Poll

Parents together during childhood and emotional belief in marriage

Parents together & believe in marriage
154 (53.1%)
Parents not together & believe in marriage
49 (16.9%)
Parents together & don't believe in marriage
37 (12.8%)
Parents not together & don't believe in marriage
18 (6.2%)
Gerbils
32 (11%)

Total Members Voted: 283

Author Topic: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!  (Read 15705 times)

electriceagle

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To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« on: May 20, 2015, 08:36:06 AM »
This poll was sparked by FliXFantatier's thread "To marry or not to marry that is the question".

In this thread, he says that his girlfriend wants to get married, but he does not. The divide seems to be one of belief in the institution of marriage rather than in wanting to be together. From the thread, she wants to get married because "marriage is a pointless institution; a relic of times gone by."

The interesting part isn't FliX or his girlfriend's opinions, its the very strong feelings of the folks who are giving advice. Some of the people who have responded have a deep emotional attachment to the idea/institution of marriage, while others are indifferent or have an emotional revulsion to the institution of marriage.

I'm curious as to why.

Marriage is a social, cultural and legal convention. Something that is enmeshed in three different methods of transferring information about expected behavior can only be complicated. My hypotheses are that whether ones own parents were together during childhood and year of birth are strong predictors for whether a person has an emotional attachment to the idea of marriage.

So, for the poll: Please tell us whether your parents were together when you were growing up and whether you "believe" in marriage.

For belief in marriage, ask yourself the following question: "Would I be happy with a long-term, loving relationship that does not result in marriage?" (Edit: if you would be dissatisfied, then please put "believe").

Lets put aside the practical considerations like health insurance, medical directives and tax benefits. Assume that there are no legal barriers to becoming married. I'm looking for emotional attachment here.

If your parents were together for part of your childhood, list "together" if they stayed together through age 15. (The word "together" is deliberately vague; treat it in the way that feels best to you.)

The polling system doesn't allow for selection of numbers, so I have to ask that you list your response and age in a reply. I'll try to create a graph if/when there are enough answers.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 09:11:31 PM by electriceagle »

Sibley

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2015, 08:46:29 AM »
Parents together; believe in marriage.

I'm F, 29. But I also believe in live and let live just don't shove your beliefs in my face.

Kris

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2015, 09:14:28 AM »
I can't participate in the poll because it doesn't have an answer I can choose (except maybe "gerbils").

My answer would be:


  • Parents together but freaking miserable when I was growing up, which led me to be against marriage when I was younger, but I eventually grew the fuck up and realized that my parents' marriage wasn't all marriages, then I got married to the wrong person and got divorced, and then again had to recognize that my failed marriage was not all marriages, then met the absolute right person and despite not wanting to have children (one of the main reasons people give for deciding to marry) I married him.  Still don't "believe or not believe in marriage" because I think that's kind of a dumb question.  I believe that marriage is the right answer for some couples.  It absolutely is the right one for me and my husband.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 09:16:27 AM by Kris »

2ndTimer

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 09:29:22 AM »
Parents together and still following each other around the house until my mother died.  My dad lived another 20 years but never really recovered.  I am very happily married.

Having said all that, I don't particularly "believe in marriage."  It worked out well for us in that it did what we needed it to do, gave us an obligation to get back together when life and jobs pulled us in different directions.  I am not at all sure it would work that way for anyone else.

Kaminoge

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2015, 09:29:47 AM »
F, 41.

Parents together. I "believe" in marriage (but I'm not married).


bb11

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2015, 09:32:11 AM »
Parents not together, divorced when I was 11, but I "believe" in marriage. M, age 26.

I do think a lot of people rush it or get married for the wrong reasons. However, a smart, practical couple that has dated for a number of years and planned well in a way that their long-term future also meshes has a very good chance of working out. I think the cultural and psychological benefits make it worthwhile. I've yet to be married although I would like to be someday.

limeandpepper

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 09:37:12 AM »
I voted "Gerbils". Parents together and I am marriage-agnostic, so that was the closest option. I'm surprised there isn't an option for us loving, carefree and flexible types. ;) Not quite sure age is very relevant. Even culture isn't a big factor for me - I come from a place that values marriage. But for as long as I can remember, my "ideal" was to be with someone I could happily be with for the rest of my life. Marriage is an optional part of the process.

begood

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2015, 09:38:15 AM »
Female, age 50. I've been married for 26 years. My parents were married for 55 years before my mother died.  My husband's parents were married for 60+ years. We both saw our parents stick together through tough times, like sides of an arch leaning together.

