11 Reasons Why I’m Getting Married (Again). ~ Candice Holdorf

Via on May 31, 2012
Candice and Adam post-engagement at Symbiosis. Photo by Karl Baba*

Warning: some adult language ahead.

I swore off marriage when I was 12-years-old.

I was a jaded preteen with a bit of a feminist streak who had witnessed the demise of her parents’ relationship a few years before. I decided that I was never going to fall prey that heteronormative, societal slave trap. I was going to make something of my life and no amount of schmaltzy, romantic bullshit was going to stand in my way.

Ten years later I was married. (Life has a funny way of taking our belief systems and packing them with dynamite.)

I was a good wife—or at least I tried to be. I cooked and cleaned. I was understanding and kind (sometimes). And I really, really cared about my husband. But admittedly, my heart was not in it. It was nobody’s fault. We simply weren’t the best fit for each other and hung on for much longer than was respectfully necessary.

So, I ended up joining the ranks of one of the real housewives who get to say fashionable things like “My ex-husband this,” or “My divorce settlement that”—all before the age of 30.

Joking aside, it was a pretty intense period of my life. Walking away from everything I had known about love and relating made me Feel like a total failure, a selfish, sick little girl with no stable ground to stand on. Even though through it all, I knew I was making the right choice, I was shaking with fear behind my mask of quiet bravery.

And with that mask came a resounding voice from the past: don’t ever get married again.

No really. You are not wife material. You are not a mother. Do you want to put another man (and possibly innocent children) though hell?

Then five months ago, he came along.

And my whole system went:

“What the hell are you doing, Candice? Again? Really?”

But something was different. Some puzzle piece went ‘click.’ The first part of the puzzle had to do with me. The fact that I done some deep soul spelunking, made peace with my hunger and discovered the courage to share my desire made a huge difference in being able to fearlessly express love (even in the face of inevitable rejection and humiliation).

Then, when you meet someone who totally compliments you and loves you and trusts you exactly as you are, there is a sort of ease and freedom that arises. Rather than trying to maintain some ideal of what I think wifedom and marriage should be, I am encouraged to peel off the layers and reveal parts of myself that were kept in the shadows for many years.

In fact, the more intimate we are with each other, the better the relationship gets (case in point: jealousy and anger make for great raw material in sex).

And so, I had to once again re-examine the voice that was against marriage. Okay, so I am not in favor of the stagnant, co-dependent models of relating that parade themselves as marriage. In fact, I think the way that marriage is represented in American culture isn’t truly rooted in love and commitment. I mean, we hungrily follow which football star Kim Kardashian might shack up with next. So-called ‘reality’ TV like, The Bachelor and The Millionaire Matchmaker, have reduced marriage to the level of game shows, with husbands and wives as the ultimate prize.

As women, we get caught in this schizophrenic bind of having to find a husband and wanting our freedom: either we have to hunt him and trap him before we turn 30 (because the clock is ticking, ladies), or we give up relating all together for casual trysts that fill the gaps between power lunches and spin classes.

Cut and paste all that against the backdrop of a fierce political and religious debate surrounding the ‘sanctity’ of marriage as it’s ‘threatened’ by homosexual couples and you can see why we have a pretty twisted notion of what it means to be wedded in holy matrimony.

It’s at this point that I settle onto my mediation cushion and find the pearl of wisdom that rests within me:

“Candice?”

“Yes, oh Sagacious One?”

“Do whatever the f*ck you want.”

Exactly. At the heart of it all, I want to marry this man.

He’s so f*cking cool!

I get excited when I think about living a crazy, rock star, dream life with him—a life that goes way beyond the bounds of ‘normal’ marriage. We—my beloved and I—get to create something unique and authentic. We get to make the rules (and break them). And in the end, we answer to no one but ourselves.

But I like to make lists. And I like to write articles. And I like to make lists when I write articles. So even though there’s really only one reason I’m choosing marriage (because it’s my desire), here’s 11 reasons why I’m getting married (again):

1. It was spontaneous.

And I just love that. It feels much more honest when life happens at the unfiltered speed of ‘Yes.’ If you give me the perfectly scripted diamond-ring-and-down-on-one-knee proposal, I may smile and think “Oh how sweet,” but I’m not going to be sold. But if you give me the day of a total eclipse at the Symbiosis Festival in the Reckless In Love Shack at 3 a.m. while surrounded by an inebriated gang of Brits, you have yourself a winner.

