What does marriage mean? Why do people get married? What is wrong with dating for the rest of ones life? I met a man the other day who seemed to hold that philosophy on relationships. He was an engaged man, but had been so for 15 years. He asked the woman he was dating if she would marry him, slipped a ring on her finger, and remained in limbo till the present day. Obviously the commitment is there, but he is happy in the arrangement they are in and really has no intention of taking his fiancé down an aisle. “Why?” I asked him. His answer to my question was the same as my question, “why should I?” “We have been living together most of our engagement, I make her happy, I am her prince charming, and she is happy, why do we have to get married?” What is the importance of marriage? What’s wrong with just vowing to each other to be together. I asked what her feelings of her perpetual engagement was, and his response was “She must be happy she has stayed with me this long.” If I were that fiancé, I don’t think that I could have handled such a confusing situation. But why would I struggle with that state of affairs. What is so important about being married? Legally, this couple is married by common law, but he chooses to refer to her as his fiancé. He said it was always a great conversation piece. Statistically speaking, couples who do not get married and stay under the label of live-in boyfriend/girlfriend have a much higher chance of splitting apart. There is something about that written contract that solidifies a couple from feeling uneasy about the commitment to the other. The words we use define us in a way. “I am married,” for example is phrase that changes people’s percpective of me. I am automatically older, or maybe I am silly and impulsive. Whatever their reaction, I have changed somewhat in their eyes.
For me, I chose to marry Kyle because I wanted to take that last step to solidify our commitment to one another. As I said in my vows, I have been married in heart for a long time, but we wanted the world to know our love and passion for one another was not a fleeting crush but true and lasting love. We know that marriage is hard, but the benefits greatly outweigh the labor. I love being married. There is so much security in knowing that there is a person in my life that will love and stand by me the rest of my days. Using words like “husband, wife , married, and Rogers” is still challenging, but I am slowly learning to use these familiar yet foreign words. Life is like a disorienting walk uphill through a blizard, not knowing where the top really lies, but at least with marriage, one knows that their hand will never be empty.