Originally Posted by caprice
Can someone please explain to me why people stay together for so long and not get married? I know some of you have been with your partners for years now, but why not get married? I know there are many reasons, but...what is your story? (hope I am not crossing any lines here, just wondering...my husband and I always ask ourselves why?)
Let me ask you a question. When you exchanged your vows -- when you said "until death us do part" or however it was worded in your service -- had you any thought that it might become impossible at some point to keep that vow?
Maybe that was unfair. But neither did Rob when he married Jan in 1970. For that matter, neither did Jan. And they tried. They really tried. Despite the fact that they both knew they were in trouble within five years, it took them eleven to pull the plug.
If there's one thing you can say about Rob, it is that he is a man of his word. I've seen him agonize over breaking a commitment to a friend in some very trivial matter -- sometimes accepting serious inconvenience, rather than pick up the phone and say, "Sorry, Joe, such-and-such has happened. Do you mind if we don't...etc?"
It really freaked him bigtime when he had to break that vow -- even though it was a mutual breaking of it, if you will. He's put a lot of stuff back together in the ensuing 20-odd years, and is a happier person than he was when I met him. But the publicly spoken commitment is and always will be a sticking point. He hadn't any less reason to have confidence in his ability to keep the vow in 1970 than he had in 1990 when we merged households -- so it's just something he can't do again.
But I don't care. Because what we forego is a ceremony and some signatures. We have the marriage. I feel his commitment in so many ways -- big and small -- every day, and there's no way I will jeopardize that for the sake of a ceremony.
I certainly don't mean to put down the ceremony -- the public affirmation of the commitment, the milestone event, etc. Not for a minute. In the best of all possible worlds, the public utterance of those words would not be an issue, and we'd have done it too. But life is not perfect, and choices have to be made. I made mine: Rob.
There's one story -- for what it's worth.