Gransnet forums


Marriage is different

(8 Posts)
absentgrana Tue 30-Aug-11 16:33:37

AIBU to believe that there is a qualitative difference between being married and living together? I don't doubt that many unmarried, long-lasting and serious partnerships are valid, loving and caring, but I think there is a difference between that and making marriage vows. There is something quite astonishing, solemn and serious about hearing yourself swear out loud, if you really mean it, to love someone and cherish them for the rest of your life in front of witnesses and, possibly family and friends. Of course marriages fail (my first one did in spite of every effort to preserve it) but marriage makes you feel that there is something worth working to preserve – and, of course, it's much harder to undo.

greenmossgiel Tue 30-Aug-11 17:12:14

I think I have to differ (personally) with this, absentgrana. The circumstances of how the unmarried partnerships come about have to be taken into account. In my own case, I fell in love - hook, line and sinker with the man I'm still with after 41 years. Both of us had been hurt (myself in a most drastic way, both physically and psychologically), in our first marriages. He cared for me, and he was my crutch through so much in the immediate months following our 'getting-together'. His being older than me by 11 years, at first seemed to make me feel safe, then as time went on, where family had said 'it won't last, there's too big an age difference', we realised that there was no need whatsoever to cement our relationship by marrying. We have always had something 'worth working to preserve' and although perhaps legally 'harder to undo', emotionally it would be just as hard. He relies on me now, not through ill-health, thankfully, but because he's not the most confident of people. We have sworn out loud, not in front of witnesses, but to each other, that everything that we have come through has meant so much that we're bound together by it. In other words, if we could get through all that, then we could get through anything! It's not all been rosy, but it's been strong. smile

Baggy Tue 30-Aug-11 17:45:31

That's lovely, green. I was going to agree with absent — why else would I be married? — but I married MOG because he wanted to be married. I think it made him feel I'd stick. I left my first husband after 17 years, so I'm not sure how he worked that out. But I empathised with how he felt so it seemed to matter. We had a very simple marriage ceremony in a registry office. One friend of his came, my two daughters and a mutual friend. It was very moving making the vows. I hadn't felt this first time round (also a registry office but a few more people).

However, it doesn't bother me one jot that DD1 hasn't married the father of GS. They live as a family and already talk about when they retire together!!!!!

MrsJamJam Tue 30-Aug-11 18:07:05

I've always felt that marriage was essential when you have children together, not just for the emotional stability but for legal security. But now we have a nephew and partner who will definitely never marry, have two delightful daughters, and look like they will be together forever. So I guess its up to individuals and we all have different views. And I'm happy to state mine, but hope I never impose them on others.

harrigran Tue 30-Aug-11 22:21:28

I could not have stayed with a man who would not marry me, to me that would have been an insult. Thankfully it was never going to happen because DH has always been a stickler for what is good and fair. Let's face it, to be married in the eyes of God and the congregation is good too.

Sbagran Tue 30-Aug-11 23:24:57

Good for you both MrsJamJam and harrigran! - have been married to my old fella for 34 years this coming weekend - Regrets we've had far far more than a few - but I feel sure that because we had made vows before God and all those present at the wedding we were determined to get through whatever fell before us and we have. We had staying power!
However, daughter made the same vows when she married the biggest idiot on the planet "because he makes me laugh" she said! For numerous reasons far too many to go into, six years later she simply had to get rid for her sake and for the safety of out two adorable GC. I agree so much with harrigran re being married in the eyes of God and firmly believe in the sickness and health, richer for poorer etc but never impose that on others as - shown by daughters case - it sometimes simply doesn't work.
I do feel however that it is far too easy these days to repeatedly marry and divorce or flit from from one relationship to another. Siblings sometimes have several different fathers between them and that cannot be good. There doesn't seem to be anything sacred in relationships these days or am I just a very ancient 61 year old!!!

absentgrana Wed 31-Aug-11 10:14:38

My feeling is that your commitment to each other can, of course, be intense and long-lasting whether you're married or not. It's just that somehow saying it out loud to each other on a (relatively) solemn occasion makes you more aware of it, gives it a greater sense of reality or some such feeling. I'm really a bit vague about why I feel there is a difference, but I do. However, I'm not criticising anyone who doesn't or didn't feel that marriage was necessary or wanted in their relationship

glammanana Wed 31-Aug-11 22:58:46

I feel that my DH and I would have been together even if we did not make that vow to each other 38yrs ago,but we did and it lasted and we have a good life together,but i do feel that you do not need to be married to share a long term relationship I don't feel you need a piece of paper to bind two people together it take's much more than that, Oh Sbagran your xSIL was not the only "biggest idiot on the planet" I am sure my DD must have married his brother!!