Sunday, April 14, 2019

This is a little late for a response to Sarah's blog on marriage. But I want to explain how my 40 year marriage is different and more old-fashioned type of marriage.
As I figured out I probably wouldn't get thrown out of USNA (for Aptitude and Conduct, not grades) I decided I wanted a life partner to join me for the rest of my life after USNA.
In parallel, but not related, USNA integrated women into the Brigade. I was in charge of the Drama Club ticket office (back in the day Heinlein was a member) and wanted a girl to help answer the phone to show we were gender integrated. A plebette (probably bad that we called them that) was looking to help behind the scenes (she was, and still is, a talented costumer) so I asked her if she could help with the ticket office until costumes arrived. She said yes. We worked closely selling tickets for the first show (Caine Mutiny Court Martial) and as we spent several hours each afternoon answering the phone and filling mailed in orders I eventually realized she was a pearl of great price. l
After a couple of months I aid "I think I love you" and gave her a quick, friendly kiss on the end of the nose. It worked because she returned a brief, but real lip kiss. (Of course any familiar relationship between a plebette and a Senior was very VERBOTEN. So we had to keep our feeling secret for the rest of the year. We spent time together on breaks and the occasional weekend day at her great aunt's home in Annapolis. She resigned after 2nd semester ended (her calling was Fashion Design, so it wasn't a good fit for USNA.) We came out of the closet for graduation week, got engaged that Christmas and the rest is history.
That long history is because "THE PAST IS PROLOGUE."
I decided I wanted a life partner, not just a sex partner; and in parallel I wanted to show that the ticket office was gender integrated.
Our relationship progressed from working together, to friendship, to affection for a nice woman, to some romance at infrequent intervals (due to USNA rules and the pressures of the education and military training requirements), to courting (again long distance as I went to initial Nuclear Power training and Char went back to the U of Utah for a year (and planned an August wedding.) 
That Christmas was the first where I didn't go home; instead I went to SLC and got engaged. She came out to NY State to visit me during her spring break, but I didn't get to travel until after Nuclear Prototype training was done in early August. And this was before internet - we wrote snail mail daily and talked on the phone for hours once a week.
We were both not looking for a sex partner, but a life partner. We met, grew close as friends, developed a romance, made a commitment to "cleave to each other, forsaking all others", got married, then had our children. This is the old-fashioned way and our relationship is infinitely stronger than if we had met and moved in together.
Being a horny (but poor) sailor, once we were married we did enjoy a deep intimate relationship. And OBTW, I married a saint who know She was marrying a Sailor with all that entails, but stuck with me anyway. I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL.

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