2
   

Is Marriage a matter of conscience?

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Sep, 2006 05:54 pm
I'll muse.

Marriage is a contract. I have no idea if it was at first a religious episode or a legal one relative to property. My guess is on the legal one relative to property, but it's only a guess. Even if it was religious first, I think the real mechanics are similar/intertwined.

It can be a religious contract and a separate civil one, as in, say, Italy, where people are married in church and also go and get a quick civil ceremony. In the US, it is often a dual ceremony, officiated by a religious person. Or, just a visit to a city window. Those city window visits don't necessarily mean less to the individuals, though people assume that.

My own view is that marriage is an agreement between two people, however long or short it lasts, before it is an agreement ratified by a religion or a state. Thus, it seems simple to me, if the two people agree it's over, it's over. Although, for the sake of financial distribution and child care decisions that are subject to a legal system... then it's not over until the legal bell rings, or wrings.

I've never lived in a state where adultery (or dating!) changed the nature of a divorce decree, so I can't speak to that. I have no idea how Florida works.

To me, if you are separated, you're separated - and best officially, re accounting and child care matters. Given money and children are not at issue, and you agree you're separated, I think you are also separated as far as being interested in new people... since, remember, I thought the agreement was by the two people in the first place.

Diving into being interested in new people is a subject for argument, re the wisdom. I usually subscribe to the wait point of view, but I have enough friends who are long time happy having not done the waiting thing that my view is, simply, watch your step.

I don't say that every relationship you have has to be love for life. People get together for comfort, sustenance, thrills, among other reasons
Just that.. people can be vulnerable after what they thought was love hasn't worked out. Well, people can be vulnerable, period.

I've known several folks who divorced as simply as possible, filling out the forms mutually and filing with help of a paralegal. Depends on circumstances, I presume.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Sep, 2006 01:12 am
Chai Tea wrote:
The piece of paper, to me, is partly legal protection, as far as assests or having someone step in and take over the part of wife or husband, and all the benefits that come with the marriage.

It's an external sign of an internal commitment.

BTW Hep....I don't know if you have children or a complicated financial situation, but you can do a "do it yourself divorce", at least in Florida, if there're no kids, and both of you agree as to the splitting of the marital assest.

That's what I did.
Picked up the form you can find in any office supply store, filled it out, showed the ex what I did.

He and I were both in agreement so we both signed off on it.
Can't remember exactly what then...I'm pretty sure I took it down to the courthouse, then you get a date for both of you to come back in front of the judge.

He just looked at what I filled out, asked if we were in agreement, signed off on it himself, then the clerk took the papers and us down to some office where we got copies, and that was that.

It doesn't even have to be that you have nothing. We bought a house in Texas, and were in the middle of building one in Fla....

I never wanted to see Fla again and wanted the Tx house, he wanted the Fla one....so that's the way we wrote it.

What a sucker he was over that! Laughing


Thanks for sharing this Chai. Actually, there are no kids involved as we weren't together long enough to have even thought about conceiving a child (besides the fact that I cannot have children as well...Razz) and the financial aspect is done with as well. He got away with about a third of my vesting money, another third was spent on household items, which were so generously given back to me when I decided to move seeing how I paid for them. LOL And the majority of the last third went to the state of CT for taxes which pissed me off and is ultimately what made me decide to move back to FL. The straw that broke the camel's back.

So that's it as far as "things" are concerned. He made out squeaky clean on the deal. Paid half the rent once in four months, and an electric bill. I paid everything else for the entire time we were together. I'm still paying off a few of those bills actually. I think I'm down to one now. FINALLY. I suppose I could sue him for the money, but ya know... emotionally speaking I don't think it's worth it. I'd rather just have the whole thing over and done with than drag it out three years for a couple thousand dollars. Ya know? I bet he saw me coming a mile away! Rolling Eyes

stuh505 wrote:
Hey, why not? Don't punish yourself. Love never comes at the opportune times anyway, does it? The relationship with your husband is over, you don't seem to choked up about it...the only thing he should be to you is an item on a to-do list, like switching a bank account or something.


You know, I won't say I haven't thought about it. I'm certainly not trying to punish myself by not moving on in that aspect. I am more afraid of hurting someone else because I'm on the rebound. I don't want to hurt anyone else unintentionally just because I got hurt. It's not their fault. You know?

stuh505 wrote:
There are only 2 things that make it binding. A legal agreement, and then the words and promises between you. If your words and promises happen to be empty or lies, that's just how it is.

