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

HullMum Mon 15-Apr-13 19:09:13

one reason is I was sick of saying boyfriend. shallow but it seemed ridiculous after a couple of years and when referring to a 35 year old.

we wanted children and we would likely spend years moving to different countries (with different languages) and being married kind of made things safe wherever we went with out worrying too much about wills etc.

I'd always been anti marriage till I met dh and then tbh I think because I knew he believed in marriage it became important to me that he wanted to marry me.. iyswim.

if he had the same views I think we might not have married except maybe for sorting the legal stuff for kids.

I really am happy I did it now. it's weird even after being together for years it really does actually change things, in a good way. I was suprised by that.

I wish I hadn't changed my name now though or that we had chosen a family name together. I had a good reason for changing it but still feel I lost some if myself

Lottapianos Mon 15-Apr-13 20:41:23

Thanks for your post HullMum. I hear you on the 'boyfriend' thing, it sounds so casual - we've been together for 8 years and he hasn't been a 'boy' for a long time! I get around it by saying 'partner', which isn't ideal but I can't think of an alternative.

Can you say more about the positive change you feel it had on your relationship?

HullMum Mon 15-Apr-13 22:23:18

permanence maybe? hard to explain. I'd felt all alone in the world for a long time and suddenly someone who I loved had legally in front of our friends and his family swore to be there for me. it was nice and made what I already felt feel more "legitimate" in a way. Dh isnt very vocal about emotional things at all but he was a weepy wreck on our wedding day... its something I may have never seen otherwise. I knew I'd always have him no matter what and wouldn't always have to rely on myself. smile the truth is looking back dh would have always been there for me if I had needed him, so it was more mental then reality based changed I guess.

if you aren't planning on having children I think there is a possibility that people may never quite respect you and your dh as a family unit if you aren't married. That's there problem obviously, but it can still be hurtful and annoying.

AnyFucker Mon 15-Apr-13 22:29:35

I got married to simplify my life (legally and financially) and that of any future children

StickEmUpPunk Tue 16-Apr-13 15:19:45

I think marriage is a funny one.
I am married, I was 23, and DH was 26. He asked me after about a month of being together - I was like 'really!'
Then I thought it might be nice to have a party to declare he was the one and I thought then, yes let's get married.
I wonder if I would have done had I realised we had more options. We could have just thrown a party, I guess and really the whole wedding thing was to include family and freiends, and on my part to enjoy the prospect of being with DH forever with those people and have them enjpy the future with us.

I changed my name and was happy to do so, I have said here before my name was wierd (it is identifyable so I can't qualify it so you'll have to take my word for that one!) so I did so.

However, the institution of marriage is a bit strange really, are we meant to be with someone til death to you part?

Really all I have done is legally bound my vagina to DH (and him the other way round) so it's a good question really.

I didnt say obey either, IIRC it was something like all I have I give you, and he said the same thing.
I wear a wedding ring, an engagement ring and a ring my mother bought be called 'mummy ring' all on the same finger.

When we got engaged I bought him a present to the same value as my ring, I called it his engagement gift and I paid for the wedding.

StickEmUpPunk Tue 16-Apr-13 15:20:39

And for me also children do not come into it, although we did try for a while I was always really and continue to be childfree.
A decision we have equally come to.

notcitrus Tue 16-Apr-13 15:28:37

It was the only way to stop my parents being my nearest relatives - my mother has repeatedly said she would refuse to permit my organs to be used by others. While I felt strongly about it, MrNC who had been with me a decade by then said if I did die, offering my organs would make him feel a bit better.
So we decided to head down to the reg office. It would also make things easier if we had children, and looked like same-sex marriage was about to be allowed - we got the registrar to say "marriage is between two people" rather than a man and woman, but leaving that statement out isn't legal. The half-hour wording debate was 30x longer than the ceremony!

MaterFacit Tue 16-Apr-13 16:09:34

It was the quickest and easiest way to protect myself legally and financially.

