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FXF

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« on: May 18, 2015, 01:18:44 AM »
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« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 11:59:59 AM by FXF »

swick

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 01:29:37 AM »
You say you have a deeply held conviction, but is there really anything to it other then an idea you have had in your head for so long you are comfortable with and hold it up as truth?

Are you planning on having kids? I don't know how the laws in Germany work, but say you are part of that 50% that doesn't make it...where would you stand as far as paternal rights?

As an aside, I swore up and down and part of my identity was a swore I would never even consider dating someone from the town I grew up in. I moved as far away as fast as I could....

This September will be my second anniversary. I have known my husband for 23 years...we met in grade 1.

Sometimes convictions need to be pulled out, dusted off and examined to see if they really fit who you are today and who you want to be in the future. Sometimes it is worth it to bend them, or break them for something/someone better.

MDM

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 01:30:43 AM »
Neither of us is the least bit religious...

...80 a month to sell my soul...
Interesting juxtaposition of comments.

On the larger issue: it's too bad the two of you have invested nine years together but still have such divergent opinions on this very important point.

Argyle

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 02:34:17 AM »
You say that it's "pointless," but one point in its favor is that it is meaningful to your partner.

However, it doesn't sound as if you think it's pointless, but as if you think it's objectionable.  That is, you are not indifferent; you are actively opposed.

In the States, being married means you have different rights when it comes to making medical decisions should your partner be incapacitated, visiting her in the hospital, inheritance issues, and other things.  These are among the reasons why gay people have been struggling for the right to marry.

Many people feel that it signifies a greater commitment than not being married.  Maybe to you it doesn't, or maybe you don't want to make that commitment anyway.

11ducks

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 02:56:27 AM »
Theres no right or wrong answer here - but logically, what is the end game here likely to be?

ie - will your SO get  to a point where she will leave you over your refusal to marry? or will you leave her rather than marry her? I think that's what it comes down to - whether, if it came to the crunch, you would choose marriage or separation (if there was no happy middle ground that could be had). I guess your partner needs to consider the same thing.

I've been with my partner 3 years, I would like to get married, he doesn't want to. I've made it clear that, while I would never want him to compromise on his beliefs or marry me out of guilt/pressure, I  won't be hanging around compromising mine. If he can't see his way to making such a commitment, It would be a shame, but in the end, i want a partner for life, which to me means marriage. Sadly, if that isn't him, my life will still be awesome regardless! And I don't say that to guilt him or give him an ultimatum, I would hate to be without him, but if he chooses not to make that commitment, and it is that important to him, that's okay, and that is absolutely his choice. Mine will be to remaining open to finding someone I love just as much who is willing to make that commitment to become a family.

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 03:20:36 AM »
You guys have been together 9 years, and it seems it's still going strong. If you think you are going to stay together, why not save on some taxes? If you had a crystal ball and saw you guys stay together, it would be illogical to pay extra taxes for that long duration lol.

11ducks

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 05:41:17 AM »
You say that it's "pointless," but one point in its favor is that it is meaningful to your partner.

However, it doesn't sound as if you think it's pointless, but as if you think it's objectionable.  That is, you are not indifferent; you are actively opposed.

In the States, being married means you have different rights when it comes to making medical decisions should your partner be incapacitated, visiting her in the hospital, inheritance issues, and other things.  These are among the reasons why gay people have been struggling for the right to marry.

Many people feel that it signifies a greater commitment than not being married.  Maybe to you it doesn't, or maybe you don't want to make that commitment anyway.
I probably am actively opposed.
And your point about rights to make decisions is taken and also true in Germany.

Theres no right or wrong answer here - but logically, what is the end game here likely to be?

ie - will your SO get  to a point where she will leave you over your refusal to marry? or will you leave her rather than marry her? I think that's what it comes down to - whether, if it came to the crunch, you would choose marriage or separation (if there was no happy middle ground that could be had). I guess your partner needs to consider the same thing.

I've been with my partner 3 years, I would like to get married, he doesn't want to. I've made it clear that, while I would never want him to compromise on his beliefs or marry me out of guilt/pressure, I  won't be hanging around compromising mine. If he can't see his way to making such a commitment, It would be a shame, but in the end, i want a partner for life, which to me means marriage. Sadly, if that isn't him, my life will still be awesome regardless! And I don't say that to guilt him or give him an ultimatum, I would hate to be without him, but if he chooses not to make that commitment, and it is that important to him, that's okay, and that is absolutely his choice. Mine will be to remaining open to finding someone I love just as much who is willing to make that commitment to become a family.

See I find this argument kind of amusing and have told my gf in similar terms.
Let me get this straight after more than nine years you want both of us to commit to a lifelong relationship because we both want to stay together (even though a marriage is most certainly not a lifelong happy relationship guarantee) . Yet if I don't want to marry you would break up with me, signifying that your commitment is not as large as previously implied and now you still want me to marry? I'm not sure why she would question my overall commitment to this relationship after almost a decade together.


