Let's Talk Sociology: Marriage and Commitment (POLL & Discussion)

posted 6 months ago in Relationships
  • poll: Would you stay with an otherwise perfect partner who sees marriage differently?
    I would stay because I know we will get married some day : (9 votes)
    6 %
    I would stay even if we never get married, as long as I have some form of commitment : (49 votes)
    33 %
    I would not stay for either of these reasons, marriage and timeline are important to me : (82 votes)
    55 %
    Other (explanation in comments) : (9 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    863 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    My parents are married, but it’s not love. My husbands parents are happily in love and married. I didn’t live with my husband before we married so that was an incentive for me. I no longer wanted to be someone’s girlfriend instead I’m his wife. People who aren’t married still want to use the label wifey/hubby so the fact they aren’t into labels, is a lie.  I think to each their own and unfortunately many girls have no say in what their future hold because they will be strung along for life. But I do agree some people simply don’t believe in it. I’ve met a few and that works for them but everyone feel different. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    484 posts
    Helper bee

    I think the word “ultimatum” often gets thrown around like one party is forcing the other to do something. That’s not really the case, though. When I say I won’t date or marry someone who/unless X, I mean exactly that. These are my standards; if you don’t want to participate, don’t. Me having standards in my relationship has nothing to do with you unless you choose to be in a relationship with me. That’s not a threat.

    As for marriage: marriage offers many legal protections and is a cultural expectation in many, many places. Given that (very simplistic) context, I would be very wary of a man who refused to get married.

    But I’m also religious (Christian) so marriage is pretty much a requirement if you want to be in a relationship. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    1595 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    I am incapable of loving someone who doesn’t want to marry me. It’s pretty simple, really. Just who I am. For me, dating is experimenting with the idea of marriage with a dude. I take dating very seriously, and I can’t date someone that doesn’t. 

    Post # 9
    Member
    225 posts
    Helper bee

    Personally, marriage has always been important to me.

    When I was quite young, it was important to me for many of the superficial reasons (fairytale ending-type stuff) but as I grew up, I learned more and more about the logistical benefits. I saw firsthand a terrible situation wherein my aunt’s partner of 20+ years was incapacitated in the hosiptal, and she was unable to make any kinds of decisions on his behalf due to them not being married. 

    My parents are married and I’d say they’re somewhere in between being roommates and in love. They had very lovey-dovey moments together when I was a child, but as an adult, I can see that the relationship has been difficult and they don’t always feel it between each other. Most of the adults in my family growing up were married, but many of them had been divorced before. A lot of my friends’ parents were divorced, so I don’t believe I was deprived of either arrangement.

    I think my main point to the discussion as a whole is thus: I would never have gotten into any relationship as an adult before confirming they felt the same way about marriage and kids as I did. I’m not talking about getting in their face on the first date, but I make it a priority to let them know my stance (I want to get married and have kids) after date three or four to gauge their position. I messed around a lot in college and in my immediate post-grad life, and in those cases, it was clear on both ends that we were going to be in a short-term thing (whether a one-night stand or a FWB situation). I learned from my teen/young adult years that being clear about your wants and needs with any sexual/romantic partner in key. 

    While I acknowledge that people change their minds, this strategy has not failed me yet. My ex and I broke up for reasons unrelated from what we both wanted in the future for ourselves (too young, not compatible in other ways). I firmly believe I wouldn’t have to make a decision on whether or not to stay with a partner if they didn’t want to get married/have kids, because I wouldn’t have gotten that far in a relationship with them. I also believe that if your partner’s goals don’t align or compliment yours (obviously not talking about having the exact same career, etc.) then they are not the perfect partner.

    Post # 10
    Member
    2485 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I am a child of divorced parents and I have also been divorced myself.  I experienced first hand how marriage doesn’t really mean much in regards to the strength of the relationship and doesn’t give you as much security as you might think.  And because of that, I waffle between being completely fine never being married again and then definitely wanting to be married because I know this time around will be different.

    With that said, I do feel that our engagement has made me feel more secure internally and externally.  I feel there is a new level of commitment and also, society views our relationship as more legitimate.  No one questions how serious we are now as they know we are serious.  Plus I love that people see my ring and know that I am in a relationship.  

    In the end, we are planning to get married in the summer of 2020 (about a 2 year and 2 month engagement), because we want to be legally bound to one another and receive the legal benefits of marriage because we already have the emotional benefits. 

     

     

      

    Post # 11
    Member
    914 posts
    Busy bee

    My answer depends on which stage of life I am/was in. 

    I would not have stayed in a relationship without a timeline/plan for marriage when I was younger. I would not have had children outside of the legal protections that come with marriage. Alimony, inheritance, distribution of assets in case of divorce – these were all important when I was younger and I was caring for children primarily while my ex was making money. It wasn’t until I went through a divorce that I realized just how beneficial marriage was for the spouse providing unpaid support/labor. My ex could not have built his business without my support, and if we hadn’t have been married, I would not have gotten my fair share of *our* successes  

    At my age now, being married was/is not as important. My current Darling Husband and I bought a house and moved in together with no intention of getting married; however, we did draw up a contract indicating how we would pay for the house, what would happen if we split up, etc… Over time, I realized I wanted to marry him, but if he hadn’t wanted to marry me, it wouldn’t have changed our relationship in any negative manner. We are not having any children together, so I didn’t/don’t need the legal protections of marriage. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    2917 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    I never really cared about getting married until I met my now husband, I just knew I wanted to marry him and then it became important. Luckily for me he also wanted to marry me and didn’t hesitate to do so. We had a four month engagment and got married on our two year dating anniversary.