You should look into Chai's suggestion. If you two can agree how to split things up between the two of you, you'll probably both be better off than splitting it off between the four of you (2 of you plus 2 lawyers).


Yep. That's how it is stuh. No worries though. It's all good.

joefromchicago wrote:
If you view marriage as the equivalent of a rental contract, then there's nothing stopping you from seeing other men just as there is nothing stopping you from entering into other rental contracts. If that's the case, I fail to see the dilemma here.

On the other hand, if you are still hesitant, then it's probably because you don't think a marriage contract is the equivalent of a rental contract. The question, then, is: what's so special about the marital relationship?

If you're asking for permission to cheat on your husband, I don't think that's within our power to give. If it's immoral to see other men while you are still married, then it would be immoral regardless of the approval that others might offer to you. If, in contrast, you don't think it would be cheating to see some other man, then I don't understand why you might feel conflicted.


Honestly Joe, there is no dilemma here at all. I'm not even slightly upset about anything or looking for any great wisdom or permission from anyone to cheat on my husband. *shrugs* Because ultimately if that's what I decided I wanted to do I'd go out and do it. I just got to thinking about what this guy said and thought it sounded interesting enough to mull over a little at least. I thought it would be interesting to see other peoples perspectives as well. I have my perspective. I think I'm pretty set in it at this point. I have no intentions of ever getting married again.

That's not an "oh boo hoo, poor me, I got hurt." statement, though it may sound like it. It's just fact for me right now. I see no point in it really. But on the other hand I'm not going to become a floozy either and just sleep with anything that has two legs and a ding dong. I still take commitment serious. I don't know that I could ever see sex as something to be taken lightly and just done at random with random people. (Not saying anyone here does or has implied they do.) That's just how I feel about it. I won't say I've never done it. But I can say that I can't remember a time I didn't regret it on some level when I did.

ossobuco wrote:
I'll muse.

Marriage is a contract. I have no idea if it was at first a religious episode or a legal one relative to property. My guess is on the legal one relative to property, but it's only a guess. Even if it was religious first, I think the real mechanics are similar/intertwined.

It can be a religious contract and a separate civil one, as in, say, Italy, where people are married in church and also go and get a quick civil ceremony. In the US, it is often a dual ceremony, officiated by a religious person. Or, just a visit to a city window. Those city window visits don't necessarily mean less to the individuals, though people assume that.

My own view is that marriage is an agreement between two people, however long or short it lasts, before it is an agreement ratified by a religion or a state. Thus, it seems simple to me, if the two people agree it's over, it's over. Although, for the sake of financial distribution and child care decisions that are subject to a legal system... then it's not over until the legal bell rings, or wrings.

I've never lived in a state where adultery (or dating!) changed the nature of a divorce decree, so I can't speak to that. I have no idea how Florida works.

To me, if you are separated, you're separated - and best officially, re accounting and child care matters. Given money and children are not at issue, and you agree you're separated, I think you are also separated as far as being interested in new people... since, remember, I thought the agreement was by the two people in the first place.

Diving into being interested in new people is a subject for argument, re the wisdom. I usually subscribe to the wait point of view, but I have enough friends who are long time happy having not done the waiting thing that my view is, simply, watch your step.

I don't say that every relationship you have has to be love for life. People get together for comfort, sustenance, thrills, among other reasons
Just that.. people can be vulnerable after what they thought was love hasn't worked out. Well, people can be vulnerable, period.

I've known several folks who divorced as simply as possible, filling out the forms mutually and filing with help of a paralegal. Depends on circumstances, I presume.


Thanks for musing osso. Smile So I guess my ultimate question here is found in my thinking in general. If two people love each other, really love each other, well... why is that not enough? Why does their have to be some piece of paper declaring that commitment? It just seems a lot less messy to me with out it. I'm not out for any law suit, or to take anyone for all they've got. Dang... if he would have asked I may very well have given him everything we bought while we were married as well... maybe... because I just don't care about that kind of stuff. Sure it's sad that he took advantage of me, but really, so what? Lesson learned. A hard expensive lesson to say the least, but shoot... I never said I didn't need the occasional brick to the head as a wake up call once in a while... LOL
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Sep, 2006 08:17 am
hephzibah wrote:
I see no point in it really. But on the other hand I'm not going to become a floozy either and just sleep with anything that has two legs and a ding dong. I still take commitment serious. I don't know that I could ever see sex as something to be taken lightly and just done at random with random people. (Not saying anyone here does or has implied they do.) That's just how I feel about it. I won't say I've never done it. But I can say that I can't remember a time I didn't regret it on some level when I did.


