We talk about why couples get married and why we choose to build our life together without marriage.
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Have you ever wondered why some people choose to not get married we will tell you on the first episode of Happily Unmarried.
Hi my name is Danielle.
My name is Daniel.
And you're listening to the happily unmarried podcast a podcast about adulting and living your best life.
This is episode 1 and for the next 30 minutes we will talk about why we choose to start a family, share our life together - but not get married.
To stay in touch with us follow us on Twitter @UnmarriedMedia and to get new episodes once they are released subscribe to the Happily Unmarried podcast on iTunes and YouTube.
So... we're not married.0:00:35–0:00:47
But I thinkfor a lot of people they have good reasons to get married. So before we explore why we choose to not get married, maybe we should explore first why people may get married.0:00:51–0:01:04
So I think for a lot of people getting married is just a natural progression in their life.0:01:04–0:01:08
you fall in love,0:01:09–0:01:12
and then you get married.0:01:13–0:01:21
No questions asked, nobody reflects on if this is what make sense or if this what they want. Oh yeah everybody else does it so I'm going to do that as well.
There's this assumption that in order for you to have children you have to be married first so marriage is that natural progression we have.0:01:32–0:01:44
These relationships early in our lives and I think for a lot of people getting married is the end goal and I agree I think that it is it's like a,0:01:45–0:01:59
I wasn't joking when I said it's like the game of life. We grow up, we literally grow up playing that game as a kid. And you had to stop to go to college and you had to stop to buy a house and you had to stop to get married and you didn't have children until after you got married. So...0:02:00–0:02:07
I think just from a cultural perspective it's almost feels like it's a requirement.
And there's obviously also like four a lot of people there's religious reasons,0:02:16–0:02:28
cultural reasons. There's even a lot of expectations from, not necessarily from the people themselves that are getting married but like from their friends and family around them.0:02:29–0:02:32
That they should be married before they do any of the0:02:32–0:02:40
next steps in life: having children or or moving in with somebody. These kind of things, right.
Yeah and I even think aside from other people's perception of what you shouldn't should be doing there's kind of that natural peer pressure so when everyone else around you is getting married you feel or people might feel that okay,0:02:53–0:02:56
if all my friends are getting married and they're at the same place in their relationship that I am then the next logical step for me is also to get married.0:02:57–0:03:06
I also think that just from a kind of0:03:07–0:03:16
Rom-com perspective there's this grand gesture of expression of love that comes with marriage kind of like.0:03:17–0:03:23
It's not real unless we express it to the world and0:03:24–0:03:28
ingrained to think that like by0:03:30–0:03:36
standing in front of a bunch of people where you're expressing your love for somebody else,0:03:37–0:03:42
that makes it feel more real life it's like makes the commitment even stronger.
And the people around you theykind of take on the role of witnesses, right? Quite literally in fact. Right and so0:03:56–0:04:04
You can't like withdraw later without without a bunch of people basically no hate way you made this promise.
Basically. So there's a bunch of people later that are like "Hey you can't just like step out of this again!"
Yeah, yeah, it's kind of like they're they're holding you accountable for for what you said that you were going to do for the rest of your life.
Yeah absolutely. What aboutthis perception... and0:04:29–0:04:37
I'll call it a perception and we are going to talk later about a little bit more about why we think it's a perception of0:04:38–0:04:51
getting married creates this solid foundation on which you can build a relationship and build a family and that kind of gives you the structural,0:04:51–0:04:55
grounds to built this upon.
Yeah I mean I think that's kind of where this contract comes in,0:04:59–0:05:06
right so I mean when you're doing business with somebody and you finalize a contract and both parties sign,0:05:06–0:05:16
then you've both agreed okay now we're ready to move forward and build upon this foundation that is the contract. So I think there's this idea that once you've,0:05:16–0:05:23
signed that contract you're laying the foundation to build your your house of marriage.0:05:24–0:05:34
And that for a lot of people, you know, in order to feel a sense of security,0:05:35–0:05:40
you know that foundation is a... if they don't have that, that's a non-starter. They have to have that foundation if they're going to be able to to move forward with the relationship
Thinking about it, another really important part is0:05:51–0:06:00
for lot of people at least getting married is this... I'll call it like a princess fantasy where,0:06:00–0:06:07
from very young age like especially women but I'm sure there are men out there as well that think about it similarly,0:06:07–0:06:19
are imagining what their wedding will be like in they are planning it for like years and decades. A lot of girls are planning their wedding even before they've found the partner they want to get married to.