Haha, to get it straight, no , I'm not fussed in the slightest what you do, and didn't suggest what you should do, I was merely offering an opinion as asked. You absolutely have a right to make your own decisions as to what you will accept in a relationship, as does the other person, and their opinions, while different, are probably just as valid. 

My commitment to myself and my happiness/beliefs outweighs my commitment to my partner (as yours does- you are prioritising your own beliefs over hers, no? Essentially telling her "this is what I'm offering- take it or leave it". While you aren't threatening a breakup, the whole 'like it or lump it' is essentially the same ultimatum. She accepts your decision or is dissatisfied enough to move on.). Why is having a belief amusing in my case and justified in yours? Because you value your beliefs more highly than mine?

There's no right or wrong answer here,  I guess it depends on whose belief is stronger, and what they're willing to do to meet that belief. Good luck with it
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 05:47:46 AM by 11ducks »

GeorgiaCPA

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 05:44:40 AM »
It may only be 80 Euro per month, but to use MMM math it will cost you over 9,600 Euro over a decade.

Other than your feminist views on marriage, is there any other reason that you oppose marriage?  I look at the institution in the opposite manner as you.  You noted that it enslaved women.  The institution allowed stability for the raising of a family whereby both participants benefited.  If you want to consider the current enslavement of women look no further than the current status of the single mothers struggling to raise a family you also mentioned.  The institution of marriage began to breakdown with advances in birth control.  Cheating no longer produced unwanted children, and women were "freed" to give their bodies away for a moment of pleasure.  In the past they would have held out for the most suitable man to build a future with.  It turned into a bit of an arms race whereby more women give it away for free than not (just conjecture).  And as the old saying goes: why would you buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Do what you will, but given your current viewpoints it would actually show how much you love your SO if you were to commit to marriage.  If you don't want to enslave your SO, encourage her to earn a higher income than you so that the disincentive to work is in your court.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 05:53:00 AM by GeorgiaCPA »

Ohio Teacher

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2015, 06:09:04 AM »
From your description, it sounds like this is an important issue to your SO.  Now, I'm not saying you should marry someone just to make THEM happy, but you have been with her for 9 years.  She wants to be able to call you her husband.  Simple as that.  Make her happy.  Marry the girl.  Nothing will change except you will have shown you can be flexible.  It's not always about you.

andreamac

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2015, 06:32:34 AM »
I see both sides of the agreement here and this is becoming very common in Canada as well. Most of my 40ish co-workers have girlfriends and children but I guess I still can't comprehend why if you want to have children with someone, you don't make this commitment, that to me symbolizes stability. The taxes benefits are an extra perk.

Sibley

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 06:56:28 AM »
Are you afraid that if you're married, and everyone knows that you're married, that it would change you? Your behavior, how people perceive you, etc? If so, what do you fear would happen? What would it mean for you?

If your SO wants to get married and you won't marry her, then eventually it'll probably cause stresses in your relationship. In a way, you're being disrespectful of her wishes and beliefs. Not sure what the answer is, but food for thought.

Guesl982374

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 07:01:10 AM »
It sounds like you need to answer these questions yourself:

-Am I ok if she decides to leave me over not getting married?
-If I do get married, will I resent the decision/her long term?

Decide your priorities and be clear with your partner.

TrulyStashin

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 07:01:30 AM »
"The fact is, marriage is this magic thing. Marriage... symbolizes commitment and love like nothing else in the world. And it's known all over the world. I mean, wherever you go, if you're married, that means something to people, and it meant a difference in feeling the next day."

-Edith Windsor, plaintiff in U.S. v. Windsor which overturned federal law on same-sex marriage.

Maybe this helps articulate why it matters to your SO. 

You might also consider Emerson's point:   "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." 

Edited to add:  What if you were not allowed to marry?   Consider this deeply for a moment -- turn the question 180 degrees -- what if you were barred from openly showing your love and commitment?  Would that change your perspective?  It's easy to take something for granted and dismiss it when you've always known you're entitled to it.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 07:05:14 AM by TrulyStashin »

I'm a red panda

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 07:05:53 AM »
In the States, being married means you have different rights when it comes to making medical decisions should your partner be incapacitated, visiting her in the hospital, inheritance issues, and other things.  These are among the reasons why gay people have been struggling for the right to marry.


This is why marriage is different for me; and I would want to be married to someone I had been with for so long and cared so much about.

But I have never been "actively opposed" to the institution.

TrulyStashin

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2015, 07:06:52 AM »
It sounds like you need to answer these questions yourself:

-Am I ok if she decides to leave me over not getting married?
-If I do get married, will I resent the decision/her long term?

