Sunday, February 17, 2008

Getting Married (legally)

My fiance and I looked it over, and decided two weeks ago that we needed to sign a certificate saying we were married. I need to get him on the lease, and I need health insurance, so I signed piece of paper by the state is what we need to achieve both ends.
We are still going to have a big ceremony in September, so I didn't think that this was that big of deal. I mean, our relationship isn't going to change one iota, so to me this was like akin to playing word games with the government.
Well, we were supposed to be married yesterday, but our good "reverend" (PE, who got himself ordained online in the church of secular humanism) decided he needed to get really, really sick. So, now we have to wait another week, for PE to get better and so his friend R can come up for the weekend to witness.
Our parents were oddly weird about this arrangement. They both came to see the logic in it, but are all upset that they won't be here to see it. I'm like "we're signing a piece of paper and mailing it off, what is there to see?" My friends are also all excited about this, for some odd reason, one they refuse to speak.
Like my friend B, who said that this will be a major change. I said "What change? We're already living together, we slept together years ago, and we're not even getting the social recognition, just the legal ones". He said I was missing the point.
But the thing is, I was getting weirdly excited for this whole marriage thing. And I'm not even entirely sure why. I don't need a piece of paper to know I want to be together forever with my love. I also find it ironic that marriage is supposed to be about me and my love, and so far has more to do with people who aren't us.

14 Comments:

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Kelly said...

I remember when I got married. We lived together for years before we got married. Eveyone told me about "how it would all change." And it did change. It got better, and it keeps getting better.

It's what you both make of it, and it sounds like you have a solid foundation.

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://jfi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/2/255

Congrats.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

Huh, I really don't know what to take from that. I can't access the full text of the article, so I have no idea what the biases, flaws, or whether the information is speculative or not.

Is that supposed to say that I'm going to be unhappily married and/or get divorced? If so, what's with the "congrats?"

Oh well, an anonymous poster on a random blog doesn't exactly fill me with dread at my "emimnent" divorce.

 
At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Congrats girl... said...

Sorry, I meant good luck, not congrats.
Look at the research out there. Research overwhelmingly indicates that cohabitation is bad for marriage. Oh, better yet, do your own research: find 10 people who are under 45 and divorced. Ask them if they cohabitated or had sex before marriage. Keep count, and report your findings on your blog. And try not to have your own biases, flaws or speculative information.

You guys are going to run into problems -- you might make it, you might not. You rant about how closed minded your family is. In the name of "know thy self" you should ask if maybe you are closed-minded. Maybe there is something to traditional marriage, maybe human beings need an oath in front of witnesses to make them accountable to each other, and maybe sex should only come after you both swear to stay with each other till death. Marriage is about love. Love is not a feeling; it's a decision.
Please take my advice: the two of you make a plan. What will you both do when (not if) problems arise? Speaking from personal experience here.
Wishing you much luck.

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

Well, I can't actually look at that research, because I don't rightly feel like spending fifteen dollars to read it. If you could send me to a free research, I'd appreciate it; otherwise, I have no idea what the study was, and what the researchers biases were. I'm afraid I can't try the anecedotal evidence thing: I don't know 10 people under 45 that are divorced. All of my friends that are married (my age) are still married. I can think of many people over the age of 45 that SHOULD have gotten divorced, however.

Independently of that, of course Hubby and I will run into problems: every marriage does. Hubby and I took steps, including seeing a premarital counselor, on what problems we are likely to have and address them before the wedding. Furthermore, I don't think divorce is the worst thing that can happen in the world. Marriage is only good if it is a source of happiness and calm, if it isn't, one should get divorced. I am not going to swear to stay together with him forever, we're going to stay together for as long as we want to. Fortunately, I think I will want to forever, but that's another story. :) We love each other, I'm willing to say that might not always be enough and we'll have to work through the rough patches. But, I don't think this has anything to do with sleeping or living together first, nor do I think that our relationship is much of anybody else's business.

"Traditional" marriage, by the by, is something I am not interested in. I am not property, and this wasn't a transaction between my hubby and my dad, this is an expression of love between two equals and the subsequent tax benefits.

 
At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Confused... said...

Let me see if I understand:
1. You love him and
2. you think you want to be with him forever.
3. Divorse ain't that bad because
4. marriage should only be happyness and calm.

So if something stressful happens like, he is injured, becomes disabled, or becomes addicted to drugs or drink, whatever... you could potentially get tired of the marriage and divorce on the grounds that you arn't getting the happyness and calm you deserve.

What if you loose a limb? or your eyesight? or develope cancer? and the stress of taking care of you or seeing you suffer gets to him? Your totally cool with him divorcing you?

You got married because you think you want to be with him forever and tax breaks.

And it's no one elses buisness so you write about it on your blog.

hmmm....

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Sorta
4. No

Divorce is not that bad, insomuch as it is not the worst thing to ever happen to a person. Divorce, like any break up, is generally heartwrenching, but sometimes it is the better option.

