Author Topic: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)  (Read 28281 times)

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8895
  • Location: Canada
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #100 on: July 08, 2016, 01:36:52 PM »
Marriage has been 100% worth it for me.  Actually tying the knot means something, psychologically and emotionally, to me and to our families.  I do also think we are seen or treated differently/better (fairly or not) for having signed that legal contract.

OP - yes, there is a lot out of your control and you never know what the future holds.  I'd say be sure you're the kind of person who would make a good marriage partner (e.g. can meet the partnership expectations of your spouse) and vice versa.  If one person is hoping for stability and selflessness and those things aren't the other person's strong suit, then maybe marriage isn't the right move for that relationship.

All of you happily married couples posting on this thread - where are you? Why don't I ever run into you?

For us, we're kind of boring and not very glamorous.  We probably blend into the background and don't seem very noteworthy.  And despite our happy marriage, we still have difficulties in our lives.  Job.  Illness.  Parenting challenges.  Worries for the future.  It seems like bad form to gush over my DH's wonderfulness too much, so I'm more apt to mention the worries in our lives when in casual conversation.  But underpinning all that is this solid foundation that holds everything up, with many blessings in our lives that we've quietly built together.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8895
  • Location: Canada
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #101 on: July 08, 2016, 01:40:18 PM »
Other than that, we've had to have some moderately uncomfortable conversations in our marriage about not leaving dirty underpants on the living room floor.

Where else would they go?

I predict a moderately uncomfortable conversation sometime in your marital future.  :>

Next you'll tell me I should shut the living room windows while removing my soiled underwear. . .

Well, I expect that as a homeowner you're making that decision based on whether that would hurt or help property values.

scantee

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 411
    • Do Anything
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #102 on: July 08, 2016, 02:12:33 PM »
Marriage isn't a fairy tale and most marriages goes through challenging times, but I don't think it's beneficial to consider unhappy marriages that last for many, many years as successes just because the people in them stayed together. There are a few of these in my family, couples who hung in there for half a century and basically hated each other for most of that time. That's not a success and divorce in those relationships would not have been a failure.

My opinion is that if you meet someone you respect, really like as a friend and who shares similar values*, go for it and get married. I do fundamentally believe in marriage and think it can be a great source of strength for people who land good partners. But if ends up that you find yourself unhappy with the marriage for a sustained period of time, seriously consider divorce. There is no salvation upon death for staying in a miserable marriage.

*Also, don't discount sexual compatibility. Most people downplay its importance, thinking it will work out in the long run, but differences in this area are a huge source of long-term unhappiness in many marriages.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1454
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #103 on: July 08, 2016, 02:26:06 PM »
2. Divorce is to easy.  There is not one relationship in this world that will not go through things.  It is to easy to say, "we don't like each other" now and have it dissolved.  Some one earlier said that marriage is hard work.  It is the hardest job that I have ever had.  It is also, by far, the most rewarding.

Having gone though a divorce that many would consider amicable, I have to respectfully disagree that divorce is easy.  If you mean that it is too easy to arrive at the decision to divorce not that society no longer places a stigma on someone who is divorced and you can function in the world versus 50 years ago when you'd be black listed from nearly all manner of social interaction, then yes, I whole heartedly agree.  If we could go back to the days when it was a scandal to divorce it would change things a lot.  But no matter how amicable the divorce emotionally and other ways it is excruciatingly hard not easy.

puglogic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #104 on: July 08, 2016, 02:47:11 PM »
My marriage has been good for me - and for my spouse - on every level.....emotional, social, financial, physical/healthwise, etc.  After 16 years we're still rock-steady.  Even if it were to end in divorce, the benefits along the way have been more than worth it.  We've supported one another's families, helped each other build businesses, shared our skillsets with each other...I'm a far better person than I would've been had I not married this particular person.

The reason half of all marriages end in divorce is because more than half of all people in this country don't have any intuition at all, don't see red flags that are all but whacking them in the face, don't have the willingness or the emotional intelligence to work through conflict, or simply get married for the wrong reasons in the first place (codependence, seeking security, hate being alone, desperate to have children in order to feel like life's worth it, etc.)

So.  If you use both your brain and your heart, and play the tape all the way through  ("what's X behavior going to be like 20 years from now?") marriage can be pretty swell.





PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #105 on: July 08, 2016, 04:22:28 PM »
For us, we're kind of boring and not very glamorous.  We probably blend into the background and don't seem very noteworthy.  And despite our happy marriage, we still have difficulties in our lives.  Job.  Illness.  Parenting challenges.  Worries for the future.  It seems like bad form to gush over my DH's wonderfulness too much, so I'm more apt to mention the worries in our lives when in casual conversation.  But underpinning all that is this solid foundation that holds everything up, with many blessings in our lives that we've quietly built together.
Well said.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #106 on: July 08, 2016, 04:23:23 PM »
Is Marriage worth it?

