Title and Registration

On our last day at the hospital, my partner went out to the parking garage to load all of our bags.

Around this time, an Amber Alert had gone out and the police were there. Everything was on lockdown.

When my dude tried to get back in, they questioned him. So he told them he was my husband and *poof*, he was immediately allowed to pass.

Everyone, from nurses to doctors to the student residents, referred to him as my husband and I never corrected them. I mean, why bother? Unless he was sensitive to it, I didn’t see the point.

But when we were given the paperwork for our son’s birth certificate, it was assumed we were married. Instead, we had to ask for a VAP form (Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage/Paternity), which confused the person on staff.

When I went online to get a physical copy of the birth certificate, a prompt came up saying it was unusual for the baby to share the mother’s maiden name and that perhaps I’d made an error.

Recently, I took a job working as a child care attendant for a gym. The job comes with a free membership and I’ve wanted to approach the manager about getting one for my partner. But “partner” sounds like “lesbian” (not that there’s anything wrong with that, though it should shock no one that the northwest burbs aren’t nearly as progressive as the city) and “live-in boyfriend” sounds about as solid as “baby daddy”.

There is something about the word Husband that legitimizes things in a really annoying way.

I have felt mostly indifferent about getting married. I always assumed when I was in serious relationships that I would eventually marry whoever I was with. But it was a kind of obscure process where I would think of it in the future sense, like “yes, I could marry this person” and essentially leave it at that.

When I started dating my baby’s father, I was 34 and he was 39. I wanted something serious, but have long felt (especially after two break-ups and witnessing other people’s marriages) that I don’t really believe in lifetime unions. If I ever do have a wedding, I’d want it to be more of a commitment ceremony than anything.

He was fairly recently divorced and wasn’t exactly wife hunting.

Five months later, I got pregnant.

Now we have a baby and are co-habitating. To me, whether we are committed to one another because of this human life or because we want to have a relationship seems almost irrelevant. Or, they go hand in hand in one way or another , so the idea of “togetherness” is basically established.

I’m also aware that things might not work out between us and that the best we can hope for is a solid friendship that allows us to be parents who work side by side, creating a loving and safe environment for our kid.

That’s why I refer to him as my partner. We are adults. He is not my “boyfriend”. He is not a boy. He is more than a guy I go to the movies with and occasionally have a sleepover with. This is companionship and a voluntary effort to be a family unit. I wish there were some perfect in between word that described what we are to one another that would carry the same weight as “husband and wife”.

But I guess for now he’s just The Guy I Love Who Is Also The Father Of My Child And We Live Together And Stuff.

-Carly

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