(Closed) Importance of Marriage

posted 5 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
Member
923 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

To some extent I see where he’s coming from about marriage just being a piece of paper.  However, it can be a very important piece of paper.  On another message board that I belong to, a woman’s husband was killed in a car crash.  It was very sudden and unexpected and less than 24 hours after it happened the woman’s mother-in-law was trying to collect his life insurance.  Had they not been married then this poor woman would have been left homeless and destitute.  I know it’s not a happy subject, but it’s something that needs to be discussed. 

As for the saving thing, I don’t know what to tell you.  I have not, and might not ever, combine finances with Fiance.  It works for us.  I make sure the bills get paid and he pays the fun stuff (and pays the water/gas bill if he gets it before I do).  My ex sucked at saving money and it caused a ton of problems.  They say money is the main cause of divorce and I can believe it. 

Post # 4
Member
4574 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Of course you are not crazy, you are very normal girl who is in love and wants a wedding and a ring, there are plenty of us out there…we are not a rare species…but i have to tell you that even though i know how you feel about marriage and a ring, maybe you can try to help him start in paying off whatever debt he has, maybe not by giving him money, but trying to administrate certain things for him..also, offering money towards your ring its not such great idea, he knew how you felt about that, so he should have started saving up when he found out about it.   Iam sorry this is happening, try talking to him…GL and best wishes 🙂

Post # 5
Member
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I think it’s mean that he’s making you feel bad about it! He shouldn’t make you feel guilty, especially if you offered to help pay. Are there any family heirloom diamonds you could reset into a ring? Why not just get a small or non-diamond ring now and get a nicer one later? There are definitely solutions that don’t break the bank and won’t cause him to guilt you!

Post # 6
Member
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I think it depends.

Google the difference between a *civil union* (or what someone can get if they are same sex) and a *marriage*.  Also google DOMA – defense of marriage act that was signed into law under Bill Clinton.  I think there is a section that spells out the benefits of a marriage rather than co-habitiation.  There are fairly significant legal and federal benefits that are ONLY available to you if you are married.  Even states that recognize same-sex marriage aren’t able to provide the federal benefits that come with marriage.

Essentially, that “piece of paper” that *isn’t very important* does the following:

  • legally paves the way for each of you to make decisions, specifically medically but also legally, as well as have access to information that pertains to the other person.  By The Way – this can be replicated with a power of attorney and other legal documents.  The rest REQUIRE a marriage certificate……

  • provides the surviving spouse social security benefits upon death that can be used to supplement income or at the least help pay for funeral expenses etc.

  • Ability to file joint tax returns which can impact taxes owed and return given… as well as what deductions you can take.  Typically it HELPS you to file as married (not always though).

  • provides accessibility to health insurance (although some companies now offer domestic partnerships – or you can get your own healthcare.  However, TYPICALLY family plans have a lower family deductible and out of pocket maximums) so it’s generally always cost-beneficial to have a joint medical policy.

Additionally, it provides a legally binding committment that requires more WORK to dissolve.  A restraining order does NOTHING…. except that when it’s violated whatever the perpetrator did that violated the order typically becomes a felony so there is a harsher penalty.  By itsself it doesn’t do “much”…. until you didn’t have it and wish you did becuase the person who hurt you is walking free and you are stuck with a mess.

Do I “need” to be married?  NOPE.  But I’m not going to build a life with someone who doesn’t want to provide me all the benefits that marriage does.  Might I date someone long term without marriage?  Sure.  But, I’m not going to spend every night with them and take care of them when they are sick and provide them the physical “benefits” of marriage (even beyond sex…. it’s cheaper to live with someone / companionship etc) without the exchange of the security of legal benefits in exchange.  But that’s me.  To each their own.

Now – as far as a ring….. well I have a claddagh ring that cost less than $100.  It’s the same ring my husband wears and we got one for my daughter and we did a ring exchange during our ceremony.  I get compliments on it all the time and I absolutely ADORE my ring.  There IS room to be practical.  But yes….. far too many fall victim to the “it has to cost x amount of money or he’s cheap”.  But that dates back to when women didn’t work.  The engagement ring was to safeguard the woman.  If the man left her before he married her she could sell the jewel and get money to tide her over until she found another man.  In this day and age women are self-sufficient.  So the ring is more cermonial rather than a necessity.  There are PLENTY of ways to have a meaninful symbol of your love that you wear on your left hand that doesn’t cost 3 months of anyone’s salary.

