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Marriage is Bullshit but I Love My Husband

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, how the fuck can you possibly be happily married while thinking marriage is bullshit, right? Well that’s exactly why I’m writing this. To explain how I, a woman who’s married to the an incredible person and who I’d trade for nothing, thinking marriage is bullshit. Mine not excluded.

Please remember this is just my single, individual opinion and does not reflect upon any other married couples OR how i think people should feel. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and sometimes neither opinion is wrong. With that I bring you, what I came here for.

Well let me start out by saying this: I regret getting married. My husband is fully aware of this because we have extremely open communication and I have no fear or reservations about sharing exactly how I’m feeling – including something of this magnitude. My parents divorced, remarried, divorced again and are on their third marriages, with my mom being separated from her current husband and my father having a brief marriage that was annulled (so, sure, it technically doesn’t count – but come on, there’s a pattern here that I sure as hell never wanted to follow).

Then I met my eventually-would-be husband. Probably one the most amazing men on this earth, and anyone who knows him would vouch for that. I learned that he also never wanted to get married. His parents were married until his dad passed away suddenly; he was not from a divorced home, so our backgrounds were completely different, as were our experiences, yet we felt the same way. So from the very beginning of our relationship, we both were open about the fact that neither of us wanted to get married.

Well, along the way, something changed and we did it. We tied the knot, got hitched. We got married. Although, changing most of the traditional vows and removing as much religious tone as possible, we also made it gender neutral, taking out anything that read or implied “man and woman” to “two people.”

Marriage really seems to be rooted in religious beliefs, an institution envisioned as being under god, which makes it a sacred union or coming together. Did I really have to sign my name on a piece of paper that had to be processed through the government to have a union or come together with the person I loved? I finally realized that no, I didn’t.

The benefits of marriage have absolutely nothing to do with love. I’m sorry, but if it did there would be less divorce because one of the benefits of doing this whole marriage thing would be loving each other more, right? Well, that’s some flawed-ass logic if I’ve ever heard any. You can love someone for the rest of your life and never want to be with another person and not have to sign your name to a legally binding contract that not only makes it harder to leave, (though, if you’re going through with something like marriage, let’s hope you plan to work through all problems possible) but I also feel, brands you in ways. Some see marriage as a positive branding, while others see it as a negative branding, which is where this old woman comes in. Oh, and how could I forget: marriage also brings some materialistic benefits”¦

Benefits of being legally married (and I’m sure I’m forgetting some): health insurance if your partner has it, tax breaks, discounts with car insurance, and more. Nothing involving love in my opinion. I often think that this is a large motivation for some to get married these days, not love itself. I mean, really, I can’t rule out the possibility that those were motivators in the question of “what changed in not wanting to ever get married” and that just pisses me off, honestly.

I think to myself, “I have health insurance, got a larger tax refund, and have a discount on my car and renters insurance premium, not because I’m a good person or because I have been charitable, but because I decided to sign my name on a sheet of paper that allows me to check the ‘Married’ box instead of the ‘Single.'”

Those who have unfortunately not been given the right to marry often have to have their own union ceremonies. The tables should be turned. Everyone should be allowed to have the benefits that come with being legally married without having to sign his or her name on a sheet of paper, saying “I promise to love this person.”

Give me a break. Pieces of paper, a ring, a big ol’ expensive reception are all materialistic things that are supposed to “show love.” Show love through actions. And then those who do want to have a big wedding and ceremony and find it important to marry in a church or be surrounded by friends and family would have all the right in the world to do so.

Neither my husband nor I view marriage as some sacred thing. Shocker? It’s probably a shocker because we’ve been raised to view marriage as sanctified and a step in life that everyone should take to “grow up.” I do believe that some part of me got married because it felt like that was what we were “supposed” to do.

Well you know what? I absolutely am in love with my husband, but I fully regret having a wedding that left me feeling bitter for months and legally bound to another person. Yet, I don’t want a divorce, nor do I want to be separated from him, which is, I think, what most would expect when they read, “I regret getting married.” That speculation also causes speculation that our marriage is unhappy, and honestly – I don’t mean to sound nose-in-the-air or whatever – but we actually do have a very happy and healthy relationship because of our communication.

