There is More to Life than Getting Married

I’m not anti-marriage.

I am madly in love with Andrew, and I am committed to spending the rest of my life with him. Trust me.

There is no one else. Yet…, anyway. I’m joking, I’m joking.

Apart from a couple of guys. Ha ha ha 🙂 I’m joking, I’m joking.

Call me conventional.  I’m not into polyamorous relationships or orgies or that kind of thing.  A monogamous relationship with Andrew is what I want.

Getting married is cool. It’s romantic.  I LOVE weddings, the photos, the videos, the dancing. All of it. I’ve been honoured to have been invited to each wedding I’ve been asked to attend.

But, for me, that ship has sailed. If I was going to “tie the knot”, it would have happened a while ago. There are lots of reasons why it didn’t.

I’ve been thinking about this lately. I’m getting older and I’m surrounded by people having children.  And, plenty of people who are trying to have children, and…not.  Which has freaked me into thinking more about it.  As well as marriage. Or, the lack of it.

I have friends who have been physically shocked that I might have children without getting married. It’s a values thing I guess. Voluntarily having little bastard children. Anyway, it’s made me try to rationalise my reasons or thoughts behind it. We’ve always wanted to have children.

Maybe if things were different, I would be getting married.  Like, if I lived in a fairy tale.  Maybe. But for now, here’s why I won’t be getting married:

1. I’m Not that Bothered

(See update at the bottom for more on this…)

I know plenty of women who would prefer to throw themselves under a bus rather than not get married. Some have bullied, cajoled or damn right forced their partners to propose to them.  Maybe that’s what I should have been doing, I just wasn’t that bothered.

I know, know. It would have been nice, the white dress, the party, the honeymoon. But, it isn’t going to happen.

It’s a bit sad, but I’m honestly not bothered by it. I know this sounds like I’m trying to convince myself that it’s okay, but I am cool with it.

I’m not sure why.

Andrew and I have never talked about marriage or children. Until recently anyway.

I guess we had better things to do. We’ve always been committed to one another. Marriage was never part of that equation.

I guess early on I did think about it but Andrew’s not a forward thinking type of guy. It’s bothered me a lot, more for financial reasons than anything else. I would feel a bit insecure at times, but the marriage thing was never an issue. Most of my friends didn’t understand, but that’s just what Andrew’s like.  I could argue with him incessantly about his inability to plan or think ahead (which we did) or could accept that he was just not like that and focus on enjoying life. I increasingly chose the latter.

Maybe we don’t love each other enough.

Maybe we are actually not committed to each other.

Maybe we don’t feel worthy of marriage.

Maybe we have deep rooted psychological issues that prevents either of us thinking more than 3 months ahead.

Maybe we shouldn’t be with each other.

Maybe we’re subconsciously trying to justifying not having something we’ve always wanted.

Maybe we haven’t found the right person, and should be with different people entirely.

Who knows people!

Who knows!

2. I’m not religious

A lot of people forget that it started that way. It still is for a lot of people – a religious thing.

Andrew is a bit religious.

To be fair, if he really wanted to get married for religious reasons, or any other reason, then I would do it for his sake. Same applies for visa reasons, or significant tax benefits 🙂 Marriage really doesn’t mean anything to me.

I’m still trying to figure out what I believe in. In my mind, if there is a God, then he knows how much I love Andrew. Getting up and saying some words aloud in front of a few people ain’t going to change that. I still can’t see how it would increase my commitment to him, or him necessarily for me.

I don’t feel that my relationship is not worth any less because we are not married.

3. It’s expensive 

I might one day wake up with a burning desire to spend $40,000+ on one day.

That day is yet to arrive. (So has $40k+ to spend on one day too!)

To be honest, if weddings were cheaper, or we were wealthier and could afford it, I might consider it.

But they’re really expensive. I can’t bring myself to spend all our money on one day right now. There are too many other things I’d rather spend the little money we have on.

We travelled all over the world and took a year off work, for less than most people spend on their wedding day and honeymoon. I wouldn’t trade that.

Maybe if I had more money when I was younger, it would have been a priority.  At the time I was struggling to pay back debt, trying to buy a house (which fell through), and saving to go travelling.  Getting married was not on my wish list in my late twenties.

I know plenty of people who’ve got married and wished they had done things differently. Had a smaller, cheaper, ceremony.  Of course, I could “just get married in a registry office and have a few sandwiches down the pub afterwards“…

Just what I’ve always dreamed of…! (I have expensive taste!)

4. It’s time consuming

The vast majority of people I know who’ve got married have complained vehemently about the pressure, the politics, the stress. How prices double as soon as you mention the word “wedding”. How you’re constantly trying to please other people.  Plus, you have to plan 12-24 months ahead! Which, as you now know, I’m incapable of doing.

