Why I Don’t Want To Get Married

As B and I venture into the next stage of our relationship many may be surprised that it is not getting married. We are instead going to start a family. While I have not had outright rude comments made towards me (ie: “That’s stupid Kristen, you should be married first.”) I have had many small comments made that I properly do not perceive as being as rude as they may be because people’s tones reflect pleasant surprise or people begin to speak about the importance of marriage in general terms therefore not speaking about me directly (or so they feel).

Some responses I get when people find out I don’t want to get married are:

“Oh?!” (surprise tone and look of confusion)

“You’ll change your mind.”

“But don’t you want to commit to your partner?”

“If you split up you won’t have the same protection or legal rights.”

*Insert another comment regarding legal things*

Probably the comment that bothers me the most is around commitment. There seems to be the belief that because I do not want to get married that I am not committed to my partner or our future relationship. This then draws the conclusion that marriage=commitment. This is all wrong. While some may have more traditional views of relationships and marriage, that does not work for me. The only outright difference between marrying and not marrying your partner is the legal document. Everything else stays the same. I still live with my partner, share finances and associated responsibilities, will raise children with my partner and care for him in sickness and in health, until death do us part etc.

In Ontario, where I live, we have laws for couples like myself and B. When we are eligible we (which is very vague as there is really no good way to determine how long we have been living together other than our word but in Ontario it is when you have lived together for 3 years or have child) we will be classified as “common-law”. Google defines common-law as:

“Commonlaw marriage, also known as sui juris marriage, informal marriage, or marriage by habit and repute, is a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions where a couple is legally considered married, without that couple having formally registered their relation as a civil or religious marriage.”

While common-law is still the government’s way of making sure every couple is married in some way it still means that without being married I and B can receive the same or similar legal rights as a married couple. This is especially reinforced when we have children. As common-law partners, we can claim each other on taxes, be on each other’s health insurance, have joint accounts and property etc. Many are concerned about the relationship breaking up and claim that being married makes that split safer in terms of dividing assets etc. According to Your Legal Rights, common-law partners go through the same process as a married couple minus they do not need to get a divorce as it is the divorce that ends the marriage. Divorce-Canada also has good information on common-law relationships and separation.

So, why do I not want to get married?

  1. I do not feel that marriage is needed in my life and relationship.
  2. I do not support the patriarchy that marriage was first conceived from.
  3. I do not want to be legally tied to someone.
  4. I have the choice.

There is a TedTalk that speaks very well to some of my reasons for not wanting to be married.

I am NOT against marriage!!!!!! I am always happy for friends, family and others who get married and I do love going to weddings. Not being married is my choice and my relationship is just as valid. It is about B and I being happy with our relationship in whatever shape it comes to be.


21 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want To Get Married

  1. When are people going to mind their own business. You are an adult and you are quite capable of deciding what is best for you. Sometimes I do not even respond to people who I realize is trying to control me in some way. Stand your ground if that is what you want to do.

  2. Now isn’t that about the most awesome thing! YOU are a WOMAN and YOU have CHOICE! Holy moley batman and AMEN SISTA!

    In the 70’s, my mother could not divorce her husband in the state in which she lived (USA), unless she could prove he was having an affair. It didn’t matter if he was beating her or the children, she had NO CHOICE!

    Having a child out of wedlock when I was in school was shameful; the girls were sent away, never to be seen again.

    I am happy for you. I have a good feeling that you will be a very thoughtful mother and partner. A piece of paper is silly; nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, at least here in the USA. Do not worry about other’s comments if you can. Marriage is, as you said, government control, and I’d add, religious control.

    Do what you think is best; it is your choice and your decision. 🙂

    • Marriages are not any better in Canada 😛 My parents are still together but I know many who are not. It’s the quality of the relationship, not whether or not you are married that determines your success within the relationship.

      Thank you for your nice words 🙂

    • Can’t get a divorce here in British Columbia (possibly all of Canada?) until you have a 1 year waiting period unless there is an affair ( and a couple other issues) then you can file right away without waiting 1 year, otherwise you have to be separated for 1 year first.

  3. One of my daughters is unmarried and has 2 children, by different fathers. She will probably never get married. She sees no need for it and her oldest child is 17. Good luck!

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  5. I agree whole heartily with you. I lived with a gf for 2 years in Texas, 1 year at the time meant we were common law married. We, however were young and did not have joint accounts and other things. I have been actually married and a year later had the wedding. I did not necessarily want the wedding but had fun as I did the planning. But ultimately it is not necessary for anyone and there is no crime in not getting married and having kids in any manner you see fit. It is your right.

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  7. A lot of people don’t get married anymore, not sure why people have such an issue with people getting married or not, it’s not 1915.

    I got married as my wife really wanted a wedding so we got married, otherwise common law would have been the same more or less. In BC the rights and benefits extend to common law, so really not even sure what the point to licensed marriage is anymore.

    I can see benefits to marriage in the US as most states don’t recognize common law so your either married or single. But in BC seems to be to collect the license fee or keep the divorce lawyers in business?

    Pay no attention to anyone telling you to get married or you need to be married, none of the concern, your decision and not right for anyone to try and say otherwise what is best for you.

  8. Those are all reasons why you don’t want to get married. I guarantee that if you do have a kid they won’t care about those reasons. Part of being a parent is putting your kids first.

    • If I understand correctly, you are saying that being married means the children will come first and therefore be better off? If this is what you meant can you please explain to me yours reasons why you believe this to be ture?

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