Marriage is for some, if that’s what they want, but I feel like marriage puts you in a box that changes your life in many ways. People will treat you differently, regardless of what they say. Often times, if you’re happily married, then some people believe that you can no longer understand “relationship problems,” and as a woman who’s married, I’ve noticed a big difference in how a majority of my male friends treat me. It has made me very disappointed, to be honest, especially because of the type of relationship my husband and I have.

Neither of us have trust issues; in fact he’s going to Chicago with a female friend from across the country for four days, and they are sharing a hotel room, which I suggested because why not split costs? But see, that’s me talking. A large majority of responses I get about him doing this are more on the negative side of confusion. I’ve been asked if I was worried that something might happen, or how I could possibly be okay with it, and I try my best to explain why I have absolutely no problem, but it always comes down to the other party mentioning cheating. I usually just end it there, because I know I’m in the minority, and say, “If you don’t have trust and communication, you have nothing.”

This is all my personal opinion and, though I hope I haven’t completely offended anyone close to me, I know that my husband is not offended, and he’s the most important person to me regarding this subject.

30 replies on “Marriage is Bullshit but I Love My Husband”

This article is great, I’ve had issues with the ideas behind marriage for a long time now. I’ve seen my mum go through one marriage, which was her third and that was enough to start me questioning marriage’s value in our society. It seems like such a central issue for so many people and has me actually change my behavior (I don’t want to introduce my long term BF to people from my hometown because I KNOW they’ll ask when he’s giving me a ring). In all practicality, if things keep going well with us we’ll probably do the marriage thing but mostly for the benefits mentioned above and it will be a super low-key event where we probably don’t even invite anyone beyond whatever is necessary. Also, I spent a lot of money as a teenager to change my name from my father’s name…I’m not changing it again. Why is that such an expectation still? People say “for the children” but I can’t see that’s a valid argument anymore. Anyway, thanks for this article giving me a sense of serious solidarity with other marriage dubious folks.

Now to share war stories: My husband and I got married when our daughter was almost 2 years old.  We were going to plan some smallish ceremony/reception but one day just decided, screw it, made an appointment at the court house and told our closest family and friends be there or be square.  Nothing has changed in our relationship regarding our feelings for each other, though we’re probably better arguers now, but that would have happened whether we were married or not.  We do enjoy the benefits of being legally married but our reasoning to make it official was for me to change my last name, so my daughter wouldn’t have to wonder why Mommy’s last name is different from her’s.  She’s 8 now and I still haven’t changed my last name.  Oh and we got married without rings.  We eventually got rings, but ones we liked and didn’t cost a small fortune.  The lady conducting the ceremony at the time looked offended!  It was hilarious!

Yeah actually I ended up losing about 80lbs after I got married (gained a little more than half back hah) and eventually my ring was too big and I couldnt wear it anymore and at the time I was doing well with losing weight so I didnt want to get it resized over and over so we decided to just sell it. I also made it very clear that I did not want to spend a bunch of money on a piece of jewelry since I’m really not a jewelry person anyway. My husband was playing with his over his head one night while we were watching tv and it fell behind the couch (this was probably 6 months or more ago haha) and I just recently found it but he’s now used to not wearing one and I’m fine with that.

I VERY VERY VERY recently (as in a couple of weeks) found a cute ring that is just a round band with probably fake gemstones but it was cute, colorful (which fits me) and I liked it so I started wearing it on my ring finger but really, I don’t know that I’ll ever really get another “wedding ring” because at this point, to me personally, it’s just kind of a waste of money that could go to something else.

 

Thank you for this post.  This is exactly how I feel.  I never wanted to get married and my husband wasn’t too keen on the idea either.  However, due to external circumstances, getting married became pretty necessary.  I spent our entire engagement unhappy about it but trying to hide it from everyone else around us.  Four years later and I’m still unhappy that I went along with it instead of trying to find another solution.  I still struggle with the idea that I’m a wife and what being married means, but I know there is a lot that goes along with it that I really don’t like. This part could be me, so much:

I absolutely am in love with my husband, but I fully regret having a wedding that left me feeling bitter for months and legally bound to another person. Yet, I don’t want a divorce, nor do I want to be separated from him, which is, I think, what most would expect when they read, “I regret getting married.”

When I try to explain this to my friends – who did always want to get married and enjoy the status of wife or husband – they tend to assume it means I’m not happy with him, but that’s not it.  I love him completely and I’m happy being with him, I’m just bitter about being a wife.

