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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: astvilla on July 06, 2016, 08:03:07 AM

Title: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: astvilla on July 06, 2016, 08:03:07 AM
I've always wondered reading through life stories here...is marriage worth it? There are so many horror stories, pain, suffering (though I don't think you should avoid marriage to avoid those pains). Even when I work with others, it sorta surprised me how many are and are not divorced.  Many times, I can see a pattern in the type of person that divorces though not always. And I'm sure the ex will say bad things but others may have different views. 

Cause marriage is basically, "you know, I like what we got going here, let's keep doing this until one of us drops dead 50-60 years later, and if you leave...."

The reasons vary, sometimes it's valid, sometimes it's random and no real reason.  Some divorces are amicable, others bitter and contested.  It just makes marriage seem like a really BIG gamble because you don't really know.  You might not even know your partner or even yourself well in the end and make a big mistake.  Are there any words of wisdom, sage advice from those experienced on how to avoid divorce or settling with the right person?  If you could go back, what would you have looked for or done different?  (and would you do a prenup?  Because prenups sounds like one step out the door itself...though I'd probably do it and I feel bad for feeling that way).  Sometimes I see people marry and it's not all what it seems...people even say singles are happier...idk
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on July 06, 2016, 08:10:02 AM
I struggle with this question a lot myself, and have gone into my own thoughts on the topic in my journal.

Marriage is a contract between you, your spouse, and the government.......if I could get rid of that 3rd party it would be a no brainer for me.

Signing a contract, for which the terms and laws can change any time in the future and dictate my life doesn't sit well with me. As someone who is in a committed long term relationship for over half a decade I don't see the benefits of marriage outweighing the risks/negatives in my situation.....at least for now.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: acroy on July 06, 2016, 08:30:09 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!
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: catccc on July 06, 2016, 08:32:47 AM
There are practical values, such as taxes (for our situation, at least), employer sponsored insurance, SS benefits, etc.

I'm really happy with my marriage and would do it again in a heartbeat.  We did know each other really well when we finally got married.  We started dating right when he was graduating college, and got married 9 years later.  Been married for 8 now.  For us it isn't random, it's a promise we made in good faith to one another to build a life together.  Yes, this can be done without marriage, but I've always liked the idea of marriage.  I don't believe in "the one," but I believe in staying in love and not bailing if things occasionally get difficult.  And that is what marriage is to me. 

(and I pay a lot less taxes.)

OTOH, I don't think divorce is awful and to be avoided at all costs.  I do think DH and I will make it, this is a buy-it-for-life kinda relationship, IMO.  But I have seen marriages end and both people are better for it.  Nothing wrong with that.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Psychstache on July 06, 2016, 08:37:21 AM
Happily married for about 3 year now with our first child on the way and hear are some of my thoughts marriage and relationships:

1. Stop thinking about the 50/50 divorce statistic. First off, the most recent research shows it has dropped to around 40-45%, but mostly because the data is flawed. Divorce statistics are usually calculated by looking at the number of marriages and divorces in a year and plugging in the math. That's helpful, but doesn't tell the whole story. 2 PhD with stable jobs who have a long courtship and then get married do not have the same probability of getting divorced as a pair of high school dropouts who went to the courthouse after finding out the woman is knocked up 3 weeks after they met. Circumstances make a difference, and you can generally control your circumstances.

2. DW and I have been married for 3 years, but we are coming up on 8 years together. I think it is very important to significant time together before marriage where you can truly evaluate who the person is and who they are becoming as you grow up. You can hide your crazy for 6 months or a year, but not forever. Make sure you see the crazy before you commit.

3. Going along with the previous point, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. I wasted a lot of time in past relationships by ignoring the warning signs my partners were sending me. People act in accordance with their beliefs, so take their actions into account while you try and understand who they are.

4. Listen to your tribe. The people in your tribe (close friends and family) will have an insight about the relationship that you are missing because they are removed from the emotions of the situation. I had dated a girl for a while that most people who observed us interacting together thought I was not being valued in the relationship, but I wrote it off. After wasting far too much time with that person, I saw what they were talking about in the post relationship autopsy. You don't need to break up with someone just because your friends don't think you are right together, but pay attention to what they are saying and try and see it for yourself.

5. I am sure this is clear to you being on this forum, but money is a proxy for a person's values. Pay attention to where they place their values.

6. If you want a relationship to last, find an effective way to communicate that works for the two (or more if that is your thing) of you. I generally recommend 'The 5 Love Languages' to couples as a way to learn how to communicate with each other. (Note: works best if you get 2 copies and read it together then do the activities).

7. Pay attention to how someone treats retail employees/restaurant servers. Very telling of a persons character.

8. Get your lives and financial situations on some solid footing before having kids. They make things harder and will not fix the problems in your relationship (they will add problems in the beginning in fact)

And finally, most importantly, marriage is absolutely worth it.....if you are truly inclined to being pair bonded for life to someone. Just like the credo for this board, truly examine this concept and make sure it is something that you would truly value and want for yourself, rather than just do it because it is what is the most common path in society.

For me, my marriage makes my life. It is what has allowed me to become the person I am today and I would be worse off in many respects for it. But, I had to really do a lot of soul searching to get here. My parents got married young without a plan and learned pretty quickly that they were not compatible, but by then they had a couple of kids. So they stuck it out and fought with each other for a decade and a half in front of us until everything blew up (business failure, car repos, and home foreclosure) and they finally separated. I was angry at them for a long time and scared that I would screw up a marriage and set myself up for failure. I spent a lot of time and research into figuring out whether or not I could make a marriage work and ultimately felt like I could (and so far so good).


There are a lot of horror stories out there and it is scary to think about how badly divorce could set you back (emotionally, practically, and financially), but I would also keep in mind that everyone loves a good trainwreck, so you see more stories about bittier divorces with crazy turns than you do about happy couples who are just living their lives.

P.S. reread your post and saw I skipped the part about the prenup. DW and I met in grad school, so really there was nothing to nup, so I got nothing here. I guess technically my wife should've pushed for a prenup, since she did have some assets and I had student loans where she didn't (in fact I think when we married they brought our net worth to almost exactly zero).
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: rubybeth on July 06, 2016, 08:57:03 AM
I've always wondered reading through life stories here...is marriage worth it?

This is such a broad question. For some people, marriage is "worth it" (however you define "worth") and for others, it isn't. If you're looking for reasons to not get married, you will find many. If you are looking for reasons to get married, you will also find many.

I have a husband of nearly 8 years (been together 10 years) who shares many of my core beliefs and life goals, and who has been incredibly supportive of me, and I of him. Of course, every relationship has ups and downs, tragedies and trials, but having a spouse who has empathy and is willing to work on the ugly, un-fun stuff is pretty awesome. I have seen a lot of people marry and divorce, and I'm no longer surprised to learn that people's marriages aren't what they seem (in real life, or on social media).

Edited to add: I think the number once piece of advice I can give to someone considering marriage is to talk about expectations. For every aspect of your life, you are likely assuming something will be one way, and your partner may assume it will be another way. The distance between these two assumptions and reality equals frustration or worse. So talk about everything you possibly can related to your expectations and their expectations--on some things, you may be close, and on others, worlds apart. Our pre-marital preparations with our church facilitated this conversation, but we had talked about most of that stuff before getting engaged. Everything from finances, household duties, children, where to spend holidays, etc. was up for discussion. It can be a very eye-opening exercise.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: dougules on July 06, 2016, 09:30:27 AM
I assume we're talking about getting married vs. having the exact same relationship without the legal certificate. 

We were all but officially married for 4 years before we made it legal.  Honestly we just did it for the legal benefits.  For us it didn't change the dynamics of our relationship.  I think making a big deal about being married would diminish the fact we were committed for 4 years before getting the piece of paper. 

That being said, it makes a difference emotionally or religiously for some people.  If your SO is one of those people, you should do it.  Divorces may be a big PITA, but splitting up is going to be very messy if you're all but married, too.  I don't know how to really tell if you're with somebody that's going to last, but I would say take the time to get past the honeymoon period before going through with it.  Also make sure both you and them are realistic about the fact there will be lots of compromising and occasional times when you will hate each other. 

If you're just thinking about the legalities it's really just going to depend on your situation. 

Honestly it sounds like you've just got a typical case of cold feet. 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Helvegen on July 06, 2016, 09:39:01 AM
Marriage is worth it to me. We did not spend as much time together before marriage as a lot of people here probably did and did not live together before marriage (immigration issues - why we got married so quickly). I don't know, it just clicked. We have similar (but not identical!) personalities, interests, expectations, goals. We figured out early where our strengths and weaknesses were and how to work on/with them. It hasn't always been 100% smooth sailing, particularly at the beginning when we were dirt poor and new parents. But we got through it and I have to say that our marriage and life in general is really good right now.

Together 13 years, married 12.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: GuitarStv on July 06, 2016, 09:43:04 AM
We've been married about six or seven years (I should probably know that) and were exclusively dating/living together for seven or eight years before that.

Is marriage worth it?  Sure!  It's pretty awesome.  Is it significantly different than living together and sharing all your stuff/money?  Not really.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: WGH on July 06, 2016, 09:47:35 AM
I'm in the midst of a divorce over a situation that is so insane I am considering writing a screenplay and selling it to the Lifetime network.

That being said marriage can be wonderful. My favorite quote on the matter:

"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

You don't need to be married to do this of course but having someone to make the insignificant times significant to me is the core of the value. Psychstache made some great points and I will just toss out one more.

Opposites attract but they don't often endure. I learned this one the hard way. You feel connected to someone because you're introverted and they are extroverted. Because you are good with money and they are bad and you feel needed and fulfilled helping them with their finances etc. Until you discover that they didn't learn anything and you are just enabling and they take you down with them. Take the time to really make sure your core beliefs are aligned and that they are kind, patient, and not crazy.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: ysette9 on July 06, 2016, 09:54:40 AM
What a potentially fraught topic but as usual, this forum has intelligent people having a reasoned discussion. I especially think Psychstache brought up good points. First, when you dig into the marriage/divorce statistics, the likelihood of two educated, older (late 20s+) people getting divorced is actually fairly low. Anecdotally, in our cohort of friends (30s-early 40s, over-educated engineering professionals) almost no one has been divorced. The one person I can think of went ahead and married the wrong person while knowing things weren't right, but cowed to family pressure. That person has subsequently remarried a better match and is happily raising a kid.

