Top 5 Reasons Not to Get Married.

Via Krystal Baugher
on Feb 8, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

rules happy marriage

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

When I go back home for the holidays it doesn’t take long to run into a surly relative or an old friend who feels the need to ask,

“When are you getting married?”

To which I always reply,

“I’m not.”

Yes, I have been with my partner for almost five years.

Yes, I love him.

But guess what I don’t love..? Marriage.

Here are 5 Reasons I’m Not Getting Married.

1) The Pains of Patriarchy

I, for some reason, agreed to be in my best friend’s wedding (and no, it doesn’t turn out anything like the Julie Roberts movie).

I thought that if I could respect her decision to marry she could respect my decision not to, but I forgot about all the other people who go to those sorts of things. I’m sitting next to her dad while photos are being taken. He leans over and asks the dreaded question, “So, when will it be your turn?” I reply that I have no plans to do such a thing. He says, “Oh, you just haven’t met the right guy yet.”

Right. I’ve just been hanging out with some dude for the last four years that I only sort-of kind-of like. And until Mr. Put-a-Ring-On-It comes riding up on his white stallion to take me away, well, this other dude will have to do. (?!?)

And then my best friend’s dad walks her down the aisle and “gives her away.” Like what happens in every traditional wedding ceremony.

This ritual, both historically and symbolically, gives the woman away as if she is a piece of property that a man is privileged enough to own.

A man’s hand to another man’s hand.

And we continue to do this ritual even though it’s saturated with inequality and starts off the marriage unbalanced.

Don’t even get me started on certain sayings like “man and wife,” which allows the man to be whatever he wants but labels the woman immediately to one specific role.

I don’t find it necessary to participate or support this type of institution (I no longer attend weddings, either). And though many married people have chosen alternatives to these traditions and rituals, when one says they are “married” it carries the weight of patriarchy whether the couple wants it to or not—as well as the weight of sexual acceptability.

As Judith Butler says in her book Undoing Gender,

“For a progressive sexual movement, even one that may want to produce marriage as an option for non-heterosexuals, the proposition that marriage should become the only way to sanction or legitimize sexuality is unacceptably conservative.”

By participating in marriage I feel as if I would be taking part in legitimatizing and accepting the power dynamics that already exist—the power dynamics that keep us all oppressed. And why would I want to do that?


2)  I must find my prince and ride off into the sunset?

When I was a little girl I never dreamed of the picture perfect wedding. When I closed my eyes I didn’t see a big puffy white dress—nope, not me. In my fantasy I was decked out in a blue sequin mini-dress. My long blonde hair flew wild to the beat of loud music. I was surrounded by beautiful people—everyone loving me, me loving everyone. I don’t know why I never pictured myself in a big fluffy white dress. I guess I thought they were ugly. And I thought being a rock star would be more interesting than being a wife. But many little girls do dream (and dream and dream) of the perfect wedding day (if you ever watch TLC, examples abound).

photo <> Guilherme Tavares

The idea of finding our “one true love” is embedded in us all from a very early age. Watch any Disney movie, see the princess being saved by the prince, followed by the “happily ever after” marriage. (Because in fairy tale land, life ends after the “I do’s”.)

In shoptalk, we feminists call this heterosexual normativity—the practice of encouraging people to fit within heterosexual strict standards of being monogamous, married, usually protestant/Christian, usually white, usually middle/upper class while shunning and making feel guilty those who do not. Examples of heteronormativity are everywhere from Hallmark cards to sitcoms to algebra questions to pop music… Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with woman/man love, of course, what is wrong is making it out to be the only thing that’s right.

One of my favorite theorists, Gayle Rubin, writes in “Thinking Sex,”

“Most of the discourses on sex, be they religious, psychiatric, popular, or political, delimit a very small portion of human sexual capacity as sanctifiable, safe, healthy, mature, legal, or politically correct. The ‘line’ distinguishes these from all other erotic behaviours, which are understood to be the work of the devil, dangerous, psychopathological, infantile, or politically reprehensible. Arguments are then conducted over ‘where to draw the line’, and to determine what other activities, if any, may be permitted to cross over into acceptability.”

These sorts of power dynamics keep people from reaching their true potential and restrict people from enjoying life to its fullest degree.

