What are your views on what constitutes a marriage?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by jen74145, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,375
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    So, recent threads have me wondering what, and WHY, people believe what they do.

    I believe any irrevocable commitment between a man and woman, in which God is involved, is marriage. Have never seen why the government needed to be involved in it, or when and why it was deemed necessary. Really don't see how it became a contract between the state and a couple, I'm more of the view that if you want to keep it between the two of you and God, that's great. Yet, people have such a problem with something that is not their business!

    For example, hubby and I have different last names, as we haven't had any official ceremony, and I don't see the need to change mine until we decide to have children. However, during our church hunting, I cannot tell you how many women, upon hearing our differing names, gave me a look of total disgust, an up-and-down glance of derision, and a lip-curled, "Ohh..."
    It always boggled me that many of these women had had affairs, treated their husbands as less than men, divorced and remarried more times than I care to count... yet somehow our commitment is less than their current relationship because we don't have some official document stating we are a couple?

    Other than this, I have very traditional views... hubby is the head of our home, and has final say... but we generally discuss things together and come up with the most sensible resolution. We belong to each other, and will never separate... sure, there are days we could cheerfully wring each other's necks, days we're both crabby and not much fun to be around, but they pass. Our commitment does not, and will not, so why all the fuss over a piece of paper? :shrug:
    I'm the beneficiary of his insurance funds and such, so financial reasons aren't yet in play for us... when we decide to have children, we will have the official ceremony so I can get on his insurance (and partially to get people off our backs, I will not have my children ever hurt over something this ridiculous!), and I'll change my name... Till then, I just don't see the need.

    I'm really still trying to figure all this out, and would like other's views on this subject. Let's all be nice, please! :)
    Jen... (who wonders how long this will stay civil)
     
  2. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,431
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    2 commited people, If you need a peice of paper to be commited then get one. Give and take, some times he gets the last word, some time I do.
    In this day and age with out the legal paper too many guys are running off leaving the lady high and dry. So my recomendation is get the paper.
     

  3. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,961
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Georgia
    You can call your husband your hudband,b ut if you don't have that peice of paper, you are not legally married. Try getting on his insurance without that peice of paper. If something terrible should happen to him, try taking him off life support or keeping him on if his family wants the opposite of you. There has to be some legal way of keeping up with things. My question is if you are in love and have committed to one another, why not make it legal. My 15 yr. old can drive my truck as good as I can, but I don't let her drive off the property because she doesn't have a license. We have to wait until she gets her learner's permit. I could argue the point, but it makes no difference. The police would just say, Miss, go get her a learner's permit so she can legally drive with you or another adult in the vehicle. So I really don't understand the point of not getting married. I don't know if you're old enough to remember the old Curtis Blow song, "It's Like That and That's the Way It is". Some things are just what they are and you making your silent protest will not change them.
     
  4. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

    Messages:
    5,398
    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    SW Missouri near Branson (Cape Fair)
    Dr. Laura says :rolleyes: that by having a marriage ceremony you are making a declaratory statement to family, friends, loved ones and the community that you are willing to commit to a life-long relationship with this person. You are willing to be accountable, not only to each other, and God, but to them, that you will obey the covenants that you are making.

    It is easy to have a commitment to each other and even in the eyes of your God, but it is much harder to have a commitment that everyone who is important to you has heard come out of your mouth. The thing is. It doesn't mean that the commitment is any stronger or more sincere *but* it shows the other party and everybody else that you are serious enough to make the open declaration.

    Personally, I would rather have a strong, loving, sincere relationship with someone I am not married to than have a terrible, unfulfilling relationship with a husband. I am lucky because I have both, but not everyone is that lucky.

    My philosophy is not to judge other people's choices of lifestyle. Everybody must do what is right for them.

    And by the way, having children is not any more automatic or necessary in a relationship than having a "legal" marriage ceremony! Life can be equally enjoyable, meaningful and fulfilling with or without them. Think about it.

    donsgal
     
  5. Beaners

    Beaners Incubator Addict

    Messages:
    3,111
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    My husband and I also referred to ourselves as married before we had that paper. You can bet that we acted the same then as we do now that we are actually married.