Decide your priorities and be clear with your partner.

If he reconsiders and marries her, then he needs to completely and totally let go of his opposition to marriage and embrace it, and her, with a full heart.  Otherwise, he's doing her no favors and should let her go find someone else.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2015, 07:13:22 AM »
I'll come from the perspective of someone in the medical field. I've seen more than 1 family having their world torn apart because the partner (in the last month: in one case, a gay couple, in one case, a straight couple, neither married, both long term relationships) isn't the decision maker/power of attorney/etc. And the parents of the patient, even if estranged, were the closest relative and 'technically' had the legal right to make critical care choices. In these cases, we have to bring in social workers, and there is a lot of yelling and crying and it is just awful for everyone involved.

To be fair, I am not a lawyer, but my advice would be this: if you opt not to get married, please do whatever the german equivalent of an advanced directive, living will, and power of attorney type documents. Especially if you plan on having children. (Also, while I'm on my soap box, please make sure your partner and family know your wishes in general for emergency and life sustaining care).

druth

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2015, 07:23:10 AM »
My mom and step dad were not married for 10 years.  Neither cared about the institution at all.  They finally got married because my mom was hospitalized for a couple weeks.  I was the one that got to make all the decisions, and while my mom was fine with that it scared her enough that they finally decided to get married.  I think that she would say she would have preferred to be married before going into the hospital, rather than having a scare and realizing that it is important.

Mr. Green

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2015, 07:42:29 AM »
My mom and step dad were not married for 10 years.  Neither cared about the institution at all.  They finally got married because my mom was hospitalized for a couple weeks.  I was the one that got to make all the decisions, and while my mom was fine with that it scared her enough that they finally decided to get married.  I think that she would say she would have preferred to be married before going into the hospital, rather than having a scare and realizing that it is important.
One of the biggest legal reasons for marriage outside of taxes, right there. Not sure how it works in Germany but in the US if you're not married the partner doesn't legally have the right to make decisions for the other person. That right stays with the biological family of that person. There might be some kind of court document to file that would fix that but it would be just as easy to get married at the courthouse. Is there a concept similar to a Justice of the Peace in Germany? It's a non-religious event that costs $50 or something like that and gives you all the legal protections the law affords a marriage. If something like that exists and you're going to be together for life anyway...

mskyle

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2015, 07:49:02 AM »
To me, the attractive thing about marriage is that it is (or at least should be) an active decision that you make. Surely all of us have *stayed* in jobs or homes or relationships that were no longer working for us, that we wouldn't have chosen, just out of inertia - it's just a human tendency to accept the status quo. Ideally I see marriage as an opportunity to make a decision and public commitment about being together for the long term.

Of course, it's entirely possible to slide into marriage because "we've been together long enough" and "it's what people do" and that's probably a mistake as well. I don't know whether people who stay together for 20 years without getting married are any more or less likely to break up than people who get married 5 years in. I guess to me the important thing is being explicitly on the same page about where you would like your relationship to be going.

Basically, I don't find your arguments against marriage or your girlfriend's arguments for it particularly convincing.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2015, 07:53:57 AM »
It sounds like you need to answer these questions yourself:

-Am I ok if she decides to leave me over not getting married?
-If I do get married, will I resent the decision/her long term?

Decide your priorities and be clear with your partner.



1+++  to Liberty Stache: I believe you've nailed it.



I remember being about 12 and watching some goofy rom com movie where they were getting married in Vegas and when the preacher said, "By the powered vested in me by the state of Nevada.."

...I burst out laughing and had to leave the room.

Because I, personally, would never agree to 'vest' that power in anyone.

Like the OP, I'm not 'conventionally' religious. The thought that some state could decide such a personal life decision for me and MANDATE how it affected me and CHARGE ME for that process....mind boggling.

I'll keep that power for myself, thank you. I'm not a lawyer and know zip about German law, but the medical proxy (or whatever it's called over there) that is the equivalent of power of attorney is probably a fairly simple notarized document, as it is here?

That said...you already ARE married: in the US it's called common law marriage. It affords a few of the rights of those 'conventionally' married, but not many.

I would love to find someone who  is on my same wavelength, that 'gets' me, who has the same values, sense of humor, goals, ethics, etc. But my promises tend to be more personal, and I prefer not to involve a state/country in that process.

And I make promises that are more ironclad than any contract. If I choose live with a man, my promises would be fidelity, respect, honor, and allowing them the freedom to be themselves.

To me, that's married. But on my terms.



limeandpepper

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2015, 08:13:36 AM »
From your description, it sounds like this is an important issue to your SO.  Now, I'm not saying you should marry someone just to make THEM happy, but you have been with her for 9 years.  She wants to be able to call you her husband.  Simple as that.  Make her happy.  Marry the girl.  Nothing will change except you will have shown you can be flexible.  It's not always about you.

