• Quote of the Day
    "Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."
    Carl Jung, posted by Daniel
More threads by Peanut

Peanut

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I feel like I am missing a key philosophical idea here, as to why a "marriage" is different from any other relationship. Getting married entails a commitment ceremony and piece of paper...what does that really change?


Here is a general relationship question that I would be really interested in hearing people's answers to...

Should people try harder to make a relationship work if they are married as opposed to being unmarried in a long term relationship and why?

I have thought about factors that go into deciding to try to save a relationship, such as children, assets, etc...but is it these things that you consider when making the decision or does the concept of marriage play a role?

If you're married are you obligated to try to save the relationship?

Thank you if anyone has any thoughts or opinions!! :)
 

Halo

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Very interesting questions Toeless.

As I am not married or in a long-term relationship I can't answer this from personal experience but I can answer from what I think and believe in my heart.

I think that marriage as well as being in a long term relationship takes hard work on both the parties parts no matter what. I actually think that personally the answer to both questions would be what are your values and what do you believe in. A long-term relationship is easier to "walk away" from as there are not legal strings attached to that decision however when married like you said there are other factors to consider before walking away. I also think that the decision on whether to try harder if you are married is a personal decision. I know that some people have looked at dissolving a marriage like buying a new house. Get rid of the old and find something new that you want. I don't agree with this method of thinking as I think the institute of marriage deserves work by both parties however I am living in reality when I say that I know that many, many marriages don't work out. I think that the individual person needs to make an informed decision on what they really want out of the relationship/marriage and decide whether they can obtain that (whatever it is) from the person that they are with.

I don't know if this is all making sense but for some reason it does in my head. I just don't know if I have articulated it properly.

Nancy
 

foghlaim

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Getting married entails a commitment ceremony and piece of paper...what does that really change?
over here it changes your legal status, it could change your tax status. emotionally though it means that we both have decided to live and work together as a married couple. meaning both share reponsibilities ect..ect.. never take eachother for granted, respect each other at all times.

from my own experience,, it takes two to make a marriage work.. both being loving and giving to each other, meaning give and take from both sides.
one of the reasons my marriage failed, was that i gave everything I had and he just took, never giving anyting back.

again, over here when going for a seperation or a divorce, both parties are asked if they have attended marriage counselling, is there any way to save this marriage, (and we have to be seperated a minimum of 4yrs before applying for a divorce.).
so i suppose those questions would imply that both parties would have tried to save the marriage before seperating.


I think that the individual person needs to make an informed decision on what they really want out of the relationship/marriage and decide whether they can obtain that (whatever it is) from the person that they are with.
i think Nancy said this very well. it is at the heart of the matter really isn't.

To me if a person knows in their heart and soul, that they are going to be miserable no matter how hard they have tried to save the marriage, that they truly believe that they have given the marriage every opportunity to work and it isn't happening.. then there's only one decision left to make.


don't know if any of this helps with your questions Toeless.

nsa
 
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Getting married entails a commitment ceremony and piece of paper...what does that really change?

i think that is highly individual. that depends on how you feel about marriage. in my case marriage was the closest bond i could possibly have with my now husband. getting married symbolized our love and commitment to each other.

to others it doesn't mean much. to them it purely is just a piece of paper. i cannot speak for those :)

Should people try harder to make a relationship work if they are married as opposed to being unmarried in a long term relationship and why?

i think that really depends on the nature of the relationship. it depends on how the two people in the marriage feel about marriage in general. if marriage carries a lot of meaning (like in my case), then yes, fight harder. if it's just a piece of paper to both parties then i do not see why you should fight any harder. in that case being married just complicates the break up from a financial aspect. if it is abusive then i say get out (easier said than done).

when children are involved that makes matters more complex. i think in that case you need to fight harder as well - unless, again, there is abuse going on.

i'm no expert.. just my thoughts.
 

Peanut

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Thanks...very interesting answers! :) These questions have come to mind a lot because of times that I have been talking to people, like complaining about an aspect of the relationship or something like that and a lot of times I get answers like "Well, your married, that's what husbands do" or "your married-forgive and forget". It makes me wonder what that has to do with what happened or why it should be any different if it's a "husband" that did it. :confused:
 
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Toeless said:
Should people try harder to make a relationship work if they are married as opposed to being unmarried in a long term relationship and why?
In some ways, I think yes because it's harder to get out of a marriage than a long-term relationship. And it seems like there is a lot of pressure from society and even from family and friends to not "fail" at marriage. That is a big thing for me. My mom would be devastated if I got out of my marriage. But I don't think those are good reasons to stay in a relationship. If you marry someone and things turn out badly and you end up not compatible, then you should feel safe to say it's enough. I used to think stay together at all costs, but now I'm not so sure.

If you're married are you obligated to try to save the relationship?
I think if you get to the point where you're considering ending the marriage then you've probably already tried to save it. You've probably done everything you can think of. If that makes any sense. And if you're the only one working on saving it then it's futile. That's what I think anyway. :)
 

Daniel

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and we have to be seperated a minimum of 4yrs before applying for a divorce.

Wow, even if there is proof that one spouse was having multiple affairs, etc?
 

foghlaim

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that is correct Daniel.. it doesn't matter why the seperation took place, it must be 4yrs and the parties are not reconcilable(sp). I was even asked that after nearly 18yrs of separation..lol. but then this is Ireland.. you know!!

nsa
 

Halo

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Wow 4 years is a long time. I know that here in Canada it is a minimum of a separation for 1 year before you can apply for a divorce.

