A Letter to My Single Self


You can be both your husband’s wife and yourself.

By Javacia Harris Bowser

 

Dear Miss Javacia Nicole Harris,

Congratulations on your engagement. I know you’re starting to stress out already, wondering how you’re going to plan a wedding in five months with little help and little money. But remember that your wedding is just one day. It’s what you do after April 8, 2006, that matters most.

Your first year of marriage will be tough. Your fierce independence will make it quite difficult for you to share everything from a bank account to a bathroom with another person. There will be moments when you’ll ask yourself if you can be a feminist and a wife. You can.

You can be a feminist wife because you are also a woman of faith. Pray a lot. After one year of marriage—after one year of struggling with the idea of “two becoming one”—you will pray for a more selfless heart and everything will change.

You can be a feminist wife because you are marrying a man who sees you as nothing less than his equal and he will treat you as such. He will be your biggest supporter as you boldly go after your dreams. Be sure that you’re his biggest cheerleader as he pursues his goals, too.

You’re marrying a man who believes in an egalitarian marriage as much as you do, a man who believes housework should be teamwork. There will be no assumption that because you have two X chromosomes you are required to handle all the housework on your own. You may do most of the cooking, but he will do most of the laundry. He will clean the bathrooms, while you clean the other rooms of your apartment. You will buy groceries; he will balance the checkbook. And you will take turns doing the dishes. When your friends say that your husband is a great guy for helping out around the house, he’ll be confused. He’ll say, “Why shouldn’t I help out? I live here, too.”

That comment will make you fall in love with him all over again.

Remember that you fell in love with him in the first place because he is your best friend. Don’t forget to have fun. Laugh at movies. Stay up all night talking and eating junk food. Go for a run together the next morning to burn it off. Tell him your secrets. Tell him your hopes and fears. Tell him when you’re hurt or angry, even if he’s the one who hurt you or made you mad.

And when he does make you angry, remember he is your family. You and your husband are a family even if you never have children. You will create traditions and great memories and have unconditional love for each other, and that’s what family is all about. Chances are, your marriage will last longer if you see your husband as your family the moment you say, “I do.” People often remain dedicated to their family members in spite of mistakes and imperfections. Do the same for your spouse. He’s your family, too.

Be your husband’s girlfriend. When you go out to dinner, get dressed up like it’s your first date. Wear cute underwear. Paint your toes. Don’t let romance be replaced by the mundane. Don’t get so caught up in your daily to-do lists that you forget to make him feel special. He won’t. He will send you flowers just because and send you text messages in the middle of the day to tell you that you’re beautiful.

One day you won’t agree. One day, sooner than you think, you’ll look in the mirror, you’ll step on the scale, and you won’t like what you see. Your husband will wish you could see yourself as he sees you, but he’ll understand that won’t be enough. He’ll give you the time to restore your confidence on your own. He’ll give you the space to rediscover who you really are.

Eventually, you will decide to take your husband’s last name even though currently, the feminist in you doubts you ever will. Don’t view this as defeat. See it as symbolism. See it as the mark of a new era of your life, just as characters in the Bible often had their names changed after a spiritual transformation.

When you decide to call yourself Javacia Harris Bowser, it will signify that you have finally learned: You can be both your husband’s wife and yourself. This is what being a feminist wife is all about.

Love,

Mrs. Javacia Harris Bowser

4 Responses to “A Letter to My Single Self”

  1. Annette says:

    Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!!

  2. Kandis Chatman says:

    That was awesome! I’m so happy for you and proud of you! You are so gifted! I love you twin cousin!

  3. Asha M says:

    Beautifully written!

  4. Angie says:

    This says volumes about your marriage.

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