In other words, I’m looked down upon because I just want to wear my blue sequin mini and “whip my hair back and forth” instead of fulfilling my duty to be “princess” for a day (and wife for my life).

Marriage is the pinnacle of heteronormativity, and I don’t feel comfortable supporting it. Though I am currently with a “man,” not getting married is one way we keep our relationship “queered.”


3) Monogamy, Monotony

My grandparents on my mother’s side have been married for 50 years. My grandmother on my father’s side has been married 13 different times.

I don’t believe that everyone is monogamous, or that everyone should be. I think the world would be a much more beautiful place if we were all more accepting and open to other ways of love.

photo <> Katia Dametto

Supposedly around 50% of marriages end in divorce, and the percentage gets even bigger by the second marriage.

So, let me just reinforce this point: half of the people who tie the knot end up needing to untie it later—and usually it’s a really tight knotty knot that is difficult and expensive to untangle.

And I’m the weirdo for not wanting to be a part of that?

People get married because they’re told over and over again that this is the way it’s done, and yet over and over again it isn’t being done right (and obviously not for the right reasons).

Why do marriages fail? Perhaps they weren’t supposed to be together forever to begin with, perhaps they’re too limiting, perhaps the couple lacked necessary communication skills, perhaps the love juices ran out, perhaps…

Perhaps it’s because the institution of marriage is not for everyone.

And it’s about time we all accept it, and accept the people who don’t want to do it—even and especially if we happen to be one of those people.

4) Benefits for Whom?

Too many people I know have gotten married for the benefits. And I’m not talking about the benefits of a long loving relationship; I’m talking about literal benefits, such as health care.

Isn’t it gross that the health care system in America functions in a way that requires its citizens to maintain a heteronormative lifestyle in order to utilize it fully?

Kathleen Hanna, poster-grrrl for the riot grrrl movement, a 90’s feminist *F*-the-establishment movement, got married for the insurance. This breaks my heart.

I don’t think health care should be a high priority for a major decision like marriage.

It sort of comes off as a nonchalant choice—like egh, why not, it will save us $500 a year, might as well.

photo <> Francis Bijl

But what is most disturbing is the fact that the state legitimizing people who are married over everyone else. Because married couples get better benefits, marriage itself becomes justifiable (even if half of marriages end). As Butler says,

“The state becomes the means by which a fantasy becomes literalized: desire and sexuality are ratified, justified, known, publicly instated, imagined as permanent, durable. And, at that very moment, desire and sexuality are dispossessed and displaced, so that what one “is” and what one’s relationship “is,” are no longer private matters.”

When one marries for benefits one basically says, “yes state, you can control me and my sexuality.”

Yes, being able to see the one you love in the hospital is important, yes health care is important, yes tax reduction is wonderful, yes property ownership is grand, but why can’t we all have these benefits? Why do people who supposedly find their “one and only,” get that over people who may not, or can’t, or don’t want to?


5) *F* the Children

Politicians have been using “in the name of the children” for decades now. “What about the children?” “The future is our children.” Blah blah. When they use “children” in these statements they are not talking about living breathing walking (crawling) children, they’re discussing them figuratively. They’re discussing them so as to pull citizens’ heartstrings and get them to vote a particular way. But can the idea of “the children” ever really end? Isn’t it absurd to use “the children” as a scapegoat for influencing moral authority?

In “The Future is Kid Stuff” Lee Edelman writes,

“That figural Child alone embodies the citizen as an ideal, entitled to claim full rights to its future share in the nation’s good, though always at the cost of limiting the rights “real” citizens are allowed.”

We’re all really sensitive about our children, but guess what? We arethe children, your parents are the children, your grandparents are the children. When will we do what’s right for us instead of for some hypothetical person who hasn’t been born yet?

Why do we continue to behave in a manner that we don’t really like just because that’s the way it’s been done in the past? I don’t think any child would appreciate that if she or he knew.

And what about the children?

They think, they learn, they grow.

They are not innocent vessels of pure moral order…and even if they were, pretending that marriage is the only right way to live creates unhealthy boundaries that repress their sexuality and subvert their desires into a social order that is not necessarily moral or ethical.