I am thrilled to be married and think it has been and continues to be wonderful. I personally feel more stable, valued, settled, and content being married than just living together. We are truly a single team with joint goals and purpose and we kick ass at getting what we want out of life. When we were together but not married we had similar parallel goals, but it just wasn't as powerful as planning life together. Financially, getting married and combining households has been a (insert stupid sports metaphor here. I was reviewing our net worth and the growth over the past several years and remarking at how it seems the combo of compound interest and dual income professionals is making wealth building this snowball rolling downhill.

This might be the type of topic to generate more interest from the people with negative experiences which is why I wanted to speak up. I think there are a lot of people out there who are happily, but silently, married. It does take work though, and the biggest lesson we have learned is that everything ultimately comes down to communication. The class Crucial Conversations I took at work has done more to improve my personal life than anything at work. I highly recommend taking the time to figure out how to safely and calmly discuss the tough things. That will get you everywhere.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: pbkmaine on July 06, 2016, 09:55:43 AM
I'm in the midst of a divorce over a situation that is so insane I am considering writing a screenplay and selling it to the Lifetime network.

That being said marriage can be wonderful. My favorite quote on the matter:

"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

You don't need to be married to do this of course but having someone to make the insignificant times significant to me is the core of the value. Psychstache made some great points and I will just toss out one more.

Opposites attract but they don't often endure. I learned this one the hard way. You feel connected to someone because you're introverted and they are extroverted. Because you are good with money and they are bad and you feel needed and fulfilled helping them with their finances etc. Until you discover that they didn't learn anything and you are just enabling and they take you down with them. Take the time to really make sure your core beliefs are aligned and that they are kind, patient, and not crazy.

Good luck.

Sounds like a good reason for a journal, WGH
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: ysette9 on July 06, 2016, 09:58:21 AM
Quote
You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

What a lovely way of putting it. There is a lot of truth to that quote. We are all flawed and will (if lucky) grow old and ugly. Having someone next to you who still thinks you are wonderful despite your warts and wrinkles is fantastic for the ego. Having someone with aligned values who understands what you do and why you do it and can support you through problem-solving and exploration is such a gift. Knowing there is someone reliable to lean on when shit hits the fan is immeasurably valuable, mentally and physically.

Ah, I am a lucky woman. Life is good!
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: caracarn on July 06, 2016, 10:02:21 AM
This is a HUGE question.

As a rule most studies done do find that married people as a whole are happier and healthier than those who are not married.  Time Magazine just recently had a cover story on this in the last month if you want to read something very recent.

Having been divorced myself and now married again, my answer is that marriage is absolutely worth it, but you need to be very careful in selecting your partner.  I can only speak for my experiences and what I learned.  I am a Christian and if I look back on why my initial marriage was a failure and while I am much happier and optimistic in my current marriage it is because I picked a partner the world/culture's way the first time (I think she's fun and good looking and makes me laugh) the first time, and I picked my second spouse God's way (getting to know her character and focusing on everything BUT my feelings and desires).  My first marriage I went into assuming "love conquers all" so even though I saw red flags I talked myself out of them saying that once we were married love would make it all work out.  Getting sexually involved before getting married absolutely was a prime motivator in convincing myself that all the bullshit was worth it.  Doing it without sex the second time around and having to focus on what we liked about each other and not having that cloud the judgment, made all the difference in the world.  I get that most people will say I'm nuts, and I had friends telling me the same thing when I shared with them my approach to courtship the second time around, but the difference in spouses is night and day.  I am certain if I had not changed my focus that I would have ended up with something similar.  The wonderful thing is I ended up with a wife that was more of all the "wordly" things (beautiful, funny, loving) that drive most of us but with a internal core that is God-focused rather than self-focused and that makes it wonderful.  God is good, all the time. 

We have a lot more complexity than most marriages being both divorced and having kids.  This now involves swapping kids, dealing with exes and all the other stuff, but it all pales with the joy of being with someone and knowing someone has your back.  This is what I think a single person never has no matter how much you pretend you do.  It is just very different and I love it.  We certainly disagree, argue, etc. but knowing how to fight productively versus destructively makes all the difference in the world.

We've been married for four years now and I am the happiest I've ever been.  So for me the answer is marriage is absolutely worth it! 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: rockstache on July 06, 2016, 10:27:41 AM
I'm not an expert on the matter, having only been married for 6 years myself. but for me the answer is absolutely yes. I will add the caveat that we were good friends (never dated) for about 12 years before getting married. We both knew what we were getting, so there have really been no surprises. We didn't do a prenup for the reasons you mentioned, plus the fact that we didn't have too many assets at the time.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Paul der Krake on July 06, 2016, 10:38:47 AM
From a purely financial standpoint, about $5,000 in year one.

I have seriously considered framing our first joint 1040.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Zikoris on July 06, 2016, 10:51:46 AM
No. In Canada, at least, you get all the tax benefits and such just by living together for 2 years. It seems pointless.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Stupendous on July 06, 2016, 10:52:12 AM
I don't think you will get a good answer given the age of people on this board. Notice how all the people responding haven't been married for 30+ years. Also when marriage was originally designed things were very different back then e.g. life expectancy wasn't in the 70's.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Helvegen on July 06, 2016, 11:00:42 AM
What a potentially fraught topic but as usual, this forum has intelligent people having a reasoned discussion. I especially think Psychstache brought up good points. First, when you dig into the marriage/divorce statistics, the likelihood of two educated, older (late 20s+) people getting divorced is actually fairly low. Anecdotally, in our cohort of friends (30s-early 40s, over-educated engineering professionals) almost no one has been divorced. The one person I can think of went ahead and married the wrong person while knowing things weren't right, but cowed to family pressure. That person has subsequently remarried a better match and is happily raising a kid.


For anecdotal fun...

My brother and SIL married in their late 20s after I want to say 8 years together. Lived together for 3-4 of those years. He is a mechanical engineer and she works in lab (I forget in what capacity).

Anyway, they got separated and she moved out after one year of marriage and they're getting divorced. No kids, thank whatever, but wow, that blew up fast. They are too focused on saving face for whatever reason to explain to anyone what happened so all of us are left scratching our heads.

My sister and BIL, their marriage is exhausting. They also married after many years living together in their late 20s. They are not getting divorced...today...but my god, is their marriage bipolar. One minute it is all flowers and sunshine, the next they are calling divorce lawyers and looking at apartments, and then five minutes later, act like nothing happened. Rinse and repeat. I don't get how two very high drama people can stay married for as long as they have. Makes my and my husband's head spin though.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Alenzia on July 06, 2016, 11:27:42 AM
For me it's been worth it all the way. Our relationship didn't change much - we were already committed, had a house together, etc. Being in a committed relationship has brought me more joy than I ever thought it could have (I was against staying with one person all the way for quite some time).

The legal contract part of the marriage is more helpful on the society expectations front than on our relationship itself - people get it much easier that I need to go take care of a medical issue for my husband's family than my boyfriend's. The outward display of commitment saves energy and sets expectations.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: v8rx7guy on July 06, 2016, 11:45:46 AM
For us, absolutely worth it.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Fishindude on July 06, 2016, 11:47:35 AM
33 Years running.
I think it's going to work out OK.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Paul der Krake on July 06, 2016, 11:50:33 AM
My sister and BIL, their marriage is exhausting. They also married after many years living together in their late 20s. They are not getting divorced...today...but my god, is their marriage bipolar. One minute it is all flowers and sunshine, the next they are calling divorce lawyers and looking at apartments, and then five minutes later, act like nothing happened. Rinse and repeat. I don't get how two very high drama people can stay married for as long as they have. Makes my and my husband's head spin though.
Maybe because the exit cost of a married relationship is so much higher?
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Philociraptor on July 06, 2016, 12:15:16 PM
So far so good. Married for only 2 years, together for nearly 10. Started dating in high school, went to colleges 1,800 miles away from each other and did the long-distance thing, I moved back home after, and we bought a house together about 4 years ago. I'm glad we're married vs. simply long-term committed. Simplifies lots of financial matters (I already handled all her finances once we moved in together). Easier for others to understand when things come up with the other person. Our commitment just feels stronger now that we're married vs. before.

Words of wisdom: really get to know each other beforehand. 6 months is not very long. Many of my aunts/uncles and parents' friends who only dated for a short time before getting married are all divorced now. COMMUNICATE! You absolutely must communicate with your partner, they aren't a mind-reader. And honesty: Once you are committed, your partner should accept you for all your faults, but it's certainly helpful if you bring those faults up first and don't let them find out another way.

If I could go back: been more honest up front; I always felt like I was the Reacher and her the Settler, so I felt like I needed to hide my faults to hold onto her. Turns out she's very accepting of my faults. Also would have listened to her advice when she told me to not go to an expensive private school and to not buy a new car straight out of college. I'm a lucky guy.

We didn't do a prenup because we had no assets. Only debt is my student loans, which would follow me in the event of a separation.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: caracarn on July 06, 2016, 12:21:34 PM
I don't think you will get a good answer given the age of people on this board. Notice how all the people responding haven't been married for 30+ years. Also when marriage was originally designed things were very different back then e.g. life expectancy wasn't in the 70's.

I was married for 17 years the first time and had been with her for 7 before.   Not sure how life expectancy goes into this.  Are you saying you could stand them for 40 years but if you need to be married to them for 50, well damn, that's too long?!
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Helvegen on July 06, 2016, 12:31:02 PM
My sister and BIL, their marriage is exhausting. They also married after many years living together in their late 20s. They are not getting divorced...today...but my god, is their marriage bipolar. One minute it is all flowers and sunshine, the next they are calling divorce lawyers and looking at apartments, and then five minutes later, act like nothing happened. Rinse and repeat. I don't get how two very high drama people can stay married for as long as they have. Makes my and my husband's head spin though.
Maybe because the exit cost of a married relationship is so much higher?

It would be a divorce that lawyers would drool and crawl over themselves to get to, I am sure. Financially, it would be a nuclear disaster for both of them. But finances, while a big motivator, shouldn't be the only glue that keeps two unhappy people together. These kinds of blow ups are becoming more and more frequent. I don't know how I could live with such relationship instability, just speaking for myself. It is exhausting just to watch from outside, let alone be first party to. How much stress is your money worth? IDK.

Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Picklemeister on July 06, 2016, 01:57:57 PM
I am unhappily married, but trying to work on my marriage. I would not get married to the same man again if I knew what I know now. If we end up divorcing, I don't know if I would ever get married again.

If I did, I would choose someone who is capable of true compromise and who doesn't judge other people's emotions as valid or invalid and disregards them entirely if they're deemed invalid. I would also pick someone who wasn't overly judgemental, because eventually you have that judgement turned on you.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on July 06, 2016, 02:14:27 PM
I am unhappily married, but trying to work on my marriage. I would not get married to the same man again if I knew what I know now. If we end up divorcing, I don't know if I would ever get married again.