    People that worry more about what things say on paper than actions tell a lot about themselves. As long as you truly are acting as though you are married, you are married. If you have the piece of paper but "your wallet wakes up on different nightstands" you are not in a marriage in my opinion.

    And as for the name change, one of my friends growing up had parents with two different last names. They were married but for some reason her mom never changed her last name. Thinking back on it, I expect she got the same reactions from the "tongue-cluckers." People are dumb.

    Kayleigh
     
  6. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    If it's not that big of deal, why didn't you just get married in the first place?
     
  7. lonelytree

    lonelytree Guest

    Some people think that the only marriage is the one in their narrow views. Unfortunately, not all marriages comply with the traditional man/woman situation. My personal feeling are that since not all people are the same not all marriages can be the same. People need to realize that they only have a short time on Earth. What they do with their time is up to them.
     
  8. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,375
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    Sancraft:
    I don't give a hoot about being LEGALLY married... doesn't bother me. It's not a "silent protest"... it's what is right for us, and I truly think by keeping it just between us and God, our relationship is deeper than it would be if we caved to all the screechers.
    Bob:
    I think you missed something... I don't believe the state is the one to say whether a couple is married or not... God has to be in it, and is he is, why do you need anything else? :shrug:

    What's right for you is what is right for you... but I just want to understand.
     
  9. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    S.E. Ks.
    I wouldnt put much stock in doc laura she talks alot but doesnt practice what she preaches.
    there is legal marriage , and then there is Marriage
    Marriage involves love, legal marriage doesnt require it.
    The biggest problem is far to many mistake lust for love.
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    The purpose of the ceremony is multi-fold:
    Number one, since we have forsaken listening to our parents and their advice (sometimes wisely, if they aren't godly parents) we should seek the counsel of some wiser, older, godly person for their opinion on our chosen mate. Too many times we think that while we are "twitter-pated" (to borrow a phrase from the illustrious thumper) we don't think clearly and it thus leads to divorce rates among christians like we see today. Genesis 24:3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: Abraham, sends his servant to find and acceptable wife. Even Samson, the judge who delivered Israel by his God-given strength was required to have his parents to find a wife for him, he made them chose an ungodly wife for him.

    Number two, the marriage vows have ALWAYS been a public ceremony and a time of great rejoicing. In fact, Christ uses Marriage as a symbol of his relationship with the church (his bride) and even goes as far as to state there will be a ceremony in heaven (the marriage supper of the lamb) Divorce was always public also.

    Number three, the marriage is a social contract, set in motion by God to for the sake of preserving an heritage and a provable lineage, without such, socially and legally, Jews who didn't preserve this were cut off from the rest of Israel and no longer part of God's chosen people. Deuteronomy 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

    Number four, Jesus thought marriage (yup the ceremony) was important: John 4:16-18 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. Notice than even though this woman was obviously involved with many husbands... Jesus didn't consider the one she was currently with to be her husband.

    Number Five, man has consistently tried to change God's laws on marriage, and yet God didn't change his law. His law is consistent. Isaiah 62:5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. The bridegroom is the ceremonial title of the husband to be. It was very important for the purpose of showing that although the couple intended to be together, that they had not solemnized this vow before God, their friends, family and the community around.
    Number six, fornication was defined by whether a man or woman had sex without having had a marriage ceremony.


    I could go on, but biblically speaking let's look at the greatest marriage, which is yet to come:

    Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

    I am glad you honor the portions of the Bible that you do, and God, who is a forgiving God, can give you a great and wonderful marriage, but I think you are wrong.
     
  11. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,187
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    The only difference between a man and a woman living together without a piece of paper, and a man and woman living together with a piece of paper, is the piece of paper.

    Unfortunately, in some countries, that piece of paper can make a world of difference to the rights of either party to the arrangement when it comes to things like inheritance, financial obligation, etc. If these are of concern to you, best to check with a legal-eagle. It's good to know your rights and obligations whether you are worried or not.

    Any children from the relationship can have any name you decide to give them. It can be your name, your partner's name, or the name of your local football club, if that rocks your boat. Many people I know get around this minor problem by joining their names -eg Smith-Jones. I quite like that idea, actually. Children do not make a marriage (quite often they break it!). They are often just the result of it. You do not need a piece of paper in the drawer, or a ring on your finger, to make babies. Ask any doctor.

