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Cressida

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2015, 02:11:47 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.

This is standard MRA claptrap. I suggest we ignore this person.

p.s. Ha, I was so busy rolling my eyes at the above that I forgot to respond to OP. This is the thing: It's an all-or-nothing situation where you two do not agree. No compromise is possible; you can't be half married. It's hard to see how this ends well.

(edited: postscript)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 02:19:50 PM by Cressida »

IAmBadWolf

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2015, 04:43:03 PM »
I should probably thank you first--this is the thread that convinced me to stop circling and set up an account on MMM. (Straw that broke the camel's back, I guess, more than anything. I'll post an intro thread at some point. Anyway.)

I wanted to weigh in because I don't see anyone addressing the first thought I had when reading the original post: Your main argument against marriage seems to be that, as an institution, it disempowers women. Yet the woman most directly affected by your position--your girlfriend--wants to get married. So in effect, what you're saying is "The only way for me to treat my gf the way she deserves to be treated is to disregard her wishes, because I know what she needs better than she does." I don't think that's the message you really mean to send.

Which makes me think there's more going on than just the feminism angle. (Warning: armchair psychology ahead!) Human brains--yours, mine, everyone's--are experts at dreaming up comfortable reasons for us to do what we do, when the real reason is something that would make us uncomfortable if we ever admitted it. I'm guessing if you think about it hard enough, you'll come up with some other reasons why you don't want to get married, maybe that you don't feel comfortable sharing here. Maybe you're subconsciously worried the relationship won't last. Or part of you is just a little uncomfortable with change, in general. Or, given that you're drawn to the Mustachian philosophy, I wonder if it might simply be reactance. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactance_%28psychology%29). Mustachians pride themselves on their ability to break from the crowd and make independent choices, but (and I say this from experience) it's sometimes all too easy to confuse "breaking from the crowd" with "fighting the crowd." I wonder if you might be opposed to marriage because everyone else seems to like it, and therefore getting married makes you feel like just another lemming, which is something you generally strive to avoid.

So the way I see it, the answer to your question depends on which of these options seems most accurate:

1) You have psychoanalyzed yourself 100% correctly, and your objection to marriage is rooted in your desire to help empower women. Why not empower the woman in your life by letting her make this decision?

2) You have some other, subconscious, possibly slightly embarrassing reason(s) to resist getting married. You need to figure out what these reasons are and discuss them with your girlfriend. After 9 years, you two should be more than capable of admitting embarrassing things to each other. Hopefully she will either assuage your fears or acknowledge that they're valid and come around to your point of view. If a discussion is simply impossible, either because the two of you aren't comfortable talking or because the conversation will hurt your girlfriend (e.g. "I don't love you as much as we both thought I did") then you should probably reconsider whether to remain in the relationship at all.

3) If your other, subconscious reason should turn out to be "Society is telling me to get married and I don't like doing what I'm told," don't even bother discussing it. Punch yourself in the face and go get married. Opposing society for the sake of non-conformance isn't any more independent than going along for the sake of conformance; either way, society is dictating your actions.

okits

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2015, 05:22:24 PM »
I am curious to know, OP, if any of the responses have prompted you to ponder further down a train of thought or made you question your or your partner's position?

My general feeling is that unless both parties really want to marry, you shouldn't do it.  Ideally a big commitment like that is not made under any sort of duress (reality is not always so perfect, but for such an important thing I say shoot for the ideal.)

Quince

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2015, 05:53:30 PM »
I'm not a big fan of marriage, but my husband is,  so married we are.

There are definitely legal benefits in the United States that are worth having. I would have been happier quietly filling out the paperwork and not telling anyone, but he wanted a wedding, so we had a very small one.  Tiny ceremony, that emphasized that getting married did not change our relationship, just shared it with others.

In my mind, my commitment to him is unchanged . If a public declaration of commitment is important to him, that's OK. He's not the kind of asshole who will project his feelings about marriage onto unmarried, committed couples, or single people, for that matter.  If he was, we wouldn't be married or together.

Also, we saved $50 on car insurance.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2015, 06:38:19 PM »
I should probably thank you first--this is the thread that convinced me to stop circling and set up an account on MMM. (Straw that broke the camel's back, I guess, more than anything. I'll post an intro thread at some point. Anyway.)

I wanted to weigh in because I don't see anyone addressing the first thought I had when reading the original post: Your main argument against marriage seems to be that, as an institution, it disempowers women. Yet the woman most directly affected by your position--your girlfriend--wants to get married. So in effect, what you're saying is "The only way for me to treat my gf the way she deserves to be treated is to disregard her wishes, because I know what she needs better than she does." I don't think that's the message you really mean to send.

Which makes me think there's more going on than just the feminism angle. (Warning: armchair psychology ahead!) Human brains--yours, mine, everyone's--are experts at dreaming up comfortable reasons for us to do what we do, when the real reason is something that would make us uncomfortable if we ever admitted it. I'm guessing if you think about it hard enough, you'll come up with some other reasons why you don't want to get married, maybe that you don't feel comfortable sharing here. Maybe you're subconsciously worried the relationship won't last. Or part of you is just a little uncomfortable with change, in general. Or, given that you're drawn to the Mustachian philosophy, I wonder if it might simply be reactance. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactance_%28psychology%29). Mustachians pride themselves on their ability to break from the crowd and make independent choices, but (and I say this from experience) it's sometimes all too easy to confuse "breaking from the crowd" with "fighting the crowd." I wonder if you might be opposed to marriage because everyone else seems to like it, and therefore getting married makes you feel like just another lemming, which is something you generally strive to avoid.

So the way I see it, the answer to your question depends on which of these options seems most accurate:

1) You have psychoanalyzed yourself 100% correctly, and your objection to marriage is rooted in your desire to help empower women. Why not empower the woman in your life by letting her make this decision?

2) You have some other, subconscious, possibly slightly embarrassing reason(s) to resist getting married. You need to figure out what these reasons are and discuss them with your girlfriend. After 9 years, you two should be more than capable of admitting embarrassing things to each other. Hopefully she will either assuage your fears or acknowledge that they're valid and come around to your point of view. If a discussion is simply impossible, either because the two of you aren't comfortable talking or because the conversation will hurt your girlfriend (e.g. "I don't love you as much as we both thought I did") then you should probably reconsider whether to remain in the relationship at all.