I was a bride for Halloween in kindergarten so yes I can attest to this there's this princess0:06:29–0:06:43
idea of marriage and having this party and having it be all about you and your prince charming and you wear a beautiful dress and flowers and absolutely not to even get,0:06:43–0:06:50
me started on like just the Pinterest culture around marriage or and weddings I should say not marriage but...
Like it's General like social media, you want to have the best and craziest wedding.
Well you're just comparing yourself against other people and their you know what they're doing for their weddings and having to keep up with all this and it feels like it stops being about,0:07:05–0:07:12
two people that are getting married and more about making sure that you're like providing this amazing beautiful,0:07:13–0:07:15
curated party for all your friends and family.
Yeah it's it's like not the,0:07:21–0:07:33
the institution of marriage is what is important but the actual wedding like the actual party the actual event like it was like 2 or 3 days right of of,0:07:33–0:07:38
stress and then also amazing experiences.0:07:40–0:07:50
That's all that is encompassed in this princess fantasy right after this is over like this is like at there's a checkmark basically right.
I think last thing though is is is that legal sense of security and I am maybe it's not even a sense of security getting married provides a legal0:08:03–0:08:08
framework where with built-in security so you're automatically0:08:09–0:08:18
someone's beneficiary, you're automatically someone's power of attorney if they get sickand0:08:20–0:08:30
for a lot of traditionally you know if we want to go the back way back to the 50s when women weren't working and men where the sole providers,0:08:31–0:08:36
that security in the legality of marriage was was really important.
Because you couldn't create your own bank account.
We've just learned that the other day. I think in the seventies was it? A millionaire if you are a female you couldn't open up a line of credit at the bank without a man co-signing it in the 70s like,0:08:50–0:08:56
I know that we probably said we would talk about this a little bit later but I do feel like,0:08:57–0:09:10
I don't want to sound like we're tearing down reasons for getting married I mean where I think I think it's fair that were talking about you know what are logical reasons that people find themselves in situations for why they want to get married but.0:09:11–0:09:23
Just to be clear I mean I am not hating on on marriage if any of these reasons are are important enough to you that you want to make that0:09:23–0:09:32
that legal commitment and sign that contract and I think that's absolutely fair and for every - I think it's,0:09:32–0:09:47
every couple whatever decision that they want to make is what's best for them and I think the reason that we talked about this a lot is that I don't know about you but I found at least maybe it's because I am a woman that I have to explain,0:09:47–0:09:49
my reasons for not being married.0:09:49–0:09:58
When people automatically assume that you and I are married and so when they find out that we're not I get a lot of questions about why0:09:58–0:10:06
and rarely do I ever questioned people on their choices to get married and I don't know if people even really...0:10:07–0:10:14
I mean obviously couples discuss marriage and whether or not they want to be married but I don't know if they sit down and critically,0:10:14–0:10:21
talk about their relationship and discuss the actual reasons why they choose to get married. I know I didn't.
I think and I think this is that something that we generally tend to do a lot andone of the main reasons why we decided to do this podcast right it's like because we want to share with other people this process of discussing and critically analyzing important life decisions, and in a way that,0:10:45–0:10:56
does not make them less important or less emotionally grounded but still it's kind of like you basically attribute the respect,0:10:56–0:11:04
you basically you put the time in that these choices should be worth.
We don't make the decisions that we make lightly,0:11:08–0:11:18
like I said earlier you know about not couples not necessary thinking about the reasons why they are choosing to get married and I said I didn't and that's because.0:11:18–0:11:29
When we talked about our initial thoughts on marriage for myself I've been married before. I got married at 26 years old after spending six years with my, after spending six years with my0:11:29–0:11:40
ex-husband and if I, obviously hindsight is 20-20, but looking if I were to look back now at the,0:11:41–0:11:51
honest reasons why I chose to get married they weren't they weren't good ones. So I think...
