Post # 1
This is a spinoff of the thread about glamorizing cheaters.
There were a number of posts in response to this thread that said that if either person in a marriage falls out of love they’d walk away or expect their partner to walk away. I’m just as much of a realist as the next person, but how is this different from dating? It may not have been intended this way, but it sometimes came across like, “we’re getting married for now.” Honest question 🙂
Post # 3
It’s a legal committment that has real and binding consequences. When you are dating, it is easier to break up for something way less serious than cheating. When you are legally bound to someone, it’s much harder to back away/break up for less serious things. Cheating, drug/alcohol addiction, violence, committing felonies, etc are all deal breakers for me. I don’t thing having deal breakers makes someone less serious about marriage.
Post # 4
Well I don’t think people getting married with the intention of walking away – but every person has their limits. If my husband cheats on me several times, I am divorcing him. But I didn’t marry him with that intention to divorce him.
Post # 5
I agree — I also have the dealbreakers that you have. The tone from the other thread was general falling-out-of-love, rather than specific traumatic events. I can’t 100% say that I’ll stay married forever, but it seems odd to me to go into marriage with a get-out plan for fading feelings — which I understand is a phase for many relationships.
Post # 6
It’s different from dating because we are legally protecting our relationship. When we finally do get married it will not be “till death do us part.” It will be something like “for as long as we both are happy.” It doesnt’ mean that we don’t have intentions on working on it if times get tough, but sometimes life changes who we are and there is no salvaging that.
So why not just date forever? Well because we love each other now and if something terrible were to happen we would want to dignity and respect that our relationship deserves. There are things like social security and disability benefits. FMLA and health insurance. There are real legal consequences to making a decision out of haste, like cheating.
As I’m sure many people would argue about marriage ONLY being about love, it isn’t. What do you think marriage equality for gay couples is so important? There are over 1100 federal benefits to marriage.
So yes. I am marrying my FI because I LOVE her. But I am also marrying her because marriage PROTECTS our union in the eyes of the law. Marriage prevents her mom from having access to our assets if she were to pass away. Marriage grants me visitation in the hospital if she were to fall ill. It allows me to make decisions on her behalf if she is unable.
If at any point the love is gone and there is no working it out then we separate. We divorce and we find someone else. For us marriage is practical, not religious. It preserves and protects what we have right now. Who knows where we will be in 40 years? Hopefully together, but I’m not going to NOT protect the present incase the future isn’t what I planned it. That’s just silly.
If marriage is only about love and love alone should suffice then why did you, OP get married in the first place?
Post # 7
@discokitty: A lot of other factors come into play when couples “fall out of love.” Life changes people. Why force yourself to make it work with someone you do not love anymore? I think that love is a choice, but what if I just don’t want to love them anymore? What if they are no longer my best fit, or they have become someone too different from me? You shouldn’t force yourself to love your spouse if you don’t WANT to actually love them. It’s not real.
I could have forced myself to love my ex-husband and for a while I tried. But it wasn’t authentic anymore. That’s not fair to either person involved.
I think there is a big difference of missing the “in love” feelings and finding ways to come back to each other and simply not loving a person anymore. When you don’t love them anymore, no amount of forcing is going to make it happen.
Post # 8
They would just walk away huh? gosh that sounds harsh. I would think if you fell in love and then out….with work you can always fall back in love too. Sounds like falling out of love just giving up really.
besides love: Im religous and obviously it is important for me that we pronounce our love and commitment in front of God and our families. legally i couldnt care besides the tax benifits. And i can help with legal direct advances (after life stuff) There are many things emotionally, physically, and just plan old that i do as a wife and didnt as a girlfriend. To me we are truly sharing a life together now. honestly as a girlfriend was (for seven years) pretty selfish in the way i thought things threw, not now. I am treated differently by his family. not that it was terrible before but i can tell they accept me more than before. As a wife when dealing with our buisness people treat me more with respect as well…not temporary. i noticed his sister in law got more respect married (even though they only knew each other for four months!) to me being a girlfriend. When we have kids things will be easier for them, if i were not married i would give my kids my name. Its just like someone said
people usually never get married thinking it might not work out. things just happen.
i had a friend who just divorced. her husband told her he was out of love, started partying and developed a drug habit .(no one knew) didnt want to get clean or go to rehab. even though they have kids. cheated on her …with people she knew. and refused to go to counciling. what do you do then?? I dont know what i would do. married 10 years and all this starts happening. her divorce has only got worse. and i know she still loves him and there is nothing she can do but move on. He refuses to work on it. i knew both of them forever. my husband went to highschool/grade school with them. You never think terrible things like that will happen to you or your closest friends. you pray that it doesnt.
Post # 9
I also do not understand some of the views I read on marriage in the previous thread. I’m not surprised though, because our society has adopted a similar “throw away” mentality when things get tough (not picking on those who disagree here, just speaking in general).
