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Why Is That Damn Title So Important?


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I have a friend who's getting married. She's been with this guy for a while and has two kids with him. She's always been somewhat unhappy and uncertain about being with him. They broke up a while ago and got back together. She asked him for an open relationship and he said, "No."

 

They were even going to a pastor for counseling (her whole family is very religious). Ugh.

 

I know she carries a lot of guilt due to the cult-mindset.

 

Now her fella has asked her to marry him and she's all ridiculously happy.

 

So what's going to change? Not a fucking thing, that's what.

 

Why is that goddamn title of "marriage" so fucking important in our society? Why is it so important to so many people?

 

A piece of paper and a "vow" before "god" makes a commitment more heartfelt and genuine or something?

 

Fucking lunacy is all it is.

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It's a promise to each other. It's a commitment to stick it out.

 

I wish more people understood the depth of commitment that marriage is meant to be. It's not just about monogamy, it's about raising kids. Broken marriages screw up kids, big time.

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So what's going to change? Not a fucking thing, that's what.

 

For many people (tends to be the female half of the partnership, though I'm sure there are exceptions) that worthless piece of paper is a kind of divine blessing (not literally, but they act as if it was). Due to brainwashing during childhood et al the connection is made that "not married = unsafe, may end tomorrow... married = will last forever!!!". It's (seemingly) a guarantee for the fearful and unsure that the relationship will never end.

 

Yes it's ludicrous. Yes that scrap of paper does not change a thing. But far too many people cling to the myth that it does. In reality, it can often backfire into the opposite direction actually, as one party thinks "No need to care for my partner anymore because now we're married, I got him/her safe 'in my pocket', harr harr!". Happens countless times every day.

 

(Well sometimes it does make a difference, depending on local legislation... but on another level. Over here in Germany for example, you gain several tax breaks and other legal advantages if you're married compared to a partnership without that scrap of paper... and if memory serves it's not that different in the US, right?)

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Many girls are raised to think that it is the biggest deal of thier lives. It's a public confirmation of the love and a huge social event.

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(Well sometimes it does make a difference, depending on local legislation... but on another level. Over here in Germany for example, you gain several tax breaks and other legal advantages if you're married compared to a partnership without that scrap of paper... and if memory serves it's not that different in the US, right?)

 

Yes. If you are not married you had better at least have a will and know what the deed to the house says. If you are unmarried, and the house is in his name and not yours, and he dies, you are out of luck. No inheritance whatsoever most likely. You must look at the state intestacy statutes where you live. That would control who gets your property. It almost certainly will not be the live-in partner.

 

Unmarried but living together? Get thee to an estate planning attorney pronto.

 

Marriage is a promise and a commitment, as others have said. It holds an illusion of security that it no longer has since anyone now can divorce at any time for any reason, legit or not. Even so, you have rights as a former spouse that you would not have if you had just been a live-in.

 

Some religions hold it as a sacrament, like Catholicism.

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Guest ephymeris

This is only according to my own experiences but...

I was 21 when I got married and in terms of growing up in Louisiana, I was practically an old maid. When I went to friends' weddings after highschool, I received many pointed questions and even barbs about my unmarried status from mothers of my friends and the general old lady population at such events. All that societal pressure even though I graduated from highschool at the age of 17 and I had been dating my then boyfriend, now husband, for less than 2 years at that time.

 

Where I'm from, getting married carries a significant societal weight. Not only are you appeasing god, getting ready to have a litter of kids (which seems to be the highest priority in a girl's life), it also comes with a feeling of status. You have the unspoken "you're so lucky someone loves you now you get to be happy forever" blessing while you're picking out flowers and trying on dresses. Kind of like the blessing of "eating all you want/having kids and being totally skinny" or the blessing of "look how cute my 10 kids are" or "my family just LOVES the lard."

 

Plus, getting married is a big moment for your family to show off their resources and good fortune to the community. Throwing a big party, having the best looking kids, the happiest family, the most christian morals, the most fortunate life, that's what putting on a big wedding in my town meant. My wedding was a production for my parents to show off.

 

My husband and I moved out of state so I could get out of that tiny fishbowl. Everytime we go home, things are still the same. All my hometown acquaintances seem to go out of their way to show me daily how christian and perfect their lives are. I'm a bit of an enigma to them since I've been married nearly 9 years and we still don't have kids and we don't go to church.

