General Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If you are not in a marriage and your mate says they want to marry, do you go ahead or seek a reason not to?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21090 points ) 4 weeks ago

Disclaimer Even though you feel you have no need to marry or your mate would never ask, avoiding any answer one way or another will be a de facto negative, meaning you beg off or avoid marrying them.

You have lived for X amount of years with your mate and the notion of marriage never came up, or were quickly dismissed when it was, your mate, however, said they wanted to get married do you go ahead and get married or would you try to find reasons to not honor their wishes to marry?

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22 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just said “OK.”

dappled_leaves's avatar

It’s hard for me to imagine wanting to get married. But that’s not the same as “looking for a reason not to get married.” If I have reasons, I have reasons. If I don’t, I wouldn’t make them up. I’m not sure why anyone would do that.

zenvelo's avatar

If the question is raised, the answer is yes, or else you end the relationship. Asking that question is a sign that the person wants to move the relationship on to what they feel is the next level. And answering that question is not something anyone really needs to think about – you’re either ready and say yes, or you’re not ready and say no.

Every relationship ends sometime. In the best and most wonderful relationships, it might end because one person dies. But it still ends.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@zenvelo “And answering that question is not something anyone really needs to think about”

Hmm. Can’t say I agree with that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree with @dappled_leaves. It’s a damned important decision.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III @dappled_leaves I’m not saying it isn’t important. I am saying it is not merely a pros vs cons decision, that it is not a matter of weighing out alternatives, but is much more of a gut instinct decision. If you are ready for it, you say yes. If you’re not, you say no.

And, if you say yes and on reflection it’s not a good idea, you can say no before the wedding.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

For all of my adult life, I have been of the philosophy that If a commitment is strong enough between two people, marriage only serves to announce and formalize that commitment, as well as formalize legal right and responsibilities of the individuals to each other. I am not against marriage, I just have never thought it was a complete necessity.

Twice in my life, I have been in a relationship where the next step would be marriage. The first time, the other person and I were in a committed relationship for several months. The idea of marriage had been discussed, but we had made no decision as yet, and placed ourselves under no pressure to do so. We felt that a long-term committed relationship would work just fine for us. An unexpected pregnancy gave us a reason consider marriage seriously, and we decided to go through with a marriage. At about 10 weeks, there was a miscarriage. In retrospect, I’m not sure whether that was the event that caused the downward spiral of the relationship. We eventually decided that although the idea of marriage would seem appropriate to us with a child involved, the lack of that incentive actually left us both with little desire to marry. We cancelled the wedding, and eventually split up.

The second instance, my current wife and I had been serious about each other for several months, and then started talking about if there should be a next step. She said she wanted to be married, and I had no problem with that, since we felt we could maintain that commitment with marriage or not.

If she had wanted to get married, I feel sure that we would be celebrating our committed relationship every year anyway.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Rick and I lived together for 4 years before he proposed. It took me completely by surprise, too. I never felt a need to get married either. But I said, “Hokay.”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@dappled_leaves “And answering that question is not something anyone really needs to think about”
Hmm. Can’t say I agree with that.
Hmmm……why not?

@zenvelo I am saying it is not merely a pros vs cons decision, that it is not a matter of weighing out alternatives, but is much more of a gut instinct decision. If you are ready for it, you say yes. If you’re not, you say no.
If one has been with the other person, set up house, explored every inch of their body like Lewis and Clark but when they say let’s get married one says, ”no thanks”, what are they really sating to or about the person they are with?

@Yetanotheruser We eventually decided that although the idea of marriage would seem appropriate to us with a child involved, the lack of that incentive actually left us both with little desire to marry.
If you had no heart to firm up or solidify the relationship officially by marriage before a child, puppy, boat, lotto win, etc. was present why would any of them have any affect at all?

Leanne1986's avatar

I’d marry him if it was important to him. Just being with him is important to me and I don’t care whether we are married or not.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Allow me to clarify. Before the pregnancy, we did have a very strongly committed relationship, and although the possibility of marriage had been mentioned, we were not in any hurry to make any decision concerning marriage. When the pregnancy was discovered, we discussed it. The thought we would get married for the sake of the child. We both thought at the time (my thoughts on this have evolved since the time) that having married parents would be important for the child. Given that consideration, there is a difference between considering the welfare of the child, and considering ownership (?) of a puppy, boat, lotto win, etc.

