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Marriage - is there really any point to it in today's society???

22 replies

scottishmum007 · 29/06/2008 10:51

I'm just wondering what people think of this. What's the difference (besides a bit of paper) between cohabiting and being married? There used to be ofcourse (tax allowance if your wife wasn't working) but not now. What's the incentive for being married these days? I'm not talking about all the lovey dovey stuff and emotional crap that comes with it, I'm talking about it in real terms, practical terms.
My DH married me because he knew it would make me happy but was happy regardless and says he would have loved me with or without the piece of paper.

what's your views on it? and come on, be honest.

OP posts:
Elasticwoman · 29/06/2008 13:48

You are legally next of kin.
You have made promises in public so you stand more chance of both knowing what the other expects from the relationship.
Everybody else can define your relationship too. When some one talks about their "partner" I don't know whether they mean business partner, some one they're dating, or some one they are living with as if they were married. Getting married is a statement of intention. Cohabiting couples might not intend to stay together for the duration, and each partner in the relationship may have different intentions.

Heated · 29/06/2008 13:59

Better legally, especially for children.

Anti-establishment colleague nipped out at lunch, got married & came back for a school lunch (his wedding breakfast!). The sentiment of marriage meant nothing to him, but protecting his only child's interests if something happened to him or his partner of 23 yrs, did.

expatinscotland · 29/06/2008 14:02

Of course there is! Especially from a legal standpoint. Search Yorkiegirl's threads from last year if you need any solid evidence for why being married has a real place in society. This poor lady's husband died suddenly whilst they were abroad and being married to him made a big difference.

A will is a piece of paper, too, so are the deeds to your house, a promissary note, car titles and university diplomas.

There is no such thing as tax allowance if your spouse is not working - that went out about 10 years ago.

scottishmum007 · 29/06/2008 14:05

I'll take your word for Yorkiegirl's situation, that must have been awful. Glad I'm married now just incase anything happens. Esp since we have DC.
I'm not disagreeing with your opinions, I'm just wanting to know how people feel about it.

OP posts:
scottishmum007 · 29/06/2008 14:06

Heated, I think alot of men think this way.

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PortAndLemon · 29/06/2008 14:06

Widowed parent's benefit. Worth around £400 a month if your husband/wife dies leaving you with children. You don't get anything if you weren't married.

Heated · 29/06/2008 14:12

Hmm, maybe. I'd say my dh felt rather what's the point before getting married, it's all a bit of a pointless hoo-ha.

But guess who it was who blubbed at the altar, who made his mum cry with his wedding speech and who just gets a kick out of saying 'my wife' and admiring his only piece of jewellery, his wedding ring - daft git .

nkf · 29/06/2008 14:19

It changes your status legally. In all sorts of ways. Next of kin, inheritance etc.

scottishmum007 · 29/06/2008 16:49

Heated, my DH was the same. He thought it wasn't really worth it, but he does comment about his wedding ring and he enjoyed the day itself and quite happily refers to me as his 'wife'. so I think he does enjoy being married but is too proud at times to just admit it!

OP posts:
scottishmum007 · 29/06/2008 16:50

still waiting to here some male points of view.....?

any dads out there wanting to comment?

OP posts:
DaDaDa · 30/06/2008 13:25

There are all the practical benefits that have already been mentioned, and it is less complicated just to say 'wife' rather than 'partner' (particularly if your wife has a name which can be used for either gender).

I don't think it can be divorced from the 'lovey dovey and emotional crap' though. I'd been with DW for 9 years before we married, and everything was fine. It felt like a public statement of intent, and personally I did feel 'different' after marrying. I hadn't been looking for anyone else and had been faithful for those 9 years, but I just felt more settled.

I think it's often more of big deal for feminist women because of the 'ownership' connotations of marriage, whereas for men it's about fear of commitment. By marrying I didn't feel any sense of possession of my partner, but I did feel more formally committed. However it now irritates me that when people ask 'how long have you been married?' I feel I have to say 'married for x years, but together for y', as those pre-marriage years count just as much. Silly, I know.

That's all just my personal take on it though. It doesn't have any bearing on whether there's any point to marriage for society generally. I'm glad we sorted it before DS as I'd definitely want to be his next of kin etc. [must sort out a will]

OrmIrian · 30/06/2008 13:29

It's a business arrangement. Short term it may be hearts and flowers and ivory silk dresses and 'I love you forever' but long-term it's about forming a stable unit that might help to keep you both and any DCs secure legally and financially. If you still love each other and enjoy each other's company as well that's a bonus.

Not romantic but there we are. I have come to the inevitable conclusion that I'm not a romantic soul.

scottishmum007 · 30/06/2008 19:15

thanks nice to hear some male points of view. ormirian, my DH isn't the romantic sort either. i imagine there are many men out there similar.
I suppose that's how we view marriage, sort of like a business arrangement. Neither of us are particularly romantic I must admit.

OP posts:
greenman · 01/07/2008 08:53

It's worth it for the legal protection and to some extent the commitment that it suggests (although we all know divorce is too easy today!).

justageek · 01/07/2008 08:58

i dont look it at marriage anymore than what it means to me emotionally. I WANTED to be known at the wife, i wanted to marry my man in front of my family, i want to make it last like my grandparents have done and just celebrated their diamond wedding anniversay. I want to uphold what it used to mean, back in their day, where you didnt just walk away and order a divorce online over the smallest first hurdle

You wouldnt think it from my posts in AIBU today though!

themildmannneredjanitor · 01/07/2008 09:04

it is important for so many reasons and i feel like shaking people who have children and say they will never marry because 'it's just a piece of paper'

it isn't just a piece of paper! it means being able to get your husbands pension in the event of his death, being able to make decisions about medical treatment if they fall terribly ill, it's being able to claim widowed parents allowance if they die,in order to automatically inherit their estate if they die without a will-if you aren't married you are entitled to NOTHING!

ig's so much more than 'just a piece of paper and a chance to wear a dress'

if someone loves you enough to live with ou and have children with you then surely they should love you enough to marry you and protect your interests?

themildmannneredjanitor · 01/07/2008 09:05

AND for me-if i was living with someone and had children with them and they didn't want to get married i would feel that they didn't love me enough.
marriage is a sign of commitment and i think it's important in a long term relationship.

wannaBe · 01/07/2008 09:14

agree with tmmj.

If someone is committed enough to have a child then I really don't understand why they do not feel committed enough to get married.

Plus, being married even gives greater security in the event the relationship ends. My cousin and his partner split up after 5 years and one child, and because the house belonged to him she wasn't entitled to anything from the split, apart from maintanence for her child.

themildmannneredjanitor · 01/07/2008 20:06

bump this for the evening crowd

teslagirl · 01/07/2008 21:15

Something that surprised me, as a woman in a professional career (healthcare) was how attitudes towards me changed in the workplace once I got married! I don't necessarily mean the one I was in at the time of my marriage- perhaps it's been more noticeable for me in new places where they've only ever known me as married: I find I get a lot less 'crap' and condescension as a Mrs. than I did as 'Miss'. Sad, but true. Even in this day and age. Marriage still gives a woman status.

Pruners · 01/07/2008 21:20

Message withdrawn

Cammelia · 01/07/2008 21:33

Yes even more point

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