On the point of marriage ~~ I think vows and public statements of commitment are mostly ceremonial and provide the couple with a sense of connection and an intention of providing each other with lifelong support. These vows have come from religious traditions, but civil ceremonies or vows made privately between two individuals can be just as empowering as a religious ceremony in providing that connection. A marriage certificate is not required to achieve a lifelong connection to one's chosen partner.

On the other hand, marriage has always inferred certain rights and carries some opportunities that apply only to married couples. This is where the marriage certificate comes into play (and where your pending divorce comes into play). There will be a reason for people to marry as long as marriage carries legal benefits to those who would otherwise be denied them. I would be perfectly happy to see the rights of marriage decoupled from the marriage ceremony, establishing civil unions for all couples wishing to register their relationship with the State. Commitment ceremonies could then be as religious, public, private, or non-existent as the couple chooses.

In some ways I agree with your friend that your upcoming divorce has little to do with the commitment/emotional/spiritual side of your marriage. The piece of paper associated with a legal separation and divorce have as much weight with that side of the marriage as you give to it. If you feel that you are married until such time as the State says you are no longer married then that's the way you should proceed. If you feel that your marriage was over once the vows were irreparably broken, then proceed accordingly.

Noddy gives excellent advice, as usual, with respect to rebound relationships. Particularly given what you've been through in the past year.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Sep, 2006 03:54 pm
hep - just a word of advice from one who's been there. It's hard to imagine I lost so much in such a short amount of time.

The non-material losses took years for me to get over, and not what I'm going to address here. Let all that rest in peace.

Re: your material losses.....Believe me, the fact I came out of it at the time with a house would not have looked like much to you at the time...it sure didn't look that way to some people. I knew it was a blessing whose day at not come. At the time it was one more bill to pay, for a place that was a thousand miles from where I lived for a couple more years.

I married him, well, not late exactly, but I was 30 or 31, so I had a good start on a long term savings plan....that was gone in the less than 2 years we were together. The thing that was so sick was when we would fight and I would bring up how this money I had was totally gone, AND we had what I considered huge debt (because of him), he would look me straight in the eye and tell me...."You never had that much when we got married" Shocked , and I could see he really believed that, and got me to the point I was questioning my own knowledge.

The reason I'm telling you about this is to share that the best thing you can begin to do for yourself is to start to let go of those emotions about loosing that stuff. It takes time, but surprisingly, at least for me, not as much time as I feared.

I got tired of mourning what I had lost, mostly because when I did so it meant I had to think of someone who was no longer a part of my life. When I got it straight in my head that I was starting from where I was at that moment....square one, ground zero, right now....that was when things began to turn around.

I think I know exactly how you feel right now, cheated and tricked and left holding the bag, with nothing to show for that time....You know what? That's all totally true! Laughing That smiley is there to show you...."Yeah? So? Now what?"

I realized....

I'm broke! Laughing

I was screwed! Laughing

It's all gone! Laughing

I'M FREE!!!!!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

Ya know?
0 Replies
 
martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Sep, 2006 08:10 pm
I have definitely asked myself this very question. When I married at 23 I believed that marriage was a lifetime committment between two people. I looked at it as more of a spiritual, and emotional committment. I always joked with my ex that I didn't marry him for his money( him straight out of college, no job, me making the down payment on our first home) I never batted an eye about working 40+ hours a week while he had no income for 2 years of our marriage.
I think in the long run our marriage was just a piece of paper to him, it was an emotional, loving committment for me. This is why I was loyal and faithful and he felt it OK to lie and become unfaithful. I find it curious though that the timing of his leaving was shortly after he got a huge promotion and salary increase. So while I got the house to continue to raise the kids in he got to no longer support me financially.
I'm pretty much in the same state as you are if I understand this correctly. I truely don't see myself marrying again. I do however know that I'm capable of being in a committed relationship. So although I'm not looking for a husband I am searching for that special someone to share my life experiences with in the long run.