Fuck yes.  I would choose my wife everyday forever.
Hell yeah!

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #107 on: July 08, 2016, 04:26:45 PM »
Fuck no.  Been there, done that. Never again, it's an emotional and financial trap for men and I won't fall for that shit again.  Fuck the marriage scam.

Any men reading this considering it, don't do it.  Cast off the bullshit societal expectations and live for yourself.
I'm a man and this is a steaming load of crap.

If your focus is on yourself, then you will not have a good marriage. That's not the "marriage scam's" fault. It's yours.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #108 on: July 08, 2016, 04:30:20 PM »
So.  If you use both your brain and your heart, and play the tape all the way through  ("what's X behavior going to be like 20 years from now?") marriage can be pretty swell.
Well said.  Marriage is about the relationship, not the individuals. If the relationship is the focus, then happiness follows.

I have found this goes for much of life.

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2186
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #109 on: July 08, 2016, 05:07:03 PM »
Marriage isn't a fairy tale and most marriages goes through challenging times, but I don't think it's beneficial to consider unhappy marriages that last for many, many years as successes just because the people in them stayed together. There are a few of these in my family, couples who hung in there for half a century and basically hated each other for most of that time. That's not a success and divorce in those relationships would not have been a failure.

My opinion is that if you meet someone you respect, really like as a friend and who shares similar values*, go for it and get married. I do fundamentally believe in marriage and think it can be a great source of strength for people who land good partners. But if ends up that you find yourself unhappy with the marriage for a sustained period of time, seriously consider divorce. There is no salvation upon death for staying in a miserable marriage.

*Also, don't discount sexual compatibility. Most people downplay its importance, thinking it will work out in the long run, but differences in this area are a huge source of long-term unhappiness in many marriages.

I agree with all of this. I don't think marriage is the only way to happiness by any stretch. And the type of long-running, fundamentally unsatisfying marriages you are describing were the majority of the marriages I saw growing up. Divorce might have been preferable for some of the parties and I think divorce is perfectly fine as an option. This is partly why I was so surprised to be so happily married for so long, and that most of the married people I am around NOW seem quite happy.

I really am starting to wonder if marriage satisfaction IS partly generational...boomers and silents grew up in a culture where divorce wasn't really an acceptable option, so they had a lot of dysnfunctional marriages as their models. Then the silents' and boomers' first marriages broke up in the divorce surge of the 70s and 80s, so the late boomers and gen xers came of age with their parents spitting  up and maybe thought long and hard about what would make a good partner, perhaps leading to 'better' choices in their partners. (That would be my cohort, where I see mostly successful marriages). But now the millennials aren't marrying at the same rates so I'm not sure what might happen to them in terms of marital success...

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2186
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #110 on: July 08, 2016, 05:09:58 PM »
I just want to say that this thread has served to remind me not to take my happy marriage for granted. And everyone's perspectives are so interesting; thanks to the OP and all the respondants.

Fig

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 281
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #111 on: July 08, 2016, 05:34:50 PM »
My marriage hasn't worked out the way I expected; you don't foresee the challenges, illnesses or disappointments life will bring. I's possible that each of our lives might be easier if we only dealt with our own stuff, with no obligation for anyone else. But I don't know how I'd get through anything without knowing he's there at home at the end of each day.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #112 on: July 08, 2016, 07:56:30 PM »
It's possible that each of our lives might be easier if we only dealt with our own stuff, with no obligation for anyone else.
It would not for me. I was a single person for 5 years. Not a good time for me.

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8576
  • Location: Australia
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #113 on: July 08, 2016, 09:41:13 PM »
So far, yes. But it's only been two months ;-)

FWIW I agree with the posters who promote *really* knowing each other before committing to marriage. We lived together for over five years before marrying. We already knew the deal when it comes to natural cleanliness levels, values, spending habits... you name it. No surprises.

Plus, managing expectations: we know life will be harder when we have young children. We know that over the course of a decades-long marriage we will have to deal with mental and physical health issues, with life taking unexpected turns, and with periods of time where we will have to work hard to connect with each other. That's life.

As to the difference between married and 'just' co-habiting: everyone told me I would feel different being married. I don't. I married my husband because I wanted our loved ones to know that this was a deliberate choice we'd made, to share our lives, and to make promises to him before witnesses. Mission accomplished. It feels good to us, and it's our life and our legal contract, so why not? People who rail against marriage *for others* are just as ridiculous as people who rail against non-married cohabitation *for others*. You do you, I'll do me.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2950
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #114 on: July 09, 2016, 02:27:18 AM »
It's interesting to me that by and large, the people who have said marriage is worth it have said it is worth it for them personally.  The only one's making blanket stamens about marriage--not just statements about whether it's worth it or not for them--are the ones who are clearly anti-marriage and perhaps have an undercurrent of having issues with the opposite gender. 