3) If your other, subconscious reason should turn out to be "Society is telling me to get married and I don't like doing what I'm told," don't even bother discussing it. Punch yourself in the face and go get married. Opposing society for the sake of non-conformance isn't any more independent than going along for the sake of conformance; either way, society is dictating your actions.

This was very well framed and structured. An excellent contribution to the discussion. Thank you!

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2015, 07:01:38 PM »
I felt very similar about this issue. I not only had no interest in getting married, but was mostly opposed to it. My SO did want to get married, but he wasn't pushing it. In the end, I decided to do it because I realized that if he were to suddenly become very ill or die, looking back I would regret not having married him. Both because of the medical/financial benefits marriage brings, and because I would have been withholding something from the person I love best in this world because I was philosophically against it, despite the fact that it would have no negative (and probably some positive) repercussions for my life. I still generally call him my partner because I don't like the word husband. But I have made my peace with marriage.

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2015, 07:16:52 PM »
I should probably thank you first--this is the thread that convinced me to stop circling and set up an account on MMM. (Straw that broke the camel's back, I guess, more than anything. I'll post an intro thread at some point. Anyway.)

I wanted to weigh in because I don't see anyone addressing the first thought I had when reading the original post: Your main argument against marriage seems to be that, as an institution, it disempowers women. Yet the woman most directly affected by your position--your girlfriend--wants to get married. So in effect, what you're saying is "The only way for me to treat my gf the way she deserves to be treated is to disregard her wishes, because I know what she needs better than she does." I don't think that's the message you really mean to send.

Which makes me think there's more going on than just the feminism angle. (Warning: armchair psychology ahead!) Human brains--yours, mine, everyone's--are experts at dreaming up comfortable reasons for us to do what we do, when the real reason is something that would make us uncomfortable if we ever admitted it. I'm guessing if you think about it hard enough, you'll come up with some other reasons why you don't want to get married, maybe that you don't feel comfortable sharing here. Maybe you're subconsciously worried the relationship won't last. Or part of you is just a little uncomfortable with change, in general. Or, given that you're drawn to the Mustachian philosophy, I wonder if it might simply be reactance. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactance_%28psychology%29). Mustachians pride themselves on their ability to break from the crowd and make independent choices, but (and I say this from experience) it's sometimes all too easy to confuse "breaking from the crowd" with "fighting the crowd." I wonder if you might be opposed to marriage because everyone else seems to like it, and therefore getting married makes you feel like just another lemming, which is something you generally strive to avoid.

So the way I see it, the answer to your question depends on which of these options seems most accurate:

1) You have psychoanalyzed yourself 100% correctly, and your objection to marriage is rooted in your desire to help empower women. Why not empower the woman in your life by letting her make this decision?

2) You have some other, subconscious, possibly slightly embarrassing reason(s) to resist getting married. You need to figure out what these reasons are and discuss them with your girlfriend. After 9 years, you two should be more than capable of admitting embarrassing things to each other. Hopefully she will either assuage your fears or acknowledge that they're valid and come around to your point of view. If a discussion is simply impossible, either because the two of you aren't comfortable talking or because the conversation will hurt your girlfriend (e.g. "I don't love you as much as we both thought I did") then you should probably reconsider whether to remain in the relationship at all.

3) If your other, subconscious reason should turn out to be "Society is telling me to get married and I don't like doing what I'm told," don't even bother discussing it. Punch yourself in the face and go get married. Opposing society for the sake of non-conformance isn't any more independent than going along for the sake of conformance; either way, society is dictating your actions.

This was very well framed and structured. An excellent contribution to the discussion. Thank you!

+2

Kris

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2015, 07:49:40 PM »
I should probably thank you first--this is the thread that convinced me to stop circling and set up an account on MMM. (Straw that broke the camel's back, I guess, more than anything. I'll post an intro thread at some point. Anyway.)

I wanted to weigh in because I don't see anyone addressing the first thought I had when reading the original post: Your main argument against marriage seems to be that, as an institution, it disempowers women. Yet the woman most directly affected by your position--your girlfriend--wants to get married. So in effect, what you're saying is "The only way for me to treat my gf the way she deserves to be treated is to disregard her wishes, because I know what she needs better than she does." I don't think that's the message you really mean to send.

Which makes me think there's more going on than just the feminism angle. (Warning: armchair psychology ahead!) Human brains--yours, mine, everyone's--are experts at dreaming up comfortable reasons for us to do what we do, when the real reason is something that would make us uncomfortable if we ever admitted it. I'm guessing if you think about it hard enough, you'll come up with some other reasons why you don't want to get married, maybe that you don't feel comfortable sharing here. Maybe you're subconsciously worried the relationship won't last. Or part of you is just a little uncomfortable with change, in general. Or, given that you're drawn to the Mustachian philosophy, I wonder if it might simply be reactance. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactance_%28psychology%29). Mustachians pride themselves on their ability to break from the crowd and make independent choices, but (and I say this from experience) it's sometimes all too easy to confuse "breaking from the crowd" with "fighting the crowd." I wonder if you might be opposed to marriage because everyone else seems to like it, and therefore getting married makes you feel like just another lemming, which is something you generally strive to avoid.

So the way I see it, the answer to your question depends on which of these options seems most accurate:

1) You have psychoanalyzed yourself 100% correctly, and your objection to marriage is rooted in your desire to help empower women. Why not empower the woman in your life by letting her make this decision?

2) You have some other, subconscious, possibly slightly embarrassing reason(s) to resist getting married. You need to figure out what these reasons are and discuss them with your girlfriend. After 9 years, you two should be more than capable of admitting embarrassing things to each other. Hopefully she will either assuage your fears or acknowledge that they're valid and come around to your point of view. If a discussion is simply impossible, either because the two of you aren't comfortable talking or because the conversation will hurt your girlfriend (e.g. "I don't love you as much as we both thought I did") then you should probably reconsider whether to remain in the relationship at all.

3) If your other, subconscious reason should turn out to be "Society is telling me to get married and I don't like doing what I'm told," don't even bother discussing it. Punch yourself in the face and go get married. Opposing society for the sake of non-conformance isn't any more independent than going along for the sake of conformance; either way, society is dictating your actions.

Aptly put.

And welcome.