Thank you very much for your reply and to be honest it’s really  nice to know that I’m not alone in this. Sometimes I feel guilty, but my husband tells me I should not at all because he understands what I’m saying. When I asked him what changed into wanting to get married his response was “I don’t really know” and while some people might take that negatively, I felt quite relieved because I feel like while he may not have the same feelings as strongly as I do, he gets that the “motivators” may have been the benefits and it just rubs me the wrong way, even though we are very happy together and I am reminded of that each day so I try to not feel bitter, but sometimes it just gets to me.

I’m a passive person by nature, the peacemaker really, and just feel like I should have put my foot down since when we finally did decide to get married we wanted to kind of just go off and get married, but many friends and family would not have been able to attend so instead I spent 14 months planning a wedding in another state that, really thanks to my sister was not a disaster, but just the wife thing does get me sometimes.

 

Thank you for sharing this. As far as I’m concerned, as long as we’re talking about consenting adults, everyone who wants to should be able to marry, and anyone who doesn’t want to should not be expected to do so.

I’ve been with my BF (I don’t like the sound of “partner” somehow) for over 10 years, and it’s been a struggle to get some people to respect my indifference towards marriage. There is no real reason behind it, although witnessing my parents’ marriage might count as a legitimate cause for disillusionment. It just seems weird to me when people assume someone, a woman in particular, should want to get married by default. And the more obnoxious insinuations that you’ve somehow failed at life by being unmarried are only pushing me from “indifferent” towards “marriage-averse”. Marriage has just never been in the top 20 or so of things I want to do in my lifetime. Possibly not the top 50, even (I don’t have a clear list of any kind, but I can think of loads of things that seem way more important or fun to try). I like being in a relationship, sure, but I don’t want a wedding, the idea alone makes me feel queasy, and BF seems to be on the same page with me. Thankfully we can fend off pressure by pointing to our permanent brokeness. I’m not in a situation where I or he would benefit from having just the paperwork done, either, the laws here are less pro-marriage than in the US, so no tax benefits, also there are no citizenship issues for us to consider, so far there’s no property to potentially divide, etc. I’m not blind to the privileges that come with being “coupled” in the first place, but my chosen career path doesn’t seem to carry hidden bonuses for heteronormative behaviour like those of my (happily married) brothers.

In short, I’m doing what I think is right for me, and have every intention of carrying on.

 

 

I admire that of you. I think that I got to a point where I thought it was right because, as I said I thought I was “supposed to” as the next “step in life” if you will because up until recently I did A LOT of things in my life because I thought I was “supposed to” and not because they made me happy – but more out of fear of disappointing people I loved (though I’m getting out of that pretty quickly these days it seems).

At the same time I did and still DO have some guilt that I feel the way I feel about being married when I have the privilege to be able to do that in the first place, when there are other couples out there who WANT this and are denied that right. I feel like I seem ungrateful and it’s not that at all, I just can’t help feeling how I do.

Last month was our 3 year wedding anniversary but I was out of state and many people couldnt believe that I would be gone not only over valentines day but my wedding anniversary and while I understand that to some it’s important, for us it wasnt a big deal and the reason I was gone was more important in the long run.

 

 

For me, I guess realizing some pretty major items on that “supposed to do” checklist are hopelessly out of reach for me has made it easier to question it entirely. And well, being naturally stubborn helps too. Still, it’s kind of reassuring that you and others mention feeling bitter afterwards. Rather refreshing to see that instead of the usual “you’ll totally get why it’s better once you’ve taken the leap yourself”. If it works for someone, I’m happy for them (okay, possibly annoyed too, if they’re really smug about it), but I’m just not buying it will work for everyone, at all times.

Having said all that, I should add I’m actually not ruling marriage out completely – I don’t know how things would have gone if BF had been seriously marriage-minded in the first place, as his happiness kind of matters to me, plus life might throw something at us to warrant reconsidering. Or who knows, maybe I just haven’t met the right person yet – stranger things have happened. But no freaking wedding for me if I can at all help it, that part is for sure. (Sorry, grandma!)