So, yeah, I "believe" in marriage because I've been blessed with excellent examples to follow.

mlejw6

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2015, 09:51:48 AM »
Female, 35. Parents together, believe in marriage. I thought about voting gerbils, but I think in my deepest of deep hearts, while I think marriage is not necessary, I think it's a nice thing to have. I like nice things. I am married.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2015, 09:58:24 AM »
Parents divorced when I was 2 and my sister was 1.
1 set of Grandparents divorced.
Sibling divorced.
SO's parents divorced.
SO's sibling getting divorced.

I don't consider marriage (for me) anything but a legal contract, but I respect others who consider it also to have religions and/or emotional aspects, that's just not how I feel about it. In some cases the legal contract is beneficial, for example for a tax deduction or to draw on spouse's social security. In other cases, this contract is detrimental, for example a tax increase. I'm in a 25+ year relationship and we both have the same views of  marriage. If/when the marriage contract benefits outweigh the downsides, we'll get married. Fortunately we both feel the same way about this.

hexdexorex

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2015, 09:59:35 AM »
Wow mmm board is pretty traditional.

Posthumane

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2015, 10:05:54 AM »
I voted "Gerbils" as well since my views on marriage don't fit nicely into one slot. My parents are divorced, which is for the better. I used to be strongly against marriage since I saw it as pointless, but have transitioned to being "marriage agnostic" as someone else put it, and am not getting married. My views gradually changed on the subject, realizing that the bad marriages were bad not because of the institution but because of the people in them, and that you get out of a relationship what you put into it.

forummm

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2015, 10:06:33 AM »
I can't participate in the poll because it doesn't have an answer I can choose (except maybe "gerbils").

My answer would be:


  • Parents together but freaking miserable when I was growing up, which led me to be against marriage when I was younger, but I eventually grew the fuck up and realized that my parents' marriage wasn't all marriages, then I got married to the wrong person and got divorced, and then again had to recognize that my failed marriage was not all marriages, then met the absolute right person and despite not wanting to have children (one of the main reasons people give for deciding to marry) I married him.  Still don't "believe or not believe in marriage" because I think that's kind of a dumb question.  I believe that marriage is the right answer for some couples.  It absolutely is the right one for me and my husband.

I largely echo the substance of this point of view. My parents did not and do not like each other. But for religious reasons stayed together. So I thought all marriages were a terrible idea. But I eventually met a great lady and we got married because we wanted to. Not because we "believe" in the institution (I'm not even sure what that means). It seemed more convenient for legal and societal reasons. It's also fun to have some special recognition of your relationship with the greatest person ever. :)

bb11

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2015, 10:25:40 AM »
Wow mmm board is pretty traditional.

I would guess this is pretty close to the average American view. The vast majority of Americans are still getting married.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 01:26:07 PM by bb11 »

forummm

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2015, 12:50:33 PM »
Wow mmm board is pretty traditional.

I would guess this is pretty close to the average American view. That vast majority of Americans are still getting married.

It's so popular, many do it twice or even three times.

bb11

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2015, 01:27:06 PM »
Wow mmm board is pretty traditional.

I would guess this is pretty close to the average American view. The vast majority of Americans are still getting married.

It's so popular, many do it twice or even three times.

As I always say to anyone contemplating big wedding expenses: "Oh come on, live a little. You only get married twice!" ;)

The_Captain

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2015, 02:16:45 PM »
Male, 25, Parents didn't stay together (and were never actually married)

I still believe in marriage. Heck, I'm even getting married next year! I'm not religious, but I like the idea of a clear declaration that me and my spouse are a team. It won't change how we operate, and until we have kids there's financial benefits, merely detriments (No income splitting here until you have kids, because the government is more interested in targeted tax cuts to their base than any real feelings on the matter) but I like the idea that there's a clear way to acknowledge that me and my [future] spouse are more of a single unit than not.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2015, 02:26:12 PM »
Female, 52, married 14 years, no children.

