ok you guys have convince me of one thing... never to complicate my life with a marriage. I've gone along quite well with having a GF, live out the possibilities, move em in, let em move out and then life goes along seamlessly. now you married people, once you say I do, this mystical set of manacles comes into play. legal, and technical and often religious chains that just make like (edited out). far easier to not marry... once your married you have these "duties" each one is somehow obligated to carry out, where if your just live in buddies... you do it if you please, or of it pleases you, and no expectation is there. If you become a jerk, you lose your home and companionship quick with no chains. married... jeeze you have laws and contractual obligations, legal repercussions, legal responsibility. anyone I've ever dated or lived with, we had none of these "problems" but I can see in retrospect the hell that would have followed if we had gotten hitched. saying I DO clasps a legal monitory obligation to care for the woman when you or she leaves the partnership. if your just shacked up,you leave and no one expects you to pay support. [married women legally seem to lose the ability for self support once married... single, they fend for themselves fine. a mystery of life for sure!] marriage it seems is a real trap.... thanks for pointing out that it isn't worth the hassle. you'd think after seeing my brother cycle through 7 marriages I would have realized this by observation and I did, but I always figured it was some redneck thang... but it isn't. he just knew when to get out and move on. Why do people cling to pointless relationships in marriage that if they were not married wouldn't even be an issue? oh the vows... right. the "before god" thing... right. religion and a code of moral conduct and accepted and taboo actions. these come with the marriage contract. funny thing is before the marriage you had all these same feelings and loyalties, with none of the chains. If you acted like a jerk, you were tossed to the curb. But married it isn't that simple, the mystical spooky language kicks in and well now you cant just leave.... we got vows and god was there and all that. A contractual nightmare. You got kids the man has to continue to support, married or not you still have about the same chance to collect if he wont pay, slim and none. your still on your own. If one wants custody marriage doesn't really matter for parental rights. so other than the worst case scenario complications, marriage has no real constructive use. Your better off just shaking hands and making a pinky promise. when it comes time to get rid of the dead weight, its far easier. Why marry? its a religious and social "thang"... if your religious you think god has to ordain the marriage or you'll go to (edited out), if you are non religious, you do it for the ceremony, and the social bonding. If you care neither for religion, or the social fluff and bother, everyone else badgers you to get married for their reasons. Thinking long and hard the only really happy folks I know are couples who are not married.... and have been for many yrs more than most who took vows. i think the vows just chain you to conformity, and tie you to the legal system of contract law. so thanks ya'll, you reminded me why I never got married and also, you gave my brothers actions validity for dumping dead weight 7 times. Marriage doesn't seem to keep you from being alone, or protect you from abuse, or even secure your economic position in life. It does, however, create a mass of complications, legal and civil. You can have it.... I'll pass.