Why do people get married?
June 9, 2006 5:14 PM   Subscribe

I've got two reasons for asking this: 1) to try to get some sociological insight and 2) for my own selfish purposes.

Couldn't find an answer to this one anywhere, and I hope this isn't an unreasonable question. I'm genuinely curious as to why people get married. I'm fairly unclear to both the legal, material purposes as well as the non-material ones. I understand marriage was a big thing "back in the day", and I guess it still is now, though to a lesser extent.

As to why I'm asking, here's a bit of background on me: I'm in my early 30's and have been with my bf for 8 years, in a satisfying and monogamous relationship. It's not a question of "is he the right guy." I am fairly certain we will end up spending the rest of our lives together. Additional details: We don't have a lot in the way of assets and we don't plan on having kids.

Marriage has never occured to me as something that we would or should do. (It's like watching people celebrating rituals...because I don't understand it, it seems completely alien.) So enlighten me! Why do people get married? Why did YOU get married? (Or prefer not to?)
posted by 1fish2fish to Human Relations (44 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Why do people get married?

Health insurance. No joke.

My wife and i were very happily living in sin, (we own a house together and always felt that the mortgage was more binding than any silly marriage certificate) At that point we have been together for about eight years, so it was pretty well established that we were a couple.

She got laid off from her job and as a result, lost her health insurance. Her allergies require her to see a doctor fairly regularly, and it would have cost us a small fortune. So we got married for the most romantic of all reasons: Health insurance.

Personally, i think we did it right. We got hitched in the courthouse, my mom, her mom, and two friends to act as witnesses. Total cost was about $100. And it was on Halloween. How cool is that?
posted by quin at 5:24 PM on June 9, 2006

I believe that it's a social conditioning thing, for the most part. We grow up and see that that's what is supposed to happen and so we're conditioned to want the same thing.

It seems to be slowing down, though, with more and more people putting it off or maybe avoiding it altogether. I can only say this from anecdotal evidence (hence "seems", not "is"), but I'm sure someone resourceful here will either refute or affirm that observation.
posted by twiggy at 5:25 PM on June 9, 2006

I think fear of growing old alone is a factor.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:32 PM on June 9, 2006

twiggy: correct. The stats from just about everywhere in the western world show fewer people marrying, and those that do marry, do so much older, on average.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:33 PM on June 9, 2006

here's some reasons:
public celebration of a couple's love and stuff
tax reasons (one person can claim the other's deductions for example)
legal reasons (a whole host of legal issues depend on being married--for example married people can't testify against each other, get to make life and death decisions, become next of kin, etc)
family reasons--a lot of times its important to the family--mom, dad, grandparents etc
posted by alkupe at 5:37 PM on June 9, 2006

i've somewhat conflated a wedding and marriage--maybe you could clarify if you're asking why people have a wedding or why people get married.
posted by alkupe at 5:39 PM on June 9, 2006

I'm with quin. I haven't yet married my gf of 11 years, but if we do it'll probably be so that she can get health insurance. Yep, it would be one of those courthouse deals for us too.

However, marriage can also get you a lot of other default legal arrangements and advantages thay may or may not matter to you.

GAO report on 'federal laws in which benefits, rights, and privileges are contingent on marital status' (1049 federal laws). Excerpts from that report, and excerpts from a list of state-level benefits.
posted by jepler at 5:46 PM on June 9, 2006

Response by poster: Alkupe - marriage, specifically. Thanks for your response.
posted by 1fish2fish at 5:51 PM on June 9, 2006

We got married 4 weeks ago and I really don't think there is an actual reason for getting married. We got engaged after only 8 months together and got married on our 3 year anniversary. For us, it just felt like the right thing to do.

I can't explain what made us do it, we're in love and happy, talking about buying a house and having kids.....None of which need us to be married.

I guess I really liked the idea of telling the whole world that this was the man for me and I never ever wanted to be with anyone else.

Ranglin's Missus
posted by ranglin at 5:59 PM on June 9, 2006

Response by poster: Sooooo, it seems like the good reasons to get married are for several legal/material purposes, and not for immaterial ones?

The 2 immaterial ones posted so far:
- keeping other family members happy
- social conditioning

Thanks for the links jepler.
posted by 1fish2fish at 6:02 PM on June 9, 2006

Response by poster: Oh, just posted the above before I saw your comment, Ranglin's Missus (apropos name, given your post!)

