Should we get married?
November 8, 2011 9:32 AM Subscribe
Should we get married?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a U.S. citizen (female). He's Canadian. We've lived together for two years now (have a lease together) and have integrated many other aspects of our lives. We talk about long term plans (house, kids etc), but neither of us are sold on the idea of legal marriage. Here's why:
I grew watching my parents who got married and stayed together "for the kids" make themselves miserable for 22 years. In short, the constant fighting and misery that continued in order to keep the marriage together has given me a rather jaded view of the whole institution. Sure, some couples are make it and are happy. Half of them don't. I still get those warm, fuzzy feelings watching chick-flics, but when I think about marriage as an institution the romanticisation (sp?) of it fades really fast.
He comes from a culture where many couples don't get married. They still have committed partnerships and families, but the legal marriage part (seen as religious) has largely gone by the wayside.
Neither of us is religious so that's not an issue and neither of our parents care whether we marry or not.
Plus there's the issue of supporting a political institution that is not open to all couples based on their sexual orientation and has historically been used as a means of repression.
But, historical issues aside, our main issue is immigration. He's currently in the U.S. legally on a student visa. But he's thinking of leaving grad school, which means that if he can't get a job, he has to go back.
In our view this unnecessarily and arbitrarily complicates our relationship. We would rather not have to worry about whether or not we'll be forcibly separated every time one of us changes or loses a job depending on which country we're in.
Thankfully, Canada offers a lot of protections for domestic partners. So I can legally emigrate there to live with him if need be without getting married. No such luck in the U.S.
So if we want to stay in the U.S. is our best option to get married? And if so, where? I know the states all have different laws regarding marriage and divorce (not that we're planning on divorce, but we're both rational enough to realize that state law can outrageously complicate things and make breakups more miserable than necessary (a la my parents)). Do you know which states have the most flexible marriage and divorce laws? I also know some states have different legal structures they force on you when it comes to shared property etc. Do you know which states allow you the most leeway for making those decisions yourselves?
Mostly what it comes down to is that we'd really like to have choice in shaping our relationship as it fits best for us. Our different nationalities and the laws regarding recognition of partnerships are making that difficult. We'd appreciate any guidance you can give.
Thanks a bunch.