Yes! Thanks for this. I’m in the somewhat awkward position of not at all believing in marriage (for many of the reasons you named and several more), and yet, here I am with a shiny thing on my finger and a date in August to stand in front of 80 people who will gush over how pretty I look and how lucky I must be. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal to so many people (well, I do in a way, but logically- no, I don’t get it). But this isn’t really an option in my case either. My parents have been happily (more or less) married for over over 30 years now, but his parents were never married. There was a lot of badness between them, and meanwhile all the aunts and uncles and grandparents who watched out for him and made sure he got through all right were, and still are, happily married. He needs this in a way that I can’t imagine. We actually talked about it a few months ago when I started freaking out over not wanting to get married, and couldn’t we just not and still be equal partners like we already ARE? No. That would be a deal-breaker. He offered to postpone it until I feel better about it, but I know time isn’t going to make a difference. I still don’t know if I’m really okay with that. But like you say of yours, he’s an amazing person- if he needs this and I figure we’re already together for a long long time (I’m loath to say forever), then fine, I can make that concession.

I’m also really glad that you mentioned that you felt bitter for months afterwards. Haven’t done it yet, but I’m already a little bitter and have been really afraid that it’s only going to get worse during and after the actual wedding.  I’m really not a fan of being the center of attention, nor of being obligated to stand in front of everyone to make my lifelong commitment to another person legitimate. I really hate obligations. I hate that I now get to expect people to treat me differently after I’m married, too. I know I’m going to get flack over not changing my name- at least until the more traditional members of our respective families either forget or shuffle off. But then there will be the multitudes of people who will assume that I did, that will ask me why I didn’t, that will silently judge me into perpetuity (or so I assume).

Yes, I will pull it together, smile, wear a dress, and be a bride, but there is also a significant part of me that is displeased with the whole fiasco.

I will admit that the bitterness for the most part is gone (I mean I guess I can’t hold on to it forever you know? haha) but when I look at a lot of my wedding pictures I do feel that tinge of bitterness again but really these days I just avoid looking at most wedding pictures and do try to remember the few good things because there WERE some good things. Just the entire thing in general is what I had the issue with and truthfully didnt realize the magnitude of how I felt until AFTER.

 

 

Sometimes the idea of marriage doesn’t seem so bad, but I wonder if I would be very similar. I just don’t feel any real “need” to do it, and I feel like society is trying to bribe me into it with the promise of tax breaks and health insurance and things.

I have a niggling feeling that it will have to happen at some point because of all the health insurance stuff, but that doesn’t make me happy.

Thanks for this. I enjoyed reading your take on the topic. I’m about to start planning my wedding to a man I love, a man who I truly hope to spend the rest of my life with. I never thought I’d get married, but meeting him changed my mind. (And the financial benefits are an important consideration). However, I am still very uncomfortable with the religious and patriarchal aspects of marriage. It’s also weird to me that some of his family members have just assumed that I would change my name after having had my own for well over 30 years. I have nothing against changing your name, but it’s not for me, and I don’t look forward to correcting people.

 

Yes, that’s also something I hate about the whole marriage thing. If we were to get married and someone ever DARED to refer to the BF and I as Mr. and Mrs. (his full name), I would throw a fucking FIT. Even if I DID change my last name, which isn’t going to happen. (If anyone was going to change their name with the two of us, it would be him.)

There’s so many freaking assumptions about it. A professor of mine once talked about how people broached the question of whether he and his wife would have a second child. When they asked him, they asked, “Are you going to have another one?” When they asked her, they asked, “When are you going to have another one?”

I think if I never got married, I would be happy.

Ugh! Yeah, we have talked about how to explain our decisions to some of the more traditional members of his family. We are both academics, so I have the out of explaining that I am already known professionally and published under my name. The kid thing is a whole ‘nother topic. I think I’m also going to scapegoat my career on that one and say it would derail my changes at a tenure-track ’cause I’m just starting out. (Obviously it IS manageable if very difficult to be a mom in academia, but they will accept that excuse, I think and it makes me sound like I’m all nobly dedicated to my career, not that I’m some kind of freak-woman who doesn’t want to have babies).

As soon as we got married the kid questions got rampant. He and I have chosen not to ever have children, and apparently lots of people can’t seem to understand that and keep thinking that we’ll “change our mind” even though we’re 30+.

I didn’t feel the need to explain it to anyone but the Mister. We got a return address stamp for our wedding thank you notes that says “Hislastname & Mylastname” on the name line (hee, sometimes it reminds me of a law firm), and that was the end of the discussion. When pressed, I responded, “Oh, I’m not changing my name.” That’s it. The end. I figured the minute I started trying to justify myself to them (his family or mine), I would have to do it for the rest of my life, and that wasn’t something I wanted to do. When someone addresses me as BBC Hislastname, I politely correct that it’s Mylastname, but that’s it.

