with Angella Dykstra
I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.
Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.
It seems as though my last post struck a nerve with a few people, and it had nothing to do with why I appreciated the article I linked to. I am a huge proponent of marriage. I’m not saying that YOU need to be married, if you don’t want to be. I’m just saying that I love being married and I put the effort forth (as does my husband) to keep it fun and enjoyable and awesome. I am better for it, he is better for it, our kids are better for it. We have a very happy family unit.
Hence, why I write this column. To encourage and support and provide resources to support marriage and committed relationships.
You can have that same happiness as a family if you are not married, I know. I just speak of my own experience and I know that I would not be as…content? settled? secure? if I were not married. A lot of it is faith based, for sure, and part of it is that marriage is a covenant. A contract. A legally binding commitment. We promised to be together forever and were willing to sign on the dotted line to cement that commitment. I have friends who have lived together before they were married and once they got married they said that they noticed a difference. A positive difference.
That may not be the same for you. Our very own Leah left this comment on that post:
I don’t know…I take issue with the concept that “marriage”–a religious and/or legal status–is any better than, or even *different* than, any other permanent committed relationship. I feel absolutely no more committed to my husband now that he’s my official, legal husband, since our committment was cemented long before we signed any papers or had a ceremony. I don’t feel marriage has changed the way we feel about each other or our relationship, i.e., that we’re any stronger or more secure for it. We were strong before we were legally married, we were secure before we were legally married, and really the only thing that changed when we got married was that I was allowed on his health insurance plan.
As long as legal issues like health care and hospital visitation are tied to marriage, and as long as tradition is valued by the community (whether it’s religious tradition or otherwise), marriage will always be relevant. But otherwise? For many of us, being in a committed relationship has very little to do with marital status.
I live in Canada (Hello, eh?) and the law here is different. Once you’ve been living common-law for six months, you are considered married. You file your taxes together, you are a “family” for health care purposes, you can sign your common-law spouse up for all of your extended benefits through work. And, if you split up, your common-law spouse and you have to split everything in half. You are pretty much married, whether you signed a contract or not.
And yet, people still get married, even if it’s not for faith-based reasons. I have a number of friends in the U.S. aside from Leah (She is a good friend - we were roommates at BlogHer last year) who got married because they wanted to “make it legal”, whether it was for faith-based reasons or not.
This whole topic has made me wonder why you all got married. Was it your faith? Your culture? Pressure to conform? Health insurance? The fact that you get to wear a pretty dress and have a party? That your beloved is a hunk of burning love? Do tell.
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