Im really curious about your thoughts on marriage.
Are there any reasons aside from legal rights given to married couples that appeal to you? Personally, I think it's an illusion, just another ideal society and even religion embeds in us. I have tremendous respect for couples who remain together in happy healthy relationships without the assistance of a legal contract to encourage commitment, loyalty etc. I guess I should add, I am in no way opposed to marriage I only think the perspective about the concept should be widened a bit. Thanks for reading my perspective, What's yours?

Also if you are a person opposed to polygamy/polyandry/group or arranged marriages will you please explain your position! Thanks, Im looking forward to reading your responses :)

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I am using polyamory as a person having more than one intimate, sexual relationship at a time with full consent and knowledge, blah, blah, blah...

I use this term to represent in a single word what I see many atheists consider a more "enlightened and mature" model for adult relationships.
I have nothing against what any number of consenting adults want to do to each other in the privacy of their home. Whatever they feel like sticking wherever they feel like sticking it is of no concern to me.
I was married in 1979.Divorced in 1992.Single since then,with one other relationship,of 7 years,which,coincidentally,ended 7 years ago.

Why did I marry?

For love? NO. I loved my wife,but was not " in love" with her.

Children? NO . I actually dislike small children, except in short doses, after which time I expect them to disappear. We had no children through mutual agreement.

A regular sex life? Hell no. Nothing will destroy a perfectly good sex life quicker than getting married.

Why then?

Partly emotional ,partly pragmatic.(did I mention we were married in the church?)

I was 31 when I got married, and was really sick of being by myself.

We were both raised Catholic,and both sets of parents remain chronic believers. At that time,we each retained a distressing level of various Catholic sensibilities. We both thought we "'should" get married,and in the church.

Financial: We paid off several houses in succession,and then spent the surplus on luxuries,especially overseas travel,which we did every year from 1984 to 1990.Plus a nice honeymoon trip in '79.

Her parents were a bit rich and lent us quite a bit of money to buy our last house,interest free. Those funds would not have been available had we not married.

So,no one factor.I think marrying because one is "in love" is perhaps the worst possible reason to get married. I've been "desperately in love" thrice. The first time at age 20,the last time at age 46. I married none of them. I'm glad I did not;no human being could possibly live up to the fantasy I created each time.
Taxes and cake, that is all.

(Yes, it's meant in jest)
It's really just a legal agreement over property, ownership, and even rights nowadays. Pretty much a civil union but called differently to satisfy the religious.
I agree and I think that marriage/civil union laws, documents, and rituals should be revised to reflect the nature of the contract.

After having a discussion about civil unions versus marriage some years back, it occurred to me how naively people can get into a status of being legally married without any reality check on the consequences of what they have done.... until they want to get out of it.

Marriage is not for everyone. I think that the government should enforce a marriage training course that is more rigourous than the current citizenship course. This should include the financial obligations as well as training on what constitutes abuse and domestic violence. It should also include an explanation of the conditions under which the state may intervene in their relationships to protect the safety of either partner and/or any children included under the contract.

In a way, this would force a secularization of marriage, would it not?

(Wow, did I just write that...?)
Jimmo: I can only imagine how much the institution of marriage would change if the contract actually enforced things like, financial and domestic abuse training etc...good food for thought!
Chris: I think it's nice to have a special someone in our lives to look after us and for us to do the same in return...the idea is simple but so profound to be someone's team mate in this game of life :D
I would never marry simply because I don't like being associated with people on that level. I have a bubble and any attempt to poke it is met with exstream hostility and a show of force pending current social status. Seriously only three of my closest friends have been in my house and never for more than one day, only exception was when my friend pissed his parents off and had nowhere to go.

Kids are a NO because I don't have the patients for all the crying. Mabey adoption when I get older but thats still with best expectations. Speaking of which people should only be alloud to have kids after physical and mental testing to show if your genetics are good enough to go on. Im tired of seeing red necks breeding like mormons out of their trailers.

Under no condition will I swollow my pride and let some preacher give me magic mans permission to screw. Relationships are not my thing anyway. Last one was a christian nut that kept trying to make me go to church.
Atheist+Church=Whitch Hunt/ Cleanse the non-beleiver.
I debate about the disparity that comes along with people having children, unplanned and unwanted but I cant imagine a system that dictates who's allowed to have children based on genetics! I even think that finances should play a major part in who should/shouldnt be having children but overall I dont know how such restrictions would effect groups who arent the 'real' targets i.e in an attempt to stop gay couples from adopting some heterosexual individuals arent able to adopt (the reasoning: to attempt to place children in more traditional family homes) this leads me to assume atheists would have a problem under this type of legislation.
I think it's an illusion for most people which is why the divorce rate is so freaking high! People expect the best but arent prepared to do the work to repair and make the relationships last...
I was thinking about some friends who I haven't thought about for a long time and it was nice to reminisce a bit -- but it got me thinking about this thread again.

They're both atheists, the husband was in the US Navy and he married a childhood friend. They did it because he could get more money from the Navy for having a spouse, she could get medical coverage, they could live in a house, and get away from their home town.

Their marriage was 75% practicality and convenience. They married on St. Patrick's day with the bare minimum of witnesses. It's hard to describe their relationship with each other; they do love each other, they do act the way a husband and wife would, but I would not say that they loved each other in the sense that most husbands and wives do; they love each other the way very close and very good friends do.

It's the kind of marriage that I would love to have.


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