From his description, it sounds like this is an important issue to him. Now, I'm not saying she should stay unmarried just to make HIM happy, but they have been together for 9 years. He wants a commitment that is true to his values rather than that of the government. Simple as that. Make him happy. Don't worry about marriage. Nothing will change except she is able to show him that she can be flexible. It's not always about her.

And in the same vein...

If your SO wants to get married and you won't marry her, then eventually it'll probably cause stresses in your relationship. In a way, you're being disrespectful of her wishes and beliefs. Not sure what the answer is, but food for thought.

If your SO doesn't want to get married and you keep putting the pressure on, then eventually it'll probably cause stress in your relationship. In a way, you're being disrespectful of his wishes and beliefs. Not sure what the answer is, but food for thought.

:p

P.S. I don't actually care what they do. I am neither for nor against marriage, so I see myself as fairly impartial about this whole thing. I'm just wondering why people tend to encourage the anti-marriage person to yield, rather than the pro-marriage person. Obviously one person has to at least somewhat come around to the other person's point of view if they want to stay together in harmony, but that depends on the personalities involved. I'm not sure why some people are insinuating the OP is the selfish one here and that he should be the one to yield. They're both selfish because they each want what they want. ;)

mom2_3Hs

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2015, 08:30:46 AM »
+1 for the legal ramifications.  If you were suddenly and critically injured, would you want your SO to be able to make medical decisions for you?  Be in line to inherit your material goods?  If yes, get married.  If no, break up.

catccc

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2015, 08:36:54 AM »
Shes recently come up with the idea of marrying while we are on vacation in Australia. Which is just about the only type of marriage I could see myself agreeing to: no one knows and there is no big huff about it. :p
That doesn't however change any of my fundamental thoughts on the matter.

It sounds like you are arguing against a wedding, not a marriage.  They are two very different things.

Guizmo

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2015, 08:41:46 AM »
From your description, it sounds like this is an important issue to your SO.  Now, I'm not saying you should marry someone just to make THEM happy, but you have been with her for 9 years.  She wants to be able to call you her husband.  Simple as that.  Make her happy.  Marry the girl.  Nothing will change except you will have shown you can be flexible.  It's not always about you.

But it's not always about her?! AMIRITE?!

Guizmo

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2015, 08:52:11 AM »
I always saw marriage as a religious institution. I'm an atheist so I don't really see the point of marriage for me. I mean when the divorce rate is 50% so how serious can it really be.

One of my buddies has been with his girlfriend for over 10 years and they have a kid.They have a more committed relationship than many married couples that I have seen.

Since you are not religious, I say don't get married. If she leaves you over a piece of paper then you know that she didn't love you enough anyways.

TrulyStashin

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2015, 09:15:22 AM »
I always saw marriage as a religious institution. I'm an atheist so I don't really see the point of marriage for me. I mean when the divorce rate is 50% so how serious can it really be.

One of my buddies has been with his girlfriend for over 10 years and they have a kid.They have a more committed relationship than many married couples that I have seen.

Since you are not religious, I say don't get married. If she leaves you over a piece of paper then you know that she didn't love you enough anyways.

The divorce rate is not 50%  -- it's closer to 25% for first marriages.  And, it's not just a "piece of paper."  Aside from the legal aspects, marriage -- whether civil or religious --  has tremendous symbolic importance because two people stand up and publicly and affirmatively commit their lives to one another.   It's an affirmative choice, and it's HARD (or it should be) to make that decision.   Allowing the years to slide by without really thinking about it is easy -- that's why they're 9 years together and this issue is just now coming up.  Big difference.

Note, that's neither an argument for it or against it.  But I disagree with the argument that it's trivial.

Kris

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2015, 09:48:31 AM »


Since you are not religious, I say don't get married. If she leaves you over a piece of paper then you know that she didn't love you enough anyways.

Well, you could easily flip this and say to his girlfriend, "If he can't even sign a piece of paper that won't change anything for him just because he doesn't see the point even though it means so much to you, then he didn't love you enough anyway."

partgypsy

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2015, 09:58:06 AM »
Hmm.

What are the benefits?
It legally codifies a relationship so for example your spouse comes before other family members when being able to visit hospital or prison, also health decision making, will, occupancy of house, etc. Some cases tax advantage. Makes kids "legal" and both parents automatically have parental rights (and responsibilities). Provides stability for children. If marriage was pointless, same sex partners would not be fighting for those rights. I have same sex friends who had to spend a lot of money in attorney's fees to get equivalent or near equivalent rights for their respective partners.  Otherwise there may be nightmare situations for things that you as a relatively young person don't necessarily think will happen to you.