That... do you want to share some of those reasons?
Yeah I mean it's just.0:11:55–0:12:07
we were two people who were not necessarily the same place in our lives and a part of me thought that by making that next step that that would force both of us to kind of grow up and rise to the occasion,0:12:08–0:12:13
I also felt like this was a natural like life event so I'd spend,0:12:14–0:12:24
I graduated from college I had started my career we had been together six years you know have I wasted my twenties I'm it's time to move on we need to get married in and keep it going.
But what you said before about kinda like,0:12:27–0:12:40
fixing some of the discrepancies that you felt were in your relationship. That's interesting because I don't think we've actually put this on our list like kind of like I feel like sometimes people,0:12:40–0:12:49
make this choice because they hope they can fix something that is broken in their relationship right so like they use it as.0:12:49–0:13:03
super glue or like a patch or whatever, right. I don't know if anybody or how many people use that as their primary reason but I think a lot of times like there's like this red flag and so instead of seeing the red flag should actually,0:13:04–0:13:07
be a sign for me to not get married or at least critically0:13:09–0:13:16
assess this choice. Did it actually, oh yeah, yeah, getting married would totally help fixing that red flag.
Yeah so that's a really good point and I think that for me a lot of there was a part that was,0:13:23–0:13:38
if we could just get past this then everything will be okay from here on out which I think is actually part of that establishing that sense of foundation that we discussed about I felt like if we can just get this foundation, we can build off of that,0:13:38–0:13:39
so for me I would say that that's getting married for for the wrong reasons there was a part of me that felt like I had already invested what is the the false.0:13:50–0:13:53
What is it called the fallacy? Sunk cost fallacy.0:13:53–0:14:04
Where I'd already invested so much time in the relationship that I felt like if we didn't get married I would have just been failing and I've wasted so much time so.
So you... instead you're going to go and waste some more time.
four years. But, but it's complicated so so you know I I I,0:14:14–0:14:19
you know that's like that was a 10 or 11 year relationship four of which were married,0:14:19–0:14:29
and I just experienced a lot of marriage PTSD and I also felt like I was forced to face some of these fallacies where,0:14:30–0:14:44
you know getting married didn't fix things and that that contract at the end isn't going to stop your partner from doing horrible things to you if it doesn't mean the same thing to both people,0:14:44–0:14:48
then you're already starting off with a broken foundation.
I think this is kind of like where we talked about, previously I've said this perception of,0:14:59–0:15:09
this perception of foundation right or like this perception of security and safety is like... Just because there's a contract does not mean that.0:15:09–0:15:15
That things get better right or that0:15:16–0:15:23
that anybody... like, let's, actually let's flip it on it's head and look at it from the other side,0:15:23–0:15:29
you can have a good relationship a loving and caring relationship with somebody that is healthy and not toxic,0:15:29–0:15:34
without a contract that says that you have to do so for the rest of your life,0:15:34–0:15:47
on the other hand like having a relationship that is not caring and loving and that is toxic like having piece of paper that says that you should love your partner for the rest of your life won't actually make that happen in itself right so that's,0:15:47–0:15:52
where I mean that there's this perception that being married kind of like brings this security with it, which it0:15:52–0:16:02
really doesn't, right. What it does in the end I think this is also like something that you maybe experienced in your previous marriage.0:16:02–0:16:09
It actually creates shackles, right, when you are in a toxic relationship where there are problems. It actually makes it0:16:09–0:16:21
hard to get out of this again and creates all this paperwork and problems and until this day like we have to deal with your ex in certain situations right.
What about you what are your what are your thoughts or what I should say not say what are your thoughts currently what were your coming into this relationship with me I should we should maybe mention that we've been together for,0:16:34–0:16:38
four and a half years now so coming into this relationship what were your initial thoughts on marriage?