My parents happily married 66 years. Husband's parents never married, mother was a teenager, she later married and divorced several times.

I chose Gerbils because I don't like the phrase "believing in" marriage. Marriage exists; it isn't like the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus or the evil eye or a hot streak in sports.
I prefer being married; I like having a formal commitment and a legal one to celebrate our emotional commitment. But I don't feel that other couples are in any way inferior or less committed if they don't marry. My husband didn't care either way. As it happened, we did have to get legally married so we could live in the same country permanently, so the decision was made for us.

Pooperman

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2015, 02:31:37 PM »
Parents not together, divorced when I was 11, but I "believe" in marriage. M, age 26.

I do think a lot of people rush it or get married for the wrong reasons. However, a smart, practical couple that has dated for a number of years and planned well in a way that their long-term future also meshes has a very good chance of working out. I think the cultural and psychological benefits make it worthwhile. I've yet to be married although I would like to be someday.

Mine divorced at 5 and I am to be married later this year.

AJ

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2015, 03:19:53 PM »
I'm not religious, but I like the idea of a clear declaration that me and my spouse are a team.
...

but I like the idea that there's a clear way to acknowledge that me and my [future] spouse are more of a single unit than not.

This is my feeling about marriage as well. I guess I don't totally know what is meant by "believe" in marriage. I mean, marriage is an actual thing people do - it's not like fairies or the Easter bunny that you choose to "believe in" or not. Marriage is just two (or, rarely, more) people deciding and declaring, "we are going to form one social unit now, and intend to continue this way indefinitely." The paper is the formality of that (which isn't available to everyone yet).

Do people who "don't believe in marriage" mean that they simply don't want to make the above declaration? If so, to each their own. Or, do they mean that they don't think *anyone* should make that declaration? In which case, fuck you, I'm a adult and I'll do what I want! :P Or...maybe I just don't get what people mean when they say that. Can anyone clarify?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 03:31:33 PM by AJ »

Spork

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2015, 03:33:43 PM »

Lets put aside the practical considerations like health insurance, medical directives and tax benefits. Assume that there are no legal barriers to becoming married. I'm looking for emotional attachment here.


I'm not sure how to answer.  I consider marriage to basically be a nice legal package -- a business partnership where you sleep with your partner.

I'm not sure what I have left once that package is gone.  Yes: an emotional connection to another, which is important.  But that can happen with or without marriage.

Philociraptor

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2015, 03:37:05 PM »

Lets put aside the practical considerations like health insurance, medical directives and tax benefits. Assume that there are no legal barriers to becoming married. I'm looking for emotional attachment here.


I'm not sure how to answer.  I consider marriage to basically be a nice legal package -- a business partnership where you sleep with your partner.

I'm not sure what I have left once that package is gone.  Yes: an emotional connection to another, which is important.  But that can happen with or without marriage.

Well said! I voted Gerbils.

(Male, 25, parents still together, married 1 year)

Spork

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2015, 03:50:49 PM »

Lets put aside the practical considerations like health insurance, medical directives and tax benefits. Assume that there are no legal barriers to becoming married. I'm looking for emotional attachment here.


I'm not sure how to answer.  I consider marriage to basically be a nice legal package -- a business partnership where you sleep with your partner.

I'm not sure what I have left once that package is gone.  Yes: an emotional connection to another, which is important.  But that can happen with or without marriage.

Well said! I voted Gerbils.

(Male, 25, parents still together, married 1 year)

I forgot to say: Male, married, 50, parents together until death did them part.   I like the legal package.  I sort of wish it was more generic.  (By generic I mean: I want a traditional monogamous male/female package.  I'm perfectly fine with there being packages that are 2 dudes or 2 chicks or 3 dudes/5 chicks, etc.)

epipenguin

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2015, 04:24:56 PM »
I voted that my parents were still together, but one of my parents died when I was a child so I actually have no idea if they'd still be together now or not. I suspect not but then again, I don't know.

I do think part of the "belief" in marriage as an institution (although as already mentioned, it exists so what is there to believe in) may be a cultural thing. As a European who is now an American, my views on marriage have changed since moving. The US has many more things that seem to benefit married couples - ability to get on spouse's employer health insurance, even in my/my SO's case the ability to drive their (company) car, ability to make decisions in a hospital, social security benefits, etc. If those benefits were equal whether you were married or not, would I still want to be married? I think so, as to me it is a public statement that you are a team and that you're going to at least try to work to stay together. But I feel there is more pressure in the US to be married.

mm1970

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2015, 04:26:46 PM »
I believe in marriage.  My parents divorced when I was a teen, my in laws separated after 43 years.