Exhale

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2015, 07:57:46 PM »
I want a partner for life, which to me means marriage.

I'm curious about how marriage = commitment. I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious. Is it that marriage is harder to get out of than, say, just walking out the door? Or is it the fact that marriage is usually conducted in front of friends and family? Or...? My point is that marriage doesn't automatically mean commitment. I might be open to celebrating our relationship after ten years or so of commitment (but not before the ten years even start). Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the whole marriage = commitment, if you wish to do so.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 09:21:14 PM by Exhale »

ender

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #59 on: May 18, 2015, 08:16:50 PM »
I want a partner for life, which to me means marriage.
I'm curious about how marriage = commitment. I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious. Is it that marriage is harder to get out of than, say, just walking out the door? Or is it the fact that marriage is usually conducted in front of friends and family? Or...?

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the whole marriage = commitment, if you wish to do so.

Well, one perspective is that you are tying your future income/earnings to your spouse.  You are much more legally ensuring they will be a part, if only financially, in your and potentially your children's lives.

Without marriage it's not as clear cut (not that it's 100% clear cut in divorces, either).

... not really a glamorous way to think about it :)

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #60 on: May 18, 2015, 08:35:39 PM »
I want a partner for life, which to me means marriage.

I'm curious about how marriage = commitment. I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious. Is it that marriage is harder to get out of than, say, just walking out the door? Or is it the fact that marriage is usually conducted in front of friends and family? Or...?

I got married because my ex felt that showed commitment. I didn't need that external ritual to show my commitment, but honored the wishes of my ex. Ironically, it's my ex who, four years later, decided to leave the marriage (we agreed it was the right thing to do - my ex was no longer interested in our relationship). BTW - no tax benefits for us, so that issue wasn't in the equation.

My point is that marriage doesn't automatically mean commitment. IMHO what shows true commitment is the person who chooses me day-after-day. In my experience, it's easy to say "I do" and have a big party, what's hard is to stick with someone year-after-year. Hmm, writing that, I realize that I might be open to celebrating our relationship after ten years or so of commitment (but not before the ten years even start).

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the whole marriage = commitment, if you wish to do so.

Well the OP only has one year to go then!

Zamboni

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #61 on: May 18, 2015, 09:28:26 PM »
Just pretend you are Dutch and sign a 5 year co-habitation contract ;-)

Seriously, though, don't oppose getting married just for the sake of opposing it. 9 years seems long enough to decide: if you still want to be with her, then buy her a big gawdy diamond ring that would embarrass Ivana Trump and surprise her with a proposal.

Disclosure: This message brought to you by de Beers. Zamboni is a paid spokesperson and is not actually a married person.

kite

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #62 on: May 19, 2015, 05:28:24 AM »
I keep looking for the sentiment to be expressed that you love this person and already are committed, so what's the point of fomalizing it with a marriage license .  But I haven't seen it.  Instead, you say you're conflict averse....
Interesting. 
I'm pro marriage  (for some) but despite your 9 year history, i sense quite a bit of ambivalence from what you've written.  Ambivalence isn't a great start to marriage. 
You actually haven't written much about what you envision the future to be like, only that you may want to have kids some day.  Well for her, the window slams shut with some finality and there isn't a do-over with someone else if you are still ambivalent after 9 more years. 
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, perhaps the feeling is there.  Regardless,  you don't need to tell or convince me.  She's the one who is entitled to an answer.
You've already spent your entire adulthood,  full third of your life, with this woman.  If you're looking for an out, she's handing it to you.  But if she's so fucking awesome that having her in your life makes you feel like the luckiest man alive and you can't wait to get home to her each day, you don't need convincing from strangers on the Internet to do what needs to be done. 
Best of luck to you both.

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #63 on: May 19, 2015, 08:04:05 AM »
Thanks all so far for contributing. There is lot's of food for thought.
A few general things. I'm not sure exactly when, but I would say the topic of marriage first came up 2+ years ago and I was very open and direct about not wanting to marry from the very start of that discussion. It's not something that has just recently come to surprise and haunt her. Prior to that discussion it just never came up, partly because it was a foregone conclusion for me which I never gave any active thought.. ;)

Interesting.  I tend to think of the "will get married, eventually" as the default because well, most people either do get married or are looking to do so.  So if the topic didn't come up for 7 years, I'd think I was headed towards getting married soon.  I wouldn't think "no, not marrying" as the default.  Frankly, it seems to me you both made some pretty bad assumptions that 2 years ago came around to bite you.  (I'll admit I feel more for her than you, as right now, it's your ideal world, not hers.  As Kite noted, she's spent 9 years in the relationship, so if she wants both marriage and kids, she's biologically speaking left with a limited time to meet the frogs, find the prince, marry and produce kids.  Not impossible, but pretty cruel to keep her in limbo any longer so she can make a decision.)  I'm pretty puzzled as to WHY you both ignored such a critical topic, but you have so you have to both accept responsibility for that colossal error and move forward with what you've got now. 

As kite mentions, love isn't really coming through your posts.  You seem pretty ambivalent about the relationship.   Tell us about her.  Do you love her?

ChaseJuggler

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #64 on: May 19, 2015, 08:15:04 AM »
My gf and I have agreed to never get married, unless we can find an incentive to (we can't.)

TrulyStashin

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #65 on: May 19, 2015, 12:28:35 PM »
Thanks all so far for contributing. There is lot's of food for thought.
A few general things. I'm not sure exactly when, but I would say the topic of marriage first came up 2+ years ago and I was very open and direct about not wanting to marry from the very start of that discussion. It's not something that has just recently come to surprise and haunt her. Prior to that discussion it just never came up, partly because it was a foregone conclusion for me which I never gave any active thought.. ;)

Interesting.  I tend to think of the "will get married, eventually" as the default because well, most people either do get married or are looking to do so.  So if the topic didn't come up for 7 years, I'd think I was headed towards getting married soon.  I wouldn't think "no, not marrying" as the default.  Frankly, it seems to me you both made some pretty bad assumptions that 2 years ago came around to bite you.  (I'll admit I feel more for her than you, as right now, it's your ideal world, not hers.  As Kite noted, she's spent 9 years in the relationship, so if she wants both marriage and kids, she's biologically speaking left with a limited time to meet the frogs, find the prince, marry and produce kids.  Not impossible, but pretty cruel to keep her in limbo any longer so she can make a decision.)  I'm pretty puzzled as to WHY you both ignored such a critical topic, but you have so you have to both accept responsibility for that colossal error and move forward with what you've got now. 

