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Why don’t people get Married

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Todays round of "help an old guy understand the new rules".


Can someone help me with why some couples don't marry?


There is a thread here by a guy that had been with his girl for 13 years and now she wants to split. She says she still loves him but wants to just date to see if they are still "in-love". I want to ask him why he didn't marry her about ten years ago.


There are lots of threads from people that have lived together for years, and even have kids that have never gotten married and never seem to intend to.


Marriage binds families together, it ties families together in ways that nothing else does both legally and emotionally. It not only formalizes the bond of the couple, but also ties them to their children and to each other's parents. I am an atheist, so I don't experience the spiritual significance of marriage. Yet there is a difference in the bond between a couple that is married and a couple that is not that I always find very apparent.


I don't think I am that old fashioned; I lived with my wife for two years before we got married. I had no problem when my daughter lived with her man before they were married. I find it unconscionable that in this day and age this country denies the benefits of marriage to gays and lesbians.


But I know that I would not feel the same way about my son-in-law if they had just lived together all this time. I would be deeply concerned about the financial well being of my grandchildren. I would be very concerned about their choice to have her be a stay at home Mom and support the family on just his income. I would worry that if either of them became ill or died, how they would manage the next of kin issues.


I know divorce happens all the time. But it's a lot easier to throw a long-term "live-in" relationship away on a whim that it is a marriage.


Any comments would be welcome.

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It's fear and anxiety that the marriage WON'T work out.

Basically, our generation has seen so many divorces and messed-up relationships (from our parents) that we have almost no faith or good role models on how to work out conflicts and make relationships last.

thereforeeee, it's safer to NOT make any promises that we feel we might not be able to keep. It's better to always have a psychological "out."


Obviously, there are people who want to get married, who want that security, and who believe that they can make their love last forever. But for those who don't, I think much of it is because of fear of commitment.

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I would rather not get married. I don't want kids, I won't clean up after someone, I can't cook and don't expect me to learn, I can be sweet but that's only because I feel like it, I don't really want to talk to people after 8pm, I can pay my own bills, and I value my personal space highly.


A marriage really doesn't benefit people who are happy alone, and with so many wives thinking they have to clean up after their husbands, and the Ralph's commercial, "I have 3 hugry kids to feed, and a very hungry husband. That's why I shop at Ralph's." the whole marriage thing is just very scary and undesirable.


Well, and just like SecondChance said, I've seen a lot of failed marriages and my parents aren't exactly happily married (unless if throwing DDT to kill the other is considered an act of romance), I don't believe marriages can work out. Now, I don't even believe anyone can not cheat in their marriages simply because we have so many immoral people in the world.


I'm going to get married. My boyfriend wants kids and marriage so I have to get married. However, he's raising the kids, I'll help out, but having those kids is probably as much as I would do. I rather he just adopt some. I still don't like the concept of marriage, but I'm trying to learn to accept it.


...^^; my friends all wonder why I said I won't have a wedding ceremony so they won't get an invitation. Well, I don't view marriage as something to be celebrated. I would rather not have to walk down the aisle with everyone cheering and happily seeing me off to hell.

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It surprises me too after all marriage is a legally binding contract between two people and protects both parties and there children when / if they split or if one of the dies.


And surely if you decided you've found the one you want to be with forerver and are going to make a commitment to someone you not going to mind putting it in writing are you?


However there is alot of reasons not to marry. For starters in the UK its actually quite alot better for tax purposes to live together and not get married. So you might not be able to afford to get married.


Also there is a social pressure not to get married - people generally think you're a bit weird if you get married young - its something old people do.

Add in SecondChance 's reasons you're got the reason why no-one get married anymore.


I think the problem today is alot of people have too high expectectations of relationships and that being in a relationship will to solve all there problems and everything will be great all the time.


Personnally i don't want to get married ever.

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Most of the people on here tend to be in the liberal idea of what I want is the most important thing in the world. Unfortunately that leaves the children born to such people out of the mix and they may see their parents involved in many unhappy love match-ups all ending in unhappiness for the parents and the children.


Since the 60's and 70's there has been a revolution of hate for the nuclear family and most of the people in this websight come from the children of the liberal movement away from family and toward the idealized single working mother.



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Hate for the nuclear family?

Idealized single working mothers?



I don't think I've come accross those concepts. I can see how society has become more supportive of single working mothers, particularly at work - as they should be... and I suppose there are people out there with a lot of personal anger and bitterness at nuclear families because of their own traumatic experiences... but on a social level??? Can you clarify, Sisterlynch?

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The reason I would think twice before getting married is that here in the uk some 40% of marriages end in divorce. It seems like men or women get the seven year itch! and decide to try something else. There are quite a few of my work friends going through a divorce at the moment and to be honest I don't fancy that!


I'm in a pessimistic mood today...lol

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Maybe I have overstated my opinions...he asked us why don't people marry, and I guess I ask myself that!!


The people that are married (that I know) don't really value their spouse and look for happiness outside the marriage; the ones that divorse either hate their spouse and blame the spouse for all the problems in their world...


or continue to idealize the spouse and they may dream about how things could have been...


Of course I wasn't referring just to the people on enotalone, but of all the people that I know; I kind of feel like I am alone in choosing to be happy.


Most people seem to have more lofty goals like making a million dollars by the age of thirty or making the world happy just by their smile....


It isn't wrong to love your spouse and it isn't wrong to love yourself and your child or children, but do we?? Do we as a society love or do we only hate and regret??


I am merely stating my opinion, I am not saying that this is the only explanation for the way that things are in the world...yes it was meant to make people think and question their values, isn't that right??


Don't we need to question our values at times to make sure that we are open to alternatives and still know what we want to know and value who we are??