I think your response helps to "round out" the survey in terms of immaterial reasons.
posted by 1fish2fish at 6:06 PM on June 9, 2006

I married my (now ex-) husband because we each wanted the other to be our legal next of kin and medical decision-maker, and because we wanted to have a huge party attended by our friends and family.

Our "ceremony" was presided over by a friend of ours who became a mail-order minister through the Universal Life Church, and it lasted all of five minutes. Immediately after, the drinking commenced, and people in our circle of friends still talk about it as the best party they've attended to date. That was all we wanted from it.

Neither of us thought of it as some sort of necessary step in the progression of the relationship, and I don't think our relationship would have progressed any differently had we not gotten married.
posted by jesourie at 6:11 PM on June 9, 2006

Marriage isn't a private matter. It's a public matter. It's a social institution and serves larger social purposes. Two people can make a private commitment to each other, but a public commitment has more power (and thus is a larger commitment) because people are social creatures. This is why there's all sorts of ways in which we institutionalize and make public commitments that indviduals make with one another, not just marriage.

In western Europe during the middle ages and thereabouts, marriages were not initialized as formally as they are now. Two people could just declare they were married and they were. They could live as if they were married, and they were. But the lack of a formal initial declaration of marriage did not lessen the social force that the presumption of marriage had once a man and woman were married. In this sense, then, marriage even in this context was very public and social. This is necessarily true, because the ultimate authority (other than, say, a God) of whether a man and woman were married was what their peers thought. It was not exclusively a private contract. It was implicitly public, even when it did not have all the religious and legal public formalities it has today.

So in this sense, this is one way in which to understand that marriage is not equivalent to a private commitment between two people to be "permanently" monogamous. The way in which it's different, as I said, means that marriage can do something a purely private commitment can not. It's a stronger commitment, and that's one of the primary things that marriage accomplishes.

But it probably also serves some more diffused social purpose, perhaps simply in that it defines the smallest social clustering unit.

Those things are, nevertheless, still just means to ends. Why is a stronger commitment a useful outcome? Why is defining levels of social units a useful organization? Answers to these questions vary from obvious to mysterious.

I've never really understood, at least as an adult with regard to other adults, how anyone can expect that the default coupling relationship would be entirely private and entirely romantic. People are simply relentlessly more social than that. There's almost always a social context within which we do things and our sexual couplings are no exceptions.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:21 PM on June 9, 2006 [4 favorites]

It is, for many people, a religious sacrament as well.

/devoutly agnostic, happily unmarried to my bf
posted by desuetude at 6:29 PM on June 9, 2006

I would have thought that if you looked up the push for gay marriage, there'd be a lot of arguments as to why gay couples want to get married that would be generalizable to straight couples as well.
posted by jacalata at 6:31 PM on June 9, 2006

Well, at the time, my reason was definitely family (we're two flavors of Asian and had been dating for 10 years prior). The public declaration of love was a nice bonus. But now you've got me thinking . . . . There really is something to the act. I'm not religious, and I know that current divorce rates make "together forever" seem like a joke, but I still feel like it's a powerful statement. At the very least, you're legally, financially, and socially binding yourself to the other person, in ways that will make it difficult if not impossible to impulsively walk away.

I still don't believe that marriage is necessary, but I think I can appreciate why my husband wanted to do it.
posted by synapse at 7:08 PM on June 9, 2006

Um, I'm another one on the side of health insurance/ medical coverage. Our company did have medical for partners or some such term (if you're living together and share a bank account you qualify) and then changed companies that only extended medical to married couples and families. So after 7 years we got hitched so she would be covered. That's the real reason but we gave a more traditional reason to the families. It wasn't a religious sacrament in our case, but is true for some of our friends.
posted by rodz at 7:12 PM on June 9, 2006

I think questions like this somewhat miss the point. Marriage isn't something you go and get done, it's a way you live your life every day.

If you're going to spend the rest of your life pair-bonded, or at least planning that way, you're married. If it would be smart for you to hire a lawyer to help separate your stuff if you split up, you're definitely married. You just haven't registered your marriage with the State, is all.

My bride and I would almost certainly have signed the papers anyway, but things got prodded along by immigration concerns.