I'd never say marriage is worth it or right for everyone.  For someone else to declare that it's terrible for everyone is a bit silly.

Northern gal

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 302
  • Location: Australia
  • Life at the beach shack
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #115 on: July 09, 2016, 05:16:17 AM »
In Australia, living together for two years makes you de facto and essentially makes it all like a marriage. So I figured we might as well. It made zero difference really.

I did ask him for a prenup which will be worth little in court once kids come along but at least it's a snapshot of where we came from.




tipster350

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #116 on: July 09, 2016, 08:40:07 AM »
For me, no, it wasn't worth it. I picked the wrong partner and then grew in a direction that wasn't going to work out for us.

My parents had a wonderful marriage, so I had a good example, but I blew it anyway.

I know couples in every situation on the spectrum, from the quietly happy, totally solid, to the living together in name only and living separate lives, including affairs. It makes me happy to see couples actually making it and demonstrating the commitment marriage requires. It also makes me a little sad because I never had that type of partnership. And the couples living together and hating each other, omg it is so painful even to be around and I don't know how they can stand living like that day in and day out.

Marriage can be great, but not everyone is going to hit the jackpot and find a great partner. Additionally, there are people who cannot/will not be a good marriage partner. It takes two committed people with the right attitude and constitution to make it work, along with a little luck in finding the right person.

Everyone is different and the great thing about living in this time period, is that we have the choice to marry or not depending on what suits us. There is not a one size fits all answer for everyone.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #117 on: July 09, 2016, 10:23:58 AM »
Worth it, yes.  The right person at the right time has made it worthwhile.  It's not always easy though as we're both pretty independent.

However, I would not do it a second time.  It's a lot of effort getting to that point, and now that I'm middle-aged I simply would not go through all that again.  It'd be much easier (at least for me, having very little desire for regular contact with other humans) to just continue living alone should I find myself in that circumstance.

Fig

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 281
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #118 on: July 09, 2016, 12:39:36 PM »
It's possible that each of our lives might be easier if we only dealt with our own stuff, with no obligation for anyone else. But I don't know how I'd get through anything without knowing he's there at home at the end of each day.
[/i]

It would not for me. I was a single person for 5 years. Not a good time for me.

I'm sorry it was a difficult time and I'm glad things seem better now, though you've taken my quote somewhat out of context so I've included the remainder. Being single can be very tough but I'm being frank when I admit that I now have (somewhat unusual) financial and domestic responsibilities that I couldn't have anticipated and sometimes struggle with; but emotionally speaking, I can't imagine being without him and he's totally worth it :)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 01:24:13 PM by Fig »

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #119 on: July 09, 2016, 04:41:45 PM »
For me, no, it wasn't worth it. I picked the wrong partner and then grew in a direction that wasn't going to work out for us.

My parents had a wonderful marriage, so I had a good example, but I blew it anyway.

I know couples in every situation on the spectrum, from the quietly happy, totally solid, to the living together in name only and living separate lives, including affairs. It makes me happy to see couples actually making it and demonstrating the commitment marriage requires. It also makes me a little sad because I never had that type of partnership. And the couples living together and hating each other, omg it is so painful even to be around and I don't know how they can stand living like that day in and day out.

Marriage can be great, but not everyone is going to hit the jackpot and find a great partner. Additionally, there are people who cannot/will not be a good marriage partner. It takes two committed people with the right attitude and constitution to make it work, along with a little luck in finding the right person.

Everyone is different and the great thing about living in this time period, is that we have the choice to marry or not depending on what suits us. There is not a one size fits all answer for everyone.
This is a fabulous answer. I am sorry it did not work out for you. You seem clear minded enough to get to the bottom of why, and perhaps you are conscious enough that if you'd like it to work someday, you may find success. Or, success may be being the best you can be as single person. Either way, it seems you have the thought processes in place to be successful however you chose to navigate your relationships.

meghan88

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 702
  • Location: Montreal
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #120 on: July 09, 2016, 06:35:15 PM »
Some people are happier as part of a couple, and others are happier on their own.

There's no right or wrong answer or magic formula, just whatever works.  Since the OP asked, it's as follows for me:

- Married or common law?  I don't care.  I love the companionship that couple-dom affords, but I will not "settle" if I don't truly love and respect the other person.  I was mostly unhappy as a single person during the 10-year period between major relationships (14 years for Sig O #1, and 15 years and counting with Sig O #2 (the love of my life)), and I tried to keep an open mind about potential partners, but if something (no matter how ridiculous) was off-putting to me, I was soooo not into into it.
- My Sig O must be a real partner.  I'm a (relatively) high income earner and I don't care what my Sig O makes, as long as they love what they do, and pull in some kind of income.  And all chores are shared or at least balanced in some way.  And we need to have reasonably compatible views as to values and interests.
- Being best friends is a must.  I know a few couples where each party has their own little separate group of friends, and never the twain shall meet - e.g., she does her thing with her girlfriends and he's off on golf/Vegas trips with his buddies.  If that works for certain people, great, and I do like doing stuff separately from time to time, but having separate friends and leading separate social lives is not for me.

southern granny

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #121 on: July 09, 2016, 09:51:44 PM »
We will be married 41 years next month.  Yes, it's worth it, if you are truly making a life time commitment.  If you are just in it until you get bored or something better comes along, don't bother.  It hasn't always been easy, but we always worked things out.  He is still my best friend that I can always count on. 

