I’m posting from my new account because I closed my original between posting this thread three months ago and now.
ladyjane123 : “I honestly truly only want all women to be comfortable enough and feel empowered enough to speak up for what they want within a relationship”
Yes, this. I am so pro-independence with everything in life, I think it is absolutely essential for each individual to live his or her life (or whatever inclusive pronoun you want to use) according to how each individual sees fit.
I don’t think getting married will improve a bad relationship and it may not make a good relationship better. I think marriage is a genuinely special thing when it’s with the right people. I think seeing couples who are truly amazing for each other is kind of a luxury for me compared to an expectation; I don’t expect married people to be happy just because.
My mom has been married and divorced three times and she told me she would have married her most recent ex-boyfriend, who was the worst guy she’s ever dated and an absolute fucking case if you ask me. So her throwing the husband title at any guy who doesn’t cheat on her kind of degrades the concept of marriage for me. Being a spouse is a privilege, not a right; it is earned through relentless love, trust, respect, and sacrifice for the other person, and I honestly don’t think everyone is capable of that level of devotion. It’s not given because “fuck it”.
Every time I watch a David Attenborough show, I’m humbled by the fact that humans are one of the only species with the potential to mate for life; and not just for the sake of protecting any young the couple has created, but to find genuine happiness. I am so happy I have the opportunity to experience that if I work hard enough to find and keep it.
I never wanted marriage before I met my guy. I understood the desire others had to find partnership and I definitely wanted a committed LTR, but I was not into having a husband. But now that I’m with my boyfriend, I want to marry him. This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t be perfectly happy not getting married to him, or that I would expect or want marriage from every LTR moving forward. He’s just the type of person to change my mind. He’s like that one in a million; he’s not *A* guy I would marry, he’s *THE* guy. I’m not going to do it just to do it, I will only do it with the right person. Just like I want to be a mother, but I would give up that pursuit if I wasn’t confident in my maternal abilities; I would rather be childless than a bad mother, and I would rather be a good girlfriend than a bad wife. I don’t do anything I’m not sure of, so for me it’s less about the idea of marriage and more about the person I’m marrying. I would rather be his girlfriend than anyone else’s wife.
For me, knowing I have these feelings about him makes me all the more confident in our relationship. So when we talk about timelines, I understand that they’re fluid and depend on a lot of things. I really can’t see myself ever giving him a solid timeline or ultimatum. Although I can’t speak for what I would do if I wanted marriage absolutely.
ETA my boyfriend’s mother once asked me why I want to marry her son. I responded with “he’s engaging, intelligent, genuine, compassionate, kind”. She pointed out that “nowhere in there did [I] mention why [I] love him” and I said “it’s not about me”. She ended the conversation with “that’s a good answer” and a really warm smile on her face, and she seems more secure in our relationship. She has always been welcoming, but now she seems to know explicitly that I’m committed to him.
The things I love about him, the things that make up his character and will make him a good husband, will not change if I stop loving him. And I don’t believe you can build a marriage solely on love, you need respect, trust, devotion. If at some point, we lose the spark and I don’t love him the way I do now, what happens if our marriage was built on that love alone? The marriage fails. I want to marry him for a whole host of reasons that have nothing to do with me and have everything to do with him, and those are the things that will guide us back to our spark if we ever lose it. Keeping sight of why we love each other is important; I don’t love him just because, I love him because of who he is as a person. He’s my person.