I think I to a large degree I was very in line with some of the reasons that people originally... that we outlined earlier,0:16:49–0:16:54
so that for me it was definitely like this kind of like a natural progression of life like I said, yeah, I'm...0:16:55–0:17:04
I'm going to go and find a partner and we're going to get married we're going to have kids and like I do wanted to have, I always wanted to have kids or like at least for a while.0:17:05–0:17:13
The getting married thing was more like an like oh yeah this is just what what you do before you have kids right I didn't have like this...0:17:14–0:17:24
big desire to get married, it was just like oh yeah this is what you doand I guess that one thing that is a little bit was a,0:17:25–0:17:30
A little bit of a thing for me was kinda like, it is,0:17:31–0:17:43
a life event in the sense of that you leave like your single life behind and you are now in a committed relationship and it kind of puts like a stamp on that officially.0:17:45–0:17:52
But in the end reality is,as we discussed already, it's like it's basically purely symbolism right like so like0:17:53–0:17:58
it's literally a stamp or like a signature whatever like. There's no, no0:17:59–0:18:14
inherent value in it and you can have all of these things, a committed relationship, leaving your single life behind, getting having children, building a family,0:18:15–0:18:22
a life together. Like all of these things you can absolutely have without marriage and so I think kinda like,0:18:23–0:18:30
this is this process, right, you were very skeptical in the from the very beginning about getting married again.0:18:31–0:18:34
To called it your marriage PTSD.0:18:36–0:18:46
But, like I had this expectation originally like oh yeah I like we're totally getting married but that's... I realized: why?
May I ask you a question I was pretty upfront at the beginning where I said like I would happily have another child before like without getting married when I said that did that change things for you at all?
I mean so, as I said like I definitelywanted and want children or like we have children, so,0:19:10–0:19:18
If you had said oh I'm I don't want a child before we get married and I'm not going to marry you, that would have been a problem, yes.
If you like our podcast please leave us a review on iTunes and don't forget to subscribe0:19:24–0:19:33
So I think next we should kinda talk a little bit about cuz this is what I this is what I think we talk about the most with people kind of our decision-making around,0:19:33–0:19:38
how we kind of landed here. Why didn't you, you know, this, we didn't take this decision lightly,0:19:39–0:19:48
this is something that we talked about numerous times and we still talk about and we check in with each other about it you know often because,0:19:49–0:19:54
people change and things that we want change so it's important to check in and make sure that we're still on the same page but,0:19:55–0:20:02
a lot of people ask us you know why why and how we we got to this this conclusion so I thought,0:20:02–0:20:09
let's talk a little bit about what were what are the things that we considered when we weighed the pros and cons of marriage.
I mean there's a very obvious one right for not getting married is like you'll save a lot of money on the wedding. It honestly baffles me a little bit how much money people spend on weddings. But power to them like I don't want to judge them for it.
Oh no I absolutely wasted money on a wedding, for sure.
So I mean, yes this is not very romantic, not very romantic reasons for not getting married, but I don't know if there are any romantic reasons for not getting married.
Yeah I mean you can take that money and put as a downpayment on a house or... well, not in the bay area but other parts of the country. Go on a nice vacation, drop it in your 401k.0:20:53–0:20:56
Or IRA. You can do a lot with the money.
I think for us specifically as well like at the time when this,0:21:03–0:21:08
when we evaluated this option right it turned out that0:21:08–0:21:19
from a financial and tax perspective, like a lot of people are like oh yeah, if you get married you save a lot on taxes, but it turned out that this would have not been the case for us.0:21:20–0:21:26
And sowe would have basicallyhad to pay a wedding every year.
Yeah I think we calculated that we would have lost,0:21:29–0:21:42
well that was with the current tax situation, obviously taxes has changed, maybe this isn't the situation now but when we first ran the numbers I think we calculated that we would be losing like $10,000 a year.
Yeah so it would have been, we would have been like really committed to this decision. I don't think,0:21:53–0:22:00
the only thing that we pay that much money on is the mortgage for a house.
