Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess and she met a handsome prince. Her beauty and goodness captivated him. His strength and kindness impressed her. He rescued her and she loved him, together they rode off into the sunset to live happily, ever after. Thus are most of our fairy tales told in order to delight and entertain our children. These stories are told so often that little girls and boys alike pretend to marry, play the prince or the princess and more.
Our dreams of marriage and weddings begin very young and though time may temper that outlook with experience or cynicism or both, the simple fact is we marry because that is a significant part of our social and cultural heritage. However, in modern Western society, marriage is a conscious choice. I know many who elect never to marry or who have married once and elect never to do so again.
Their reasons for not marrying are as varied and as broad as the reasons why we do marry. While we romanticize our reasons for marriage, most people fall in love, develop a strong bond of friendship and elect to unite their lives. Their view may be exceptionally romantic about how life will be based on their perception of how life is at the moment they choose to marry.
Stages of Life
Weddings and the marriages that follow represent more than a romantic ideal or a storybook re-enactment. They are the next stage of adulthood. They represent an ending of our singular existence. While marriage is not always the easiest of our relationships to maintain, it possesses a spiritual and emotional component that continues to inspire us to reach outside ourselves to achieve trust, companionship and fulfillment.
We marry because we are social creatures and we love and care for the people around us. We marry because it is how we can share our life with another – the joy and the sadness. We marry because we need to feel connected to the rest of the world. Our communities are based on a network of connections and while we are more distant from others in our modern day society than we once were – we marry to strengthen what bonds we do still value.
Why did you get married?