 

Sorry if this comes off as a rant, I didn't mean it to be. I think what marriage truly is, a commitment to love and support someone you choose to be with for life is a beautiful and possible thing. The public and superficial shit attached to what is essentially a private commitment between two people just gets on my nerves. I think all that fluff and party stuff is the reason so many people fail to know what and WHO they are committing to, ending in many broken homes with unhappy kids involved.

 

(This doesn't refer to people who married abusive assholes, there are plenty of valid reasons for divorce)

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Largely because of the societal norms that ephymeris mentioned, my boyfriend and I have decided to have a committed relationship without being married. We realize that this requires more paperwork/planning on our behalf to make sure that our legal protections are in place, but it's not a big deal. Except for the house, I would rather that his assets go to some of his family members who are financially struggling.

 

I respect that many people see marriage as a sign of commitment, but for me, it's too wrapped up in religion, in sexism and in inequality to be something I'm willing to do. I was previously married (as a Christian), and people who didn't even know us deferred to my husband as the decision maker and generally treated me in a more sexist way than I'd been treated when I was single. Maybe I'll get married when the church is no longer the default setting, when the idea of having the word "obey" in wedding vows is absolutely unthinkable (fortunately, this has started to be the case for most non-fundies), and when gay marriage is legal and accepted. ... And honestly, much less maturely, I kind of feel like having a happy, stable unmarried relationship is a blow against the "sanctity of marriage" types.

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I have a friend who's getting married. She's been with this guy for a while and has two kids with him. She's always been somewhat unhappy and uncertain about being with him. They broke up a while ago and got back together. She asked him for an open relationship and he said, "No."

 

They were even going to a pastor for counseling (her whole family is very religious). Ugh.

 

I know she carries a lot of guilt due to the cult-mindset.

 

Now her fella has asked her to marry him and she's all ridiculously happy.

 

So what's going to change? Not a fucking thing, that's what.

 

Why is that goddamn title of "marriage" so fucking important in our society? Why is it so important to so many people?

 

A piece of paper and a "vow" before "god" makes a commitment more heartfelt and genuine or something?

 

Fucking lunacy is all it is.

 

I'm from the "free love" generation, but I'm here to tell you that love isn't free. My wife and I shacked up after about 3 weeks of dating. I was all like, "Don't need no damn piece of paper. We got loooove." Turned out we did need it. For one thing you could still go to jail in those days for cohabiting. But that wasn't much enforced as long as you weren't all in people's faces about your status.

 

But the main thing was psychological. I felt all up in the air about the matter. "Is she the one or not?" "Will she stay?" And my family wasn't too pleased either. (Her family didn't know. They were still paying for a dorm room, and 400 miles away.) I didn't ask her how she felt about it, but when I asked her to marry she didn't hesitate a second. Taking the vows matters. It actually gives you a feeling of I can't quit when the shit hits the fan. And the shit will fly. The family starts to treat her like family instead of just Randen's squeeze. Marriage is telling your family and friends this is the one. You have to help us stay together now. It is psychological for family too.

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Sorry if this comes off as a rant,

 

I found it fascinating. It was a look into the window of a culture I'm unfamiliar with, something that always appeals to me. Thanks.

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A marriage is no more likely to last any longer than a partnership, so I would prefer to just go for a partnership and skip the expensive wedding and the possible expensive divorce. I would only get married if it looked as though it would be financially beneficial to get a license than to remain unmarried.

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I have a friend who's getting married. She's been with this guy for a while and has two kids with him. She's always been somewhat unhappy and uncertain about being with him. They broke up a while ago and got back together. She asked him for an open relationship and he said, "No."

 

They were even going to a pastor for counseling (her whole family is very religious). Ugh.

 

I know she carries a lot of guilt due to the cult-mindset.

 

Now her fella has asked her to marry him and she's all ridiculously happy.

 

So what's going to change? Not a fucking thing, that's what.

 

Why is that goddamn title of "marriage" so fucking important in our society? Why is it so important to so many people?

 

A piece of paper and a "vow" before "god" makes a commitment more heartfelt and genuine or something?

 

Fucking lunacy is all it is.

Unfortunately, there are as many views on marriage as there are religions.

 

Your friend sounds like she is deluding herself.

