Getting Legally Married or Not?
In a comment to entry 37, I was asked, if I have ever been married, to which the reply is no.
In entry 2, under The Meaning of Commitment, I already outlined the emotional and psychological meaning of commitment for me.
When I was at university, there was a leftist-progressive atmosphere, and getting married was considered an obsolete procedure, at least as long as there were not children to be considered.
Unfortunately, this was part of the so called 'saksual (misspelled on purpose) liberation', which lead to promiscuity and disgusted and disgusts me. Instead of taking control over the own behavior based upon own values and responsibility as humans by refuting the interference of society by the requirement of formal marriage, humanity was renounced in favor of uncontrolled submission to instincts.
I could never understand, how the regression from being rational humans and forming bonds with mind and body down to copulating indiscriminately like stray alley dogs could be misunderstood as progress.
To me, formal marriage was obsolete, because it was an external meddling into a completely private decision.
The private decision is entering the marriage of the mind, the beginning of the commitment, and if anything could be a 'ceremony' of entering that marriage, it is the symbolic act of the beginning of physical intimacy as sealing the bond of the mind and the heart.
Animals copulate and forget the target body the next minute. Sealing an emotional bond of commitment instead is to me the liberation from being animals, it is a way of being human.
Practically seen, for childfree atheists from the same country, legal marriage is more a hazard than a benefit.
For religious people, marriage is a ceremony, where two partners reduce themselves to obedience to rules of how to treat each other, that are imposed to them by a deity. They are not two free individuals, who decide together, what obligations of commitment they agree to have to each other. If they fail, there is a probability, that they feel more guilty to the deity to the partner. I doubt, that a catholic has much motivation to self-control, if he can go to confession, do the prayers and whatever the priest demands, and feel, that he has payed for the transgression, so he has earned the freedom to transgress again.
Legal marriage is a signature in a townhall, that bears certain financial benefits and certain financial risks. Depending on the personal situation, it is an advantage for some people, and a disadvantage for others.
Legal marriage is only needed as a protection by law by a person, who is raising children, to be provided for.
I personally can only see one reason to get married, and that is, if someone from outside the Schengen area would come to live with me here.
The big deterrent of unnecessary legal marriage is the fact, that in most countries, divorce is much more difficult to obtain, than getting married. The higher the obstacles to divorce, the better it is not to get legally married at all. In Germany, divorce is done in a court of law, at least one lawyer is obligatory, and there is a full year of legal separation required as a condition. But it makes no sense, that divorce should be any more difficult than marriage, as long as there is consent.
Many people, who do get married, have the illusion, that marriage is some magic protection against bad behavior of the partner, as if the threat of the divorce would make bad persons control themselves. Most of the time, marriage gives advantage to the ruthless and makes life more difficult for the weaker part. A signature in the marriage registry does not change the character of a person.
If someone is not content in a relationship, it is better, that he is free to go, rather than having the deterrent of the high costs of the divorce making him stay and cheat instead.
If someone wants to mistreat the partner, and the divorce is a deterrent to the partner, he dares to behave much worse than if the couple is bound together only by emotional commitment. In this case he knows, that if he breaks the commitment, there is nothing to stop the other from ending the mistreatment by leaving.
Marriage is therefore no way to prevent pain, it is only a choice for what kind of pain it will be, if the couple is not a good match. But if they are a good match, then there is no reason to ever get married at all.