Resisting marriage for 20 years: why we waited to get married

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Our wedding was a long time coming. Does that mean that we finally gave in and got married? You'd think so from the comments we've been enduring, but I see it differently.

Like many “offbeats,” I have always bucked tradition, and resisting marriage was one of the biggest. When you rebel, you have to push hard, which sometimes leads to dogmatic thinking.

My fiance and I have been together for 20 years. When he was in the military, every year he would have to have a conversation with his superiors about why he made out his will and benefits to someone he was not related to, someone who was not his wife. We talked a lot about not needing the piece of paper. Maybe we even felt a little bit superior to folks who were more traditional.

Coming up on our 20th anniversary, we wanted to have a big party to celebrate. In talking about the party, we eventually realized that we actually wanted to get married!

We fell in love with the idea of getting married with all our family and friends to support us.

This choice doesn't lessen or demean any of our unmarried years together. I had never been able to project a future in my head, but now that I'm 39 and we've spent more of our lives together than apart, I've been able to envision a future — and I want it with him.

Our relationship has just grown in a new way.

This is how my fiancé explained our choice to our family:

There was no sudden revelation that led to this. I always felt it was inevitable. I think we both wanted to know something about life, longevity, and commitment before we gave a formal wedding much thought. We're not necessarily ones for tradition or formality. With all things, we have to find meaning in what we do (and who we are!) before we embrace a concept.

Once we embraced the idea of marriage, we were able to let go of our anti-wedding attitudes, and we've been patient about those attitudes in our friends and family. We've grown out of resisting marriage, but we understand that it has been part of our identity.

We aren't yearning for the dewy young love image of weddings or wishing we had done it sooner.

We've reveling in our mature approach to marriage.

To me, it's just about thinking for yourself, and doing what's right for you, whenever it's right for you.

…Which is why I dig Offbeat Bride!

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