It provides a lot of other intangible benefits. Men who marry live longer than men who are not married. It provides the woman more protections, stability when taking this huge risk of raising a child.  In general, studies have found married couples are financially better off than singles or non-married couples (2 people working together as a team does better financially than singles or couples not on the same page).

So for me, if I was with you, you would have to provide a more compelling argument than just you don't feel like it, at this stage in the relationship.

My husband didn't particularly care about getting married, and I was ambivalent about marriage as well (my parents divorced after 25 years of marriage). But after 5 years of living together I changed my mind about it, and so we got married. Did he suddenly get all romantic and get down on his knee, etc? No, but he married me because he wanted to make me happy, and making me happy made him happy. It's a symbolic way of saying, the relationship is greater than the sum of its parts.
 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 10:03:49 AM by partgypsy »

norabird

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2015, 10:00:34 AM »
I feel similarly to 11ducks--I want to be with someone who is eventually able to make that commitment to me. It matters to much to me to be able to accept that it's off the table, even if that's not fully rational.

frugaldrummer

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2015, 10:14:06 AM »
Quote
Why would I do something that I think is absolutely pointless and an archaic institution to enslave women.

I see it differently.  Marriage - especially where children are involved - is an institution that can protect women.

For instance - my (now-ex) husband and I met in medical school. We both were on equal footing at that time in terms of education and career.  But once we planned to have children, I chose a more flexible area of medicine and he chose a more demanding surgical field.  I worked part time when my children were young so that our children wouldn't have two parents who were gone all the time, and so that I could relieve my husband of many of the household chores so that he could excel in his chosen career.

When he had a midlife crisis at age 50 and decided to leave me to find a 20 years younger Asian chick, I was back working but making less than third of what he was (and much less than I would have been making if I had been as free to concentrate on MY career over those years, as he was to concentrate on HIS).   My earnings will never catch up with his.

After our divorce, I am still in a much decreased financial position, but it is buffered by the protections that marriage afforded me - half of our mutual assets, a third of his pension (which we had both been counting on for our retirement) and some spousal support for several years.  If we had just been living together I would have had little of this.  Marriage makes things fair for the spouse who takes on the bulk of the at-home parent role, and in my experience, in two career families, this is often the woman (not always).

If you never plan to have children then this is not as much of a consideration.  I will say, though, that being married makes you work harder at working things out, than if you weren't married.  The formal commitment in front of friends and family is not a negligible things.

Cpa Cat

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2015, 10:31:24 AM »
Her feelings on the matter: (As fair and balanced as I can recite them)
Its just what one does and the normal thing to do.
It makes having children and taking care of one another easier.
There is a tax advantage to being married.

These sound like counterpoints - not feelings.

IE: Your partner made certain argument in order to counter what you say against marriage. It's a list of fairly rational advantages to marriages, crafted to counter your position that marriage is a pointless relic. See? Look at all these "points" to marriage that she's listed for you.

Given that you seem to strongly believe that it's pointless and irrational to get married... she can't very well counter with, "Well, I just want to, for totally pointless and irrational reasons that are important to me." Instead, she made an argument for you that essentially left feelings at the door.

For the record, I was raised by an anti-marriage parent. The majority of my family members engage in long-term non-marriage relationships. Most end up consulting with lawyers to get around the various legal issues that can be problematic. Pension issues seem to be the number one thing that pushes them toward a legal marriage. I married for immigration purposes - but I live in a culturally conservative area, which has influenced me to put more weight on marriage than I ever had previously.

Chrissy

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2015, 10:34:53 AM »
What's this about for HER?  I doubt it's about the taxes.  Could it be about the other government benefits?  If so, can you find other legal agreements that confer the same benefits?

OR, is it about the ceremony?  Creating a memory?  You can have a "dedication" ceremony, or even a wedding ceremony without becoming legally married.  In this case, there's a couple costumes, some vows, a candle-lighting or other ritual, and usually photos--bada-bing!  Married.  You could get a friend to "officiate."

Since you're both considering children, I wonder if your SO has envisioned sitting on the sofa with your son or daughter, showing them pictures of the ceremony, which is one way children are shown that, before they were born, their parents valued each other, and put effort and planning into their union.  It's a helpful tool to communicate stability and your own particular family custom to future generations.


Guizmo

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2015, 11:10:02 AM »
I always saw marriage as a religious institution. I'm an atheist so I don't really see the point of marriage for me. I mean when the divorce rate is 50% so how serious can it really be.

One of my buddies has been with his girlfriend for over 10 years and they have a kid.They have a more committed relationship than many married couples that I have seen.

Since you are not religious, I say don't get married. If she leaves you over a piece of paper then you know that she didn't love you enough anyways.

