Help me try to understand modern marriage

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
2781 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

igotsomequestions :  for whatever reasons you don’t ever want to get married. Your reasons are your own whether the rest of the world understands/agrees with them or not.

Usually when men don’t want to marry their partner it’s for one of two reasons: a) they don’t want to marry THAT person, or b) they don’t ever want to get married. You fall under the second category and THAT’S ok. What’s NOT ok is being with someone who IS marriage oriented for a long time. For people who DO want marriage (for whatever reasons) anything short of that is just as painful as being pushed to get married is to you. You feel like if you got married you’d be compromising your ideals, long held beliefs and parts of your SELF. You’d feel like you ‘betrayed’ yourself, right? Well, that’s what your partner would feel if she did not get married. 


This, imho, is a fundamental difference between you two. It’s like wanting children in life or not ever wanting them – it never gets resolved satisfactorily for both parties. The solution is to let her find someone who is more compatible with her belief system and for you to find someone who doesn’t ever want to get married or care about whether it happens or not. Then, all four of you will be happy. 

Next time around though, don’t dick around man and tell the women you date that marriage is off the cards for you ENTIRELY, not as a reflection of how you feel about a woman or a relationship. It’ll save you some heartache. 

Post # 32
9132 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

igotsomequestions :  I just don’t get why you are so anti-marriage?  Can you elaborate?  There are so so many elements to our cultures and societies that have oppressive histories, and unlike most of them, marriage has actually changed so it’s pretty progressive now.  You can have a 100% feminist, equal partnership with your spouse if you want to.

Are you sure you don’t ever want to get married to *anyone*, or is it just that you’re not sure you want to marry *her*?  You’re not exactly falling all over yourself talking about how great she is and how much you love her….  Something to think about.

Post # 33
47 posts

Along with what all the other pro-marriage bees have said, I just like being able to say “my husband” any time I want. For some reason it just makes me feel safe and secure.

Post # 34
9673 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Idk about you guys but the only reason my husband married me was for the livestock.

Post # 35
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

“I’m not trying to keep my options open”

But you are.  Not in the “shop around” way but in that you want to keep the option of “staying with your current SO” open.  You are keeping that option open by not being forthright with her about your intention to never get married. That is not fair to her.

today it totally doesn’t seem necessary as de facto relationships are afforded a lot if not all of the same benefits and protections – at least in my country

I obviously don’t know what country you are in, but let me say that in my experience, most laypeople only think of tax benefits and child support when they think of marital benefits. 

When you say that “de facto relationships” (btw, not sure what that means) has “a lot if not all of the same benefits and protections” do you mean that you have:

– Set up joint tenancy with right of survivorship, or whatever is equivalent in your country, for the homestead in which you both live?  Joint tenancy with right of survivorship means that if either of you dies before the other, then the remaining joint tenant would automatically gain 100% ownership interest (or “fee simple” as we call it) in the real property.  No will necessary.  Legal spouses are automatically treated as JTWROS.  

– Set up a cohabitation agreement that governs the division of property should you two split.  You can’t do a civil union but there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from a cohab agreement.  In the U.S., private parties can enter into any contract they choose as long as the terms are not illegal and there is consideration (contracts to give a gift are not enforceable because no consideration).  This is pretty standard and logical and I would imagine things work similarly in other countries unless you’re in North Korea or something, and you obviously aren’t or you wouldn’t be posting here. 

– Will – Self-explanatory.  

Oh but, if you two end up having any children, the will must specifically include them.  You might think oh they’re my kids, so even if I die intestate (that means no will), my kids are automatically covered.  WRONG.  

If you do end up marrying someone else down the line, let’s say you buy a house and then you die, Joint Tenancy WROS kicks in and your current wife gets all of the house–Your children with your ex get NOTHING.  

– Power of Attorney – Medical and general.  This gives her decision-making powers on your person  and regarding your property should you become incapacitated. 

– Health insurance – This one you can ignore if you live in a country with universal healthcare.  But in the U.S. only legal spouses can be covered under your health insurance policy.  Have you bought a health insurance policy for your SO?

– Pensions – Is she listed as the beneficiary/POD (payable on death) on all of your retirement savings/pension accounts?  

– Estate taxes and gift taxes – This one you absolutely cannot avoid in the U.S. if you are transferring property to your SO, unless you are legally married to him or her.  

– Ownership of legal claims – This one you absolutely cannot gain in the U.S. unless you are legally married.  If your SO dies in a car accident, as her husband you would be able to file Wrongful Death claim on behalf of her estate.  If you don’t have that piece of paper–tough sh^t, the law does not care how much you were in love or how long you were together.  Loss of Consortium?  If you’re not legally married, you haven’t lost any consortium, sorry.  

No contract to get around this, because yes you can assign your rights in a lawsuit to someone else contractually, but you can’t preemptively assign something like this because it has not accrued yet and you obviously cannot predict when or even if it will accrue.  

