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Old 07-19-2007, 04:21 AM   #1
catownedanna
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Why and when marriage?
This post's Swedish word/phrase: "Äktenskap. Bröllop. Familj."= "Marriage. Wedding. Family."
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A couple of days ago, I met a friend of mine and we spent quite some time talking about different events in our lives that occured after we had decided we were ready for them. It was about the first kiss. About the first boyfriend. The first vacation without parents around. About what to study and where. About when to move out from our parents' and get our own places. And so on...

Important events that need some decisions, some thinking through, and in some cases a lot of courage.

Now I'm curious to see what your thoughts and experiences are on marriage. When did you decide to get married/not get married? What made you decide so (culture, religion, special feeling, certain event, legal issues, exprectations from others, )? How old were you and your partner? Was it a decision that grew on you or did you wake up one morning knowing that you wanted to get married? Did you propose or did your partner? Would you consider a "no" to a proposal the same as breaking up? What is, for you, the biggest difference between living with someone as married and as "just" girlfriend/boyfriend? Did you feel different after you got married - and if so - how? Did you change your last name to his/hers - why/why not?


(I understand that this topic can bring up many different cultural and religious believes on marriage/family life. My intent is not to start a heated debate on these issues and I hope that everyone chosing to post will keep their posts respectful and non-judgemental. I'm just curious to see what made people decide to get married... )
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:25 AM   #2
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I felt no difference marring my husband. We'd lived together for a couple of years before we were married, but as soon as I met him I KNEW he was the only one for me, I was lucky he felt the same. My wedding was terrible, I don't look on it fondly and have never looked at the wedding photo's since we had them. (My mother and Step mother in the same room, I should have known there would be trouble)

Apart from having my hubby's last name, I was Jones now I'm Bull, (I get a lot of jokes about my last name now!) and having a few more legal rights, nothing really changed, I love him more now than I did when we met, and loved him lots then!

Marriage isn't for everyone and I understand that, but it isn't as scary as some people fear. I am glad we got married, I do enjoy being introduced as Mike's wife, but I think if we hadn't got married we'd be in the same place now.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:36 AM   #3
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Well I feel a bit shy replying to this for some reason!

I have never been married. I lived with my ex boyfriend and I live with my boyfriend now. I think in many ways it's a culture thing. Here, in my province (could be different in the rest of Canada), getting married or not is a very personal decision. We have a word in French for "life partner" that we apply to either a married or non-married person. People still get married, but it's seen as a personal choice, not a society's requirement of some sort (there is still some pressure sometimes from family or the partner though). Oh and here, married women don't change their name to their husband's. It's possible to do it, but nobody does.

So well, for me, it's not important to get married. I see it as a waste of money and time really. Of course, I totally understand people who do it, I'm not against the idea! But for me commitment isn't in a party, a dress, a piece of paper and a ceremony. It's something you decide in your head and your heart. This being said, it doesn't mean I won't decide to get married. If we decided to work outside Canada, we would probably do it. Or who knows, maybe the idea will grow on me. If my boyfriend was proposing? Well you know, I might ask him why he wants to get married, but I would say yes. And if I proposed and he said no? Maybe I would be disappointed... but no it wouldn't mean a breakup for me.

I saw a huge difference when I started living with my boyfriend. Going out revolves more around doing activities together. Living together means doing chores, paying bills, making decisions which for some couples can be difficult. There are the days when you're tired or grumpy, when the family is annoying, when work is insane and the chores don't get done. But for us, we really enjoy living together and we have a lot of projects for the future!
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:30 AM   #4
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I'm interested to see other responses to this thread. I've often wondered about this myself.

When I was a child/teen it was my dream to get married and have children. I wanted my career to be as a wife and mother. It was all I dreamed about. When I prepared for a back up career I chose Early Childhood Education as I thought it would give me an even better foundation for raising a family.

The plan was marriage at 19, first child at 22, second at 24 and third at 26. No outside daycare. If we needed extra money I would do home daycare. Once they were all in school I would return to college and complete my degree in Early Childhood Education. Then I would teach Elementary School. I had it all planned out.

At 32 I am still single. Have been engaged 3 times in my life, at 18, 20 and 24. The first guy was very abusive, but in the end all 3 were unfaithful, hence no marriage.

I think part of the reason I am still not married is that I do not take commitment lightly. I believe in traditional roles and there aren't many traditional guys out there. I think I was born 100 years too late.

My mom is disabled-physically not mentally, and I am her sole caregiver. Any guy who ends up with me ends up with her too for the duration of her life. Not many guys willing to take that on either.

Perhaps its the fact that I am a big girl, perhaps its that I am just closed off to the idea because I work 2 jobs and have mom to worry about, maybe I am overly old fashioned, perhaps its all of that-but I swear, every man who has hit on me in the last couple years is either married or desperate for a green card. Neither of those situations is the basis for a viable relationship IMO.

Sometimes I fantasize about things being different, but the inertia of daily life kicks in and theres just no time to think about such things.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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First of all--everyone is different. What's right for some isn't right for others. I think that here on KH we do a pretty good job of respecting that!