If I did, I would choose someone who is capable of true compromise and who doesn't judge other people's emotions as valid or invalid and disregards them entirely if they're deemed invalid. I would also pick someone who wasn't overly judgemental, because eventually you have that judgement turned on you.

Wow, sounds like you are fundamentally dissatisfied......I would ponder long and hard if it's "worth" compromising the rest of your life to be with someone who you aren't truly compatible with?
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: lhamo on July 06, 2016, 02:25:52 PM
My DH and I have been together over  21 years, married for nearly 20.  We're currently going through a bit of a rough patch in our marriage, complicated by his mid-life crisis.  I am hopeful that we will stay together, but only time will tell.  I am not going to accept the responsibility for single-handedly holding things together/turning them around, so the ball is in his court in many respects.

With that as background information, I would say yes, marriage has been worth it to me.  We have built a significant financial cushion, to the extent that we should both be FI either together or apart.  That feels like quite an achievement, and something to be proud of considering we both started our professional careers in the non-profit sector relatively late, and only worked FT for about 15-16 years (I had a year of PT work after #2 was born).  The other huge achievement that makes it all worthwhile is our two amazing kids.  I can't imagine my life without them, so for that reason alone I am glad I got married (I would not have had kids as a single woman). 

I think that, if we do decide to part ways, we will be able to do so amicably.  We have our various levels of dysfunction, but I think we both genuinely like each other and wish nothing but the best for the other party, so that makes it easier and simpler.  I think it is much harder to view a marriage as having been worth it if there was a lot of active meanness or worse, and if the split is not desired by both parties.     
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: SimplyMarvie on July 06, 2016, 02:33:54 PM
Married 14 years. Currently frustrated with my husband for stupid mundane impermanent reason, but as much as I want to say no because I am a grouch... it's so worth it.

Mr. Marvie and I don't have a traditional marriage though. Because we knew going into it that it was going to be non-traditional we talked A LOT about expectations and about why we were getting married. Most of the easy, simple answers didn't work for us -- we're not monogamous, so if we were expecting to have other loving, sexual relationships during the time we were married, why privilege this one? We had to talk a lot about what made the relationship we have with one another different. We have a family together. We travel the world together. We love each other fiercely and are building a life together in a way that I never will or would with anyone else, and there's a lot of ordinary magic in that, every single day.

...even when he takes the car to go bowling and forgets that I was supposed to go pick up the intern from the airport, leaving me stranded at home and panicking. :)
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: little_brown_dog on July 06, 2016, 02:37:39 PM
Absolutely. Pain is the price of love. Everything awesome (kids, careers, art, etc) requires some risk and sacrifice.

For me, shared values and trust are 2 key pieces to making marriage work.

I met my husband when we were in our early 20s, out of college and living on our own. We seem to do better than couples we know who started dating in college or highschool. I think that is because we had more time to grow as adults ourselves, and figure out what we wanted a little more…but we were still young enough to be flexible and not too attached to “our way” of living. We know couples who have been together since 17yrs old who are not on the same page about kids, because well at 17yrs old most people aren’t really thinking about that. Same goes with other big issues like finances, career, spirituality, the role of extended family, etc. When you just stick around with the same person you met in highschool, it may be romantic, but you bypass that critical early dating period where adults normally find out if someone is truly compatible based on values and lifestyle. So many people find that what they loved about their 15yr old sweetheart has 0 bearing on whether or not they will be a good partner forever.

Shared values are critical. Your hobbies can differ, he can love horror flicks while she loves rom coms, and you may never see eye to eye on whether it is Indian or sushi night. But things like whether you want to be parents, religion, parenting/career balance, frugality and finances…all the big stuff…you really should be more similar than different if you want to stack the odds in your favor.

The prenup issue gets at trust. I personally would never do a prenup under first marriage circumstances and I would seriously consider breaking up with a man who asked for one. To me, prenups are for people with baggage – they have kids from another partnership they need to protect, large assets that they believe might attract a gold-digger, etc. For someone going into a first marriage without any of those conditions, a prenup screams “I don’t completely trust you and I’m covering my ass just in case.”  Why the hell would you legally bind yourself to someone if you trust them so little that you are making contingency plans for an easy exit before you even walk down the aisle? If you aren't generally convinced that your marriage has a good shot based on the character of your partner and quality of your relationship, you should be arranging to break off the engagement, not a prenup.

Trust will be tested time and time again in a marriage. Every time your husband is working late you have to trust that he really is working late, or else you will go insane thinking he is cheating. You have to trust your wife will be a good mom when you leave her home with the baby all day, and that she won’t ignore or worse, hurt the child. Every day marriages have numerous little tests of trust. If it isn’t there, stuff falls apart rapidly.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: CindyBS on July 06, 2016, 02:39:09 PM
For me, it has been worth it.  DH and I have been together for 18 years, married for 16.  There are ups and downs and the past year has been a down, but it is back on the upswing.  DH can drive me crazy, but he really is my best friend.

My magic formula is that you have to like or have no opinion of about 90% of the person's personality, you can maybe change 2% of the personality and the other 8% of it you just have to be willing to accept.   If someone thinks they can change 25% of the other person's personality they will be disappointed. 

If you are willing to be married to a real person and not have an idealized image of how the perfect man/woman will be and what a perfect marriage will be, you can be happy. 

That being said, I do not think I would marry again if DH dies before me.  The kids will be raised and I now have a lot of $$ that I don't want to combine with someone else. 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Cassie on July 06, 2016, 03:03:15 PM
I got married young at 18 and that marriage only lasted 3 years. I then married at 22 to someone that was 30. We only knew each other 8 months and did not live together. It was always a struggle but because we had 3 boys together I stayed until the youngest was 18  (22 years). We went to marriage counseling numerous times, etc. If I had lived with him I never would have married him. I decided never to marry again. Fast forward 18 years ago I met a great man and told him right off no marriage.  After living with him for 5 1/2 years I changed my mind and we married. everything is good.  My HS friends (4 of them) all married between 25-30 and then had kids and all are still happily married.  I think it was because they were more mature and had dated for a few years so knew what they were getting into.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Mtngrl on July 06, 2016, 04:28:17 PM
Married 36 1/2 years. Together 37 years. (Yes, we knew each other 6 months when we got married.)
Marriage has been absolutely worth it for us. When you have a partner who shares your goals and vision, you are a team working together and you'll get to those goals much easier. It's wonderful to have someone who is rooting for you to succeed (as you are rooting for them), who you know will give you an honest perspective and with whom, over time, you build a shared history.

When my husband retired two years ago, so many friends warned me that he would drive me crazy, we would annoy the heck out of each other, etc. But it's been a great two years. We like doing things together and still enjoy each other's company after all these years. (We are not, however, joined at the hip. We each have activities and friends that we enjoy apart from each other.)

I can't tell you how to find that partner. My only advice is to take off the rose-colored glasses some people seem to wear when approaching matrimony. Don't expect your partner to solve your problems, 'fix' you, entertain you or make you happy if you are unhappy. Spouses can do some of these things, but it's not really their job. You have to try to be a healthy individual and bring that to the marriage. Find someone you can be friends with and stay friends with. Listen to your gut and if anything doesn't seem 'right' to you, take a step back and wait. Many of the people I know who ended up divorced (though not all) have told me they had doubts going into the marriage but did it anyway because of other people's expectations, they were tired of being single, etc.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Twelve on July 06, 2016, 04:46:05 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: JLee on July 06, 2016, 05:01:05 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.

That's indicative of a significant flaw in the relationship, IMO.  Marriage does also not necessitate monogamy; there are plenty of polyamorous / ethically non-monogamous married people in the world.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: FIRE me on July 06, 2016, 05:07:30 PM
Speaking from personal experience, nothing is better than a good marriage, and nothing is worse than a bad marriage. Your spouse will either make you or break you, both emotionally and financially.

My former bride divorced me 21 years ago, and I have no interest in repeating my matrimonial mistake.

Like many things in life, you take your chances, then you either pay the price or reap the dividends, as the case may be. If you ever wed, I hope your outcome is better than mine.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: human on July 06, 2016, 05:14:06 PM
No. In Canada, at least, you get all the tax benefits and such just by living together for 2 years. It seems pointless.

I agree, common law status seems to get all the benefits of marriage. Not sure why it's necessary anymore.

Quebec has the right idea on marriage and civil unions, but since it's civil law I'm not exactly sure what happens if you don't register.

Totally worthless and not worth all the waiting around for a divorce when one is necessary. All this drama I read about people trying for years to "make it work" is insane. Just get it over with already, and don't try to stay together for the kids, in the long run they are better off with separated parents if they no longer love each other.

edit: answering my own question about QC, seems unregistered you are "de facto" and the term common law is still strangely used. Oh and they have the right idea here:

Common-Law Couples: Not Automatically Married After a Period of Time

A couple can live together without being married. But even if they have been together for one, three, 15 or 40 years, and even if they have several children together, they are never "automatically" married.

This means that, if they break up, common-law couples don't have some of the protections married couples have.

People in common-law relationships don't have these protections:

They don't benefit from the protection of the family residence if ownership of the home or the apartment lease is in the name of one person only.
They don't have a right to a division of their property if they separate.
They don't have a right to a "compensatory allowance" for work done by one person that benefited the other person while they were together.
One partner can't ask for support payments from the other partner (financial support for one person in the couple who might need it).
The partners don't inherit from each other if one dies without a will or if one was not named as an heir in the will.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Capsu78 on July 06, 2016, 05:15:19 PM
31 years on with my wife who was previously married... we are laughingly appalled when we run across the "I married my best friend" crowd.  She would certainly find better friends if I was the best one she had!

We sorta go on year to year contracts, but always try to have a nice trip planned together sometime in the future that neither of us would want to miss.  My view is every flaw I have cultivated was present in our dating period... If someone runs a little late sometimes, they probably won't be fixed with either carrots or sticks.  If someone "watches a little sports to unwind", they are probably commish of at least one FF league,  if they treat service people as lessors (as mentioned above on a very good post) they may not change their ways.  I have changed many thngs over the years about myself that my wife is happy about, but not the things she takes credit for modifying.

Successful marriage isn't a 50/50 proposition, it's 60/40- 60% effort by you, 60% effort by your spouse. 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: FIRE me on July 06, 2016, 05:20:28 PM
Is marriage worth it?  Sure!  It's pretty awesome.  Is it significantly different than living together and sharing all your stuff/money?  Not really.

