WEDnesday: Why Marry?

Back from a brief hiatus (traveling, enjoying the downtime between the end of my job and the start of my classes) and sharing something I’ve had on my mind for a while. The question of why marry? Why not just be perpetual boyfriend/girlfriend? This has been on my mind from my interactions with two mindsets: the marriage-is-pointless camp and the OMG-must-get-married camp.

I know a lot of people who don’t believe in marriage. Heck with a national divorce rate around 50% it does seem a bit risky. The theme I’ve noticed in these exchanges is why bother, it’s so much easier to split when you’re not legally entangled. Breakups are easier than divorce. Marriage is just a title, you can be perfectly committed without it.

On the other hand are those desperate to get married, regardless of the partner. Friends that think 30 is the deadline for marriage. People that have comfortable but perhaps not spectacular relationships. You marry in your 20s because that’s simply how it’s done (totally not true BTW).

Deciding to marry is an enormous and very personal decision. Each couple has their own reasons for pursuing or not pursuing legal recognition of their relationship (local government permitting). Our decision was our own, but the basic reasoning was this: we love each other an awful lot. Marrying is our way of declaring that this person is so close to my heart that I want to recognize them legally, socially, and publicly as the most important person in my life. To create a bond equivalent to those created by the accident of birth: family. In making this leap we are recognizing that we will fight for this relationship because yes, divorce is harder than a breakup. And that’s why we marry.

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2 thoughts on “WEDnesday: Why Marry?

  1. I think it is so important to marry for the right reasons. Jess and I are engaged to be married, and the wedding will most likely be Sep 2014. Through each stage, we have been questioning our reasons as to why we do things, and particularly why we are getting married. We share similar reasons to ones you mentioned above.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Great question! And I think as long as you’re renting it doesn’t really make a difference at all. Once you’ve bought a property or have children I think it can change things quite quickly for people. I don’t have my own answer for this one and I think I’d put it off until I was really sure, really really sure. But not sure that the relationship would last, sure that I want to share EVERYTHING legally. I think there should be (or maybe there is) a legal way of joining certain things but maintaining our independence, on other things, at the same time. But even then, I don’t know what I’d choose.

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