The Blog

Getting married is like throwing yourself off a cliff

Isabel 49 married with 3 children from Yorkshire. She lives in London.

How are you?

At last I’ve reconciled to being an urban person. For the first 18 years of my life I lived in Yorkshire. I was born on a farm in the North East. I have now lived in London for 30 years. I am starting a new job soon and I’m really excited about working for a woman. In my last job I gave too much but I wasn't authentic. I want to fit more with my beliefs.

What do you think about marriage?

Getting married is like throwing yourself off a cliff. You spend your whole childhood leading up to that moment. I loved the day itself but wish I’d been a guest. I hated being centre of attention. It was full of disasters; the dog ate the cake, the ice melted into the lawn, the day before the wedding the chef got food poisoning and ended up in hospital. On the day the cookers wouldn't work - it was one disaster after another.

I really admire people who have the guts to leave. I don’t judge them but having things in common has held me and my Husband together.My Mum once told me 'I married your Dad to get as far away from my parents as possible', for her it was a means of escape, whereas for me it is a place of safety.

What’s your most memorable experience?

My baby died when she was just a week old. My Sister came round and sat with me and just listened to me cry. She quietly folded baby clothes and put them away. She knew words wouldn’t help, it was a moment when she was just there for me.

What’s your view on faith?

I went to a very good school. Their motto was 'you’re not special -you're privileged, what are you going to put back?' 

Faith is to have an idea and then put it into action, that’s what religion should be about. If there’s a god, I don’t want to sit around praying, action is required. It’s a Quaker thing - don’t just talk - do!

How do you see yourself?

I see myself attracted to problems and trying to fix them.

What does life mean to you?

It’s precious, privileged and  unexpected. I feel my life is full of choice and much of it is baffling. We all need love, recognition and stability. These are the things I strive for and find really hard to achieve.