(Closed) What's the point of marrying if you're already committed?

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

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rainandfire:  pshhhtt don’t put yourself down for not thinking “rational” like him. He’s right that you will not being spending money by not having a wedding, but it is his OPINION b/c he doesn’t want see the point. I’m sure he’s spent money on frivilous things that he justified, or bought or done something just because it made him happy.

Just because your reasoning behind wanting a marriage is personal doesn’t make it less important or valid, marriage IS personal!

It’s important to you and I think it’s great that he respects that. You can find a middle ground celebration that you’re both happy with!

Post # 32
11375 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

there’s a thread by a bee whose husband up and left her with no notice and served her divorce papers at work. I’ve seen similar behavior from married people, so it didn’t seem very far fetched to me.

the bottom line is marriage doesn’t actually bring the security it imparts emotionally. It does, in the U.S., grant rights re wills and medical decisions and assets (Though the latter can be gotten around and I’ve seen too many women abandoned with young kids and left with nothing even though they married “well”).

Your partner sounds thoughtful and committed. Not every person who struggles with the meaning of marriage is looking for the exit, though that is certainly true sometimes. If he’s willing to get married but not willing to do the big event, and this bothers you, you need to figure out what you want from the big event. 

Do you want the party, the pictures, the dress…? Maybe you can have what you most want while not forcing him into a big event. 

Post # 33
3208 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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rainandfire: I would look further at what de facto marriage means in your jurisdiction. It may convey the same property rights under your marriage legislation, but different rights under estates. Make sure you have the same rights as married couples at relationship breakdown AND in the event that either of you passes away.

In our case, we got married just before our 11 year anniversary, after 6 years of living together and sharing finances/filing joint taxes. We got married because we wanted to have a wedding. It really was about the pretty princess day, though our families were obviously happy to see us take that final step.

We have common law marriage where we live so we already called each other husband and wife, and really, nothing changed in our relationship or life after legally tying the knot. Despite that, we agreed that it was money well spent. Even if we had just hopped down to city hall, it would have been a good memory for us to share.

Post # 34
3212 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

If he says there is no real need for that piece of paper, it’s just one day, etc. I want you to go through and add up what you guys or someone has spent on every single item in your house not related directly to the essentials of life. All the pots and pans other than, say, two. More than one set of cutlery and dishes. Couches, tables, chairs, bed headboard and footboard, dressers, mirrors, every single piece of electronics other than one basic computer, a landline and the cheapest internet package. Everything to do with games or a TV. Books. Magazines. Newspapers. Food other than staples (cookies, dessert, crackers etc.) if you live somewhere where public transit could conceivably get you to work on time within 90 minutes of travel or you could bike in under an hour, then any vehicles and assorted costs.

Then, in terms of

Post # 35
1549 posts
Bumble bee

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HoneysHoney:  defacto couples are given the same rights as married couples under Australian legislation. I think in some states there are funny things and some differences about the adoption of children, but as far as assets and hospital visitation etc, you’re all covered! In the event of one partners death, a defacto relationship is treated the exact same as a married couple by law. A breakdown in the relationship is similar to a divorce.

It’s SO close in fact, that couples have to make sure they’re really committed before becoming accidentally defacto, because you end up so legally entwined. 

I believe there is still unfortunately some discrimination and complications for same sex couples under these provisions, but theoretically they should also be covered. In fact, it’s often wheeled out as an excuse as to why Australia does not need same sex marriage.

We also have “civil partnerships” (this is where same sex couples are recognised) where you can enter into a formal relationship with, for example, a sister or a close friend and also be afforded legal protections similar to a marriage. This varies by state.

If there are other additional legal benefits to being married in Australia, they must be well and truly burried in some obscure legislation that noone knows about!

Post # 36
14 posts

That’s a good point. But do you also agree with his stance on marriage? My fiance was like that as well when we first started seeing eachother. He was in a bad marriage which he ended and left a negative taste of marriage in his mouth. He told me several times that he didn’t want to get married again and he didn’t see a point in it. I said that it was fine because I wasn’t looking to settle down at that time. He proposed to me on Friday, which caught me by surprise. And when I asked him why he changed his mind, he told me that he knew that I would eventually want to get married and he wanted to make me happy. So, if both of you truly feel there is no need to get married then that is truly great. But if you want to get married and he doesn’t believe in marriage then I can see a lot of fights/arguments in the future.


Post # 37
4233 posts
Honey bee

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That came to mind, too. 😉

I thought to myself, hmm. My hubs has spent more than $300 in one sitting to wear his team’s jersey, hat, scarf, foam finger, and drink from a commemorative beverage container while sitting in the stadium to cheer on his chosen team, for the whole world to see. 

I certainly would want to rank as high as that. 



Post # 38
664 posts
Busy bee

My husband didn’t want to get married. He proposed to me with the basis that he wanted to get married because it was important to me to be married. I wanted to get married because I was tired of calling him my boyfriend in situations (hospital, specialist visits, important work functions) and I wanted him to be able to make important medical decisions for me if I became incapacitated. It takes 3 years of living together to be common law equivalent here and I didn’t want to wait. Everyone told me it would be a nice symbol but honnestly I didn’t care about the symbolism since we were already committed and that part was good enough for me.  

After we got married, he told me it was the best decision he ever made. (I don’t know what changed his mind). I didn’t force him into it, he did it because he knew how important it was to me and completely on his own. If your SO is doing it because of that, I’d say to just tell him you want to get engaged and get married. If that’s what you truly want and he honestly doesn’t care then why can’t you get to be just as happy in the relationship? 

