“Why aren’t you married?” and “Why don’t you want do get married?” are the two questions I always get around me. I’m not the only one involved in a long term relationship and not married. Just in my newsroom, four other journalists are in the same civil situation than I. Axinia wrote a very interesting post about this phenomenon, indicating that if we decided now to get married, we would have a higher chance to divorce than non cohabiting couples before marriage.
The most common explanation to non married cohabiting couples is that they aren’t sure they found the one, and leave open the possibilities to finally find that right person. But when I ask this question around me, the answers are quite surprising. Some people do admit the man they share their life with isn’t the one, or doesn’t correspond to their ideal of the prince(ss) charming. In that sense, if they decided to get married with their partner, for sure, their couples wouldn’t last that long. Yet, for the others, this case doesn’t necessarily apply.
“We have been together since we were in high school, and it’s been almost 25 years since we started our relationship. But for a reason, we never decided to get married. Everyone thought that we would do so after we both graduated from college, but each of us got busy finding a job and then got involved into a very demanding job that we didn’t want to add the pressure of the marriage on our life. We thought we would marry when we would get our first child, but when my “wife” got pregnant, we didn’t seize the opportunity to make finally our relationship legal. We don’t see what marriage could bring more to our couple, she makes me happy, I make her happy, we don’t need to vow that to each other. It’s obvious to us” O., 41, explained.
“It’s just that I don’t see the point of the wedding ceremony. I don’t see myself in a wedding dress, I think it’s not for me” C., 34, said.
“I just got through a painful divorce with my ex-husband. We married six months after we met each other, and he left me for another woman. This sad experience made me think twice before jumping into another wedding. That’s why I will never marry again. I’ve been with the same man for 8 years now, we are the proud parents of a little daughter. I don’t know if our relationship will last, but we try to make everything possible to reach that goal, and that’s the most important thing for me now” A., 35, said.
“I don’t want to follow my mother’s path. She got married young with my father just because it was the only opportunity for her to get out of her family, and underwent several humiliations while she was married. They were constantly fighting with each other, she wasn’t happy at all. This has really affected my love life. I don’t want to get married, just try to make my relationship work with my partner. I don’t see the point of the marriage”K., 33, explained.
“Maybe we’ll marry when our kids will have 18 year old. Why we didn’t get married earlier, I don’t know. At the beginning of our relationship, we weren’t sure at all it would last. It took us years to realise we were made for each other, and pass that stage, we didn’t feel the need to get married” N., 33, said.
With divorce rates higher than ever, most people think twice now before jumping into marriage. The fear of failure is like the sword of Damocles for some people that they choose the “easier option”. When you think about it, these non-committed relationships don’t demand as much as effort as a married union would do. It just depends on what and where you want the relationship to go. There’s no universal rule for a lasting couple. Some married couples would divorce after just two years spent together, other after 20 years, or would never divorce. Some unmarried couples would break sooner or later, some other would last until death do them part.
So, here’s the question, do you think a couple has a better chance to last if married, or not?