- Wedding: December 2010 - Savannah, GA
There are legal advantages to being married that are not available to people who are in an unmarried committed relationship. But beyond that, being married does make you think long and hard before you walk out.
It’s a lot harder to walk away from a married relationship than it is to walk away from an unmarried relationship. I know there are all kinds of statistics about how many marriages fail. However, there aren’t any statistics that I know of that track how many unmarried committed relationships fail. That’s just not a statistic that anyone is able to keep track of with any kind of accuracy.
There is also a different level of respect given to married relationships that is not given to unmarried committed relationships. As long as you aren’t married, no matter how long you’ve been together even if you have kids together, people do not look at your relationship as being as committed or give your relationship as much respect as the relationship of a couple that is married.
Legally, when you get married, you become your spouse’s immediate family. This means when you go to the hospital, you have privileges that a non-family member does not have. As long as you are not married, you are not a family member, because there are some states that do not recognize partnership agreements.
Also, if you are not married, you partner legally does not have to list you as the beneficiary on anything. When you’re married, legally your spouse has to list you as the beneficiary, unless you sign away that right on every document that lists a beneficiary.
If your partner dies, any will that was drafted can be contested by any legal family members and there is a good posibility that they could claim your inheritance.
These are a lot of the reason why a lot of gay couples are fighting so hard for the right to get legally married and not have settle for a partnership agreement.
Aside from all that, personally, I wanted the deep committed feeling that I get from being married. I like being able to say, “let me check with my husband,” etc. If we were still living together in a committed unmarried relationship, I wouldn’t be able to say that.