Why I Told 150 Wedding Guests That My Husband Does Not Complete Me

 

danandi
A year ago Dan and I got married in front of fifteen of our closest loved ones, knowing we would host a HUGE shindig to celebrate a few months later. Last month we finally got around to it and celebrated our first wedding anniversary with 150 family members and friends.

It was exhausting awesome.

The theme of the day was friendship because while it was a party to celebrate our marriage, Dan and I wanted to make it clear how much we appreciate each person in our community. In order to emphasize this point, I gave a speech:

So. This past year has been a whirlwind for me. Not only did Dan and I get married, but I started a new job, graduated from grad school, passed my licensing exam, and we began the process to buy our building. Lots has been happening lately but I cannot think of a better person to be on my team than Dan. Everyone in this room knows how amazing of a person he is. I’m the luckiest.

I’ve got to be honest about something though. As great as he is, Dan doesn’t complete me. He certainly makes life funnier. Busier. Happier. And tastier. (Dan’s a chef.) But he does not complete me. And I do not complete him. Our lives are so much bigger than each other. Today illustrates that in a beautiful way.

I find it absolutely wonderful that we get to spend the last day of our first year of marriage with all of you. I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time. Because although our wedding was perfect and filled with more love than I could’ve ever imagined, something was missing. All of you! This was the missing piece to the puzzle of year one. It is you all who add such richness to our lives and complete us, along with the good Lord above.

Tomorrow morning, I look forward to waking up next to Mr. Robinson. I know I will feel such joy and peace. Because today has been a reminder to me that with loved ones like all of you, he and I can do this. You’ve got our backs. Throughout this last year, Dan and I have felt nothing but love and support from each of you. You are our community. You are the loves of our lives. We are blessed to know such amazing people.

Later that night, Dan told me my speech was great, but probably went over a few people’s heads. “I understood what you meant…and I’m not offended at all. But it’s just not normal to say that your husband doesn’t complete you. Society doesn’t teach us that,” he said.

(NEWSFLASH: I am not normal.)

So yes, I’m that girl who told 150 people at her wedding reception that her husband does not complete her. And I did so proudly. Here’s why:

1. It’s true. Dan doesn’t complete me.

2. I rather enjoy challenging the things society tells us to believe, especially regarding relationships.

3. My life is so much bigger than my marriage. My community, my faith, and my experiences complete me. My relationship with myself completes me.

4. There’s a time and a place for romance, but I don’t like romanticizing marriage. Our expectations of marriage are high enough as it is.

5. I was created to tell gals that their lives are so much bigger than their romantic relationships (or lack thereof). I’ll take any opportunity I can to do so. Even my wedding reception.

That’s why you’ll never hear me tell someone else that Dan completes me. I just don’t buy into that kinda crap. I love the man more than words can say. He’s a phenomenal partner and I’m really glad he’s on my team. He’s a big part of my life and I feel blessed by that.

But…he’s only a part of my life.

And I feel blessed by that too.

 

*Due to the overwhelming interest I’ve received, I will now be operating on a pay-what-you-can model for coaching. Thank you!

[photo credit: Dawn Biery]

 

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This entry was posted in Dating, Friendships, Love, Marriage and tagged , , , , , , .

65 Responses

  1. Aleksandra Birta says:

    Corageus and honest! And so true :)

  2. Really love this, Akriah. Also, you need social share buttons!

  3. Jennifer Twardowski says:

    I LOVE this! This is totally something I would do — though I haven’t actually thought about or considered actually doing that in a speech until I’ve read this. Thanks for the inspiration! :-)

  4. Ann Gainer says:

    LOVE this! I’m so there with you on challenging what is commonly accepted as true. Wars, holocausts, racial hatred, discrimination, etc…you mean to tell me I should accept at face value without question everything society tells me when we have shown ourselves capable of such horrific behavior past and present?? NO WAY!! People get on me because I say statements like, “No he doesn’t complete me.” They question my ability to think, my moral character, even my sanity. Yes, it goes over their heads, but I’ve found occasionally it hits the right nerve somewhere and helped wake them up when they needed it. Keep this up!! So awesome!

    • Girl. You and I could probably talk about this for ages. Gone are the days when I accept whatever society tells me without critiquing it as closely as possible. My well-being is at stake here…and I refuse to believe lies. I’m glad you agree!

  5. Kimberly Emerson says:

    Amazing speech! Thank you for sharing it! Society needs a lot more people challenging the assumptions about what brings find happiness and contentment. The recipe currently being distributed fails for a lot of people. Not good enough.

  6. Natasha Neysmith says:

    This was SOOOOOOOOOOO Cool. This is something that EVERY woman should read. Strike out and find your own independence.