Post # 7
Member
1724 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

Take a look around. In any group, you’re going to have some average people in the Bell curve. You’ll have some who don’t spend a penny on a wedding. Then you have others who go into gross amounts of debt – they get the engagement ring that’s so big it’ll weigh ’em down in the water, and the thousands on the wedding itself.

How much exactly is he looking to spend on an engagement ring? I had always been under the impression – after seeing my SIL’s $2k engagement ring – that anything below that was probably plain. I ended up picking out a $700 1/2 CT ring from Zales. There were similar rings I saw for $200 or $300 that were really something. I’m happy with what I’ve picked out, and for what it’s worth, I’ve only gotten compliments from people.

Unfortunately, usually phrased as, “Your ring is so classy and pretty. Not gigantic and gaudy like (X’s) ring.”

I think a lot of men get trapped into societal pressures regarding how much they need to spend.

You mention that the amount he’s going to have doesn’t meet his standards. Does he have a concise idea of what yours are? I made it clear to Fiance, although it took several conversations before he realized that I wasn’t just trying to make him feel better.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a wedding. I’m on the flip side – I didn’t want a wedding. I still don’t. I get the impression my Fiance leaned away from wanting one, but inevitably caved because he wanted all of his family to see it. My idea of a good time was going to the courthouse, going on a vacation for a week, then coming home to drop the bomb on our unsuspecting families.

Because I’m mean.

But in all seriousness, having a wedding doesn’t have to be absurd. I’m getting married in my hall with an open bar and 70 guests…cutting out any Honeymoon-related costs (and including literally everything else), we’ve spent about $4k for our wedding. But we also live in the Midwest, so that can influence prices.

A cousin of mine got married in a park. They had their ceremony under one pavilion and had the reception under another. Had typical barbecue fare. It was a cold day, and at certain junctures it rained, but it didn’t matter much with a roof overhead. I think they spent $2500 on the food, cake, pavilion rental, pastor, etc.

 

If you have a long time to plan and you can hold off on paying for most stuff until the end, this might make it more palatable for your boyfriend. I don’t entirely blame him for being scared off from the idea of weddings.

Give him an idea of what kind of wedding you’d like. Start calling around for prices (i did that shortly before I was engaged). The average engagement period is probably about a year, so write out a savings plan. Depending on what kind of wedding you have, the two of you may be saving $200 – $400 a month between you.

Issues with money could be a very big roadblock, though. Does he have problems with saving because he’s got a lot of bills or because he blows every spare dollar he has? The first is certainly forgivable and understandable, but the second is a red flag.

 

Post # 9
Member
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@lulz16:  You’re not crazy. Weddings don’t *have* to be a cash grab, and I would strongly suggest getting your finances in order (as a couple) before you shell out for ANY kind of wedding.

I am happy w. a simple affair… think court house and no guests, but I realize not everyone is like me.

But yeah, you really don’t NEED to spend more than $100 to get married, so that’s no excuse if he is trying to make it one.

It doesn’t sound like you are expecting an expensive ring. I would tell him that it’s ok to wait a few more months so he doesn’t have to finance it or whatever.

If you haven’t already, you should discuss how to manage money as a couple once you are married. Finances can make or break a relationship. My SO manages our money and that’s the way I wanted it to be since he is better at it than I am. It works because we have similar goals and we have a budget.

Post # 10
Member
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think it depends on your values and cultural upbringing, some people believe in marriages some people don’t. You need to know what YOU want and what HE wants and then go from there.

Post # 11
Member
699 posts
Busy bee

@lulz16:  there are pros and cons for each side. there is still a small part of me that wants the big day, the dress, flowers, the rings etc. even if it’s an elopement. i just think, wife sounds better. then again , in canada the divorce rate is 40% last i heard. do i want to chance it? i’d even be happy with a vegas wedding, just us lol.

Post # 12
Member
192 posts
Blushing bee

My SO wasn’t interested in marriage or weddings. He believes it’s outdated and unneccessary and that it doesn’t make people any more commited to each other. He also thinks weddings are an unneccessary expense and he knows people who go overboard and take out loans and thinks that it’s money that could better be spent elsewhere.