Kaminoge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 348
  • Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #122 on: July 10, 2016, 04:49:38 AM »
Marriage is an antiquated custom. Father "gives away" his daughter to another man. She takes on his last name. Please...

As far as "is it Worth it" goes, it is certainly not the optimal decision. Being in a committed relationship is great, but do you want to go through a divorce when his or her feelings inevitably change?

It is ok to be in a long-term relationship without being married. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if one day legal marriages disapear entirely.

My father didn't give me away. I didn't change my last name. No problem if you want to have either of those things as part of your wedding but they've got nothing to do with whether you're married or not.

Feelings may change but that doesn't necessarily result in divorce. That's clear from all the people posting about long marriages which they find very fulfilling. Not to mention all the people living their lives in long term marriages but not posting on here.

It is ok to be in a long term relationship without being married BUT (as has been posted about on this thread by several people including me) you can't pretend that there is no difference between the two. There are still plenty of countries that will not recognize anything but marriage when it comes to visa issues. Even if you live in a country where domestic partnership is equal to marriage unless you never leave that country or leave it only to travel to countries with similar laws then you run the risk that one day your choice not to be married will have consequences. Of course that's not reason enough to get married but you have to accept it does make a difference.

MoneyCat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1754
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #123 on: July 10, 2016, 07:39:44 AM »
I will be married for five years in August and so far so good for my marriage. For us, marriage makes sense because we are religious and our religion is anti-divorce, so we deeply believe in the commitment of marriage and if we run into problems we work through them together rather than simply giving up. We also dated for two years before we got engaged, so we spent a lot of time really getting to know each other before we decided to make our relationship permanent.

It is very difficult for people to be married these days because American society teaches people that other people are accessories -- like a handbag or car -- to be used and then discarded once whims change. I find it to be indicative of our society's consumerism. We treat everyone like they are disposable.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #124 on: July 10, 2016, 07:42:25 AM »
Great topic, and an important topic for our society and culture.  A good, successful marriage is the foundation of family, and family is the foundation of our societal structure.  I want to cheer for families, strong, healthy, wonderful families, where people learn love and respect and establish a strong sense of self and community.   I believe a loving family is a blessing, a gift and it's an ideal we should strive to achieve.

I adore Joshua Kennon's blog and he has written some beautiful articles on marriage.  Joshua is a married gay man who values marriage highly and he has an amazing husband and life partner.  Marriage and family  are very important to him.

Both articles are great reads, I hope you enjoy them.  Joshua's blog is fantastic overall.

How marriage helps rich and lack of marriage hurts poor
http://www.joshuakennon.com/wedding-rings-new-indicator-social-economic-class/

Finding the Love of Your Life
http://www.joshuakennon.com/finding-the-love-of-your-life-or-cold-lamb-sandwiches/


As for me, I've been married for almost 17 years and we are doing well together.  When I met my husband I also met his family when we were dating and he has a very nice family.  That  was important to me.   I would like to somehow caution my own children to avoid crazy.  And crazy is out there --  I have met several crazy women, and I am sure there are crazy men out there too.  I think it's very possible to spot this in advance and avoid choosing an unstable, heartbreaking life partner.  I also have casually observed that people who were not raised in loving families have not absorbed good habits for how to handle conflict and how to get along. (Is it any surprise that a daughter raised by a mother who was divorced 4 times initiates a divorce herself?  and her brother walks out on his girlfriend when they have a new baby?)  Track records of bad behavior and poor choices harder to overcome and it is very sad.  Kindness, courtesy, respect, honesty, loyalty...  all these values should be encouraged, everywhere, but they are typically taught and practiced and developed at home.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 07:46:25 AM by KBecks »

Mongoose

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2431
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #125 on: July 10, 2016, 10:04:03 AM »
Yes, definitely. Married over 20 years (neither of us pay much attention to numbers or anniversaries so I'd have to calculate...we filled out the paperwork in the mid-90s). Two kids, multiple interstate moves, job changes, deaths, career changes...all the usual stuff. We've been together since age 16 (26 years ago). There have been challenges but not with staying married...just regular life challenges that we had a partner to help get through them. Currently we live in a place we hate and don't make much money. But we started life together as high school kids who didn't have anything and we can figure this out too. I don't experience marriage as work and, from conversations, I don't think DH does either. Yes, we annoy each other at times but we don't expect each other to not be human.