Or, as my Grandpa used to say, “What's your's is mine, and what's mine, you keep your damned hands off!”
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: MsPeacock on July 06, 2016, 06:42:11 PM
Married 14 years and now divorced for almost 3. The marriage became problematic at about year two and never got better despite my efforts (and basically only my efforts). Divorce was financially ruinous and very hard on my kids.

I will never marry again. I am In a nice LTR, but will never hitch myself legally to some other person. No thanks. Untangling a relationship was bad enough and devastating with lawyers and bills and court battles. No thanks.  I am not religious, so I no reason in that regard to marry.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: KMMK on July 06, 2016, 06:59:09 PM
If I hadn't been married the first time I probably wouldn't have met my current future husband- the best one.
I got a prenup for the first marriage and would recommend them. I'm not sure if I'll bother for the second. I'll leave it up to him. A paper trail and a separation agreement seems to be most important if god forbid we separated. I wouldn't marry someone who even hinted at being unfair, vengeful or unethical. My ex and I negotiated everything ourselves, before and after. My lawyer pretty much disregarded my prenup and separation agreement, which was annoying.

What I would have done differently: dated more people and lived together pre-marriage. I also should have known myself better.
I still think marriage to the right person is well worth it.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Kitsune on July 06, 2016, 07:01:23 PM
Marriage vs cohabitation in a long-term relationship with someone? Yes. Significant legal advantages, and advantages relating to property transfer taxes.

Marriage vs being single? Depends on the day. ;) snark aside, yes overall, and I love my husband, but honestly, if we split up, I'm not sure I'd sign up for another cohabiting relationship. It's a stupid amount of work to keep functional.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: elaine amj on July 06, 2016, 07:15:21 PM
Yes - having someone to share my life with is an incredible joy. We dated for 2 years and got married when I was 21. I was super young and I bet a lot of ppl wondered if it would last. 16 years and 2 kids later, our marriage is the strongest it has ever been.

What has helped us is shared values, and a genuine liking for each other. About 5 years ago, we had the opportunity to go on a long weekend away together after spending many years focusing primarily on our family and daily lives. It actually surprised me a teeny bit to discover we could still spend 4 whole days together talking almost nonstop and still enjoy each other's company.

Also, he's incredibly giving, always doing stuff to make things easier for me. Very much my better half. I also think that one of the reasons our marriage is strong is because he thinks I'm his better half (he's wrong but I won't argue lol).

I've watched friends who have failed marriages. The #1 problem has been when one party no longer respects the other. That seems to be the one thing that destroys the unity of a marriage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: azure975 on July 06, 2016, 07:39:10 PM
From a purely financial standpoint, about $5,000 in year one.

I have seriously considered framing our first joint 1040.

Keep in mind that marriage does not always result in tax savings. Depending on the relative incomes of the 2 spouses, marriage can also result in a marriage penalty. This is usually among higher earners.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: human on July 06, 2016, 08:54:17 PM
It seems many equate marriage with "sharing a life together" or "being committed". A marriage isn't required for any of those things and all of the divorces mentioned in this thread demonstrates that marriage doesn't mean those things either. Still don't get why the "institution" of marriage is considered important.

I really lucked out, my partner and I agree that legal marriage is not needed.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: teen persuasion on July 06, 2016, 09:26:37 PM
Marriage has been worth it for us - married 26 years, together nearly 30 years.  I honestly at this point can't imagine NOT being married, it just feels right, not like it is an effort to maintain.

For me/us, divorce was not an option, so I had to be absolutely sure this was it before tying the knot.  Several years of cohabitation was a good test for us - we felt married from the beginning, and the eventual ceremony was just a formality at that point.

Knowing your partner well is important, as is trust.  I think that our "divorce is not an option" attitude was important, too (at least for us).  There is no me vs you buried back in your subconscious, there is just "us" and our happiness at stake.  So I always approached things with the goal of maximizing our joint (and soon, family) happiness.  Choosing to do things that make my family happy makes my life more pleasant, too, while choosing to do things that make any member of my family sad/angry/unhappy has the potential to expand those bad feelings.  We chose the positive feedback loop, deliberately.  But we both had to be willing to make that choice.   


I think that having good role models helped us, too.  My parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary, and long marriages are the norm rather than the exception in our families.  We've grown up watching couples laughing with each other, teasing good-naturedly, compromising when needed, valuing each other's traits, knowing when to turn a blind eye to minor faults, showing affection.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Zikoris on July 07, 2016, 02:56:12 AM


People in common-law relationships don't have these protections:

They don't benefit from the protection of the family residence if ownership of the home or the apartment lease is in the name of one person only.
They don't have a right to a division of their property if they separate.
They don't have a right to a "compensatory allowance" for work done by one person that benefited the other person while they were together.
One partner can't ask for support payments from the other partner (financial support for one person in the couple who might need it).
The partners don't inherit from each other if one dies without a will or if one was not named as an heir in the will.

I'll just throw in that I think this is awesome, and personally believe it should extend to marriage as well. I'm a strong believer that people aren't entitled to shit (spousal support, assets, etc) if a relationship ends, unless it's been explicitly agreed to by both parties in writing beforehand. Unfortunately, things seem to be going the other direction, and with the new(ish) Family Law Act in BC, many of the "protections" of marriage now apply to common-law as well.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 07, 2016, 03:56:26 AM
Fuck yes.

It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Hands down... and it has nothing to do with the legal and financial benefits. I couldn't give a smaller shit about that. In fact, I would wager if that is weighing heavily in one's consideration, then perhaps one should reconsider.

I love being married. My wife is an amazing human. She brings so much into our life. My life would be so much less without her. She has brought into the world my two favorite people. No joke. We've been together 10 years and if I had to go back, I would do it all again. Twice.

Don't bother about all the bullshit that surrounds marriage. If you love another person enough to chart the rest of your life around them, and they feel the same, then go for it. Its amazing. To be able to live and grow and learn with another person for your whole life is such a joy. She has been through everything I have since we met. She gets me, I get her, we get how we work together. There is no awkwardness, no trying to figure out where the other person is coming from, no explaining needed, we just know. She's my best friend on the planet. I could spend my life next to her and do anything. Talk, read, nap, play, whatever. We could go anywhere, do anything, conquer any obstacle.

Also, something changed when we got married. So, to us, it matters. I didn't believe it would, but it does. Before, I thought that nothing would change. I was true to her, I loved her, and I knew she loved me. I couldn't fathom what could change by going to some silly ceremony. Man, was I wrong. The instant that all finished, everything was different. Better. I felt bound to her, in the best way. I had professed my commitment to her in front of all those whom I most respected. I don't have the right words for it, but honestly, there was a step change. And the cool thing is, it has only gotten better since then. The longer I live with this woman, the more incredible she becomes, the more strength and love and character she shows.

Maybe we just got lucky, but I doubt it. I know of many marriages, intimately, where the spouses feel the same. Just love the other person with all your being, not one iota held back, and you'll be happy. I promise you.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: davisgang90 on July 07, 2016, 04:29:02 AM
Marriage has certainly been worth it for me and my wife.

We've been married 25 years last March.  I'm active duty Navy, we have a son with autism and my wife suffers from depression and a host of physical ailments.  Any one of those is a magnet for divorce.  Instead, each of those has brought us closer together and more determined to continue building our lives together.

In our case, we take our marriage vows very seriously and we will always be together. 

In my opinion, relationships other than marriage can often be much more casual in nature and folks just move on if challenges arise.  That's why I think the whole "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health" stuff is so important.  Of course plenty of married folks don't take their vows seriously either and quit when it gets challenging.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Kitsune on July 07, 2016, 04:49:44 AM


People in common-law relationships don't have these protections:

They don't benefit from the protection of the family residence if ownership of the home or the apartment lease is in the name of one person only.
They don't have a right to a division of their property if they separate.
They don't have a right to a "compensatory allowance" for work done by one person that benefited the other person while they were together.
One partner can't ask for support payments from the other partner (financial support for one person in the couple who might need it).
The partners don't inherit from each other if one dies without a will or if one was not named as an heir in the will.

I'll just throw in that I think this is awesome, and personally believe it should extend to marriage as well. I'm a strong believer that people aren't entitled to shit (spousal support, assets, etc) if a relationship ends, unless it's been explicitly agreed to by both parties in writing beforehand. Unfortunately, things seem to be going the other direction, and with the new(ish) Family Law Act in BC, many of the "protections" of marriage now apply to common-law as well.

But when we got married, my husband didn't expect to take a pay cut when we moved for my job.

So if we split u and I said "tough shit, you didn't see this coming 7 years ago and I ain't paying"... That'd be unfair.

That's kind of the point of the legal recognition of marriage - the assumption that both parties have put all their eggs in the same communal basket (time, money, sacrifices, choices made for the common good, etc), and that the results of that basket should get split equitably to benefit both, just as they would have if the marriage had continued.

The point of getting married is that you're accessing a social and legal framework for the communal arrangement you enter. If you don't want to enter it top to that arrangement, fine... But it's there for a reason.

And honestly, I wouldn't own communal property, have kids, take time off work for family reasons, want my partner take time off for similar reasons, etc, without being married. Otherwise, every dollar earned less, or every sacrifice made due to family decisions, becomes not a shared decision made for the common good, but something by which both profit but only one pays, and that's shitty.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: human on July 07, 2016, 04:57:02 AM
Sure, I get all that. I was just trying to point out that QC is one of the only jurisdictions that has this de facto or common law arrangement. You could still enter into a contract without registering for a civil union or a marriage there.

If you get married there is family patrimony, but I think what you brought in remains yours except the house/apartmeng I believe. You can waive your rights when you separate.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: nottoolatetostart on July 07, 2016, 05:20:21 AM
Yes, but because I feel like I married the right person for me. We met when we were in grad school, but didn't date for about a year after meeting (he asked me out, but I rebuffed his advances because I was not looking to date). We began as friends and I just knew if I didn't hang on to this relationship, I would just knew I would never meet someone like him again. He is my best friend, we let each other be, we get each other. I feel like I can accomplish all my dreams with him. And he has said similar. No prenups as I had student loans ($70k) and he had a little bit of money (<$50k) and no debt. Everything we have now is because of our joint work, so splitting assets would be very easy. We have 2 wonderful little people and have now built a great, great life. We don't have any drama, just fun and trying to make it through the mundane. Married only 6.5 years, but dating 2 years before that.