Chai Tea----I like your new sig line!
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 01:04 am
JPB wrote:
hephzibah wrote:
I see no point in it really. But on the other hand I'm not going to become a floozy either and just sleep with anything that has two legs and a ding dong. I still take commitment serious. I don't know that I could ever see sex as something to be taken lightly and just done at random with random people. (Not saying anyone here does or has implied they do.) That's just how I feel about it. I won't say I've never done it. But I can say that I can't remember a time I didn't regret it on some level when I did.


On the point of marriage ~~ I think vows and public statements of commitment are mostly ceremonial and provide the couple with a sense of connection and an intention of providing each other with lifelong support. These vows have come from religious traditions, but civil ceremonies or vows made privately between two individuals can be just as empowering as a religious ceremony in providing that connection. A marriage certificate is not required to achieve a lifelong connection to one's chosen partner.

On the other hand, marriage has always inferred certain rights and carries some opportunities that apply only to married couples. This is where the marriage certificate comes into play (and where your pending divorce comes into play). There will be a reason for people to marry as long as marriage carries legal benefits to those who would otherwise be denied them. I would be perfectly happy to see the rights of marriage decoupled from the marriage ceremony, establishing civil unions for all couples wishing to register their relationship with the State. Commitment ceremonies could then be as religious, public, private, or non-existent as the couple chooses.

In some ways I agree with your friend that your upcoming divorce has little to do with the commitment/emotional/spiritual side of your marriage. The piece of paper associated with a legal separation and divorce have as much weight with that side of the marriage as you give to it. If you feel that you are married until such time as the State says you are no longer married then that's the way you should proceed. If you feel that your marriage was over once the vows were irreparably broken, then proceed accordingly.

Noddy gives excellent advice, as usual, with respect to rebound relationships. Particularly given what you've been through in the past year.


JB, this might sound like a completely naive question, but what exactly are the "legal" benefits of getting married? Yes, Noddy does give excellent advice. Sometimes so good I leave feeling like she knows me personally... LOL

Chai Tea wrote:
hep - just a word of advice from one who's been there. It's hard to imagine I lost so much in such a short amount of time.

The non-material losses took years for me to get over, and not what I'm going to address here. Let all that rest in peace.

Re: your material losses.....Believe me, the fact I came out of it at the time with a house would not have looked like much to you at the time...it sure didn't look that way to some people. I knew it was a blessing whose day at not come. At the time it was one more bill to pay, for a place that was a thousand miles from where I lived for a couple more years.

I married him, well, not late exactly, but I was 30 or 31, so I had a good start on a long term savings plan....that was gone in the less than 2 years we were together. The thing that was so sick was when we would fight and I would bring up how this money I had was totally gone, AND we had what I considered huge debt (because of him), he would look me straight in the eye and tell me...."You never had that much when we got married" Shocked , and I could see he really believed that, and got me to the point I was questioning my own knowledge.

The reason I'm telling you about this is to share that the best thing you can begin to do for yourself is to start to let go of those emotions about loosing that stuff. It takes time, but surprisingly, at least for me, not as much time as I feared.

I got tired of mourning what I had lost, mostly because when I did so it meant I had to think of someone who was no longer a part of my life. When I got it straight in my head that I was starting from where I was at that moment....square one, ground zero, right now....that was when things began to turn around.

I think I know exactly how you feel right now, cheated and tricked and left holding the bag, with nothing to show for that time....You know what? That's all totally true! Laughing That smiley is there to show you...."Yeah? So? Now what?"

I realized....

I'm broke! Laughing

I was screwed! Laughing

It's all gone! Laughing

I'M FREE!!!!!!!Laughing Laughing Laughing

Ya know?


Wow Chai, thanks for sharing that. It is comforting to know that someone understands how it feels to be left holding the bag. Not only that, but overcame it as well. I feel for the most part I have let go of those emotions regarding the things. Honestly, those "things" and the loss of them was just a minor scrape compared to the internal bleeding caused by some of the other things that were said and done. I can live without things. I cannot allow him or give him place to cause anymore internal bleeding and that's exactly what would happen if I did try to pursue getting something back that he took.