Like several other posters, I don't really know many people in our circle of friends who are divorced. The one couple who are remarried after divorce both had major, in hindsight obvious incompatibilities with their first spouse. I think there is a tendency for those who are happy or content to not talk about things as much as folks who are unhappy.

csprof

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #126 on: July 10, 2016, 01:36:53 PM »
Most of the posters on this thread are pro-marriage, so I am going to provide an alternate point of view.

The main consideration of marriage that people overlook is that it is a LEGAL CONTRACT.  Furthermore, it is the only LEGAL CONTRACT that can be broken by one party. Before getting married, please consult a lawyer familiar with property law in your state.

In my opinion, everyone considering marriage should read "The Case Against Marriage"

(https://www.amazon.com/Case-Against-Marriage-Really-Getting/dp/6056321533/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467905693&sr=8-1&keywords=case+against+marriage)

and then think long and hard about how their marriage will be different.

When I was growing up I never saw any happily married couples.

As an adult I still do not see any happily married couples.

All of you happily married couples posting on this thread - where are you? Why don't I ever run into you?

We exist, promise.

I didn't read the book you linked to, but I read the Amazon summary, and it summarizes a lot of why my wife and I *did* choose to get married.  For example:

Quote
Behind the romantic language, marriage is primarily a financial agreement merging the assets and liabilities of two individuals into a single corporate entity

Exactly.  When we decided to have kids, and buy a house together, we made a plot of how we envisioned our finances (formerly entirely separate) changing over time, and decided that an arrangement that resulted in a complete share over time made the most sense.  After all - we we starting to make huge life decisions jointly.  Where to buy a house, where to live.  We're both professors, but in different fields, so having a family immediately makes our job situation substantially more complicated were we ever to want to move to different universities.

Note also that it's more than just finances.  Handing someone a durable power of attorney for financial, medicial, and nearly all other decision-making is a terrifying thing.  But it's also pretty useful and important, again, particularly when you have kids.  And the financial merging doesn't stop there -- we have additional contracts establishing trusts/etc., in the event that we die when our child(ren) are still minors, and so on.

I have friends who've done all of this without marriage - they're equally happy and healthy.  They did pay more to the lawyers to set up the individual documents for these things, but they probably came out ahead when you look at the average cost of a wedding. :)  But the financial entanglement is fairly similar when the sharing goals are similar.

Quote
Healthy relationships need clear boundaries, and marriage erases too many of them at once.

I couldn't agree more with the first part of this.  The second -- I think it depends how you're going in to the marriage.  First of all, the biggest boundaries people need likely aren't financial.  Boundaries, the respect they imply, and autonomy ("this is my shit, please don't put your nose in it") are vital in all aspects of a relationship, and they're likely to be an ongoing discussion throughout many marriages.  So, I'd translate this as:  Don't get married until you and your prospective spouse have established healthy boundaries already!

One can maintain financial boundaries, of sorts, in marriages by choosing how you allocate and spend your money, and how you do that is independent of what the legal system says happens if you split.  We chose a "joint funds, we each get $500/month of spending cash" approach, and figured that bigger purchases were probably worth talking about together.   But what one spouse does with their allowance is entirely theirs, with no judgement allowed.  There are many different answers to this problem.  It's also noteworthy that this is one of the ways in which higher income reduces marriage-related stress:  You can, as long as you and your spouse are generally agreed on your long-term financial goals and philosophy, just throw some money at the problem.  When money's seriously tight, you don't have that liberty, and you have more friction.

The socioeconomic factors that lead to lower divorce rates tend to cluster -- my wife and I are both Ph.D.s, we hang out with a lot of people with substantial postsecondary education.  As a consequence of that, our social group tends to have married later than average, and earn above average, all of which correlate with lower divorce rates.  Many of our friends are happily married and/or life partnered.

It's quite possible.  It takes a boatload of work.  Our (pre-marriage) couples therapy bills were large for a year as we figured out how to communicate, and establish healthy patterns that worked for us.

footnote to add:  Before the facepunches start flying about the extravagant "spending cash", what's mostly happened with that is that our individual savings accounts started getting larger and larger, and then we decided to renovate the house, and we drew down from both of them.  It was probably too much of an allocation, but it turns out to not matter much.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 01:49:06 PM by csprof »

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 700
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #127 on: July 10, 2016, 02:52:36 PM »
Marriage is an antiquated custom. Father "gives away" his daughter to another man. She takes on his last name. Please...


I have "given away" 2 daughters now, not that I considered them possesions, but rather so I had a roomful of witnesses that their new wives came "As is" with no instruction manuals and no implied warranties or return policy.   Their new husbands had their opportunity to "run like the wind" prior to my first non refundable deposit on the wedding  :-) 

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4864
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #128 on: July 10, 2016, 06:43:26 PM »
Quote
All of you happily married couples posting on this thread - where are you? Why don't I ever run into you?