I am a lawyer but I am not your lawyer and this is not legal advice.  But I run into the above a LOT and it’s heartbreaking when it happens.  

This is also not an exhaustive list.  I am doubtful, for the reasons listed above, that your SO currently enjoys “a lot if not all of the same benefits and protections” as if she were married to you.

Post # 36
2888 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

slomotion :  You seriously kill me sometimes 😂


Op, honestly the reasons in your post for not marrying your SO are bs. It’s okay if you don’t want to get married, that is your right. But don’t try to spin it like you are doing it for HER because you are not. She wants to be married. The original concepts associated with marriage no longer apply. 

Post # 38
9132 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I still don’t get why you’re against marriage.  You don’t seem to want to explain it.  You’re *not* a feminist, so you don’t believe in equal rights for men and women?  Do you just not want to be legally bound to someone else?

Post # 39
1936 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Before I met my partner, I viewed marriage in a negative way and I believed that marriage limited women. I also thought that the country in which I lived offered legal protection without the need for getting married, but it doesn’t. As an unmarried woman if I were to have a child, the father would have to attend with me to register the birth. As a married woman, my husband doesn’t have to attend with me. So all it takes is for the father of the child to decide he doesn’t want to a part of that child’s life and he won’t turn up to register the birth. That makes child support a whole lot trickier, amongst other things. It is also expected that women will take the majority share of childcare by working part time (a different rant for a different day) but a woman takes a drop in pay to work part time, marriage can offer more security financially for that decision.

As many bees have mentioned there’s also the protections in case of hospitalisation. If the worse does happen and your partner passes away, you are the legal next of kin. You get to decide how she would want to buried, rather than being left outside whilst her parents choose everything. You can go through lengthy processes to ensure these rights but it’s often cheaper and easier with marriage – even in a country that offers rights to partners who aren’t married. Marriage does provide more practical benefits than the law currently allows for unmarried partners, it’s why people have fought for the right to same sex marriage. Imagine for a moment that the worst happens and your partner sadly passes away – how do you feel having no input on her funeral arrangements, what her stone says or even where she rests? That you have no right to travel in the family car unless her parents ask you to?

For me, my opinion of marriage started to shift and I started to view it more as a partnership than an ownership. My husband would laugh in your face if you told him that being married to me meant that he owned me. He knew right from the off that I’d never be a woman he could own and I’m sure your partner is the same so why do you think marriage would change her ownership? We decided what we wanted our marriage to look like and one size doesn’t fit all. Publicly in our vows we promised until death do us part but privately we promised to stay together until the bad memories taint the good memories because neither of us want to ever regret this relationship. So marriage provides us the security that our partner isn’t going to get bored one Tuesday and call it quits but it also provides us the security that when the bad days start piling up and make us forget the good times that we won’t stay just because we’re married. In addition to that promise, we made little promises which support that – promises to speak up when we want something and hopefully with these little promises we might be able to do the death do us part bit because that would be nice would we are realists so don’t presume anything. For a lot of people on here even talking about the possibility of future bad times would jinx their relationship, which is why one size doesn’t fit all. 

Finally, from a romantic view – I love my husband. I trust him and I trust him not just to be faithful but I trust him to make decisions with us in mind rather than just him. I trust him to make sensible decisions, I trust him with my money, I trust him to be a good father when he have children and I trust him with my life, I trust him to make the right decision for me in an end of life scenario. He makes me happy. He makes me laugh. He gets me like nobody else. Why wouldn’t I want to marry him? Why wouldn’t I want to stand in front of our families and friends and say he’s pretty great and I’m going to try and be the best person I can for him because he’s worth it. Despite all my reasons beforehand, they were just words as opposed to the feelings for my husband.

Post # 40
502 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Let me see if I understand you…

You’re against marriage because:

(a) In your country, de facto relationships are afforded a lot if not all of the same benefits and protections.


(b) You have strong views regarding the fact that marriage was originally a way of gettin in-laws, making alliances and expanding the family labor force.


Am I right?

And you’re asking…How is modern marriage something more than just a contract or a business deal?

Well, I’m sorry but I think modern marriage (and perhaps ALL marriage) has been/will be nothing more than a contract or a business deal. I don’t understand what other answer you’re looking for -perhaps something along the lines of romance?. 

However, just because it is a contract/business deal doesn’t mean people can’t add some meaning to it (in big part thanks to the Catholic church). Here is where it guess tricky. For some, this contract/business deal means faithfulness, support and compromise; for others, it means commitment and social status. What does it mean for your girlfriend? I think you should be clear about that and what this contract/business deal means for her.

THIS, the meaning behind that contract/business deal its what is actually causing you conflict. It seems to me that you don’t really see marriage as a contract/business deal but rather, you have your own meaning about it -and it doesn’t matches the meaning your girlfriend has.