The divorce rate is not 50%  -- it's closer to 25% for first marriages.  And, it's not just a "piece of paper."  Aside from the legal aspects, marriage -- whether civil or religious --  has tremendous symbolic importance because two people stand up and publicly and affirmatively commit their lives to one another.   It's an affirmative choice, and it's HARD (or it should be) to make that decision.   Allowing the years to slide by without really thinking about it is easy -- that's why they're 9 years together and this issue is just now coming up.  Big difference.

Note, that's neither an argument for it or against it.  But I disagree with the argument that it's trivial.

The OP said in his country the divorce rate is 50%. You don't have to married to affirm that you want to be with someone. Likewise many marry because as the OPs SO said, that is just the normal thing to do, thus not making it a real affirmative choice.

All I'm saying is that you can have a deep commitment to someone else without having an institution (government or religious) affirm it and a piece of paper does not dictate how strong that commitment is.

kite

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2015, 11:13:26 AM »
Marriage protects the weaker partner in a relationship.  In a completely egalitarian society it could be considered archaic, but that's not what we have.  Nor are you ever likely to have it.  There is always an imbalance.  What no one tells you:  that imbalance between the two of you is not fixed, but is in flux.  My spouse out-earned me 2:1 early on in our marriage and is now, after 30 years together, disabled.  If we were unmarried, he could be either destitute or supported by me out of the kindness of my heart.  But we married 27 years ago, so he is legally entitled to support from me.  I have to keep a roof over his head, even if I don't especially feel like it.  I'm a kind & loving person, but imagine how much more vulnerable he would be if he had to depend on my kindness instead of the legal protection that entitles him to half of what I've earned and amassed. 

As far as the divorce rate, I think it's exactly the right rate  People should be able to leave a bad relationship and it is good that there is a proscribed, legal protection  (again) for the weaker partner that governs the dissolution of a marriage and provides for disbursement of assets.   Absent divorce and divorce law, the weaker person is at the mercy of the one who wants out and has more resources. 

As for whether you should marry at all or marry this woman in particular is another matter.  She wants to commit and declare her feelings publicly....that's what getting married is.  Some people receive that news with utter joy, and are over the moon that their partner has such a degree of love for them.  Others cringe.  Maybe you don't feel the same, but don't articulate it for fear of losing what you've got going on now.  Maybe you "love what you have together" but don't love her to the extent that you would, for example, forsake all others.  Maybe you are holding out for something else.  Maybe, deep down, you are selfish and wouldn't put everything into the relationship with her.  Personally, I'd respect selfishness over a contorted, mansplaining statement that says marriage is a disincentivizing influence for the lower paid person to go out and find better paying employment.  "Ladies, it's not that there is or has been sexism and gender discrimination.  See, it's that gold band on your left hand has made you just a bit lazy.  Let's keep shacking up....for your own good"

That you've stuck together for the past 9 years could be just as much from inertia as out of deep abiding love.  You two are exactly at the age where people like to take stock of where they are and where things are headed.  What strangers on the Internet think pales in comparison to what the thoughts and feelings are of the one who parks her head next to yours each night.  That SHE wants it is as good a reason as any.  But, heck, I'd take a bullet for my spouse and vice versa.  I wouldn't have wasted time with him if that weren't the case, so it's perplexing to me that so many settle for a halfway measure....... which is my opinion of living with someone who isn't committed, it's an unsatisfying half measure.   Wouldn't it be more fun to be a free agent if the other person wasn't sure?  Why tie yourself through your fertile years to someone who is "actively opposed" to the future you envision.  Admittedly,  I'm amused by members of a generation that appears afraid to make a commitment in marriage, but is unafraid to tattoo their school mascot or a song lyric on their body.  It's close to impossible to get rid of ink. 

I'm a red panda

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2015, 11:20:57 AM »

It sounds like you are arguing against a wedding, not a marriage.  They are two very different things.

THIS.


You could always get married, and just not tell anyone.  Nothing would change except in the mind of your girlfriend who wants to get married and your tax papers. (Unless one of you were hospitalized or another situation where being married has benefits.)

lifejoy

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To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2015, 11:22:34 AM »
For me, marriage is a social signifier. It tells people that I meet that the relationship I have with this guy is serious, committed, and long-term. In the past, when I would mention my boyfriend, how would people know that it was serious? Sure, I could explain or they could get to know me, but "husband" signifies all of that in a way that I really enjoy. I'm proud to be committed to him, and I like everyone to know it.

Also, I like separating my DH from past bf's - he deserves a whole new category. He is so much more than a bf :)

jzb11

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2015, 11:23:56 AM »
If you want to be partners and do life together, great. However marriage is a very risky proposition for men today with little or no benefit, and down right catastrophic consequences for men in the event of divorce.

BlueHouse

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2015, 11:39:45 AM »
When I was younger and the financially weaker partner, marriage was important to me.  Now that I'm older and the financially stronger partner, I don't see any point in getting married.