I want it over and done with as simply and quickly as possible. I've even toyed with the idea at times of sleeping with someone purely on the ideal that maybe... just maybe if I did I could finally disconnect from him completely. Paper or no paper involved. It's over because I'm not "waiting" for him anymore. I'm not "waiting" for a signed piece of paper to feel that I could be with someone else. To feel like I can give myself to someone else. My life continuing (speaking socially) is not dependant on if or when "he" says it's over legally. As sick as I'm sure that logic sounds, does it make any sort of sense at all? I honestly think sometimes that is really what is holding me up from realizing:

I'm broke! Laughing

I was screwed! Laughing

It's all gone! Laughing

I'M FREE!!!!!!!Laughing Laughing Laughing

So....







Any takers?





















LOL KIDDING! Laughing


martybarker wrote:
I have definitely asked myself this very question. When I married at 23 I believed that marriage was a lifetime committment between two people. I looked at it as more of a spiritual, and emotional committment. I always joked with my ex that I didn't marry him for his money( him straight out of college, no job, me making the down payment on our first home) I never batted an eye about working 40+ hours a week while he had no income for 2 years of our marriage.
I think in the long run our marriage was just a piece of paper to him, it was an emotional, loving committment for me. This is why I was loyal and faithful and he felt it OK to lie and become unfaithful. I find it curious though that the timing of his leaving was shortly after he got a huge promotion and salary increase. So while I got the house to continue to raise the kids in he got to no longer support me financially.
I'm pretty much in the same state as you are if I understand this correctly. I truely don't see myself marrying again. I do however know that I'm capable of being in a committed relationship. So although I'm not looking for a husband I am searching for that special someone to share my life experiences with in the long run.


Marty, I haven't given up on finding someone to share my life experiences with in the long run either. However... I do think I'll be a little bit more picky next time... LOL I'm not afraid of commitment in the right time with the right person. I guess I just view commitment as being that simple. No paper needed to be signed. No big ceremony. Just two people caring about each other and choosing to share their lives with each other. I don't know. I'm glad that you've been able to overcome it and move on. That is encouraging to me. Smile
0 Replies
 
martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 01:14 am
Quote:
I want it over and done with as simply and quickly as possible. I've even toyed with the idea at times of sleeping with someone purely on the ideal that maybe... just maybe if I did I could finally disconnect from him completely


Gosh, you sound like I did a year ago. I thought that a distraction would be nice. However, I can look back now and know that I made it through this really rough patch and now my head is clear and I can get on with my life now. I think the biggest thing my ex took from me was my ability to trust my instincts. I have so many questions and uncertainties now. But this too will be a life lesson learned. I'll get past this rough patch and so will you.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 07:37 am
LOL marty! I just read your sigline! Very funny... hehehe

Thanks for the encouragement. Smile It's not so much that I want a distraction as I want to feel like there's no obligation to him anymore on any level. I have had doubts at times if even a "divorce" will provide that feeling of disconnection. I've believed certain things about marriage for so long... mainly that you stay honest and faithful even if the other is not. That you "honor" the commitment you made until the end no matter what, and things of the like. That marriage was more than just a little piece of paper signed by a judge, preacher, whoever. That if you do the right thing and keep your heart and mind right, eventually good things will come out of that.

That's how I went 12 years without sleeping with anyone before I got married. Believing something good would come out of waiting. What a waste, ya know? What a crock of bologna that was! Don't get me wrong though, as I said before, I still don't feel that's an excuse to go sleep with anyone who has two legs and a ding dong. I can understand what you are saying about losing the ability to trust your instincts though. I think that's exactly where I'm at right now honestly. Mainly because so far what I thought was my instincts have been nothing but wrong, wrong, wrong.