I know that approach doesn’t work for everyone, but I have found that treating it as the matter-of-fact and personal decision that it is has helped people get over it much more quickly than if I’d had a long back and forth about my reasons.

Please dont get me wrong in terms of thinking “regret” means I am unhappy because I am far from it. Just as someone who never wanted to get married I feel like I somewhat failed in standing MY ground and gave in to what I felt was “supposed” to happen.

Also, I made SURE that we were not announced as Mr. and Mrs. L.  Our officiant, she just said “I now welcome you the newly married couple, A & T” (our first names).

 

Yes- I made sure to mention that to the officiant who’ll be marrying us this summer. I am not Mrs. anything. Do not introduce me as such.

I’m totally using my professional/academic status as an excuse. I’ve published stuff. I’m getting my PhD (he isn’t). But really, I just don’t want to. Changing the woman’s family name was a patriarchal ownership move. Just the assumption that of course I’d change my name is enough to make me not do it to spite convention. I think I’d consider it if we could just mash our last names and both change them. But he didn’t seem real positive on that when I mentioned it as a possibility.

I didn’t change my last name when we got married a couple years ago, and it boggles my mind that some people just don’t get it. We tried to open a bank account to deposit checks we had gotten from the wedding that were written out to Mr. and Mrs. Husbands name, and the bank didn’t want to deposit them because it wasn’t the last name on the account. We eventually came to the compromise that I would sign the back “Kym husband’s last name”, and then they would do it. It was ridiculous. Seriously? In all these years they had never run into a married couple in this situation?

We received a wedding invitation addressed to Mr. and Mrs. husband’s last name the other day, and I said, “oh look, honey, how nice, they invited you and your mom!”

So, long story short, stick to your guns and do what is right for you. You will always have to correct people, but at the end of the day, there are worse problems to have. My SUPER conservative in-laws, who I thought would be totally upset, have actually been really cool about the whole thing, thank goodness.

I changed my name and part of me really regrets it.  I went back and forth on the decision for months and finally decided to do it because I knew it would make him happy.  I kept my maiden name and added his last name on after it, but there are times when I wish I hadn’t done it at all.

I went through a period especially when I first wrote this (I wrote this a while ago but shared it with only a very few because I was concerned how it would be received) where I really regretted changing my last name. That has since passed somewhat because even though legally my maiden name is not attached, I often use it hyphenated anyway. For me it’s not a big deal because I don’t have anything published in my name or any sort of career or academic reason to need my maiden name, it was more because I am extremely close with my dad and it’s his last name and my dad has always been my rock and I just felt like I didnt want to erase that part of me (for lack of better words here). I know it might sound like a silly reason.

I don’t think that’s a silly reason at all.  For me, a big part of it has to do with me being adopted.  It was like, I’m not blood related to my family, but we were still bonded and that name was a symbol of that.   Then, of course, there’s also the part where I felt like I was caving into an expectation I didn’t really think was fair and I resented that.

My husband is an atheist and I kind of just refer to myself as apathetic (I’m probably more agnostic but the truth is that I just don’t really care either way) so the religious aspect of things was a must change as well as, for our personal beliefs, the “man and woman” part. Our officiant was really great in letting us basically reword everything, so I’m grateful for that.

A lot of interesting points here. I look at Mr. Cesy and think, “Yes I would like to marry you”, but I’m not sure how turning up for a fancy ceremony would make our relationship any different. We’re already incredibly committed to one another in various ways. Hell, I’m getting up in the middle of the night tomorrow to watch him play an instrument I don’t care for in the cold. He’s just given me some money to buy roller skates so I can carry on with something I enjoy. After 3 years living together, the law will treat us like a married couple if we separate and we’ll have to share our stuff out (half of nothing is still nothing though!).

Another thing I’ve found recently is people saying “Ooooh you can’t have kids until you’re married”. Why not? My ovaries don’t need to know there is a ring on my finger to send out an egg that may become fertilised. So many of the notions of marriage are out-dated and they’re very hard to reconcile in this day and age. I think we will get married at some stage, it will just be on our own terms.

Yip, the Property (Relationships) Act in NZ states that de facto couples of any sex living together for 3 years come under the community property regime we have here. However the only real realisable asset we have are his bagpipes, which remain his property because they’ve never been used for the relationship! So it must be love, there’s no money here!

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