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

posted 8 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 # 19
    3446 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

    I’ve seen too many garbage marriages between people who despise and cheat on each other to see marriage itself as some kind of stronger, better committment than those who are unmarried but are in loving, healthy relationships. A marriage doesn’t make anyone more or less committed. Dh and I got married because we wanted to start a family and having children outside of a healthy marriage is a hard no for me. 

    Post # 20
    1599 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

    Personally, I don’t “spiritually” want or need marriage. Like, if we existed in a bubble in which the legal and practical aspects are no longer present – I’d be perfectly happy to never get married. Marriage itself doesn’t make a relationship more committed – it may or may not be an important part of showing that committment for some people, but it can never make a so-so committed relationship and make it a dedicated and seriously committed relationship. That is a choice, and it doesn’t require marriage to happen.

    But we don’t live in a bubble and there are quite a few legal and practical benefits. Those are very important to me, so long term I would not be happy in a relationship without marriage. I can’t say how long it would take for me to reach the “propose or I need to leave” stage. My fiance didn’t propose until we had been together for 5 years and had lived together for 1 of those years. While I had been ready to get engaged for a while, I was no where near the point of requesting a timeline. He had told me prior to moving in together that an engagement was unlikely to happen until he graduated med school and I was perfectly okay with that. I guess if we still hadn’t gotten engaged a year or so after his graduation, I would have gotten to the point that I had to know a timeline. 

    But I was happy and comfortable without a timeline, because we had discussed that it would happen eventually because it was something that was important to both of us in the long run. But not in an ASAP way.

    Post # 21
    1312 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    I wouldnʻt continue dating someone who didnʻt see marriage in their future. to love me and cherish me is to commit to me. playing house and building a life with me but refusing to actually get married just feels childish and immature; and there are too many good men out there who want the life and family Iʻm looking for for me to waste my time on that nonsense. 

    Post # 22
    6445 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    From a purely practical standpoint, marriage confers a whole host of rights and responsibilities that are often unavailable to thoe who are not married. I wanted those legal rights, especially before having children. 

    Additionally, most people who are acquaintances or not close know little about a person’s relationship status except whether a person is married or not. While marriage may not mean that a couple is more committed, it DOES mean that in the eyes of the law and the eyes of most people. If you have marriage available to you and choose not to avail yourself of it, most people will simply assume your relationship isn’t serious enough for marriage yet. I don’t think that should offend anyone, as how else would anyone know? 

    I come from an intact family, as does Dh. Both our parents were married until the other died (Dh’s father has remarried, but my mum never will). Neither of us had families or even relatives who were divorced. And we were both clear fairly early in the relationship that we were interested in marriage and on the same page regarding commitment. Had one of us not been interested in marriage, it is highly likely that neither of us would have continued the relationship.

    Post # 23
    7904 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    ispeakingifs :  my parents are divorced but are friendly and are excellent co-parents so that’s where I come from. Personally I wanted to be engaged before living together but my husband disagreed and I capitulated. However, I stood firm that we would not own property, join finances, or procreate without marriage. I wanted the legal protections that come with marriage. Also children truly bind you for life – marriage is a major commitment but nowhere near the same level as making a human. My parents are a perfect example – if not for me they would never have to see each other but I forever connect them. If he wasn’t willing to sign a few forms (which are reversible if we change our minds) then why would I think he’s ready for the commitment of creating a new life? 

    Post # 24
    1851 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2017

     My parents have been happily married for almost 40 years. 5 of their 6 siblings are married and have been for 10+ years. There haven’t been any divorces in my extended family.

    Not all my extended family is religious, but I am. Marriage is important to me from a religious standpoint. While I know there have been some difficult times in the marriages of some of my extended family, I’ve seen them work through those together and don’t believe any would be better off not married. I’ve seen my parents respect each other, love each other and willingly sacrifice for each other for my whole life and I’m grateful for that experience.

    Post # 25
    901 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I was never one to romanticize getting married nor details about my wedding, but it was always my intent to make what I feel is “the ultimate commitment” and get married at some point.  Not everyone considers marriage this way though.

    I didn’t really have great examples of successful marriages around me.  My parents are also divorced (when I was 3) and neither have remarried.  Their failed marriage was simple, they got married after finding out they were expecting and feeling like they should.  They were young and in love, at least there’s that.

    The primary issue I see is couples not being on the same page from the get go.  That and the number of people who are afraid to discuss the future with their significant other for fear of an argument is astounding.  If doing so is so upsetting, why would you even want to marry this person?

    For me, the legal commitment was important if I was to have children with anyone but I also had to feel we both genuinely wanted to be married, viewed marriage the same way and weren’t just doing it out of some obligation or simply to appease the other.