I'm married.  I'm not religious.  It's a legal contract and to me shows commitment.  But the legal aspects are incredibly important to me, and the kids.

My hubby has friends and relatives in Denmark, and it's much  more low key there.  They tend to get into relationships, live together, have kids - and generally, eventually, get married.  But you never hear about the marriage, only about the kids.  The marriage is an afterthought.

galliver

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2015, 02:24:36 PM »
I believe marriage will persist going forward, because I see it having developed, presumably independently, in many disparate cultures around the world. There are a few that didn't have marriage, but for the most part, the ceremonial joining of a man and a woman (traditionally) into a partnership was common. Specifics have varied, such as attitudes toward same-sex marriage, divorce, remarriage, etc, but all but very few cultures have some tradition related to this that dates back to before significant globalization. Basically, it seems to me that we are (mostly) primed for it in some way.

I don't necessarily think it's for everyone, and I do think we need to expand the definition and/or allow other official options legally. Because not everyone fits this mold, even if a majority do, and we should give everyone the right to have a happy, steady, recognized relationship.

For the record, 26, parents happily in their 2nd marriages for ~15-20 years, I'm planning to marry eventually.

ApplePI

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2015, 08:34:37 PM »
Parents together and would LOVE to believe in marriage... But mine failed. Hard to be optimistic about it now :/

electriceagle

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2015, 10:31:02 PM »
I'm not religious, but I like the idea of a clear declaration that me and my spouse are a team.
...

but I like the idea that there's a clear way to acknowledge that me and my [future] spouse are more of a single unit than not.

This is my feeling about marriage as well. I guess I don't totally know what is meant by "believe" in marriage. I mean, marriage is an actual thing people do - it's not like fairies or the Easter bunny that you choose to "believe in" or not. Marriage is just two (or, rarely, more) people deciding and declaring, "we are going to form one social unit now, and intend to continue this way indefinitely." The paper is the formality of that (which isn't available to everyone yet).

Do people who "don't believe in marriage" mean that they simply don't want to make the above declaration? If so, to each their own. Or, do they mean that they don't think *anyone* should make that declaration? In which case, fuck you, I'm a adult and I'll do what I want! :P Or...maybe I just don't get what people mean when they say that. Can anyone clarify?

Thanks for all of the great responses!

I'm sorry if I was unclear about what I meant by "believing in marriage".

The survey question was "Would I be happy with a long-term, loving relationship that does not result in marriage?". The idea was to list "believe" if one would be dissatisfied in a permanent relationship without marriage (assuming no significant legal barriers or material benefits are involved).

Perhaps I should have used the term "require" rather than "believe"... I'm not sure as I'm trying to capture peoples' emotional attachment to the concept of marriage (for them, but not the particular marriage that they are in right now, if any).

Here is the first set of rudimentary statistics. I'm including only those who felt that they had an answer for the question (didn't vote gerbils):

A whopping 83% of respondents grew up with their parents together. 72% of respondents "believe in" marriage.

Among those whose parents were together, 73% believe in marriage. Among those whose parents were apart, 67% believe in marriage. The Fischer exact test suggests a 80% chance that this difference is real. I suspect the low level of statistical significance comes from the small number of MMM responders who grew up with their parents apart.

(My knowlege of statistics is incredibly rusty, so feel free to throw rodents at me if I did that wrong. )

So far, there are not enough responses with ages to generate any analysis.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 10:33:51 PM by electriceagle »

Zikoris

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2015, 10:59:40 PM »
I put "parents not together, UNBELIEVER".

The whole business just seems like a silly, pointless waste of time and money.

Knapptyme

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2015, 11:28:29 PM »
M, 33, married

Parents together, believe in marriage, am happily married, but wouldn't get married again if I was able to tell that to 22 year-old self. I believe in it in the spiritual or emotional sense, but not the legalistic one. If I say I'm going to be with this one woman till I die or she dies, that should mean something to both of us. No wasteful ceremony or piece of paper would change that. Plus, (since we're both employed) the tax breaks would be in favor for us being separate individuals with one child each.