    I don't think any deity comes into it at all, ever. I think the laws are there for the protection of either or both parties to a marriage, but in most modern laws there are also protections written in for the unmarried couples.

    Strictly speaking, most marriages are a business arrangement, designed primarily for the protection of any children it might produce. That would apply in almost any culture in the world, though it might take many forms. A little study of anthropology would be beneficial to a lot of people. Interestingly, Love doesn't often enter into the equation, but of course in Western cultures, it is very desirable - though it's definitely not necessary. Most relationships which begin with Love end up with a minor affection - or downright contempt!! If the statistics are correct.

    I think you've already made a public declaration, and been through a ceremony, though small-minded or old-fashioned people might think otherwise. We have to assume you TOLD assorted family and friends of your intentions - isn't that declaration enough? The Ceremony of Moving Your Furniture was undoubtedly very public! Signing your lease or the deeds of your home was also a very public ceremony, leaving nobody in doubt as to what was happening, and satisfying all legal requirements for cohabitation at the property concerned.

    If you're happy with the arrangement you have, and in your relationship, then don't let anybody pressure you to put it on any other footing. Kids included.
     
  12. COSunflower

    COSunflower Country Girl Supporter

    Messages:
    4,209
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    Spiritual marriage is more important than legal marraige in my mind but legal marriage is needed in case trouble arises and there is a dispute about financial issues, child custody etc. I would never buy a house or committ to any other financial committment together unless we were legally married for my own financial safety. Health issues also - you cannot have a hand in your SO health care unless you are legally married and that can be a disaster in case of an accident or other emergency and vice-versa. So many issues to consider in this modern world. Makes a person scared to get serious about someone!!!
     
  13. hrslvrtrailridr

    hrslvrtrailridr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Personally I believe in marriage and I believe in the recognition of it by the state with a piece of paper stating it. It is a public testimony to your commitment. Less than that is just two people (or I suppose more) living together, a verbal commitment that can easily be broken on any whim. Dividing a "papered marriage" is more difficult than a "verbal" one. I also believe marriage in itself is spiritual, after all it requires your innermost being to love your spouse and commit your life to the relationship.
    Yes, marriages fail and bad things happen in them but this can happen in any relationship including friendships, families, business relationships, all which are important aspects of our lives.
    You may have a very committed relationship with each other but there is a lot of other folks who start out with the same intentions that end up bouncing around every couple years into new relationships. Is this truly committed?
    If you make it more difficult for people to get divorced then maybe they would give marriage more thought before they do it.
    I think the world is against any true committed, respectful relationships including marriage. United we stand, divided we fall.
     
  14. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,724
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    I agree, that pc. of paper can prevent a lot of headaches. I had friends who lived together for 7yrs. They each had children from other relationships, that lived full time with them. We never thought of them --anything but married. Then he was shot four times-once in the head, twice in the chest and once in the stomach. They weren't sure he was going to live. The hosp. would not give her any information--nothing about his condtion even after six month. She could not make ANY decisions about his care. They would not let her in intensive care--for months and months. She had to return his children to his ex--who is not worthy of taking care of my dogs--his disablity checks were going to the ex to support his children... His parents (76+yrs. and had not seen him in 6yrs...)were making decisions. They took control of his car, lived in their house (she was taken out by police) and used 'his' money to support themselves while he was recovering! After about six months he stated talking and given rehab---Guess who took care 100% of him for the next yr...broke and working 12-16hrs. a day????(His parents 'left' and his siblings had long returned to their own lives.) First thing they did when he had fully recovered??? They got married at the courthouse.Nothing but legal for them...everything is by the book! .Get the paper!!!!!
     
  15. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Messages:
    3,471
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    For me, marriage is two people who are commited to each other enough to get the legal piece of paper. Without going through the legality, I only see enough commitment to shack up, not to be married. Not that it doesn't take a fair amount of commitment to even do that, but not the full commitment legal marriage takes. That's my opinion, and I realize that many will disagree. That's okay, too.