Lol, I feel the same way. The only way I know happy marriages exist is because of this forum.

One thing to consider - those of us with happy marriages aren't going to be parading them around on Facebook, asking for advice about "should I divorce my spouse?" or otherwise making them visible on these forums. Though every once in a while you find something entirely by accident showing your spouse is awesome.

Happy marriages are kind of like stealth wealth, in a sense. Unless you know a happy couple well you probably won't realize they have a happy marriage.

FWIW I agree with the posters who promote *really* knowing each other before committing to marriage.

I think this is a perspective that a lot of people don't do prior to marriage. Which then causes havoc in marriage. Or people know the wrong things about a spouse, well, and not the important things.

My now wife and I talked through nearly all of the "big questions" prior to being so in love we'd ignore the answers. We talked about life goals, family planning desires, where we want to live, what an ideal life looks like, important character traits, faith, etc, just what different things look like to us. This meant before we really fell in love, we knew we are a good fit from an objective perspective as best you can know.

It meant that when we fell in love and were trying to think through, "should we get married?" we had already matched on a lot of the things that matter in a marriage.

You don't have to live together prior to marriage to figure most of this out, either.

Attraction and emotional attachment is fleeting and realistically will not sustain any relationship long term. Character and shared vision/path in life? That is worth a lot for sustaining a relationship long term. But realistically, most people evaluate these in the wrong order - first, emotional attraction and then "does this make sense" - except when you try to decide if a person makes sense to stay with and/or marry when you're in an emotionally intense state? Good luck making objective decisions.

People ignore blatantly obvious signs which everyone else in the world read as, "this relationship is a horrible idea!" but because they are emotionally invested are oblivious or naively hope things will work themselves out or the other person will magically change/become different after marriage.

Perhaps the best explanation is an analogy I heard years ago that while attraction is the lighter fluid that sparks a fire, character is the charcoal that keeps it going. Both are necessary, but charcoal/character is what keeps it burning long term.

Mikila

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #129 on: July 10, 2016, 07:21:56 PM »
A marriage is only as good as the two people in it.  Married life can be heaven or hell.

Is marriage worth it to me?  To my dear husband, yes.  Looking around at the men out there ( unattached), I think that if he were to die I would stay single.  He is a true gem.

Also, I think it is easier to make a happy marriage the younger -and more pliable- you are.  More eager to please.  Nowadays I am no old fart, but very set in my ways, and less willing to change for anyone.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #130 on: July 10, 2016, 07:36:53 PM »
Though every once in a while you find something entirely by accident showing your spouse is awesome.
You are one lucky man. Your wife's post brought me to tears. Honestly.
Quote
Happy marriages are kind of like stealth wealth, in a sense. Unless you know a happy couple well you probably won't realize they have a happy marriage.
Yep. Unless you know them very well, you're unlikely to recognize the slow burning, all encompassing, life-enriching flame.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #131 on: July 10, 2016, 07:41:05 PM »
A marriage is only as good as the two people in it.  Married life can be heaven or hell.
Amen.
Quote
Also, I think it is easier to make a happy marriage the younger -and more pliable- you are.  More eager to please.  Nowadays I am no old fart, but very set in my ways, and less willing to change for anyone.
I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and say that while that may be true, you also possess the maturity and experience to know what you want and what you are looking from in a mate. A good example is my aunt. She married 4 times as a youth. All failed spectacularly. When she married for the fifth time, she was 45. She got that one right, and now, in her 70s, is happy as hell.

When it comes to love, the only absolute is there are none.

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #132 on: July 11, 2016, 05:46:50 AM »
Marriage is an antiquated custom. Father "gives away" his daughter to another man. She takes on his last name. Please...

As far as "is it Worth it" goes, it is certainly not the optimal decision. Being in a committed relationship is great, but do you want to go through a divorce when his or her feelings inevitably change?

It is ok to be in a long-term relationship without being married. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if one day legal marriages disapear entirely.

It doesn't have to be this way...no one gave me away or asked my father's permission, and I didn't change my name.

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #133 on: July 11, 2016, 07:08:15 AM »
Marriage is an antiquated custom. Father "gives away" his daughter to another man. She takes on his last name. Please...

As far as "is it Worth it" goes, it is certainly not the optimal decision. Being in a committed relationship is great, but do you want to go through a divorce when his or her feelings inevitably change?

It is ok to be in a long-term relationship without being married. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if one day legal marriages disapear entirely.

It doesn't have to be this way...no one gave me away or asked my father's permission, and I didn't change my name.

Same. My husband also did not ask permission to marry me. We walked ourselves into the wedding ceremony, and back out. And we BOTH changed our names.