CestMoi

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2015, 09:23:05 AM »
RE:  "Would I be happy with a long-term, loving relationship that does not result in marriage?"

-My answer to this question is yes. For me, the long-term, loving relationship part trumps the marriage part. I'm not opposed to marriage; it's just not very important to me.

simplified

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2015, 12:08:38 PM »
I'm not religious, but I like the idea of a clear declaration that me and my spouse are a team.
...

but I like the idea that there's a clear way to acknowledge that me and my [future] spouse are more of a single unit than not.

This is my feeling about marriage as well. I guess I don't totally know what is meant by "believe" in marriage. I mean, marriage is an actual thing people do - it's not like fairies or the Easter bunny that you choose to "believe in" or not. Marriage is just two (or, rarely, more) people deciding and declaring, "we are going to form one social unit now, and intend to continue this way indefinitely." The paper is the formality of that (which isn't available to everyone yet).

Do people who "don't believe in marriage" mean that they simply don't want to make the above declaration? If so, to each their own. Or, do they mean that they don't think *anyone* should make that declaration? In which case, fuck you, I'm a adult and I'll do what I want! :P Or...maybe I just don't get what people mean when they say that. Can anyone clarify?

I agree with AJ. The correct question to ask perhaps is - Do you believe in a committed life long relationship or not. The key word here is 'life long'. Not 'long term' or 'a really long time'. As far as I know, marriage is the only institution that conveys this meaning.

 

Zikoris

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2015, 12:25:04 PM »
Expanding on what "I don't believe in it" means to me:

I think "marriage" should have no legal meaning, no benefits, and the government should have zero involvement. If two people want to throw a big party at their church or whatever and declare themselves one unit, go for it! It should have no significance outside of that. Basically, I think the government should get out of the marriage business altogether.

And I think the entire wedding industry is one of the biggest scams around.

MLKnits

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2015, 12:50:37 PM »
Quote
For belief in marriage, ask yourself the following question: "Would I be happy with a long-term, loving relationship that does not result in marriage?" (Edit: if you would be dissatisfied, then please put "believe").

By this definition, I'm not a believer. My parents have an extremely loving and complementary partnership; they're also married. I don't at all think the one is necessary for the other (in either direction, actually!).

Of my many siblings, the ones who have married have also all divorced, so ... that's interesting, I guess. To be fair to them, the second marriages all seem to be going all right.

One of them has been with a partner for upwards of twenty years now, unmarried and very content, though I've gotten the strong impression (we're not that close) they're also poly, which probably has an effect of its own. Harder to break up over infidelity or sexual frustration, for instance.

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2015, 08:39:16 AM »
I voted gerbils because I didn't believe in marriage until I met my husband. I am F, 34. I've been married to M, 39 for 12 years, together for 14 years.  My parents were "still together for the kids" and still to this day sort of hate each other. Husbands parents have been married for 45 years and are the healthiest role model of functional relationships I've ever had.
I did not believe in marriage, thought it was outdated and that I was too much of a feminist to get married. I don't think everyone needs to get married. I love being his "wife" and I enjoy the partnership that comes with that.

MoneyCat

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2015, 08:14:37 PM »
There isn't really any point to getting married unless you are religious and traditional, because the average modern godless person these days doesn't like the idea of sometimes putting another person before themselves.  That's pretty much what marriage is about.

freeatlast

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2015, 11:18:45 PM »
It's more than just a piece of paper and my guess is that you know it. If it was just a piece of paper that meant nothing, you would just sign it - no problem. You are trying to avoid a full and lifetime commitment. My bf used to say the same thing, so I left. I told him I wanted commitment and someone to grow old with. If that person wasn't him, I was moving on.  After several months, I guess he realized what he had lost and now we are married several years and very happy! Oh, and by the way, we now pay way more in taxes due to rules surrounding rental properties and deductions.... but it is worth it to me! There is something different about being married then just living together IMO. Best of luck!

CestMoi

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2015, 09:27:32 AM »
the average modern godless person these days doesn't like the idea of sometimes putting another person before themselves.  That's pretty much what marriage is about.