I say all this, but I will never marry again. Marrying the right person is key. I see what some of my friends go through and it looks terrible. Friends are divorcing now. It's a struggle. I will never trust anyone else like my DH. I got lucky. I say I will never marry again because of the governmental stuff. Now, I have 2 kids, so I care more about their financial interests based on what my husband and I have built. I would always worry about a pre-nup and loopholes that would hurt my kids. I would live with someone (after my kids are grown), but I don't need comfort of another marriage. My Mom had a few marriages and brought us along for the rides while us kids were young, including having suitors live with us. I hated it and would not do to my kids.

There you have it.....2 sides of the coin.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Kaminoge on July 07, 2016, 05:57:03 AM
Yes! But I've only been married for 5 months so I can't claim quite the time that most of you seem to be able to.

For me PFHC summed it up brilliantly. It did change something

Quote
Also, something changed when we got married. So, to us, it matters. I didn't believe it would, but it does. Before, I thought that nothing would change. I was true to her, I loved her, and I knew she loved me. I couldn't fathom what could change by going to some silly ceremony. Man, was I wrong. The instant that all finished, everything was different. Better. I felt bound to her, in the best way. I had professed my commitment to her in front of all those whom I most respected. I don't have the right words for it, but honestly, there was a step change.

I'm not saying that people can't be totally committed without being married but for me personally it made a huge difference. I wake up every morning knowing that the person beside me has promised to be there for life. They haven't just promised me personally but they've made the promise in front of our families and legally. In my mind that made a huge difference.

It seems many equate marriage with "sharing a life together" or "being committed". A marriage isn't required for any of those things and all of the divorces mentioned in this thread demonstrates that marriage doesn't mean those things either. Still don't get why the "institution" of marriage is considered important.

For us it not only made an emotional difference but also a HUGE practical difference. We'd been together for 2 years before getting married but could only ever live together for a month or two at a time due to visa issues. Once we were married we were able to get him a visa as my spouse. My lifestyle is built around moving countries every couple of years - as my husband he'll be able to come along each time. As my boyfriend that just wasn't possible (very few countries recognize non-marriages for visa issues). But I would never of married just for a visa - I got married to this person because I truly believed it was the right decision. I figure given my age (42) I'd spent enough time on earth to know someone I felt such a connection to wasn't likely to come around too often. The fact he's from a different country and 10 years younger gave me quite a few qualms but I've never regretted marrying him for a second.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: golden1 on July 07, 2016, 06:34:35 AM
I've been married for 21 years, 2 kids.  Here is my take on it.

1) There is no hard and fast rule you can follow about how long you should wait, how young you should be, how much money you should have before you get married.  There really isn't.  I know people in successful marriages that knew each other for 5 weeks for getting engaged and six months before getting married.  One of the best marriages I know are people who got married at age 18 without a pot to piss in.  Sure waiting a little longer is usually prudent, but wasting the opportunity to partner with someone you really love just because he/she didn't come along at a certain age or station in life is foolish IMO and can lead to regrets just as potent as anything else. 
2) People put too much expectation on what marriage "should" provide for them.  They think more about what they are getting out of it instead of what they can put into it.  You can see those marriages all over the place.  "My partner isn't fulfilling MY needs."  vs.  "What can I do to make my partner's day better?"  Go into every day of your marriage with the latter question, no matter how you are feeling, and I guarantee you will have a better relationship.  Focus on the former question, and you will likely just be bitter and miserable.
3) Marriage does not complete you.  It doesn't make you whole.  This person isn't your soulmate.  They are your partner.  They have their own wants, needs, desires.  They have their own lives and the best marriages are the ones where the person really takes joy in nurturing the others growth.  That means that your relationship with naturally change over time so remain flexible.  The person I married 21 years ago is not the person I am married to now, thank god!  Watching someone learn, mature, suffer, triumph is part of what makes marriage a truly unique and special relationship. 
4) Marry your best friend.  This is someone you are spending a lot of time with.  Looks matter, attraction matters, but damn it, you better enjoy laughing, talking and spending time with that person above all else.  That's what gets you through the tough times. 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: 2Cent on July 07, 2016, 08:14:20 AM
It is good to look at the science:
Research has shown the best indicator of how well a relationship will last is how people deal with problems/conflict. If both partners are trying to seek a compromise which takes the other into account, and look for the others best interest first the relationship.

To minimize the conflicts apparently the optimum is to find someone about 80% the same as you. The 20% difference is so you're not constantly doing the same thing, and can benefit from each other's strengths.

These are the optimal conditions for marriage. That of course does not mean you can't have a successful marriage otherwise. On the other hand, don't take advice from movies. They totally misrepresent romance and relationships in that they idealize infatuation and pretend that that is what a relationship should look like.

To nicely tie it to this forum a relationship can be compared to savings. If you deposit regularly it will grow and return more each year. If you don't invest it will slowly shrink until the relationship is in debt and you might declare it bankrupt.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: wenchsenior on July 07, 2016, 08:45:00 AM
Mtngrl and Golden have it right.

I NEVER expected to marry when I was growing up. I had poor models, thought my personality wasn't suited and I also wasn't all that interested. To my surprise, I've been extremely happily married for 22 years (together almost 26). We have lived a bunch of places/conditions, lived apart for stretches due to work, and also had long stretches where we've been working and living together nearly 24-7. All of these different arrangements have worked fine for us.

Conventional wisdom that "marriage is lot of work, but worth it" doesn't really resonate with me; although I've found marriage to be terrific, I've never found it to be much work. The REST of life can be a grind, but the marriage is the respite from that. We've had a few tough patches where we needed brief vacations from each other, or where one of us was not handling external pressures well and bringing that dysfunction into the relationship. But that's maybe 3 bad patches, of maybe 6-12 months each?...that required focused attention and effort to keep from irrevocably messing the relationship up. There will likely be a few more bad patches before we shuffle off. But each bad patch teaches you how to be a better partner anyway, so that's a pretty great trade-off IMO for 26 generally great years together.

Picking the correct partner is obviously key. Among my large social circle, there are few divorces, most of the marriages are multi decades long, and most seem quite happy. The divorces have tended to happen in the first few years after marriage, and I suspect that's because people quickly realize they picked poorly. 

If you don't respect and admire the person, and you don't dig the idea of hanging around them all day, I would be hesitant. Contempt is the ultimate marriage destroyer.

Marriage won't 'fix' anybody; it requires two already-mature-and-functional individuals, who then commit to a partnership of shared goals, friendship, and romantic attachment. Each person is still an individual, and the partnership has to flex, within reason, to accommodate 'self actualization' and what have you.

NOTHING in life is permanent...everything is forever in flux (irritating to a person such as myself who prefers stability LOL) and the goal isn't to achieve some perfect suspended state of relationship nirvana. Try to pick a partner who isn't locked into one idea about how life and relationships should be to be happy and successful.

Having said that, I expect it's possible to have all the criteria I listed above, and still have daily relationship stress if your habits or communication styles are wildly different (e.g., introvert/extrovert pairings; slob/neat-freak pairings; passive-aggressive/fight-picker pairings, etc. Probably manageable, but could require a lot more daily effort than my marriage does.

As to whether marriage is better than cohabitation? IMO it's preferable and easier to be married if you have kids, but it's not necessary. Some people really find the vows and the public, legal 'statement' to be a profound experiences. However, if the partnership is volatile and separation is a statistically significant risk, I'd keep my finances and legal status separate and stick to cohabitation, because divorce can be a real financial knee-capper.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: begood on July 07, 2016, 09:11:59 AM
Married 27 years, together for 31. We met in college at ages 19/20, got married at 23/24. Together we've been through:

Five moves (one in-state, four inter-state)
Four parent deaths
Two miscarriages
One international adoption
One career change (his, after 20 years with the same company; he's now starting year 8 at his "new" job)

We stick together through thick and thin. Neither of us seems to know any other way to do it.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Zikoris on July 07, 2016, 09:31:59 AM

But when we got married, my husband didn't expect to take a pay cut when we moved for my job.

So if we split u and I said "tough shit, you didn't see this coming 7 years ago and I ain't paying"... That'd be unfair.


I don't think it's unfair. Life choices have consequences. I think that the only way anyone should ever have rights to someone else's money would be if both people explicitly agreed to it in a prenup or contract. I honestly believe the default should be "It belongs to the person whose name is written on it", and any deviation from that should only be with explicit written consent. Not that it will ever happen, of course...
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Sailor Sam on July 07, 2016, 09:33:41 AM
Marriage is definitely worth it for me.

A few days ago, I made my wife laugh until she peed a little bit. A week before that, I put my head on her shoulder to rest and she cradled it against her tighter. A year ago I got to be in the audience as she was given a major award. Almost every day we've been together, I've seen her move forward towards her goals with an determination and compassion I admire.

I can't imagine living without that presence in my life. I agree with everything Wenchsenior typed up - my marriage doesn't take much work, with a few exceptional patches, and in exchange I get to see who this woman is becoming. It's fascinating, and I can't detect any hyperbole when I say that my marriage is the finest thing in my life.

I also agree with PFHC, saying the vows meant something huge to me. It wasn't saying them in front of others, it was saying them to her. She's the one.   
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Gyosho on July 07, 2016, 09:38:43 AM
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?

Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: StarBright on July 07, 2016, 09:45:57 AM
This is a HUGE question.

As a rule most studies done do find that married people as a whole are happier and healthier than those who are not married.  Time Magazine just recently had a cover story on this in the last month if you want to read something very recent.

Having been divorced myself and now married again, my answer is that marriage is absolutely worth it, but you need to be very careful in selecting your partner.  I can only speak for my experiences and what I learned.  I am a Christian and if I look back on why my initial marriage was a failure and while I am much happier and optimistic in my current marriage it is because I picked a partner the world/culture's way the first time (I think she's fun and good looking and makes me laugh) the first time, and I picked my second spouse God's way (getting to know her character and focusing on everything BUT my feelings and desires).  My first marriage I went into assuming "love conquers all" so even though I saw red flags I talked myself out of them saying that once we were married love would make it all work out.  Getting sexually involved before getting married absolutely was a prime motivator in convincing myself that all the bullshit was worth it.  Doing it without sex the second time around and having to focus on what we liked about each other and not having that cloud the judgment, made all the difference in the world.  I get that most people will say I'm nuts, and I had friends telling me the same thing when I shared with them my approach to courtship the second time around, but the difference in spouses is night and day.  I am certain if I had not changed my focus that I would have ended up with something similar.  The wonderful thing is I ended up with a wife that was more of all the "wordly" things (beautiful, funny, loving) that drive most of us but with a internal core that is God-focused rather than self-focused and that makes it wonderful.  God is good, all the time. 