Having said that, getting married was important to me. I met my husband in college. We were just really good friends at first, and then it turned in to something more. I'm glad that we had that connection as friends first...that way we got to know each other in a no pressure situation.

We felt marriage was right for us. We knew that we wanted to be together, and while that was enough, we also wanted to share it with our family and friends. The wedding day was important not just for the two of us, but because it is probably the one time in our lives that everybody we really care about was all together in one place at one time. That was an amazing opportunity.

But again, like I said, everyone is different. I have good friends from college who live together and who are basically "married". I know, and everyone knows that they love each other very much, and for them, marriage isn't what they want. And we respect that.

What bothers me is when people look down on others for their choices--whether that is getting married, not getting married, being single, dyeing your hair green , etc. And like I said before, that doesn't really go on here.

Okay...hope that wasn't too cheesy! Interesting topic, Anna!

ETA: My husband and I were both 25 when we got married, and I did change my last name. However, I also legally changed my middle name to my maiden name. (As I had no sentimental attachment to my original middle name--Anne. ) That way, it's still officially a part of who I am.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:45 PM   #6
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:02 PM   #7
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DH and I met through my late cousin in July of 1990 (I was 28, he 33). In August we had a little commitment ceremony. After 3 kids and 7 years we found out that if something happened to him, the government wouldn't recognize me as his surviving spouse (common-law did not count since I was not officially using his last name), so we got married. Even though we are coming up on our 17th anniversary, according to the SSA it will really only be our 10th.
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:34 PM   #8
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i replied then wanted to edit then tried to copy my original post but now I lost it, but today's been like that from the second I woke up :rollseyes:, so anyway ...

Originally Posted by catownedanna View Post
When did you decide to get married/not get married?
What made you decide so (culture, religion, special feeling, certain event, legal issues, exprectations from others, )?
How old were you and your partner?
Was it a decision that grew on you or did you wake up one morning knowing that you wanted to get married?
Did you propose or did your partner?
Would you consider a "no" to a proposal the same as breaking up?
What is, for you, the biggest difference between living with someone as married and as "just" girlfriend/boyfriend?
Did you feel different after you got married - and if so - how?
Did you change your last name to his/hers - why/why not?
we knew each other since 1983 (age 12), were really good friends in school. we got together later on in our late 20s. we decided to get married when we moved in together. we got married in 2002.
idk what made us decide. it just seemed right.
we were both 31 when we got married.
I think we both just kinda knew we'd be married one day.
nobody proposed. we just decided one day to get me a ring.
I think I would consider a "no" the same as breaking up, and I'm pretty sure he would do the same.
I didn't, and still don't feel different after we got married, at least not in the day-to-day. it does feel good to be committed to a great guy and have his last name.
yes, I changed my last name for a bunch of reasons - among them, 1) my previous last name was my ex-husband's, so I wanted to be rid of that, and 2) I like the neutrality of my new last name.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:11 PM   #9
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Well, when i was 16 and in love with a friend of mine, i was dreaming of his last name. Now he's laughing at my DH's last name
Seriously now... I always wanted to get married, but growing up makes you think and i realized that the wedding is not the most important thing in the world... When i met DH i was 23 and he was 25. He was just a friend of my neighbour. We drank tea at her place and the evening ended up as conversation between him and me About cars... As he told me later, he was madly in love since But i didn't care - i dated this obnoxious guy and couldn't see a foot ahead. After a month he was passing by to visit my neighbour and i knew she wasn't there. So i invited him to a cup of tea. After conversation that lasted that whole day, we figured out each other's views on most important subjects and the next day he moved in with me. We definitely talked about getting married and after 2 months went to get the ring. BUT, there are a few reasons for us getting married:
1. we wanted the whole family together for once (it gave us a headache eventually:rofling
2.we're are not considering ourselves religious Jews and marriage is one of a few ceremonies that connect us to our religious heritage.
3.we wanted for one day in our life to feel like in fairy tale!

So, we planned the wedding for 1.5 years, carefully and slowly and eventually had a 130-guests (considered really small in Israel) lovely thing that was perfect for us.We had lots of fun and enjoyed every moment of it! And we have gorgeous pictures! We thought it's worth the money to feel the king and the queen for a day, because later we would never do it! We altered the ceremony just a bit, so i could give him the ring (women rights are problematic religious issue).

And i kept my last name. When it came to the real thing, i realized my surname is a part of who i am, where i belong. It tells me i'm grand-grand-niece of Marc Chagall and it tells my family heritage,where we're from, that many of my family were murdered by Nazis in The Holocaust. Also i believe that the origins of the tradition of changing your name are about man power, because in the past the wife was becoming her husband property in a way. I wanted to remain the way i am. DH didn't understand why i wouldn't at first and then i asked him if he would change to my last name. He said no, because that's a part of him. I said "there you go". So we left it as it is and now DH is a big fan of not changing one's last name
Actually nothing changed after the wedding, except for annoying people looking at my tummy saying "So, how about a baby?" I like to scare them by saying "Oh, these little things that scream, eat, sleep and poop?" Don't like nosy people...

Sorry it was long, but i wanted to make myself clear!
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:29 PM   #10
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