Marriage creates a legal and financial obligation to the other party.  Sometimes people just need that in order to really feel secure in the relationship and in their own future. 

lakemom

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2015, 11:41:48 AM »
So......if its "a meaningless" commitment/piece of paper/ceremony and you've done it your way for 9 years....just go ahead and do it HER way (married) for the next 9 years then if you still don't like it, get a divorce, and still be together for the next 9 years after that.  After all, its all meaningless to you anyway, you say you love her and want to be with her for the rest of your life, so since she's humored you for nine years its maybe your turn to humor her for a decade?  Hmmmmm just food for thought as a committed relationship (and a marriage) is all about give and take and compromise or, no matter what your situation (married/living together/just being together), it won't work long-term (and I'm celebrating 31 years married to my only husband this summer).

kite

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2015, 11:42:25 AM »
"The fact is, marriage is this magic thing. Marriage... symbolizes commitment and love like nothing else in the world. And it's known all over the world. I mean, wherever you go, if you're married, that means something to people, and it meant a difference in feeling the next day."

-Edith Windsor, plaintiff in U.S. v. Windsor which overturned federal law on same-sex marriage.


+ 100

Guizmo

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2015, 11:42:56 AM »
For me, marriage is a social signifier. It tells people that I meet that the relationship I have with this guy is serious, committed, and long-term. In the past, when I would mention my boyfriend, how would people know that it was serious? Sure, I could explain or they could get to know me, but "husband" signifies all of that in a way that I really enjoy. I'm proud to be committed to him, and I like everyone to know it.

Also, I like separating my DH from past bf's - he deserves a whole new category. He is so much more than a bf :)

This is super interesting. Did you ever consider just calling him your partner or significant other instead of boyfriend? Another thing that I wonder is why would you care if other people thought your relationship is serious? I hope you don't think I am trying to be mean. I am really curious because I think I have a more introverted personality and I don't really care what many people think about me or what I do.

Psychstache

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2015, 11:52:14 AM »
As many have noted, there are tangible benefits to marriage. In the US, there are roughly 1100 rights/benefits that legal marriage including things like power of attorney, spousal privilege in testimony, medical directives, taxes, estate planning, pension and SS spousal benefits, survivor benefits, etc. It might be worth investigating whether or not there are more things legally tied to a marriage than just taxes in Germany. That might better suit your pragmatic sensibilities.

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2015, 11:55:09 AM »
If you are not interested in ever getting married, then I think it's critical you tell her that clearly.  She can then make her own choice of whether this is acceptable or if she would walk over it.  (Note that if she came with the same question, I'd be telling her to decide whether she can live forever without marriage and if not, to communicate it to you.  The onus being on the one asking for advice, and not gender or position specific.)

Why get married?  People marry for many reasons.  My perspective is US based because that's where I live:

Legal Rights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_and_responsibilities_of_marriages_in_the_United_States
- Government benefits: Disability, Social Security, veteran's pension
- Employment benefits: Health care, pension, funeral/bereavement leave (for spouse plus close relatives of spouse), sick leave (to care for you)
- Medical decisions: Decisions about care, visitation rights
- Inheritance: To inherit w/o paying taxes
- Immigration benefits: Priority
- Legal rights: To institute a wrongful death case, to sue for loss of consortium in your own right, marital communications protection
- Death: Decisions on handling remains and examinations
- Other: Rights to family memberships at various organizations, family discount on insurance

You can contract for some things, which I've italicized.  You can't contract for others.  Contracting can be an expensive endeavor.

Social Status:
- In our society, a long-term commitment to someone is generally shown through marriage.  People often - on purpose or unconsciously - treat unmarried couples differently than married couples.  For example, friends may not send a +1 for a small wedding.  People may talk about or to you differently.  On a personal level, I will share that my parents wouldn't let us share a room while unmarried.  (Whether you believe their treatment appropriate or not does not change the fact that it happens.)  Some people find it difficult to "buck" the status quo. 

Religious Meaning:
- You dismissed this as irrelevant for both of you, but for some people, this is a significant driver in getting married.

Greater Commitment:
- You may be more likely to work through problems

I cannot speak for you or your partner as to whether any of these rights or factors are significant for you.  (Note there are some corresponding obligations to provide support to the other partner as well to consider.)  I can only tell you that I consider having a child a far bigger commitment than marriage, and for me, would never willing choose to have a child with someone who was unwilling to commit to marriage with me.

I'm a red panda

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2015, 12:04:41 PM »
If you want to be partners and do life together, great. However marriage is a very risky proposition for men today with little or no benefit, and down right catastrophic consequences for men in the event of divorce.

Marriage can totally screw over women too (especially those who give up careers to care for children).