And then the other thing and I get a lot of this came from me too because getting so honestly getting married,0:22:10–0:22:18
the paperwork it it's it's one piece of paper. You go, you sign, you're married. Getting divorce is a lot of paperwork,0:22:18–0:22:29
not saying that you know and obviously people don't like to go into their marriage thinking about what could happen if they get divorce it's it's not fun to talk about it's a difficult conversation and,0:22:30–0:22:38
find us not being married we've been forced to have this conversation multiple times about what happens if things don't work out.0:22:39–0:22:40
Just 2 to 2 after that and I think it yes nobody want to talk about.0:22:48–0:22:59
What happens if the relationship does not work out drive but the reality is is like what how many percentages of marriages going to divorce at 50% or something like that.
Probably close to that.
Yeah so like reality is like.0:23:04–0:23:14
There's... getting married means there's a decent chance you will divorce at some point. While this is not very romantic obviously, and it's not exactly what you want to focus on,0:23:15–0:23:22
when you do get married when you are in love and you, and you can't imagine how that could ever happen to you but the reality is like,0:23:22–0:23:29
things happen people change, life changes, things around you change and so...0:23:31–0:23:40
So then yes you you should you should consider that, right, like what what happens if the relationship goes into... breaks up.
So I think it was just there was a paperwork,0:23:46–0:23:56
problem. I changed my name last time and I had to go through the whole process of getting my name changed to my married name and then once we were divorced I had to go through0:23:56–0:24:06
changing my name back and I'm still finding my old name places and it's been almost five years so,0:24:07–0:24:19
it's just, it's a lot, it's a lot of paperwork and we we chose that we just didn't want to deal with that that paperwork.0:24:19–0:24:22
So those are some of the initial reasons I think why we decided to,0:24:22–0:24:25
what we found the pros of not being married would be.
I think there's some more things that we can touch on a little bit later but they're kind of like,0:24:30–0:24:38
more philosophical, kinda like they are not necessarily reasons to not get married but they're, they're basically... we...0:24:39–0:24:49
they gave us a framework or structure to think how we think about the concept of the institution of marriage and basically opened our eyes towards like hey well actually I don't,0:24:49–0:25:01
we don't think we need to get married, right. There are some reasons though why you might want to get married. The concept of a family is legally build around institution of marriage, right, so,0:25:02–0:25:11
virtually anything that the government gives to a family the government will give to a0:25:12–0:25:21
married couple, essentially, right. So if you're not married then you will miss out on all these benefits or obligations.0:25:22–0:25:30
Which is interesting, I think one of the important reasons other than like this, the reason of symbolism why0:25:31–0:25:45
gay marriage is like so so so important, right, for the for the for the gay community because they miss out on all these things as well. Now on our end we have chosen to miss out on them, but for many many years they have they didn't have a choice, right.
Yeah I mean it should be your choice and you know the other thing that we've,0:25:55–0:26:06
kinda have run into a lot and again being married obviously makes this a lot easier is being able to talk about and define your relationship to other people. It's, you know...0:26:06–0:26:16
So I mean like like we said before specifically for for usconstantly having to explain and define and,0:26:16–0:26:21
also just when I'm getting on the phone with Comcast and0:26:21–0:26:32
and explaining problems and letting them know that what my boyfriend will be home? My partner will be home? It's easier to just say my husband because that's kind of the universal understanding of you know,0:26:32–0:26:35
the other, my other half ,the other person responsible.
The person that I am in a lifetime committed relationship with.
It's like, it's just like husband is like an abbreviation for that.
Right, and so it just sometimes it's you know I sometimes feel awkward like if I'm talking to somebody new and it feels very weird to refer to you as my boyfriend at this point but it also kind of feels weird saying partner and, with someone that,0:26:58–0:27:08
I've never met before, so you know what it is easy to just default to husband if it's someone that I'm probably never going to talk to again and I just need to briefly,0:27:09–0:27:18
let them know how you and I are connected in one way or another I do like though I tend to have more of a problem with that then you do,0:27:18–0:27:21
and maybe it's just because you don't talk to people who.