The broader reason to sign the papers and register your marriage with the State is to shift your legal status so that a bunch of essentially contractual powers, rights, and responsibilities come into play.

I find people's urge to refuse to admit against all evidence that they're married as puzzling as you seem to find getting married.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:16 PM on June 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Because that sex thing sounded kinda fun.
posted by madajb at 7:19 PM on June 9, 2006

Mortgage is the new matrimony! This article goes into some depth about not getting married.
posted by expialidocious at 7:21 PM on June 9, 2006

We're getting married in a few weeks. I think a lot of it has to do with validating our relationship in the eyes of society and our families, with making a public vow to fight for our relationship, and with legal protections. And maybe also so I can have a wedding, and thus a legit excuse to get all my far-flung frients to travel hundreds of miles for a great big party of my favorite people. I don't really expect it to change our relationship at all, though.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:35 PM on June 9, 2006

Response by poster: I find people's urge to refuse to admit against all evidence that they're married as puzzling as you seem to find getting married.

Rou, are you saying I am married, I just don't know it?

Dang it, someone send me my wedding gifts! ;)
posted by 1fish2fish at 8:09 PM on June 9, 2006

I suspect some people believe that marriage is a guarantee for a life without of loneliness (after all, don't they say "till death do us part")?
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 8:25 PM on June 9, 2006

I'm engaged, and we bought a house, a car and a dog already. We don't plan on having kids. Why bother, then? So our families (who have been very good to us) can celebrate, so we can have a big party with all our far-flung friends, and because we love each other and want to make a big deal of our relationship.

(What croutonsupafreak said.)
posted by nev at 8:34 PM on June 9, 2006

Best answer: Rou, are you saying I am married, I just don't know it?

most states still have a "common law" version of marriage, where you are legally married once you live as if you were for some period of time. As above, that's how marriage originally worked for the most part.

Your question can be understood three ways:
why do people commit to one another to stay together forever;
why do people declare this publicly in a ritual celebration;
and why do people register this contract with a public official.
For the first, it's generally that 'having a partner' thing that a lot of people crave, tho' it can also be about kids. For the second, it is a way to include your friends & family in what you consider a very important aspect of your life, and the emotional experience of actually enacting the contract can be quite powerful - like graduations or funerals, they aren't directly utilitarian, but that doesn't mean they don't serve a purpose. For the third, there are a number of practical benefits (taxes, healthcare, witnessing, etc), and it also just makes everything "official", like answering a census or something - it shares the info beyond just the personal circle into the public sphere overall.
posted by mdn at 8:38 PM on June 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

What madajb said. For those who believe they should not have sex outside of marriage (and there are still those folks out there), sex may be a factor in the decision to get married.
posted by sarahnade at 8:40 PM on June 9, 2006

I just got married this week. Basically for the reasons croutonsupafreak stated, but we didn't have a huge party.
posted by disaster77 at 8:50 PM on June 9, 2006

Rou, are you saying I am married, I just don't know it?

More that you're effectively married and won't admit it.

You have a cohabiting mate for an indefinite period up to your death. Your lives are mixed up together. If you split up, it might be wise to call a lawyer (or similar) to help you split up any common-held assets. You're married, you just haven't registered it with the state.

Like I said, I find this baffling. You could get increased legal protection and increased legal rights by filing a cheap set of forms. You could get most all of these protections and rights anyway, but at much greater cost, by hiring a lawyer to write up the appropriate contracts and powers-of-attorney. And at the end of the day, what you would become when all those contracts and powers were executed, was a wife by any reasonable definition.

I don't mean to be contrary. Lots of people refuse to get formally married for reasons that seem good to them. I just find it puzzling and a bit silly, but I find lots of things puzzling and silly.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:14 PM on June 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

A similar question from the Blue:

Out of sincere curiosity, I would love to hear what people feel/think the point or goal of marriage is today.

From an individual point of view, or from society's point of view? From society's point of view, the most important function of marriage is probably to make it easier to raise children. Compared to other species, newborn human infants are completely helpless, and extremely demanding. Having two parents in a stable, committed marriage makes it easier to manage the stresses of child-raising.