Divorce is a pretty equal "ruin everything" opportunity.

swick

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2015, 12:07:29 PM »
Also - and this IS rather archaic, but there are many countries that under law or moral code, will not rent you a hotel room if you are not married. So it can be a PITA when you are traveling. 

tlars699

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2015, 12:36:27 PM »
1. As previously noted there is the social status. You keep saying on how marriage is used to ensalve women, but take a look around at the general culture today:


Women are taught culturally that they are not worth as much unless someone is willing to say "Yes, I will contractually oblige myself to stay with you forever in the eyes of the law".

Women who have children outside of wedlock are constant judged and put upon by other people who have no clue what their status may be (Noted from personal experience).

There is a comedienne out these whose first bit is entitled "War Paint" which refers to what Make-Up is "truly used for" by girls/women.

Face it: Today, culturally and socially speaking in the western world, the institution of marriage is viewed as enslavement of Men.

Yes, it's annoying that the government is involved in your bedroom in this regard, but if you benefit, and she wants the socio-economic security that marriage affords her, why else would you say no?

Also: Not noted very well, but child support collection, at least in the US, IS NOT RECOURSE for when you split up/never get married.
There is NO economic security in it whatsoever, and more and more there are laws passed that support the payer (reduced interest on late payments, sketchy jobless searches accounted for, shared placement rulings, etc.) Because single mothers can't afford lawyers, and are basically treated by the law as though they deserve everything they get. (Sorry, went through this due to a two-timing, lying chump, and it sucks hardcore.)

Basically, the only way to be financially secure in having children is to be a high income earner/completely financially independent, or to be married to your partner.

kite

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2015, 12:50:45 PM »
If you want to be partners and do life together, great. However marriage is a very risky proposition for men today with little or no benefit, and down right catastrophic consequences for men in the event of divorce.

Married men live longer, earn more money and have more sex than their unmarried peers.  They generally have more respect in society and the love and companionship of an extended family.  I confess to being confused as to how all that equates to "little or no benefit"
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 12:58:20 PM by kite »

mlejw6

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2015, 01:26:46 PM »
So......if its "a meaningless" commitment/piece of paper/ceremony and you've done it your way for 9 years....just go ahead and do it HER way (married) for the next 9 years then if you still don't like it, get a divorce, and still be together for the next 9 years after that.  After all, its all meaningless to you anyway, you say you love her and want to be with her for the rest of your life, so since she's humored you for nine years its maybe your turn to humor her for a decade?  Hmmmmm just food for thought as a committed relationship (and a marriage) is all about give and take and compromise or, no matter what your situation (married/living together/just being together), it won't work long-term (and I'm celebrating 31 years married to my only husband this summer).

You said it before I could! OP, you've tried the not-being-married for nine years. Now try the being-married. It's not like you can't reverse it if you don't like it!

But seriously, what if you did a legal form of marriage without the marriage? i.e. you are each other's powers of attorney and what-not so that you don't have to experience the horrors of not being able to visit each other in the hospital. How would your partner like that compromise?


jzb11

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2015, 01:27:00 PM »
If you want to be partners and do life together, great. However marriage is a very risky proposition for men today with little or no benefit, and down right catastrophic consequences for men in the event of divorce.

Married men live longer, earn more money and have more sex than their unmarried peers.  They generally have more respect in society and the love and companionship of an extended family.  I confess to being confused as to how all that equates to "little or no benefit"

Because 50% of all marriages end in Divorce, which results in the total emotional, psychological, and financial devastation of men.

Because in nearly all instances, the wife will be rewarded custody, child support and alimony - regardless of whether or not she is at fault for initiating the divorce.

Because men can go to jail for not being able to pay, yet women face no legal consequences for alienating children from their father, or preventing their father from seeing their children.


In regards to married men earning more money, they do so because they feel the motivation and pressure to provide for their dependents. A single doesn't need the income that a married man or woman does.

In regards to married men having more sex than their peers - LOL.

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2015, 01:36:04 PM »
If you want to be partners and do life together, great. However marriage is a very risky proposition for men today with little or no benefit, and down right catastrophic consequences for men in the event of divorce.

Married men live longer, earn more money and have more sex than their unmarried peers.  They generally have more respect in society and the love and companionship of an extended family.  I confess to being confused as to how all that equates to "little or no benefit"

Because 50% of all marriages end in Divorce, which results in the total emotional, psychological, and financial devastation of menboth parties.

Because in nearly all instances, the wife primary caretaker parent will be rewarded custody, child support and alimony - regardless of whether or not she who is at fault for initiating the divorce because fault is an outdated concept as 1) courts prioritize the best interests of the children and recognize fault for marriage ending has nothing to do with who is best suited to have primary custody and 2) courts now allow people to divorce without proving fault.

Because men parents can go to jail for not being able to pay, yet women parents face no insufficient legal consequences for alienating children from their father the other parent, or preventing their father the other parent from seeing their children.

ftfy