- 6 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
Whilst I’m posting my thoughts online, what do you think of this article:
It was posted by a religious friend of mine on facebook. I am cohabiting myself, so I, OP, and OP’s friend ended up having this conversation:
Friend of OP: No point of marrying if you’re already cohabiting 😉
OP: There is actually; taxation reasons. I think The Times newspaper in the UK found that married couples had something like 700 benefits not given to long-term partners even. Socially and relationally however, I agree with you, marriage adds little to the relationship in these cases.
Me: Perhaps I may agree to disagree? My fiance and I decided to get married as soon as we could afford it. A few years later, we looked at our savings and realised that we could afford either a wedding, or downpayment on a house/flat, but not both. If we had chosen marriage, we would have had nowhere to live, and would have been wasting money on rent whilst saving for a house. Buying the house instead meant that we saved money (a mortgage is cheaper than renting) and also that we could iron out all the issues married couples have over things like budgeting and cleaning before we got married. I am glad we had this time before our wedding, and my father also advised us to live together for a while before marriage for this reason. Of course, we could have just had a tiny religious wedding with no reception instead, but I feel that marriage is a social event as well as a religious one, and marks you out as a member of a community. My family would have been very hurt if I did not invite them, and I want to offer them proper hospitality during my wedding. That said, we hardly “slid” into cohabitation, so the article isn’t really about us, I suppose… we started seriously discussing marriage after 2 years together, shared our financial data and worked out a “marriage, house and children” game plan after 3 years, and moved into our house after 5 years. Once we marry, we will have been together for 7 years.
OP: The article seems to point toward a smaller section of those who have, unlike you, slid in without giving enough thought to the consequences of co-habitation. I does not appear to try and take a broad stroke, neither is it outrightly judgmental. I think it is a fairly sound caution against letting things ‘just happen’ and the underlying suggestion is that relationships need to be worked for and this entails some planning and deliberate actions and inactions.
Me: Well, I do agree that it is a mistake to just move in without a clear idea of where you are heading, for sure! It gets really messy if you live together and then break up… I’ve seen it happen. I think you need to be really clear about your reasons, like the article says, and also that you need to discuss your long term expectations, including marriage, before you move in. Some people are just daft, though.
Me: You know, I suppose I should also say that there are two other great reasons for marrying even if you cohabit… the first is that you want to make a public religious pledge of your union (even if you have already made a private one… religion is both public and private, personal and communal), and the second is that you want to use the marriage celebration in order to integrate yourself into your community, by pledging that you will form a social unit together.
What do you guys think?