Why should we get married?


My latest for the Guardian, I engage with some reasons and thoughts behind why we should get married.

Spoiler: I’m not in favour.

Comments

  1. badgersdaughter says

    My husband and I got married for immigration. We’re definitely not sorry, but we weren’t all crazy about the idea before it became clear we couldn’t physically be together without it.

    • Tauriq Moosa says

      @ Kevin (#2) Genius. Now I want to marry you.

      @ Ysanne (#3) : Sure, but you don’t need a marriage to have special ceremonies. And I get the simplification of visas, etc., but that only tells me there’s a problem with the system – not you adhering to it to make things easier.

  2. Ysanne says

    Two words: Wedding dress. :-)
    Yeah, the ceremony with physically tying a knot was pretty romantic too, and the party after was fun. But really, the whole point was to get the early childhood box of “wearing a fabulous wedding dress” ticked.
    Oh, and simplifying paperwork for my visa & blended family matters.

  3. says

    The one thing I would rethink if I could redo my marriage is the ring. Otherwise, we tried to not spend a whole lot on our wedding. I’m thinking we kept it in around $5000 (not including what I had spent on my wife’s ring). It was nice to have a reason for my family to make it out here to visit. They haven’t been able to make a trip back since (which has been a bit more than three years now).

    But one main reason getting married was important for us is that the adoption agency we are working with requires us to be married for these three years before they would put us on their waiting list. I suppose they’re looking for evidence to show that our relationship is stable; though, from your post, that’s really not that great of evidence — therefore, this agency is likely buying into that myth. Also, we could have looked for other ways to adopt, whether it be through another agency or whatnot. Still, this is the route we chose. And we’re happy with it. But, certainly, I hold nothing against people who don’t want to get married.

  4. Ysanne says

    Tauriq,
    of course you don’t strictly need to enter a legally binding marriage in order to have a partnership commitment ceremony (which I could have done without, actually) involving dressing up in a wedding dress in an un-embarrassing context (which I did enjoy, in a weird and irrational way that freaked me out when I first tried one on), but it’s a pretty good pretext. Similarly, technically I could do the visa thing without being married, plus the having-kids etc., but I’m just too lazy to file the whole paperwork that proves “I’m willing to put up with a set of legal/financial commitments to my partner” multiple times when I can do it just once in a way that gets recognised around the world.
    Yes, I agree that this type of contract shouldn’t be equated with romantic love, and there should be a non-romance-based version of it that gets accepted without any fuss. And also marriage should be taken down from that ridiculous pedestal it’s on right now. But this doesn’t make marriage wrong for those people who want to enter such a contract out of love, it just adds other options.

  5. Kilian Hekhuis says

    “But this doesn’t make marriage wrong for those people who want to enter such a contract out of love, it just adds other options.” – QFT

    I read the article, and I’m sad to see that Tauriq has expressed his opinions as fact (or at least as common knowledge). I wouldn’t want anyone to feel forced to get married, but there’s absolutely no harm done when people do. I’m happily married, and yes, the reason I got married is #2. Not that I *needed* to “publically” (i.e. to loved ones) declare my intention to stay with one person for the rest of my life, but I wanted to, and so did my wife.

  6. Beaker says

    “Yes, I agree that this type of contract shouldn’t be equated with romantic love, and there should be a non-romance-based version of it that gets accepted without any fuss.”

    I don’t know about the US, but in the Netherlands there is such a thing. It is called “marriage”, a contract to be signed at city hall in each municipality, for free if signed at certain hours. Required are two people who want to sign this legal contract, a functionary of the town or city in question to be present at the signing, as well as two witnesses (stand-by at any city hall during the free signing if necessary). Available for any couple of legal decision making age (i.e. above 18).

    Those who wish to accompany this signing with dresses, suits, guests, a church if wanted, are of course free to do so. But there is no need to do so. A sizeable minority of people chooses to go over to city hall at the free hours, sign the contract, perhaps but not necessarily in accompaniement of a small group of people and go on with the day.

  7. shaggy says

    The lack of understanding what it means to commit, to a person through marriage, solidifies my opinion in regards to single parent homes. Day care is not an alternative to loving, committed parents either. I have seen the first hand damage done to a child when two people fuck with no long term givadamn for each other. Well, whatever. I’ll pay for your bastards too via food stamps, medicare, earned income child credit. Continue the no regard/responsibilities lifestyle of free love and government abortions. I refuse to feel mentally inferior because this fluff piece figured it all out and I’m the dope that fell into the marriage trap. Hahaha!!!

  8. noel says

    My partner basically said the same thing years ago: “Why do we need a piece of paper?” We’ve been together almost 20 years now and I look forward to being with him every day. There are some benefits we could do with, though, so we’re glad that it’s now an option.

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