I have always seen marriage as nothing more than a contract between my husband and I, so despite the fact that I was never really into getting married I decided to marry him because (a) it was really important for him, and (b) it was a good business deal. In your case, however, your reasons can’t really explain why you’re against marriage. You mention that your relationship already enjoys of the same benefits and protections as marriage, in which case, I have to wonder…Where do you live that something like this is possible? You also mention you have strong views regarding the origin of marriage, but by differencing between modern marriage and old marriage, aren’t you admiting that they are NOT the same? Hence, the origins shouldn’t really matter? (Or do origins matter in all aspects of your everyday life?)

I think it is time for some self-meditation. You need to find what is actually holding you from seeing marriage as just a contract/business deal? Or, if you’re indeed seeing it as one, what is holding you from accepting this contract/business deal with your partner? 

I suggest you watch this video, it might make you consider new ways of thinking and perspective you can start discussing with your partner:


Post # 41
7862 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I really think if you believe your only two choices are “propose when she returns from vacay” or “break up when she returns from vacay” then you probably shouldn’t even have marriage on the table right now. Like if breaking up is a very real and immediate option for you, then marriage shouldn’t be.

I think some soul searching is definitely in order. Of course I am not a mind reader, but my gut instinct here is that you don’t want to get married because you do, on some level, want to keep your options open. I believe you love your SO and would perhaps be happy staying with her for many years, but something about legally committing to “forever” with your partner makes you extremely uneasy. Maybe you’d feel that way with any woman, or maybe it’s something about your specific partner that just isn’t quite the right fit for “forever” for you – it kind of doesn’t matter. Either way, I sure as hell would not be proposing to anyone in the near future if I had such a degree of ambivalence about the whole thing that I thought my only two choices were to break up or propose.

Post # 42
634 posts
Busy bee

camenae :  

De facto is the same as common law, which is recognized legally in exactly the same way marriage is in some countries, including mine. All of your points are inaccurate in my country. 


My Fiance and I were in a similar situation, except for the fact that it was BOTH of us who felt the same way you do. (That’s important.) We live very fulfilling an committed lives, and were perfectly content being de facto forever. Then one day he proposed to me. I was pretty surprised and didn’t quite know if I would say yes. Not because I wasn’t in love with him, but because I had to wrap my head around why we would need to do that when we already have this beautiful life that we built together. 

In the end, I said yes, obviously. We don’t plan to have a wedding, and we have hardly even told anyone. We are going to elope and celebrate our love and commitment together, privately. I don’t think it will change anything that we have going on at home, but it will add a level of devotion that we haven’t yet experienced, and I look forward to that, even though I never thought I would. 

So maybe think of it that way. If she really feels like she is ready to give you that level of devotion, would you reconsider? If you can’t get on the same page, you should probably let her go. 


Post # 43
132 posts
Blushing bee

You can write your own vows (and leave out all mention of ownership, vow to be partners in life, equals) and make your marriage mean anything you want it to be, as long as you both agree. She can keep her maiden name if she wants (I would let this be up to her), ask to skip out the ‘who brings this woman to be married’ part, etc. In modern day marriages, you can set the tone of your marriage. You both get to decide what this marriage means.


Lots of things have bad pasts, including people. But laws, connotations, people…all can change. 

Post # 44
678 posts
Busy bee

My plan of action from here is to do some soul searching until she is back from overseas (extended trip so I have a couple of months, it isn’t a weekend long coinflip or anything) and if I find the idea isn’t still as distasteful to me, I’ll propose, if I’m still as firmly against marriage I will be ending our relationship.

I mean this from the bottom of my heart…

F*ck you and the patriarchal psuedo-faux-feminist horse you rode in on. 

Do your poor girl a favor and end it now, so she can at least get some fun travel romance in. 

Post # 45
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

daisy123 :  I am in one of the few U.S. states that recognize common-law marriage, so I am familiar with the concept.

Common law marriage though is not the same as cohabitation.  Just because you live together long term as a committed romantic couple, have children together, etc. doesn’t grant common law marriage status.  As an attorney this is also a common misconception I run across. Clients be like “We’re as good as married, so we’re common-law married.”  Ehhhh not necessarily.  

Most often there is a holding out” requirement, which means you must hold yourselves out to the public as husband and wife, so the public regards you as a married couple.  You just don’t have the piece of paper but people don’t know that.  OP has not said that he wanted to do that.  In fact the reasons he has given strongly suggest that he does NOT want to call his SO his wife due to the negative connotations that are, or used to be, associated with marriage.

In jurisdictions that recognize common-law marriage, there is also a requirement that you must have done the “holding out” thing for a certain period of time.  Like you can’t just call yourself husband and wife to your neighbor for a day and voila you’re common-law married.

Also, at least in the jurisdiction I am familiar with, there’s no such thing as a common-law divorce.  If you have met the requirement to be considered common-law married, then you have to go through the divorce process just as if you married the regular way. Sooooo if you have to jump through these hoops anyway, then I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just be married the regular way?  

If it really makes no difference at all (same rights/benefits/protections, same annoying crap to deal with upon separation), then why not do what your SO wants?

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