I don't know. I mean...0:27:26–0:27:33
I am also using I'm just saying my wife in a lot of cases, I will sometime say my partner.0:27:35–0:27:39
And I do sometimes say my girlfriend.0:27:39–0:27:51
It depends it depends a little bit on on how close my relationship with the other person is. If it's a total stranger and I don't I don't care about them knowing anything about us then I will say my wife but like for example,0:27:52–0:27:56
when I talk to co-workers or other people like that are a0:27:57–0:28:08
more important part of my life like I will say my girlfriend because it's I think it's important for me or for them to know that you're not technically my wife, right. I mean so so other than for us how we interact0:28:08–0:28:16
with with other people and how other people perceive our relationship in addition to that I think0:28:17–0:28:21
not being married has a drawback for how0:28:21–0:28:36
our children perceive our relationship and so basically all the struggles that we have in terms of talking to other people about our relationship they also have and talking about our relationship to their friends so like0:28:36–0:28:43
and for children especially, right, there's also this... they tend to...0:28:44–0:28:53
Like not understand like for example why everybody's parents are married and like but their parents aren't they are they like are they like...0:28:53–0:29:08
are they missing out on something? Are other parents like special in a negative way? Kind of like I don't know. Are they not full parents or something like that? Just like for the children this creates these...0:29:09–0:29:18
Yeah hard to understand and comprehend kind of like scenarios and makes it,0:29:19–0:29:25
the same... just as it makes it for us hard to talk about it makes it for them hard to talk about as well but they're obviously children so they don't have the tools to deal with it.
So for example our oldest child.0:29:32–0:29:46
So, this will be the only time that I refer to our oldest child as not your biological child. So our oldest, you know we definitely,0:29:46–0:29:56
when we first started dating you know she I had I had her with my my ex-husband and he is no longer a part of her life and you stepped in when she was quite young,0:29:57–0:30:07
but you know she referred to you as Daniel and you were mommy's boyfriend but it wasn't until she got into preschool,0:30:07–0:30:20
that you could see that those gears were starting to turn and she was trying to understand how her family fits with with her friends families because they were talking about their mom and their dad and she's like well,0:30:20–0:30:31
I've got my mom and Daniel and we're all a family you know that's when she started to struggle I think with kind of understanding the concept of family for her.
And we had to be very explicit like that we are a family, right. Like even if I'm not her dad, we are still a family.
Right but we even remedy that and maybe that's something we can talk about in another podcast, but you know we we talked to her and she you know decided that she wanted to refer to you as her dad.
But we discussed like basically what what terms what the correct terms for each other are.
Because I think for her, she struggled with, you know she knew that you were, that we were family but she struggled with, well, so, my friend has dad and I have Daniel and what does that mean? So and then on top of that we weren't married.
And this this was especially important before our second child, our actual common biological child, was born so that we needed to make sure that both children like have the same concepts and terms.
So yeah it's it's hard enough for me to explainour relationship and the significance of our relationship to other people for children I can only imagine how how difficult that might be.
But I think we should probably move on. So, I think I briefly mentioned it earlier like some of the philosophical factors so to say. Like, so those are not really0:31:51–0:32:00
pros or cons, but they were like thought processes that we had and that made us realize that we we do not need to get married.0:32:01–0:32:03
So like I think,0:32:03–0:32:18
and it touches on some of the things that we discussed in the very beginning about like what are reasons why people get married and for us is that we looked at those reasons and we realize that a lot of them to not apply to us. So I think a very important one is like,0:32:18–0:32:27
that the kinda like symbol of commitment, right, or this contract of commitment, we realized that we can have that without0:32:27–0:32:35
the symbolism, that we can be in a committed relationship and dedicated to each other and to our family and our children,0:32:35–0:32:43
without having to have a piece of paper that says that we have to do that. So...
For me though, but I mean, it's funny, like what's it like to get to that point after being married before and even though it didn't work out,0:32:52–0:33:01
that piece of paper at the at the end of it meant nothing, this idea of likestepping into this kind of long-term commitment with you,0:33:01–0:33:03
that contract still, like at the beginning still even though I was like not interested in being married, there's still this part of you that's like I don't know if it's ingrained in you where it's like it's scary to think or to take that step and say that you're going to0:33:16–0:33:22
be committed to someone without doing all the things that you're supposed to do.0:33:24–0:33:26
to say that you are committed to that person.
