Marriage – does it really matter?

Apr 1 • Featured • 1079 Views • 15 Comments on Marriage – does it really matter?

A new survey by has revealed that 86% of Women's Institute members don't believe young couples work hard enough to stay together and that if they were married, they would stand a better chance of staying together.

The WI also believes that the Government should do more to support the institution of marriage and that money is the no 1 stress on relationships.

While I'm with them on the money part (I think money is probably the no 1 cause of arguments for most couples I know) I know plenty of couples who are 'co-habiting' but who are incredibly stable – more stable, in fact, than many married couples I know, where the rot has really set in and is having a major impact on the quality of their family life.

I'm also not sure what more the Government can do. And does anyone seriously decide not to get married for tax reasons?

I'd love to know what you think.

written by Liz Jarvis


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15 Responses to Marriage – does it really matter?

  1. Nat says:

    My husband I have been together 12 years we only got married last year and already had two children. It’s not and sadly still isn’t that important to us. We did it as we thought it might make things easier for us with the children. We know we love each other, and support each other, we both come from broken homes and we know that just because we’re married doesn’t mean it’s forever. We all know that people and time change. Yes it’s a negative way to look at things and of course we hope and pray that we never reach that point. My number one reason for not getting married was. I know I will not cope with divorce and I never ever want that. My parents put me through hell and it was very damaging when they got divorced. I know that we would never approach it like that should it happen, but it still isn’t a great memory. People kept asking and still do if I felt different being married and TBH utterly honest 4 months after we got married I was an utter bitch and hated the fact we had done so. I was happy the way things were, we had no reason to get married. I made no secret to my husband that I wished we had never of done it. I am not so horrid about it now nearly a year on but it’s still no big deal to me or my husband. I never had the white wedding dreams! Money well after being together so long yes Money has caused a few rows but not as much as "why do you leave garbage NEXT to the garbage bin?" 😀

  2. leslieanne says:

    Sorry, WI, I think you are talking rubbish. My Mr & I have been together nearly 13 years now without exchanging vows. It’s not that we don’t want to, we just haven’t gotten round to it – everytime we get some money together, something else comes up (moving – holidays – BABY!) – but bottom line, we couldn’t be happier thank you very much! We’ve already been together longer than many marriages last, and when we DO get round to tieing the knot, it’ll be the icing on the cake, not the glue that hold us together.

  3. Supersinglemum says:

    To be honest I do think that women probably do view marraige different to men, and also it completely depepnds on your background. My ex came from a broken family and he didn’t see marraige as I saw it. I made my vows for life and we went through alot of money troubles brought on by him and I came close to leaving but believed I should stay and try so I did. He decided he wasn’t happy so sought comfort in my best mate. They are still together now 2 years on and have a daughter only 13 months younger than our youngest. They arn’t married and as far as I know have no intention to – he is in no rush for the divorce. But then her view on relationships in the 17 years I have known her is when things get rough around 5 yrs in, find someone else, have an affair to test the water, and then leave. I think when looking at marraige really it should be something that is discussed before the commitment made, make sure both parties view it as the same thing! As for money, I think tax and benefits etc should be based on the person and not make a difference if there is a piece of paper there. Not all married couples share money – in fact alot of abusive relationships have the power in the fact 1 party has all the money etc. Obviously there should be a cut off when it comes to partners earnings etc – but I’ve never understood why apparently single people need a bit more to live. It would be hard to monitor I guess if they evaluated each couples circumstances. As for the tax breaks talked about in the news – no I don’t think married couples should be entitled to more – each person should be entitled to the same.

  4. Emily O says:

    I don’t think it matters whether you’re married or not, it’s the quality of your relationship that’s most important. I have some friends who have been in long-term relationships for fifteen years and others who were on their second marriages before reaching 35. I think weddings are great fun but once all the excitement has died down it’s just the two of you and your relationship. Whether you’re married or not you still have to work hard at it. Being slightly traditional I think it’s nice for children to be born ‘in wedlock’ but that’s just an old-fashioned ideal view I have. Lots of my friends have children and aren’t married and it doesn’t make much difference. You’ll either stay together forever or you won’t.

  5. Julie says:

    It’s my 9th anniversary this year, I got married when I was 30 years old so I didn’t exactly rush into it, being from a broken home too I wanted to be very sure, I remember very well that it felt good to make a public commitment to my husband but did it really matter – no of course not, it’s a personal thing it doesn’t make me any more committed to being together, it can still be undone (just costs more LOL) We have children now (3 and 2) and my daughter has a very strong sense of the family unit and after being to a family wedding we have had a big talk about marriage etc, she seems to take it all very seriously (trying to keep a straight face was hard!) Most cultures all over the world have some form of marriage/joining ceremony, can they all be wrong…..

