The Advantages of Getting Married

by Kristina on September 27, 2012 · 5 comments

Good Morning Dinks.  Yesterday I met with one half of my favourite bank couples.  I have a couple of clients who deal with our bank branch for both of their individual personal finances as well as their retirement and estate planning as a couple.  The two men, who for confidentiality reasons we will call “Adam” and “Mike”, are two of the nicest and most charismatic men whom I have ever met.  They are well travelled, well educated, and well spoken.  There is a slight age difference between the two men of 10 years but nevertheless they both appear to be on the same page personally, professionally, and financially.

Adam and Mike have been together for almost as long as I have been with my boyfriend Nick (13 years) and just like us they are also not married.  Yesterday I noticed (for the first time) a gold band on Adam’s ring finger and my first instinct was to ask if they had got married since the last time I saw them.  Adam told me that they hadn’t got married and that the ring was merely a sign of commitment.  I can definitely relate to that, it’s almost as if people trust you more when you are married. It seems like being committed for eternity to one person makes us more trustworthy.

Adam also told me that they have been together for so long that they both don’t see the point in getting married. I thought to myself…wow this all sounds too familiar, they must own the same “reasons not to get married” book as my boyfriend Nick.  Adam said that they looked into the advantages of getting married as a gay couple with a lawyer and they lawyer advised them that there are really no financial advantages to getting married.  Adam and Mike are currently recognized as common law partners, they both have a Last Will and Testament which clearly states that they are each the sole beneficiary of each other’s estate.

I absolutely understand Adam and Mike’s point of view, but at the same time there is so much more to getting married than the financial advantages. What about the peace of mind of waking up and falling asleep with the same person every day? What about knowing that you can always depend on your spouse both personally and financially? What about finding someone who makes you a better person, or to reference Jerry Maguire finding someone who completes you?

Why did you decide to get married?

The Advantages of Getting Married

Committing yourself to someone for the rest of your life

If you get married then you get to have a wedding

Knowing that you can live on a Dinks budget and not a single income

The Disadvantages of Getting Married

Your family may not like your spouse and this can cause conflict

Some people may feel like they have to live up to the typical wife or husband stereotype

If you never get married then you can never be divorced


Photo by Shelley Panzarella  

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alicia September 27, 2012 at 7:44 am

I actually think that the wedding is one of the disadvantages of getting married. I’m getting married in 10 days and this wedding is a lot of pressure and also a huge financial drain. It’s hard to have an inexpensive wedding. I’ve cut A LOT of corners with this wedding and I still feel like I’m wasting so much money and that there are so many things I’d rather of with that money. Just wanted to throw that out there.

2 Dana September 27, 2012 at 11:44 am

A gay Canadian couple is in a slightly different tax and legal situation than in the same couple in most of the states in the US. According to you they are recognized as common law partners in Canada. In the US, common law relationships are established after you can prove you’ve cohabited with someone for a established period of time (I maybe wrong but around 10 yrs I think is usually when you are considered common law but varies from state to state). Common law relationships are no different than marriage in the sense that you have all the legal rights of a married couple in terms of inheritance, medical visitation, and joint guardianship and rights to your children. However, some states, like Virginia have changed their legislation to preclude recognition of common law partnerships in order to prevent gay couples from establishing legal rights. In passing this legislation, the State of Virginia took away much legal recourse for the poor and women with children who cohabit but are not married. The law was originally created to protect these people don’t have education, funds, access to an attorney, or the foresight to establish the proper legal documentation unlike the couple you’ve described. Personally, I don’t see how this couple isn’t married (even though they didn’t have all the trimmings of marriage: the new rings) because they have common law status which I assume means their relationship has legal bearing and proper legal representation. So why get remarried when you are already married. Right? Who knows what are their social values? We could just as easily wonder why they don’t have kids? Aren’t there advantages to having kids….. Just because they are educated, financially minded, well traveled, and professionals doesn’t really mean that they want to throw parties or change diapers. And as far as a commitment, you can’t always depend on your spouse. They are human and they are going to let you down. Commitment its a choice you make everyday not just once when you go through a ceremony and you have to work at it. Plenty of people in committed relationships wake up go to run an errand and never come back so to speak, or are sexual promiscuous, or decide after 10 or 25 years that the person they fell in love has changed or they have changed and it is not a relationship they are happy with or want to be committed too for another 10 or 15 years. Not getting divorced is kind of ridiculous, a long cohabiting relationship with legal entanglement and joint assets can go to court and be just as “messy” as a divorce. Even if you aren’t married your family can still hate your cohabiting partner, which causes conflict, regardless of your martial status or if you and your cohabiting partner have children together. Alot of the advantages of getting married are quantifiable only in the fiduciary and legal sense. Less quantifiable but statistically relevant emotional and physical benefits of marriage, are just as plausible with in the confines of a long standing relationship i.e. like regular sex, higher rates of happiness, higher rates of professional success, longer life expectancy ( which only translates to men in heterosexual relationships), decreased mental illness, and better health.

3 Lee September 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm

“What about the peace of mind of waking up and falling asleep with the same person every day? What about knowing that you can always depend on your spouse both personally and financially? What about finding someone who makes you a better person, or to reference Jerry Maguire finding someone who completes you?”

Ummm… can’t you have all those things without having a legal marriage????

My fiance and I are questioning the reasons to get married as well. We were both set on a legal marriage until we ran our taxes to see what they’d be once we tied the knot. Turns out that we’d pay $10K more a year just because we filed a marriage certificate with the state.

After we thought about it, neither of us can say that having that legal doc means that much to us. Controversial as it may sound, we’d rather have that to spend on a nice vacation each year or for me to pay off my student debt.

We’d feel more like getting legally married if we adopted or had kids, but before then, since we have no deductions/credits we’d owe a lot more…at a time we need all our money to build savings and pay down debt.

4 Kristina September 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I guess that marriage means something different to everyone. Some people want the white dress and the big receiption and to some people marriage is nothing more than a legal document.
Thanks for reading everyone.

5 Danielle October 10, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Marriage is supposed to bring a kind of certainty to your life. I originally got married because it “felt right.” Now, I am staying married because I feel like I am on the best team ever. My husband and I work together, lean on each other, and celebrate together. We could do this without getting married, sure. But I like the social reasons for marriage- you are viewed as more trustworthy and it’s a great way to let guys down easy. ;-)

It’s nice to have one thing figured out in this crazy life. :-)

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