2. He’s my best friend.

We don’t just love each other; we like each other. We have lots of cracked out, dorky fun together. We like singing Bohemian Rhapsody (the entire thing!). We like quoting cheesy movies to each other. We make each other fall down laughing with our free associations and impressions of other people. And if after 13 days of spending nearly every moment together (days that included very little sleep, 30 hours of driving and camping out in some pretty harsh conditions), we still want to hang out with each other, that’s a pretty damn good sign.

3. We know when to take space.

After the 13 days of traveling together, and I say to him, “Honey, I need the night off,” he meets me with understanding and respect. He also knows when to ask for space. We may say something like, “I miss you. I feel sad. I’m disappointed not to see you. My body aches for you,” but in the end, absence does make the heart grow fonder—or at least our relationship stronger. For when we take the time to cultivate our individual passions, we come back together from a place of fullness and energy, ready to share our discoveries with each other.

4. I want to grow old with him.

What’s more, I could even see myself having our child (yikes!). This is a very, very hard piece for me to admit. It hits my pride as a ‘free woman’ on so many levels. And yet, when I slow down and feel my desire, I discover joy in the possibility of building a life together—who we are as a team is infinitely greater than who we are alone. I don’t have to spend my life with him. I know I can survive just fine. But I’ve had flashes of his wise, old face in a rocking chair on the front porch of our home. I’m choosing to stick around long enough to see that.

5. He cries.

I trust a man who is not afraid to share his innermost wonder and grief. It gives me the courage to share mine. His raw vulnerability is a huge gift in a world where masculinity is falsely touted as being some unbreakable superhero. No, dear readers. The masculine face of love sheds many, many tears on the journey of opening one’s heart to a woman.

6. Because why the f*ck not?

I don’t ever want to say on my deathbed, “Thank God I played it safe when I was in love.”

I want to be able to revel in the fact that I risked it all and made the most of every second life had to offer me. I don’t think the universe makes mistakes and I certainly don’t see my first marriage as a mistake. I think it was a glorious journey that has taken me exactly where I need to be. This time, the universe has raised the stakes and I am ready to play balls out.

7. We inspire each other to keep growing.

Settling for ‘okay’ isn’t good enough for either of us, even if that means discomfort on both our parts. But that discomfort is just a sign we are hitting a fertile boundary, ripe with creativity and promise. And we are both courageous enough to stay connected within the change, even when it includes some scary sh*t like moving to another city or exploring our sexuality with someone outside of the relationship.

8. We trust each other’s inner compass.

And we strive to speak our truth and have space for the other person’s experience. When he feels something is ‘off,’ I listen. When I get intuitive hits about where to go next, he pays attention. This kind of respect is not something I take for granted. It requires a high level of communication and trust to say things like:

“What’s your deeper desire?”
“Where are you right now?”
“Stop playing nice.”
“You feel far away.”
“What are you not saying?”
“I know we planned to turn right, but I’d like to go left.”
“You don’t feel connected to your heart.”
“I love you and I am f*ckin’ pissed.”
“This is a hard boundary and I am saying ‘No.’”

9. I get to wear a kick-ass dress.

Okay, perhaps one of the more shallow reasons to get married again (and also why this list went from 10 to 11), but I like dressing up. And last time I got married at the Justice of the Peace in casual pants and a sweater. This time I want to go all out! Think Tim Burton meets Moulin Rouge. Yeah, you know you’re jealous.

10. He’s a rock.

In the sense that I can throw all my wackiest, off-the-wall, crazy, angry, jealous, freaked out, neurotic sh*t at him, and he’s still standing. Not only is he still standing—he’s still loving me. He’s not afraid to violate the rules I have locking my orgasm. His commitment to total presence in the face of my feminine outrage liberates the woman in me—and the delicious reward on the other side of that liberation frees us both.

11. I like kissing him.

Don’t get me wrong—the sex is awesome too. And if you know anything about me, you know that I place a high value on quality sex.