Quince

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #134 on: July 11, 2016, 12:06:11 PM »
No, because I think our relationship hasn't changed and shouldn't change due to being married.

Yes, because it gives us access to protections and benefits that are either unavailable otherwise, or would take a great deal of paperwork and lawyers fees to duplicate.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #135 on: July 11, 2016, 07:32:19 PM »
Really enjoying this thread!

I am a single man, late 30s, never been married.

I think the consensus is that marriage is only worth it if you find the right person.

To find the right person you first have to BE the right person: financially stable, emotionally stable, happy with yourself.

So you first have to work on being happy with your life. That way even if you don't end up meeting anyone you want to get married to, you will still be pretty happy.

Marriage will not make you happy. But if you're happy and you met another happy person, you can potentially both be happier together. (And of course it won't be a fairy tale even with the perfect person)

At least this is what I've taken from this thread.

(NOTE: While it's theoretically possible that two fundamentally unhappy people could get married, work hard on their issues and end up in a happy place, more likely they'll fight a lot and end up divorcing)
Nailed it.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4535
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #136 on: July 11, 2016, 07:41:58 PM »
...
As far as "is it Worth it" goes, it is certainly not the optimal decision. Being in a committed relationship is great, but do you want to go through a divorce when his or her feelings inevitably change?
...

Yes, I do.

Divorce sucks. I am doing it now. But it is necessary. Divorce is how we divide up the proceeds of our house and make sure that a spouse who has stepped back (that's me) from the workforce is protected when feelings change.

There could be ways to do that without marriage per se, I suppose, but if you are entangled legally and/or financially--and it's hard to raise kids together without that happening in some way or another--then your exit strategy is going to be legalistic. In some ways, I think having been married makes this easier, because divorce, though unpleasant, is a familiar process with a well-developed rule book. Dissolving an extralegal partnership seems like it would have been trickier and possibly made me more likely to get screwed. IANAL so maybe there's a better way I just don't know about.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #137 on: July 12, 2016, 12:59:41 AM »
No, because I think our relationship hasn't changed and shouldn't change due to being married.

Yes, because it gives us access to protections and benefits that are either unavailable otherwise, or would take a great deal of paperwork and lawyers fees to duplicate.

Would the cost of a notary actually outweigh the cost of a wedding?

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #138 on: July 12, 2016, 04:54:34 AM »
No, because I think our relationship hasn't changed and shouldn't change due to being married.

Yes, because it gives us access to protections and benefits that are either unavailable otherwise, or would take a great deal of paperwork and lawyers fees to duplicate.

Would the cost of a notary actually outweigh the cost of a wedding?

I got married for $200 and probably could have done it for even less.  Marriage doesn't have to actually cost much; it's pretty inexpensive to get a license and an officiant.

Kitsune

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1837
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #139 on: July 12, 2016, 06:44:31 AM »
No, because I think our relationship hasn't changed and shouldn't change due to being married.

Yes, because it gives us access to protections and benefits that are either unavailable otherwise, or would take a great deal of paperwork and lawyers fees to duplicate.

Would the cost of a notary actually outweigh the cost of a wedding?

I got married for $200 and probably could have done it for even less.  Marriage doesn't have to actually cost much; it's pretty inexpensive to get a license and an officiant.

We actually did the whole wedding thing, 100+ people, full meals, etc (my husband cared)... and it was still under 5K.

In comparison, doing our wills and power of attorney was almost 2K. Now add to that paperwork that gives the right to make medical decisions, etc, and also add the property taxes we'd have paid otherwise (we paid 158$ instead of over 2.5K on the land transfer prior to building our house, and that's money we ONLY saved because we were married...) So yeah, I'd say we're coming out ahead.

Granted, people who throw 20K+ weddings aren't usually doing it because it's cheaper than paying a notary. ;)

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #140 on: July 12, 2016, 11:03:58 PM »
No, because I think our relationship hasn't changed and shouldn't change due to being married.

Yes, because it gives us access to protections and benefits that are either unavailable otherwise, or would take a great deal of paperwork and lawyers fees to duplicate.

Would the cost of a notary actually outweigh the cost of a wedding?
Wanted to chime in here. Our wedding had 350 guests. We spent $3k.

What did we get for $3k?
  • A DJ.
  • Flowers.
  • A wedding dress.
  • My tux.
  • An open bar.
  • The site. On my in-laws land, right on the bend of the Pleasant River. Free.
  • The wedding tent. My FIL (who has four kids) had purchased a tent year ago and paid for it many times over by renting it out, so... free.
  • The meal. We had a potluck meal. Free.
  • Tables and chairs. My FIL and I made the tables from spare materials he had laying around (he's an 8th generation Mainer who never throws anything away)... maybe $50 for that if you include the white paint. Chairs were free from the local churches.
  • Photography. Photographers were friends, both professionals.
  • Lodging. People stayed in family members houses.
  • An absolutely awesome party that people are still talking about.
  • A lifelong memory.

