My partner and I decided to marry. I still call Ric my partner, because husband and wife doesn't seem to fit our relationship. We are equals, forgiving of one another and ever considerate of the other's wellbeing and happiness. Besides that the term husband and wife is somewhat traumatic for both of us. We are partners.
It was a short engagement. I asked him. We had jokingly been talking about making our partnership legal for months, referring to it as "combining our camping gear." That phrase made it into the ceremony which gave us much joy.
We married in Tahoe with but a few friends and family present. Our rings...our rings, were bought from a street vendor in San Francisco and are a perfect metaphor for us as individuals and a couple. They are made by hand, hammered from old silver quarters. Like us as individuals, they are battered, but repurposed into something extraordinary and very unique. I don't think I've ever loved a ring so much as I do this one.
I think we were both hesitant to take this step. We like our relationship, not the long distance part, but the part that is total acceptance of what the other has to offer, good and bad. We didn't want that to change. Quite often I think marriage does change relationships. Many of us still struggle with roles and history, and implications as "Husband and Wife." A co-worker even asked me if I planned to continue to work. We did not want marriage to change us. Thus, we continue to be Partners, it's far more apt for how we feel about each other.
There will be some changes though. Part of the intent of making it legal is making it local, as in living in the same household. Being an international couple pretty much requires that we are legally bound for one of us to move to one country or the other. There are no firm plans yet, but at least now I have an "in" to Canada should things go totally sideways in the states. For now though we continue to live full time in our respective countries, but taking far more time to visit one another than we have in the past. I suppose we are both believers in fate, because we both have faith that everything will eventually work out.
I can't call it conventional, but our relationship never has been. Maybe that's why it works so well. To me it's another important step in Life 3.0. As my best friend put it, I "found my lobster."