Celibacy was Not the Reason

I read an interesting article that got me thinking about what makes a wedding special. And, I have to tell you, it's not what this guy thinks.

In case you didn't hurry off to read the article, I'll tell you that he thinks the one thing that made his wedding so incredibly special to him was the sex. At least, that's the impression I get. After all, he talks all about the difference between his and another couple's wedding night, and he's pretty sure the difference in their weddings is that he and his wife waited to have sex until their wedding night. He doesn't seem to understand it wasn't the sex that made the difference, but the attitude about the wedding. So, this floozy has some questions, and perhaps some insight for a young man.

If your wife were a widow, would that make your wedding any less special? Would her lack of virginity keep you from falling in love, courting, and marrying her? Would it make her any less special? Does it bother you that there are some people who would consider your wife a floozy just because her shoulders were bare during your wedding? Does it make you think deeper about your own assumptions about people? It should.

Weddings are not special because the bride and groom are virgins. Weddings are special because of the commitment being solemnized therein. Certainly, there are people who treat their wedding as an extremely expensive party, something that does not in fact change their life much. And, in fact, my wedding did not change my life, in the physical sense.

I was still living with the man I had been living with. I was still pregnant. I was still uncomfortably sick several times a day. I still had horrible nightmares. I still didn't fit into my uniform anymore. I still had to leave the man I loved so that I could be discharged from the Navy. Yet, everything else had changed for me.

My loved ones did not come from near and far. I got married in a mayor's office in Greece. My husband's boss, who meant a lot to both of us, gave me away. A good friend was Gary's best man. My mom, who happened to be there on vacation, was my matron of honor. My aunt, who had come to Greece on vacation with my mom, video taped the ceremony. It was held during the day, while most of our friends were working. Gary wore a borrowed suit. I wore a skirt and shirt that were, quite frankly, not extremely flattering. We could barely understand the thickly accented English of the lady who married us.

Yet. Yet, our wedding was wonderful. It was a commitment to each other that still holds true today, 15 years later. Our wedding had nothing to do with sex. Nothing. Our wedding night was more about relaxing and being together than about the sex. Remember, I was a very sick pregnant woman. So, yeah, the wedding night was not special because of the sex. It was special because we were married. We stayed in a wonderful hotel, with a wonderfully deep bathtub and a great view of the harbor. Our wedding was not everything I had dreamed of as a girl. I did not have the beautiful white dress, the 10 bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, etc. I did not have everyone I knew there to see me in all my glory. But, I had the important person. I had my husband. We only knew each other 5 months before we got married. I still believe it was the best thing we ever did. And we didn't get married for the sex, or because I was pregnant.

We got married because we loved each other and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. And that's what makes a wedding special. The commitment to spend the rest of your life thinking of another person, loving another person, working through conflict and pain, supporting another person, falling in love with that other person over and over again; that's what makes a wedding special. And that's what makes a marriage special, no matter where or how it happens, no matter the sexual experience of the couple, the background of the couple, or the relationship prior to the marriage. That commitment is one that is different from any other commitment between two people. It is why gay couples are fighting for their right to have it. It's why elderly couples get married, even when they're not able to have sex. It's why couples in which one is terminally ill, and they know they will never have sex get married. It's why couples who have to stay celibate for health reasons, be it because they can't have sex do to some sort of physical problem, or to keep the wife from getting pregnant when it would kill her, stay married. It's not about sex at all. It's about your love and commitment to another human being.

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