From my own point of view, the reason I married my wife wasn't to have children, it was because I wanted to spend my life with her. I realize that in theory we could spend our lives together without getting married, and that our marriage could fail at some point in the future. But I think marriage improves our chances: it forces you to think hard about the future, and to make a decision to commit to the other person. You know that the other person has thought about it and made a decision, that they're not just with you because of inertia. And if you run into serious problems at some point in the future, I'm guessing (I don't have any evidence at hand) that you'll work harder to try to save a marriage than a common-law relationship.

The wedding itself is a lot of work, but it's a good way to find out how well you can work together on a big project. And of course it's another form of commitment.

Marriage also brings social support from family and friends, although the increase in common-law marriage has diminished the importance of this. (In our social circles, common-law partners with children are treated the same as married couples.)

I don't mean to imply that everyone should get married, of course! If you choose not to marry, there's nothing wrong with that. But it does have some big advantages, particularly for couples who plan to have children at some point.
posted by russilwvong at 9:41 PM on June 9, 2006

For me, it would be mostly for health insurance + legal reasons. If it ever happened. I have zero interest in it as a social institution.

(22, F)

I have proposed to someone, in absolute seriousness. It went like this: "Well, if we get married, my good health insurance will cover you. Wanna get hitched?" (He declined.)

I figure once you're at the cohabitating stage of a relationship, the next question is, "Do I want to have kids with you?" The marriage question might be a corollary to that, but it's definitely secondary and would be entirely dependent on the legal rights afforded to domestic partners in whatever specific location we're in.

I guess I'm not a romantic.

(Incidentally, my mother is horrified by my attitude.)
posted by fuzzbean at 10:21 PM on June 9, 2006

I, as a fundamentalist christian (no jeering please), view marrage a little different than most people have stated here. I have a gf that I plan on marrying some day. The reason I plan on marrying her is that I believe that our relationship cannot become sexual until we are married. The Bible clearly states that there is to be no sex until marrage, and so that's what I believe. Also, it saves me the worries of STD's.
posted by tdreyer1 at 10:34 PM on June 9, 2006

Response by poster: I don't mean to be contrary. Lots of people refuse to get formally married for reasons that seem good to them. I just find it puzzling and a bit silly, but I find lots of things puzzling and silly.

Um, I don't understand this, but ok.
posted by 1fish2fish at 11:21 PM on June 9, 2006

Response by poster: Fuzzbean, that sounds really similar to my own situation. You're gonna love hearing "isn't it about time you two got married" after you've been together with somebody for about a decade.

Possibly from ROU_xenophobe, who I believe is my mother in disguise.
posted by 1fish2fish at 11:28 PM on June 9, 2006

Best answer: Different reasons depend on circumstances. My fiance and I are getting married next month because he's in the U. S. Military, and to be paid the benefits that take care of his family, he has to legally affirm that I am his family. It's also necessary to put me on his orders when he gets a new base And so we'll be paid to move the whole family's things and not just his. And the health insurance thing. And so USAA will let me be joint on his bank account, and I have access to the base and spouse resources for jobs, etc., etc., etc. Honestly, though, I thought that just living "in sin" (hah) would suit me fine, if the benefits were equal--but now that the wedding is planned I've realized how much the idea of being married does matter to me. I don't have a specific reason for that.

In general, the tax, insurance, and other legal benefits means that marriage is a form of legal protection of your ability to care for one another and of a couple (and any offspring) as a family unit rather than a set of roommates who also have an intimate relationship. Otherwise, it's just a headspace--a way of announcing to friends, family, God(-dess/FSM/Whoever), and the world that you are a family, a mated pair, a single unit, in the manner most socially understood and accepted (so that it's also the easiest for a pair to internalize themselves, and for others to understand--"this is my wife" has a deeper and more specific meaning to most people than "this is my partner," which could mean any of several things).
posted by Cricket at 11:54 PM on June 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Um, I don't understand this, but ok

I am admitting that I am a weirdo, and I understand that most people are lamentably not weirdos.

Possibly from ROU_xenophobe, who I believe is my mother in disguise.

It won't pick my pocket or break my leg if you tie the knot, or don't. It's your funeral. I don't see any meaningful difference between ostensibly-monogamous cohabition for the indefinite future, and marriage. Marriage is the word for "ostensibly-monogamous cohabitation for the indefinite future."

