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Are there any benefits of marriage other than fulfilling a social norm and tax benefits. I’m trying to make sure I make an educated decision and look at all the pros and cons before signing a contract with someone which basically gives them 50% equity for everything in my life. Am I looking at this the wrong way?

likefunnysmarthelpful
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There are three points that I'd like to mention:

Firstly, marriage protects both partners in case of a breakup. You don't sign over half of your equity when you get married you sign over half of what you make moving forward. This ensures that if there is a breakup quartz and lawyers make sure that everything happens fairly.

Secondly having a commitment that you make publicly encourages couples to work through their difficulty instead of abandoning the relationship at the first sign of trouble. can this go too far and cause people to stay together when they have a bad relationship? Sure. but I think more often than not, it's a reminder that you don't bail on someone when times get a little difficult.

Finally, it's a convenient and easy way for end-of-life decisions and inheritance. you insure that if something happens to you, it is your partner who you love and trust following your end of life wishes, and that other people. You also are making sure that if something does happen to you, the money and assets that you've earned together stay with that person and don't go to parents or siblings or other random people.

I mean look, marriage isn't for everyone. It's true that isn't perfect. Yes there are problems, but there are also problems that come with being in a relationship when you're not married.

like

I can’t remember which comedian said it, but it was something to the effect of “women aren’t stupid like men. They don’t marry men who make less money than them. That’s why men pretty much always lose”.

Marriage is about forming a commitment to intertwine your lives together. It’s saying that you’re 100% all-in until you die.

If you and your partner agree and feel that your love and commitment is strong enough that you don’t need a paper to prove it, so be it. Most people aren’t built like that. Typically it takes 1 divorce to reframe the idea of marriage, because the commitment didn’t hold up for whatever reason and the cost of divorce and separating an intertwined life is a lot.

For most people, marriage brings closure to the idea that you could have life with another person. And similarly, it strengthens your belief that your partner is 100% committed to you. So when you face hardship, adversity, doubt, lust, there’s not an easy exit. Emphasis on easy exit. In addition, marriage simplifies the legality of intertwining your lives from a legal standpoint. You will always have additional paperwork that you’ll need to investigate and factor in with any financial account, medical, etc to ensure that you’re both able to access and execute anything or that you’re beneficiaries. For example, if one of you is out of a job, you wouldn’t be able to share medical coverage with a spouse, and a decent plan costs ~350-600 per month in the marketplace.

Regardless of any of this, this a discussion that you need to have with your partner. Because if they’ve always had the idea of marriage, that means it’s a core belief. And it won’t be easily swayed because of logic. There’s emotional attachment to the idea. They may also thing that you want the easy exit. You have to navigate that and understand logic will likely not be enough.

like
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If that’s the way you see it, I don’t think you should get married.

likefunnyhelpfulsmart

Ah OP…sounds like a hard no for you.

The reason to get married is because you and your partner can’t see ever wanting to be without each other for another day. You’re formally presenting yourselves as a team from that point onward.

If you’re thinking about it purely in economic terms, it seems likely you’ve not found the right teammate.

likefunny

OP, others have made great points about medical/next of kin care and tax-free transfer of assets on death, if you’re looking for purely practical reasons. The medical side is not to be understated - SO is not a category that carries any legal weight in access to health information or medical decisions on another’s behalf. You will not be your partner’s next of kin.

You seem anxious about losing your identity or the risks of a marriage not working out as though that’s a foregone conclusion. Even in a long marriage, you and your partner have distinct identities as individuals apart from your identity as a couple.

There’s an emotional/psychological element to the decision that can’t really be wished away, especially if your partner feels that way. I wouldn’t suggest Leeroy Jenkins-ing it, but on some level it’s letting your heart tell your brain that you’re all in on the relationship.

There are no tax benefits if you’re both making money FYI

like

This is in my con column already lol

funny

Does the symbolism of marriage hold any value to your SO? If it does, and you are actually committed to spending your life with this person, none of the above considerations matter.

And in the event they haven’t said anything to the effect of being pro-marriage, don’t just assume they aren’t. You’re clearly very vocal about how you feel about the institution of marriage, so your SO may feel inclined to follow your lead for whatever reason. Just know that after a while, all this pro/con analysis can come off as someone desperate to avoid the commitment of being legally and symbolically tied to one person. No one who actually loves someone goes into marriage actively weighing the likelihood of divorce.

likesmart

If even Sheldon Cooper had enough emotional range to understand that marriage isn’t exclusively a list of pros and cons and someone’s emotional desire / need for marriage can outweigh a list of ‘facts’, then you shouldn’t be talking about “convincing” your SO not to do it. Sounds like your post was more of an exercise in finding the best facts and figures to back up your argument rather than trying to get a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Some things aren’t strictly a logical decision, OP!

Ignore the haters OP - there are a lot of long term couples that exist outside of marriage. Just think of Oprah and Steadman. I don’t think they are married.