However, there’s something so intimate about kissing someone. There’s nowhere to hide. It’s as if I’m emotionally naked and all the faces of my desire come out as he is staring into my eyes. The warm, electric promise of more when he brushes his lips below my ear and slides his thumb over my nipple. The comfort of home when he cups his hands over my ears and grazes his mouth against my forehead. The rousing of my hungry animal when he thrusts me against a wall and devours my face, while pressing his cock against my thick, wet pussy. The sweet, adolescent innocence of his soft, full lips against mine as our tongues barely caress each other. I’ve had a variety of terrific lovers, for which I have tremendous gratitude. But to know how to slake a dying woman’s thirst with just the right kiss—that’s enough to bring me to my knees and pledge a lifetime of eternal devotion.

*Photo by Karl Baba. http://www.lovebringspeace.com/Photography.html

~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

 

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About Candice Holdorf

Candice Holdorf is currently working on her book, “From 6 to 9 and Beyond: Widening the Lens of Feminine Eroticism.” You can pre-order your copy here. She is a writer for elephantjournal and The Good Men Project, as well as a sex + life coach specializing in desire, sexuality and Orgasmic Meditation. For inquiries on her coaching, visit her website. She is also a California-based actress, former yoga teacher and recovering anorexic who has discovered that there is tremendous power inside of hunger. Find out more about Candice on her blog, follower her on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

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24 Responses to “11 Reasons Why I’m Getting Married (Again). ~ Candice Holdorf”

  1. MamasteNJ says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: Love, Sexy & Adventure
    (because if this doesn't constitute adventure…I don't know what does!) lol
    Again, congrats Candice & her man!
    xoxox
    ~Mamaste

  2. Rich K says:

    Candice,

    Congrats! I absolutely adore the way you write. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing yourself the way you do! :)

  3. Sasha Cagen says:

    Congratulations! This is inspiring, I love reading love stories like this where you really do feel free to be just who you are. . . you're beautiful for putting it all out there and accepting the whole journey.

  4. Joana Smith JoanaSmith says:

    But really?? Do you really need to be married to someone to love them? And it means you can't love anyone else…(you know there are a lot of loveable people, and it's ok to love a lot of people says my 5-year old) And if you fall out of love with them or things go wrong you have to go through the State. Like, what the f**k does the State have to do with who I love?

    Especially since you only met him 5 months ago I would caution you to take a few more years to decide on legal bondage. You can live someone (better kissing without marriage chains) and have a great love. There is something psychological (must be) about marriage that makes *some people* think that they can sh** all over the other person. Keep his respect, you'll value it later. Don't marry. Free people can love better. Just sayin'.

    And I also wanted to add, nicely written!

    • Thank you for reading and for sharing. I totally hear what you are saying. No, I don't think you have to marry someone to love them. I know lots of people who have great relationships who aren't married (like my mom and her boyfriend). That works for them and that's cool.

      I don't agree that if you marry someone you can't love anyone else. It would be silly to think that. Plus I think that is a rule leftover from an archaic paradigm of marriage. This is why Adam and I currently have an open relationship. Right now, it works for us.

      I think the shitting all over someone once you marry them is just lazy and poor relating–not a direct result of marriage. This is another piece I want to challenge in my exploration and redefinition of marriage.

      You are right. What does the state have to do with love? The system isn't perfect, that's for sure. But there is something to be said about being the legal go-to person if either one of us ends up in the hospital or for caring for each other's estate.

      I'm a woman who wants it all–the freedom to explore my sexuality as well as the experience of deep commitment. So far, in this relationship, I get the best of both worlds.

      Bottom line: marriage isn't for everyone and that's totally fine. 5 months is a relatively short amount of time admittedly. However, I have known couples who dated for years and then divorced after less than a year of marriage. And my grandmother knew her current husband for 3 months before marrying him and today (June 1) is their 21-year anniversary. Ya just never know.

      Much love to you and thank again for reading and sharing your thoughts. Always much appreciated!! xoxo

    • elephantjournal says:

      As someone who's deeply serious about commitment, love isn't enough to equal marriage. Love fades. I was glad to read the section about your being best friends. Because what happens when the sh&*t hits hte fan, and the love and infatuation and kissing and sex aren't so good?

      Marriage is, by definition, unconditional—or it's just a long-term, finite relationship.

