Arista Breeches shared her marriage story with us after reading about Mariana Naude, a woman who met her husband when she was 13, who has been happily married for 40 years despite never having received a marriage proposal.
The idea of what encompasses an acceptable marriage proposal is evolving and differs from person to person. This was evident in the proposal story of a woman whose boyfriend proposed by changing his Facebook status to "engaged," a plan he thought was romantic.
Arista also didn't get the Instagram worthy proposal that's become a standard prerequisite to many future marriages for most people. After 15 years of marriage, she admits, the last decade and a half has been the happiest of her life regardless. Here's Arista's story:
I met my husband when I was 20 years old. He was 26, and my first love.
We eventually started going out as a couple when I turned 21. I was 24 when I fell pregnant, and I was staying in the Western Cape, and he was in the Northern Cape.
We decided that I had to move to his home town, Kimberley. However, we had not spoken of marriage and were not even engaged.
Our daughter was born on 2 May 2005, and I sent him to Home Affairs a couple of days after the birth to register the baby in my maiden surname.
He came back without a birth certificate and said he was not allowed to do the paperwork as the mother was supposed to be present.
We went back to Home Affairs two days later. When we got there we were assisted by a clerk, and only then did I find out that my husband (then boyfriend) wanted to register the baby in his surname, and the mother was supposed to give consent as we were not married.
I was stunned because he wasn't speaking of marriage but expected the child to take his surname. I refused, then the clerk said, "Sir, you have to marry the lady then."
Without asking my consent, he asked the clerk where the marriage officer was so that he could book an appointment to get married.
I was not happy at all because I had dreamt of having a big wedding with all our family and friends. He had not proposed, and I didn't have a ring.
The marriage date was set at Home Affairs, and we got married on 29 December 2006. This year we will be married for 14 years, and I have to say, I have never been happier in my life.
We are planning to have a big white wedding with family and friends next year - it will be 15 years and two daughters later.