So, I don’t want to get married for the children: true living breathing walking (crawling) children deserve to understand that love doesn’t have to be the same for everyone and it’s okay to follow your heart, to explore, to enjoy life and all the strange beautiful people in it.

This is just the beginning. Interested in more?

Suggested Reading:

Judith Butler, Undoing Gender

Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, The Ethical Slut

Lee Edelman, “The Future is Kid Stuff” in the book No Future

Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality

bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy

Gayle Rubin, “Thinking Sex”

Riki Wilchins, Queer Theory, Gender Theory

Editor’s Note: there are other perspectives:

11 Reasons Why I’m Getting Married (Again). 


Love starts with us, first:


About Krystal Baugher

Krystal Baugher lives in Denver. She earned her MA in Writing and Publishing and her MA in Women and Gender Studies from DePaul University/Chicago. She is the creator of Mile High Mating, a website dedicated to helping people "do it" in Denver and beyond. You can find her on facebook and twitter (as long as you aren’t a stalker).


159 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons Not to Get Married.”

  1. kosokun says:

    There seems to be a pervasive trend in which feminists are turning into the female synonyms of misogynists. Am I the only man who finds this insulting? Author, you are free to choose your own vows, who, if anyone gives you away, and to view your marriage as a true partnership (or to view your partnership as a marriage). There are so many successful examples of 'non-traditional' marraiges out there that I feel we need to start discussing this topic in a more positive and forward-thinking manner. The only valid reason I feel you present here number 3. Perhaps the insecurity and distrust injected by the other points you argue are the cause of so many failed marraiges? I don't have that answer but enough with the man-bashing. Personally, I don't want a woman doesn't want to step up and be a parter – many men feel the same way.

  2. Austin says:

    Wasted my time reading this senseless rant of an article.


  3. […] Though the script offered my husband and I a pleasant life together, the role that I was playing was not genuine; I couldn’t find myself in it. Not long after I was married, my Mom checked in with me to see how I was adjusting to my new life. “I’m bored” I told her. Her response affirmed exactly what I had been feeling, “Things are different now.” she said. “You’re married.” […]

  4. jake says:

    Didn’t take me long to realized the writer of this trash is a total and complete bitch.

  5. ktc says:

    I used to agree with this- then I realized all that theoretical feminist stuff I read in college wasn't the real world and had zero applicability towards it. Marriage, like everything else in life, is what you make of it. You can choose to have it symbolize the patriarchy, or you can do things your own way and only see it as belonging to someone you love for the rest of your life. Both of you that is. Frankly, I have come to realize that belonging to a single man, and he to me, could be one of the sexiest things ever. I didn't always feel this way, but it's so much nicer now that I do.

    • Lucinda says:

      All things are laden with meaning and depending upon how you interpret it- will mean very different things for different people.

      I really did not agree with any of this article but I realised that is because it goes against my deep inner feeling about the spiritual meaning of marriage.

      I don’t think it is ownership per say but I do believe men and women can be guides and protectors for one another in life . In my feeling my father is the man who I turn to protection and guidance (I know not all people are blessed with a relationship like that but I digress) when I get married I feel my partner will be the person in that role. It makes sense as we are building I expect a life together!

      I was really offended by the man bashing in this article- yes point out the issues as you interpret them but there seemed to be such anger there.

      It is my understanding that feminism is actually about acknowledged the inherent (&they are inherent!) differences and similarities between men and women and striving for equality for all.!

      Side note: my parents never got married, their relationship failed and they have both been married once each to other people for over 20 years and still counting. Sometimes marriages work!!!! & it is ok to want one!


  6. michael says:

    I like you Krystal. Seems odd that marriage is not seen as an institution in flux/failing, and how ill suited it is to our nature, our population size and global energy predicament etc. People get so defensive about it too, and then all of that "you can't experience true happiness/unselfishness" etc crap: ughh.

    Ever read Sex At Dawn? If not, I think you'll find some powerful support for your well founded aversion to and criticism of the marriage custom.


  7. Jessica says:

    in spanish, they say novio y mujer.. husband and woman. i found that a particularly interesting twist. thoughts?

  8. @MaxZografos says:

    wonderful article. Thanks Krystal.

