Are you sure you’ve thought this through? No, that sounds wrong. These are congratulations. Let me start over:
But we all know happiness isn’t enough. So let me be more specific:
I hope you laugh together every day.
I hope you found a name solution that both keepers and takers are happy with, no matter who they may be.
I hope you had a conversation about the extent to which you will merge your finances, if at all.
I hope you had a conversation about who will support whom when a career opportunity arises.
I hope your husband will man up and be uninfluenced by societal norms should you turn out to be the primary breadwinner.
I hope that you share household chores according to ability, not tradition.
I hope you come to a decision to have children (or not) and how many based on what you want, not because society tells you all women should reproduce.
I hope that, if you have children, both of you will take parental leave, either together or sequentially. That you will form a primary caretaking team, uninfluenced by the traditional division of labor.
I hope that, once your children are older, you will try to find a way for both of you to fulfill your professional dreams. Or, should one of you chose to stay home, that you make that choice based on inclination and opportunities, not tradition.
Allow me to address the elephant in the room: divorce. Of course that is not part of my good wishes for you. But should that be in the cards, I hope you will figure out an amicable, as-painless-as-possible way. Maybe you even have a non-gender-discriminating prenup – good for you! Divorce is actually a freeing concept – think about how old you’ll probably get. There is no reason for spending five decades with someone who was only “The One” for the first two. There might be Another for the other three. I hope you divide assets and responsibilities according to abilities and inclination, not tradition. Personally, I like the idea of the kids staying where they are and the parents taking turns coming to live with them.
I hope you’ll organize elderly care as you did childcare – as a team, according to availability and inclination, not tradition, outsourcing certain aspects to keep your sanity and your self.
I hope he never makes you feel inadequate or not enough simply due to the natural process of aging.
I hope you’ll enjoy old age together as much as you did courtship – with more aches and prescription medications, but just as much humor and love.
I hope you enjoy widowhood, should you not have strategically married someone younger so you’d have the same life expectancy.
I wish you all the happiness in the world.
Inspired by Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family.