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Help! I don't understand the concept of marriage!


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The OP has not returned. It would be interesting to know how he and his fiancée now address this obstacle.

Again, what matters is the law in the OP's jurisdiction (U.K.) . And what matters above all is that the OP is against getting married, and he is perfectly entitled to that view, but, I feel he must be totally upfront on that point with his fiancée, as from what he said in his op it seems she does wish to marry.

As Tiny remarks:

2 hours ago, Tinydance said:

So OP I see nothing wrong with your feeling and opinion on marriage but there's a problem. Your partner that you want to buy a house with actually wants to get married.

The OP and his fiancée have been together three years, which is quite a while, so one would imagine that the issue was discussed before now. 

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Thankyou everyone for all the replies. 

 

13 hours ago, East4 said:

even when things do go wrong (which inevitably happens in the life of a couple). 

From your statement above in bold font, it looks like you are one foot out the door and you will bolt as soon as the relationship deteriorated. 

The overall feeling, reading through your post, is that yours is a relationship of convenience, rather than one based on the conviction that your girlfriend is the one for you, the person that you trust to be in your corner, whatever life may throw at you. 

I understand why you deduced this from my post, it was my poor wording with ''things going bad''. But I am in the relationship for the long term, and I'm not going to run at the first time of hardship. 

The reason I mentioned ''things going bad'' in the relationship is because previously I was in a relationship with a girl where I thought everything was great, and it turned out she was cheating on me with my best friend. So I guess I have these past lessons that taught me that people change their minds on relationships all the time (just look at the divorce rate). So that puts me off getting into a legal relationship with someone. 

 

 

14 hours ago, greendots said:

On one hand, you comment that you're very happy to stay with this girl forever. On the other hand, when you're asked to have it in writing, e.g. legal marriage, you run. If you're happy to stay with this girl forever, then why not make it legally official?

This is the part that I just don't understand. If we're in a committed relationship, love and support each other, have a great time, provide and contribute to build a life together, and all of the other things that would be expected of a relationship - then why on Earth do we need to make that legally official? I don't see how that makes any difference whatsoever. 

I should probably point out that I'm a bit of a Libertarian at heart, and the thought of the Government being involved any more than they need to be (especially in a relationship between a couple!) makes me shudder. 😅

 

 

10 hours ago, abitbroken said:

By 30, you should know - by reading literature, watching movies , observing other people in an older age group than you that marriage indeed means something to people.  I had a friend who didn't want to get married, but didn't bash people who wanted to get married, or pretend they had no clue what the big deal was. 

Yes I understand this. I've never bashed anyone who is married - I have been a Best Man twice and have been to 2 weddings of my close friends in the last month. I get that marriage is great for some people, I guess I've just never understood why. 

I suppose the bottom line is that it's a difference in opinion, and that's fine. 

 

 

17 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

I think you should ask her why it is meaningful to her and just listen. Don't clap back with arguments about it, just listen and take some time to really process where she is coming from. You don't have to agree to understand.

I'll have this conversation with her. And I'll just listen. She knows my standpoint on it already so I guess there's no need for me to hammer the point home. 
 

 

There was several comments regarding the difference between a marriage and a wedding, which I understand. I don't know which one my GF wants more... I'm guessing it's the big wedding day, but I'll see what she says about that.  


Someone asked what our opinion on having children was - we both agree that we don't want kids.

 

Cheers. 

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Glad to see you Reg.

I understand what you are saying. But ultimately, what will you do if your fiancée insists that she wishes to get married no matter what.  It isn't really about the pros and cons of marriage as such (and I don't think the government gives a hoot about who marries or who doesn't lol) , but it is wholly about you and your fiancée. 

What you say here, I felt from your first post that this might be what was irking you.  Do you think her family/relatives and/or friends would be pushing for such an event?

 

7 minutes ago, Reg said:

I'm guessing it's the big wedding day, but I'll see what she says about that.  

You remark:

"I suppose the bottom line is that it's a difference in opinion, and that's fine. "

If it is a big difference between you and your fiancée then it certainly is not fine.  

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1 minute ago, LaHermes said:

What you say here, I felt from your first post that this might be what was irking you.  Do you think her family/relatives and/or friends would be pushing for such an event?

I don't think anyone would be pushing for a wedding. And even if they were I don't think she would be bothered by it. 

If she really wants to get married, it will be her own decision, for whatever reasons that might be. 

I'll talk to her about it again, and get some more information. 

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3 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

You remark:

"I suppose the bottom line is that it's a difference in opinion, and that's fine. "

If it is a big difference between you and your fiancée then it certainly is not fine.  

Yes of course you are correct, hence me making this post. 

I just meant that the general difference in opinion between people on marriage is fine. 

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5 minutes ago, Reg said:

If she really wants to get married, it will be her own decision,

Yes, Reg. Got that. But you know, getting married is generally a decision taken by both.  If she adamantly wants marriage will you marry her?

If a couple wishes to just live together there is absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with that approach, always provided they are BOTH in agreement.  I know a number of couples (varying ages and generations) who co-habit and some have children too. But they are in agreement about their status.  