To me the biggest downside of not being married is the “fulfilling the social norm” part. When you refer to your boyfriend/girlfriend as such when you are 50, it feels a little silly. Calling them your partner in the US is frustrating because everyone will assume you are gay. (Nothing against gay folks - if I was gay, I don’t think I’d like it assumed I was straight either.). Saying the word “girlfriend/boyfriend” also projects to the people you are talking to that it is a temporary or fragile or uncommitted relationship (even if it isn’t) Anyway, social pressure is real and to me the main reason to get married.

From a tax perspective, think about estate tax too. When a spouse dies the assets pass tax free to the remaining spouse (USA…who knows in other places). Right now this doesn’t matter much because most people are below the threshold to be taxed at death but that can change. I doubt they take away the spousal exemption - but lowering the overall exemption is pretty likely.

Travel can also be an issue - some (rather backward) countries will give you grief if you travel with a non-spouse.

like

“I’m X and this is my spousal equivalent, y” 😂

funnylike

I find it odd and alarming that you have said your partner is interested in marriage, and here you are crowd-sourcing ammunition to convince her otherwise and validation of your own point of view. And i’m someone in a 26-year relationship without getting married. Honestly i hope she doesn’t marry you.

likesmart

Here is one case where gender truly doesn’tmatter!

like

Lol isn’t the purpose of marriage the love and commitment? If you’re that worried just get a prenup

like

Question for the original author: what is your and your partner’s current net worth? Reason for my question: most young couples have virtually no net worth when they get married. And in most states whatever assets you brought into the marriage are not considered martial assets. So if both you and your partner have limited to no real net worth don’t sweat it. If you receive money from inheritance it’s also not considered a marital asset. Worse case get a prenup.

like

There are other considerations (that you can get around with some legal legwork). If either one of you is in a position where the other one needs to make medical decisions, a spouse would be the one to do that. Get an advanced medical directive and a health power of attorney (not a lawyer so these might be called something else - point is think through health decisions before the decisions have to be made)

likesmart

Interesting point. Thanks I’ll look into this as well

like

I’m a happily married DINK and don’t necessarily think in my situation there is vs. just cohabiting. There are certainly strong economic benefits to having a partner that you live with compared to being single but marriage vs cohabitation doesn’t change anything.

likesmart

OP, what is this “one legislation away” thing you’re talking about? The tax code is firmly skewed in favor of marriage and families and has been for over a century.

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OP why did you ask the question if you don’t want to hear the responses? Seems you were looking for an echo chamber and didn’t find one

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I’m judging based on your replies to other people answering the question. Post publicly and you should expect criticism

like

On the aggregate married people live longer - companionship and love are hard to quantify but certainly huge benefits.

like

On aggregate *MEN who are married live longer. Women have shorter lifelines and more stress. Stay single, ladies. ;)

likefunny

We’ll I can’t say if you’re looking at it the wrong way or not but one thing that strikes out from your positioning of the question is that you’ve completely left out the emotional/human psyche aspect of marriage. I think you already understand the non-emotional things like tax and societal norms so there isn’t a need to talk about that.

From an emotional perspective, a marriage contract is the physical embodiment of a mental life decision - you’re going to make a life with that one person. Also, for the other person, this signing of contract might be what they may have dreamed of their entire life. So if you love each other a lot then both should feel the need to validate each other’s feelings of security.

If you’re worried about giving someone access to 50% of your wealth, then you should ask yourself what if the position is reversed - what if the significant other is the rich one? Would you still be thinking the same way.

Anyway, feel free to do whatever feels right for you but do keep in mind that humans are emotional creatures and that means that sometimes what we want defies practicality or logic but it’s how we are wired. If two people are truly in love, they will take that into account.

Good luck 👍

likehelpful

By the end of your conversation, your SO might not be. Because you spent the conversation arguing why marriage is a sham 🙃

The only way I see you could be convinced is if your SO is more articulate, which many speaking from an emotional perspective more often are not.

So, all I can say is good luck!

Commenting so that I can see OP get slaughtered some more

funnylike

There is no benefit of getting marriage. You don’t eat same food every day . We are moving towards on demand economy… take Uber , AirBnb for example. Married or families carry load for societies, good for tax base . Earn , save and enjoy life !

likefunny

I mean yeah. This is one of my arguments against marriage but I also see the emotional side of the equation and how it’s important it is in the society to show your commitment via singing some paper aka marriage. Just don’t know if falling into the societal norms carry as much weight as it does today in 10 years

like

Married for more than a year now and i must say it wasn’t my thing to do. I think i feel now i have ruined my life and there is no way it seems to fix it without hurting someone.

Thing 100 times before marrying i must say. My days and nights are now filled with a single thought what have I done. This love thing which everyone talks about is nothing but a compromise and a FOMO among friends.

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If that’s the way you look at marriage, don’t get married

like

Sick

Statistically I believe married men live longer than unmarried men.

like

H1 fair to assume you’d live longer if you’re with someone that doesn’t make you want to kill yourself lol

funny

If you perceive marriage as “signing a paper” then yes it seems silly to do that. If your partner sees marriage than more than a signature on a paper, then it might be worth trying to understand that POV and determining if you are willing to get married based on what it means to them. If you both view marriage as a signature on a paper, sounds like an easy decision not to do it.

like

You’re right, it is. Hence trying to look at it from a more balanced perspective. Some good points on this thread

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