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(39 Posts)
NameChangeroonie Fri 30-Aug-13 12:14:34

I know there was a thread about this not very long ago at all but well...sorry, here is another. blush Obvs I have name-changed.

I suppose I want to hear other peoples opinions really on whether you would end a 10 year relationship, one which is mostly good, because he doesn't want to get married. We have both been married before. We both have children but have no children together and will not be having children together. Being married is something that really matters to me. I don't want a frilly dress or a big party, I just want to be married. Registry office and a pub meal will do me. I want to make an outward commitment, I want to know that he feels the same blah blah. I also want to be legally protected if something goes wrong. Maybe because we don't have children together I don't need the legal protection marriage can offer, I don't know. We have talked about it a lot over the years and his response is always, 'it's just a piece of paper' or 'I like knowing that we are together because we want to be, not because we have to be'.

Sometimes it bothers me so much that it is the first thing that pops in my head when I wake up. I'm aware that must make me sound quite ridiculous. Sometimes I tell myself, I must be mad thinking of ending a normal happy 10 year relationship just because he won't get married.

Don't really know what I am rambling about tbh. Bit confused and also sad with it all. Opinions gratefully received.

NameChangeroonie Fri 30-Aug-13 13:14:40

I have to leave for work but I really appreciate all the responses and will take some time to read through again when I get home. Thanks flowers

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Fri 30-Aug-13 13:18:11

Joinyourplayfellows I don't think it's silly to say 'just a piece of paper'. For some, i.e. me, it really isn't a meaningful thing. I don't view a relationship differently because they are Mr & Mrs rather than him & her. I tend to judge a relationship based on things like living together, joint mortgage, having kids, longevity etc.

A wedding ceremony does not necessarily convey emotional meaning to a relationship (eg. Britney Spears' Vegas debacle). Though yes, it does have the legal baggage.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 30-Aug-13 13:19:19

I felt increasingly trapped in my marriage. I would never marry again, and I love my partner dearly, and we agree we're together permanently now.
If you feel that being married is, or could be, more important than being with the person you're with then clearly it's not the right relationship for you. That's not love.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 30-Aug-13 13:26:14

Calling a legal contract "just a piece of paper" as though pieces of paper are just silly meaningless ephemera is pretty stupid.

A will is just a piece of paper.

A contract of employment is just a piece of paper.

Insurance documents are just pieces of paper.

The fact that they exist on paper is just an accident of history. It says nothing about the reality of the legal obligations they express.

Thurlow Fri 30-Aug-13 13:28:25

Even as someone who is in a partnership that have made a conscious decision not to get married, I believe that you are entitled to know the real reasons your DP is saying he doesn't want to get married. I never wanted a wedding, but imagined getting married - but when DP explained to me why he felt so strongly against marriage I understood him, and didn't feel as though he was just ignoring my desires too.

It is always difficult as a couple when there is a massive difference of opinion/belief like this, so you need to be very open and honest and understand why each of you wants or doesn't want marriage. It's only through honesty like this that you can find a compromise that works for you.

FWIW, Atilla's very helpful explaination of the law is something you need to take into consideration but to me it isn't the be all the end all. For example, we both earn the same amount and both still work f/t though we have DC, so should we separate now, I don't believe DP owes me anything, he only owes our DC support. I wouldn't get married just to get a widow's allowance either. Though this may sound very harsh (and sorry if it does) if you have no DC together, then many of the legal concerns of being unmarried v being married don't entirely seem to apply to your current situation, and I personally wouldn't use them to sway either of your decisions.

JustinBsMum Fri 30-Aug-13 13:34:12

Perhaps speak to a solicitor so you have the facts correct when you have a proper discussion with DH. What happens to dependents if one partner dies, do they go to GPs?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 30-Aug-13 13:46:06

Many people generally speaking are completely unaware of the legal implications in the event of one person dying if they are living together and not married. "Common law wife" does not exist even though there are still some people out there who believe this.

I mentioned the widows (its now called bereavement) allowance because people who cohabit cannot claim it. That fact is not widely known. Its only payable to husbands, wives and those in a civil partnership.

In OPS case I would want to know the real reasons why this man is so anti marriage. He may well think it is easier to walk away because he is not married to OP. If he for whatever reason thinks that in the event of separation a cohabitation split is somehow less "messy" than a divorce then I think he would be in for a nasty shock. I have seen cohabitee splits along with divorces amongst my friends and in each case I have seen it has been the couples who have cohabited who have had the most problems going forward with regards to property and children. It can become very adversarial.

blueshoes Fri 30-Aug-13 13:51:43

You need to find out his reasons for not wanting to get married.

Otherwise you would not be unjustified in thinking he is just not that into you and this is a relationship of convenience to him.

mrsbeano Fri 30-Aug-13 13:56:59

I think the problem isn't that you just want to get married but that you want someone who doesn't want to marry again, to want to get married.

He isn't saying that he doesn't want to be with you but I don't think you're going to get what you want.

I have no suggestion but I expect that the unfortunate answer is to shut up or put up.

mrsbeano Fri 30-Aug-13 13:58:40

Attila they have no assets but nevertheless I feel that this issue is more of a romantic one than a practical one. You are obviously better positioned for death benefits if you're married though.

Thurlow Fri 30-Aug-13 14:06:55

Yes, definitely Atilla. There's a lot that can be sorted out with other paperwork such as life insurance, joint ownership of a house, pensions being paid to a name beneficiary etc. I think a lot of these issues only really raise their had in a couple where one partner earns much less money or, particularly, curtails their career/employment/earning opportunities by staying at home to raise children. I've always made it very clear to DP that irregardless of his views on marriage in general, should the situation ever arise where one of us quits their job or takes themselves off of the career ladder to stay at home more with children, then marriage is probably going to have to happen, whether we tell anyone or not, to ensure the lesser earning partner isn't utterly screwed over if things go sour.

When their are no assets and no shared children, it does become more of a romantic than a legal decision.

Horsemad Fri 30-Aug-13 16:39:23

What if a couple who were cohabiting did all the legals so neither were left up the creek in the event of one of them dying and then one of the couple changed their will etc behind their partner's back?

Would they be left up the creek then? At least if the couple were married they'd have some legal recourse if either died wouldn't they? Even if they were separated (unless one had hot-footed) it to a solicitor the minute the separation occurred.

Horsemad Fri 30-Aug-13 16:40:03

Excuse random brackets!

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Fri 30-Aug-13 17:29:10

Horsemad that's a very good point.
Wills can be secretly changed behind a person's back at any time, and yes that person would definitely be left up the creek.

In answer to being married and then separating - this is exactly why you are better protected when married, because property and assets etc are split accordingly.

So in terms of being legally protected, being married does solve that problem to a very large extent.

If you wanted to know more, I am sure there are people on here with legal backgrounds who could advise you.

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