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Old 02-23-2015, 06:24 PM   #1
march_manness
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Thinking about remarriage

The lady I've been dating for 2 years and I have been talking about getting married. A little background... I was married for 20+ years. Five years ago, on a January Saturday morning my ex told me she was divorcing me and never looked back. I was shocked, and devastated. Since we have 3 kids (now in high school & college) our divorce took almost a year to finalize.

About 2 years ago I met someone through a mutual friend on Facebook and we fell in love. We are the same age; she has 2 college age kids and is divorced after a 20+ year marriage as well.

Our relationship is wonderful -- we enjoy doing pretty much everything together. She builds me up and encourages me in ways I've never had in previous relationships, is incredibly easy to get along with, and the give and take of a relationship seems to come naturally to both of us.

One of the fears I have about getting remarried is this... during the first couple of years after my divorce, I very much enjoyed my new-found freedom and met & dated a lot of women. Part of me just wants to stay single... and be free to meet and date women as I desire. On the other hand, I truly love my girlfriend. She is incredibly kind, sexy, attractive, and more than I deserve in almost every way. Our sex is better than I've ever known and I feel like I'd be bat-shit crazy to give that up.

I've had a couple of my guy-friends remarry and wound up really unhappy and filled with regret. We are going to a counselor (starting tonight, actually) to talk through some of our fears & concerns but I wanted to just throw this out there and get the HT Cafe wisdom too.

Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
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Would she be willing to consider an open marriage? Would you?
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:30 PM   #3
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No... I've seen other couples try that and the feelings of jealousy were never able to be completely managed very well. We've talked about it but neither of us are comfortable with the idea of "sharing". If I'm meeting and dating people, I don't want to be doing it while in a committed relationship.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by march_manness View Post
Part of me just wants to stay single... and be free to meet and date women as I desire...

...We are going to a counselor (starting tonight, actually) to talk through some of our fears & concerns.
That would be something to witness - you know with the whole honesty thing that helps to make counselling actually work. Perhaps you are intending to lie about those feelings, now that would be a great start to the marriage.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:42 PM   #5
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My advice would be simple – if you have any reservations at all don't do it.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:10 PM   #6
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I'm of the belief that marriage should be forever. If you don't think it can be forever with whatever limits the two of you have established, don't get married yet.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:21 AM   #7
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If you were each married over 20 years, then I'm guessing that you're probably in your 50s. I think that a lot of the advice that gets doled out to younger couples still applies to couples who re-marry at this point in life.

A big one in my book is to really get to know each other. While it will be productive to discuss each of your concerns, hopefully your talks don't revolve around "I fear". You have the advantage of hindsight about the things that worked and didn't work for you in your first marriage. Talk about what each of you learned, and compare notes. At this point in your life you should have some introspection about yourself and your walk of life. What makes you happy? What makes you unhappy? Talk about your goals, your dreams, when you want to retire, how you envision spending your retirement, and so on.

I think that reading message boards together can be enlightening. They can stimulate conversations about how each of you would handle a particular kind of problem. For example, if you read a post about a grown child who is constantly asking for money you can talk about how each of you would handle the situation. Talk about how your children will fit into your lives. As grown adults themselves, will they take priority over your marriage? Are they welcome to move back home if they need to?

On a more practical note; a friend of mine recently remarried. Both the bride and groom have grown kids. They each have accumulated assets (retirement accounts, homes, etc). They decided to draw up a mutual a prenup. While it may not be iron clad, it spells out each spouse's intentions with respect to the distribution of existing assets to their children.

Congratulations! Best of luck to you both.

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Old 02-24-2015, 01:42 AM   #8
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You are under no obligation to get married, so why rush into it? Are you living together yet or still maintaining separate homes? You may want to try living together, at least spending extended time periods in one home or the other. You may love each other, but can you live together? The sex might be great, but if you can't stand each other's company for more than 2 or 3 days at a time, don't get married!

You do not need marriage to have a long term, committed relationship, you can vow that to each other right now, neither a piece of paper nor a dogmatic ceremony is the key to happiness or a long term relationship.


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Originally Posted by pplwatching View Post
On a more practical note; a friend of mine recently remarried. Both the bride and groom have grown kids. They each have accumulated assets (retirement accounts, homes, etc). They decided to draw up a mutual a prenup. While it may not be iron clad, it spells out each spouse's intentions with respect to the distribution of existing assets to their children.

Congratulations! Best of luck to you both.
I agree with all of pplwatching's post, but this in particular.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:47 AM   #9
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For a minute there I thought this was going to be about FGB marrying wife number 14.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Chance View Post
My advice would be simple – if you have any reservations at all don't do it.
Yup. When in doubt, don't.