    Post # 26
    951 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    ispeakingifs :  My parents have been married for a little over  50 years and still have a lot of fun together and make each other laugh every single day.  My husband’s parents have died but died still married to each other.   There’s only one divorced cousin in my family and she had since been remarried for 23 years now. I am surrounded by examples of strong and happy marriages.   Nobody on my husband’s side has been divorced.   Marriage is important to me.  I view it as a stronger commitment than dating and I wouldn’t have been willing to stay with my husband indefinitely without that commitment.  However,  as another poster pointed out, it’s not an ultimatum,  it’s my own standard for being in a relationship.  We had the marriage talk a year in. I wanted to make sure we both wanted the same things before our relationship progressed into the next stage.  

    Post # 27
    2433 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: NJ

    I had no examples of shining happy marriages growing up; my parents fought a lot but I came to see that was how they communicated. There are all types of relationships. 

    I always wanted to get married. Sure, I dated some guys who were anti-marriage but I wouldn’t have stayed with them for years. 

    I wonder if a couple stays together for a lifetime and has kids, and one stubbornly refuses the legal committment, their obituary would mention their lifetime partner, not spouse. Seems sad. 

    At my old job, a guy did some construction work at our building. He said he lived with his girlfriend, they had 2 kids. He was never getting married, because of the horrible divorce his brother had. Missing the point, in so many ways. It was sad.

    Post # 29
    2433 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: NJ

    ispeakingifs :  I would imagine there is another side to that story. Women I have seen, don’t come out the better after a divorce. 

    I have also known depressed husbands, and their wives earn every penny.

    Post # 30
    743 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    DanaWeddingGuest :  I closed my old account but wanted to respond to your last comment, to provide some context.

    She stopped working 2-3 years into their marriage, she was a stay at home wife without kids. Her not working is why she got alimony (but also because her new husband is an attorney, and wrote the agreement). So now her two sources of income are her current husband and her ex. So from a legal standpoint, she did not get anything because she literally worked for it, she didn’t earn and pay for the things she got in the divorce, he did.

    Luckily my friend is with a great girl now, but they are definitely not getting married. So from that standpoint, I don’t blame him for being less than optimistic about marriage.

    Something similar happened with my mom and one of her exes. She did not work despite all the children being 15+ at the time, none of them shared between her and this guy. He paid her rent at the existing house plus rent at his new place, which sucked for him.

    I’m aware it can go both ways, just in my personal experience, I’ve seen and heard about it going worse for the guy more than I hear complaints from the women.

    Post # 31
    1257 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    Marriage was important to me as a child/teen because I knew no differently. When you find someone to build a life with, you marry them.

    Marriage became much less significant after living in other cultures where much less emphasis is placed on it. I saw very solid and loving partnerships that did not feel the need for marriage (and better fulfilled the ideals of marriage then many married couples).

    Marriage then became critical for me for the legal and immigration implications. In most countries you cannot have immigration rights extended to your partner unless you are married (with a few exceptions – e.g. Belgium recognizes civil partnerships). I’ve lived abroad a lot. While currently back in my home country, I need my relationship legally recognized in case we ever choose to move abroad again. 

    So I would say that where I stand now is that I don’t need marriage for commitment within my relationship, but i need marriage for the legal recognition it provides which in turn facilitates a lot of the practical immigration realities of my life.

    I do not need a partner that needs to view wmarriage exactly the same way as me, but I need a partner that is willing to communicate and compromise – I wouldn’t be with anyone who took a non-negotiable stand in either extreme direction.

    Post # 32
    2680 posts
    Sugar bee

    downonmulberry :  I completely understand where you are trying to go with your last post, but honestly, you friend had a crap lawyer if he is still paying alimony to her after she remarried.  And also, your friend is the poster child for prenuptial agreements.  Woof.  


    I am both sides of the fence.  I agree that there are some bad seeds who take advantage of the system and cause men to hesitate when it comes to wanting to get married, but then I also blame the men who enable that type of behavior.  



    Post # 33
    469 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    Marriage is important to me because I live in a culture (the US) where it provides a huge host of legal and societal benefits. If I lived elsewhere, I don’t know that I’d be especially fussed about it.

    That being said, I absolutely wouldn’t seriously date someone who was opposed to marriage. I find that, in most cases, people who “don’t believe” in marriage use it as a cop out to avoid commitment. I suppose that libertarians/anarchists might have a legitimate reason to oppose it, but I wouldn’t date someone of that political persuasion anyhow. Beyond that, what are the reasons? If they are emotionally scarred from their parents getting divorced to the point of fearing marriage, they’re probably not in the right mindset for a serious long-term commitment of any type (I say this kindly…parents can be terrible, and therapy can work wonders). If they’re of the “it’s just a piece of paper” mindset, why not sign the piece of paper that makes their partner happy and provides hundreds of rights/protections? 

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