      • When the shit hits the fan, that's the nest opportunity for MORE levels of surrender and intimacy (which isn't always pretty) and therefore deeper levels of love. Some of the best sex I've ever had was right after a 'shit hit the fan' moment. I really get to see some pretty deep pieces of my lovers (and myself) in that shit-fan-hitting arena.

        I hear you that many people are in a 'loveless' marriage. I have been there. However you say 'what happns…when love and infatuation and kissing and sex aren't good." My belief (and this is mine own, you can take it or leave it) is that many people equate 'love' with 'romance'. Romance is one fun and awesome point on the map of love, but it is never the destination. The love never goes anywhere. How could it? We are love. The opportunity to connect with it is available at every moment. We just get attached to some version of what we think it should look like.

        My guess is that couples hit a peak in the relationship and then they spend the rest of their lives trying to capture that feeling and blame the other person for not giving them what they want. That's not love. That's lack of responsibility. That's not the game I play with my lovers and not the game I play with my future husband.

        Honesty is the biggest turn-on. Stay connected to your authenticity and connected to the commitment you made with your partner and you will find love everywhere–from the sweet high mountains to the low dirty gutters.

        • Joana Smith JoanaSmith says:

          Guys, you are both totally optimistic…it's nice, I just find it a little bit naive. Thanks for sharing, Candice, and for putting your life out there for everyone to comment on…good or bad. You are BRAVE. And I do agree that friendship is important above all. That's what I'm stressing right now in my life. It's the only thing that can combat chaos, not a legal document.

          Right now, I am going through a separation after 9 years of marriage, and I grew up a good-Christian girl– my parents have been married for 43 years, my grandparents just hit 70– for me, ending was not an option, and I'm feeling very liberated now. I maintain that he stopped respecting me the day of our wedding (it's difficult going from being the trophy to being on the team–and he's the coach), so admittedly, I'm coming at it from the other side.. But both of you talk about love fading and that that would sort of require the legal command to remain with someone you don't love or who doesn't love you. I don't get that.

          Also, I'm fairly certain that marriage is the beginning of isolationist behaviors like urban sprawl and lonliness-related materialism. I think it's also what takes people away from experiencing real community…

          I remember before I got married I was able to enjoy great friendships with men. I grew up with a brother, and it was just the two of us, so I'm really comfortable hanging with guys…and then when some of my guy friends got married suddenly they were just different, not as casual anymore, "vibey"..I called it being in the "married people's club." It was even more so when I got married. It basically means you don't go out as much, you don't hang out as much and don't laugh as much with your opposite sex-friends because "heaven forbid" that might mean you can share emotions with someone who is not your spouse!

          I hope that one day the good people in our society will be evolved enough to manage their own mature relationships with respect for others and that the institution of marriage will just fade away like the archaic froth that nobody ever really needed anyway…except maybe the multi-billion dollar a year wedding industry and all the grandparents who love to look at the photo album. And it'll be great, we'll live with each other, and be more open to taking in the stranger. Call it utopian/world peace-like, etc, everyone's a butterfly, and what-have you :)

      • I think I'm in the same mindset as Joana (probably in part because we're in the same situation) but what I don't understand—and this is a true question, not a criticism—if you want an open relationship, why marry? I love your reasons and always enjoy your writing…just curious about this part. Mentally, I'm still in the "Never Again" phase where marriage is concerned. But I'm pretty sure if I didn't want monogamy, I wouldn't choose marriage either.

        But then there's always #6-haha! I guess it only has to be what the two of you want it to be! Lots of love to both of you!

  5. Elize says:

    Congrats, Candice. Well written and poignant and touching, especially to another under-30 ex wife who has had a BLAST rediscovering herself and evolving as the woman she always wanted to be. Including discovering knock-to-your-knees, ride-the-wave love- while maintaining sense of self. WOW. Unspeakably awesome.
    And yeah- do whatever the f**k you want :)

  6. Diane says:

    I adore you, you are one of my favorite writers. Rock on sister.

    xo,
    D

  7. omg says:

    I do not believe in marriage or romance for me. I crave it. I hope God brings me a lover.

  8. [...] 11 Reasons Why I’m Getting Married (Again). | elephant journal. Warning: some adult language ahead. [...]

  9. wow, didn't know adam was your dude, puts things in a whole different context after meeting him at se training. can feel the connection for sure. rock on.
    adam

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