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15 minutes ago, Reg said:

I was in a relationship with a girl where I thought everything was great, and it turned out she was cheating on me with my best friend.

Does your GF know this is all about a chip on your shoulder from your past?

You weren't married to the GF who cheated so as you can see, playing house and having debt is no "protection" from anything. 

 Rent for a while. If you don't want the government in your business, don't take out a mortgage.

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3 minutes ago, Reg said:

Yes of course you are correct, hence me making this post. 

I just meant that the general difference in opinion between people on marriage is fine. 

Yes, in general it's totally fine but in an actual relationship it's actually very important.

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6 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Does your GF know this is all about a chip on your shoulder from your past?

It's not just about the situation with my ex. I have always held this opinion about marriage, long before that relationship. 

I don't feel like it's a chip on my shoulder. It was years ago and everyone has moved on. 

Adding: I didn't live with that ex or have any debt with her etc. 

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Reg. Your opinion about marriage is completely valid and is yours.  But Wise does make a point. You sure will have officialdom involved when (if) you take out that big mortgage.  

Just thought I'd flag this up for the record. L. 

"Libertarians believe that free will is incompatible with causal determinism, and agents have free will. They therefore deny that causal determinism is true. ... Non-causal libertarians typically believe that free actions are constituted by basic mental actions, such as a decision or choice."

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4 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Reg. Your opinion about marriage is completely valid and is yours.  But Wise does make a point. You sure will have officialdom involved when (if) you take out that big mortgage.  

I know. Unfortunately I can't really get away from that one, haha. 

The legally binding marriage relationship is just another involvement that I don't really want. 

 

5 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

"Libertarians believe that free will is incompatible with causal determinism, and agents have free will. They therefore deny that causal determinism is true. ... Non-causal libertarians typically believe that free actions are constituted by basic mental actions, such as a decision or choice."

Agreed... which is why I'm very happy for others to get married, and choose to do whatever they like. And also why I don't really want to mess up my GF's dreams if her choice has always been to get married. 

 

Thanks for all of your replies 🙂 

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5 minutes ago, Reg said:

also why I don't really want to mess up my GF's dreams if her choice has always been to get married. 

Meaning?   You will marry her if there is no other way?

That aside, do you think she is aware that marriage and the wedding party are two different things?

Btw, did you or will you speak with a solicitor about the ins and outs of the legalities of co-habitation?

 

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5 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Meaning?   You will marry her if there is no other way?

I honestly don't know what will happen if she's dead set on getting married. 

 

5 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

That aside, do you think she is aware that marriage and the wedding party are two different things?

She's aware. I guess I need to talk to her about which one she actually cares about. Perhaps it's both. 

 

6 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Btw, did you or will you speak with a solicitor about the ins and outs of the legalities of co-habitation?

Yes I have spoken to a solicitor. In the event of us getting a mortgage together, we would have a Deed Of Trust / Co-Habitation Agreement drawn up. The two of us have already discussed this and agree it's a good idea for both parties to have this in place. 

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Not wishing to labour the point, Reg, but maybe an idea to hold off a while on the mortgage. You don't need me to tell you what a huge undertaking a mortgage is. But mortgage or no mortgage, I feel that it might be advisable to have a co-habitation agreement in place anyway.  Even where the very best intentions, and love, exist, it is important to nail well in place all practical matters.

Just a couple of items from solicitors:

"If you are living with a partner who is not your spouse, your financial rights will be complex and uncertain. You may wish to clarify and defining these through a cohabitation agreement. If you are separating from your partner and are not married, it is important to seek legal advice on the implications of this."

"Cohabitants have very different rights concerning property and financial matters and most importantly there is no legal requirement for cohabitants to be ‘fair’ when the relationship breaks down.

Living together and having joint ownership of property and shared income can make a separation very complex. We advise clients to arrange a cohabitation agreement as early as possible to set out your position should your relationship unfortunately come to an end. A cohabitation agreement will clearly lay out the ownership of belongings such as a pension or property."

 

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57 minutes ago, Reg said:

So I guess I have these past lessons that taught me that people change their minds on relationships all the time (just look at the divorce rate). So that puts me off getting into a legal relationship with someone. 

Look, if you have unhealed trust issues from a past relationship, they will always bleed into your current relationship. So, based on the additional information, we can establish that it is not the concept of marriage that you are against/do not understand, but it is your past hurt that drives your behavior.

Basically your girlfriend is paying the dues of your past unfortune. This is not fair to her. 

Perhaps you could explore your fears of commitment with a professional before you take the leap to either cement your commitment to your girlfriend the proper way, or you better let her go, because you are NOT all in in this relationship.

cheers

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4 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Just a couple of items from solicitors:

Thanks for the advice. 

We are not currently living together. But if we were, even only in a rent capacity, then yes we would take out an agreement to avoid the complex nature of it should the relationship go South. 

