Evening Entertainment

Photo showing a loving couple, perhaps just married?

I happened to find myself in an internet chat room last night.

The subject they were discussing was marriage. Whether it is worthwhile. It was entirely secular. Nobody was putting forward the argument “yes, because God says you have to”.

I saw that most of the room was beyond childbearing age. I suspect that made a difference. I suspect several people had been through the mill.

Most were broadly against. A couple of people admitted to having been burned, openly citing personal experience. While others did not feel so strongly, the general feeling seemed to be “not for me”.

One chap, openly admitting that he was a divorcee, trotted out the old cliche, “just a bit of paper”. “What difference does being married make?”

That, as a view, is fair enough, but this man had been both loud and opinionated during the debate.

So I bit.

“The difference between being married and unmarried is inheritance.” I qualified. “If something happens to you, then your wife will inherit, by default. Your girlfriend, even if she is your live-in lover and the bearer of your ten children, will not.”

Because that is pretty much the only difference, as I see it. In the UK, the media likes to point out that there is a difference in taxes, between married and unmarried, but when you look at the numbers, the difference is negligible.

Obviously, getting married to somebody is not the only way to ensure they inherit, but certainly one of them.

Loud guy scoffed. “I’d like to think, if I was getting married, that there would be more on my mind than inheritance.”

“Like what?”

“Like loving someone. Like wanting to spend the rest of my life with them.”

I turned the question on him. “So, are you saying these can only exist within a marriage?”

Cruel, I know. I could have been nicer, but this chap was a loudmouth. The conversation continued on predictable lines. Of course you don’t need marriage to have love, not even lifelong love. But I was suggesting how marriage does make things different.

Anyone have any views?

25 comments

  1. Today is seems like a lot of people get married for government benefits. Obviously, if you’re not married and you split up, the break will be less messy, provided there are no kids involved. Fifty-plus years ago when my mister and I got married, there was no question in our minds. We were in it for the long haul and we’ve been happily successful at it. Marriage works for us. If our kids had opted for living together, we would not have stopped them. We probably would have pointed out why we thought marriage was the way to go but ultimately, it was their choice and they chose marriage. It seems to be working out quite well for all of us. As for me and my hubs, we couldn’t see ourselves living any other way and a lot has to do with having made a formal commitment. We loved each other, sure, but we were not blinded by that love. We respected each other enough to commit to a relationship, we did not take that commitment lightly and never regretted our decision. If you have to ask yourself if marriage is for you, then it probably isn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay. I am almost 21 now. I don’t know if I pass the threshold to comment on if marriages are good or bad.
    But I think you have a good point. Especially in India where live-in relationships are rising but not openly supported. Love has no restrictions. It won’t drastically change once you marry. Marrying your lover ensures that you both are now recognized and safe from things which society “deems” unacceptable. I am not loving someone to marry. I will marry because I love.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marriage is partnership. If you’re lucky enough to find a partner that rows in time with you. Makes the distances you can go in this life longer, more pleasurable. Carries the burden of rowing when you are depleted. Inspires you to take new turns. Well, marriage can be all of that. I think if you’re not married, you’re probably not in the same boat in this analogy btw, but just rowing alongside each other keeping your separate vessels.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As of the end of December all three of my children are now married and a lot of thought went into the ultimate decisions! I can’t help thinking people do still want to get married, even after years have passed. some when they are ready to have children, but even if they have no intention of having children still want to make a commitment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well it certainly avoids awkward questions when children are around.
      There was an interesting legal situation there, too, discovered by an (unmarried) friend.
      Though he lived happily with his partner, he was dependent on her “goodwill” of naming him on the birth certificates (which she needn’t have done). Otherwise, he had no legal rights over his own children.

      Like

  5. It’s too easy for people to dissolve a marriage – makes it as easy to leave as throwing a few hundred dollars at a lawyer.
    A partnership in a marriage is honed by the difficulties, the responsibilities, the shared (and argued) direction.
    Yes, married for a long time, but took my time getting to that decision. Accept that he’s a bit of a bear sometimes, but he’s my bear.
    Marriage is much more than a bit of paper – it’s a promise of partnership, sharing, and learning how to get over yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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