  9. Judy says:

    Many good points here, but since you rightfullly want respect for your own choice, why not go ahead and go to your friends' weddings and celebrate their choices? I'm sure you have friends who are creative enough to have ceremonies that emphasize the positive. Re-envisioning rather than abandoning marriage could be an even more efficient way to make the whole women-as-property tradition obsolete. Why would so many same-sex couples want to participate if there wasn't something there worth saving? And if you are pressured by nosy people, you should feel free to exclaim "How rude!" although if it's the bride's well-meaning grandpa, it would be nice just to smile and shrug. I really appreciate this topic being raised and found the responses to be interesting. The people who just sling insults at you do kind of help to make your point.

  10. Boudicca says:

    I was saddened to read the author proclaim respect for her friends decisions to get married then systemically insult that decision, especially with all the presumptions and assumptions she made about traditional marriage and people's decision to participate in it. I was married in a "traditional" ceremony, in an Episcopal church, by an Episcopal priest and none of what was described was a part of my ceremony nor did I have a relationship in which one person had more power than another or in which I was expected to defer to my husband. However, despite the author's presumptions that all "traditional" marriages fit one particular definition or her assumptions about why people choose to get married and what those relationships look like, I wish the readers would understand that this is the author's opinion, the author's interpretation and the author's thoughts on the matter and not feel the need to be insulting.

  11. harpoontang says:

    "Kathleen Hanna, poster-grrrl for the riot grrrl movement, a 90′s feminist *F*-the-establishment movement, got married for the insurance. This breaks my heart. [ . . . ] I don’t think health care should be a high priority for a major decision like marriage."

    Why? Fuck the establishment, exploit it if you have to, make it work for you if you can. Marriage is really not that important, is it? It's just a set of codes that make things easy to sort. I'm married. I'm not monogamous. I'm getting married to my current partner for the legal benefits alone. Because having health care and other legal rights and benefits is much more of a major decision to me than a contract with another human I love. That can be ended. Divorce is not a bad thing, the alternative is.

  12. floridgush says:

    The Internet shows me there are women who aren't glued to the concept of marriage, and better yet, of women who want neither marriage nor children. My question is, where are you all hiding? If you're half as sharp and charming as Krystal B, I'll fall for you in a heartflash.

    Great article. I don't see any problem with getting married if it feels right… But even among the non-religious, it's upheld as a necessary symbol of love. Why, because propriety or consensus reality demand it? That money could go toward a home or a bitchin' sex swing. Y'know, something real that has an actual bearing on the relationship.

  13. Carolina says:

    What a bitter woman! yikes! Just reading it brought me down.

  14. Doris says:

    This is a very pessimistic view. Don't let the burdens of the history of marriage ruin it. It's a commitment between two people. My present marriage is the 2nd for both my husband and myself. Our firsts gave us kids. This one is soulmate material without a doubt. We need to redefine marriage not condemn it.

  15. Jonathan says:

    All good reasons. She did miss one incredible book by Chris Ryan and his wife Cacilda Jetha, called Sex at Dawn.

  16. Susan says:

    Um it’s interesting to read the intense reactions to this article. K is clearly pointing out what she she’s and how it doesn’t fit with her view of life.

    I don’t see her as bitter or defensive or pessimistic. I see her as proactive, intelligent, exploring. I don’t find anything in her writing condemning or judgmental of people who have different views.

  17. lisab says:

    This sounds like a whole lot of reasons to change conventional ideas about relationships in general. I'm a patriarchy smasher as well but don't see how marriage is at all patriarchal once we see it's roots and are living in a marriage by choice. No one "gave me away". That's a bullshit tradition anyway. Are we really that daft as to think these rituals symbolize anything when we know better? Nothing has meaning unless we give it meaning. We no longer live in a world that needs marriage to legitimize children. Hello, 21st century. Most of the people of think/thought this are dead or dying. So while I can respect your opinion, your tone sounds bitter and makes me feel like you have a big immature bone to pick.

  18. jjlove says:

    I'm curious if the writer has children and how long they are in the relationship?
    Sounds like you're dealing with a lot of fear, paranoia.. and wanting to fix the world (in the the wrong ways).
    People who give emotionally (and more) ultimately will be better for the world, if that's what your interested in.
    Not getting married is perhaps one way of showing that you're not ready to be a giving person.
    You're on the wrong track. Strong rooted families are the starting points for a better society.
    Of course there are a million reasons not to get married, there are also a million reasons not to have children and not fall in love.

