Divorce on principle
I was married to W when it became apparent that M was going to stay a part of my life forever. While W and I both thought of M as an equally "primary" relationship for me, the social and legal status of marriage meant we leaned on a lot of de facto couple privilege. Singles get the shaft in our matricentric society, and single partners of married people get it loaded with social and emotional poison.
We couldn't be out because of M's career. So, while the partnership outside the marriage is often the hidden relationship, in our case *I* was the dirty little secret -- and the fact that I was married was the main dirt.
W and I divorced so that we could be sexual free agents under the law and in society.
How ridiculous that sexual free agency matters to anyone outside the relationship! But so it does. If we'd known umpteen years ago that we were giving up something real, that we would one day want that free agency back, and if we hadn't needed the (totally discriminatory) financial benefits of marriage at the time, we never would have taken the step of getting legally married. Instead, like most people, we too easily entered into a vast and various binding legal contract, unwritten by (and unread by) either of us. And the social consequences of it turned out to feel the most binding.
As we contemplated the divorce, we realized how much easier it is to divorce while we still love each other. With the Affordable Care Act promising universal insurability, our main reason for getting and staying married was, well, not rendered moot, but considerably eased. We obviously agreed on shared parenting for the children, so that part of the agreement was simple. We researched our options, got our ducks in a row, and completed the divorce process as quickly as we were able to. I thought of it more as an "unmarriage" than a divorce -- the fixing of the paperwork to fit what we now knew and wanted.
I'm not suggesting that everyone else take this course of action. But it's something to consider, when marital privilege is sticking in anyone's craw, or governing anyone's ability to be openly associated with each other.
If the marriage (or difficulty of divorce) is what's keeping us together, well, that's a whole 'nuther issue. Or if someone is using the legal marriage as a last-resort sense of control over the meta relationships -- "legally married to" trumps sleeping with, living with, and even having children with. In those cases, divorce is more obviously a good option (IMHO), but it's probably already beyond the kind of amicable thing I'm talking about.
We are content that we quit while we were ahead, and now we can grow old together without anyone else sticking their nose in and saying we must or mustn't, with this partner or that.
SlowPoly • vee hinge • living between two homes
Mitch ('M') • life partner • expectant co-parent • former LDR
Woof ('W') • life partner • co-parent • former spouse