Relationships require effort. Marriage definetely requires effort to stay “in love”. Love, to me, is a choice. It means when I hit the gym and I spot a well built brother over by the weights, I look away. It means when I notice that a certain man has been paying me a little too much attention at the Barnes and Nobles I study at, I shy away. While I’ve been with my SO, I’ve been approached by men offering to wine and dine me, who may seem to have “more” materialistic whathaveyou’s on the outside, but you know what love does? Love chooses. Love respects. Love nurtures, and realizes that no, the grass is not always greener on the otherside.
The people who claim to fall in love with others seem to fall for the 20% they see on the outside, while leaving the 100% they already know with their current spouses. It may not always be a bed of roses, but I intend on working on my future marriage. I do not intend on leaving unless all avenues of help have been attempted. I would expect that my SO, and hopefully FH, would show the same respect, commitment and diligence to our marriage.
Post # 10
@lovelyMsValentine: Well said (for both posts)! I have those same thoughts- you just relayed them in a much clearer way than I would have!
Post # 11
There are many legal and financial advantages to marriage. I’m just saying not everyone gets married for the same reasons.
Post # 12
@lovelyMsValentine: I don’t understand this idea of “for as long as we both are happy” because happiness isn’t a constant. No one is happy all the time. There will be tough times. Sometimes there are REALLY tough times. And many couples get through that stuff together.
Where do you draw the line at being happy? Where do you draw the line at falling “out” of love enough so that it’s over?
Post # 13
I think you may be taking that too loosely. It’s not like “oh we had a bad day, I’m done.”
I understand that most couples go through some tough times. FI and spent the first 3 years basically in living hell. (A story for a different day) Towards the end I had drew my line in the sand. At that point we had spent months in counseling (twice a week, every week), we had read numerous self-help relationship books, we had done every exercise that was suggested to us, anything that was thrown our way; we gave it a fair shot. Things just weren’t improving. I felt that I was at the point that I could walk away saying that I literally tried everything I could in my power to make this relationship better. I told her that I had 6 months left in me. I would continue giving it everything I had, but if by the New Year things had not started to improve, I was leaving.
I feel like 3 1/2 years of trying to make it work was a fair effort. I refused to spend the rest of my life striving to be happy with my partner.
I feel like that is no different if we would have been married. I loved her with all of my heart, but sometimes love isn’t enough to keep a relationship afloat. Personality differences, life changes, someone finding Jesus and the other doesn’t, me being a lesbain and my ex husband not having a vagina, etc are all things were love isn’t enough. Sometimes we have to know when enough is enough. So I suppose our wedding vows could say “For as long as we are both happy and if things get bad we have to put in sufficient work by going to counseling and working on it for a minimum of x amount years and if it’s not because of fundmental changes in our person that the other person isn’t on board for and even though I still may be love you I might not be happy as person and my happiness as a person is more important than a legal contract..” but I think it sounds better the other way.
Post # 14
@discokitty: Obviously hindsight can be 20/20, whereas foresight…not so much. There are a million variables and human hearts are far from perfect. To stay married and happy you both have to have two things, love and the ability to adapt to your life together (wherever that may take you). But this is not just limited to marriage or relationships. All things in life grow and evolve into different things. From the models of cars that we drive to the foods we like. Artichokes. As a kid you would have had to tie me down and force feed me, now I love them. The music I LOOOOOOVED in highschool? Some is nostalgic and some I don’t know what I was thinking. Anyone who was alive during the 80’s! 99% of us would never want to still be sitting in the 80’s. Everything changes. Life changes. Priorities change. Feelings change. And if you don’t BOTH have the ability to adapt to those changes together then you will be miserable or split up. Nothing on this planet is written in stone.
*I mean “you” in the collective sense, as in all people. Not just you personally.
ETA: Totally just realized I didn’t answer the real question, “why get married?”
Because I love him and I want to be his wife. Plain and simple. He’s the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. I want to grow old and die with him. I want him to know how much he means to me. To me marriage is like shouting it from the roof-top. You have legal papers and a ring so everyone will know that you’re married, that you choose this person. It’s a public display so to speak. I know that some day he may feel differently or I may feel differently, but I hope not. I would be heartbroken to lose him. And at the same time I would never want to keep him if he was not happy to be with me. None of us can predict the future. But I love him enough to say that it is my firm belief that he is my other half.
Post # 15
@lovelyMsValentine: Now that makes sense to me. Ihonestly wasn’t sure what to think at first. 🙂
Post # 16
For me, marriage is for keeps, and I wouldn’t marry someone who didn’t agree that you don’t just fall out of love and leave – you work together to get past it and build a stronger relationship from it. Love isn’t really so magical and ineffable… it involves many choices. Marriage means always choosing to put your partner first and stay away from people who would intrude on and damage your connection, even if it’s a hard choice where you ignore irrational butterflies in your stomach. (If you are poly and choose together to invite others in, that’s different. It’s not an intrusion.)
When you get that flirty feeling, you can choose to follow up, or choose to distance and ignore. “Love” (or at least infatuation) can be frozen out. Marriage means doing the latter with everyone but your spouse (and those authorized by your spouse if applicable.)