At the height of the pandemic, we saw a whole slew of restrictions lead to wedding cancellations and postponements. From limitations on numbers to venues being forced to close their doors, many prospective brides were left frustrated or disappointed. Whilst some couples chose to have a much smaller wedding with reduced numbers and a less spectacular occasion than they originally planned, others chose to wait for the opportunity to have the wedding of their dreams.
On the flip side of the coin, not every married couple made it through lockdown together. Being cooped up in the same building for months on end put an additional strain on the vow, ‘for better, for worse’. The UK’s largest family law firm shared with The Independent that divorce enquiries surged by 95 per cent during the pandemic, with much of the interest coming from women.
With working women still being expected to do the majority of the housework, cooking and cleaning, even with their husband at home, we’re not surprised that they were pissed off. Is this old fashioned concept of the housewife and mother doing everything still something men really expect from marriage? If so, then what the hell do us ladies get out of it?
I’ve never been particularly interested in weddings myself. I’ve never planned my dream wedding or pictured myself wearing a white, puffy dress (not my colour at all). But I am still interested in getting married. I like the concept of being entwined with another person and effectively starting a new family together.
In today’s blog we’re going to look at some of the pro’s and con’s of marriage in today’s world to examine whether it is an outdated concept or an institution worth saving. We all want a ‘happily ever after’ but is marriage really the answer in this modern age? Let’s find out!
It gives you a sense of security
This is the big one for me. There is something very reassuring about the idea of being legally bound to your spouse. You get a licence for heaven’s sake! It feels like you’ve entered into a special agreement with each other that is more than just ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ – it feels like the final stage in commitment.
You get a companion for life
The idea of spending your life with someone is very appealing. Do you have to be married to do this? Of course not – but see the above. The security of having someone you’re legally joined with to be your partner and companion through life cannot be underestimated. Having a partner to share your experiences with, to support you and accept you sounds like a great idea.
It’s financially beneficial
When you get married, there can be benefits when it comes to your taxes (depending on how much you earn). There’s a marriage allowance that could earn you up to £230 per year. As a married couple you can also transfer assets to each other without having to pay capital gains tax. In addition, if your spouse dies without a will, you will automatically inherit all of their assets without having to pay inheritance tax. If you’re not married when they pass away then you will have to pay that inheritance tax on their assets even if it’s something you’ve shared that was under their name. As a surviving spouse, you can also inherit their government and private pensions.
You get automatic legal rights
When you get married certain rights are activated automatically. For instance, you both automatically get the right to live in your marital home no matter whose name is on the mortgage or lease. If you were to separate and the house was solely under your partner’s name, you could claim that you have the right to stay there due to ‘beneficial interest’ – in other words, your contributions to the home justify your right to stay in it. If your spouse should fall ill, you also automatically get the right to hospital visits and can make medical decisions for them if they are unable to make them.
Married people are healthier and happier
Research has shown that married couples tend to live longer than singletons. They also appear to experience less cases of depression and mental or physical stress. In particular, men seem to benefit from being married more, health-wise, than women. Married men live longer than single men. Probably because they have a wife to look after them!! Typical.
Weddings are a waste of money
The cost of an average wedding in the UK is £34,000!!! Are you having a laugh? Seriously, you could put a deposit down on a house for that, which is what a lot of young couples are choosing to do these days. Hence, people are getting married later or not bothering at all. I guess it depends on what you want from your wedding – what’s more important? The dream wedding in your head or marrying the man you love in whatever surroundings happen to be available? The cost of weddings put me off marriage more than anything else!
You lose your individuality
We read an interesting article a few years ago that the longer you’re married, the more you start to look like your spouse! Can you imagine? But seriously, when you get married, you’re no longer a ‘me’, you’re a ‘we’.
You have to take your spouse into consideration with nearly every decision you make. You get invited to things as a couple. If one of you turns up alone to an event, eyebrows are automatically raised and ‘you okay hon?’ becomes the question of the evening. Apparently telling them that your spouse would rather stay home and play video games in his pyjamas is not an acceptable excuse for his lack of attendance….
It’s bad for your health
Research has shown that marriage is not necessarily good for female health. This is probably due to the fact that we have to do bloody everything. Society still expects women to do the majority of the childcare, despite the fact that most of us are also trying to juggle careers. Oh and don’t get us started on the household chores. Even if a man and a woman both work the same hours, it’s the woman that ends up doing most of the cleaning and the cooking and the washing whilst the man will spend his free time relaxing with friends or indulging his hobbies.
There can be financial penalties
Just as there are financial advantages to tying the knot, there are also disadvantages. Couples can end up paying more in taxes than they would if they were not married. Additionally, if things don’t work out then divorce can become expensive and you could end up having to pay financial support to your ex.
You can get stuck in a rut
When you get married, you can unfortunately find your sex life fading over time. Things can get boring if you don’t put in the work to keep things interesting. You could also find yourself repeating the same arguments and disagreements over and over again. The annoying habits of your spouse could become magnified over time as well. Essentially, as with all relationships, marriage takes work and effort to maintain.
You’ll notice we’ve not mentioned ‘love’ anywhere in the above – we’re assuming that’s the top reason you would ever want to join your life with another, whether through marriage or not. Do we think that marriage is outdated? We have some reservations about it but overall, we like the idea. I think we’re more inclined to believe that society’s views of marriage are what are outdated, particularly the view of the woman’s role! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Whether you decide that marriage is for you or not, we hope that you find that special someone to live happily ever after with.