If you're uncomfortable with marriage but got married anyway, what made you decide to go for it?

(59 Posts)
Lottapianos Mon 15-Apr-13 16:15:50

DP and I have been together 8 years, living together for nearly 5. Lots of ups and downs but have come through it all and I would say we have a very supportive, loving relationship. No DCs and that's most likely the way it will stay.

I've always been staunchly anti-marriage but in the last year or so, I've been feeling that I would like to make our relationship 'official', or take it to 'the next level' or something smile I'm not quite sure exactly what I'm looking for. I would not be a Mrs, I would not take his name, I would not wear an engagement ring (already wear a silver ring that he gave me as a gift) so nothing would really change outwardly but I find myself getting extremely excited about planning a wedding day (not a huge production at all, a quiet cheap-ish day but just a celebration of our relationship).

I support the Equal Love campaign who have launched a legal bid in the ECHR to extend civil partnerships to hetero couples, and if/when this judgement is passed (probably next year), I would absolutely jump at the chance to have a CP. So would DP, we have discussed this issue and he is up for either married, or CP, or stay as we are. So it's not the commitment issue at all, it's the 'married' part that bugs me.

I would love to hear other people's thoughts, whether you got married or decided not to, just to give me some extra food for thought smile
TIA

motherinferior Fri 26-Apr-13 10:28:06

I would quite like a wedding - I love a party - but the idea of being married makes me feel itchy and slightly unwell. DP on the other hand keeps going on about getting married.

I'm of the generation of 1980s feminists that has always been deeply sceptical about marriage, really.

BelaLugosisShed Fri 26-Apr-13 13:09:33

I'm also of the 80's feminist generation, I've never been sceptical about marriage, I'm of the opinion that it's vitally important in protecting women in a financial sense, it also protects men/fathers, if they aren't married then they could lose their children should the mother die.
I've been married for 29 years and took DH's name - quite why I could be despised for that is beyond me.
I know my 23 year old DD wants to marry, I don't care if she keeps her name or takes her husbands or he takes hers, it's irrelevant to everyone except the couple themselves.
3 of DD's friends are getting married in the next year or so ( all intelligent women with careers) , I don't think marriage is going out of fashion, quite the reverse in the under 30 age group, my next door neighbours got married last year, they are both late 20's and wanted to marry before starting a family - she's due in August smile .

TremoloGreen Fri 26-Apr-13 16:03:28

We owned a house together.
We were trying for a baby.
Marriage gave us the legal protection we both wanted.

I do still wish the laws of this country were not so, but I sucked it up and to be honest, it hasn't affected our lives in any great way. We had a quicky ceremony with a couple of witnesses while on holiday. It was a lovely fun day with friends with a wedding thrown in. We had a low-key party when we got back, but invited people to a 'housewarming' - they all knew we got married though and some people ascribed an extra meaning to that I suppose. I've given up explaining/justifying my choices becuase I've realised many people don't 'get it'.

So all in all, We got what we wanted out of it and are pretty happy with the situation. People being confused about what my name is (in 2013!!) does boil my piss though. Can't help it.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Fri 26-Apr-13 20:41:25

Well, I took DH's name, but I think the act of keeping your own name or taking your husband's goes beyond just the couple itself and is a political statement, like it or not.

It's not irrelevant to anyone other than the couple - taking your DH's names is confirming to patriarchal norms and it's something women do that men do not, so it is a feminist issue.

It's fine for women to expect not to be judged for it, but likewise, we can't expect people not to have an opinion on it. I fully recognise that my choice to take my DH's name is a disappointment to many feminists and am not going to be defensive about it.

qumquat Wed 01-May-13 14:46:47

The attitude (mentioned up thread) that your name is just your father's name anyway, makes me MAD!!! So, my husband owns his own name (it's never described as HIS dad's name) but mine is just on loan from my dad? As it happens, I have major dad issues, but I have no intention of changing my name when I get married next year, because my name is MY name.

Thanks for starting this thread, I feel so itchy about wearing an engagement ring and the person I mentioned this to thought I was a freak, glad others would understand! I just feel like I'm wearing an ownership stamp. I might feel a bit different about wedding rings since we'll both have one, but to be honest I still don't like it. Nobody is lunging at me trying to have their wicked way with me so I don't need a sign to ward them off, and, frankly, if they were the lunging kind I doubt a ring would make a blind bit of difference.

I'm excited to be getting married because I'm looking forward to the party and I'm looking forward to starting a family in a legally secure way. My sister had no end of hassle tying up all the legal ends with her partner to be as protected as a married couple without being married. Popping down to the registry office seems much simpler and cheaper!

MsJupiterJones Wed 01-May-13 17:17:08

That's great for you qumquat, my name definitely felt like my father's. Everyone else in my family had a different name. I was delighted to get rid of mine.

I think men hang on to their surnames for exactly the reason that they are carrying on the 'family' (ie paternal line) name.

MsJupiterJones Wed 01-May-13 17:17:43

ps I bought DH an engagement ring too, can you not do that?

Ullena Wed 01-May-13 18:04:53

I was perfectly happy to take on my husband's family name: his unmarried paternal grandmother chose it for herself and her DCs! (Apparently it was the family name of her favourite "suitor": who was probably DH's grandfather.) She was a wonderfully terrifying old lady, who carried a brick in her handbag and prowled the streets searching out muggers, btw...

My previous family name belonged to my father. His mother kept it after her abusive husband abandoned her and their three DCs. Sad to say that my own father can be a rather unpleasant sort too. So no reason to want to keep the name on.

Admittedly I got married for the cake the security of having my husband as next of kin: several of my family think that as an epileptic I should be in an institution! DH has been the person who taught me to live independently smile

NotAnotherPackedLunch Wed 01-May-13 18:23:32

OP - Regarding the aspect of promising to be faithful and love your spouse until you die - I'm pretty sure my registry office job in Scotland didn't involve promising any of the above.
Both DH and I came away with the impression the only actual promise we had made was not to commit bigamy and to dissolve the current marriage before embarking on our next ones. grin

We married for the straight forward legal protection and no name changing or changes to our relationship happened.

I'm not sure if the Scottish Registry office wording is still the same as I got married a very long time ago, but it may be a good way to get legal protection without too many compromises. Historically Scotland has always had stronger legal rights for women, with property ownership not transferring to husband on marriage and being buried with your maiden name.

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