    Meg
     
  16. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

    Messages:
    3,107
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Milton, New Hampshire
    I believe that marriage is a social arrangement between two people (not necessarily male and female) that agree to work together and go through life as a partnership. As someone posted eariler, not all people are alike so all marriages are not alike either.

    To me, a marriage signifies something where if the going gets tough, you need to work through the differences ~ I think that only makes the bond and the arrangement stronger. :)
     
  17. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    606
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Marriage is a legal contract between two people. Any allusion to it being appropriate only in the case of one man and one woman amounts to religious or moral opinion. Marriage was once a religious institution. This is no longer the case. The prevalence of divorce, the lack of requirement for a religious officiant, and the involvement of the government in issuing licenses has rendered it a secular event. This is not to say that individuals can not place religious significance on the marriage contract, just that it is not inherently a religious activity. There are practical reasons to marry outside of religion. Financial and legal reasons. Secular reasons.

    There is no reason to expect that opening marriage to any combination of genders stipulates a marital free for all. There are practical, non-religious considerations to not considering marriage to multiple partners as there are to not considering inter-species marriages. If there is any threat to the sanctity ( read religious significance) of marriage, it lies in the slow secularization of the contract that has occurred over the last hundred years.

    I do believe that it makes more sense to be legally married if a person is in a relationship where that sort of commitment exists. It provides legal rights that otherwise would not be given. It provides control over aspects of the arrangement that would not exist if there were no legal contract. I would not want my family making decisions for me at the expense of my wife.
     
  18. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,375
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    I don't know why people try to make this so complicated. Sure there are a lot of legal, religious, and traditional ramifications to the subject. But technically, the term "marriage" is defined as two becoming one....that's it....end of question. A synonym would be the word, "united."
     
  19. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    You can make it out to be whatever you want.

    If you want it to be a legal marriage (for access to health benefits, assets, legally-binding contracts and the like), then you have to register with the government.

    If not, then skip that part. Just don't get mad when you realize you have no legal rights as a wife (until common-law status kicks in - I don't know all the details of that).

    /VM
     
  20. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

    Messages:
    2,786
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Susquehanna, PA
    I always wondered about that myself. DH and I lived together for 14 years before we were married to each other legally. But in our hearts, our homes, our daily lives and behaviors and in our community, we were man and wife. DH has always referred to me as his wife and I have always referred to him as my husband. No one ever questioned us except his mother.

    However, you must understand, when we moved in together, we were both still "legally married" to people we hadn't lived with in years. His first wife had disappeared with her boyfriend, leaving him with an 18 month old daughter and a broken heart. My first husband beat the snot out of me so I left him. The county would not grant us a divorce while he was in jail, and he was in jail a loooong time.
    Every time he filed for a divorce from his first wife, she moved again. Because there was a child involved, we had more stress than can be believed. We were repeated sued by the state for child support for her because "fathers dont get custody of daughters", even though she lived in our home! When the divorce finally got into court, she came back and tried to take the child, who was then 15 years old, in order to get him back-was told "I HAVE a wife thank you." Through all of this, no one ever questioned our commitment to each other. We had always intended a religious ceremony of union at some point. However, all legal entanglements had to be dealt with first and that took years. We never wavered. I always understood that where it counted the most-deep in his soul- I was his wife.

    When we got that piece of paper? We were grandparents! We laughed for pure joy the whole day. We cried in each other's arms that night. It didn't change anything for us, just for those who were there. We were always married. His mother still doesn't accept that, but that is her issue and she can deal with it or not as she sees fit.

    If you intend to wait to "legallize" your union, protect the spiritual one. Set up living wills that name the other as care taker and next of kin. There are legal forms you can include in your medical files that mean the hospital has to allow you to care for your own. Sign a waiver of your HIPPA rights for your spouse only and insert it in your file. Write your wills, increase your insurance and put everything in both names. Leaving anything in just your husband's name increases the odds that his family or the court will divest you of it at the time when you need security most. Keep some money aside in a single signature account for just such an occasion, as you will not be able to access his pay or benefits while he is unable to communicate. Protect yourself as you would in any other partnership. Work for the best, but prepare for the worst.

    And when the time is right for you, and you have that public ceremony that makes you oh-so-acceptable to others, remember that I was cheering for you the whole way for being true to what is right for you.