I would also think long and hard about why you would marry and get good legal advice for both of you, separately. Marriage can really complicate it when there are kids from previous relationships.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:19 AM   #11
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For a minute there I thought this was going to be about FGB marrying wife number 14.
Oh, snap!
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:11 AM   #12
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I say get married and be faithful. You would be a fool not to. Just my two cents. The only other thing I can say is that if you feel like you don't deserve her then you are probably right and you can live the rest of your life forever regretting your decision as she will eventually move on to get the LTR that she wants. It's easy to be gun shy after what happened before but you don't want it to ruin your life because of unjustified fears. Counseling is probably a great idea.
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:37 AM   #13
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I don't really understand why divorce is such a big deal. Western culture today places such a high moral value on marriage that I never really understood. Maybe because I personally have a weird view on relationships already. When I date, I intend to date that person until we don't date anymore. Marriage is just dating legally, really. The only difference between married and dating is a piece of paper.

A piece of paper can't keep you loyal or in love or happy. All it historically did was make sure you OWNED YOUR WIFE. As in...like property.

We're starting to move beyond that now, women are more or less legally recognized as human beings, rather than cattle or THINGS to own, marriage shouldn't be a moral judgement anymore.

You're stressing yourself out over antiquated and outdated ideals that held women up as objects instead of people. Which when you look at it from that perspective, doesn't make marriage or divorce really all that big of a deal anymore, you know what I mean?

If you do end up getting married, make sure you have a good prenup beforehand in place to keep the property and finances fairly distributed.

Divorce doesn't have to be such a big deal. It's only a big deal because society places waaaaayyyy too much value on permanent monogamy.

If you want to get married, do so. Save some money on your taxes. And in the future if it doesn't work out, don't beat yourself up about it. The world isn't ending because you're breaking up.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:19 PM   #14
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^^^Just more proof of how much I like the way you think.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:27 PM   #15
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^^^Just more proof of how much I like the way you think.
Aw, I love you girl!
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:18 PM   #16
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Can't help but add that the piece of paper also means that the wife OWNS the husband. It works both ways. It's not just a piece of paper stating that the husband owns the wife like property. Now I realize that at least in the old days that the spirit of the marriage license can be debated but legally speaking, as far as I know, the marriage license has never had more of a meaning for one sex than the other, at least in civilized countries. Maybe I'm wrong on that but I'm talking more about modern times anyway rather than having a debate on the past.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:38 PM   #17
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Can't help but add that the piece of paper also means that the wife OWNS the husband. It works both ways. It's not just a piece of paper stating that the husband owns the wife like property. Now I realize that at least in the old days that the spirit of the marriage license can be debated but legally speaking, as far as I know, the marriage license has never had more of a meaning for one sex than the other, at least in civilized countries. Maybe I'm wrong on that but I'm talking more about modern times anyway rather than having a debate on the past.
Your words would be true in a culture and society that values women as equals to men but let's be real...today in 2015 we still don't. And that stems from the sexist crap left lingering in our culture today that is so insidious and invisible that it's culturally accepted as normal.

Most people like yourself don't even notice it. That doesn't make y'all bad people or stupid, just normal folks that didn't realize our sexist culture is taken in like air from birth and we're used to it. And don't mistake my tone here, sweetheart, this is not a value judgement on you or anyone else. Blindness to this is part of why it's so difficult to fight...it's so engrained in our society today that most examples of it are, like I said, invisible to most people. Until you really learn and really learn how to see it, it flies right past you. It's normal, just an everyday example of normal life.

But of course, me mentioning this could bring down the witch hunt for me again, so I'm going to stop here before the haters bring the pitchforks and torches.

In the end, the pressure people put on themselves and others and the moral judgements we place on marriage and divorce today are remnants of an archaic time where women were property and a marriage liscence was a deed to that property in order to ensure your brood of children belonged to only you.

It was all about ownership.

Today, let's stop moralizing that piece of paper and stop stressing about it when a relationship ends.

It doesn't make you a bad person if you break up. It doesn't make your partner a bad person if you break up. There are millions of perfectly valid reasons why relationships end and beating yourself up because it didn't work solves nothing.

It's not a moral issue anymore. Divorce isn't BAD. Marriage isn't some kind of...."I'm going to hell if I divorce her." anymore. We can be beyond that.

If you want to get married, do it man. So what if you divorce? It doesn't mean anything bad these days, just that your relationship didn't work out....And that is OKAY.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:44 PM   #18
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Your words would be true in a culture and society that values women as equals to men but let's be real...today in 2015 we still don't. And that stems from the sexist crap left lingering in our culture today that is so insidious and invisible that it's culturally accepted as normal.

Most people like yourself don't even notice it. That doesn't make y'all bad people or stupid, just normal folks that didn't realize our sexist culture is taken in like air from birth and we're used to it.

But of course, me mentioning this could bring down the witch hunt for me again, so I'm going to stop here before the haters bring the pitchforks and torches.
Actually, you beat me to the punch here by a few minutes in saying this - and you did so more eloquently.