So it's actuallyit's harder to do that step in a lot of ways.
Yeah it was it was hard for it was it was very it was weird for me because I even though I didn't want to get married there was still this part of me that felt like I didn't have that sense of security that that piece of paper0:33:43–0:33:58
didn't actually end up providing me before. It was I I had to kind of work my way through and reconcile those feelings to kinda and push myself and say okay this new relationship that I'm in0:33:59–0:34:00
is going to be based on trust.
And not based on a piece of paper.
And not based on a piece of paper.
Yeah I think likefor us like realizing this that,0:34:14–0:34:17
that we can be,0:34:17–0:34:29
our relationship can be just as meaningful and and and and and fulfilled without getting married was in the end like that in combination with all the reasons,0:34:29–0:34:38
why, like, against all the reasons for not getting married that we outlined before, like, why we decide to, in the end not do that step,0:34:39–0:34:40
and remain unmarried.0:34:40–0:34:50
This decision meant for us also that like we do not get some of the benefits that married couples get like for example like the legal framework and whatnot,0:34:50–0:35:00
so we actually had to make sure that we have all bases covered, so to say, and in a bunch of, in regards to a bunch of things, so maybe we should talk about that a little bit.
Yeah I mean I think if you consciously decide to not get married then you are,0:35:06–0:35:17
aware that by not getting married or giving up certain things and so you need to put what we had to do more work and spend money to put things in place,0:35:17–0:35:26
to make sure that if something happens that we are treated as if we were married, so...0:35:26–0:35:33
For example power of attorney. So I mean I think most people know that if if you're married and something happens to your spouse, if they're injured,0:35:34–0:35:45
you say your married they let, they let you in the door, you know. If decisions have to be made and your partner can't make those decisions then you are automatically that person who makes those decisions. Again, solely because you're married.0:35:46–0:35:59
So you know, one of the things that we did was, you know, go to a lawyer and just do power of attorneys. So I mean if something were to happen we have to bring the power of attorney with us to the hospital but like for example when,0:35:59–0:36:07
when I went into labor we made sure that we had the power of attorney with us in case something happen to ensure that, you know,0:36:08–0:36:18
our partners get to make these decisions, you know. My parents live here but your parents are in another country so if something happens to you like and when we didn't have this power of attorney...
There wouldn't even be anybody else around, to make any decisions.
Yeah they have to get in contact with your parents on the other side of the world. So you know, that was one one thing that we did.
Another thing, like, is making sure that for all our accounts, well first we, we0:36:37–0:36:46
got a will, in which we explicitly expressed where our0:36:47–0:36:54
assets will go. But also like we we need to we need to make sure that,0:36:54–0:37:06
on all our accounts the beneficiaries are explicitly filled out so to make sure that each other, we're covering each other's financials.
Yeah in case of emergency because if we were married the partner would automatically get the benefit.
So yeah, like yeah if you're married if for example there is an accident,0:37:17–0:37:27
one person passes away then the other will get all their assets, like by default. That's not true for unmarried couples so that we have to explicitly say "Hey, I want Danielle to get,0:37:28–0:37:33
like my 401k or whatever, if I passed away".
The other thing that we did was when we bought a house we made sure that we went into the house as tenants-in-common so that we both own0:37:45–0:37:49
the house and it's not just one person's name on the deed. Again,0:37:45–0:37:49
just protecting against, another one of those conversations that we had to have: okay we're going into this we're about to make a significant purchase but we also need to think about what will happen if it doesn't work out.0:38:01–0:38:12
So by going in on the house as tenants-in-common then we each own a portion of the house, it's in both of our names, so if something were to happen then we would have to0:38:12–0:38:15
either buy each other out or or sell the house.
And we contribute to the mortgage and both principal and interest payments to the same level as we are tenants-in-common.0:38:26–0:38:30
Which also touches on the last point a little bit, it's like, we...0:38:26–0:38:30
A lot of married couples decide to, like, because they are married, to merge their finances, right, which we have not done. So we have a couple of shared bank accounts that we use for,0:38:45–0:38:52
family expenses, but we in general manage our own financial assets independently.