As kite mentions, love isn't really coming through your posts.  You seem pretty ambivalent about the relationship.   Tell us about her.  Do you love her?

You could change the details in this thread and it would bear a striking resemblance to a "Should I buy a Prius?" threads.

James

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2015, 12:45:44 PM »
As kite mentions, love isn't really coming through your posts.  You seem pretty ambivalent about the relationship.   Tell us about her.  Do you love her?

I think the blunt objectivity of the OP can come across as callus disregard for some. Objectivity in discussion does not require lack of passion for the subject of the discussion.

It certainly could mean he is ambivalent rather than caring, but I doubt it, and choose to view it as objectively considering the idea on a forum, keeping his emotional thoughts and expressions to himself. That is how I would handle the discussion if it were me, and if my wife then read it she would consider it callus and uncaring despite my actual concern and love for her. Just a different perspective to consider.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 12:47:34 PM by James »

southern granny

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2015, 01:05:30 PM »
Although the divorce rate is 50%, I think a lot of people who marry and divorce 4,5 or 6 times affects the rate.  I have been married 40 years.  Everyone in our wedding party is still married to original spouses except one  woman whose husband died at age 38 and she has been married to second husband for 19 years.  Between my husbands original family and mine there were 10 children and only two have divorced and one never married. My marriage is precious to me.  Like every marriage, we have had rough spots along the way.  Possibly, if we were only living together we would have split up during those times instead of working it out.  Had that happened we would have missed out on a lot.  I personally would never have children with a man who refused marriage. 

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2015, 01:36:03 PM »
As kite mentions, love isn't really coming through your posts.  You seem pretty ambivalent about the relationship.   Tell us about her.  Do you love her?

I think the blunt objectivity of the OP can come across as callus disregard for some. Objectivity in discussion does not require lack of passion for the subject of the discussion.

It certainly could mean he is ambivalent rather than caring, but I doubt it, and choose to view it as objectively considering the idea on a forum, keeping his emotional thoughts and expressions to himself. That is how I would handle the discussion if it were me, and if my wife then read it she would consider it callus and uncaring despite my actual concern and love for her. Just a different perspective to consider.

It's possible.  It's also possible the OP has let inertia set in over this relationship and he's not really excited and in love with this woman.  That's why I asked the question, for the OP to consider it.

Zamboni

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2015, 01:45:30 PM »
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.
- I think it would be an extremely silly reason to break up, but I would respect her decision.
- I would probably get over it.


There's your answer.  Marry her. 

I think you love her.  I think you want her to be as happy in her life as she can be.  So let her enjoy a fancy wedding dress, let her mother and sisters be excited and fuss over her big news, go on a nice honeymoon with her.  Much more importantly, let her call you "her husband" whenever she refers to you and never let her feel embarrassment at being an "unwed mother."  Let her stop her lame efforts at explaining why you haven't proposed yet (trust me, people are asking.)  Obviously she is not as modern in viewpoint on marriage as you are.  Bottom line:  it is important to her.  You love her.  Be kind and think about her feelings in this big issue and all other major things in the future and you are putting your life on a path to happiness. 

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2015, 04:01:56 PM »
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.
- I think it would be an extremely silly reason to break up, but I would respect her decision.
- I would probably get over it.


There's your answer.  Marry her. 

I think you love her.  I think you want her to be as happy in her life as she can be.  So let her enjoy a fancy wedding dress, let her mother and sisters be excited and fuss over her big news, go on a nice honeymoon with her.  Much more importantly, let her call you "her husband" whenever she refers to you and never let her feel embarrassment at being an "unwed mother."  Let her stop her lame efforts at explaining why you haven't proposed yet (trust me, people are asking.)  Obviously she is not as modern in viewpoint on marriage as you are.  Bottom line:  it is important to her.  You love her.  Be kind and think about her feelings in this big issue and all other major things in the future and you are putting your life on a path to happiness. 

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

Yeah, on a tangent, can I say how much this pissed me off?  Apparently after 2 years of dating, once I hit 30, people felt entitled to ask such personal questions.  As it's usually the man proposing still these days, why not at least ask such an intrusive question of him, rather than me?!  (In our case, I wasn't ready to get engaged until 3 years, about 6 months before he did propose.)   I can't imagine fending off inquiries for 9 years.  (Not a reason in and of itself for a marriage, but still, it is cause for sympathy and understanding.)

Ellsie Equanimity

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2015, 04:33:37 PM »
Whether you are religious or not, marriage is a vow you make (religion adds an element of "before God" to the vow, but without it you can still have a vow before man). High divorce rates show you that people don't take their vows very seriously. But the "state of marriage" means very little compared to what it means to you. Do you take vows seriously? If you don't, marrying doesn't mean much - you're not really meaning any promise to stay together forever even if you say the vow. On the other hand, if you do take vows seriously, it means a lot - the vow is a commitment till death do you part, it is an unconditional promise of love and commitment to say and mean that you will be there no matter what feelings, circumstances, etc, come and refusing to make the vow calls into question your actual commitment to that (if a vow means something to you and you refuse to make that commitment it does imply that you aren't actually committed to that level; if you are not willing to be that committed then she should know that, and if you are then why not make the commitment).

The other question is, is it the marriage (the vow, the commitment) she really wants or the wedding? Some people really want the wedding, but they don't take the vows seriously, so it doesn't mean much (one reason divorce rates are high). Some people want the marriage and don't care for a big wedding to note it. Some weddings are deeply about the vow and what marriage means to the couple. Others are about celebrating current romantic feelings, having a party, fulfilling an expectation or lifelong dream, etc.

Separate the marriage and the wedding questions and discuss both. And don't let other people's failure to keep vows determine your own views on what a vow means to you and whether it's something you want to exchange in your relationship.

TrumanGrad

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2015, 07:49:54 PM »
First, I want to second the fact that a few other posters have pointed out - the divorce rate is 50% in large part because of people who marry two, three, four or more times.  Another statistic, in the United States the divorce rate is not staying steady but actually falling for college-educated people younger than baby boomers.