  19. Hui says:

    I have bookmarked this so I can just send this link to anyone who starts nagging me about marriage. Great article, so many great points! Not all are relevant to someone Down Under (we don't get any benefits from marriage that you couldn't get from a de facto relationship), but everything else rings a chord.

  20. macpanther says:

    It's just not true that 50% of marriages end in divorce. That figure is obtained by taking the number of divorces per year and dividing it by the number of marriages per year. The problem with this is that the pool of people available to be divorced is greater than the number of people married in a given year, because people getting divorced have been married for 30 days, 1 year, 2 years, 15 years, 24 years and so on. When we look at cohorts of people married for these intervals of time, and divide the number of people divorced in each cohort by the total number of people in each cohort, the figure at which we arrive (in the US) is closer to 30%. Arguably that's still high, and you will have made your point. But if you are going to say 50%, you need to be accurate as well as precise.

  21. Divya says:

    I used to feel the same way as the author….until i had kids without a commitment! What an eye opener reality can be! I am now happily married, and think marriage is pretty darn great… Especially for the (mom of) children…

  22. Jeannine says:

    For those who decide not to get married (or still can't legally get married), do be sure you've covered all of your legal bases regarding medical power of attorney, end of life decisions, and some form of legally binding document that determines what happens to you after you die. When it comes to legal issues it's not just taxes and health insurance! My partner and I were together for over 15 years and I had medical power of attorney, but once he died I had no legal authority. His parents had to sign the documents at the hospital for his body to be released and make all the arrangements with the funeral home – I had no legal standing. Thankfully we have a great relationship and they included me in all decisions, but I know many people for whom it didn't happen so nicely. The last punch came with the death certificate: I'm not on it. 15+ years and legally I don't exist on his death certificate. That hurt more than I anticipated. I know we don't like to think about things like this, but it will come to all of us eventually.

  23. Colleen says:

    Great article. Pretty sure my "wedding" will just be a vacation with me, my long term partner, our other partners, our friends and sexy friends, on a trip to Hawaii. Weddings, in the traditional sense, are gross, self-indulgent, discustingly lavish, and make countless attendees feel like shit about themselves. I'm all about celebrating love without a contract.

    Also, "Sex At Dawn" is a great read for your list, too.

  24. Rose Red says:

    Author’s absolute generalization about Disney flicks is incorrect. In its latest, Frozen, the “charming prince,” Hans, turns out to be a power-hungry douche right after the engagement. Guess getting him to put a ring on it was insufficient to overcome his darker inclinations…

  25. Lauren Alexandra says:

    Loved this article. I do not believe in marriage nor do I encourage anyone to get married. I won’t trample on someone’s beliefs but it seems to me that marriage has always been a method of control. You can love someone without signing a contract and truth be told, I don’t believe we as humans are meant to be with the same person forever. And to all the men “hurt” by this article, it shows that you aren’t comfortable with a woman asserting her independence. The inside of your soul believes that a woman needs to be married in order to be happy, and you sir are wrong. The stereotypical family is slowly disintegrating, get used to it and embrace the change that is needed.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    My partner & I have been together for almost 3 yrs & We are committed to each other. We have discussed having a commitment ceremony, similar to a wedding, and will at some point; however, we both like that this will be for us alone, not for the state or to be on record. I agree with the author’s points. I would like to add one. I have been a single mother & get quite a large tax return for claiming head of household & single, as does my partner. We would actually be penalized for claiming jointly. In addition, I work with people who are on disability & often Medicaid/Medicare. I have seen time & again for those who are married how their combined income disqualifies them from receiving Medicaid & thus, struggle significantly more than there peers who are single. This is an important fact that more people need to be aware of before saying “I do”.

  27. befunknote says:

    Marriage is nothing more than a legal contract. It is not romantic and it’s not a guarantee of love.

  28. Mauds says:

    I agree with a lot your saying, good insight, i wouldn’t get married for health insurance but it doesn’t save $500 a year, try more like $500 a month!