We have a lot more complexity than most marriages being both divorced and having kids.  This now involves swapping kids, dealing with exes and all the other stuff, but it all pales with the joy of being with someone and knowing someone has your back.  This is what I think a single person never has no matter how much you pretend you do.  It is just very different and I love it.  We certainly disagree, argue, etc. but knowing how to fight productively versus destructively makes all the difference in the world.

We've been married for four years now and I am the happiest I've ever been.  So for me the answer is marriage is absolutely worth it!

You post is so interesting to me! My response is kind of a counter point. I was raised in a religious household and my parents would have disowned me if I had moved in with my fiancee before marriage.  Except not living together and not sleeping together was DISASTROUS for me - there were so many control issues and incompatibility issues that surfaced once we lived together. My parents were actually the ones that encouraged me to divorce once the control began to escalate to scary territory.

When I began to seriously date my second husband my parents told me they would not be upset if we lived together before making any long term decisions. While DH and I kept separate apartments (he was also raised in a religious household) it was important to me that we practiced sharing space before I made any commitment.

I guess with my first I put all my faith in our shared faith. With my second marriage religion was still important but I realized that some additional legwork had to be done on my part as well. While faith may "conquer all" at an individual level, I don't know that it can actually conquer all issues in a marriage :)

That being said - I don't regret either marriage and my second one is going strong at 10 years and 2 kids. My first taught me a lot about myself and my current marriage is a really wonderful relationship.

Just yesterday we had a nightmare of a travel day- two long flights, 4 hour delay, toddler broke her foot during the delay, car didn't start when we finally got back to our home airport, etc and I vividly remember looking over at my husband and thinking "I'm so glad I'm doing this with you." For me - totally worth it!
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: mozar on July 07, 2016, 10:15:15 AM
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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: rockstache on July 07, 2016, 10:31:22 AM
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.

That is shocking to me. But I tend to believe that good relationships breed good relationships. If, as a kid, you grow up watching one parent treat the other like junk, and no one intervenes to tell you it is wrong, or provides a better example, I can see how you would think that is how relationships work. My parents actually did divorce, but aside from them, I was surrounded by happy, lasting marriages and still am. I think that those relationships helped to shape my views about what I would and would not want in a mate of my own. These standards are also (sort of naturally) applied to my friends. I tend to hang around people who are considerate and kind to me, and also to others (including their partner).
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: wenchsenior on July 07, 2016, 10:33:38 AM
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.

I'm too lazy to go looking for links, but I know research has been showing that (at least for the past couple decades) the preponderance of divorces occur in lower income couples who marry young, and in less educated couples or those with very disparate education levels. Can't remember the effect of having or not having kids, disparate income levels, or of religiosity. Bible Belt states have a higher divorce rate, but I can't remember if the religious element has been determined to be correlative or causative.

Also, the 50% divorce statistic is misleading. I don't think it's that high anymore; American divorce rates peaked in the 70s and 80s when they first became socially acceptable. Second, some marriages (see above) are much more likely to end in divorce. Finally, the overall divorce rates are skewed by the fact that there is a portion of the population that tends to marry and divorce multiple times, driving up the percentage.

Did you guys grow up/now know social circles mostly consisting of this type of partnership?

ETA: It also occurs to me that people who are unhappy tend to bitch about it, whereas I realize I don't usually start my average bs session with a friend by going on and on about how awesome my DH is.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Gyosho on July 07, 2016, 10:40:20 AM
"Relationships" are one thing and "marriage" is another thing. To quote from "The Case Against Marriage":

"What is marriage? This may seem like a complicated question. There are many dimensions to it: emotional, sexual, religious, cultural, financial. If you ask a hundred people on the street what marriage is, you are probably going to get a hundred different answers.

However, if you ask a hundred lawyers the same question, you are more likely to get a consensus. Under the law, marriage is quite simple: It is an economic contract to share future income and liabilities. You can layer on top of it whatever emotional meaning you want, but what the law sees is primarily a merging of your economic activity."
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: wenchsenior on July 07, 2016, 10:51:59 AM
"Relationships" are one thing and "marriage" is another thing. To quote from "The Case Against Marriage":

"What is marriage? This may seem like a complicated question. There are many dimensions to it: emotional, sexual, religious, cultural, financial. If you ask a hundred people on the street what marriage is, you are probably going to get a hundred different answers.

However, if you ask a hundred lawyers the same question, you are more likely to get a consensus. Under the law, marriage is quite simple: It is an economic contract to share future income and liabilities. You can layer on top of it whatever emotional meaning you want, but what the law sees is primarily a merging of your economic activity."

I understand that you dislike the institution, as you've posted so in a number of threads. That's cool. But that's different than what you asked and I tried to address. Do you mean that you think the very fact of making a relationship 'legal' is causing unhappiness among people you know? In other words, were the people happy together for a fair chunk of time, then got married, and now they are suddenly unhappy? Or is it a correlative observation where you know mostly unhappy married people, and mostly happy unmarried-but-in-a-long-term-relationship people? If so, that is interesting, and I'm not sure what to make of it.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Lski'stash on July 07, 2016, 11:43:24 AM
We've been married about six or seven years (I should probably know that) and were exclusively dating/living together for seven or eight years before that.

Is marriage worth it?  Sure!  It's pretty awesome.  Is it significantly different than living together and sharing all your stuff/money?  Not really.

This is pretty close to my experience. My husband and I met in high school, actually, dated through college, and had steady income before we decided to marry. I think we always knew that's where is was headed, but we wanted to be financially stable before making a decision like that. We had lived together beforehand, and there really is no difference between then and now, except for a piece of paper.

There are benefits that come along with being married, but mostly, we did it because we wanted to show our commitment to each other and eventually start a family. I wanted people to know that I found my person, and that we are in it together. I see myself growing old with him and raising a family with him.

I think that, possibly, for every horror story you've heard, there's probably ten or so great marriages. I mean, I don't have a direct statistic or anything, but great marriages are posted about online, because, well, what would be talked about?

Post: Hey guys! I just want to say I'm in an excellent relationship!

Replies: Uhh, okay. That's great for you? But why are we talking about it?

Just to play devil's advocate a little further, a lot of the 'horror stories' you mention can (and have) happened to couples who weren't married. Awful things can happen in any relationship, whether there is a marriage certificate involved or not.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 07, 2016, 04:32:43 PM
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?
It may be the people you surround yourself with. I can name 15 happy marriages in as many seconds. I could easily reach 50 with enough time.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 07, 2016, 04:37:04 PM
Married 27 years, together for 31. We met in college at ages 19/20, got married at 23/24. Together we've been through:

Five moves (one in-state, four inter-state)
Four parent deaths
Two miscarriages
One international adoption
One career change (his, after 20 years with the same company; he's now starting year 8 at his "new" job)

We stick together through thick and thin. Neither of us seems to know any other way to do it.
Well done!
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 07, 2016, 04:40:32 PM
Marriage is definitely worth it for me.

A few days ago, I made my wife laugh until she peed a little bit. A week before that, I put my head on her shoulder to rest and she cradled it against her tighter. A year ago I got to be in the audience as she was given a major award. Almost every day we've been together, I've seen her move forward towards her goals with an determination and compassion I admire.

I can't imagine living without that presence in my life. I agree with everything Wenchsenior typed up - my marriage doesn't take much work, with a few exceptional patches, and in exchange I get to see who this woman is becoming. It's fascinating, and I can't detect any hyperbole when I say that my marriage is the finest thing in my life.

I also agree with PFHC, saying the vows meant something huge to me. It wasn't saying them in front of others, it was saying them to her. She's the one.
SailorSam, sounds you have an awesome marriage! Congrats!
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 07, 2016, 04:41:54 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.
Others have already said it, but let me chime in. They are everywhere, you just need to surround yourself with them.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 07, 2016, 04:45:38 PM
I tend to hang around people who are considerate and kind to me, and also to others (including their partner).
This is where its at.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Helvegen on July 07, 2016, 05:44:14 PM
"Relationships" are one thing and "marriage" is another thing. To quote from "The Case Against Marriage":

"What is marriage? This may seem like a complicated question. There are many dimensions to it: emotional, sexual, religious, cultural, financial. If you ask a hundred people on the street what marriage is, you are probably going to get a hundred different answers.

However, if you ask a hundred lawyers the same question, you are more likely to get a consensus. Under the law, marriage is quite simple: It is an economic contract to share future income and liabilities. You can layer on top of it whatever emotional meaning you want, but what the law sees is primarily a merging of your economic activity."

I don't get how this downplays the importance of marriage. Quite frankly, the legal and economic benefits of marriage are what made it a complete no-brainer for me and my husband to marry. We didn't do it because we wanted to prove our luv and spend a million dollars on florists and wedding planners. We did it because it was the only reasonable way for us to gain legal status to live in the other's country to have a relationship in the first place. That's not romantic, it is coldly practical. But it is a decision that worked out enormously well to both of our individual and collective benefits.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: GuitarStv on July 07, 2016, 05:51:07 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.
Others have already said it, but let me chime in. They are everywhere, you just need to surround yourself with them.

I'm 35, my friends are all the same age . . . the vast majority are married.  I don't know a single couple who got divorced, or who have obviously dysfunctional relationships.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: human on July 07, 2016, 05:52:09 PM
I don't think gyosho was downplaying the legal reasons for marriage. I think he was trying to point out that it should be the major consideration, you don't need the contract for emotional purposes just live together. At least that's the way I understood him/her.

When you get married you should have a serious conversation about what it means and what will happen if it ends badly. People would rather "work it out" for years instead, making their own lives completely miserable. I'm not completely against it, it  just seems to make people miserable when they can't admit it was a mistake or it should end.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: mozar on July 07, 2016, 05:58:12 PM
Quote
Did you guys grow up/now know social circles mostly consisting of this type of partnership?

I grew up around miserable rich people. I'm not saying I disagree with the research about low income people being more likely to divorce. I 100% agree with the research. But in my personal circumstances my family members are rich and all treat each other like shit. No alcoholism, major depression etc, more like emotional abuse across the generations.

Every now and then I would see a couple in the distance who didn't look like they were about to strangle each other, but that was rare.
As a young adult I replicated that and only dated rich people who treated me like shit, and all their friends were also rich people who treated each other like shit.

I gave up on the whole having friends thing so I don't know any other couples right now.
 
