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to want to get married but have no intention of living together?

(259 Posts)
SpongebobCirclePants Sat 21-Nov-15 11:13:59

This is an unusual one, I fully expect judgement and flaming but there's always good advice amongst the pearl clutchers so I'm just going for it.

My partner and I have been together 16 years, we have two children together.

During these 16 years we have learned that we don't do well living together. I very much need my space and he seems happy with that, except he's talking about marriage.

The thought is giving me palpitations.
Quite honestly I absolutely love the idea of marrying him but the thought of living with another adult makes me feel instantly stressed.

This morning though, my mum pointed out that marriage doesn't have to mean living together.

This sounds pretty amazing and I'll have to discuss this with my partner but I have some worries.

For example, will it totally screw our kids up? Two parents that love each other, married but don't live together?! Would we be screwing with their future relationships? As far as our children go, me and their dad are just friends, I've been very very careful there. I've been so worried about it affecting them that I've made it as black and white as I can.

Secondly, I work full time and so does my partner. He has a flat which he rents, and loves.
I have a great flat which I also rent but because my job is a vocation and not something you do for money I get paid little and have housing benefit to help me with rent.

If we married and didn't live together how does that work? I don't want to seem as though I'm trying to screw the system for more money.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Cloppysow Sat 21-Nov-15 11:15:29

My ideal would be marriage without living together.

TaliZorah Sat 21-Nov-15 11:16:48

I don't see anything wrong with it, different things work for different people. Polyamory, blended families, same sex families. As long as your kids have loving parents, I wouldn't worry OP smile

SpanglesGalloway Sat 21-Nov-15 11:19:29

I remember reading an article a few years ago about couples who do this. If it works for you great there is no template for marriage and relationships that suit everyone. To me I think it's best when kids are involved for parents to have a happy working relationship. Wither that's married living together married living apart co-hab separated or absolutely no contact whatever gives the most harmony for yourselves and the kids is surely the ideal so why not!!! Doesn't mean you can't alter the arrangement in future if you need to xx

PiperChapstick Sat 21-Nov-15 11:20:06

It's a bit strange that you've made the ultimate commitment with him, twice, in having children, but marriage scares you?
Are you actually in relationship with him? Do you spend a lot of time together?

Bragadocia Sat 21-Nov-15 11:20:43

If I could afford my own home, I love the idea of not living full time with DH! Marriage is a simple way to be each other's next of kin, which is practical (oh! the romance).

Have I got this right - your children with your partner don't know that you are actually a couple? Are they quite little still?

SpongebobCirclePants Sat 21-Nov-15 11:20:45

Marriage doesn't scare me at all. I like the idea of getting married.

SpongebobCirclePants Sat 21-Nov-15 11:22:03

Yes that's right, the youngest is 4

PiperChapstick Sat 21-Nov-15 11:22:39

I think I read somewhere that Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton lived in 2 semis that were joined together, with a door in the middle, one house for him and one house for her. I remember thinking how ideal that sounded! I think they're split up now though

Helmetbymidnight Sat 21-Nov-15 11:23:04

The children think you're friends - they don't know you're a couple? Er why?

gamerchick Sat 21-Nov-15 11:23:16

I dunno if you weren't reliant on HB then I would say go for it but I don't think you can claim as single, then get married and carry on claiming as single. I think you're expected to sort your own housing costs in that case.

You'll have to look into it as I'm not sure.

goodnessgraciousgoudaoriginal Sat 21-Nov-15 11:23:26

Well I guess the main thing would be how your partner would feel about the arrangement.

I don't understand what you said about your children - you have two children, both with your current partner? But even though you are in a romantic relationship with their father, you tell them that you are "just friends"? Or was there another person involved?

To be honest, I think lying to the kids about being "just friends" with someone you are romantically involved with is more likely to give them a fucked up idea of relationships than whether you live under the same roof or not. Especially if you then get married confused

I believe if you were to marry then you salaries would count as joint income, even if lived separately (unless you were legally separated), but really this is something you would need to get legal advice on. It wouldn't make sense otherwise, as it would be so open to abuse and encourage sham marriages.