  29. Natasha says:

    Loved it! I have had these same views as you for so long and I'm so glad you wrote this article along with the great resources you provided! Thank you.
    I'd like to add to #1. That the women need to wear a white dress symbolizing they should be 'pure' virgins while the men can be whatever they want to be, again oppressing women's roles and sexuality
    Also like to add
    #6 I want to be with someone because I love them not because I am 'married' to them and committed myself to being with them for the rest of my life no matter what. The reality is reality is so fluid and changing and feelings change, people change, situations change and I would never want to force someone to be with me against what they truly felt and wanted and vice versa.
    #7 The ring.
    Men are supposed to proposed to a woman with a big beautiful diamond ring. Let's not even think once about where this diamond came from? We are uniting two people through the blood and slave work of exploited children abroad in dirty mines that are polluting the entire environments around where they were built. Beautiful way to show your loved one how much more privileged you are than others and how little you know about the world's issues.

    • kimberlylowriter says:

      Actually, the white dress became popular during Victorian England. It had nothing to do with purity but showed that one was wealthy enough to buy or have such a dress made in such an impractical color to wear for only one or a few times at most. (Nothing shows dirt like white and this was before the days of washing machines or concentrated laundry wash.)

      Also, diamond rings did not become popular as engagement rings until the early 20th century thanks to a large advertising campaign by De Beers. Rubies, opals, and other stones as well as plain rings were often used for engagement rings prior to then.

      (All of these are verifiable BTW.)

  30. Kit says:

    You. Are. Awesome! 🙂

  31. Mike says:

    As a wedding photographer with 25 years experience – I know a thing or two about marriage contracts. Yes contracts. I still meet couples who's weddings I shot way back then. I've been married once myself & divorced. Ah divorce – It was expensive but it was worth it. Observing the life my married friends live and listening to their independent feedback for years (especially when they've had a few beers, away from their spouses and are actually truthful) – I can truly say – I would not recommend entering a marriage contract – never. Relationships, living together, is perfectly fine. One girl told me what about when you are old and need someone to take care of you. I said well she is going to be just as old and disabled so what good is that 🙂 One said your kids will take care of you. Just recently her 16 year old that just moved out of her house with her boyfriend and says she hates her moms guts. Times change quickly – the mind is complex organism. You put too much faith in the trust of others and you will be in trouble. Everyone is looking for some benefit in another. I don't mind being of benefit to other but I must stay in control. In marriage contracts and when you have kids the government and the legal system decides your fate. Men watch you – it's not in your favor. In the movie 'Heat' DeNiro puts is nicely 'Never have anything in your life that you can't walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner. Make friends, take care of each other, live, love, laugh – but don't sign a marriage contract. For those who already – I am sure there are a few that are happy, mostly tired or bored, and others waiting anxiously for the other to die 🙂

  32. Lorraine says:

    I envision myself getting married someday, however I really liked the points you made in #4 & #5. Definitely some things to think about. 🙂

  33. Lindsey says:

    While I very much respect the idea of making it more socially acceptable for people to remain unmarried, I don't think that has to be tied to such a negative attitude towards those who do choose to go the more traditional married route. And I use the term traditional loosely, as none of us really understand how any other couple chooses to structure their relationship. That's none of our business. We should have no more judgement and prejudices about married couples as we have about unmarried couples, or partners. Political talking points do not describe how actual people actually live.
    And the divorce rate is no where near that cut and dried. Factors such as age, education, income level and location greatly effect the likelihood of divorce. So the chances of any given first marriage ending in divorce are certainly not 50%. It may be much greater, or much, much less. But certainly, don't get married if marriage is not for you.

  34. ara says:

    I think a big part of this article is about freedom. Freedom to not marry, and to recieve the same rights as those who are, to be free to have the types of relationships that suit that particular individuals needs best. Gettting the state and frankly patriarchal religion out of it. Christian values have long dictated the types of relationships that are considered acceptable by law in this country. I believe it's unconstitutional.
    Personally, I want to have the freedom to marry who I love and at this point in time it is still illegal. I am in a polyamorus relationship and I have been for years, with a couple who is already married. We want to spend our lives together but there is fear of some legal repercussions. There are those in similiar situations who have had their children taken away or if they did try to marry, they were arrested.
    I want to have the freedom to marry and receive the same recognition and rights as mongamous hetero and more and more gay or lesbian monogamous couples do.
    The Freedom to marry who you love as a statement of your commitment and dedication to your special people or person is just as important as the having the freedom to receive the same rights if you do not.