In the beginning of the relationship I didn’t care about marriage. Over the years my feelings changed and I started wanting marriage, but his feelings stayed the same. We had several talks where I told him that I didn’t think I could stay in the relationship if we didn’t get married because I would probably grow resentful.

Awhile ago he agreed that he’d do it for me because he loves me and knows it’s something I need to be happy. He keeps reminding me that we can’t go out and spend much money right now because he’s saving for the ring and the trip to go get the stone.

I see his point on how over the top and expensive weddings can be so I agree to have a small, affordable wedding. His only requirement is that it’s a place that will allow us to bring our dog.

We are both unemployed college students (though he is looking for a job). He started saving for the ring during his holiday job. I graduate in May, but it will be a few months before I can get my dental hygiene license and find a job, but I’d contribute if I could. We both agreed on chosing an alternative gem because he is anti-diamond for ethical reasons and I could not see us spending money we don’t have on a diamond, plus I’m very excited about the Amora Gem. The biggest priority is getting our own house, so we don’t want to spend very much on the wedding (will be totally funded by us). He says that if I’m not happy with the Amora that we can get something else after we get a house.

If I were you I’d tell him to spend less on the ring for now and after you get a house and take care of other priorities you can get a more expensive ring if it’s important to you. I think it’s a good compromise.

 

Post # 13
Member
4914 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 1997

3xaCharm has already covered this. I won’t comment as to the cultural traditions on spending thousands on a party for one day or a piece of jewelry, but never dismiss marriage as “just a piece of paper”. It would cost you thousands in legal bills and require your signature hundreds of times for you to try to work with an attorney to guarantee the two of you the same rights that a married couple are afforded automatically, and even then you probably wouldn’t have succeeded in covering everything.

As long as both partners in a relationship understand and agree about all the rights they are giving up by not being married, then so be it. I don’t think that anyone NEEDS to be married or should get married if they don’t want to be. But the idea that a relationship is on the same standing in the eyes of the law without that “piece of paper” is a myth.

My sister was engaged and her fiance passed away. He was at at work event several hours away, and she didn’t even receive a phone call until he was gone (it happened suddenly). His parents chose to have him cremated – something my sister did not want – and she was never even allowed to see the body. Life insurance or deciding on burial location? Forget about it. Had the heart attack he’d had not killed him, she would not have been allowed to make any medical decisions for him and may not even have been allowed into his room to see him. 

Legally, marriage is MUCH more than a “piece of paper”. Any man (or woman) who uses that as an excuse not to be married is either ignorant or intentionally trying to deceive you. If cost is an issue, a date at a courthouse costs very little and a ring isn’t necessary, but expensive party or not and ring or not, you would be left with all the legal rights of any other couple.

Post # 14
Member
9683 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@lulz16:  In Canada, common law partners have plenty of “legal rights” and I would never marry someone just for legal benefits. Marriage is not important to me, but the commitment is. That is the only part I care about. Whether I am married or not, I want a lifelong commitment of his heart. Marriage doesn’t guarantee that (divorces and cheating are a case in point) and I don’t see the need for it.

I’m practical with my budget and I’d rather buy a cottage, or a boat, or take a lavish trip than spend money on a single day.

Post # 15
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@echomomm:  You are right on everything! I explained that to my SO a few months ago and he says that really opened his eyes. 

@MrsPanda99:  I live in Canada too and let me assure you the common law thing is a mine field! It completely differs with each province ( I read extensively about this) and surprisingly it is in Quebec, where about half the couples are living in common law union, that the rights are almost inexistant for that type of union. Moreover the number of years living together to qualify for that union vary from 1 to 3 years depending on the province… and the rights vary too! It is a really muddy mess that I want to avoid and so does my SO now!!

Post # 16
Member
9683 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@soupir:  I am not concerned with taking his assets, so I am not worried about legal benefits. We delegated each other as beneficiaries on everything, we have wills, and we have life insurance. I am confident we will be taken care of in the event of a death. I would be fine with staying common law, but he wants a weddingmoon so that is what we will do eventually (I could care less if/when it happens, though a vaca would certainly be appreciated).

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