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Do we HAVE TO get married?

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  • Do we HAVE TO get married?

    Some background: My bf and I have been together for almost 5 years and living together for about 3. I am very happy with him and I couldn't see myself be with anyone else.

    With that in mind, we have been talking about marriage and kids A LOT for the past 6 months And I was/am happy that we are, but now, I don't know if "marriage" is actually something that I want. I want to be with him for the rest of my life, but do we have to get married? I know it's the social norm, and all our friends and co-workers are getting married. Why can't we just be together, and not be "married". I know there are a lot of people out there that have been with their significant other for a long time and are married. I just don't know any. Also, I'm a little tired of him talking about these things, and not doing anything about it. I'm still in school (went back) and we talked about not getting married until I graduate, but he said we can still be engaged. I don't care about the ring, he can get one from a cracker jack box.

    I don't know if I'm just being jealous, because a lot of our friends are getting married/engaged or if this is a valid reason to talk to him about.

  • There are tax benefits to marriage. Protections for the both of you and any estate you might build together. Get nearly killed in some kind of accident? Your boyfriend needs to be your husband to get to your bedside. Become incapacitated and unable to make your own medical decisions? Your boyfriend needs to be your husband to make them for you. Getting health insurance from one provider will often (but not always) require marriage too.

    Basically, if you look up all the reasons why it's unfair that same-sex couples can't marry (and instances where using other legally binding methods - contracts, for instance - didn't work,) you'll have your list of reasons why you might want to marry your partner.

    Might ... you don't have to. There aren't many laws against cohabitation, and even where there are laws, they aren't enforced. You can live out your days with your boyfriend in perfect joy, have children with him, and the only problem you'll have is all those folks out there wondering why you didn't marry.

    Recall that you don't have to have a ring to be married. You don't even have to have a wedding. You just go to the courthouse, get a license, ask the county clerk to marry you, and 30 mins or so later, you're a married woman! You don't even have to change your last name.

    There's also the fact that waiting a few months, a few years, or even a few decades won't change the benefits of marriage much once you've done it, as long as you do it before either of you dies or is so sick as to be incapacitated. This is not a decision you need to make now, tomorrow, or even next year. Wait as long as you like.
    <center><i>Nature gives us shapeless shapes,<br>Clouds and waves and flame,<br>But human expectation is that love remains the same,<br>And when it doesn’t, we point our fingers and blame.</i><br><a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/register.php">Register</a>|<a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/members/little.html">Contact Admin</a>|<a href="mailto:support*womens-health.com?subject=Forum Contact">Email Admin</a></center>

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    • I didn't really think of it like that. The house we live in is, HIS house. He bought and is paying for it. I didn't have any financial contributions to it. The utilities are in my name, because I can get a low income discount. But that's about it. He also wants to sign a pre-nup, in case something does happen and we no longer want or could be with each other.

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      • I hate to break it to him, but you might already have rights to that house. It all depends on where you live and how divorces and domestic partnerships work there. And as far as the books are concerned, you're contributing to the house financially by paying the utilities, unless he can prove that he paid each and every utility bill with his own money from some trackable account that is only his. So he can write up a prenup all he wants, but it might not do him any good in the end. (Or the opposite might be true and his property will be protected with or without a prenup. It's all about your location.) You might have a chat with a local lawyer about this if/when marriage talk gets serious.

        If you marry him, you'll likely lose any benefits you're receiving for having a low income. And it does complicate any split. But realistically, the longer you stay with him, the more entwined you'll get in his successes and failures and yes, his money. Any split after sharing so much will be complicated.
        <center><i>Nature gives us shapeless shapes,<br>Clouds and waves and flame,<br>But human expectation is that love remains the same,<br>And when it doesn’t, we point our fingers and blame.</i><br><a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/register.php">Register</a>|<a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/members/little.html">Contact Admin</a>|<a href="mailto:support*womens-health.com?subject=Forum Contact">Email Admin</a></center>

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        • I know couples that have spent decades together without being married - it is completely up to you.

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          • My partner and I have been together going on 11 years (March next year), we have been living together for 4 years, other than that its been on and off for the 10 years we have been together.

            We discuss marriage and kids but I don't think he's ready for that next step yet. I am, but I am 30 and have been wanting kids for awhile. I really don't mind if we eventually get married or stay the same, all I know is that I want to be with him for the rest of my life and I hate the thought of loosing him.

            My friends have been high school sweethearts and married last year after being engaged for 9 years and together 11/12 years, they finally married due to those things Little pointed out.

            It sounds to me that he wants to marry you and from what I am seeing he's making all the necessary (what he believes are, I don't believe in pre-nups) steps for the future.

            Stop stressing about it and enjoy.

            JC

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