In a Catholic context, marriage is more than falling in love and living happily ever after! The Church teaches that married life is total, free, faithful and fruitful. This means that the couple commit the whole of themselves, without pressures or coercion, to the other person only, with openness to childbirth. Marriage is more than a fairytale - it's a serious commitment to another person. And as a married couple raise their family, they have the opportunity to reflect God’s love in their love for each other and their children.
Living a Married Vocation
Marriage is a vocation and calling in it's own right, though it may seem that those who aren't called to Ordained, Religious or Single Life just get married. When a man and a woman choose to join their lives totally, faithfully, freely and fruitfully; their bond is a witness of God's love. The married couple become agents of evangelisation in their family, in the community and in the world; making the conscious choice of sacrificial love.
Discerning Married Life
Marriage Discernment is a personal process, whether you are called to Married Life, but it also involves discerning whether or not God is calling you to someone in particular. This process is helped by an engagement period. Here are some links about the process of Marriage Discernment