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Is there something to be said for couples who don't get married but stay together?

(77 Posts)
Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 29-Oct-17 15:38:08

My dp and I aren't married. I have often heard all the pros for getting married and am thinking on reflection if their are any benefits to not getting married.

Such as.. I was thinking if you stay together for say 40 years but you never got married is it perhaps because you want to be together rather than being together because it is easier perhaps than getting a divorce.

Can anyone think of any?

Creatureofthenight Sun 29-Oct-17 15:44:04

I would assume if a couple were together that long without marrying that they didn't believe in marriage or just weren't bothered.
Getting divorced isn't such a big thing any more so I don't think as many people would stay together if unhappy just because they're married.

To put it a different way - I'm married with a child, my good friend has a long term partner but unmarried and they have children. I don't see either of us as more or less likely to stay together.

Beentherelefthimgotthetshirt Sun 29-Oct-17 15:53:38

I can't really think of one except at my age (51) my hard-earned assets would be protected if I didn't marry again.

Getting divorced isn't particularly difficult especially if you keep your maiden name (changing it back is a pain). It's the actual break up, the grief and splitting of finances and assets that's difficult and you have to cope with that married or not. That bit's harder if you're not married as the law doesn't help you plus there's pension insecurity.

If you're young and building a family together then the financially weaker party is rather vulnerable if unmarried and things go wrong or a partner dies suddenly. That's not remotely romantic I know.

Tilapia Sun 29-Oct-17 15:57:42

The thing is that if you are unmarried but entwined in other ways (eg financially or have a child together) then splitting up isn’t easy either. So I don’t think it’s necessarily true that if you’re unmarried it proves you really want to be together (rather than just for convenience).

cherrycola2004 Sun 29-Oct-17 15:59:18

My DP and I have been together 13 years and neither of us want to get married. Neither of us have been married previously, we just don't see the point. We have no DC either or want any. Guess we're just happy the two of us!

Stringofpearls Sun 29-Oct-17 16:02:08

Personally, I think it just depends on the couple and what they want, rather than being specifically related to the advantages or disadvantages of disadvantages. I am married and I love it, my bro in law abdbpartner are not married but are no less or more of a couple than we are.

LoverOfCake Sun 29-Oct-17 16:05:14

No, IMO it has more to do with the length of togetherness rather than status as to whether people find it hard to split.

Getting divorced is difficult but if there are children in the equation it's difficult to split anyway, but people express surprise if a couple splits after say twenty years together regardless of whether they have been married or not.

And statistically unmarried couples are less likely to stay together, but marriage offers certain financial protections which don't exist if you're not legally married. Equally though cohabiting means you're less accountable which can go for or against e.g. If you move into your partner's house you have no rights if you split, but if you're the home owner you can throw them out.

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 29-Oct-17 16:07:03

Thank you for your thoughts.

My dp and I have been together 7 years and are ttc. I have had a real desire for security and stability through marriage as i have abandonment issues and have suffered with depression and anxiety.

Dp doesn't want to get married. He doesn't believe in marriage as he has seen his psrebts go throigha bitter divorce and I am learning to accept this.

I am happy with him and love him very much and am having to accept that I either leave him or accept he doesnt want to get married. I wouldn't leave him as it isn't so much of an issue that I wouldn't want to be together.

I guess the background may help with my initially question and 'figuring out what the benefits can be of not getting married and if getting married is the be all and end all

Ttbb Sun 29-Oct-17 16:07:32

No more than for married couples who stay together for that long. Divorce is fairly simple these days.

PsychedelicSheep Sun 29-Oct-17 16:10:19

I’ve been divorced and have absolutely no desire to get married again. I have a great relationship with my partner and hope we stay together but marriage just isn’t necessary and potentially I could lose out financially by doing so (earn more money, have a good pension and my own property). I know it’s not very romantic but it’s important to consider what would happen to you in event of a split if you do marry, nothing is ever guaranteed to last.

Trills Sun 29-Oct-17 16:11:07

I don't think that "not getting married" proves anything at all. It could come about for all kinds of reasons.

Legally and financially speaking you are safer if you do get married.

I don't think I understand the "my parents divorced so I don't believe in marriage" argument.
If someone says that, are they saying "I don't believe that any long-term relationship will last"?
If they believe that, it's likely to be true for them, so I wouldn't want to have children with them. I'd only (hypothetically) have children with someone who at least intended to be around for the next 20 or so years.

TheLuminaries Sun 29-Oct-17 16:12:28

I think having a child together binds you far more than marriage. Having said that, I would be pretty hurt if my partner didn't want to marry me. We married because we were wildly in love, not for practical reasons, and I wouldn't bother sharing my life with someone unless we both felt the same way. Don't compromise OP, that never ends well.