  35. ara says:

    I think a big part of this article is about freedom. Freedom to not marry, and to recieve the same rights as those who are, to be free to have the types of relationships that suit that particular individuals needs best. Gettting the state and frankly patriarchal religion out of it. Christian values have long dictated the types of relationships that are considered acceptable by law in this country. I believe it's unconstitutional.

  36. Vida says:

    Wow…very negative writing. I hope this writer finds positive way to express “difference” of each individuals. Difirences makes the world beautiful and interesting. It needs to be put in creative writing, not this ugly one !

  37. Jules says:

    It is not easy to break away from the norm. We need to think more critically about traditions that we’ve been taught to blindly accept throughout our lives. I am not against people who believe in marriage (because everyone has a right to believe in what they want) but I agree with the author and applaud her open minded views and bravely putting those views out there.

  38. B says:

    This was the first entry I have read and rolled my eyes at. Good things to think on sure but this kind of idealist resistance reminds me of being 17. Yawn.

  39. Laura says:

    I love being married. It's a beautiful thing. But I respect everyone's opinion. Words can't adequately describe why this is right for me and my husband. And I am not sure I could write an articulate article defending it. I feel like if I don't need to defend it. It just feels right. Not perfect but right.

  40. Xena says:

    Out of the mouth of my 12 year old daughter when people ask her when her mom (me) and my male life partner are getting married…My mom and Tom have BIG LOVE. When you have BIG LOVE you dont need a paper proving you love each other. It is in your heart!

  41. Jenn says:

    Well there are a lot of different perspectives, I just read i the comments. The only thing that bothered me was how people project their outlook on the subject as the reasons why people would make certain decisions….
    Iwould like to be married someday,but if it doesn't happen its no big deal. The man I'm with is the most amazing guy! Marriage makes no difference in that fact. He's great and I'm happy either way!
    So for someone to pose the question that they can't see why people feel they must legitimize their relationship by getting married. First… I think its sad to have such jaded feelings about it. But, to imply thats why some people like the idea of marriage is lacking positivity and open-mindedness. Other than that I like that people are individuals and share their outlooks on here.The vast majority was done with positive energy!
    As for monogamy I must be in that type of relationship. Whatever works for others is fine with me. But I get physically grossed out at the thought of coming in contact with bodily fluids of multiple people. It makes me think "BackWash" and that gives me the willies! So its not that I'm on my moral high horse, it truly grosses me out!!! LOL

  42. Redub says:

    It should be noted that Kathleen Hanna suffers from Lymes Disease which is a very debilitating condition.

  43. Merpaderp says:

    Hmm I would raise just one issue with #1. It in a few ways doesn't interpret marriage as a social institution, which it is. Also, it does strike me as framing humans with little to no agency in how to function within/shape that institution. Looking at the history of marriage, while it has usually had the lovely theme of supporting patriarchy, it is hardly static. What I mean by pointing out that it's not static is just that it can change (even though it has been rather stuck in some ways for a looooooooong time). It's very possible for people who enter this institution to shape the trajectory of its development with their own views on how it should run. Yes it's been rather dragged down by its misogyny and heteronormativity, but with more and more groups of people who enter the institution who were excluded from it , it could change for the better.

  44. Martha says:

    Oooo k…. You should never get married. You are absolutely right.

  45. Christi says:

    I'm glad you posted this. It got me thinking about why I value marriage and I even wrote out a long response! Here's my response:

  46. Molly says:

    First off, I want to say that I understand your view and agree with ALOT of the points you made. But you know, the whole part about the woman being handed off to the groom at the alter by the father is questionable. I mean yes, some people get married and churches and do things very traditionally, but not all ceremony's are like that. Like if I was getting married I wouldn't view it as starting off the marriage unbalanced or anything like that just because my father brought me down the aisle. I don't feel that people need to get married in order to have kids etc, but a lot of people view it as making a promise to be with one another. Yes, you can do that without being married, but some people may want to say vows to their loved one in front of the people they care about. At my sisters wedding I met my sisters in law etc, and it was just a great thing for my sister, because it brought her happiness as my parents told stories from when they were younger and same with the grooms side and in that sense it felt like our families were becoming one. Like you, I have never been into the cheesy stuff, and I don't feel that need to get married but I do appreciate and respect and well wish on those people that DO value traditional ways.