Strawman aside, marriage is about different things to different people. But it certainly isn't some magic balm against selfishness in relationships or life.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 09:36:50 AM by CestMoi »

Knapptyme

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2015, 10:03:27 PM »
Expanding on what "I don't believe in it" means to me:

I think "marriage" should have no legal meaning, no benefits, and the government should have zero involvement. If two people want to throw a big party at their church or whatever and declare themselves one unit, go for it! It should have no significance outside of that. Basically, I think the government should get out of the marriage business altogether.

And I think the entire wedding industry is one of the biggest scams around.

+1

Although, I'm not sure how health insurance companies (which kinda-sorta includes the government) interpret a family unit without marriage or civil union. Someone enlighten me, please.

Zikoris

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2015, 11:44:52 PM »
Expanding on what "I don't believe in it" means to me:

I think "marriage" should have no legal meaning, no benefits, and the government should have zero involvement. If two people want to throw a big party at their church or whatever and declare themselves one unit, go for it! It should have no significance outside of that. Basically, I think the government should get out of the marriage business altogether.

And I think the entire wedding industry is one of the biggest scams around.

+1

Although, I'm not sure how health insurance companies (which kinda-sorta includes the government) interpret a family unit without marriage or civil union. Someone enlighten me, please.

My boyfriend and I became a "family unit" after living together for a certain length of time, at which point our health insurance merged, we were able to use each other's medical benefit plans through work, file taxes together, and so on. Very simple. No reason the same couldn't apply to a couple who threw a big party at their church prior to moving in together.

Daffy

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2015, 07:05:19 AM »
My parents are together but it's not a good/happy marriage.

I'm happily married myself.

Marriage isn't for everyone though, and that's perfectly okay.

mm1970

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2015, 12:55:07 PM »
There isn't really any point to getting married unless you are religious and traditional, because the average modern godless person these days doesn't like the idea of sometimes putting another person before themselves.  That's pretty much what marriage is about.
Well, I'm godless and I put my husband and kids before me all the time.

Huh. Must be doing it wrong.

Kris

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2015, 01:07:35 PM »
There isn't really any point to getting married unless you are religious and traditional, because the average modern godless person these days doesn't like the idea of sometimes putting another person before themselves.  That's pretty much what marriage is about.
Well, I'm godless and I put my husband and kids before me all the time.

Huh. Must be doing it wrong.

Me, too.  Whoops.

Hank Sinatra

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2015, 04:14:26 PM »
Grew up among some of the worst marriages. Knew some long term good ones also.

Marriage can be good but that's all you can say about it. The downside is potentially  catastrophic and unrecoverable. Life is too short. Why would I waist my life on that kind of  chance?

GuitarStv

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2015, 11:43:59 AM »
We lived together for seven or eight years before getting married.  We've been married for about five years and now have a kid.  Honestly, it hasn't really done anything outstandingly positive for our relationship that couldn't have been done in some other way.  We aren't super religious, parents and relatives seemed to be pretty happy when we got married.

It's kind of cool as a public declaration of monogamy and commitment, and carries with it some legal ramifications.  On the whole, I'm happy to be married.

Lis

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2015, 01:45:09 PM »
This is a really interesting discussion!

F25, not yet married. Both my parents were previously married and divorced before they met and are happy. I voted gerbils because I'm on the fence. I'm currently not in a relationship, so marriage really isn't on my mind at the moment, but this has gotten me curious. I'm with GuitarStv, I like the idea of the public declaration. The obvious benefits are the legal ones. I guess from my point of view, the 'traditional' point of marriage is archaic. I don't see the current state of marriage as a way to 'enslave or suppress women' or claim ownership or whatever. Marriage is, or should be, a partnership of two committed people. If a couple can still have a strong partnership without marriage, then great for them.

Lanthiriel

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2015, 03:11:23 PM »
My (F27) parents aren't together, and I don't believe that marriage was the right choice for me. I married young (21), and my parents actually signed their divorce papers 2 days after my wedding. My husband (M32) and I are still together, but I'm not going to lie--if we hadn't been married, the relationship probably wouldn't have survived some rough early years. We love each other and are very much committed to staying together, but if the relationship ended, I would not remarry. My husband is great in a lot of ways, but I honestly think of him more as a dependent than a partner. I am not someone to carries the burdens of others lightly. Unless some things about both of us change drastically in the next 10 years, we are unlikely to have kids. 