Life is short.  I’m already a bit crazy about trying to use my time well, be productive, and focus on the important things.

Do I really want to waste my time in that way? Planning a load of stressful events that I’m not that bothered about in the first place?

5. It’s complicated

The downside of falling in love with someone from the opposite side of the earth, is that half of your family and friends will forever be a world away.

Our friends are mostly in London, Australia and increasingly the US.  Sure, we can have three ceremonies/parties/events whatever.  But that would be even MORE expensive, complicated, and time consuming…

My family is also complicated. Anything that involves alcohol tends to be super stressful, volatile, and explosive.  To be honest, part of me is grateful that our families are worlds apart, they are just so different. I don’t think I would ever feel comfortable about them meeting.  I certainly doubt that I would enjoy the day.

When we first got together, both our families, (and some friends), felt obliged to declare that they wouldn’t be making the journey, if we chose to get married anywhere other than in their country. It was the expense/lack of annual leave/effort/fear of flying/kids, whatever.

That day where you have all your family and friends together for one day – I wish I could have it, but it was never meant to be for us.

6. It wouldn’t change anything

I mean we would be poorer, and I’d have an expensive ring, and some nice photos (I love wedding photos so much! check out this guy and these guys!), which would be cool.

But I still can’t see how getting married to Andrew would make me more committed to him, or more in love.

I don’t know that many people who are happily married. Don’t get me wrong, I know lots of people who are! But also plenty who are in empty relationships, having affairs, or divorced.

Some friends of mine talk about feeling more “together”/“secure”/”certain”/”settled” after getting married. Others feel like it didn’t bring them any closer. Some say it drove them apart.

Andrew and I have always lived together, (we met in a shared house – was convenient when it came to visa applications :)). Most of our finances are tied one way or another.  Things wouldn’t change from that perspective. (To be honest, it would be difficult enough to extricate all that if we chose to split up without getting married).

And I can’t imagine changing my name. I know women who love the idea of being Mrs SURNAME OF HUSBAND. That’s cool, it’s just not for me.  I have nothing against it. Maybe it’s because I’m older? I’ve had this name for over three decades, wouldn’t it be weird if I just changed it?

I might feel a bit more secure if we were married, I get that in a weird sort of way. It would be harder for Andrew to get married to someone else for example. But that doesn’t really sell it to me.

Male friends of mine are horrified that I’m not thinking of marriage.  Most of them confess to wanting to leave their own wives because of the pressure of having children. (Slightly terrifying). So, they’re obsessed with making it as hard as possible for Andrew to leave me if we have children…

Call me romantic, but I don’t want to get married out of fear.

If Andrew wants to leave me, then he should do it. Find someone he wants to be with. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me.

Andrew’s also not a monster, (he thanked me for that). If he decided that he didn’t want to be with me and we had children, he would still be a good father.

Plus worst case – I know a few women who are, and have brought up children on their own. Some were/are married, some weren’t/aren’t. They are amazing. I have no idea how they do it, but they do. It isn’t impossible.

6. We’re too old

Don’t get me wrong I love weddings. I’ve enjoyed every wedding I’ve been too. (Even the ones where the couples should not have got married and everyone knew it…).

The best weddings I went to were the ones in our twenties.  Weddings were few and far between. Everyone was excited. You knew a lot of people. There was a lot more dancing, a lot more partying.

Now couples are lucky if most people haven’t left by 11pm. What’s going on people! (Although, to be fair – I’ve been to a few awesome weddings recently and they were just as good as the ones I went to years ago!).

Get married when you’re younger, don’t wait too long. Do it before you become pre-occupied with finances, assets, children, health. Plan a massive party and have fun.

Also, let’s be honest, you look better when you’re younger, rarely do people age that well!

7. That time has passed

Andrew and I have been together almost 11 years now. That’s a long time.

I think the time to get married is when you’re super excited about being together.  I’m still intensely passionate about Andrew, but we no longer have sex five times a day, (those were good times :)).  We’re not as all over each other as we were nine years ago.

If you’re going to get married, do it during the first few years of being together. There’s still that feeling of novelty, pure excitement and burning romance. A light heartedness that hasn’t been tainted by the seriousness that slowly enters decades of being together.

Or, maybe I’m just lazy. It all sounds like hard work and I just can’t be bothered!

Update

Things have changed for me quite a bit lately 🙂

I’ve spent quite a bit of time wishing that we had got married years ago.

I’m not sure why.

I guess I always believed that Andrew and I would have children and that that would provide the kind of security or reassurance that somebody would be in your life. That we would get married after we had children when we had some money. Maybe that won’t happen…

We definitely don’t have any money to get married now, and we would still need to have at least two weddings…

However, I think I could deal with the family piece which has always stressed me out – mainly by not letting it bother me as much. They may not even turn up anyway.  All that would matter would be there with Andrew and the people I love.

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