It just seems odd, in a cutting off your nose to spite your face way.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:07 AM on June 10, 2006

Why do you think so many gay people are pissed that they can't get legally married? Not because of the toaster from Aunt Tillie, but because there are over 1,000 rights that you get through the signing of, as ROU_Xenophobe put it, a cheap set of papers.

I love my husband and intend to be his partner forever. We had nice parties and whatnot but I am more interested in having state-sanctioned primacy in his life. Should he become seriously ill, my insurance will cover him, I can make medical decisions on his behalf if he is unable to, and no one can deny me the right to sit by his side. Should my name not be on our mortgage no greedy bastards can take our home from me if he dies. If I knock over a convenience store he can watch the whole thing and cheer and no one can compel him to testify against me. In the eyes of the law our union is sacrosanct and that means far more to me than any religious stricture.

In addition, when people know you are married, the automatic assumption is that you are a cohesive unit, a package deal. Fairly or not, countless social graces are extended to me as a wife that were optional or omitted when I was not. It's hard to ennumerate them all, but it's a matter of a more automatic respect, from our families, our friends, everyone. It's a social grease that eases decisions like how family time will be spent, where we both will live and how, what we choose to do with our money, ad infinitum. Of course there are plenty of people with the sense to grant that same grace to you, in your role of committed long-term partner. However, I'm betting you've had the experience of having it be otherwise, and I'm betting it made you mad but good.

People get married for a host of reasons, some of them appallingly stupid and some sublime, but what they all have in common is protection: a legal, social hedge that defends their privacy and their choices. It enrages me that two of our dearest friends, a male couple who have been together far longer than we have, do not have this. They wear rings, their families treat them as married, but they are not, and they will have to spend considerable time and money legally safeguarding themselves in a state almost entirely hostile to them -- where until a few years ago their most intimate and private acts were outright illegal -- in order to protect their interests. When insensitive people invite one but not the other to social events, or fail to acknowledge their union in other ways, they have to fight it in a way we never will. Because of them, I can never take the security my husband and I have as married people for granted.
posted by melissa may at 12:57 AM on June 10, 2006 [2 favorites]

"Why do you think so many gay people are pissed that they can't get legally married? Not because of the toaster from Aunt Tillie, but because there are over 1,000 rights that you get through the signing of, as ROU_Xenophobe put it, a cheap set of papers."

That's too glib. There's a reason that many gay people want to be able to get married and not just to be in a state-sanctioned civil union. There's also a reason why homophobes don't want the label "marriage" applied at all to homosexual marriages. Marriage is a very important social institution that homosexuals are explicitly and aggressively denied. It is a very direct, very revealing application of homophobia. The legal rights are very important, yes. The social recognition of the deep romantic commitment possible between two homosexuals is more important. Saying that gay rights is just about securing some basic civil rights for gay people may be (negligably?) reassuring to the dominant homophobic culture, but what it really is is the fight against the hatred and intolerance of the homophobic society of which the legal structure is only a portion. Gay people want to get married because getting married is what people do.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:37 AM on June 10, 2006

Saying that gay rights is just about securing some basic civil rights for gay people...

Reread what I wrote. I most emphatically did not say this.
posted by melissa may at 7:07 AM on June 10, 2006

My husband and I got married in Vegas. Elvis walked me down the aisle and the whole ceremony was broadcast on the Internet. Here's a bit from the pre-wedding announcement on my blog:


Now for those of you wanting romantic details, there are none. No one "proposed" to anybody else, and no jewelry has changed hands. I mean, eww. That just isn't us. So here's the story: We first discussed getting married three years ago when we were planning the move to Australia. It was along the lines of a, "Hmm, you wanna stop in Vegas? Well, I will if you will," kinda thing. It turned out that we didn't need to do it for the visa, so we didn't. The issue was always kinda out there though, especially as my family kept asking us why we didn't. Basically it was because we didn't have any good reason. We're not religious. Our "defacto" status (which basically means "common-law marriage") in Australia pretty much ensures us the same legal rights as if we were married. Politically, I find it despicable that the government (of both the US and Australia) wants to restrict marriages to heterosexuals. Every time John Howard or George Bush starts talking about the sanctity of marriage and the importance of procreation I start to see red and dry heave. I don't have any desire to be the shiny princess in a white dress and get handed to a husband like a piece of property. (Just my take; no offense to those who want the fairytale.) So why the change of heart?