AJ

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2015, 04:09:34 PM »
My husband is great in a lot of ways, but I honestly think of him more as a dependent than a partner. 

Does he know that? DH and I married quite young as well, and our first real holy-shit-are-we-going-to-make-it fight was about this same thing. We hit a point where I felt like I was growing up into an adult and he was still trying to stay an irresponsible teenager. I said that I felt like I was carrying all the weight of adult life and he was refusing to grow up and take on some responsibility. I told him it felt like he was my child rather than my partner. It was an intense few conversations, but he came around 100%. I shudder to think what my life would be like right now if we hadn't gone through that time.

Lanthiriel

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2015, 06:57:48 PM »
My husband is great in a lot of ways, but I honestly think of him more as a dependent than a partner. 

Does he know that? DH and I married quite young as well, and our first real holy-shit-are-we-going-to-make-it fight was about this same thing. We hit a point where I felt like I was growing up into an adult and he was still trying to stay an irresponsible teenager. I said that I felt like I was carrying all the weight of adult life and he was refusing to grow up and take on some responsibility. I told him it felt like he was my child rather than my partner. It was an intense few conversations, but he came around 100%. I shudder to think what my life would be like right now if we hadn't gone through that time.

He does, and it's gotten a lot better in recent years, especially since he (finally) graduated from school and got a full-time job. We went through a lot of counseling about three years ago that was extremely helpful, but there are some things about someone's personality you cannot change. I honestly think that he is Asperger's, though he has never been diagnosed. I've come to accept that this relationship and his well-being is more important to me than finding a more traditional relationship, though it comes with certain sacrifices like needing to socialize on my own and not having kids (which is something I'm not sure I would have wanted anyway). It's all made me extremely motivated and self-sufficient, which I appreciate.

Dee

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2015, 08:50:52 PM »
My parents were not together when I was growing up. My mom married my father because she felt that was a required precursor to having children. She had me and found the marriage was unsustainable and left him when I was still a baby.

I voted that I don't believe in marriage. That may not have been the right vote because my view is that I do believe that marriage is an appropriate step for people who are able to express a desire to remain together until death, regardless of life circumstances.

In my current location (Canada) at this point in time, I don't think there is very much reason to get married, as opposed to living together, if, as a couple you intend to stay together for as long as you are better together than apart (or some other variation wherein you could envision your relationship at partners ending before death).

I once said to a friend that I saw divorce as a failure and she was surprised by that. But I do -- I see divorce as a failure to live up to marriage vows, even in circumstances where I can totally see why it makes sense to end a relationship... I just don't accept that the relationship should have been sealed with a vow to stay married until death do us part, if something else can sway a couple to part.

I try not to impose that judgmentally on couples, and to accept that people get married or don't get married for different reasons and with different intentions.

But, for me, the promise to stay together "until death" is really what distinguishes marriage from other relationships and I am quite astounded at the number of people willing to make that promise... and break that promise.

In my case, I have been engaged once before, to a partner I lived with for 7 years. We got engaged really early on in the relationship and when I accepted the marriage proposal, I really did believe I could promise to be with him till death. Then I lived with longer and got to know him better... and even though that also meant I got to love more deeply, I also saw that I was not sure that I could stay with him even in ongoing sickness and poorness. Eventually, I did leave. I don't think I would have if I had married him. I would still be trying to muddle through, seeking to have as much of my sanity intact in the difficult life circumstances he's found himself in.

Currently, I am planning to move in with my boyfriend of six years. He's not much of a believer in marriage though he does say his plan is for us to stay together for life. I plan to as well.... but I can't really say I'm sure enough about it to vow to be with him "until death do us part." We do discuss getting married and I would actually do it for practical reasons (like if he needed emergency access to my health insurance before we have lived together for a full year so that he could be my spouse for that purpose or if we wanted to live together in a different country where marital status matters more than here).

So having said all that, in a sense I am great believer in marriage. I just also believe that there is value in long-term relationships where couples will try to work through obstacles but may ultimately decide to leave before death. I believe that such relationships are really common, even among married partners. But, to me, such relationships ought to be valued and celebrated for what they are -- something different than marriage