I also heard any interesting thought exercise on a public radio show (can't remember which one off the top of my head) to figure out if you really think marriage is just a piece of paper or really is a different kind of commitment.  Say a man is in a horrible car accident, will needs many surgeries and years of rehab.  His significant other decides she doesn't want to deal with it so she leaves him.  Substitute the phrase long-term girlfriend for SO and then wife for SO.  Does your reaction or feelings change when you sub long-time girlfriend for wife?  Basically, if you think it is ok for either a wife or girlfriend to leave OR you think that either would be horrible for leaving - basically that the switch in title doesn't change your feelings about the story- then marriage probably doesn't mean anything to you.  But if you say, hey the wife committed for life so she is breaking her vow, but the girlfriend didn't make the commitment so she Is free to stay or go as she pleases, then being married does mean something to you.  Please feel free to substitute genders in this story -  I am just using the example provided by the public radio program.

I am very pro-marriage.  Also, my husband and I are both athiests.  We had a huge wedding, but got married by a judge - we were by no means making a religious commitment but a legal, emotional, and public commitment.  To me, making that commitment in public is very important.  My joy and my burdens became his and his mine.  We are a team, but importantly we also have a public face of making such a deep commitment to support each other forever.

That being said, I have a close friend who doesn't really believe in marriage and I think that's perfectly great for her.  The problem as I see it is when two people in a relationship don't match views on topic because I think it's such a core value that being out of sync would cause deep problems.

monarda

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #73 on: May 19, 2015, 08:33:04 PM »
We've been together for 18 years. We own houses together, we're official domestic partners, so he's on my health insurance. We have tons of joint accounts. There is no "common law marriage" in our state, but there is in some other states after 7 or so years of cohabitation.

We have no kids.  Neither of us is religious. We haven't found the need to marry, but still might do it some day. For old-age sorts of things, the benefits become more substantial.  But it wouldn't provide us with anything we don't already have at this point in our lives.

Maybe you'll be like us in 10 years? Maybe you'll marry when you're 60?

Dicey

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #74 on: May 19, 2015, 09:22:53 PM »
I waited until I was 54 to get married, because I just hadn't met the right guy. I was accused of being fickle, picky and who-knows-what-else, but I am so glad I waited for the right one. Now I joke that if I had known how awesome marriage was I'd have done it a lot sooner.

If you love your GF, marry her. I agree that the wedding is unimportant, it's the marriage that counts. Otherwise, I'd advise her to dump your ass in favor of her future someone who just can't see himself living his life without being married to her. If that's not you, maybe it would be kinder not to stand in her way.

Otsog

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #75 on: May 19, 2015, 10:14:24 PM »
I wouldn't be with someone who was so dogmatic they gave up 80 a month in free money. Very anti-mustachian.

Ann

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #76 on: May 20, 2015, 02:31:34 AM »
What I am curious to know (and may be too personal to share) is what exactly does the OP mean when he says he is "committed" to his SO?
Are you saying you are committed until death?  That you are committed for a lifetime, and promise never to leave?

Forget marriage and the divorce rate for a second.  What is your thought on that?

It may be realistic to think that humans were not built for life-long monogamy.  How could you predict the future?  I'm starting to believe that myself.  If I were ever to get married, I would want to at least be under the conviction that I wanted and could delivery a lifetime of monogamy and commitment.

If you say "No, being a realist, I can't ACTUALLY say I want to commit a lifetime, with or without "a piece of paper" then I think it may be time to part ways.

Marriage guarantees squat about lifelong commitment.  It won't make you stay with her.  You could always appease her and divorce later.   But the question I'm posing is: do you desire a til-death-do-you-part commitment?

It may be the girlfriend does.  If so, she should be free to pursue that.

If you are 100% on board with monogamy for the next 50+ years, then perhaps it can work out between you.  Either she will see and accept your commitment or you will come to terms with her request.

Ann

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #77 on: May 20, 2015, 03:35:23 AM »
The only guarantee in life is that things change.  If you are considering children, then the the situation and people WILL change.  So, to me, that seems like hedging and not a lifelong commitment. 

Being a stark realist is valid, but so is being with someone who shares your world views and perspectives.  Can you tell I'm conflicted on marriage myself?

Dee 72013

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2015, 04:46:16 AM »
Wow, this hit close to home for me. I met my first real love in high school, he was a few years older than me and had already graduated. We ended up moving into together a few months after my graduation. That Christmas he proposed to me and I of course said yes and couldn't wait to marry him and say he belonged to me.
Well, he got another job offer out of state a few months after Xmas and wanted me to move with him but wasn't ready to get married but I didn't want to quit two jobs to an uncertain future because I needed that marriage license for security more for emotional reasons than financial. Well, he moved out of state and we had a long distance relationship for probably just shy of a year. I finally gave him back his ring and he said that it didn't mean anything to me and I said sadly no it didn't mean anything to him.
I then met my husband, who calls himself my rebound man on a blind date. From the moment we met he made it clear that he was very interested in me and really fought to win me over since I was still not over my ex when we first met. One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband was that fact he never wavered in his feelings for me and wasn't afraid to show it. He wanted me, loved and wasn't afraid of a commitment with me and I needed that stability in our relationship. He's always shown me that we're in it for the long haul (26+years)I didn't want a big wedding or fancy ring, I had neither and don't miss them but I needed a man to have two feet firmly planted in a relationship with me, with us.

redbird

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #79 on: May 20, 2015, 06:06:19 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.

Same. And I was together with my (then) boyfriend for 7 years and completely fine with not getting married. But then we got a job offer that required moving overseas. And the job would not pay to move us together unless we were legally married. It would've cost us THOUSANDS to not get married if we wanted to stay together. That was what made us decide to go ahead and do it.

We've now been married for 6 years (so, obviously, added up, we've been together for 13). We married for those financial reasons and for the legal reasons as well (power of attorney, medical, etc). That's it. Not for any other reason. We would still be together even if we hadn't married, so it's not at all a commitment thing. We decided fairly early on that we wanted to be together for life. I don't regret getting married, despite my feelings on it feeling like a religious thing and not caring for that aspect, because there were valid other reasons to get married. Not only that, but these were reasons we agreed upon.