  7. Peanut says:

    I love your message and agree with you 100%. I’m confused about the photo though — you look lovely and are in a wedding dress while the gentleman is in casual clothes. Curious.

    • HAHAHAH! I almost choked reading this. You’re right! My husband is a casual guy. I asked him to get a nice outfit for our reception at Joseph A Banks. That outfit is what he came home with. Not what I envisioned, but what can you do? He’s still a handsome man to me. :)

  8. therealthing520 says:

    I needed to read this post today!! God bless you for having the courage to speak your truth without any reservations. You have inspired me more than any words could express. Keep writing and sharing, we need you! You have a lifelong subscriber in me!!

  9. Soca Jumbie says:

    I>>> LOVE>>>YOU!!!!!!! I needed to see this today sistah girl…blessings on your union!! I am happily single (recently added “happily” to my current singleness) and always felt odd because I didnt buy into the whole “u complete me Gerry McGuire notions”…I think that kind of thinking is co dependent and quite sad. I dated someone who couldnt get past the fact that I didnt want him to complete me…but thats another story :) Its so wonderful to see sistahs like you being brave and bold about how you choose to love. Many many blessed years of companionship and bliss to you and your hubby.

  10. lifeisaredcarpet says:

    This is so beautifully written. Marriage has always been a scary thing for me…because the more I think about the fact that you’re told you have to find someone to “complete” you, the more I want to back away from the idea. It’s so nice to see that you’re happily married and still believe that you are each your own people. Thank you for these words!

    –Jen
    http://www.lifeisaredcarpetblog.com

    • Jen! Yes…marriage is SUCH a scary thing. I’m a year in and still scared! Sometimes I get scared that I am going to lose myself. That I AM losing myself. I think it’s just a reminder to me that it’s a journey. I can and should always look back and adjust as needed. Perhaps I could let my husband and marriage complete me. But I don’t want that. So I make my decisions accordingly. It’s nice to know we’ve got a say in that matter, huh?

      (Also, I LOVE the name of your blog. Bookmarked!)

  11. Ashleigh Nicholle J says:

    This article gives me life! I am in my mid 20′s and I have felt this way for a long time. At first I felt weird and didn’t want to share my feelings about questioning society and being a strong woman who can stand on her own while being in a committed relationship. But now, I embrace my “weirdness” and take every opportunity to share this with anyone who will listen.
    I just posted this on FB and told everyone I know to read it. You are incredibly inspirational. Men and women alike will benefit from reading this. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! :)

  12. Meg Sylvia says:

    Congratulations Akirah, you look stunning!

    Society teaches us a lot of fantasies that another person can make us whole and loved. I really do believe that this leads to so many of the issues with relationships in our society- we look happiness in other people that really, we can only create for ourselves. Love your message, thank you so much for sharing!

  13. ChicBrownBride says:

    Beautifully written. And I like to say, don’t find someone to complete you as you should be whole already. But the person compliments your life as a great partner.

  14. kf says:

    Love this! Just curious, what made you decide to change your name? It was important to me to keep mine for just the reasons you say!

    • Hi KF! So I’ve been thinking about this and I think I have my answer. When I was dating my ex, who was abusive, I thought I would NEVER change my last name. I told him if we ever got married, I would not take his name…or I’d at least hyphenate it. In hindsight, I see that that was my way to maintain and protect myself because he had taken so much from me. Once I met Dan, that desire honestly went out the window. I don’t have a particular attachment to my maiden name and I wanted to be Mrs. Robinson. I can’t really explain it…it was just a feeling I had. I just knew I wanted to change my name.

      I like sharing a last name with Dan. I really, really, really love being on the same team as him. And he is so incredibly respectful and supportive of me that changing my last name didn’t feel like a threat or loss of identity for me. So I did it.

      As a feminist (yes, I embrace that label) I believe in choice. So while changing my last name felt like the right decision for me, I wouldn’t force that on anyone. :)

      • kf says:

        Thanks, great answer! I kept mine, but I agree it is a feminist’s choice and always should be. Besides, it’ll be an even bigger mess when we have kids, haha.

  15. Kathleen Henschel says:

    I’m SO GLAD you wrote this. My husband and I feel the same way about our marriage, but when we try to explain it to people, they look at us like we’re crazy. I don’t consider him my Prince Charming, and I know I am a whole person on my own. I just wish more women would realize that a fantastic husband/partner is a bonus to an already fabulous life, not the be-all-end-all she needs to be complete.