While I think it's always good to be willing to step back and re-evaluation things. Your life, motives, desires, intentions, and so forth. I've also come to realize a person could drive themselves absolutely insane by over-evaluating everything, as I usually do. So for the last month... I think... I've been working really hard not to do that anymore. And guess what! It's actually helping! Now that my life is not under a microscope anymore I don't feel like such a bad person all the time. I don't feel like such a hopeless failure. I don't feel guilty and ashamed almost all the time anymore either. Imagine that... LOL

Yet, I still get some pretty good insight into different things about myself and my life. I can't figure out how that works, but I'm not even going to try to figure out how that works because ultimately it doesn't really matter. I just am what I am. When I see something that needs readjusting in my life, I do my best to readjust it. However, I don't spend all my free time anymore trying to find the things that need readjusting. Maybe that's the answer right there. Hehehe... So anyway, it'll all fall into place eventually. The baggage will eventually all be left behind somewhere on this road I'm on. I still believe that much. If I make a few mistakes and misjudgments along the way... so what? I think it's time I cut myself a break for once. Smile
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 09:43 pm
hephzibah wrote:

JB, this might sound like a completely naive question, but what exactly are the "legal" benefits of getting married?



It depends on the state. Hopefully joe is still reading along and can give more input to this but my understanding is that some states require any assets be passed to the nearest blood relative when someone dies and there is no spouse. I know of one gay couple where one dying partner married the other partner's mother in order to ensure that the house the two men had shared for years would eventually pass to his lover. The same would hold for an unmarried heterosexual couple. There are also health insurance issues in some places. An employee can oftentimes get spousal coverage on their health insurance, but it is not always available to 'significant others'. There might be more, but these are the ones that I think are fairly common.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 09:47 pm
Right to visit a dying lover in the hospital..
not sure how that goes now, but it used to be a problem for a non-spouse/non-relative.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 10:50 pm
Well, all these things can be available through contracts, osso.
A power of attorney would be the only paper needed by a lover to
not only visit the dying spouse but also to make medical decisions
should the lover be incompetent.

Dto. for common assets such as a house. If the title is held in joint tenancy, and when one of the joint tenants dies, the property will pass to the surviving joint tenant without ever going through probate.

Healthcare coverage for spouses is not available in all companies, or the
subscriber has to pay for his family coverage extra. Chances are however,
that both partners work fulltime, when in a relationship without marriage.

There are plenty of pittfalls for not being married to your live-in lover,
and there are also benefits for not being married.
0 Replies
 
Bohne
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 02:27 am
I think I am married, because I said YES to the TILL DEATH DO US PART bit, and I meant (and still mean) it.
If (god forbid) this marriage ever went so wrong, that we had to separate, I don't think I could ever say the same thing to anybody else...
In my heart, I can only marry once, and a piece of paper is of no importance...
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 09:06 am
hephzibah wrote:
...what exactly are the "legal" benefits of getting married?

In 1997, the General Accounting Office figured there were about 1,049 federal statutes that granted some kind of right or benefit based upon marital status: Link (.pdf). By 2004, that number had increased to around 1,138: Link (.pdf).

That only accounts for federal benefits. Most issues regarding families and children are matters of state law, so the number of statutes that grant rights and benefits based upon marital status is far larger than 1,138.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 09:15 am
CJane, I do know about power of attorney, and joint tenancy, though less about insurance matters. You're right, these are remedies for the non-spousal mate. They have to be known about and acted on, though. On the medical power of attorney, I'd forgotten about it when I wrote my post.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 09:44 am
joefromchicago wrote:
hephzibah wrote:
...what exactly are the "legal" benefits of getting married?

In 1997, the General Accounting Office figured there were about 1,049 federal statutes that granted some kind of right or benefit based upon marital status: Link (.pdf). By 2004, that number had increased to around 1,138: Link (.pdf).

That only accounts for federal benefits. Most issues regarding families and children are matters of state law, so the number of statutes that grant rights and benefits based upon marital status is far larger than 1,138.


Thanks, joe, it's an interesting list. Again, I advocate separating all aspects of the marriage ceremony from the legal benefits by establishing civil unions for couples (heterosexual or homosexual) and marriage vows and blessings (religious or otherwise) for those who want them.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 09:51 am
That would make my marriage of twenty years not a marriage, so I'm disinclined to agree by virtue of my own experience. I am uncomfortable with the concept that - and I know you add "other kinds of blessings, JPB - it takes religious belief to make the word marriage apply to a legal-processed union.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 10:07 am
I don't advocate undoing anything from the past, osso. I'm only imagining a future where couples who want to establish an emotional commitment can do so in whatever fashion appeals to them, be it religious, shouting from a mountaintop, standing on a beach with friends, or a candlelight dinner for two. Those who want their relationship registered as a legal union could do so separately.