If you are looking to keep finances, houses and to an extent, your lives separate, what do you actually want to get out of being married? If it's legal stuff then it might just be easier to get some legal documents drawn up designating him as your next of kin, making sure your wills are in order, etc.

If it's romantic stuff then...well...well it's as you want, but getting married for a romantic ideal, and then basically continuing to live separate lives through choice seems very odd.

PiperChapstick Sat 21-Nov-15 11:24:52

Sorry Spongebob, I just took it as that as when you said the thought gave you palpitations!

HackerFucker22 Sat 21-Nov-15 11:25:01

So your kids think you are just friends? Not partners who live separately?

If they think the former then getting married is going to get confusing.

I'm intrigued as to how this actually works (logistically, financially etc)

Helmetbymidnight Sat 21-Nov-15 11:24:43

So the tax payer supports his kids housing instead of their dad? Sounds fab. confused

FrancesOldhamKelsey Sat 21-Nov-15 11:25:19

To what extent are you and your DC financially dependent on your DP?

Have you made wills in each other's favour?

Will HB accept that you are financially independent if you are married?

SpongebobCirclePants Sat 21-Nov-15 11:27:05

Ok about the 'friends' thing.

It's because we did split up. We can't live together and it didn't work out. That's hard on children, I didn't want to tell them we were back together again but tell them I won't let their dad live with us. I was trying to not rock the boat for them as much as possible. Especially as that happened a couple of years ago and is quite hard to explain to little ones.

SurlyCue Sat 21-Nov-15 11:27:21

I think it will screw your children up more that you have lied about their parents' relationship! Why on earth would you not show them how you love each other and what a loving relationship is? That doesnt mean living together.

Fwiw i think the world would be a better place if more people chose not to live together because "its what you do". Separate living spouses is fine by me.

But seriously, tell your kids the truth! I dont get that at all! confused

Allofaflumble Sat 21-Nov-15 11:27:44

Sounds great to me
I also think the whole married so you should sleep in the same bed needs to be revised. How many marriages may have failed due to poor sleeping?

PiperChapstick Sat 21-Nov-15 11:28:06

So the tax payer supports his kids housing instead of their dad? Sounds fab.

TBF the OP didn't say he didn't contribute financially.

I have soooo many questions floating around in my head now about this situation grin

GruntledOne Sat 21-Nov-15 11:29:26

Do the kids know he is their father?

SpongebobCirclePants Sat 21-Nov-15 11:30:35

Ah sorry Helmet you are right. I'll move him back in at once and create merry hell for the children again. My bad.

Fact is for whatever reason I find it utterly stressful living with another adult. Yes, I realise that's my issue.

The other alternative would be to split up, would that appease you Helmet?

Which would you like?

drivingmisspotty Sat 21-Nov-15 11:31:13

What are your DP's expectations of marriage? Does he imagine you will live together once you are married? Does he expect to join finances?

PiperChapstick Sat 21-Nov-15 11:34:02

It's because we did split up. We can't live together and it didn't work out. That's hard on children, I didn't want to tell them we were back together again but tell them I won't let their dad live with us. I was trying to not rock the boat for them as much as possible

I see where you're coming from, but do you have date nights etc, do you see a lot of each other, do you go to each other's houses and cosy up on the sofa to watch a film, all that coupley stuff? If you do this may be very confusing for them! I think if you were to get married then you need to show your children how you love each other but that doesn't mean daddy has to live in the same house. Whatever works for you but I think start with being honest with your DC. They may be young now but they're getting older and would naturally start to ask questions

SpongebobCirclePants Sat 21-Nov-15 11:34:11

Of course they know who their dad is.

It's only the last short time we have been split up.

Driving I'm finding it difficult to answer that question, a bit like I found it difficult to explain why I wanted children. I don't really know, there isn't a specific reason except I'd love to get married and I can't imagine marrying anyone else but him.

And yes he does help financially.

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