Really, I think it was at Rodd's Aunt Linda's birthday party a few weeks ago. Her girlfriend Sue made a speech and then proposed to her in front of all their family and friends. I kept thinking about it for days. I mean, they can't legally get married. So what was the point of proposing? Obviously it was a big moment for them. Why? Eventually I came to the conclusion that it was the fact of making it all public. We knew they'd been off-and-on for years, but now Sue was telling everyone that she intended to be there for the long haul, that she was making a public commitment to be with this person from now on. And I saw the good in that. Linda knew that Sue was willing and unembarrassed to tell the world how she felt about her. They also knew that by making their relationship "public property" in a way, that there was now the pressure to make it work. We know how they stand. That's a good thing. And I decided that if it's good for them, it'd be good for us.

So that was pretty much it. I told the Snook what I'd been thinking about, and that I felt I'd finally reached a reason that I could live with. He agreed. And since we always said that we'd only do it if we could get married by Elvis in Vegas... the rest sorta fell into place. So no, no proposal on bended knee or shiny three-months-worth-of-salary blood diamond. Just a shy decision inspired by a couple of lesbians. That's one to tell the grandkids, huh?
posted by web-goddess at 7:07 AM on June 10, 2006

As a person in a 14-year and ostensibly permanent state of unmarried bliss with children, I see some good reasons and some not so good reasons to get married. First off, the whole idea of publicly declaring your love for someone is one of the most romantic things you could do. As a rite of passage, marriage is the most important milestone in our adult lives, at least amongst my social group.

On the other hand (in Canada, anyway) I don't see any practical downside to not getting married. We don't find that we're prevented from sharing social or insurance benefits because we don't have a marriage license.

Frankly, in our case, the romantic aspect was overshadowed by a large amount of social pressure to participate in what is essentially a piece of bookkeeping for the state. We ended up thinking that if you need the state's sanction to support your commitment, maybe that commitment isn't enough to get you through a life together. What melissa may says above makes perfect sense, but we didn't feel that we needed that hedge to keep us together. This is the Mae West argument: "They say marriage is an institution, and I'm not ready for an institution."

Finally, as a musician who used to provide music for wedding ceremonies, I've heard so much lame religious drivel used to sanctify "the sacred union of blah blah blah" that I can't take the whole thing seriously any more. I've also heard some great advice, sincerely delivered, but no where near enough.
posted by sneebler at 7:12 AM on June 10, 2006

As far as common law marriage, very few US states recognize it:

Georgia (if created before 1/1/97)
Idaho (if created before 1/1/96)
New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only)
Ohio (if created before 10/10/91)
Oklahoma (possibly only if created before 11/1/98. Oklahoma's laws and court decisions may be in conflict about whether common law marriages formed in that state after 11/1/98 will be recognized.)
Pennsylvania (if created before 9/03)
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Washington, D.C.

That's it. Fact Sheet
posted by SuzySmith at 8:04 AM on June 10, 2006

Some of us believe, very deeply, in marriage as a religious sacrament and in the spiritual bond that occurs as a result. Also, I would never want the children who will eventually come from my union to believe that we didn't love one another enough to marry. This is, perhaps, a result of cultural conditioning, but it's there and I feel strongly that my children should understand how deeply their parents love and respect each other. Since the religious aspect is important to me, it's really a nonissue.

More pragmatically speaking, it makes issues of inheritance, insurance, etc. much easier than having to visit an attorney to draw up paperwork.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 11:13 AM on June 10, 2006

My husband and I got married because we wanted to live together. I'm American and he's Canadian and we were told,"we don't allow just anyone to move to Canada!" We were told unofficially that getting married would make the situation much, much simpler.

And yes, we're happy with our decision. Although my family will never forgive us for not letting them know in advance.
posted by deborah at 11:42 AM on June 12, 2006

Deborah, your story is very familar to me. Except my (ex)wife and I didn't try to live in Canada because there would have been work restrictions on me for two years or so while there were no restrictions whatsoever on her in the US. I dunno if the laws have changed. The restriction I recall was that I would not have been able to work in any position that might come into contact with children until some probationary period ended.

Or maybe we were given bad information. I dunno. But that would be a bummer because I think I would have preferred it that I'd be living in Canada today instead of the US.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:07 PM on June 12, 2006

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