a long time but would now have to look different. It gave me the chance to acknowledge my fears of being in a lifelong committed relationship for better or worse, while simultaneously being excited about the thought of growing old with someone who loves me.  I felt deep comfort in knowing that I always had a place to go back to inside me; my inner strength and that I could always be true to my Self.

When planning a wedding and entering wifehood, it’s important to also pause and have compassion for yourself. With marriage there can be many expectations and emotions. Some of them will serve you, some won’t. As with any large life transition, take this time to connect to your Self, let everything flow through your body, whip out a journal and find space for quiet. Find your truth speaking friend or family member in your sisterhood to offer you foundational support in this beautiful change. Remember that you always have a choice in your thoughts and actions and that any answer you are looking for is in your heart if you listen hard enough. Marriage is a beautiful thing. Just as we make mistakes, our marriage will have mistakes. How we show up as a woman in our marriage is a choice and we must first honor ourselves.

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