Life is funny though. The damnedest people with the damnedest chemistry sometimes developing a deep bond after alot of marital discord. I would not put my money on that happening... it depends on the character of the participants. I think divorce is more likely if your view of this relationship is accurate. Please don't take that personally... most people don't understand other peoples relationship and especially their own parents whom they should know intimately.

 

I think many people are deluded about the complexities of marriage. In another comment someone talked about the commitment to the children and how divorce screws them up. But to say that marriage is primarily a child rearing agreement is over simplifying even though I would encourage people to see it more in that light than in the light of romantic bliss.

 

I think women put a very heavy burdon on men to... how can I say this... "be in love".

I think marriages would work better if clergy and counsellors emphasized that marriage was less a committment to "love" than a committment to learn how to "get along" with a person less similar than you originally thought. All too often it seems to hinge on "Do you still love me" and yet they should be asking, "Are you still committed to finding a way to get along".

 

I also think that some people use "love" as a "get out of committment" card. No, I don't mean by running around. I mean that, as long as they profess love, do romantic things, are faithful and perform basic responsibilities they are not required to make a genuine compromise or show some generousity. These "love" things become a substitue for giving and justifying their taking attitudes.

 

Alot of it is youthful ignorance and immaturity but there certainly are alot of old fools too.

 

If you want to know what makes a marriage work... ask someone has been successfully married for a long time.

 

Mongo

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Guest ephymeris

Maybe I'll get married when the church is no longer the default setting, when the idea of having the word "obey" in wedding vows is absolutely unthinkable

 

I told our preacher/officiant to leave out the "obey" part. I told him if he slipped it in during the ceremony, I would just skip over saying it. There's no "obey" in my relationship.

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I wrote my friend a short note today. I asked her if she's really sure that this is what she really wants. I specified that the problems will not go away; that they will, in all likely hood, be compounded.

 

I told her to just tell me to "fuck off" if my questioning wasn't welcome. I know it's not my business, but I felt a responsibility as a friend who cares for her very much to bring up the hard questions.

 

I wish someone had done so for me before I got married. Maybe it wouldn't have made a difference, but you never know.

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I got married young (20) after having his child two months previous. Thing is, I controlled every aspect of it, put it together myself, spent less than $300, wrote and officiated the ceremony - myself. It was a handfasting and it was in my opinion the best wedding I could ever have. But it didn't change anything about our relationship and we knew that it wouldn't. Our relationship is utterly independent of the legal documentation and the ritual we preformed. I'll admit that I wanted the status for practical reasons, to get money from the family. Also my husband was joining the Air Force and you need to be married for all that to work. I think traditional weddings are obscene and the traditional idea of marriage is impractical, though some people do want that. I may be a 22 year old stay at home mom but I am certainly not the housewife people would think of.

 

But Christian girls have it tough! I have a Mormon friend who does not know anyone through her church her age that is not married. I feel terrible for her because it has become her one goal in life to get married and have kids as soon as possible. She is envious of me, and my family completely disapproved of me getting married when I did. Within 3 or 4 dates with a guy she starts talking about marriage. Not a good way to go.

 

Girls are also dumb with the giddy engagement emotion they are overcome with. I didn't experience it, but I have seen it. They have this idea of what it will be like and they become blind to everything else. A friend of mine ran away and got married to a guy she met online (seriously wtf) and now she pretty much hates him. She was about to divorce him and found out she's pregnant and now they are trying to be a good Christian family because that is the only way she can think of to make it work. Problem is, she works 2 jobs and still is supposed to be fully responsible for all house work, cooking and child care and has no control over the money. She also isn't allowed to go out with friends without her husband there. She cheats on him (somehow) so its just all around a fucked up situation. If that is what marriage usually becomes, I agree that most people should just not bother.

 

It really boils down to: Learn to think people! Don't marry people you don't really like, who don't satisfy you sexually, who you wish acted like a different person. When that happens, you are supposed to keep looking for a different person, not try to make the one you are with fit into your idea of perfection. So many friends of mine do that. A relationship works much better if the two people understand themselves and each other, and accept each other for the way they are. This requires personal honesty, and not, as previously mentioned, confirmation bias. So my husband does not even know how to cook or do laundry? I knew that when I married him. It doesn't bother me. He does know how to take out the trash and do dishes. I talk incessantly, especially at night before falling asleep, and it may be annoying, but he puts up with it because he knew this about me. He hates Italian food, I spend hours a day reading blogs of Christians and getting mad about it - we are very different people, but we let each other be the people that we are. And we are both always there for the other when we need it.

