Recently, someone said to me, "If you're not sure whether you want kids, why get married?"
It seemed to me a peculiar question. Why not get married? I've never really thought of marriage and kids as being inextricably linked. People have kids without getting married, and plenty of people tie the knot without ever having kids.
If one action (marriage) was created to facilitate the other (children) why would the ceremony be what it is? Why would it be about joining two people? It seems like it would be some sort of fertility blessing or a commitment to raising a family a certain way if it were really all about the kids.
And what about people on their second marriages? If they already had kids in their first relationship, should they not tie the knot again? Or people who know they are sterile? Should they scrap the whole idea of matrimony because it's not going to lead to progeny?
I guess some would say, "Why bother when you can live together and have just about the same exact experience without the red tape if you want to end things?"
But if you're going into a commitment thinking you might end things, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be entering into it at all.
I want to get married because I want a public declaration of my love and dedication to the man in my life. Sure, I could just go stand on a mountain or rooftop and yell it out to the heavens. But I want friends and family there to witness it. I want to make promises to him. I want each of us to wear a ring—signaling to the world that we are off the market. That we're in it to win it with each other.
In my last relationship, I remember having moments where I thought, "Maybe if we get married and have kids, things will change. Maybe then he'll grow up and be responsible." That is so wrong, I can't even begin to go into all the reasons. I would much rather be where I'm standing now—knowing I will take the man in my life whether things never change a millimeter or change a lot; knowing that I don't need kids to rescue us; knowing that he fits me just right.
Maybe we will end up having kids some day. Maybe we won't. But either way, I guarantee we'll have taken vows to be faithful to one another because...well, why not?