If you can agree on a best course for your relationship, that would be the best thing. Like I said, there are valid reasons to marry someone other than religion or commitment. If you can't agree, however, you need to think about what would feel right long term. Relationships do involve compromise. However, if you marry her only because she wants it, you may grow to resent her. That's not a good thing for either of you.

TrulyStashin

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #80 on: May 20, 2015, 07:02:13 AM »
In principle, if nothing changes I am quite happy to commit for life. Now (imho) obviously if situations, people and whatever change that commitment can also change. [snip]

But, this is the OPPOSITE of commitment.  What you've described here is more accurately called an "option."

amazingAkj

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #81 on: May 20, 2015, 07:12:56 AM »
Hey,
your confused to take one step ahead of your nine years relationship?
The point of tax is all your only concern it seems?

Well then, why don't you both try living relationship? and cast your bills together before parenting a child?

begood

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #82 on: May 20, 2015, 07:14:31 AM »
I am perfectly happy with a monogamous relationship for life.

As for what do I mean with commitment that's a good question. In principle, if nothing changes I am quite happy to commit for life. Now (imho) obviously if situations, people and whatever change that commitment can also change. That doesn't sound particularly outlandish or unusual to me.

Your answer is right in there.  You aren't ready and it might not ever be right for you.  This is very much like discussions of rent versus buy a home.  There is a clear financial winner for the majority, but your own circumstances dictate which is best for you.
I don't follow, are you telling me if one decides to marry adjusting to changing circumstances is a no go?

Marriage means adjusting to changing circumstances together, as a unit, a team, a partnership.

I have a quote from Phyllis McGinley stuck on the refrigerator: "In a successful marriage, there is no such thing as one's way. There is only the way of both, only the bumpy, dusty, difficult, but always mutual path."

It kind of sounds like you are still walking your own path, and she's following gamely, hoping eventually you'll come around and marry her. If she said she'd like to get married while you're on vacation in Australia, she is telling you she wants to get married.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 07:50:59 AM by begood »

CommonCents

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #83 on: May 20, 2015, 07:52:45 AM »
It's possible.  It's also possible the OP has let inertia set in over this relationship and he's not really excited and in love with this woman.  That's why I asked the question, for the OP to consider it.
I might be naive, but to me it seems absolutely natural and inadvertent that relationship inertia sets in at some point. I've never had the expectation to have butterflies in my belly all the time over a course of a decade long relationship.
Love is something I find very hard to quantify. But do I look forward to snuggling up with my partner on the couch in the evening? You bet I do. Am I giddy with excitement to see my gf after work, no probably not like a teenager thinking about the first crush during school.

I can enjoy snuggling on the couch with a good friend.  Giddy excitement is most often rose colored crush/lust.  Love is something more and deeper.  Perhaps start a thread asking people what love means to them, and see if the responses resonate with you or not.

Runge

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #84 on: May 20, 2015, 07:57:49 AM »
In principle, if nothing changes I am quite happy to commit for life. Now (imho) obviously if situations, people and whatever change that commitment can also change. [snip]

But, this is the OPPOSITE of commitment.  What you've described here is more accurately called an "option."

+1

OP, if these are your real feelings on your relationship, then you should not get married. Marriage has been traditionally (and for good reason) set apart from other forms of dating/courting/whatever because of what it really means. The joining of two houses, two humans into one unit. It's a commitment publicly and privately to one another that you will support the other person no matter what until death. It's a commitment to always love the other person, as in put them before yourself, even if the emotional feelings of lust and desire aren't present later on down the road. Let's all not lose sight of what a marriage really is.

If you're not willing to be with that person, whatever the circumstances may be or how they will change, until death, then you should not get married. If she does want to get married, but you still don't, then you need to let her go so she can find someone who will marry her. And if you don't then aren't you acting out of selfish desire to keep her to yourself, i.e. (if you'll allow me to make the leap) enslaving her?

:edited for grammar
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 07:59:40 AM by Runge »

Apples

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #85 on: May 20, 2015, 08:15:36 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 :)

+1 My thoughts exactly.  Also, if the going ever gets rough, it's much harder to leave a marriage than a relationship.  And by that I mean that when you're working out big issues like taking care of parents in the future, having kids, working jobs with opposite schedules where you don't see each other much, suddenly one of you is sick or disabled long term...choosing to stay and be committed to the marriage is easier.  Because you married this person, you love them, and you're committed to them.  And in your worst moments, divorce still seems like a long and ugly process, so it's not worth leaving.  Note that last sentence is coming from "I'm at the end of my rope right now/questioning things/life is hard this moment" not "you can never leave marriage".  (Note I'm pro marriage but not for any religious reasons, but for commitment reasons).

Also, I think society as a whole expects more from married people than unmarried.  Your husband has to have a REALLY good reason to not go to your family events, while your boyfriend can get more of a pass.  That's just one example, but I think marriage puts both people on pedestals.  Marriage is the next level.

partgypsy

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #86 on: May 20, 2015, 08:28:43 AM »
Ha ha. Some of these things are ringing a bell for me. I am also conflict adverse, and had a pattern of with my prior relationships, holding my tongue, not bringing up issues that bothered me, till they got too much and I decided this wasn't working for me. When I was going out with my now husband, he could see my weasely ways, and called me out on it. He wouldn't let me walk away, not talk about stuff, we had to hash things out. That was scary and uncomfortable for me, because I was afraid we might come to some problem that we couldn't agree or resolve, and that would be it. It felt like a loss of control to me. I am better communicating but still something I will always have to work on. Being married doesn't change the fact that there will be problems and disagreements, and unpleasant things one doesn't want to deal with. There are no guarantees in life that 2 people will always be together. But having that commitment, we are agreeing that we are going to try harder, and love harder, exhaust options, before walking away. And now that we have kids, the attitude is what is best for them, comes even before what is best or most fun for us. A very different, and possibly scary attitude than being single or being in a relationship you are not making a commitment for the future.


starbuck

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #87 on: May 20, 2015, 08:47:51 AM »
3) If your other, subconscious reason should turn out to be "Society is telling me to get married and I don't like doing what I'm told," don't even bother discussing it. Punch yourself in the face and go get married. Opposing society for the sake of non-conformance isn't any more independent than going along for the sake of conformance; either way, society is dictating your actions.