Right I will say though that I think that ,it one of the, another reason you know, why a married couple might merge their accounts is also could have around this whole I getting married you'll save money on taxes,0:39:05–0:39:11
if you don't have, if not, it's, so for me and my my first marriage neither one of us had money,0:39:11–0:39:18
so by pulling, pooling our resources together it made it easier to to manage our money.
Right but I think also, like, if you do not have a prenup to default is that like all your assets will go to your partner if you passed away, so,0:39:27–0:39:34
you are are tentatively all your resources and assets are already merged anyway at some point in the future.
Right I guess what I'm trying to say is that while we do have separate accounts and while we do choose to keep a separate accounts as well as some individuals we have the luxury, we have the privilege of being able to do that because we aren't in a0:39:48–0:39:55
place where we're trying to pool all of our resources together in order to get our our bills paid.0:39:57–0:40:02
I think the other thing too and I know we've touched on this, obviously,0:40:02–0:40:07
we're not anti-marriage. This isn't a platform that we want to stand on,0:40:08–0:40:18
as I said any reason that you you feel is significant enough for it for you to be married is good, is a good enough reason for you and we are not0:40:19–0:40:21
saying that will never get married.0:40:21–0:40:29
So, if something comes up, you know I was thinking of, you know, for reasons to get married, like one of the most obvious ones that makes0:40:30–0:40:39
a ton of sense is to keep your partner in the country, right. We don't have to do that because you have a green card but if you didn't that would be a perfectly0:40:40–0:40:45
good reason for us to get married. So, if there ever came a time where0:40:46–0:40:53
being married made sense to to help take us to the next level for something,0:40:54–0:41:02
I don't know if like we decided to live in Europe for a while and in order for me to work we'd have to be married, like,0:41:03–0:41:07
we're not completely discounting the idea, it just doesn't make sense for us now.
Right and I think that's part of the value that you get from making choices based onobjective,0:41:17–0:41:22
arguments and reasons. It's like, if the conditions change right you're not...0:41:22–0:41:31
married to your choice, so you can you can re-evaluate the changed conditions and be like okay like now it does make sense to get married.
Join us next time when we will discuss trading off between family and career. To not miss that or any other episodes subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or wherever else you listen to podcast.0:41:41–0:41:45
So, to wrap it up,0:41:45–0:41:53
we're not telling anybody to to get married or to not get married, right. I think what we're trying to tell people is0:41:54–0:42:00
that when you making important decisions in your life,0:42:00–0:42:04
you should know why you're making your choices and like what are the the,0:42:05–0:42:14
the arguments for and against them and that you reflect on those arguments and those choices that you make and that you don't just do it because,0:42:14–0:42:25
everybody else does it or because it's something that is expected from you but like actually consider why you're making this choice. And I think,0:42:26–0:42:35
not only like for yourself but like also like especially like with your partner and your family, right. So,0:42:35–0:42:43
you should have a discussion with your partner about all the reasons why you're making specific choices, in this case getting married.
Yeah and I think the other part too is like,0:42:48–0:43:02
when you're making big decisions about your life especially when it's with someone else like these are very emotional decisions which makes it really scary to talk about because you're afraid that if you talk about them you're going to find out that your you and your partner are not on the same page,0:43:03–0:43:09
I can say for myself specifically that has been the hardest part kind of,0:43:10–0:43:14
in starting this journey with you. But,0:43:15–0:43:27
but by discussing these reasons for or against marriage or any decision that you're you're making with your partner, if you're not on the same page that gives you somewhere to start,0:43:27–0:43:38
where you can discuss your reasons for why you might feel one way and your partner feels another way in and hopefully by0:43:40–0:43:47
kind of doing your best to take the emotion out of it you can get to a place where you both are comfortable.
Awesome! So, thanks a lot for listening.0:43:54–0:44:08
Please let us know what your reasons are for getting married or not and tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @UnmarriedMedia. If you want to support us and our work, please check out how to do so at happilyunmarried.media/support.0:44:08–0:44:09
And I'm Danielle.
And we are happily unmarried.