  16. Ferris Kneile says:

    Nice, nice speech. I thought saying “you complete me” was only something people did in movies. Real people don’t say nonsense like that, at least I hope they don’t. We are not halves coming together. But 2 whole people. :)

    • Hahaha! I’m not sure people say “you complete me,” but I’ve certainly heard people say “he’s my better half.” I think that’s just in fun though. I think I’d laugh if a man ever said that to me.

      • Carolyn says:

        People totally say “you complete me”! Don’t they? Or is it just a movie thing that I’ve turned into real life in my head? creepy.

  17. surabhi surendra says:

    Hi Akirah,

    I just read your post on Huffpost, came to your blog, read sooo many of your posts in past few hours, loved your post ‘be a snob sometimes’ and ‘extra weight, extra grace’ and here I am writing to you coz, I am in love with your blog! :)

    Keep it up. I have bookmarked it. :) Btw, I also tell people that I need more than my hubby in life and I see raised eyebrows but I still say that for its the truth! :D

  18. The Delicate Place says:

    messiah alum here…i love this and could not agree more! i’ll be linking this in a post i have coming soon. i’ll be celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary towards the end of this month and have been thinking this for a long time! glad someone else shares this view! x

  19. Pingback: My Husband Doesn’t Complete Me — The Good Men Project

  20. Nikki Rae says:

    This is exactly the message I hope to teach my girls. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Eniola Prentice says:

    You are so right, One has to go into a relationship complete and whole! love that aspect but i may disagree with :)

  22. Pingback: October Link Love - the in between is mine -

  23. reinventingerin says:

    Great message, Akirah!

  24. Krys says:

    I LOVE this so much.

  25. thefayth says:

    Last year I got married to my guy and we walked down a backyard aisle to “I Dont Wanna Be A Bride” by Vanessa Carlton. As a bisexual activist (and co-organizer of the recent bisexual issues roundtable at the White House) getting married as a whole is a loaded exercise as it often leads to folks “mis-orienting” me as straight when I am not. However I love my guy (he’s white and I’m black too) and our family is worth every moment of disclosure ;) Check out the song if you haven’t yet,
    I don’t wanna be a bride
    Apologies to your mother
    But I can be your girl
    And share this life with you
    But I don’t wanna wear white
    You know it’s too late for that
    But can we keep the ever after?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VB3-Khriuk

  26. L. says:

    Amen. My boyfriend of 8 years doesn’t complete me.. he just compliments my awesomeness & continues to push me to be a better person w. or wo. him. Oh, and I LOVEEEEEEE your hair in that photo. My GAWD.

  27. J Krummel says:

    saw an opportunity for a white man to help her out and took advantage of it you are a gold digging hoe!

  28. 501Venus says:

    You made a very thoughtful & eloquent, respectful speech. What I realized is that both you and I differ in what I think “complete” means. Well everyone has their thoughts and beliefs. 50 years ago it wouldn’t have been easy for you to declare love to each other (heck even 30 years ago) and have such a wedding. You aren’t the first nor the last. There were people “in love” decades and centuries earlier that chose to be with each other despite what society told them to do (like ‘West Side Story’ stick to their “own kind”).

    Women & a few men get abused but they stay because of loyalty and “love”. They really don’t know consideration, respect & trust but they think “love” is being there without being valued. There are women and men that stay together because they simply have someone at their side, they don’t value their thoughts, experience and/or emotions. They are lonely in a crowd.

    “Love”, “respect”, “trust”, “motivating & inspiring”, “supportive” are all words that I think make up love but also chemistry & attraction to be around the other person. There are many like myself haven’t found all the combination of positive variables that links, maintains & locks one to the other. Complete? Well if that is the word you think is off maybe it’s not the best word to describe what you and many others have done in marriage. I’m not married but ask someone that has over 40 years of marriage about their love & commitment to each other. Most will have what they think works for them. So what works for you two go for it don’t change.

    I got it that we all are born alone and will die alone. We chose education goals/objectives we alone must attain. We do the studying alone are the ones taking the tests/certifications too. However you aren’t alone are you? The positive reinforcement and incentive can be aided by someone at your side. When we apply for jobs we are the ones doing the job but we make considerations and adjustments for our lives.

    I take the word complete in another vein. I don’t romanticize it but take the word as finalizing an objective and/or task. Project management a goal is finalized and done. How successful the task or chore was is dependent on what the objectives & goals were. Were they 50% or 100% met? Did you lower your standards to achieve fruition?

    Whether or not you choose to think of it in this manner, your goal and/or objectives was to find someone that your had mutual interests, enjoyed spending time with, motivated & inspired you to be the very best as well as for him too, supported you in positive actions in whatever you did, respected & trusted him and he with you. You married this man after whether it was conscious or unconscious search through time of trial/error finding him compatible to you and learning to love him.