It made a lot of the older generations of my family very very happy and brought everyone together in a joint celebration.

The public formalising and legitimising of an established relationship appealed to me.

GobShizz Tue 16-Apr-13 16:16:43

Just like you, LottaPianos, I wasn't particularly bothered about getting married but after about five years, I started thinking it would be a good idea. No real idea why, I just suddenly wanted to get married! Then we had a row about it when I brought it up, the row lasted three days (he had also changed his mind about getting married, sadly from wanting to not - and then told me not to take it personally), and was a really miserable time.

However, we've been married two months (to the day!) now, and it's been really lovely. Our wedding was huge amounts of fun, and it was all the better for knowing that we'd both really put a lot of thought into whether we actually wanted to do it, or whether we just thought we "should" do it.

My main reason was similar to that of notcitrus. I had been married once and didn't want to do it again. DP at the time wasn't bothered. This changed when I became seriously ill and had to undergo life-saving emergency surgery. My parents were out of the country at the time so DP filled in all the forms and acted as my next of kin.

I realised afterwards that although we were living together my parents were still my legal next of kin and we hold very different views on some important issues. I wanted to make absolutely sure that my parents would not have any say in medical matters. I would have much preferred a civil partnership though.

EllieQ Tue 16-Apr-13 16:34:25

DH and I got engaged at university, but didn't get married until over a decade later, mainly because I felt uncomfortable about marriage/ being a wife from a feminist POV.

I decided to get married for several reasons - I wanted to have children, and wanted the 'legal protection' or marriage (plus the next of kin rights, etc). I felt silly referring to DH as my boyfriend/ partner/ fiancée once we hit our thirties. It felt odd to have been engaged for so long and not married. Also, I knew that DH wanted to be married more than I did (it used to really annoy me when people assumed he was the one who didn't want to be married).

However, the main reason was that my dad died quite unexpectedly, and I really regretted not getting married while he was alive. My mum was then ill for several months after his death, and I wanted a happy family event, so that was part of it too.

I didn't change my name, and we had a small registry office wedding. It still feels strange when I think that we're married, and I'm a wife!

CognitiveOverload Tue 16-Apr-13 21:02:27

Only reason I will ever marry my partner would be legal protection.

Zappo Tue 16-Apr-13 21:12:50

I'm not married. I have DC so everyone assumes I'm married anyway and refers to DP as my "husband".

I don't actually like the word partner or husband so I tend to call him by his first name.

Lottapianos Wed 17-Apr-13 12:30:21

Thanks so much everyone for your very thoughtful comments and for sharing your experiences. If DP and I were having a baby, I think I would insist on getting married for the legal and financial protection. But I have to say that it would be with a heavy heart. In my experience, society still views 'wives' a certain way and I really don't want to be part of that. And I'm also really uncomfortable with promising to stay together 'til death do us part' - I really don't know how realistic that is! I think it's possible but if you do stay together forever, surely it should be because you both want to be in the relationship and you are still both happy together, not because you made a promise one day that that's what would happen.

I would absolutely love to have a civil partnership with DP so will keep my fingers crossed (and keep spreading the word!) that legislation will change in the next couple of years.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 12:35:36

I am a feminist and I am married.

DH and I are both lawyers...and it is our shared view that marraige offers much greater legal protections. I would encourage all women to marry for percisely this reason.

I also like very much that now we have DC, we are a legal unit and entity. I don't think it's strictly necessary in the grand scheme of things. And I don't see other unmarried families as lesser units or entities, but I just like it that we are.

AuntieStella Wed 17-Apr-13 12:37:23

Not being in UK at the time was a factor for me.

The legal/financial underpinnings are very important, especially once you start making decisions on big ticket items together (such as property or anything that changes your career trajectory).

StephaniePowers Wed 17-Apr-13 12:41:24

It's how things are set up to protect money and children in the easiest ways, from a legal point of view.
I also felt it was a personal commitment I wanted to make and so did DP.
Outwardly nothing has changed!

