If you are not legally married and are in a couple I don’t think you should be excluded from this. Taking away the smugness of conventional exclusivity, this is a description of union for life that I came across recently, always remembering that marriage doesn't give a moral edge, per se:
“Marriage Joins Two People ln A Circle of Love “by Edmund O'Neill
“Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. lt offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. lt is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher,
commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. lt encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfil.”