This post in part of my marriage series. In these posts, I document what I’ve learned, what’s surprised me, how our relationship has evolved, etc. Feel free to let me know if there are any topics you want me to address. You can email, leave a comment or ask a question on Formspring.
You can see my previous posts on my marriage page.
Dan and I are coming up on our one-year anniversary later this month. I plan on talking about it more, but it has basically been a better first year than I ever imagined. It has also strengthened my confidence in the institution of marriage and the unique relationship it fosters between spouses.
But, what about other types of relationships? Are they any less valid or legitimate if not recognized by law?
I first began thinking about this when I read a comment in a discussion about pompous married people. The commenter said she isn’t married, but is in a committed relationship that she believes is just as solid as any married couples’ — she and her partner just don’t share a last name.
So, can that be true? Can non-married people share the same kind of commitment as married peers? In my (hopefully not pompous) married person’s opinion, yes and no.
That’s because, when it comes down to it, relationships are about the people in it and the values that those people hold. At the same time, there are some ways my relationship with Dan has been strengthened because of marriage.
1. Wedding planning is great practice in compromising
Overall, Dan and I had a really enjoyable engagement. Still, I think every couple is going to have a few contentious moments while planning a wedding — it is a pretty big event, after all.
We butted heads the most while figuring out our guest list, but it helped us learn how to compromise. It also helped us learn to pick our battles and keep things in perspective. I think that’s made things easier since then.
2. Deepens the sense of “we’re in this together”
There’s just something inexplicably different about being married. The best way I can think to describe it is you feel more like one with that other person. For Dan and me, part of this is related to the fact that we share a bank account and responsibilities. But, it’s more than that… We are linked together in name and in life. I also know that he will not only be there for me in good times and bad, but he will be experiencing it with me.
3. There’s a public vow involved
Anyone looking to make a resolution has likely been advised to tell friends and family about their goal. By making it public, you have a team of supporters who know that you are in it for the long haul.
In some ways, I think that’s what a wedding is about, too. If the going gets rough — as it undoubtedly will during a marriage — there are people around to support and encourage the vow you made.
What do you think? Do you think marriage is important?