 

Anyway, if the two people either don't really know each other, or if they are ignoring things about the other person so they feel better - that is a recipe for disaster. Its not fair to deny a part of someone's personality and it is not conducive to a lasting relationship.

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Largely because of the societal norms that ephymeris mentioned, my boyfriend and I have decided to have a committed relationship without being married. We realize that this requires more paperwork/planning on our behalf to make sure that our legal protections are in place, but it's not a big deal. Except for the house, I would rather that his assets go to some of his family members who are financially struggling.

 

I respect that many people see marriage as a sign of commitment, but for me, it's too wrapped up in religion, in sexism and in inequality to be something I'm willing to do. I was previously married (as a Christian), and people who didn't even know us deferred to my husband as the decision maker and generally treated me in a more sexist way than I'd been treated when I was single. Maybe I'll get married when the church is no longer the default setting, when the idea of having the word "obey" in wedding vows is absolutely unthinkable (fortunately, this has started to be the case for most non-fundies), and when gay marriage is legal and accepted. ... And honestly, much less maturely, I kind of feel like having a happy, stable unmarried relationship is a blow against the "sanctity of marriage" types.

 

My youngest son and his wife were married by a secular marriage facilitator. I officiated at my oldest son's wedding and managed to leave God out of it. The oldest didn't bother with the license, but he realized that the lunacy of public vows was a good thing for the families, and I think for he and Shelly. I say people need these psychological markers, or they wouldn't have invented them.

 

"...my boyfriend and I have decided to have a committed relationship without being married." How do you know he is committed and how do he know that you are committed? I bet you said something to each other about it. You said something to seal the deal. Do your friends and family know you are committed? How did they find out? I bet you told them one by one or in small gatherings. The wedding ceremony facilitates that process. As much as you may hate the word, you and your boyfriend are married.

 

Well it's knowin' that your door is always open

And your path is free to walk

That makes me tend to leave my sleepin' bag rolled up

Stashed behind your couch

And it's knowin' I'm not shackled by

forgotten words and bonds

And the ink stains that have dried upon some lines

That keeps you in the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

And keeps you ever gentle on my mind

 

It's not clingin' to the rocks and ivy

Planted on their columns now that bind me

Or somethin' that somebody said because

They thought we fit together walkin'

It's just knowin' that the world

Will not be cursin' or forgivin'

When I walk along some railroad track and find

That you're movin' on the back roads

[ Find more Lyrics on www.mp3lyrics.org/1KIS ]

By the rivers of my memory

And for hours you're just gentle on my mind

 

Though the wheat fields and the coal

mines and the junkyards

And the highways come between us

And some other woman's cryin' to her mother

'Cause she turned and I was gone

I still might run in silence

Tears of joy might stain my face

And the summer sun might burn me till I'm blind

But not to where I cannot see

You walkin' on the back roads by the rivers

Flowin' gentle on my mind

 

I dip my cup of soup

From some gurglin', cracklin' cauldron

In some train yard

My beard a roughenin' coal pile

And a dirty hat pulled low across my face

Through cupped hands 'round a tin can

I pretend to hold you to my breast and find

That you're wavin' from the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

Ever smilin', ever gentle on my mind

 

Don't you expect that he will hold you rather than a tin can and your memory?

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I am married. The marriage is open(it's not about sexual fulfillment, it's about connecting with people and not being socially caged). We don't want children. We're very happy to enjoy life for what it is.

 

Marriage is a symbiotic relationship, an alliance, where two people benefit from each others presence. Beyond that it's whatever the couple wants it to be.

 

I've seen marriages not last past the honeymoon because the idea of marriage was so divorced from the reality of marriage...stupid Disney. In the end you're still just two people who are trying to share their resources. Marriage won't guarantee you anything, except maybe the community around you will acknowledge that speaking to one of you is just as good as speaking to the other. I know a couple that doesn't believe in marriage and they are pretty close knit and recently had a child. Maybe they will one day for whatever reason, but they are very secure in their love for each other. There is no black and white rules here I guess is what I'm saying. What works for some may not work for others.

 

Getting married doesn't save a relationship, or make it better. It's a promise not to leave, but not a guarantee. The community acknowledges your union and treats you as a singular force, a family.

