His answer was simple and beautiful
"Because I want to spend the rest of my life with her, I want her to know it, actually I want everyone to know it!"
I am one of very few couples I know that have chosen not to marry. It constantly surprises me that so many of my friends have chosen to engage (excuse the pun) in such a conventional act.
Maybe it's easy for me to live happily in a defacto relationship? I have watched my dad and stepmother live happily unmarried for 25 years. For me there has never been a question of Andrew and I marrying except while we were living in singapore and then it was only so I could stay in the country.
When I think about marriage two things strike me:
1. I love the idea of a wedding. There is something gorgeous about the idea of a massive party that celebrates your union. I love the idea of a wedding ring as well, the idea that it tells anyone who looks that you are bonded to another person is lovely. And I love the idea of the day of preening. Fussing with hair and makeup and a gorgeous dress.
2. I feel married. Sure in the face of god we aren't but I think that in every other way we are the same as all married couples. We are devoted to one another. We want to live our lives together and yes we even want the world to know it as well. I guess we figure the house and two kids say that as loudly as any ceremony or ring could.
I have a lot of friends that I think of as 'unconventional' but even my most feral friends still donned white (or something close to it) and walked down the eisle (or path on the lawn) said their vows, put rings on each other finger and were pronounced man and wife.
Marriage it seems is still by far the norm.
When I ask why? There are a lot of answers but the most comon is the same 'we wanted to tell the world and declare it to each other'.
Trust me I get it. And maybe if we had decided to marry early on in our relationship I would be saying the same thing. But in the perfect words of my step mother whenever my Dad asks her to marry him (its an inside joke)
'If its not broken, why fix it?'