I was struck by this sentence in John Garvey’s column “An Imperfect Union” (October 11): “For most of its history, marriage has been about the melding of families (it’s still about this, as married couples often learn after the fact)...not, or not primarily, about romantic feelings.”
Garvey seems to presume that the understanding of marriage that makes it possible to permit same-sex marriage is one where marriage is primarily about romantic feelings. As a gay man, now widowed, I find that idea offensive. My married life was not an endless series of gauzy Valentine’s Day moments. Nor was that the sort of life we aspired to. Our marriage was making a home; it was being involved in the lives of both our families; it was extending ourselves for other family members and friends in times of need. It was going to couples counseling to work out troubles; it was making sacrifices in career and other facets of life to stay together. It was taking care of one another in sickness, and in the long battle with cancer that claimed my husband’s life over a year ago, a battle that we fought together. Our relationship started romantically, but it certainly became something deeper and much, much less romantic.