SnoopyGirl's avatar

I think you both need to discuss your future plans and what your goals are well into the relationship. You need to see if you have common future goals. The other reason to get married is because you both love each other and its the next step in a relationship. I don’t believe that marriage is always the answer. I think 2 people can be just as happy in a committed long term relationship and living together. I am a divorced Mom of 2 boys. When children are involved I wonder if marriage is the only answer. I’m not sure how I feel about being in a long term committed relationship, living together with children. I grew up in a household where both my parents were/are still married.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Yetanotheruser…that post is a MESS! It wasn’t originally. Is it just me?

LostInParadise's avatar

What reason is there not to get married? You pay a few bucks and sign a piece of paper that formalizes your relationship. Why is that so bothersome?

idealstar50's avatar

If you love each other, and think marriage would be the best for you. Why not get married? I just feel marriage should be done when both parties are sure they can take care of themselves, love and trust each other. So basically it would just be the continuation of a long term commitment, only with binding legal documents and respective family.

SnoopyGirl's avatar

@LostInParadise I don’t believe that getting married is bothersome. I too believe that marriage is the continuation to a long term relationship, as you stated. I fully believe in it, however I have been married twice and just wonder if I am not meant to be married. My 2nd marriage ended with a whole lot of verbal abuse and some physical. The positive with it is that I realized I don’t truly get to know my S/O’s beforehand. In both my failed marriages I skipped over the intimacy phase(letting your body, mind and soul learn and feel about your S/O). I let the chemistry take control. Since my divorce, I have been learning a lot about myself through therapy and reading a lot of relationship books.

fightfightfight's avatar

Mmmm probably get married. What’s the point of dating somebody if you’re not getting married? You’re basically just wasting your time on somebody you’ll never be together with forever so it’s pretty stupid when you think about it, why not get married?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Yetanotheruser When the pregnancy was discovered, we discussed it. The thought we would get married for the sake of the child.
So I can fully wrap my head around it, what would be different; if not better or worse, to just continue to cohabit with a child never marrying? In what way ”for the sake of the child” would have been a plus to marry than to go on forever without as you more than likely would have (from what I got off what you said) if the pregnancy never occurred?

@LostInParadise You pay a few bucks and sign a piece of paper that formalizes your relationship. Why is that so bothersome?
Do you do less just to cohabit with someone? You are still paying money and signing papers that state what you got together or how that relationship works. Or, are you just going to let one half of the union sign and be responsible for everything?

@idealstar50 I just feel marriage should be done when both parties are sure they can take care of themselves, love and trust each other.
If one can and wants to take care of the other, where is the harm in that? Seems to me that should be expected if the person really loves the one they will cover.

@SnoopyGirl In both my failed marriages I skipped over the intimacy phase(letting your body, mind and soul learn and feel about your S/O). I let the chemistry take control.
Sokath. Her eyes uncovered! You truly have come a long way. Many people never realize the ”flash over substance” syndrome, they fall into relationships by way of the chemistry quagmire over and over again. Who a person is when you are at the club, dinner, in class, etc. for a few hours out of your is never the 100% the person you will see once you are around them near 24/7. It is not that you were not meant to be married, you purchased a relationship because of the sound of the engine and the power options never considering the gas mileage or the maintenance cost.

Leanne1986's avatar

@fightfightfight I have every intention to be with my partner forever regardless of whether we get married or not.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Atitudes about marriage and wedlock were very different in the 1980’s, especially in some of the more conservative parts of the southern US. When the pregnancy occured, she suggested (not demanded) that we get married, her reason was for the sake of the child. I was never against marriage, just did not see it as a necessity. I said I was OK with it, because of the commitment we felt at the time.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Atitudes about marriage and wedlock were very different in the 1980’s, especially in some of the more conservative parts of the southern US.
To tighten things up, marriage was seen as a plus for the child to offset some negative affects if you would have lived forever (or until it outlived its usefulness) unmarried, and been happy but would have married just to spare the child of something? I am just trying to understand that of you did not care before there was a child in the picture, why care after there is a child in the picture unless something was to be gained or negative avoided?

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central (if) you did not care before there was a child in the picture, why care after there is a child in the picture?

It was precisely because there was a child in the picture. The perceived negative was the potential backlash on the child.

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