Why this man?
Well, the obvious one first: I love him. I am in love with him. I love being around him. But love can be a tricky thing. Plenty of people stay in bad relationships, abusive relationships because they love their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife. So while I think that you must love someone to get married, I also think that you must have something else besides that love to back it up. So here they are:
He treats me well. Better than I think I deserve sometimes. (Just my insecurities talking, never mind it) The normal stuff, like he respects me and my ideas. He is a good listener and a good friend. He is considerate of my feelings. He is thoughtful. Cute things like giving me the same amount of food on my plate as on his because he doesn't want me to have the inferior plate of food, even though he is much bigger person that needs a higher caloric intake. This is the most important thing to factor that should be present before you marry someone. If you marry someone that does not treat you well, you are not being kind to yourself.
I trust L implicitly. My parents divorced very early on in L and I's relationship, and I think that it actually made our relationship stronger because I took it very seriously. The first thing that attracted me to him when we were first dating was his almost old fashioned sense of honor, not as a means to an end, but as a personal code that one holds themselves to. I honestly can't imagine marry anyone else because I can't imagine trusting anyone much as him. It will be what I hold on to when things get rough as they inevitably do. Because no matter what else is going on, no matter how we squabble, have money problems, depression problems, family problems, job problems, I trust that he will do the honorable thing. He won't fuck off and leave me high and dry.
I want my children to grow up to be just like him. WEll, just like him, except with a smaller head...because I'll have to push those kids out! I think he will be a wonderful father, and I look forward to the time when we are both ready to embark on that stage of our lives.
L is fun to be around. He doesn't take life too seriously. We both like camping, and running and watching geeky tv shows.
We compliment each other well. He's great cook, but not so hot at the cleaning part, and while I think that shake and bake chicken is gourmet, I actually clean the apartment. I'm good with not spending larger amounts of money when I shouldn't, but I nickel and dime myself to death, where as L know how to make $50 last a week. I am fairly good at communication, which come in handy during cranky times, and L know how to just listen when I go on PMS fueled rants.
I had to think about this for a while. L and I have been dating for 5 years and living together for the past four. We are getting married during the year between my finishing school and him starting a two year degree. Let's just say that money is tight. We've definately had to cut somethings that we'd like because they were too expensive (oh, my Costa Rica honeymoon, how I mourn you) and I do lay awake fretting about paying the bills once L is in school, so why are we doing this now instead of in let's say 2 years?
First of all, I feel like the time is right NOW. 3 years ago when I first wanted to be engaged would have been very exciting, but I wouldn't have been as confident in the two of us, as thoughtful and present in my decision.
My mom says that if you wait until you have enough money to have children, you never will. I'm thinking this applies to marriage too. It means that we can't go all out, but that's okay.
I feel like we've are already married because we live together as a married couple does. We enjoy the good times, support each other during the bad times, pay the bills, chase the cats around the apartment, etc. I'm sure that we will feel somewhat different after we are married, and yet also largely the same. I feel like our marital status does not match how we feel about each other.
We want to have children together someday. That day is not today :) but not that far off either. I'd like to take one thing at a time. I'd like to enjoy being married for a while before kids enter the picture. So in the general time line, now is right on target.
This is the part that was slowest in coming to me. I read on another weddingbee blog someone asking why get married and spend all that money if you feel like you are already married. For me, this answer is all tied up in divorce. Marriage is a lot of work. It is about love, and loyalty and romance, but it is also about forgiving and asking forgiveness, about swallowing that "you never do BLANK," and replacing it with a "can you please do BLANK?", about pulling tight and not pushing away when life gets tough. Entering into a marriage is dilibrate. I am saying that I will do all these things. I am saying that I will try to be a better person, and show L my best, not my worse. I will acknowledge the fact that life's surprises are not always happy, and that I may momentarily resent him, detest him, feel ambivilant towards him, but I WILL NOT GIVE UP. I will get up infront of all of the people that matter most to me and they will hear me say these words.
A relationship is often not delibrate. People end up together and stay together out of a multitude of reasons. I want to move out of chance and into deliberate. Maybe some people can have that without being married, but I want that daily reminder that I didn't just end up with L. I will choose him over all others, and I will choose to work at our marriage, never let it wither or stagnate or grow unrecognisable.