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4 hours ago, Jay12345 said:

I totally agree with you. What does a legally binding contract have to do with two people that love each other? 
 

it costs thousands upon thousands of pounds, for what exactly? 
 

money that could be used to benefit your life in much greater ways in my opinion 

also as you say if you were to split further down the line it is even more of a mess than would have been & you are likely to loose half, if not more of any of your assets owed. 
 

this is just my way of thinking & it will probably turn a few peoples backs up but each to their own

Mine was legally binding and religiously binding.  Not thousands of dollars.  I think the license was about $30? The officiant about $150? And for that $30 I was the only one who didn't have to stand up to wait in line for the license because I was so pregnant lol (we got married the following week at my future inlaws' home).  It has to do with love and commitment and for us building a family from that love and commitment.  It has to do with taking formal vows -for us in front of our immediate family and a few friends/relatives -ten people in all - and looking into each other's eyes and affirming that commitment till death do us part, for better or for worse.  I'm recognized as his spouse for various reasons including health related.  It shows our son how we were happy to take those vows and be a married couple and a family with him.  He's 12 now and he loves that - he's been talking about how he's happy we married each other, and what he hopes to find in a spouse someday. 

By contrast my friend and her partner are not married (he wanted marriage, she was divorced and did not) -they have a son near my son's age and my friend and her partner are completely forever committed (together 16 years) and did a domestic partnership (man and woman) for health insurance purposes.  I don't see my marital commitment as any stronger than her partnership at all.  Or inferior in any way.  I completely respect her decision but would not respect if she judged my decision to marry because of what you wrote above.  She never has, she's happy for us, we're happy for them.  It works for them it works for us.

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14 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I didn't' like the way you made it so gender specific and such the rule that all "girls" want big parties and a fancy bridal gown because of what they see in the media

So you were offended in the name of a whole gender? Because I said lots of girls want a wedding and want to feel special? And you misinterpreted that as "All women want big wedding to please families because they saw on TV"?  Which is really not what I ever said as I clarified in previous post. Because, again, feeling special about the wedding, or even marriage in general is a lot of different things. That could be as small as having that special moment with special someone. And I trully fail to see how its offensive to women to say that they want to feel that special. But hey, you do you.

2 hours ago, Reg said:

I honestly don't know what will happen if she's dead set on getting married. 

 

That is the problem dude. Big problem. And you need to clarify that with her and see if any of you can compromise.

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

It shows our son how we were happy to take those vows and be a married couple and a family with him.  He's 12 now and he loves that - he's been talking about how he's happy we married each other, and what he hopes to find in a spouse someday. 

Awww ❤️  That is so great to hear Batya.

 

Edited to add, our oldest has started adding to his prayers at dinner a, "thank you for this family," so yes... it does make it (I believe) more stable for kids and they love that.

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2 hours ago, LaHermes said:

We advise clients to arrange a cohabitation agreement as early as possible to set out your position should your relationship unfortunately come to an end. A cohabitation agreement will clearly lay out the ownership of belongings such as a pension or property."

^ See I wonder though if that can be contested in court and thrown out (if she got really angry and provided a good argument/evidence he owes her more).  I mean what if they have an accidental pregnancy and she decides to keep the child... a lot of things can go wrong when even the most BASIC stuff isn't ironed out like agreement on marriage.

If she got pregnant at the time they were living together, that would change a lot.

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23 hours ago, Reg said:

Here in the UK

This being the reason we are discussing U.K. legislation on these matters, which I see that the OP has been looking into in any case. 

Things can go wrong in all manner of scenarios, MB.  Marriage, business, co-habitation, LTRs.  Life is full of uncertainties. 

But essentially the issue here is that the OP does not wish to marry, for reasons he has stated, and his GF apparently does.  This is the difficult area they both have to negotiate.

As Reg said:

"I honestly don't know what will happen if she's dead set on getting married. "

He also said:

"Someone asked what our opinion on having children was - we both agree that we don't want kids."

And that is fine too. It's a choice and a decision.  

And:

"She knows my standpoint on it already so I guess there's no need for me to hammer the point home. "

The difficulty here is, IMO, that she may well have known your expressed standpoint but may well have thought that you might change.  It happens. Hopefulness can be surprising at times.  
 

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2 hours ago, East4 said:

Look, if you have unhealed trust issues from a past relationship, they will always bleed into your current relationship. So, based on the additional information, we can establish that it is not the concept of marriage that you are against/do not understand, but it is your past hurt that drives your behavior.

Basically your girlfriend is paying the dues of your past unfortune. This is not fair to her. 

I don't think I have trust issues. I trust my GF implicitly. The 'past hurt' was a long time ago and it no longer bothers me.

I don't believe she's paying any dues, I don't distrust her or mistreat her etc. 

 

 

2 hours ago, East4 said:

Perhaps you could explore your fears of commitment with a professional before you take the leap to either cement your commitment to your girlfriend the proper way, or you better let her go, because you are NOT all in in this relationship.

Like I stated earlier, I'm not afraid to commit, as I know a mortgage is a giant commitment (more than a marriage IMO). 

I disagree that a marriage is the ''proper way'' to commit. I don't even know what that means really, surely all couples are different and there's no set route for any of them...?

 

I'm not trying to argue with you, I know you were trying to help. I'm just clearing it up. 

Thanks for your comments 🙂

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