Nancy
 

foghlaim

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only a year!!??? sure that would be like taking an extended holiday..lol

daniel, where are u, is it the same where u are i yr??

nsa
 

Daniel

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In my state, Florida, there is no waiting period, and the only thing that seems to slow down an uncontested divorce is waiting for the clerk's office to process the paperwork.
 

Halo

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Yes I know personally how slow the Court system can be especially when you want something to go through quickly.

What is the saying......patience is a virtue.....or something like that :)

Nancy
 

foghlaim

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jeeze.. we must be backward over here then... but i thnk the catholic church had a say in the making of that condition for divorce.. as they are opposed to divorce anyway.

lol Nancy.. patience is a virtue, seldom found in men, always found in women. :)
 

Daniel

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Toeless said:
Getting married entails a commitment ceremony and piece of paper...what does that really change?

Of course, marriage isn't what it used to be, and this isn't all bad:

Sex, love and childbearing have become a la carte choices rather than a package deal that comes with marriage...

In the past, marriage was primarily just such a business deal. Among wealthy families, it solidified political alliances or expanded land holdings. For poorer people, it was a means of managing the farm or operating a household. Today, people have become economically self-sufficient as individuals, no longer requiring a spouse for survival.

Washington Post

Marriage is not the gateway to adulthood anymore. For most people it's the dessert?desirable, but no longer the main course." People may still be eager to meet a long-term partner, but they are a lot less desperate, she adds. Increasingly, individuals are finding singlehood preferable to being in an unsatisfactory relationship. In fact, the possibility of singlehood as a viable life path throws into high relief a finding that is slowly emerging from mountains of social science data?that neither the coupled nor uncoupled life is an automatic ticket to bliss; much depends on the achievement of meaningful life goals and quality of the relationships you create.

Psychology Today
 

Daniel

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Another quote about how marriage isn't what it used to be:

Not only are singles the fastest-growing population group in the country, most of us will spend more of our adult lives single than married.

Psychology Today
 

Peanut

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Janet, after reading what you wrote, I've decided that I think that it's time for two people to divorce if the bad outweighs the good. I definitely do not think save at all costs. The price can be too high. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and also for helping me figure out my opinion--I'm excited because it is really simple too! :) :)
Janet said:
My mom would be devastated if I got out of my marriage.
When I was separated my husband did not ever tell his mother. So, you're not the only one who would have trouble breaking the news to their mom.

Daniel said:
Of course, marriage isn't what it used to be, and this isn't all bad:


Marriage is not the gateway to adulthood anymore. For most people it's the dessert?desirable, but no longer the main course." People may still be eager to meet a long-term partner, but they are a lot less desperate, she adds. Increasingly, individuals are finding singlehood preferable to being in an unsatisfactory relationship. In fact, the possibility of singlehood as a viable life path throws into high relief a finding that is slowly emerging from mountains of social science data?that neither the coupled nor uncoupled life is an automatic ticket to bliss; much depends on the achievement of meaningful life goals and quality of the relationships you create.

Psychology Today
Yes, that's along the same lines that I was thinking when I originally posted. These days people have children, live together, acquire things, etc and are not married...that's why I was wondering if all of the other aspects are the same, does being "married" or not really make a difference...and I guess the answer is (like always) that's it's all relative to each person's specific situation and beliefs.

Now thanks to all of these wonderful posts I have some clarity on issue :)

Thank you --this thread has been infinitely helpful :)

BTW It is easy to get a divorce in OR! Four years sounds like forever to wait! :eek:
 

ThatLady

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I think it's really important to keep in mind that someone else's opinion of whether or not you should get a divorce is, to put it bluntly, not relevant. Your mother (or his mother, or whoever) is not living your life. She is not married to the person you're married to; therefore, her opinion as to whether or not you should stay married should not be a factor in your decision. You're the one who has to live your life. She does not.
 

foghlaim

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a brilliant reminder TL: something we should all bear in mind when listening to opinions or advice from others.

thank you.

wish i had you around all those yrs ago.. :)

nsa
 

stressor

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i believe that marriage is the most personal gift a person can have. it's a promise to allow three lives to happen at once. your, his and ours. a place in this world where you can say or feel anything and share it knowing that whatever happens it will never come back to haunt you. that of course would mean respect and fairplay above all. which is not easy to come by anymore.having said that, marriage never worked for me. and i do not think that a couple should stay together for the sake of the children. yes they end up with problems when you separate but in my opinion, the problems are far worse if they grow up feeling trapped with no positive feelings.
 

ThatLady

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I can certainly agree that staying in a bad marriage is not the best choice, stressor. It doesn't help children growing up to have to do so in an environment of anger, distrust, and constant bickering. The break-up of a marriage is very hard on children, but a child therapist can do wonders to help them work their way through the problems they face with adjustment. There's not much that can be done for children who live in a war-zone every day of their lives.

In my opinion, if your partner is bringing a drinking problem to the relationship - one he's not willing to acknowledge and deal with - he's bringing in a problem that will only get worse. I noticed you mentioned such a problem in a post in another thread. You can't "fix" things alone. It has to be a concerted effort on both your parts to actually see a positive change. If he's not willing to do his part, any efforts on your part are not going to change things appreciably. It's sad, but that's the way it really is. :(
 

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