EuroShaggleton Wed 17-Apr-13 12:47:29

I was always quite anti-marriage and never envisaged myself doing it. I find the whole idea of the state having a role in who your life/sexual partner is completely bizarre. I finally did it at the age of 34. I have remained Ms {maidenname}. I didn't plan to wear my wedding/engagement rings but I have found myself doing it, to my surprise.

I wanted a show of commitment from my commitment-phobe partner and he proposed. I think I would have been equally happy with him saying "let's start trying for a baby" or "let's put my name on the mortgage" at the time, but now I am married, I quite like it. I feel more content and like the looking for a partner phase of my life is over so I can move on to the next thing. I think it makes things easier if you plan to have children as well.

I have a pang of regret occasionally. Usually when someone calls me "Mrs {husband's name} by mistake. I feel like I have become some mere appendage to him, not even worthy of my own name, at that point.

TeiTetua Wed 17-Apr-13 14:11:09

One person says "I find the whole idea of the state having a role in who your life/sexual partner is completely bizarre."

But 3 other people have talked about "legal protection". You really don't get one without the other--you register your contract with the government, and if there's trouble (in the relationship or from the outside) the government may give you some amount of support, or at least will enforce some predictable kind of resolution. ("May" because it's not likely to be a perfect process.) If nobody promised anything to anyone else, then when things go wrong, it's predictably going to be a mess.

Civil partnerships were created so same-sex couples could have the same protection/restriction that marriage provides--legally it's exactly the same. But it seems as if the word "marriage" has so many cultural expectations attached to it that some people really want to be "civil partners" instead, no matter what the law says.

StephaniePowers Wed 17-Apr-13 14:29:39

A civil partnership would be ideal for us.
I don't like the cultural baggage that marriage brings up. There's another thread atm about in laws who aggressively refuse to allow their DIL to call herself by her own name. Just one example of how marriage is public property.

Lottapianos Wed 17-Apr-13 15:26:49

'There's another thread atm about in laws who aggressively refuse to allow their DIL to call herself by her own name'

Yes I saw that thread StephaniePowers and was shocked at how agressive the in-laws were about it.

I know these are quite extreme examples, but look at all the flapping about how Sally Bercow is expected to behave because she is 'The Speaker's Wife', like she's part of his property or something. And the other example that left me shock was when David Beckham allegedly had an affair, poor old Victoria (who I just love) got all the blame because she didn't move to Madrid with him and boo hoo he probably got lonely and hey he's just a man, what did she expect?!

Whereas with a civil partnership, you get legal recognition of your relationship but get to define the terms of that relationship in any way that works for you and your partner. Much more 'civil' to my mind!

HullMum Wed 17-Apr-13 15:27:18

I don't think you can eliminate the cultural baggage of marriage for heterosexual couples. Marriage or civil partnership I would bet money you will still get Xmas cards to Mr and Mrs T. Hisname from some people. I'd quite like it if the government kept it's nose out of "Marriage" altogether and only performed civil partnership and people could also have a religious ceremony if they want to get married.

Xenia Wed 17-Apr-13 15:37:05

Do remember if you earn 10x what your husband does as I did divorce can be pretty expensive but splitting up is nothing like as bad....

As most mumsnetters end up with men who earn more than they do this is unlikely to apply to them or rather applies the other way round.

Bonsoir Wed 17-Apr-13 15:49:57

I love not being married. I equate marriage with loss of independent identity as it always involves some legal framework that has all sorts of cobwebs attached from bygone times when women were chattels of men. I greatly despise women who take their husband's surname (WTF?!) unless their own surname was so unspeakably vile that they preferred his (aesthetics are a legitimate argument).

FinnTheHuman Wed 17-Apr-13 15:56:38

Next of kin status was important to me. I would like my husband to make decisions if I couldn't, not a brother I hadn't seen for years.

