STORIES: Alyssa and Ryan

January 31, 2013 at 9:44 am

Alyssa and RyanMy feelings on marriage as a whole have changed as I grew up. As a little girl, I dreamed of meeting my dream man (who preferably looked like Ken or one of the boys from Hanson) and frequently staged elaborate Barbie weddings. In college, however, marriage was not something I saw in my future. I couldn’t imagine wanting to spend every day for the rest of my life with one person.

When I met Ryan—who is now my fiancé—all that changed. He made me realize why marriage matters.

Marriage matters because it means you have someone who is always there for you, who will be around for the pure joy and utter despair that life can bring.

Marriage matters because you become a little less selfish. You understand that your actions affect someone else and you learn to compromise. In the end, you just want to make that person happy, regardless of what it takes.

Marriage matters because we all need someone who knows us inside and out, who knows our deep dark secrets, who has seen us act like a fool, and loves us even more for it.

Marriage matters because it enables us to create and raise strong and loving families, with children who will carry on after we are gone from this world.

Marriage matters because it makes us better people. Finding someone who thinks you are perfect despite your flaws makes you want to live up to his or her idealized image of you.

Marriage matters because “to love another person is to see the face of God.” (Borrowing a line from the currently trending Les Miserables)

All these things are not “gay” or “straight” needs and wants. They are human needs and wants. All people deserve the wonderful benefits of marriage—whether it’s the legal right to see your loved one in the hospital or the more intangible “feelings” of being in love. Ryan and I just want everyone, including our gay and lesbian friends and relatives, to find the same joy we have found in one another. There’s nothing quite like it.

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