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AIBU to not want to get married?

(102 Posts)
user57310 Wed 10-Jun-20 21:48:20

We don't want to get married (just a piece of paper etc etc). But we would like something more than "tenants in common" on the paperwork.

We share step children.

We have been together for a period of time.

We are quite spiritual / alternative.

AWBU not to want to get "married" per se, but to seek alternative (civil partnership or more spiritual, for example: hand fasting) methods of declaring our life and love together?

What are the alternatives? Please share your experiences - even if it's a ceremony abroad / at home / between friends, which holds no weight in the U.K. but means something very special to you.

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HermioneWeasley Wed 10-Jun-20 21:51:15

Well, it’s not just a piece of paper, it’s a legal document which confers important rights around inheritance and next of kin status to name 2 things.

That’s why gay people fought to have their relationships legally recognised.

OhioOhioOhio Wed 10-Jun-20 21:52:36

I think that I heard a couple fight to have a civil partnership.

saveeno Wed 10-Jun-20 21:52:40

I personally wouldn't bother yet. Too much hassle. You mention things that hold no weight in UK, so why?

Unless you want the legal bit, hold off for a while. It's not as if you can have a party afterwards either at the moment.

I wish you well. I'd rethink for next year. Civil Partnership is a legal thing, hand fasting is not.

PrincessConsuelaVaginaHammock Wed 10-Jun-20 21:56:57

Yabu and very, very daft to define a legal contract, any legal contract, as just a piece of paper.

What do you want: legalities, some kind of ceremony or both?

Pinkblueberry Wed 10-Jun-20 21:58:48

I had some relatives renew their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary - in church with a reception afterwards, a bit like a wedding again really, that obviously doesn’t mean anything officially but it was a very nice occasion and I know it meant a lot to them. I also went to a lovely naming ceremony as an alternative to a Christening. You can do all that and simply not register the wedding - although it does beg the question, why?? Why not just do both if you’re going to do something that is essentially a wedding - do you feel it lessens it for you somehow? I would say YANBU for not wanting to get married... but it seems you do want to get married, you just don’t want to be married.

copycopypaste Wed 10-Jun-20 22:00:06

My friends changed their surname to a combination of both their surnames and then bought commitment rings for each other and had a bloody good party.

merryhouse Wed 10-Jun-20 22:11:45

so what's the difference between a civil partnership and a marriage?

what's the difference between a handfasting and a marriage?

What is it that you actually want?

Do you want the legal recognition of your relationship? Do you want a social recognition of your commitment?

If it's the first, go to the register office and sign that bit of paper. If it's the second, write yourselves some beautiful vows and throw a party.

And if it's both, do both together.

(you "share step-children"? how does that work?)

nettytree Wed 10-Jun-20 22:14:24

A marriage or civil partnership is not just a piece of paper. It's a sign of commitment to someone you love and want to spend your life with. I don't think I would look at my relationship the same way if we just lived together.

ViciousJackdaw Wed 10-Jun-20 22:28:17

Can't you just have a quick registry office affair then drink some mead in the woods surrounded by crystals and dream catchers afterwards?

user57310 Wed 10-Jun-20 22:35:08

Honestly thank you for responding - I appreciate all your views.

@copycopypaste * My friends changed their surname to a combination of both their surnames and then bought commitment rings for each other and had a bloody good party.*

This sounds absolutely wonderful.

I want to write back to you all so bear with me as I try to navigate how to do that.

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AgeLikeWine Wed 10-Jun-20 22:39:31

Marriage is most certainly not ‘just a piece of paper’. It is a legally binding contract between two people which convers important rights to and entails responsibilities from its signatories. Being ‘spiritual’ does none of these things.

We researched the law and made an informed decision not to marry, which was the right one for us and our circumstances. If you don’t want to marry, that’s entirely up to you, but you should inform yourself about the legal position of unmarried couples before making this decision.

MyDogPatch Wed 10-Jun-20 22:40:05

My DB is considering a CP to his long term female partner of 20+ years. They don't want to be "married".

user57310 Wed 10-Jun-20 22:41:21

@HermioneWeasley I didn't mean to come across as flippant. I really didn't. Circumstances mean that marriage doesn't hold any weight for us. We are searching for a very different way to join together, which doesn't necessitate formality and tradition.

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MyDogPatch Wed 10-Jun-20 22:42:43

Info here about getting a CP.

EmperorCovidula Wed 10-Jun-20 22:45:00

If you are codependent in any way then you’d be idiots not to get married/civil partnership. If one of you is dependent on the other they would be an idiot for not pushing for it. The only relationships that have legal status in English law (assuming you’re in that jurisdiction) are marriage (registered) or civil partnerships. Tenants in common is a form of land ownership and is a great option if you want to buy property together but keep your finances seperate.

user57310 Wed 10-Jun-20 22:46:00

@OhioOhioOhio - I am so sorry but I don't understand - may be that I'm not native speaker.

@saveeno - it wouldn't be for this year or the next, just exploring alternative options. Probably wouldn't involve many people, maybe even just the children which is why I mention hand fasting and that it doesn't need to necessarily hold weight anywhere other than between us. It's hard to explain. But a big party with some mead sounds like a plan @ViciousJackdaw!

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TheMotherofAllDilemmas Wed 10-Jun-20 22:46:15

It is not a just a piece of paper, it is neither a “sign of commitment to someone you love and want to spend your life with”. It is a legal contract that protects both of you if things go wrong.

But agree with you that there is no need to get married when you don’t understand what that is or are not even bothered to find out.

thatmustbenigelwiththebrie Wed 10-Jun-20 22:46:46

It's not just a piece of paper though is it? And I say that as someone doesn't want to get married precisely for that reason! It confers legal and financial changes to your relationship.

user57310 Wed 10-Jun-20 22:49:34

@PrincessConsuelaVaginaHammock - we don't need formalities. We would like for our children to feel part of the same "family" without making the traditional marriage vows. I don't quite now how to explain it better I am sorry. Hence why I asked what the alternatives are.

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Rebelwithallthecause Wed 10-Jun-20 22:50:18

We had a hand fasting secondary to a legal marriage ceremony

user57310 Wed 10-Jun-20 22:51:39

@Pinkblueberry - it's hard to explain but we just don't want traditional. Although an equivalent to a "naming ceremony" rather than a christening is maybe a really good explication of what we look for! Thank you.

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taraRoo Wed 10-Jun-20 22:52:46

Get a civil partnership. I really hope these take off. I really wasn't keen on weddings. I really didn't want to have one but like you didn't want marriage. Had no choice though. That was only 4 years ago. Now I'd definitely get a c.p.

altiara Wed 10-Jun-20 22:55:26

Do you just want a party/celebration type thing (wedding) or a legal contract (marriage)?
If you own property together or the sharing of step children, I would think about what would happen if either of you die.
My SIL is friends with someone who didn’t want to get remarried after a divorce but when his partner died, there was the inheritance tax to sort out which was a lot of money, especially while grieving and becoming a single dad.
It’s all very well you (both) not caring about formalities but it’s worth looking at what mess would be left behind for the children to sort out.

user57310 Wed 10-Jun-20 22:57:07


Do you want the legal recognition of your relationship? no

Do you want a social recognition of your commitment? yes I think this is it - thank you - but it's more for us and our children than everyone else

If it's the first, go to the register office and sign that bit of paper.

If it's the second, write yourselves some beautiful vows and throw a party. - this sounds like a very good idea thank you
you "share step-children"? how does that work?) - we share children. They are not all necessarily all ours by DNA. Does that make sense? My children are not his but he treats them like his own. His own are not mine, but I treat them as my own.

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