  47. Jenny-Anne Letch says:

    omg i adore you!!! how can i follow you on facebook?! it’s not finding you when i search :(:(

  48. Sarah says:

    To say you don't even attend weddings any more due to your beliefs about the institution of marriage is a little hypocritical. In your article you make it very clear that you want people to respect your choice not to marry, however, by not attending weddings you are not respecting peoples right TO marry.

    I'm all for having an opinion but not when the delivery of this opinion makes other people's choices seem less important or significant.

  49. @JohnLaprise says:

    The author seems to have a lot of expectations about what marriage should be. At its core, marriage is an agreement between consenting adults about their relationship, expectations, and aspirations. Marriage hits the rocks when there is a lack of consensus.

  50. Diane says:

    I agree and disagree with many of your points. I agree that some of the traditions such as giving your daughter away in marriage is definitely patriarchal and pronouncing the couple man and wife is definitely degrading but we have more freedom these days to change what we want in the ceremony whether its the wording or even walking down the isle. It's more about making the ceremony personal than traditional these days. It's easy to change wording and you don't have to get married in a church that follows such strict tradition.That shouldn't even be a top reason not to get married.

    I really don't believe that MOST little girls dream about their wedding. Brides just say that on tv! Yes most disney movies used to end with the prince and the princess marrying and having a happy ending but I think that is changing too. Movies aren't made to showcase couples after the marriage because marriage or even being a committed couple is not fun or exciting, it's actual work! Maybe couples getting married forget about that and think everything is going to be perfect. I don't know…

    What I will say is a good excuse not to get married is that it seems like many couples like the idea of being married and make a big deal about about the wedding due to pop culture instead of bigger issues that no one likes to talk about like living together first, financial issues, if you want children, or how you want to raise them! It should be fine to even talk to your partner about your feelings for others or sexual desires even though you don't plan on acting on them because you are in a committed relationship! This gets swept under the rug when it comes to getting married and the wedding!

    In regards to the healthcare, it's not about saving $500 that is stupid! When a couple gets married for healthcare benefits its because the partner either horrible insurance or no insurance at all and needs it!! Most couples will NOT get married just for the insurance! That is just dumb! A lot of these couples are couples like you who have lived together for years and then one partner gets critically ill or they have children! It has nothing to do with the institution of marriage! It is what is best for the couple! The only government penalty is when a married couple files their taxes separately! You can live together, not get married, and file your own taxes without a problem!

    Your last reason makes no sense to me. Screw the children??? It is about the children but more importantly about yourself. I do not understand how that proves your point talking about what politicians say other than the point that its another cultural thing. How would you feel going into school to pick up your kids and you have to explain to the principal that you are their mother even though you have a different last name? I guess this goes for married women as well who don't want to change their name. It is tough!!! That is just one example. I am in the process of changing my last name for that reason in the future. It's easier! Laws about marriage are there to protect you and your children! If you don't want children either, than I it would not pertain to you!

    In a whole, it just seems that you are ticked off about people asking you about when you are getting married…. whatever! It's the same when they start asking you about when you are having kids! It's just a conversation point! Your reasons are not strong ones! Yes our culture is a problem but it doesn't have to be! Things are changing! Monogamy as a married couple is the same choice as a couple who is committed to each other! The difference is that it seems as though married couples might not discuss issues with monogamy or sexual desires before the wedding! The whole idea is that as part of wedding planning couples should be open to discuss these things and not be so concerned about the floral arrangements! I think couples that do not get married might have an easier time discussing things. Couples need to discuss the not so fun topics like financials, kids, etc before the wedding and not get caught up in the wedding planning! I believe that's what's causing the divorce rate to be so high! So I have to disagree with most of your points or at least say that they are not strong points at all. Thank you!

Leave a Reply