    My parents had a nasty divorce, I’ve seen younger couples that I know get married early and end up divorcing, I’ve been close to people who have affairs. Seeing other relationships/marriages crumble has never impacted what I want, I just never really gave it much thought till I found the guy I wanted to spend my life with.

    I don’t think giving someone an unfair timeline for marriage and just expecting them to go along with it when they aren’t ready is OK, but it’s also pretty shitty to be with someone knowing you will never be able to move forward with marriage/kids/whatever else they value and hope for in life.

    Post # 13
    Member
    994 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    My parents are divorced after a not-so-great but long marraige. My husband’s parents were not in a great marriage either (his mother has since passed). So neither of us had great role models in marriage, but as Christians, we both value marriage very highly as God’s creation and gift to us. We definitely both saw marriage as essential to a long-term committed relationship and needed to happen prior to children. In the absense of adultery, abuse, or addiction, we would never get divorced.

    Post # 14
    Member
    161 posts
    Blushing bee

    My parents have been married for 40 years and seem to enjoy their life together. My husband’s parents divorced when he was quite young. So for me, marriage was very normal. I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of our relationship when we first got together because I was so young. But as we grew together it became clear that we both wanted a family together. I need marriage to have kids. I know that it isn’t necessary for everyone but, from my point of view, if I’m going to be giving someone a child, the least that person can do is give me the promise of a long happy marriage. That is just how I see it. I can’t imagine a reality where we didn’t decide to get married. I also can’t imagine a reality where I dived into our relationship with marriage on my mind. It just all seemed to work out.

    My feelings on the subject is that if I would be willing to give up my desire for marriage for someone, that person should also be willing to give up their resistance to marriage for me. It’s really just about finding the right person… If that makes sense. 

    Post # 15
    Member
    3093 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    ispeakingifs :  I wasn’t really sure how to answer your poll, so I chose “other”.

    I did choose to “stay” with someone who has a different view on marriage than I do. Basically, he doesn’t think it’s important and would be perfectly content never bothering with the whole thing, and I value marriage and believe it is an important and meaningful commitment that has no equal. 

    But I can’t honestly say whether I would have stayed for years and years if he told me he was against the idea of marriage and would not ever marry me, or if he kept stringing me along with promises of “some day” and no concrete action towards it.

    To be honest, I think I’d be much more likely to stay with a partner who was honest about it from the start so I could make an informed choice about it – stay knowing we will never get married, or leave and find someone who wants the same thing I do. I imagine I would get very fed up with the bullshit after a few years of “maybe” and would end up leaving.

    Fortunately, I didn’t end up having to make that choice because my fiance decided that because marriage is important to me, it is worthwhile for him. And I think that’s the crux of it. The issue really isn’t one of “person A wants to get married but person B doesn’t”.. it’s that a real, committed and loving partner prioritises the things that are important to their partner.

    Marriage isn’t important to my fiance, but it is important to me. I am important to my fiance, therefore, it is important to him that he marries me.

    Post # 17
    Member
    2424 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

    ispeakingifs :  I think this is a really interesting thread. 

    When I was super young I definitely idolized marriage and definitely wanted to get married. My parents have been married for 30 years and each set of grandparents had been married for near 60 years. I had great role models in terms of marriage.

    When I started dating in college, I realized I didn’t want a big wedding so I think I equated that with marriage. I didn’t mind dating men who never wanted to get married. As I got older though, I saw some of my peers have children with boyfriends and realized how much harder it was. I definitely wanted more stability than that (again generalizing). 

    It wasn’t until I met my now husband that I realized I wanted to get married. I think there are some legal/societal benefits of getting married. However, how I think about it is that my boyfriend wanted to show me the most committment you can show to a person. It was when I started thinking about it in that way that I wanted a marriage. 

    That being said, I honestly think I would still be with my husband if he didn’t believe in marriage. I think I would have been flexible with him. I do think sometimes it’s unfortunate when people are so compatible on everything other than marriage. I gues overall, to me it’s not a total deal breaker. 

    Post # 18
    Member
    2458 posts
    Buzzing bee

    My parents weren’t married, my grandparents were divorced & remarried, and honestly there weren’t a lot of examples of happy relationships around me growing up. Maybe because of that, having a “normal” family with parents happily together always seemed admirable. But I never really thought much about getting married when I was a kid, never dreamed of a wedding. 

    As an adult, marriage is important to me. The legal benefits are nice, but I suppose the biggest thing for me was the security of a solid commitment. I know you can have that without marriage, but I guess I wanted someone to *want* to be legally bound to me. I dated with the intent of marriage, so if I had found out early on someone wasn’t sure about marriage I probably would have moved on.

    Someone “otherwise perfect” who wanted really different things from me wouldn’t have been perfect for me. I wanted someone who was in it for the long haul and wanted to grow old together. Again, I realize you can do that without marriage, and that marriages can fall apart and lots of people get married who shouldn’t, but why not start off with as much of a guarantee as you’re going to get? 

    Could I be with my husband for the rest of our lives without being officially married? Sure, but neither of us wanted that. Luckily we were both on the same page about marriage. It was important to both of us, especially for having children but regardless to signal to our formal commitment. Why live like a married couple but not get married, especially when there are legal and societal benefits to doing so? 

    There were periods of my 20s where I thought I wouldn’t ever meet anyone I meshed well enough with to marry, and I decided that if that was the case I could be happy on my own & have kids on my own through a sperm donor or something. So marriage in and of itself wasn’t something I thought I *needed* to be happy, but it was always something I wanted. 

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