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I guess my question to you oldguy is, why SHOULD a couple get married? If the man is also atheist (so there is no religious reason) and you have lived together for over 4 years, what is the benefit of actually signing a piece of paper?


It doesn't stop anyone from cheating, it doesn't really solidify anything except now it is financially harder to break up.


Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

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Wow, this is a really cool topic! Bound to spark some very thought-provoking conversation and viewpoints.


As a 35 year old single woman with no children, I did not CONSCIOUSLY make the choice to not be married by this time in my life. However, I may have made it unconsciously.


Not sure why...but I too come from a broken family where the dad bailed and never returned. I was a latch-key kid because my mom had to work all the time to support us. As a result, I gained a lot of independence and learned how to be alone. Or rather, I got used to being alone. Maybe it became a habit, plus I didn't grow up seeing positive male/female relationships, but as I grew older and lived with a couple of different boyfriends, it was very hard to live with someone else, and make decisions for two people.


That being said, others with similar backgrounds have gone on to long lasting relationships and marriages. I have no idea why I haven't.


Do I want to get married? Yes, eventually. And I'd like a relationship to go to that level because it would be very important for me to be with someone who loved me enough to make a formal commitment to be my partner.


Do I want children? Probably not. I personally feel this world is extremely over populated. I love children dearly and could see myself adopting, but I doubt I'll biologically have children. Although if I did, I would at least try and raise them to be socially responsible, because that is one segment of the world that is definitely underpopulated, to tell the sad truth.


Anyway, times have changed drastically.

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I guess my question to you oldguy is, why SHOULD a couple get married?


To me a couple should get married because a marriage makes two people one family.


If the man is also atheist (so there is no religious reason) and you have lived together for over 4 years, what is the benefit of actually signing a piece of paper?


Well, just to be clear we lived together for 2 years before we got married.


At some point during that time I decided I was not going anywhere and that I wanted ours to be a permanent arrangement. So, I asked her to marry me.


I did it to show her I meant it when I said I wanted to stay with her. To make a commitment that said I would work with every part of myself to keep us together for as long as we lived.


I did it to demonstrate to my family and hers that she was the person I wanted to be the other half of my life, and especially, to make her part of my family, sister to my brothers and sister. And daughter to my parents. I did it to show society that we were now one family and that they had to treat us as partners in their dealings with us.


It doesn't stop anyone from cheating, it doesn't really solidify anything


I disagree with this. At least for me it solidified a great deal, clarifying to me who I chose to be: this woman's husband. And on a few occasions it actually has kept me for cheating (and I never have).


except now it is financially harder to break up.

As of last Friday we've been married for 23 years. At this point splitting our relationship would be incredibly costly, marriage or no.



but I too come from a broken family where the dad bailed and never returned.


I guess my perspective is different; my parents have a successful marriage. My Mom is 69; Dad is almost 74. They have been married since she 16 and he was 21. Not always completely happy but usually mostly so and always together. As a child, I always saw our home as a safe and stable place.


All of my sibling are now in or nearing middle age, and are all in very long lasting marriages. (It took my sister 3 tries, and my wife and I two each. The rest got it right the first time.) For all of us, I think, our marriages and families are the emotional center of our lives.

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My spouse and I both grew up in similar circumstances and in the same general area of the planet and both developed a world view and we became dependent upon one another in our late teens. Not that it has always been easy. Communication is a constant stuggle, both of us being very hard-headed and needy.


We have similar values, we have similar goals and intellectual levels, similar levels of ability in other areas as well.


Lately I have been trying to throw off my small-minded neediness and become more of a whole creature. To develop myself by developing others and sometimes it is necessary to provolk change and drive home values to create vacumes.


What does this mean? I enjoy having my man there where I can see him all the time.


I feel like he is a very big part of me, where i have been and where I am going. I feel that even thru hatred and betrayal that I would still love him completely.


Out of six kids there was one male who didn't pick the right person for him to marry, not that he didn't get in a lot of practise in his 20's. He was 40 when he finally found the right 28 yr old, and that marriage lasted about a year. Now he is with someone new.


The rest of six kids found someone in our teens or twenties. Married at the right time and none of the others have divorced, yet...

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I have been married twice and divorced twice I think I learned my lesson. I won't marry again can't even look at a wedding ring! With my second marriage we lived together for 7yrs. before we got married then we thought we should get married for the children's sake and shortly after we got married we filed for a divorce! So in some ways I have many regrets about marriage and I think my children are happier with just having they're mommy around.

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In reply to Aktrez:


As a general statement, people should get married because it's more difficult to separate when you are married than when you are living together. It's kinda like saying: "I love you, and I am making a commitment to you, but I know that marriage is really really hard, and I won't always feel like being with you. So, as "insurance" or "protection," let's make it harder to break up with each other, to get us through those bad times. Because not only am I making a commitment to you, but I'm also making a commitment to work through those bad times, as hard as they might be, so we can enjoy those good times again. But during those bad times, I know the temptation will be to separate."


Now, why would people do this? I think that there's a team concept - that they have realized that by being together, they can accomplish MORE in their lives than either could alone. In other words, if you have a dream, and you meet someone else who has a dream - and those dreams are compatible - then you might decide that by pooling your resources, both of you have better chances of achieving your dreams in life by being together than either of you would if you went it alone.


Think of sports teams - the greatest teams in the world know that the WHOLE is greater than the SUM of the parts.


Now, obviously, you have to be with someone you love - someone to make the journey FUN and enjoyable and worth every minute if things don't turn out they way you think it will - which of course, happens all the time. Anyway, the team concept - it's not the only reason why people (should) get married, but it's a biggie - in my opinion. It's one of the major reasons why I got married - and I was very scared of commitment because of some... issues.

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