1. I wanted the commitment. It has made me feel closer to my wife. We feel more like a unit.
Before we married we lived together for seven years. I wanted to get married two years in, she declined. She changed her mind at year six. Absolutely the right decision. It makes things like career sacrifices easier when you have that level of commitment. Make things like buying a house, having children, etc. just a bit easier. I know if I get sick she has rights. We’ll be married 29 years tomorrow.
2. Because I’m a Christian, and so believe that the physical and emotional intimacy associated with a romantic relationship deserves a sacred commitment to lend it stability (among other theological reasons). Also because I believe kids deserve the stability of an oath-bound commitment.
For someone who doesn’t share my theological convictions… yeah, I can’t really think of any really compelling reasons to get married. Maybe, for a couple who values truth-telling, the oaths associated with marriage would provide some value?
3. I found the right one. I knew that we would stick by each other thick and thin. Knowing that she did not believe in divorce and came from a stable family helped a lot.
The rest, is a toss up. The woman you marry won’t be the same woman after you have kids and won’t be the same woman 20 years later.
As long as you realize that you are meant for each other and will stick by each other when shit is at it’s worse, is what makes a good marriage. That, and making an effort.
4. I’m at the point where I’m tired of “the hunt”. Most of my friends moved away or got married so I go out alone about half the time. I’m just tired of the nightlife scene. I’m not really interested in the boring conversations, spending lots of money, being hung over.
The other part of it is that I’m ready to move on with the next chapter of my life. If I get married I will buy a house in a quiet area and focus on developing my career.
5. We were together for 14 years and hadn’t really planned on it. We loved each other and didn’t need a piece of government paper to tell us. We heard from various married friends that the tax benefits were either great or terrible so that never played a part of it. What main reasons ended up being was insurance (she was paying for her own and mine through my job is amazing) and also if one of use got in a major accident and was in the hospital, that if we weren’t married there was a chance we wouldn’t be able too see the other person or get info from the doctors.
Not romantic in anyway but that was our reason. No regrets. Plus to stick it to our folks who wanted us to have a big fuck all wedding, we had a friend get ordained, got married in our living room, and bought silicone rings at $25 each.
6. I wanted to. It’s how I was raised. Success at life is getting married, owning a home, having kids, staying married through tough parts, die about when your grandkids start college. In that order. * I know there are other options that “work”, but I never learned any respect for them.
My wife is everything I wanted from a life partner. She’s smart and kind … and other good things. She treats me well and I like to treat her well. So I married her. It’s been 15 years and things are still great, so I chose well.
7. I always knew I would. After dating for something like three and a half years, she gave me the shit-or-get-off-the-pot lecture because she didn’t want to continue effort on a relationship if it wasn’t going anywhere. I thought about it and decided she was right.
We just celebrated our 34th anniversary, so you could say things worked out. We’ve become an institution so to speak and my wife is sliding very nicely into the role of a matriarch and grandmother.
8. I got married because I was young and dumb and full of…well, you know how it goes. I was 20 when my wife and I got engaged, and we got married just a little over a year after we started dating.
Why did I want to do it despite the risks? The answer is that I didn’t even think about the risks. At some point, I realized “This is the woman I want to marry”, so I did. I never really thought about marriage as anything but the logical next step in a relationship between adults that’s going well.
Granted, in the decade plus since then, I’ve refined my position on marriage to include a lot more nuance, but when it came time to make the decision, it was easy and simple. She was the right person, and I wanted to be with her until one or both of us dies. And I still feel that way.
9. She had a nice personality, we got along, and had similar values. She was attractive, too, but I assume that goes without saying. At the time our goals really matched (although they have shifted over time and that has required a lot of adjustment and leeway).
We spent a great deal of time talking every single day. We dived into important topics right off the bat. There are essential areas where compatibility is required and it’s key to address that before you become emotionally or physically involved. Literally makes no sense to do otherwise if you are dating to marry. Discover each other’s dealbreakers. Know that dating is purposeful and you shouldn’t try to sugarcoat their flaws or make excuses for them.
Too many people make the mistake of rushing into an exclusive relationship, then dating without purpose, meandering, and ending up burning years of their lives when they finally break up.
10. For us it isn’t about the legalities. Of course that aspect is there, but we got married for the sentimental sign of lifetime commitment that marriage represents for both of us. And being married did change our level of commitment. We have always loved each other very much, but being married and knowing that the person that you picked picked you too and that you will both always be there for each other makes it that much “easier” and worth it to work through the tough parts of life.