How do you define marriage? I'm not talking about the Prop 8 debate. What I would really like to know is how you define your marriage. What is important to you? Why did you get married? How did you choose your mate? What value do you place on marriage? Does religion or faith affect your view of marriage?
Our marriage occurred on Nov. 4, 2000 in a Lutheran Church. We formed a covenant marriage which includes three individuals- Dave, me, and God. Faith does figure into our marriage. It was (and is) important to me to have God as part of our relationship. Together, the three of us, can handle any challenges.
Legally, all of our assets are combined (although Dave keeps telling me that in the event of a divorce he gets to keep my college dishes- since I gave them to him while we were dating when I bought new ones). We share our bank accounts, our pantry, responsibility for our children, housework, yardwork, and cheesecake. There is not much individual ownership within our household. Within the confines of our own walls we are a benevolent socialist dictatorship. Dave and I make the laws, most goods are shared, individuals recieve commodities based on their needs rather than their contribution to the household (everyone contributes to the household).
After almost nine years of marriage we are no longer newlyweds. Life has sometimes been challenging, sometimes fun, sometimes sleep deprived, and always joyful (except when it's not). We had our first child right before our first anniversary (missed it by three days!). Our third child was born two weeks before our first kid turned four. That means we have not spent a lot of time alone during our marriage. I think our biggest challenge will come when the kids leave home and we're simply a husband and wife instead of Dad and Mom.
I love my husband and love does enter into our marriage. We have been growing children for all but 3 months of our marriage, but I don't think marriage is about the children- they're just a byproduct of our union (wow, that sounds vaguely pornographic).
Marriage is a relationship more enduring than mere friendship. We are committed for life and beyond to this individual we each chose back when we were young, thin, and lacking maturity. Together we have grown, changed, and endured. Endurance sounds bleak and a bit harsh, but it isn't. Endurance is what it's all about.