Also money, it would be easier to access a death in service insurance policy if the worst happened as a wife rather then partner.

It was the second reason that prompted marriage after 15 years as partners. Nothing religious involved, a very quickly arranged registrars do with two witnesses.

Lottapianos Wed 17-Apr-13 16:54:32

'I greatly despise women who take their husband's surname (WTF?!) '

I wouldn't go so far as to say I despise them but I find it downright sad that so many women give up their names seemingly without a second thought. I know it's a legitimate choice but from a feminist point of view, I can't see how it can be anything but an unhelpful one.

'I don't think you can eliminate the cultural baggage of marriage for heterosexual couples'

You may well be right Hullmum. I'm sure some people would still refer to us as married, just as people always refer to gay couples who have a CP as 'married', even though they can't legally get married yet.

2cats2many Wed 17-Apr-13 16:59:54

DH really wanted to and it seemed like such an easy thing to do for him. We didn't have a big wedding tho (just 5 peeps including us) and I've kept my name.

Bunbaker Wed 17-Apr-13 17:18:20

" So it's not the commitment issue at all, it's the 'married' part that bugs me."


"I love not being married. I equate marriage with loss of independent identity as it always involves some legal framework that has all sorts of cobwebs attached from bygone times when women were chattels of men. I greatly despise women who take their husband's surname"

Despise me then grin. I am me. I don't feel that I have lost my identity. I don't feel like a chattel. I have a very unsociable husband so most people know me as me and not as someone's wife or mother. Also, I got married over 30 years ago and it didn't occur to me not to take my husband's name.

I think marriage is what you make it and feel that OH and I have an equal partnership.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 17:55:17

2cats after I finally agreed to get married, I do remember wondering why I had made such a fuss beforehand

It was such an easy way to make so many people happy, and didn't affect me and my life in any way whatsover grin...

As for my name, I am utterly fluid. Sometimes I use my maiden name, sometimes I use DH's, very often I use my pen name. I love the freedom.

MsJupiterJones Wed 17-Apr-13 18:00:28

Bonsoir, I chose to take my husbands surname. Why? Because 'my' surname was really just my father's. A man I have nothing to do with and no-one else in my family had. I am no more DH's possession than I was his but I was delighted to lose the association. I kept 'Ms' though.

Unless your family has a long history of following the maternal line, your surname comes from a man. While I think it's great when those of my friends without father issues do keep their name (and one friend whose husband took hers), I certainly wouldn't despise anyone for making a different choice.

currynight Wed 17-Apr-13 18:08:24

I was always disinterested in marriage but not really against it. I decided to marry DH in the end because we wanted to live together, but circumstances meant that we'd be moving into his house. I didn't want to be in the insecure position of cohabiting with only his name on the deeds - I've read too many horror threads on MN about women who have done that, and I have a DD (not DH's) to protect.

All the legal and financial protections were relevant as well - we'd be over the inheritance tax threshold just on the house value alone, he could get step-parent PR for DD but not if we weren't married, and we may think about emigrating to his home country in the future - none of that can be sorted out with wills and legal agreements, only through marriage. He also gets a bunch of work benefits that only apply to spouses - medical/dental/travel insurance etc.

I've kept my surname though and rarely wear my engagement/wedding rings.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 18:09:16

I can't even claim that my father's name was his own, because his father adopted it when he left his place of birth!

AnyFucker Wed 17-Apr-13 18:26:14

Bonsoir, such a level of vitriol for other women's choices ?

Methinks one doth protest too much

StephaniePowers Wed 17-Apr-13 18:49:45

I think 'despise' is too strong a word, but though I try to remain neutral, I do secretly think it's a bit crap. Unless a woman is getting rid of a surname like Fister or Twatt.
I wouldn't ever say that though. (Except here.) It is everyone's free choice and it is a tradition of sorts.

