Dr. Helen asked something like this at the start of the year: Name five good reasons for getting married. My wife, Cathleen, and I talked about it at the time, but I didn’t write anything then. The matter came up in a different way today, in a comment on a Facebook link from Anthony Paul Johnson, and this was my response:
Why would anyone get married?
To dance as one can never dance with anyone less known.
To soar together as only two together can soar, each the other’s other wing.
To know so well, to trust so completely that you can be your whole self for her, and she for you.
To love so fully that your love-making seems to be its own private bubble in the plenum, and yet to love so enduringly that the two of you are always making love to each other, together or apart, awake or asleep — and someday with one of you dead and gone, and still the love will live on.
To build those things — a home, a family, a life of meaning — that are best built by people committed to their love for each other.
To be together is an accident of location. To be committed to each other and to the things you make together is a marriage. I don’t care who you hire to sanctify it, anyone or no one. But if you don’t hold it sacred, you won’t hold it for long.