 

I strongly recommend living with your partner and practicing total honesty before proposing...you both need to understand what you want out of life. Marriage should be simply confirming the union that is already evident. I simply can't fathom life without my wife, and that is why I married her. It is not always easy, but when you are truly connected to someone there is not much that can pull you apart. I am closer with my wife than I've ever been with anyone, family or friend.

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I say people need these psychological markers, or they wouldn't have invented them.

 

"...my boyfriend and I have decided to have a committed relationship without being married." How do you know he is committed and how do he know that you are committed? I bet you said something to each other about it. You said something to seal the deal. Do your friends and family know you are committed? How did they find out? I bet you told them one by one or in small gatherings. The wedding ceremony facilitates that process. As much as you may hate the word, you and your boyfriend are married.

 

You know what, I think that you're full of bullshit, trying to define my relationship when you know nothing about it, just so that it fits neatly into your categories.

 

I mean that in a non-angry, non-aggressive way, but it's really the only word I have for it. Bullshit.

 

For one thing, we aren't set on a life long commitment. I guess with the divorce rate, a lot of people aren't- but we aren't going to make promises we don't intend to keep. The discussion we had was not some kind of marriage equivalent. Also, most of our friends and family do not consider us to be in a marriage equivalent relationship. Of course, with how religious my parents are, nothing but being married would satisfy them. There was certainly no time at which we announced to people that we had a commitment.

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The title is indeed important, but not for the reasons most of us gals have been brainwashed to believe it is.

 

Girls are still trained from birth to believe that marriage is this romantic, emotional, florid thing, that our most appropriate social role is to be a wife and mother, and that we will not achieve any kind of fulfillment without finding the Right Guy™ to come and sweep us off our feet and take care of us for the rest of our lives. The pressure to wed is often subtle, but is tremendous nonetheless, found in the way people treat us if we remain single for just a bit too long, or if we deliberately chose not to wed or bear children.

 

So many of us are then overjoyed when our partner proposes to us, because we are trained to believe marriage is about a relationship that will bring us... well, any of a number of completely unrealistic things, or things which don't really have anything to do with what marriage really does bring.

 

The cold, hard reality is that marriage is not a relationship. It's a civil contract. While couples will tend not to marry and form a new legal family unit unless they are in a loving relationship, truth is that love isn't required for marriage at all. Marriage does not make a relationship stronger, better, more intimate, or more emotionally committed. What it does do is grant a couple several thousand state and federal legal rights and responsibilities of which they otherwise would not be able to partake if they remained unhitched under the law.

 

One cynic's opinion, anyway.

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I think traditional weddings are obscene and the traditional idea of marriage is impractical, though some people do want that.

 

I certainly agree with this. My cousin got married in a civil ceremony and her parents told her that if she wanted to continue interacting with the family she would have to get married in a church. Her parents paid for everything, but I thought that was so stupid. I told my Uncle that this is huge waste of money and it would be better spent elsewhere, but he was insistent on a church wedding.

 

I was laughing so hard inside when my cousin and her husband were taking vows before "God". Neither one of them believes in "God". The whole ceremony was just a big show and a waste of money.

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Guest ephymeris

Every relationship is so different and in so many different phases that I couldn't even begin to speculate on why someone would or wouldn't, should or shouldn't marry. My husband and I decided to get married for lots of reasons. We wanted to form our own family. We wanted to break away from our families and start a life together. We wanted the social validation that comes with being "married" so people would know and perceive us as not just being together but something closer, like family. I wanted to join his family, we wanted the unity that we felt we would get from marriage.

 

Once we were married, I did feel a sense of permanence that I hadn't felt before. It hit me as a sudden weight that my life now affected him and his affected me in ways it didn't before our legal, binding, marriage contract. This new feeling of being bound to someone and it was no sudden decision to marry. This wasn't some guy I didn't know well. We dated for nearly 8 years before finally setting a date. I don't regret my marriage at all, I still love my husband more than any other person on this earth and I know he feels the same about me. I may have small regrets about my wedding but I really did it for my mom and I got a pretty dress and beautiful pictures and a honeymoon out of the deal. It was an important beginning mark for my husband and I. At the time, it seemed like it was no big change but now looking back, I'm glad we tied the knot.

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I've seen marriages not last past the honeymoon because the idea of marriage was so divorced from the reality of marriage...stupid Disney.

 

Hah, I've been saying that for a while now. My parents were pretty effective at showing the fallacy of the Disney pipe dream, so the fantasy never stuck with me.

