I’ve been thinking a lot about why we are getting married. I do not doubt my desire to be with my fiancé for the rest of our lives or our love for each other. I know that I want to marry him. I know that he wants to marry me.
But why, exactly? What is propelling us in this direction? I know it isn’t simply because we are “supposed to.” It is bigger than that.
Marrying for love is a modern concept. There is no doubt that love is the primary reason behind our union. The public and legal reasons are also important.
I am happy to be able to share our vows in a circle of our friends and family. In the beginning of a relationship, we want to “shout the person’s names from the rooftops.” As the relationship progresses, it deepens and we still want to share it.
I talked to some married friends to ask them what helped to shape their own decisions to marry.
Shasta, one of the Wonderful Women and author of the new sewing blog The Lovely Nest, notes the importance of commitment and accountability. She writes, “I think it comes down to commitment and sometimes just knowing between the two of you that you’ll spend your lives together isn’t enough. You want to get up in front of all your family and friends and publicly declare your love and say “this is the person I will love until I die.” There’s some accountability in that.” Yes, Shasta, that feels exactly right.
I am touched by how Wonderful Woman Alethea uses the word “hope” as she explores this topic. Perhaps there is nothing more hopeful or optimistic than making a decision like this one. Alethea writes, “Whether people decide to get married or not, love is a big chance that we all take, whether you go in with big doubts or big dreams of a perfect union. I think getting married is an expression of hope that the way you make each other feel is so unique and valuable, that it must mean you should couple for life. And there is an urge to say it out loud in front of everyone you know!”
Wonderful Woman Amy writes about the “pledge” she and her husband made: “To me, marriage is telling the world that you’re in it for the long haul. If Peter and I had just continued to live together without getting married, I guess it would have felt more open-ended. I would have wondered how long we would be together. Now, whatever may happen in the future, I know that we at least went in with the expectation of forever. I am a very shy and private person, but I really wanted to make that public declaration. We wrote our own vows and they included the words “Before God and these witnesses, I vow…” as an acknowledgment that we weren’t just saying nice words; we were truly committed to what we were pledging.”
A certain proof and commitment to a relationship can’t be denied in a true marriage. Shasta adds, “I think security probably plays some role. Sometimes I joke and ask Chris if he promises to love me forever and he always answers “I already did.” I think there really is something powerful about publicly promising to love someone forever.”
My fiancé and I are already a committed, nuclear family in so many ways. We are committed to each other and will make this pledge public in 10 days.
I really can’t wait.