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Black Family Marriage

Why I Got Married

One of my dearest friends reached out to me recently with a question so out of the blue and heartfelt that I was compelled to respond to her immediately. What followed was a complete stream of consciousness that really should be shared with no one other than my spouse because he accepts me, typos and all. However, I do feel it is important that as we battle the myth that divorce rates are increasing and no one is getting married anymore, I share my experiences with this archaic and completely satisfying (to me) institution. I’ve cleaned it up for the masses.

Why did I get married?

The tax breaks.

iKid, it’s really a wash at this point.

No, in reality, it’s because I am my husband’s and he is mine, put rather simply. At some point, I think he and I both recognized a claim on one another. This may sound anti-feminist, but it’s not about control. It’s about responsibility.

My husband is mine and as such, I care about him within the deepest parts of me. I nurture his health, his mind, his spirit, and his future dreams and goals. I wouldn’t do that for someone that I wasn’t committed to for life. This is not because I’m a horrible person who cannot care for anyone that I’m not married to, it is because this is really hard and beautiful work. Work that cannot easily be dropped or left alone. So while yes, I could care deeply for someone that I’m not married to, I couldn’t give it my all. Praise anyone who can! Commitment to me is taking a vow. Saying before the Creator and the world that this cannot be undone.

At some point, I think he and I both recognized a claim on one another. This may sound anti-feminist, but it’s not about control. It’s about responsibility.

I am my husband’s. He knows that with me he is responsible for my health, my mind, my spirit, and my future dreams and goals. The babies I will bring forth to him should the Creator allow it. He takes that in, and he knows it. He knows that at any moment, he may be forced to choose “her life or mine” and he has said to me that he would chose mine. He wouldn’t do that for anyone else but the woman he chose to be with until the end. Again, my husband is a kind person, so he could be anyone’s hero at any given moment, but he lives every day building a world for me to be safe in. Me and the dog. Of course the dog.

I love being married. I know that some people don’t, and I know that it’s hard, and I know some people never want to get married. But I personally love having a life partner who is there for me when I need him, and who allows me to be a shoulder for him when he needs it. Life is crazy, I couldn’t imagine doing it alone. I’ve had some of my worst fears come to fruition and he kept me from losing control. I didn’t just get married; I specifically married the man that is my husband. I think that makes all the difference.

There is no secret I that I can’t tell him. I am my purest “me” when I’m with him, even the parts of me that I don’t like. I can’t hide those things and he accepts them. My husband and I lived together for almost a year-and-a-half off and on before we got married and so some would say we were playing house. So then what would be different when we got married? Well, I don’t know why or how, but it was different. We both knew there was no turning back, and we accepted that and everything that came with it. There was a peace and happiness that come from that moment and it sustains us. I know that on my worst day, he’ll still love me and even when he’s scared, I’ll still love him.

Some people don’t get married, they just have best friends forever. Some people have a journal forever. Some people have their fur babies or their favorite book. They have their careers or their money. I have those things too, but I share them with him.

That’s why I got married.

By Jennifer Walton

Jennifer Walton is a corporate chick with a wild side. When she's not channeling Beyoncé and running the world, she's probably at her CrossFit box, or cuddled up with her Husband and her absolutely ridiculous Boston Terrier, 2Paw Shakur.