  6. New Mummy says:

    Me and OH aren’t married and we have no plans to get married, actually I have no plans. I have never wanted to get married, for me I don’t need a piece of paper or to tell the world I love OH for him to know I love and want to stay with him for the rest of my life. My mother is about to get divorced for the 4th time, all my aunts and uncles have been divorced and my two best friends. I don’t feel the need to have a wedding, don’t get me wrong I love other peoples weddings it just not something I want for me. It doesn’t bother me that I have a different surname to BG, there were points in my life that I had a differnet surname to my siblings and mum and it was never an issue. Being married doesn’t keep you togetherer, your love and support if each other does.

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  8. TheMadHouse says:

    I am a traditionalist, I have said it time and time again on my blog. I believe in marriage. I believe it working ahrd at keeping my marriage alive and also that people should remember that they loved this person once and they need to keep working at loving and living together, to not get complacent with each other. I do hope my marriage will last. It does matter if you are married, there are statistics that say poeple who are married stay together longer and surly when children are involved a commitment, even if it is an outdated one is better than bothing

  9. Expat Mum says:

    Funny thing – none of my friends here (in the States) are co-habiting yet fewer of my friends in the UK (who are) have split up. The divorce rate over here suggests that a marriage license really doesn’t make that much difference.

  10. Jane O'Riordan says:

    I think marriage is hard – any relationship is hard when the going gets tough. I think you both have to work at it. I think you have to respect each other. I think talking things through if you can really helps – so communication is vital. We have always said, ‘Never let the sun go down on your wrath’, in other words always make up before you go to sleep if you have had a row. Children always understand more than perhaps we give them credit for. If things are not working out then maybe the best thing is to leave. We have been married 21 years.

  11. Karen @ If I Could Escape says:

    I think more people marry over here in the US especially when having children and becoming a single income household is in their future simply because they have to for health insurance, etc. There really aren’t the common laws in place here that there are in the UK for couples.

  12. Lottie says:

    Marriage is hard but then all long term relationships are. I believe that having children together is a far greater commitment. I don’t think people work hard enough at their relationships and give up at the first hurdle. I know people that have been married three times in the 10 years that my husband and I have been married. I am fortunate to be very happily married but that has not always been the case and there have been times when we have questioned if we want to continue. The one thing that has always driven us to work through the hard times is the fact that we absolutely love each other and we can always remember that time when we first met and in the proceeding two years when we absolutely adored each other and chose to marry! Whenever in trouble we make an effort to remember that time and remind ourselves that we could never fall as hard in love with anyone as we did with each other and therefore if we can’t make it work together then no one can. We now have children which drives us even harder but I have to say that for every hard time we drag ourselves through we have many, many great times we float through. I love being married and wouldn’t change a thing.

  13. Magic Mummy says:

    I think marriage is important because of the commitment it symbolises. I don’t think it’s as important as the need to work at a relationship, I just think that if you are married you will work harder if it starts to fall apart – that’s just my opinion though 😉

  14. Emma says:

    Oh I didn’t know being married made you worse off? Me & Jon know that one day we will get married , and if it wasn’t for me wanting the whole church/perfect wedding dress/honeymoon then we would probably settle for a register office as there is no difference between us now & if we were married. It would be lovely to have the same surname as Jon & Oli but I dont see the importance in rushing a marriage because we’ve had a child. I know we’re going to be together for a long time coming and that to me feels just as strong as what a marriage would! 🙂

  15. Antonia says:

    Marriage is important and it annoys me slightly when people refer to it ‘as a piece of paper’ – it is more than that, it is a commitment to each other, to your lives together, to your future – lets not forget a marriage is between 2 people not parents and children. Don’t get me wrong, I know many couples that co-habit for years on end and are perfectly happy but then I also know many couples that co-habit for a decade and one day ‘just call it off’ – there is no understanding or committment to work at the relationship and perhaps if they were married they might have tried harder, made more of an effort. The world today is all to easy to ‘give up’ if the going gets tough and a committment like marriage is there in place to support and remind you of your love and your promises. When my husband and I have arguements (few and far between) and I think ‘this is it’ I look back at our wedding DVD and it reminds me of how much I love him and what we stand for. I have an open mind and would never judge any one on how they choose to live however I think that in todays society young children need to understand what a family unit is and what it stands for, what support and love you get and how you continue to strive for better and stick by someone you love. A lot of children grow up without a male or female role model in their lives and this has a bearing on what they decide to do in life. I am very happily married and have 2 beautiful children and my husband and I made a promise to work through any difficulities that we may face together and if that day ever comes when we decide that there is no better way then out, that will need to be taken very seriously and discussed in detail as it is not an option that either of us wanted when we started out and still today is not an option. My mum always said that you can’t make your house a home with your kitchen door standing open!


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