Originally Posted by InsaneMystic
If you managed to redefine marriage for you in a way that works for you, and that doesn't lead to betraying freedom and respect for either you or your spouse, then hey, more power to you. It kinda feels to me like you managed to "reclaim the slur", as it were. That's a cool enough feat.
I think that MrS and I had so many conversations about marriage and what it meant to us in particular because we were coming at the idea at such different directions. Because we had such conversations, we were very comfortable with defining what our "marriage" meant BEFORE it happened. We recognized that people and relationships change and our marriage agreements had to do with facing and facilitating those changes, in positive ways, together. By the time we got married (4 years in) we knew exactly what we were agreeing to (and NOT agreeing to) - and wrote our vows to that effect (no "obey" in there, no "forsaking all others", etc).
One of the problems that I see in many of the marriages of people in my life is that because "everyone knows" what marriage means they don't closely examine what the other person means. They think they are on the same page...and they are in different BOOKS. How many times have I heard someone express a sentiment along the lines of "once we are married, things will be like THIS"? - they seem to feel that getting married will change someone's behavior. That whatever conflicts they have will melt away, or the other person will change, because they have to...because they are married. Bullshit! Time goes on an what happens? It wasn't what they assumed, they though it would be different somehow, the shiny wears off and it turns out that the person that they married is still a.) the person that they married - the one they thought would change or b.) a different person entirely because all that nice charming right-talking stuff was the not-married persona that they dropped when the marriage was final.
Religion was not a factor in deciding to get married - we are both agnostic. Legally / financially it did/does provide some perks - which I do take advantage of - but I would prefer, as I stated before, if the government took itself out of the "marriage business" entirely (i.e. they don't get to decide what is and is not a "marriage" and who gets to do it - "marriage" becomes a personal decision) and stuck to the areas I talked about in my first response to your post. (Then, if, at some point, Dude and I elected to ALSO get "married" then I wouldn't go to jail! - but I actually felt that way before Dude was in the picture.)
Sorry, if it seems like I dragged you into a bed of fire by asking you to elaborate on your anti-marriage views. I know it is a topic that pushes buttons for many people. But the most controversial issues are often the most interesting to talk about. I often find that, upon further discussion, people are often closer to agreeing than disagreeing - but terminology and assumptions come into play and people find themselves arguing. For instance, few people here are going to subscribe to an "ownership" model of marriage (although it is still a model largely reflected in our culture and still a real life practice in many cultures) - part of your objection seems to be "fine, then...if that is not what you mean, then call it something else i.e. a civil union." (Pardon me for putting words in your mouth to make a point.) On the other hand it doesn't sound like you think that people should avoid forming "long-term committed relationships" (which is my minimal definition of marriage) just the legal/social institution and what it may imply.
(I am a traditionalist and a non-conformist but NOT a traditional non-conformist.)
PS. For the record - with regard to government defining marriage with regards to the "slippery-slope" arguments (which I don't expect to see here): I don't care if someone wants to "marry" their toaster (might not fit "my definition of marriage - but that is irrelevant) or however many consenting adults of whatever gender; no you can't marry a child (they can't consent) and there are already laws about pedophilia and bestiality - we don't need marriage laws to protect minors and animals, we need to enforce existing laws to protect minors and animals.