He is right about De Beers though. They’ve managed to create what a lot of people refer to as “traditions” in order for people to buy their product. Diamond engagement rings (commonly a band, precious gemstone – usually sapphire, or another symbol), getting an elaborate surprise proposal (getting a proposal as a surprise was considered a romantic gesture but not terribly common – they overly marketed it because they got research that told them men would spend more money on the ring if they went shopping without the future wife), 2 months salary, the four C’s etc. It’s all marketing but then again so is pretty well everything we buy. If you haven’t already, take a read on it and then make an informed decision. There’s nothing wrong with giving into marketing as long as it’s your choice. 

Post # 39
428 posts
Helper bee

Bottom line. My family/friends will not give my relationship the same respect until we are married. The vows and promises made are extremely significant.

Legal benefits do not play a role in my desire to be married. 

Post # 40
1338 posts
Bumble bee

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pink.lemonade: That’s really interesting. How would a couple become a De Facto couple? Do they have to sign something or is it automatic after co-habitating after a certain period of time?

I guess if I was the OP, I would want to be sure I had the protections of a Defacto relationship if I decided to not officially get married, but still commit for life.


Post # 42
1549 posts
Bumble bee

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HoneysHoney:  it is pretty interesting! They went and updated a bunch of legislation to include it sometime before my (now) husband and I became defacto.

There’s a few different ways it can happen. My DH and I had to sign papers when we moved in together because he was receiving study allowance from the government, so my income had impacts for his welfare payments. Even having never lived together, we became defacto! I can’t remember if it mattered how long we’d been together, I think it was enough that I was voluntarily wanting to enter that agreement.

It’s automatic after two years living together or if you have a child I think and in some other circumstances. Although, in the absence of signed paperwork I’m not sure how you un-defacto yourself!?! Or how you would prove you were a couple and not housemates in the event of a nasty break up. I guess you declare your status on your tax return (and include defacto spouse income). Still not sure about amicable separations that don’t go through the courts..do you just stop ticking the defacto box?

I guess having a marriage certificate would make it easier to prove your legal status than having to find evidence that you meet defacto criteria, especially in one of those horrible, unthinkable situations you could find yourself in when the legal considerations come in to play.

So I guess there are legal benefits after all!!

Post # 43
5867 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

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rainandfire:  “I know I’m painting a terrible picture of him on this forum”

Actually, I thought you were painting a very good picture of him!  He sounds like he’s deeply committed, but also a deeply practical and intelligent man.  I like him!

In many ways, I basically agree with your SO.  I’m from Canada where the legal implications of marriage are basically nill once you are commonlaw (which you are VERY soon after co-habitating).  So I gave a lot of thought to the WHY of marriage, outside of religious or legal benefits.  Luckily (?) for me, in my case there were major legal implications because my DH is American, so I didn’t have to think too hard about it.   Legal marriage was a foregon concultion for us if we wanted a lifetime partnership.

Anyway, I think your SO is correct and I like the way he’s communicated it.  He’s told you that his committment is unwaivering, but that the ceremony/tradition/legal part of a wedding mean nothign to him.  He’s also said that he’s willing to compromise and go through with those parts if you’d like to.  So what’s the problem?  It sounds like you wish he was just a bit more romantic about the whole thing.  I get that.  Sometimes I think that about my DH (who bascially had to be lead by the hand to propose) sometimes too.  But guess what?  I love that he’s a practical prgramatic man.  Along with those benefits there are some downsides.  I can live with that.

Anyway, if the proposal and wedding mean a lot to you, use your words and communicate with that.  Grapple with the WHY and do your best to share.  One reason this may feel important to you – There may not be any practical reason you HAVE to get married, but it is a long standing tradition in our culture, and “right of passage” of sorts.  And it’s something good!  We should put emphasis on our lives in celebrating the good things with the people we love.  You don’t, for example, HAVE to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, but a lot of people do anyway.  You know why?  Because when there is something good in your world, you should celebrate it.  You’re going to have a lot of shit in your life – loved ones who die, jobs lost, and other defeats.  Taking the time to celebrate something wonderful is a luxury, but still valuable.

Post # 44
2668 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

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rainandfire:  My Future Sister-In-Law had similar sentiments. She felt that she was already committed to her now husband – they had a mortgage, joint bank accounts, all of that stuff – so why did they need a piece of paper telling them that they were committed? Her husband, however, felt very strongly about getting married. I don’t even really think he gave her a reason why – just that it was very important to him. When she realised this, she agreed that they could get married and he actually did the whole proposal thing (a few months later when she wasn’t expecting it). She wanted to elope, he didn’t; she wanted a destination wedding, he didn’t; and eventually they settled on a local-ish wedding. She says now that she doesn’t regret marrying him in the slightest and is glad that she agreed to do it. The day was filled with so much love and celebration, and she says she’s glad to have those memories forever.

What I’m trying to say is that perhaps you don’t need a reason. If he sees just how important this is to you, he might go along with it and find that he actually really enjoys the wedding.

Post # 45
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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rainandfire:  I don’t think it has to do with more commitment, but I can tell you there are a lot of legal stuff that is MUCH easier….if something happens to either of you when you are married the other person becomes automatically responsible for decisions vs parents and other family members making. Plus over your lifetime, the number of forms you will need to fill out if you are not married is worth the $300 alone…even getting back into the country if you were on vacation you don’t have to fill out 2 forms if you are legally married. Of course there are other important things like discounts on insurance (home, car, etc) that will easily save those $300 in just a couple of years.

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