Today’s Why We Wed is by Justine from Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One. She comes at things from a bit of a different angle, explaining how her religion influenced her decision, but still wasn’t the whole story behind her marriage. And, let’s be honest. I love that she’s upfront about what might be considered controversial. A post that casually mentions both religion and sex without apology? Let’s do it.
It’s easy to say I got married because of my religion.
I live my life by the standards set out in the Bible. Including not engaging in premarital sex. There, I said it. Let your superior judgment rain down like fire and brimstone. (See what I did there?)
But the fact is, that isn’t why I got married.
Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited to have sex with my husband. I love him, remember? I am attracted to him, ya know? But if that was all I wanted out of life, well, then I probably wouldn’t have the religion I do anyway.
So why did we do go through it — why have the ceremony, sign the paper, go through the hassle?
I think it’s kind of sad that to say, “Because I love him” just isn’t enough anymore. It’s cliched to the point of being nausea-inducing, and, quite frankly, it just doesn’t mean anything. You know who “loves” each other? High school frenemies. Heiresses and their tiny dogs. Liars and users and the unlucky ones who are fooled.
I think it’s easier to say why we didn’t get married.
Our reasons for getting married also didn’t have anything to do with the actual wedding. Sure, I was looking forward to having a big ol’ party with our friends and family, dancing, eating, and getting dressed up in a pretty dress, but if I can be completely honest with you here (and I like to think I can), my secret dream has always been to elope. I even planned it out in my head: I’d buy and AMAZING dress, hire a fabulous photographer, and we’d all head to San Francisco (because they have the prettiest city hall in the world). Then we’d probably take the same honeymoon we did, but we’d feel less guilty spending cash on extras since we had saved so much money with our savvy little “wedding.”
But of course, not really perfect, because I would be sad I didn’t share it with friends and family. And you really can’t have it both ways. So we did the wedding, and I LOVED my wedding. I really did. So it was worth the extra cost and hassle.
But it still isn’t why I got married.
So why? Here it is: The fact is, my husband is my home. I spend my whole day waiting to get back to him. I don’t feel complete until I’ve told him everything that’s bothering me or that’s making me happy. He’s the one to which I tell the secret dreams. And he’s the one who understands why sometimes it’s better that we don’t get to attain those dreams.
I got married because I couldn’t imagine going back to what I had known, to living my life without him. And simply living together, against my religion or not, would never be enough to express that for either of us.
Do you want to know my favorite part of my wedding day? The ceremony.
I never thought that would be the case. Ceremonies are, in general, boring. You get through it, then you get to party. I expected that for my own wedding as well.
But it just…wasn’t that way. It felt symbolic. And important. It felt holy.
Because no matter what anyone says, living together is not “just like being married.” Being married is just like being married. Marriage is a statement, like a few of your other contributors have said. It’s a stand for something. It’s not always easy, and that’s why it means something.
Honestly, I think that’s what it has always meant. The only reason why people have started to doubt that is because so many people don’t respect marriage. But it’s not a hobby; it’s a bond.
I got married because I love my husband with my whole heart, soul and mind. And marriage is the best way I can think of expressing that.
Plus, ya know, the sex ain’t bad either.