    Time you spent dating you discovered & realized compared to others that he had the qualities you liked, loved & grew to admire. You had a choice to decide if he was someone you wanted to marry and spend your time with. In a way, your task was “completed” or rather “complete” that your needs were met in your goals/objectives when you married him.

    I mean, unless you are into an open marriage and sleep with other men and/or date them you are done with this search for a mate right? Therefore the task is complete. You no longer need to continue your search, am I wrong? So, in that way, it’s “completed”. When one focuses on themselves and their journey (“my schooling”, “my education”, “my job”, “me” as a person) without thinking & including the “we” (“what have we accomplished”, “what do we need to accept about each other” & “how do we share our worlds together”) it definitely will either take time to either evolve into that “we” or sadly it could degrade and erode the relationship back to where it started.

    “I” know I speak firsthand of doing the “me” and not focusing on the “we”. I spent too much time saying “look at me what I did & accomplished” rather than “look how we work together and have accomplished living with each other”.

    I will say if your partner died suddenly, you would feel a significant loss more than if it was a casual work friend and/or school mate. It’s been noted that the death of a loved one is one of the most devastating losses one can experience. All the time invested in becoming a couple and united in each others’ lives and yes the shared love & commitment will impact one. In a way that “completeness” you might think is wrong now perhaps maybe will be shown to you in how you are at a loss and feel off without that person there. .

    Colored people years ago got married had kids & sacrificed a lot for family. Going to school while working 2-3 jobs, working menial jobs is nothing new. Nobody can predict or guarantee if it’s economics, common backgrounds etc. of what makes marriages work or fail. My grandfather managed to earn & gain respect in his work and community. It was hard being having a White mother and 1/2 Black/Cherokee father at the turn of the century. It was not accepted and despite the racial discrimination succeeded. He remained married to my grandmother for over 50 years result is 5 kids & 15 grandkids. That commitment and yes love is hard to find for which I value & respect. The question isn’t “completeness” but whether or not your choice stands up to time and it truly completes your search and if it doesn’t well then it’s not complete and you find yourself still searching.

    We all won’t know until your 30th or 50th wedding anniversary how successful this was. If goals & objectives were met & this search was complete for both you and your husband. Too early to tell after one year of marriage. When you were 1 you had a lot of different thoughts on the world. Now after over 20 years you have evolved and developed and changed your mind multiple times over those years. Let’s see what changes & evolves in 20 more years.

  29. Sam Bell says:

    Hi Akirah,
    This is my first time visiting your site, I really love how frank you are, how open and honest you are. I like what you are saying about a man not completing you. I think too often girls, especially young girls, fall into the trap of thinking their boyfriend or girlfriend make them who they are. Anyway, thanks for a great read, I will definetly be back again soon!

  30. DrHakim says:

    The POWER OF NOW CHAPTER 8

  31. Erik says:

    People in this world not only in marriage should live by these words. It is so true that only you yourself will complete you no one else can not even a god.

  32. This is such a great post, thankyou! Especially inspiring for women to remember that their romantic lives is just one aspect of them. It’s not something we hear a whole lot, thanks again!

  33. Jack B. Nimble says:

    Run, Dan. Run.

  34. Pingback: thoughts on marriage and that whole ‘completing me’ business | The Delicate Place

  35. Sarah says:

    Oh hear, hear! I don’t want some half-formed person waiting around for me to complete them. As a fully-formed woman with a very complete life, I want someone who has made his life complete too.

  36. GetOrganizedAlready says:

    Marriage is hard work. Good for you for being a team player. This was a fun read.
    Nonnahs (11.5 years)

  37. Perfect10 says:

    That statement sounds very intelligent….however, it is not biblically sound! It is true that the man does not complete us, but please be assured that from God’s perspective we complete them! We make up the sum total of who they are and shall be! Read Gen. 1:26. God the supreme creator’s point of view will always out weigh our opinions.

  38. Deb says:

    This is a Honest speech that all should read. I am in total agreement with you Dan does not complete you, and your explanation behind it is Real. It’s a beautiful expression of your love for Dan. Congratulations and I wish you both many more years of Love Happiness and all else that you both desire.

  39. Tasha Smith says:

    Hi Akirah, great blog post! I ran across your profile in the #GYBO circle. I’ve been single for….. FOREVER it seems and until now I was looking for someone to complete me. Realizing that hasn’t happened is now completely fine with me. :) I do have a daughter and can honestly say that while I love her, she doesn’t complete me. As for some of my friends and family who worship their children. I just don’t. I understand my role as a mother, provider, and educator. I’m ready to find my soul mate, partner, and friend. Any advice for the single ladies? Thanks!

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