This was true for myself. (I have now been married for 4 years, together for 9.) I never felt the need for marriage, esp. as an atheist -  we were committed, wasn't that enough? But I wasn't adamantly opposed, and when my spouse proposed, I accepted, and we eloped. In the beginning, I noticed absolutely zero difference once we were married. Vindication, right?! But as time has gone on, I think it has influenced how we discuss our future since everything is legally entwined now. We were always a very equal partnership pre-marriage, but it feels different now. Like there's an undercurrent of stability and permanence, that was probably there in theory, but now it's much more concrete. So I personally didn't think marriage was necessary, but now on the other side I couldn't imagine NOT being married.

And seriously, the legal protections that come with marriage are very important to me now that we're older with quite a few assets, children on the horizon, and I've taken my head out of the sand.

YMMV, but I am in a commited and loving relationship, and I have yet to see a downside to legal marriage, only upside. I'm not some schmoopy romantic person that couldn't wait to be Mrs. BullshitHisName, but I'm surprised at how much I've enjoyed being married. I thought it would be a non-event, and I was wrong.

mlejw6

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #88 on: May 20, 2015, 09:47:23 AM »
I'd like to point out that the OP gave us his thoughts on marriage. But, everyone who is arguing he should marry her obviously does not think the same thing about marriage. So, who's right? Is marriage an archaic institution to enslave women? They call marriage an institution, which means society agrees on the basic tenants of marriage. What does society think the tenants of marriage are today?

OP, do you honestly think that the majority of people (let's say men) getting married today do so to suppress the rights of women?

Posthumane

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #89 on: May 20, 2015, 10:00:32 AM »
I used to have almost exactly the same feelings as the OP regarding marriage - that it was archaic and that there is no need to "register" one's commitment with the government. After all, you can be completely committed to someone without getting married, and you can be less than totally committed in a marriage and get a divorce, so what's the point, right?

However, after spending a number of years with my girlfriend (who did always want to get married), I changed my mind about marriage and finally proposed to her. Why the change? I still am not "pro-marriage" in that I could be in a long term committed relationship without getting married, but am no longer against it either. I think part of it was that when I finally realized that I wanted to spend my life with this person, there were no real drawbacks to getting married and a number of benefits which were pointed out by other people, some of which I hadn't even considered before. In previous relationships and earlier on in this one there was a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I would be getting trapped and losing some of my freedom, that I would be risking many of the things I'd worked for (such as half my pension, house, etc.) but that nagging went away after I decided I no longer wanted to exercise that freedom. I didn't want to necessarily make decisions about my life without considering her opinion.

So I guess my point is, consider if there are any real, tangible drawbacks to being married other than the emotional aspect of taking part in an archaic institution, since the tangible benefits have been pointed out already by other people. If you are as logical and scientific as you say then the argument so far has been fairly one sided. Pros: tax benefits, legal entitlements, less hassle when travelling, etc. Cons: Well, you don't really feel like it...

hexdexorex

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #90 on: May 20, 2015, 10:04:45 AM »
I have the same feelings as the OP. I would probably though get married with my SO wanted to. No doubt I would want tons of paper work signed to make sure there is no legal battle following a divorce if in 10 years we decide to break it off.

I say all this but my SO of 8 years has no desire for kids/marriage and neither do I. We have a hard enough time choosing the right couch for our house much less making any other life changing decisions.

kite

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #91 on: May 21, 2015, 09:05:06 AM »
I am perfectly happy with a monogamous relationship for life.

As for what do I mean with commitment that's a good question. In principle, if nothing changes I am quite happy to commit for life. Now (imho) obviously if situations, people and whatever change that commitment can also change. That doesn't sound particularly outlandish or unusual to me.

Your answer is right in there.  You aren't ready and it might not ever be right for you.  This is very much like discussions of rent versus buy a home.  There is a clear financial winner for the majority, but your own circumstances dictate which is best for you.
I don't follow, are you telling me if one decides to marry adjusting to changing circumstances is a no go?

Not at all.  It's that your condition "if nothing changes" sets up an impossibility from the outset.  Marriage is committing to face those changes together, as next-of-kin. 


Gyosho

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #92 on: May 21, 2015, 10:17:01 AM »
Marriage is not just an archaic institution, it is an archaic institution with extremely important legal, financial and emotional ramifications that could have a severe negative impact on the rest of your life.

I recommend that EVERYONE who is considering marriage read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Case-Against-Marriage-Getting-ebook/dp/B00C8YW0JA/

MsPeacock

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #93 on: May 21, 2015, 05:36:45 PM »
I voted Gerbil. Been there, done that - it was expensive to get divorced. The divorce was *horrible* - really the worst year+ of my life.

I'd never marry again - happy to set up whatever legal things need to be in place with a partner so they can be spouse-like (like power of attorney for medical decisions or whatever) w/o involving the state in my relationship. I am happy with my boyfriend and one day we may live together and such - but I have no financial (fully self-supporting and plan to remain so), religious (athiest), or legal (won't be having more children - etc.) incentive to get married. Not sure what "believe" in marriage means. I found that being married meant nothing to my ex-spouse. And not being married still means I've got a solid commitment w/ my boyfriend. I don't think a legal marriage makes anyone stay where they don't want to be.

Britan

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #94 on: May 21, 2015, 05:51:03 PM »
This thread hits pretty close for me. After 5 years my now-fiance proposed, and I said yes. Thing is, I'm also pretty ambivalent about the "institution" of marriage. I have an aunt and uncle who are common law and have a brilliant relationship. I also watched my parents go through an incredibly acrimonious divorce. I know that being married =/= lifelong commitment and I know that not married =/= not committed. For added irony, I'm the theist and fiance is the atheist.

I disagree with anyone who says that if you don't want to get married then you aren't truly committed. Getting married doesn't mean you're committed (see: the divorce rate). Relationships are specific to the people in them, not to their married/unmarried status.  If you're committed enough to be married for the rest of your lives, then you're committed enough to be unmarried together for the rest of your lives. I decided years ago that I was fully committed to my fiance for the long term, pieces of paper signed by a JoP be damned. I'd be fine if we never got married and I'd still be committed to him. I am no Beyonce and he didn't need to put a ring on it.

