Long-term readers will know that my marriage broke down because my ex-wife cheated. After just two years of marriage (and a decade of being together before that), she chose a person she had never met in person over somebody with whom she had spent 12 years. That process led to a lot of soul-searching for me which included the loss of the fear of being single. My attitude towards long-term commitment has also changed. I love my girlfriend and think the world of her, but I do not want to get married a second time.
I repeat: I do not want to get married a second time.
It’s nothing to do with her. She’s perfectly fine and we are great together. It’s not that I don’t want to marry her it is that I don’t want a wife or to call myself a husband. We have derogatory words for men who don’t want to get married, they typically come with shaming tactics such as “man child”, “commitmentphobe” and “player”. I am none of those things. While I have chosen to remain child-free, I am also choosing to remain marriage free.
I Don’t Want Children
That is the major reason for not wanting to get married. Despite that attitudes unwed parents have changed for the better and we no longer attach that stigma to unmarried parents, there is still the expectation that parents of a child get married eventually. I don’t want children. I have never had a single paternal bone in my body and at 41, that is unlikely ever to change now. No nuclear family, no 2.4 children, no toddler groups, no watching Teletubbies (or whatever kids watch these days). So… what’s the point in getting married?
It’s Easier to Walk Away
The only winner in a divorce case is the solicitor. Although if we break up we will have common law rights, it’s easier to come to a mutual arrangement and not need solicitors. My ex-wife and I had a quick divorce. We had no assets to break up and she did not contest the grounds for divorce (adultery). I vowed a long time ago that if a future partner cheated on me, I would not fight for the relationship. For the sake of my own sanity and dignity, I will simply walk away.
I’m Not a “Traditional” Type of Person
I have no desire to be a household breadwinner. Not that modern marriage makes that obligatory, but there is always the unspoken expectation that “the man of the house” rules the roost and takes charge. From my posting, you are probably aware that I am an anti-feminist, but that doesn’t mean I am anti-equality. If anything, I resent the pressure of being expected to lead, make decisions for the family and generally “be a man” as we still disgracefully call it. I want equality in a relationship.
There is No Benefit – For Anyone
There used to be tax benefits to getting married, but not now. The married person’s tax relief in the UK applies only to those around retirement age. Today, we can do all the thing associated with marriage. I can nominate my girlfriend to receive my pension and savings in the result of death and vice versa. If we’re living together long enough, that entitlement becomes automatic anyway.
Because Divorce Hurts
It’s not just the going over the intimate details. It’s not just the dividing up meagre possessions (although you would do this with any breakup), it’s that the pain of knowing she chose another man over you only intensifies with every slow, deliberate piece of bureaucracy from the courts. Leaving solicitor fees aside, there is something gutwrenching about having to apply to a court to tell you that you are no longer together and having to pay for the “privilege” of the legal and final separation that means you can start your healing process.