HullMum Wed 17-Apr-13 19:59:36

I'd have totally kept my name if it had been either of those Stephanie grin it'd be hilarious

I never wanted to get married, however as a sahm to young kids I realised marriage was good protection for both of us really. Plus it sent a signal to us, to dcs and dsc that we really were family...
I still bizarrely identify more with the unmarrieds - call dh 'my partner' I'm still ms maiden name. I'm deluded.

Jan49 Wed 17-Apr-13 23:42:57

I got married, over 20 years ago, divorced about 15 years later. We were cohabiting and happy with that but felt pressure on both sides of the family to marry. To me, getting married also felt like the next step towards having a child as I didn't really see having a child outside marriage as an option I'd want. I saw the wedding as a nice day out and an occasion which would keep the families happy and I didn't expect it to make any difference to our relationship and it didn't make any difference. I didn't take much notice of the legal difference it makes regarding what happens if you split up but I believed we would never split up so I really didn't feel it applied.

The other thing that bothered me was that older generations in our families treated our relationship as less significant until we got married. So a couple who had been together for a year and were married would be seen as a serious couple whereas a couple who had been together for years but weren't married were seen more like a new bf and gf. Such as over who to spend Christmas with.

I didn't change my surname and we didn't wear rings.

The only time being married really mattered was, sadly, when we split up. I remained in the family home with our son for a long time but that might not have happened if we'd been unmarried. I don't think I'd have coped with having to move at that stage so I'm grateful for the protection it gave me. But if I could go back and give myself some advice, I'd say don't marry him or have a child with him.

dublinrose37 Thu 18-Apr-13 11:28:58

I could take or leave marriage. We did it to cover ourselves re inheritance tax, if one of us died the other would have to pay approx 33% of the value of our house to the tax man and there is no way we would have that money so it would mean selling the house. I wasn't going to put myself or him through that when getting married would secure our home.

Next of kin was also an issue, when I was pregnant with our first baby DH had an accident and I'll never forget the way I was treated by staff just because I was his girlfriend and not his wife. I might as well have been a stranger. That is not something I want to repeat.

We had a very small wedding, we don't wear rings, I kept my name so I don't feel married. I don't feel any different to how I did as his partner but I like the feeling of security re the home. It helps me sleep easier at night.

iclaudius Thu 18-Apr-13 11:56:30

Please please lotta start a MN campaign for heterosexual civil partnership s . Dp and me have been together maybe 23-4 years loads of kids and desperate to civil partnership ....

So unfair

StephaniePowers Thu 18-Apr-13 12:00:15

iclaudius various groups have campaigned for heterosexual civil partnerships and been rebuffed: it's just not a high priority and someone always says 'but you have it, you can get married in a register office, stop wasting our time'.

Lottapianos Thu 18-Apr-13 12:57:51

iclaudius, I have started a few threads in the past about hetero CPs on here and there are quite a few people who would love to have one. There are also a load of people who think it's a waste of time, but I think they just don't grasp the details of why marriage disturbs some people.

Have a look here

As I said upthread, there is a legal challenge going through the European Court of Human Rights to have the twin ban on gay marriage and hetero CPs overturned. It has been submitted on behalf of the Equal Love campaign by a highly respected law professor from UCL (whose name escapes me) who is confident of victory. So the campaign really does have legs. I also read somewhere that some MPs will be tabling a motion to have CPs extended to hetero couples as part of the Gay Marriage Bill currently being discussed.

I have no idea why they would not want to extend CPs to all. This government bang on and on about commitment and 'doing the right thing' - surely even more people would become legally committed to each other this way? And it would cost hardly anything to introduce.

iclaudius Thu 18-Apr-13 20:25:23

Stephanie - that attitude really grates on me!
Lotta - thanks for that! I did once follow the equal love campAign but seemed to lose it somewhere .... I am in the process of drawing up very expensive wills which annoys the hell out of me tbh

It really hit home when dp became quite seriously ill recently and whilst he was lying on the hospital gurney At 2 am I was asked if I was his wife. I am not but he has no contact with his family for over ten years now and we have seven children ' I said 'yes'

Bunbaker Thu 18-Apr-13 20:39:09

What exactly is the difference between marriage and a civil partnership?

