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This is another page that should be considered draft.

Some very similar thoughts can be found at Do You Take This . . . Except of course that I don't have the loophole to escape through, unless some pretty speedy changes to the immigration system are made . . .


In a little under five weeks (at time of writing), I'll be getting married.

Not because I love the other person in question (although I do).

Not because we think we should be together for the rest of our lives (although it would be nice).

Not because we want to have a big party (we don't).

Not because we are bothered what other people think (we couldn't care less). I could go on.

No, the only reason for our marriage is a purely logistical one. We want to live in the same country. For (again) purely logistical reasons, that country is the UK, but the same problem would have arisen if we had decided that we were to live in the USA.

Our reasons for not wanting to be married are wide and varied, and also very deep-seated. It it something that has been an underlying part of our plans to be together for some time, but is something that I at least have been ignoring, and generally hoping will go away. It hasn't.

Some general points on why I don't agree with marriage on principle;

  • It is derived from inherently sexist roots - a symbolism of the transfer of ownership of the female from the father to the husband. Giving away etc.
  • It has religious baggage associated with it, however secular you make the ceremony.
  • It has societal baggage associated with it, connotations of a progression towards from marriage to children, to stability, family values etc. I want nothing to do with any of the above.
  • It is a declaration of intent for the rest of your life. Except that it isn't - divorce is relatively simple, so the whole thing is inherently hypocritical.

Of those, it is the last point that gives rise to the most logical disagreement against it. People change over time - I am not the same person I was ten years ago, and I probably won't be the same person I am now in ten years time. I can't guarantee that I can speak for the person I will be then when I make vows now. I'd be gambling on something I can't predict.

It is unreasonable to expect that two people will remain compatible indefinitely as they both change and age. To tie them together with marriage, to force the issue, seems to me to be fundamentally wrong. Let them have their time together, for as long as things work out, but should there come a point where the differences are such that the work required to keep the relationship working becomes higher than the pleasure to be gained from the relationship, then it is best that it should end.

As I mentioned, it was the latter of the above points that I have the most logical argument against. However the other points have more meaning to me personally, although I am less able to express why they hold such distaste. Luckily (and this is the only thing that is allowing me to go through with the whole thing), Lisa's views on marriage are pretty much the same, to a fairly scary degree. So, we're going for the totally minimalist approach, the simplest registry office we can get, and witnesses only. No rings, no name changes. I'll be in jeans and a t-shirt (not that that is a particularly drastic statement, as I wear these to everything - after a free t-shirt at this years Brainshare I again own something with a collar), and there won't be so much as a swift half in the pub afterwards. We won't feel much like celebrating I suspect.

And after that? I doubt we'll mention it much.

As the sole reason for the whole thing is the immigration visa, and given our lack of desire for the state of marriage, an interesting situation arises. Once a permanent residency visa has been obtained, and possible citizenship as well (this takes three years, so we'll need to be patient), we may investigate the possibility of divorce, purely to remove that 'married' tag.

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