4. Marriage should be a SOURCE of happiness and calm does not mean that it will always be happy and calm. Think of it like playing a duet. Sometimes, it can be stressful because you need to practice, and you'll hit sour notes. But, generally it is beautiful and sound lovely together, giving you a source of joy in life. If the person you're playing a duet with some day wants to only play classical, and you want to only play rock and roll, you are going to sound horrible together, and it's not going to be a source of joy anymore, and you should go on to find different parterners.
And if he wants to leave me, and I didn't, of course I would be upset. But I have no right to FORCE him to stay with me; even if I had cancer or whatever. (On a practical level, I'm sure he wouldn't, and I know I wouldn't if he was injured or hurt. Yes, it bothered me to see him suffer, but it warmed my heart to know I was helping him.)

And of course, if it's on my blog its fair game to talk about. But, what I don't include in my blog is no one's business (like some details about my relationship).

 
At 10:14 PM, Anonymous not confused... just wondering... said...

Just wondering, knowing what you think about abortion from some of your other posts: is this something your husband agrees with? for a woman to be free to choose an abortion?

This brings up an interesting question, what if you concieved and you wanted to have an abortion, but he didn't want you to abort his son or daughter? What if he became convinced that abortion was the taking of innocent life? i.e. what if he became prolife? What would you do? Divorce a guy who wants to take care of his kid?

Or a different scenerio: you concieve and decide you are ready to become a mom and you want to keep the baby. What if your husband is totally oppose to you having the baby? Now, this is no longer an unwanted child. You want the baby but your husband wants you to abort him or her. Maybe you become prolife and consider what he wants you to do to be killing your child? Would you keep your husband and have the abortion?

In either case, ethically speaking: Do you have the right to abort a child he wants? or in the other direction: Does he have the right to expect you to abort a child that you want?

"...this is an expression of love between two equals..."

If you believe you are equals, then you believe he has an equal say in your reproductive rights. Or is he only equal if he agrees with you?

Just wondering...

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

To answer your question, my hubby believes that abortion has to be a woman's choice, since it happens in her body. I agree.

We have already talked about what would happen if we got pregnant. He said he would support my decision. If I were to get pregnant, we would discuss it, but ultimately it would be my choice.

The same thing if hubby wanted to get a tatoo: we would talk about it, but because it's his body, it's got to be his choice.

If I wanted an abortion, and he was against it, I would get an abortion and if he divorced me, well then, our relationship wasn't that strong was it? I wouldn't divorce him because he wanted to take care of "his" kid, but because he didn't respect my autonomy to be pregnant or not.

If I concieve and decide to keep it, that doesn't make me "prolife": I'm still pro-choice. I choose to keep the pregnancy. Again, if he was totally opposed to it, we would talk about it, but it would have to be my choice in the long and short of it. It would add a new wrinkle if he didn't want to help me raise a child, but that is something I would have to think about it, and it would have to be my choice.

The pregnancy happens in MY body, so it would have to be my choice on whether or not I want to continue it. My body, my choice. I do have the right to abort a pregnancy that I do not want. I do have the right to continue a pregnancy I want. His choice is whether or not he wants to stay married to me.

When it happens in his body, than it has to be his choice. I don't want him to get a tatoo, he does. So, he's getting one, and that's ethical because I don't own him, and he doesn't own me. Or, to take another example, if he wanted to join the Air National Guard (like he's thinking about) and I don't want him to join (which I don't) I still don't have the right, ethically or legally, to keep him from joining, even though I do have to deal with the consequences of such an action.

So, if I can respect his bodily autonomy, why shouldn't he respect mine?

 
At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Wondering... said...

Fine, so when you say "equal" you mean when he agrees with you.

This whole thing about autonomy and a woman's right to an abortion: When did you become autonomous?

Like, I always wanted to ask a hard core prochoicer this question: When did you begin to have the right to control what happens to your own body? i.e. How old were you when you became autonomous?

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

Those are two seperate statements. My hubby agrees with me about abortion. My hubby and I are equal. Those two statements are seperate thoughts; he is not equal because he agrees with me.

When did I become autonomous? Legally, when I turned 18. Ethically, autonomy should be conferred with capacity (Legally, we have to have a bright line: I'm okay with having 18).

 
At 3:20 PM, Anonymous wondering some more... said...

Autonomy is the capacity of someone to make uncoerced decisions about what is allowed to happen to them.

Before you became autonomous you were protected by the law. In other words you didn't have this capacity to decide what could and could not happen to you. Your rights, then, were yours by virtue of being a person.

When did you become a person?

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

Your second paragraph makes no sense. You say that I was protected by the law before I became autonomous. I couldn't decide what I could and cound not do or have happen to me.

Where you lose me is when you call this "rights". Legally, I didn't have rights, beyond not being abused. My legal rights are based on me being a citizen, not being a person.

I've already said this in other threads, and this is a horrible drift, but I'll answer this: I became a person somewhere in my mother's third trimester, when my brain and my nervous system were hooked up, and my blood was actually pumped by my heart. And now, I am an actual person, and deserve to have my autonomy respected, including not being forced to risk death and disease.

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

Oh, and Congrats Girl, if you stop by again on this thread:

http://client.norc.org/jole/SOLEweb/8197.pdf

 

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