Lottapianos Fri 19-Apr-13 12:55:55

Bunbaker, they are almost the same legally. However, with a CP there is no 'consummation' of the relationship, no presumption of fidelity, no 'husband' or 'wife' (just partners) and it's not assumed to be a life-long union (although of course it could be!). There is also no history of rings, white dresses, flowers, brides being 'given away' etc although you are free to include all or none of these as you wish. In a marriage ceremony there are certain vows that have to be spoken - in a CP ceremony you can say as much or as little as you want, you only have to confirm that you are both there of your own free will.

It's a way of becoming each other's legal partner (next of kin, beneficiary etc) but the actual terms of the relationship are down to the couple themselves to define.

daftdame Fri 19-Apr-13 13:14:29

Didn't want to split up. Didn't want to be with anyone else. The only thing that put me off was organizing the 'do'. Then as your lives become more and more intertwined you realize if anything happened you are not next of kin in the the law's eyes. You would have to fight to prove that you should be considered as such - possibly in a stressful situation. Add kids and property to the mix and marriage seems more and more the best idea. We got married!

AutumnMadness Wed 24-Apr-13 12:26:35

Lattapianos, thanks for the explanation of the differences between marriage and civil partnership. I always wondered. But I think, that instead of campaigning for heterosexual civil partnerships, I would campaign for redefined marriage for everyone, gay/straight/whatever. If you want to get married in church - then you've got to promise whatever church wants to you believe (fidelity, life-long commitment, etc.). But if you get married in a civil ceremony at the registrar's, then you should be able to promise whatever you want, including omitting stuff about fidelity and "till death". After all, marriage has been redefined throughout human history. Why cant' we redefine it a bit more? As for labels - 'husband' and 'wife' can sound a bit 'oppressy', but they are just words and their meaning depends on how we understand them. They don't need to be about oppression. "Partner" does always sound like a law firm or a dental practice to me, but it's just my personal perspective.

turkeyboots Wed 24-Apr-13 14:41:50

We did it as a public celebration of our commitment to each other. So a very simple reason.

Had civil ceremony and big party. Didn't do anything too white weddingy. Except for buying myself a bouquet the day before, as felt odd to not have them. Was a great day and fondly remembered by family.

Lottapianos Wed 24-Apr-13 14:53:10

I know what you're saying about re-defining marriage AutumnMadness but to be honest, I think some people like all the 'baggage'. I heard young women at work going all gushy about how someone they know has got engaged, and the bloke asked her dad's permission first - awwwww hmm And endless excitement about white dresses, engagement rings and name-changing. Not to mention hen nights (last night of 'freedom') <heaves>

So I think if some people would like a 'traditional' kind of marriage, go for it. However, it's not for everyone and this is where CPs come in. As it happens, I don't think that sexual relationships should be prioritised over other types of relationships - I think CPs should be available to any pairs/groups of people like long-term flatmates, siblings, long-term friends etc.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Fri 26-Apr-13 10:21:23

We (NZ) legalised gay marriage a week or two ago, so to my mind the more insidious traditional aspects of marriage are slowly being eroded. Which is only a good thing. The UK may not be ready for gay marriage just yet, but it will be eventually. No doubt about that.

Marriage has a lot of negative history, but you can happily make it work for you, and it has changed beyond recognition over the generations. And continues to do so.

I didn't initially take DH's surname, but did once I was pregnant. I umm'd an ah'd over it for ages and in the end decided to as I wanted us all to have the same name. Flimsy reason. I miss my name a lot and am not convinced I did the right thing, but whatever.

It doesn't bother me if people despise me for it; it's their effort to expend however the wish; it has zero impact on me. smile I do think that until more children take on their mother's name, keeping your own name (while any children default to the father's) is really only paying lip service. Although it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

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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