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You know what, I think that you're full of bullshit, trying to define my relationship when you know nothing about it, just so that it fits neatly into your categories.

 

I mean that in a non-angry, non-aggressive way, but it's really the only word I have for it. Bullshit.

For one thing, we aren't set on a life long commitment. I guess with the divorce rate, a lot of people aren't- but we aren't going to make promises we don't intend to keep. The discussion we had was not some kind of marriage equivalent. Also, most of our friends and family do not consider us to be in a marriage equivalent relationship. Of course, with how religious my parents are, nothing but being married would satisfy them. There was certainly no time at which we announced to people that we had a commitment.

 

Gee I'm sorry I thought this, my boyfriend and I have decided to have a committed relationship without being married, meant you were committed. But now I see that you are just renting instead of buying. Maybe your definition of committed is a bit different than mine, which doesn't include shacking up as long as it is convenient and pleasant. That's fine and dandy, but let's not call it committed. Then you won't be misleading the old farts.

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Gee I'm sorry I thought this, my boyfriend and I have decided to have a committed relationship without being married, meant you were committed. But now I see that you are just renting instead of buying. Maybe your definition of committed is a bit different than mine, which doesn't include shacking up as long as it is convenient and pleasant. That's fine and dandy, but let's not call it committed. Then you won't be misleading the old farts.

 

There's no reason to be demeaning to people who have different views on relationships than you. Why not just accept that you don't know the details of my relationship without first trying to tell me I'm actually married, and then trying to tell me that I'm just shacking up? We believe that there are certain periods of life where a relationship with one person is beneficial and worth working through even when it's not "convenient and pleasant" but that at certain junctures, people undergo large changes, where we would like to be free to have reevaluation periods. It's our belief that we can work on our relationship without feeling trapped this way. It is NOT just that we decided to move in together for convenience without thinking things through.

 

You can not want that kind of relationship for yourself and that's fine, and you can believe that it's not the best way for you to have a relationship... but take your condescension and stuff it.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest sixidahos

I can't get married. It's illegal in most states. My partner and I have been together 13 years in Dec. A license would not make us more committed, but it is a legal contract offering financial benefits. Collecting a spouse's Social Security, etc.

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I can't get married. It's illegal in most states. My partner and I have been together 13 years in Dec. A license would not make us more committed, but it is a legal contract offering financial benefits. Collecting a spouse's Social Security, etc.

 

Agreed. I'm glad somebody brought it up.

 

Sacraments or feelings aside, at the end of the day, Marriage is a legal contract.

 

The extra crap religion loads on top of it is just unnecessary BS.

 

This is exactly why I view the right Gays to marry as a Civil Rights issue. No Church has the right to marry anyone that isn't granted that right by the State.

 

It is a legally binding contract that offers several layers of legal protection and tax benefits.

 

It is not Confirmation, Baptism, or any other religious ceremony. It's a legally binding contract that can be instituted in a religious setting.

 

Don't get me wrong, there are concerns with emotion, compatibility, and other less 'legally minded' issues. It's not something most people if anyone should do with someone they do not know or dislike.

 

However, at the end of the day, it is what it is. It's a legal agreement to share property, file income together, share responsibility and custody of any children, and protects property and governs how it is handled in the event of a break up or death, and provides benefits in taxes. It's also useful for other things, such as credit, and makes things easier, allowing access and legal clout as family members in hospitals and other such institutions.

 

It's ironic how it's a wondrous event with God and ceremony to get it done, but to undo it, you've got to go to court and the Church has little to nothing to do with it.

 

Religion has no say in marriage honestly. They can only decide who they choose to join with their State Granted authority to perform marriages.

 

It's done on the authority of the State, not the Church. Which is exactly why not allowing Gays to marry is unconstitutional and none of any Church's fucking business to begin with. They're using borrowed authority to do it in the first place, and have none of their own in the matter.

 

As I said, it's something that should be done with care and forethought, but it's not 'spiritual' or 'holy'. It's a legal matter, a contract, and it's no one's business who another person chooses to willingly form a legitimate legally binding contract with. Everyone has a right to benefit from a legal partnership with anyone they choose.

 

The Churches are just waving about and claiming an authority and power that doesn't belong to them in the first place. It's granted to them by the State, and they've got no valid claim on it as 'theirs' to begin with.

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