PsychedelicSheep Sun 29-Oct-17 16:13:48

Ok in that situation make sure you don’t end up dependent on him financially coz you won’t be protected if he leaves you or the relationship breaks down. I would never advise anyone to become a SAHM in these circumstances. Other than that it doesn’t matter if you’re married or not.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 29-Oct-17 16:14:08

We have been together, unmarried, for 26 years. Many people actually don't realise we are not married. All our property and money is held jointly and we fully share finances.

The only negatives I have heard is when our church minister suggested that getting married would make our kids feel more secure (the kids found it quite amusing).

However, we are getting married next year because we have amassed enough to make inheritance tax an issue. I'm feeling a bit stressed about it to be honest: our friends and family seem a bit invested in it being some amazing day, and I rather wish we'd just eloped.

Tilapia Sun 29-Oct-17 16:20:11

OP, as you are TTC it is important to say this.

It’s fine not to get married as long as you don’t plan to become a SAHM or go part time. If you do, you would be seriously financially disadvantaged in the event that you and your DP split.

Take maternity leave only, ideally with your DP taking an equal amount of paternity leave, and then go back to work full time. Also make sure that you have sorted out wills and life insurance.

If this isn’t the plan, please please either get married or stop TTC.

OlennasWimple Sun 29-Oct-17 16:29:36

If marriage is important to you, don't let your partner rail road you into not getting married. Why does his view get to trump yours, especially as you are potentially the one who becomes more vulnerable as a result?

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 29-Oct-17 16:33:04

Thank you everyone for your replies. I do agree that his wants shouldn't trump mine but I can't see how this can be comprised on both parts as its either u get married or u don't.

I work full time and have 1 dc already. I earn a good wage. Dc1 from previous relationship but do brought up dc1 from a baby.

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 29-Oct-17 16:33:07

Thank you everyone for your replies. I do agree that his wants shouldn't trump mine but I can't see how this can be comprised on both parts as its either u get married or u don't.

I work full time and have 1 dc already. I earn a good wage. Dc1 from previous relationship but do brought up dc1 from a baby.

Guiltybystander Sun 29-Oct-17 16:35:35

I think it only makes a difference if you have children together, otherwise I don't see much point of getting married.

DamnSummerCold Sun 29-Oct-17 16:38:35

I’ve been with DP 20+ years. It’s me that has the issue with marriage (a whole other thread) anyway we are each other power of attorney, housewise, we’re tenets in common or the other one either way I ‘own’51% of the house. I am also the main name on all joint accounts.

Saying all that if a miracle happened and I got pregnant I’d have him at the register office so fast his head would spin.

Legally marriage with children holds so much protection for women.

GherkinSnatch Sun 29-Oct-17 16:46:28

I agree with Trills. If you're together for the duration a break up would be messy regardless of whether you were married or not, so to me it sounds like he's saying that he can't see how a relationship could last "til death do us part".

ijustwannadance Sun 29-Oct-17 16:53:14

Been with DP 10 years. Not arsed about marriage.
Joint mortgage etc. Wills sorted.
I also don't care that my DC's have his name.

In our situation, being married really wouldn't make a difference.

Ragwort Sun 29-Oct-17 16:55:49

I wouldn't have a child with someone who wasn't prepared to get married, being married offers all sorts of legal protection (for both parents) that 'living together' just doesn't.

I think so often that people confuse 'being married' with 'having a wedding' - there is absolutely no need for a white dress, presents, expensive reception/party, guest lists and all the other issues that seem to surround weddings. Being married is about going through a short, legal ceremony - you don't need to tell anyone if you don't want to, you don't need to change your mind, but you will have legal protection.

ITCouldBeWorse Sun 29-Oct-17 17:00:56

Xto be honest, I only know of one couple who have stayed together for 25plus years without being married. Neither of them wanted to.

I think it is quite expensive to put in place all the legal equivalences of marriage, and unless there is some profound reasons for avoiding it, marriage is a more comprehensive partnership in my opinion.

Does your boyfriends seriously think splitting up is easier if not married, when children are involved?

From your perspective, him not being the bio father of your elder child means staying single could be a positive or a negative.

I'd stop ttc until you are certain what you want.

Branleuse Sun 29-Oct-17 17:02:36

i dont see the point in it tbh. ive been married before. Was a massive faff to divorce and didnt stop him leaving me. We didnt have a lot of money so neither of us did particularly well or badly out of it.

Ive been with my dp quite a bit longer than i was with my exhusband, andalthough we have talked about marriage in the past - We even booked a wedding and cancelled it. I just dont really feel like its something Im that interested in doing. It seems like a lot of stress, fuss and money for a romantic gesture

My mum has been in a LTR for 18 years. My dad has been in a LTR for probably not far off 25 years. I seem to know just as many people in happy long term relationships as I do married people.

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