Worth it? Every single penny.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #141 on: July 12, 2016, 11:09:54 PM »
So the simple answer is: Yes. :D

fmzip

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Location: CT
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #142 on: July 14, 2016, 09:55:21 AM »
Yes. Quality of the spouse is important.
To  2Birds1Stone's point, I take the strictly libertarian stance that gov't should not be in the marriage business. I don't understand it. Get 100% out.
The only way to mitigate gov't interference in a marriage is via a pre-nup. But that's going into the marriage prepared for failure - hardly a marriage!

Agreed a pre-nup creates a difficult discussion....

However, marrying for the first time at 48, it's necessary. The first 48 years of my life were filled with work only and building wealth. My wife on the other hand had the joy of children and raising them being a stay at home mom.

If we were to ever divorce, her kids are obviously non-negotiable, and my earnings of the first 48 are my non-negotiables! This should be simple understanding on what is morally correct. Unfortunately morally doesn't work all the time and a marriage is a contract which needs to be treated like one in certain circumstances.

purple monkey

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #143 on: July 14, 2016, 11:14:26 AM »
A loving partnership is ALWAYS worth it.
We have had our ups and downs-mostly downs lately.
I would do it all over again and recommend it.
Best of luck.

Prairie Stash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1809
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #144 on: July 14, 2016, 02:59:51 PM »
No. In Canada, at least, you get all the tax benefits and such just by living together for 2 years. It seems pointless.
So you're married (in practice) and find it pointless? Getting legally married is just a public proclamation that you won't bail when times get tough. You can make the same vows without the paperwork, you don't need a license to get common-law married and still have the same attitude. Really it comes down to the question; do you personally see yourself as married to someone or are they just a great friend for now? The legal part is overblown, marriage should be about your feelings and intentions more than what the government has to say. Plenty of people are "married" without any official papers (I was married, in my mind, the day I proposed and not my wedding day), plenty of others are legally common law without strings attached.

I responded only because you're more interesting than others, I also get where you're coming from.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3486
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #145 on: July 14, 2016, 05:12:14 PM »
No. In Canada, at least, you get all the tax benefits and such just by living together for 2 years. It seems pointless.
So you're married (in practice) and find it pointless? Getting legally married is just a public proclamation that you won't bail when times get tough. You can make the same vows without the paperwork, you don't need a license to get common-law married and still have the same attitude. Really it comes down to the question; do you personally see yourself as married to someone or are they just a great friend for now? The legal part is overblown, marriage should be about your feelings and intentions more than what the government has to say. Plenty of people are "married" without any official papers (I was married, in my mind, the day I proposed and not my wedding day), plenty of others are legally common law without strings attached.

I find the whole business of getting married pointless - wedding, paperwork, government seal of approval, and all the kerfuffle. I wouldn't considered myself to be married in the "conceptual/spiritual" sort of way - I'd consider myself to be in a very happy long term relationship. But I've always seen relationships in kind of a weird way, more along the lines of "We'll stay together as long as we're happy together, and if that's forever, great! If we're no longer happy together, we'll go our separate ways, and enjoy the great memories". But the concept of essentially a "spiritual marriage" is certainly an interesting one, so thanks for bringing it up.

Mikila

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #146 on: July 14, 2016, 06:16:21 PM »
Going against the grain here, no, marriage is not worth it. Its a lot of work for no reward. Every thing you try to accomplish will face another obstacle. Everything requires another layer of communication. Sex, one of life's great joys, is rendered a boring pointless chore by long term monogamy. And escaping it is often financial suicide, forcing you to stick with a relationship instead of allowing it to progress to a natural end.

Thanks for the laugh.  Hey Twelve, when I was 12 I agreed with you.  Your post was a delightful surprise.  Thanks for taking the time to do make the profile and post. 

CestMoi

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #147 on: July 21, 2016, 01:04:50 PM »
I'm nontraditional, and never felt my relationship(s) needed paperwork to be valid or meaningful. I'd consider marriage, but with a prenup to protect each individual's original assets going in. I've never felt marriage should be used as a retirement plan.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 01:09:07 PM by CestMoi »

gggggg

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #148 on: July 21, 2016, 02:58:04 PM »
I'll play devil's advocate, and say no (for me anyway, 41 yo male). I've dated plenty, I just don't get along with women over the long term. Women friends? Sure I get along great with them. As soon as we become romantic, it goes downhill. I'm too selfish, and do what I want, when I want. I don't have the aptitude to make them happy partners, so I just stay single, and date sometimes.

Phorensic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Location: Texas
Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
« Reply #149 on: July 22, 2016, 07:42:35 PM »
Marriage is totally worth it, but you have to mean it. Even if it hurts.

This week my wife and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. I am thankful for her each day.