But I do want him to know that, since he asked, why yes, I will totally stand on top of a mountain/in front of a government official and scream at the top of my lungs for my family, friends, neighbors, The Man, strangers on the street, etc. to hear that I vow to be on a team with him for forever. When I introduce him, I want people to immediately know that I've made that commitment. Could we have a committed relationship without this? Absolutely. But emotionally it means something to him, and emotionally it does mean something to me.

And, even as an INTJ,  I think a lot of reasons you'll get for it are entirely emotional and that's not a bad thing. There are logical reasons both for and against it. You have logical reasons against it, and if you google "reasons to support gay marriage" you'll find a whole host of logical reasons for it. In the end it comes down to what you both feel is most important to you individually and together. To her, that might be the validation from you and from society. To you, that might mean actively not supporting "the institution" of marriage. And no one on this board or any other can tell you how much those things relatively mean to each of you except the two of you. We can tell you how we feel, but we aren't you or you're girlfriend.

On that note, I try not to think of marriage as an "institution" defined by other people that I'm buying into or supporting, but rather an idea. It's my promise and his. And "marriage" is an idea that he and I can change the definition of, together with other people like us. Just like a wedding doesn't have to have all the trappings that society thinks you "must have", your marriage is what you make of it.

Does a marriage mean that you might combine all finances? That the woman might have kids and quit work and eventually be left and stuck in a low paying job? Sure. But it doesn't have to if you don't want it to, and not being married doesn't guarantee it won't happen. She may have tax incentives not to work, but the whole premise of MMM is that you should do what you want, not for financial reasons, but because it's what makes you happy. If she values her work, she'll do it. And because the two of you sound deliberate and thoughtful about why you're doing your relationship the way you are, you're much less likely to fall into some of the common marriage traps if you do get married.

Of course, you could also just have a "commitment vow" type event for family and friends, call each other husband and wife to anyone who asks, jump through legal hoops to get similar rights, all without having the government's "blessing" and paperwork.

Wow, that was a really long way of saying: you can try to win with logic, but in the end I think the decision depends on how strongly both parties feel about it. And none of us can tell you how you two feel. But you probably already knew that. :)

expatartist

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #95 on: May 21, 2015, 08:28:12 PM »
Christo & Jeanne-Claude describe marriage well in their "Wedding Dress". And they were married for decades.

aspiringnomad

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #96 on: May 21, 2015, 08:53:15 PM »
Marriage is a bit of an anachronistic institution from our days creating broods to till our fields for us (or if our ancestors were lucky enough to be born noble, then from our days strategically joining families to create peace or vanquish foes). I was mostly anti-marriage through my 20s, but never ideologically so, just from a logical standpoint. But I relented due to the practical equation flipping, ie: a woman I deeply cared about and wanted to keep around who was decidedly pro-marriage.

I honestly have no regrets about that, and am happily married, but think that the consequences of marriages not working out are unduly harsh. I've seen so many failed marriages (it's like a 75% fail rate among the people closest to me) and with one exception, it all ends very horribly from a financial, logistical, and emotional standpoint. The risk of such failure and fallout outweighs the legal benefits for most people. As for the argument that a ring is necessary to show commitment, to me that sounds very insecure and overly concerned with societal expectations, but I usually keep that particular opinion to myself outside of internet forums.

ltt

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #97 on: May 21, 2015, 09:39:51 PM »
From reading through these posts, this sounds more like a roommate situation, not a live-in relationship situation.

UltraRunning

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #98 on: May 22, 2015, 12:40:09 AM »
From reading through these posts, this sounds more like a roommate situation, not a live-in relationship situation.

I'm genuinely not sure where this sentiment, from you and many others in this thread, comes from.

I purposefully didn't lead into the discussion with 'oh I love her sooo much and could never see myself without her again' because that would lead to 99% of replies being a foregone conclusion.

I'm looking at this like everything in my life in a very pragmatic way. And if you think I'm low key on public shows of affection, you should meet my significant other. :p

There is no question about it, we do not have 'dreamily thinking of each other every waking moment' relationship. I don't believe many, if any, do over a long period of time. Maybe my expectations for what a loving relationship after a decade of ups and downs is is wildly different from the norm or what other posters here have experienced.

I've never really subscribed to the Hollywood notion of 'love at first sight' and 'the one true one' and 'you'll know it when you see it' kind of thing. It all seems very intangible to me. In real life I don't think I know no anyone who talks about their relationship in those kind of words.



Whatever. The discussion in this thread has been incredibly enlightening and interesting to read for me.
On the one hand many things said here have pushed me further into the camp of just going through with it and marrying my partner in a very private setting while on vacation with no one apart from us knowing about out plans till we return home. Seeing the look on the faces of our parents could be golden.
I'll get over the fact that I never really wanted to marry and I'm sure my partner would be over the moon.
On the other hand I just cannot quite rid myself of the feeling that marriage might just not be the right thing for me in general. I'm definitely going to discuss the options of a 'Partnershipcontract' with her. As I have now learnt that is the German legal framework in which we can deal with all sorts of legal matters without marrying.

So in short I'm still undecided. And it is something we will have to continuously discuss over time.
I'll probably let my SO read this thread next week to have her read the reactions here. She's the one who originally brought up the idea of posing the question here.

Best of luck to you sir. I mainly married  due too all the benefits it would bring due to my military commitment.  I look at life quite logical and break every situation down just like you. My marriage definitely means more to my wife then it does to me in the sense of the traditional meaning of marriage. Overall both very independent people. Work different shifts. I work mids and she works day shifts. My days off are Monday and Tuesday and her's are the normal Saturday and  Sunday. So we really do not see each other much but when we are able to chill its quite enjoyable. A lot of our time together too involves reading in the same room or working on class work as I am working on my bachelors and she her masters.  Marriage in no way to us means that we have to spend enormous amount of time together.  For us it just makes being together in the military a possibility and allows us to live under the same household.  We have already written out a contract that if we do split up we will just  split our assets down the middle 50/50. It works for us. Probably would not work for many people but maybe this outlook on marriage will help you in your journey sir. 

Pooja Sharma

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Re: To marry or not to marry that is the question
« Reply #99 on: May 22, 2015, 06:25:56 AM »
If you love your life, soul, happiness, freedom etc., then just DONT get married. No matter how the strong bonding between you two guys is, ego is always going to be there in you and your partner that will end up in arguments, fighting or even worse i.e. divorce. Money doesn't matter always ;)