In fact, I get quite angry when I hear about long term marriages that are annulled by the Catholic Church in order for one of the parties to remarry within the Church. This action, which results in invalidating the history of the first marriage and classifying children as illegitimate in the eyes of their own religion, makes me see red!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 10:16 am
I agree with all that, J, including seeing red about the annulment deals, except that I'd call the legal union marriage. Just a word, of course. My quibble is that only the religious-ceremonied would get to use the word.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 12:08 pm
hephzibah wrote:

I want it over and done with as simply and quickly as possible. I've even toyed with the idea at times of sleeping with someone purely on the ideal that maybe... just maybe if I did I could finally disconnect from him completely. Paper or no paper involved. It's over because I'm not "waiting" for him anymore. I'm not "waiting" for a signed piece of paper to feel that I could be with someone else. To feel like I can give myself to someone else. My life continuing (speaking socially) is not dependant on if or when "he" says it's over legally. As sick as I'm sure that logic sounds, does it make any sort of sense at all? I honestly think sometimes that is really what is holding me up from realizing:

I'm broke! Laughing

I was screwed! Laughing

It's all gone! Laughing

I'M FREE!!!!!!!Laughing Laughing Laughing

So....


Sure it makes sense, and it doesn't sound sick in the least. It won't work, but I wouldn't call it sick. What I do find disturbing is the idea that you want to give yourself to someone again. I'm hoping that you meant 'give of yourself' again. If there is any single lesson that I hope you never forget from your recent experience, it is to keep enough sense of yourself in any future relationships that you don't try to become someone else's vision of you.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 02:00 pm
JPB wrote:
hephzibah wrote:

I want it over and done with as simply and quickly as possible. I've even toyed with the idea at times of sleeping with someone purely on the ideal that maybe... just maybe if I did I could finally disconnect from him completely. Paper or no paper involved. It's over because I'm not "waiting" for him anymore. I'm not "waiting" for a signed piece of paper to feel that I could be with someone else. To feel like I can give myself to someone else. My life continuing (speaking socially) is not dependant on if or when "he" says it's over legally. As sick as I'm sure that logic sounds, does it make any sort of sense at all? I honestly think sometimes that is really what is holding me up from realizing:

I'm broke! Laughing

I was screwed! Laughing

It's all gone! Laughing

I'M FREE!!!!!!!Laughing Laughing Laughing

So....


Sure it makes sense, and it doesn't sound sick in the least. It won't work, but I wouldn't call it sick. What I do find disturbing is the idea that you want to give yourself to someone again. I'm hoping that you meant 'give of yourself' again. If there is any single lesson that I hope you never forget from your recent experience, it is to keep enough sense of yourself in any future relationships that you don't try to become someone else's vision of you.


How can you be so sure it won't work? LOL Sorry... couldn't resist... Ok, well you are right JB I have learned that lesson in the deepest way. Funny how one little missing word can change the entire meaning of an entire sentence!

As far as the legalities... Welp... I still don't see the benefits to being married. You are put in a higher tax bracket that totally screws you if you are separated. So yes, because he won't file I will be once again screwed on my taxes this year. It's all fine and dandy if you stay together though. You have a double income after all. However, what about those left holding the bag? You could get an inheritance of sorts through insurance benefits, a will, and whatever, if they die? Ok. Fair enough. Someone else to pay the funeral bill and all that. You are still missing the person who died though right? Money and "things" don't replace that. It doesn't take away the grief of losing someone you loved so deeply, does it? Ummm... I feel like I'm missing a few things here.

But regardless, I realize my opinion is totaly bias at this point based on my personal circumstances. I guess I just don't look at the "benefits" when it comes down to relationships. I'm not looking to gain anything by being with someone besides their trust, love, affection, and sincerity. Sure, that doesn't pay the funeral bill if they die, the hospital bill if they become really sick, or anything else. But it does make me happy. To have been truly happy with someone makes me much richer when they are gone than to be financially set if they die and live in misery until they do. *shrugs* I don't know... maybe I'm wrong I guess. Razz

Edit:

I hope that didn't come out sounding totaly harsh. That's not how I meant it. I guess I just have tunnel vision when it comes to certain things. Don't know why. It just is. Am I missing something here? I feel like I am. Actually I feel kinda like I might be missing something pretty important. *sigh* What do you think?
0 Replies
 
 

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