I'm currently single and working on finding someone who doesn't treat me like shit.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: RonMcCord on July 07, 2016, 08:06:25 PM
1. Stop thinking about the 50/50 divorce statistic. First off, the most recent research shows it has dropped to around 40-45%, but mostly because the data is flawed. Divorce statistics are usually calculated by looking at the number of marriages and divorces in a year and plugging in the math. That's helpful, but doesn't tell the whole story. 2 PhD with stable jobs who have a long courtship and then get married do not have the same probability of getting divorced as a pair of high school dropouts who went to the courthouse after finding out the woman is knocked up 3 weeks after they met. Circumstances make a difference, and you can generally control your circumstances.

Adding on to this point, since it's just a simple marriages/divorces statistic, it also leaves out that people can have multiple failed marriages, and people who divorce once are more likely to divorce again.  So 50% of marriages, not necessarily 50% of people.

Personally, idk.  Never married, kind of on the fence on if I'd ever will.  Just seems like a huge risk and it just seems like you have to give up too much to be a couple or family than to remain single.  Then again, the whole "Dying alone" thing isn't great either.  I don't really have an interest in dating or anything right now, so I don't know.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: .22guy on July 07, 2016, 09:16:56 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.

Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: MrDelane on July 07, 2016, 09:36:40 PM
As a counterpoint to the above post - absolutely yes.
I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am right now, both career-wise and financially, (nevermind emotionally) if it wasn't for my marriage.  Having a team tackling all of life's problems together is exponentially more efficient than trying to do it all myself.

Of course that assumes you find the right partner, that you see eye to eye and that you grow together towards the same goals.  I realize that isn't the case for a lot of people - but I guess I am one of the lucky few.

I would say its definitely not for everyone... but that doesn't mean it's for no one.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: scantee on July 07, 2016, 10:19:28 PM

Stop thinking about the 50/50 divorce statistic. First off, the most recent research shows it has dropped to around 40-45%, but mostly because the data is flawed.

Divorce data are definitely flawed, but the oft-misquoted 50% divorce rate isn't the biggest problem with divorce statistics. The biggest problem with divorce statistics is that they fail to account for marriage rates which have changed much more dramatically over the last few decades than divorce rates have. This somehow gets lost in conversations about divorce rates, but it is a really important contextual change to acknowledge.

Why are marriage rates so important to understanding divorce rates? Because currently more than half of adults never get married and so it's impossible for them to get divorced. It's been a near magic solution for dropping divorce rates, although I think most would agree that it is hardly a reason to celebrate.

The story over the last few decades is that marriage rates have absolutely plummeted to the point that the institution itself has fundamentally changed. It used to be that most adults ended up married, at some point, regardless of whether they were poor, middle-class or well-off. Not everyone married, of course, but by far the majority of people did. I don't have the statistic in front of me but I believe around 85% of adults were "ever married" in the 1960's.

Today, marriage is mostly an institution for middle- and high-income people: marriage rates for low-middle and low-income people have fallen off a cliff. This is reflected in the overall percent of adults ever married, which in the past year or two has dipped below 50%. Some of that decrease is a statistical artifact related to the increase in age at first marriage,  but a lot of it is due to huge swathes of the population, particularly lower income people, simply opting out of the institution of marriage entirely. That's a huge cultural change and one that is, I think, more important to acknowledge than the drop in the divorce rate, which is small by comparison.

If you're a mid- to high-income (or wealth) person, as many of the people here are, you're much more likely to both get and stay married. That's probably why there are a lot happy couples on this board who are surrounded by mostly intact and happy-seeming marriages. Their peer groups are likely composed of people similar to them and they don't know a ton of lower income people who have completely bypassed marriage altogether.


Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: mxt0133 on July 07, 2016, 11:18:01 PM

Today, marriage is mostly an institution for middle- and high-income people: marriage rates for low-middle and low-income people have fallen off a cliff. This is reflected in the overall percent of adults ever married, which in the past year or two has dipped below 50%. Some of that decrease is a statistical artifact related to the increase in age at first marriage,  but a lot of it is due to huge swathes of the population, particularly lower income people, simply opting out of the institution of marriage entirely. That's a huge cultural change and one that is, I think, more important to acknowledge than the drop in the divorce rate, which is small by comparison.


One reason for the lower marriage rate for those in with low income is due to the structure of our social benefits.  The current income requirements for benefits disincentives-es marriage.  A single parent will qualify for higher benefit amounts at a proportionally higher income threshold vs a married couple with children.  So what to they do?  Rationally, a couple wants to be together they stay unmarried and have kids because they will qualify for benefits.



If you're a mid- to high-income (or wealth) person, as many of the people here are, you're much more likely to both get and stay married. That's probably why there are a lot happy couples on this board who are surrounded by mostly intact and happy-seeming marriages. Their peer groups are likely composed of people similar to them and they don't know a ton of lower income people who have completely bypassed marriage altogether.


I am having a hard time finding a personal example of this mythical couple with a "happy marriage".  Of all the friends and family members I know, no one ever had a fairy-tale marriage.  The ones that have lasted are the ones that decided to work on it through thick and thin.  Rich or poor they all had their problems and moments where it could easily have ended up in divorce.  At the end of the day people stay together for many reasons, off-spring, finances, companionship, even if they seem miserable.  The only rational reason to stay in a unhappy marriage is because the alternative would be even worse for them.

To answer the OP's question of is marriage worth it or not, for me it was.  I wanted to have children and a family more than I wanted to be 'happy by myself'.  I knew it was going to be tough, it might end up in divorce, and may not last forever.  If it was easy then it wouldn't be as meaningful and rewarding to me.

Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: pancakes on July 07, 2016, 11:29:00 PM
I refer to myself as married but I'm not really.

We have been together for well over 10 years now and committed to each other a long time ago.

It is interesting to read the people who say that going through the wedding process changed their relationship for the better as I have have friends who decided not to get married and have told me that they believe their relationships would have survived if they were married.

I'm still open to getting married and wear an engagement ring but it really just isn't that important to either of us. Our actions with each other seem much more important than a commitment made in front of other people. There is no financial or legal advantage to marriage over a defacto relationship in Australia either.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Dicey on July 08, 2016, 12:00:54 AM
I started to reply yesterday but it got waaay too long. Here's a shorter answer. Cancer at 21, focused on living a great life for as many more days as it was going to last. Wanted to get married and have kids. Dated my brains out. Completed everything on my bucket list that I could control. Lived, loved, dreamed, traveled. Danced at weddings, kissed babies, just not my own. Got involved in my community and volunteered a lot. Saved for the future I hoped I'd have. Lived a great life, despite lack of spouse. Was content. Sought FIRE with determined focus.

Finally found my "Missing Piece" (Thanks, Shel Silverstein!) and eloped at age 54. That was four years ago. I am so damned happy! If I had known what I was missing all those years, I think I would have been positively suicidal...Good thing I didn't know.

Takeaways: Don't be in a hurry and don't settle. Focus on figuring out who you are first and then seek a mate. Always, always trust your gut. If you can't accept something about your future mate, understand that they are not likely to change just because you want them to, even if you're sure they love you. Find someone who makes you laugh.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 08, 2016, 12:26:57 AM
I am having a hard time finding a personal example of this mythical couple with a "happy marriage".  Of all the friends and family members I know, no one ever had a fairy-tale marriage.
That's because you have a fundamental misunderstanding of a happy marriage. There is no such thing, anywhere, as a "fairy-tale" marriage. 

Quote
The ones that have lasted are the ones that decided to work on it through thick and thin.
This is what makes a successful marriage. And successful is a broad term. No married couple anywhere, ever, has had a 100% positive marriage. There are fights, arguments, troubles, and pain. But, guess what? That's life. If you are in a good marriage, you handle those struggles together.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: pbkmaine on July 08, 2016, 12:36:48 AM
I am having a hard time finding a personal example of this mythical couple with a "happy marriage".  Of all the friends and family members I know, no one ever had a fairy-tale marriage.
That's because you have a fundamental misunderstanding of a happy marriage. There is no such thing, anywhere, as a "fairy-tale" marriage. 

Quote
The ones that have lasted are the ones that decided to work on it through thick and thin.
This is what makes a successful marriage. And successful is a broad term. No married couple anywhere, ever, has had a 100% positive marriage. There are fights, arguments, troubles, and pain. But, guess what? That's life. If you are in a good marriage, you handle those struggles together.

OMG, so true! In my first marriage, it did not work that way, and I felt so lonely. Then I met DH, and with every obstacle, it was: "What do we do together to fix this?" So different. Such a relief.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Villanelle on July 08, 2016, 12:39:25 AM
Fifteen years in, it's definitely been worth it for me.  He's my partner, in nearly every sense of the word.  We are much better as a team than we'd either be alone, though both of us are whole and complete and would be okay as singles, which I think is important.

And there are some practicalities for our situation that make the marriage worth more than just being together unmarried.  Most notably is the fact that we are about 6 years in to a 8 year stint living overseas, and we simply could not have been together had we not been married, as immigration and visa issues wouldn't have allowed it, and frankly for financial security reasons I never would have even considered giving up my job to follow him even if I could have. 

I didn't feel that going through a wedding or the wedding planning process changed our relationship, but I do think that being married did shift things over time, for the better.  While of course divorce is always a possibility, I think the security of having things be official created a comfort that helped us settle in somehow. 

There are a lot of other things I could say about how happy I am, but I recognize that many of them would apply to a long-term committed relationship as much or nearly as much as they would to a marriage, so I'll leave it at that. 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Kaminoge on July 08, 2016, 01:39:36 AM
"Birds of a feather flock together"

I realise anecdotes are not data but about 10 years ago I became fascinated by the fact that I know virtually no divorced people. In my family (which is pretty small - I only know out to cousins, nothing more extended) there have been no divorces. In my close friends. No divorces. In my less close friends (but still more than acquaintances) there is one divorce. He married straight out of university, it lasted about 2 years and then they split. No kids. He's now remarried.

10 years later and the stats are still the same. I'm in my early 40s so most of my friends are similarly aged. Still no divorces. My brother and cousins are all married (apart from one who is gay but he's been with the same partner so long I presume there's a good chance they'd be married if it was legal) and none of them have divorced.

Even acquaintances, colleagues etc I know very few who have ever been divorced.

Now I'm not saying all these marriages look wonderful (all though many seem genuinely happy to an outsider at least) but it does make me wonder where all the divorced people are. I presume it's some combination of random luck and some of what is being talked about above. Most of my friends are university educated, firmly middle or lower middle class. Most hold similar value systems to me. I guess it was easier for me to eventually get married because all my life I've been surrounded by people that have shown me that it can work.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: 2Cent on July 08, 2016, 04:39:54 AM
"Relationships" are one thing and "marriage" is another thing. To quote from "The Case Against Marriage":

"What is marriage? This may seem like a complicated question. There are many dimensions to it: emotional, sexual, religious, cultural, financial. If you ask a hundred people on the street what marriage is, you are probably going to get a hundred different answers.

