Matt and I have been together 11 years now and have 2 children together, but we are not married. He asked 10 yrs ago when I was pregnant with our 1st child (together). I have a child from a previous relationship. I turned him down at that point. His mother had a lot to do with the reason he asked I thought, and still do think that but that's beside the point. I told him then, if he could give me one, JUST ONE, valid reason as to why we should marry then I would. It was simple I thought. I wasn't asking for a lot. So, over the years marriage really wasn't a topic of conversation. I had figured that he had finally realized my point, that marriage is just an outdated religious ritual for people to show their "god"/community that they "love" each other. If you are married, don't take offense. If you feel strongly enough that you wanted to be married that's fine. It's your choice. This is just MY personal take on the subject. But I was wrong, we have been having some pretty intense relationship issues over the past 2 months or so. And yesterday he said to me, "This is all your fault. You could change this you know." At this point I was confused, though I shouldn't have been because according to him I am the controller of the entire universe. I control the weather (in times of bad weather when there is something that he can't/won't do...ie....the crazy heat wave that we had a few weeks ago was because I wanted to ruin the 1st weekend of archery season.) So next time you are pissed at the weather, just blame me because apparently I have total control over it. Anyway, I asked him what he meant. And he said, "Just remember that all those years ago, you rejected me." Ok, so the reason that he has trouble prioritizing and making any attempt at working on this relationship is because I won't marry him. I told him that I didn't quite understand this logic. Apparently because I won't agree to take part in this "ritual" means that I am not commited to this relationship, commited to living life together as a couple, commited to this family. Ok, so let me get this straight. In order to "prove" that I am commited, I have to present in front of "god", which mind you is an idea that I don't believe, and he questions as well. I was having trouble understanding this logic, so I wiki'd Marriage Dang I love wiki !! And the definition of marriage is as follows.
Marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social, or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract, or through civil process.
The reasons people marry vary, but usually include one or more of the following: legal, social and economic stability; the formation of a family unit; procreation and the education and nurturing of children; legitimizing sexual relations; public declaration of love.
Breaking down this definition, marriage brings governmental recognition, ok, exactly what kind of recognition because shoot I like to stay as far under the radar with the government as I can. All joking aside though I am assuming they are talking about recognition in regard to taxes. You supposedly get a bigger tax break if you are married and I can disprove this theory. It has always worked out better for us regarding taxes with us NOT being married, health insurance purposes, again....I can disprove this as well. I am on Matt's health insurance as his "partner" and have had no issues with that., and in the event of a death the spouse has rights to material/monetary possessions of the deceased and a will can fix that problem. Also listing your partner/children as the beneficiary on any life insurance policies. Problem solved there. So I think that takes care of governmental issues. If you can think of something else...let me know so I can disprove that as well *wink
Social recognition. Back in the 1900's marriage was a way to increase power and wealth, as well as a way to bring peace to feuding families. Marriages were based upon responsiblity and wealth of the family unit, not love. In today's society this is no longer the way things are done, marriages are based on love rather than responsibility to the family unit, for the most part. So the need for social recognition due to a marriage contract is completely outdated. For those that disagree PLEASE tell me what I sort of social recognition I would get if I presented myself as married. Seriously.
So this brings us to the religious aspect of the marriage, which in my opinion, is one of the only reasons, along with mainstream society, as to why people feel the need to be married anymore. A large part of the American culture is based on Christianity, (Stay tuned for another blog specifically on this) So therefore many people feel the need to stand in front of "god" and their families and announce their devotion and commitment to each other. In the eyes of the Christian church marriage is a sacred institution established by God for the primary purpose of bringing Him glory. Its main purpose is not, as some think, to procreate, or to have companionship, or to fulfill sexual needs. Its primary purpose is to bring glory and honor to God. It is only in marriage that we are able to carry out the commission of God to replenish the earth and to subdue it. This commission by God can only be properly accomplished in marriage where the husband and wife, in faithful, covenantal relationship, purpose to glorify God by having children, training them in the ways of the Lord, and sending them out into the world. This is what marriage is for.
(Link above it is a link to one of the articles that I was reading)
After much research from different websites I have found the above statement to be the basis of marriage through Christian followers. Marriage is not meant to be solely about personal enlightment and happiness, but rather about bringing "god" happiness and glory because as a devout married Christian couple, the church and "god" are under the assumption that you are going to procreate and live the "word of god", training your children to live the "word of god" and then in turn be married and have children of their own to continue teaching the "word of god."
So with all that being said, I still stand my ground. Marriage is an outdated religious ritual in which unless you are a follower of "god" I feel that there isn't a valid reason as to why one should marry. Does this mean that I am not commited to the relationship that I am in? No, I am commited to my family and the relationship that I am in. In the time it has taken me to write this blog I have researched quite a bit on this topic, and have come across many interesting facts and opinions on the history of marriage and marriage today. I feel that as we progress intellectually as a society, many ideas/laws become outdated, but being a tradition based society we refuse to allow our stance on certain ideas/laws to progress as well. (more on this in the Christianity blog soon to follow)