I've never been married, I'm pretty young, but to me it represents probably the same things as it does to many women. It's a lifelong commitment, about family, about love, about sharing experiences, about making someone happy, about enjoying life, about starting a family, and to some degree or another money. Is it a surprise that men want that? Well, maybe not all, but that's what it represents to me... a lot of things!
Well, I got married because I thought I knew the woman I was with. I thought she and I were soul mates. I thought "This is the person I could grow old with." I loved her with all my heart and wanted to "take her off the market" so to speak. I wanted to spend every waking moment in her presence forever.
Stupid me. She did everything that could possibly annoy me. On purpose all the time. When she learned of something that would annoy me, she would make a point of doing that thing whenever possible. Towards the end I made up some things that I said would annoy me and she started doing those things out of the blue. Never had done them before. It was all just a mind warp. She was the first female I ever trusted and she did a fine job of making certain that I would never trust another one.
So that is why I got married and why I will never, ever, ever, ever get married again. Your milage may vary. I wish mine had.