However, if you ask a hundred lawyers the same question, you are more likely to get a consensus. Under the law, marriage is quite simple: It is an economic contract to share future income and liabilities. You can layer on top of it whatever emotional meaning you want, but what the law sees is primarily a merging of your economic activity."
There is more to it than just money. It gives you a next of kin status. This means a spouse is legally closer than a parent or brother, but a boy/girl friend is almost the same as a stranger. This is a big deal in medical situations or when having kids or going abroad.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Fishindude on July 08, 2016, 06:40:02 AM
Some interesting discussion.   I am one of six siblings and have been married for 33 years, meanwhile all of my siblings have been married and divorced, some a couple go-arounds.
In thinking about it, my spouse and I tend to socialize with and hang around other married couples and families and for the most part always have.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Knapptyme on July 08, 2016, 07:00:06 AM
Going on 12 years with my wife straight out of college together. While disagreements are bound to happen with anyone you live and/or work with, I would consider our marriage to be quite collaborative and happy. We did wait a while (8 years) to have kids, and I think that was a great choice. We were in a better place with each other and had left a lot of our individual tendencies behind--which was even more important when the kids came along.

On a tangential note that I find relevant, I enjoyed and played on many team sports growing up. Individual sports were never my favorite even if I played them. There is a team element to marriage akin to that. I never wanted to do life alone. In times where I drop the ball, so to speak, my teammate picks it up. Many of you against marriage will say that's where friends and other family come in. That's where I would contend that I, a total stranger before we met, want to be my wife's teammate. I don't have to do it; I choose to do it. That's what makes marriage potentially great.

Cohabitation and/or LTR may produce similar results, but I believe there is something about that bond of marriage albeit legal, religious, or otherwise that speaks volumes for a couple's future.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Mtngrl on July 08, 2016, 07:13:42 AM
I have good friends who lived together for 30 years without a legal "marriage." They were very happy and compatible and had no intention of marrying. Then one day he suffered a stroke. Though they had all the paperwork for his long-time partner to make medical decisions for him, etc, she had a heck of a time dealing with doctors, etc. As soon as he was out of the hospital, they went down to the courthouse, took out a marriage license, then said vows to the justice of the peace. They didn't make a big deal out of it (I didn't even know until a month after the fact.) For them, it became a practical matter to allow her to care for him without impediment.

Perhaps a sad commentary on the world we live in, but something to think about.
I'm in the camp that being actually married -- that legal commitment -- meant a lot to us. That may very well be because we were raised to see marriage that way and others could feel the same commitment without the license.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: golden1 on July 08, 2016, 07:28:33 AM
Quote
Divorce data are definitely flawed, but the oft-misquoted 50% divorce rate isn't the biggest problem with divorce statistics. The biggest problem with divorce statistics is that they fail to account for marriage rates which have changed much more dramatically over the last few decades than divorce rates have. This somehow gets lost in conversations about divorce rates, but it is a really important contextual change to acknowledge.

Why are marriage rates so important to understanding divorce rates? Because currently more than half of adults never get married and so it's impossible for them to get divorced. It's been a near magic solution for dropping divorce rates, although I think most would agree that it is hardly a reason to celebrate.

The story over the last few decades is that marriage rates have absolutely plummeted to the point that the institution itself has fundamentally changed. It used to be that most adults ended up married, at some point, regardless of whether they were poor, middle-class or well-off. Not everyone married, of course, but by far the majority of people did. I don't have the statistic in front of me but I believe around 85% of adults were "ever married" in the 1960's.

Today, marriage is mostly an institution for middle- and high-income people: marriage rates for low-middle and low-income people have fallen off a cliff. This is reflected in the overall percent of adults ever married, which in the past year or two has dipped below 50%. Some of that decrease is a statistical artifact related to the increase in age at first marriage,  but a lot of it is due to huge swathes of the population, particularly lower income people, simply opting out of the institution of marriage entirely. That's a huge cultural change and one that is, I think, more important to acknowledge than the drop in the divorce rate, which is small by comparison.

If you're a mid- to high-income (or wealth) person, as many of the people here are, you're much more likely to both get and stay married. That's probably why there are a lot happy couples on this board who are surrounded by mostly intact and happy-seeming marriages. Their peer groups are likely composed of people similar to them and they don't know a ton of lower income people who have completely bypassed marriage altogether.

I definitely agree with a lot of this.  I see less and less people getting married in general, even in middle class and upper middle class circles.  It is very rare for the lower middle class and poor people I know to be married, and most of them have one or more children.  People just don't really seem to see the point anymore.  Many women used to marry for financial stability, and that is becoming less of a factor.  It is hard to put into words, but it just feels like our increasingly individualistic culture is making the expectations around marriage change.  If it isn't making you happy right here, right now, then it must be flawed somehow.   
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: jrhampt on July 08, 2016, 11:19:21 AM
Mtngrl and Golden have it right.

I NEVER expected to marry when I was growing up. I had poor models, thought my personality wasn't suited and I also wasn't all that interested. To my surprise, I've been extremely happily married for 22 years (together almost 26). We have lived a bunch of places/conditions, lived apart for stretches due to work, and also had long stretches where we've been working and living together nearly 24-7. All of these different arrangements have worked fine for us.

 The REST of life can be a grind, but the marriage is the respite from that. We've had a Conventional wisdom that "marriage is lot of work, but worth it" doesn't really resonate with me; although I've found marriage to be terrific, I've never found it to be much work.few tough patches where we needed brief vacations from each other, or where one of us was not handling external pressures well and bringing that dysfunction into the relationship. But that's maybe 3 bad patches, of maybe 6-12 months each?...that required focused attention and effort to keep from irrevocably messing the relationship up. There will likely be a few more bad patches before we shuffle off. But each bad patch teaches you how to be a better partner anyway, so that's a pretty great trade-off IMO for 26 generally great years together.

Totally agree with the bolded comment above (no kids, so maybe this makes a difference).  I think if you pick someone with whom you have enough in common, this is true -- and of course you have to keep some things in common as you change with age, although they may be different things than you started out with.  I've been with my spouse for 17 years total (8 years prior to marriage, 9 years after marriage). 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: dycker1978 on July 08, 2016, 11:33:12 AM
I have been married for exactly 16 years.  There has been trying times for sure.  But for me it has been the best experience.  She has helped me grow as a person and challenged me in many ways.

I think the reason that there is sometimes so much despair in marriage is two things.

1. Life is not a movie.  Those "fairy tale" type scenarios don't exist.  You will see your partner at the best and worse they have to offer.  That is what marriage is, in my opinion.  Two people propping each other up for the betterment of both people. 

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.

So to answer the OP's question.  Is Marriage worth it?

Fuck yes.  I would choose my wife everyday forever.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: SimplyMarvie on July 08, 2016, 12:39:35 PM
Mtngrl and Golden have it right.

I NEVER expected to marry when I was growing up. I had poor models, thought my personality wasn't suited and I also wasn't all that interested. To my surprise, I've been extremely happily married for 22 years (together almost 26). We have lived a bunch of places/conditions, lived apart for stretches due to work, and also had long stretches where we've been working and living together nearly 24-7. All of these different arrangements have worked fine for us.

 The REST of life can be a grind, but the marriage is the respite from that. We've had a Conventional wisdom that "marriage is lot of work, but worth it" doesn't really resonate with me; although I've found marriage to be terrific, I've never found it to be much work.few tough patches where we needed brief vacations from each other, or where one of us was not handling external pressures well and bringing that dysfunction into the relationship. But that's maybe 3 bad patches, of maybe 6-12 months each?...that required focused attention and effort to keep from irrevocably messing the relationship up. There will likely be a few more bad patches before we shuffle off. But each bad patch teaches you how to be a better partner anyway, so that's a pretty great trade-off IMO for 26 generally great years together.

Totally agree with the bolded comment above (no kids, so maybe this makes a difference).  I think if you pick someone with whom you have enough in common, this is true -- and of course you have to keep some things in common as you change with age, although they may be different things than you started out with.  I've been with my spouse for 17 years total (8 years prior to marriage, 9 years after marriage).

I also totally agree with this, and we have three kids. The kids? Are sometimes a hell of a lot of work. Being married actually makes the kids less work -- because we can switch off and tag-team -- and has never seemed like work in it's self. Sometimes being married inspires me to keep doing my own personal emotional work to not be a selfish jerk... but that is work that I should be doing anyway, and is part of growing as a human. I interact with a lot of different kinds of people in my life, it'd be really sad if the only reason I tried not to be a total asshat was my spouse.

Other than that, we've had to have some moderately uncomfortable conversations in our marriage about kids, and money, and depression and not leaving dirty underpants on the living room floor. But that's life, not work. I honestly don't understand this 'marriage = work' meme. Maybe it's generational?
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: GuitarStv on July 08, 2016, 12:55:35 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?
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: okits on July 08, 2016, 01:19:49 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.  :>
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: GuitarStv on July 08, 2016, 01:29:47 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. . .
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Tanor85 on July 08, 2016, 01:35:15 PM
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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: okits 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: okits 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: scantee 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: caracarn 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: puglogic 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.




Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC on July 08, 2016, 04:23:23 PM
Is Marriage worth it?

Fuck yes.  I would choose my wife everyday forever.
Hell yeah!
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: wenchsenior 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...
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: wenchsenior 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Fig 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Villanelle 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Northern gal 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.



Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: tipster350 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: BlueMR2 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Fig 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 :)
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: meghan88 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: southern granny 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. 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Kaminoge 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: MoneyCat 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
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: KBecks 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Mongoose 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: csprof 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Capsu78 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  :-) 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: ender 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 (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/what-to-ask-a-software-engineer-about-their-job/msg1130277/#msg1130277).

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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Mikila 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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 (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/what-to-ask-a-software-engineer-about-their-job/msg1130277/#msg1130277).
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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: jrhampt 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: rubybeth 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Quince 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Metric Mouse 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?
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: jrhampt 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Kitsune 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. ;)
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: PFHC 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?

Worth it? Every single penny.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 12, 2016, 11:09:54 PM
So the simple answer is: Yes. :D
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: fmzip 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: purple monkey 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Prairie Stash 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Zikoris 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Mikila 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. 
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: CestMoi 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: gggggg 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.
Title: Re: Is marriage worth it? (for you?)
Post by: Phorensic 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.