Thing is, what we call "normal" is not equitable, not even today after decades of political effort to improve the lot of women. Subwannabe, if you sincerely think that a marriage license was never "had more of a meaning for one sex than the other." may I suggest you do some reading in the history of marriage. Pay particular attention to the idea of chattel.


Now, back to your regularly-scheduled discussion of whether the OP should re-marry.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:47 PM   #19
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Actually, you beat me to the punch here by a few minutes in saying this - and you did so more eloquently.

Thing is, what we call "normal" is not equitable, not even today after decades of political effort to improve the lot of women. Subwannabe, if you sincerely think that a marriage license was never "had more of a meaning for one sex than the other." may I suggest you do some reading in the history of marriage. Pay particular attention to the idea of chattel.


Now, back to your regularly-scheduled discussion of whether the OP should re-marry.
Thanks love. I appreciate that.

Yeah one thing a lot of people don't understand is that "normal" does not always equal "right" or "Good" or "fair"...it just means "What you're used to."

And people can get used to a surprising amount of unfairness to the point where they become numb to it.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:26 PM   #20
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The lady I've been dating for 2 years and I have been talking about getting married. A little background... I was married for 20+ years. Five years ago, on a January Saturday morning my ex told me she was divorcing me and never looked back. I was shocked, and devastated. Since we have 3 kids (now in high school & college) our divorce took almost a year to finalize.

About 2 years ago I met someone through a mutual friend on Facebook and we fell in love. We are the same age; she has 2 college age kids and is divorced after a 20+ year marriage as well.

Our relationship is wonderful -- we enjoy doing pretty much everything together. She builds me up and encourages me in ways I've never had in previous relationships, is incredibly easy to get along with, and the give and take of a relationship seems to come naturally to both of us.

One of the fears I have about getting remarried is this... during the first couple of years after my divorce, I very much enjoyed my new-found freedom and met & dated a lot of women. Part of me just wants to stay single... and be free to meet and date women as I desire. On the other hand, I truly love my girlfriend. She is incredibly kind, sexy, attractive, and more than I deserve in almost every way. Our sex is better than I've ever known and I feel like I'd be bat-shit crazy to give that up.

I've had a couple of my guy-friends remarry and wound up really unhappy and filled with regret. We are going to a counselor (starting tonight, actually) to talk through some of our fears & concerns but I wanted to just throw this out there and get the HT Cafe wisdom too.

Thanks!
Getting married does not come with a guarantee!

One thing I do know you have a 50/50% chance leaving the Alter.

Then my freind you find out who or what you have married...I have found this out the hard way!

Now having said that. When you are ready to get married you will not have so many concerns.

As for the other sex stuff you need to take that up with the Girlfriend.

I'm sure she will have some point of view to express.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:05 PM   #21
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Marriage is just dating legally, really. The only difference between married and dating is a piece of paper.
I hear this fairly often. I hope this doesn't come across as picking on anyone, because that's not my intention. More of a general rebuttal :-) And, I apologize if this is a diversion from the intent of the thread.

This hasn't been my experience. When I was dating, each relationship was implicitly conditional. When the relationship no longer met one of our needs we generally expected it to end so that we could each move on to another relationship. There was no expectation of anything more permanent. The people around us understood the transient nature of those relationships and acted accordingly.

There came a time in my dating life when I wanted a relationship that was much deeper and more intimate than what I had experienced while dating. I wanted to make an unconditional and permanent commitment to the woman who would become my wife. I wanted to be able to dedicate myself completely to my relationship with her. We wanted to work together towards certain goals, including raising a family and eventually retirement. I wanted to publicly declare that commitment, and I wanted the love of my life to do the same.

Could I have done that without getting married? Yes, but it would have been more difficult and risk prone. The fact of the matter is that commingling assets, taking on debt, and making sacrifices for each other and our family complicates our relationship in ways that have legal implications. We wanted the community to acknowledge our commitment to each other. For the most part we want the government to stay out of my marriage, but we do expect it to acknowledge the uniqueness of our relationship as husband and wife. There is an established legal framework that helps people like us, and even protects us as individuals if things do fly apart at the seams. We're not alone. These are the very same reasons that the gay and lesbian community is fighting so hard for marriage. It is far more than a piece of paper.

Quote:
So what if you divorce?
As has been said, there are no guarantees. However, I think that most of us who get married are optimists and really want our marriages to work out. Our relationships become implicitly unconditional, and we take vows to that effect (for better/worse, etc). When our needs are not being met, we have work to do. Two unique individuals learning how to live and grow together requires a huge emotional investment, and most of us work very hard to forgive each other when we don't get it right.

It's painful enough when we're not communicating or are having any number of problems when we're so invested in our marriage, family, and spouse but it's devastating to realize that pouring our hearts and souls into our marriages isn't always enough. It takes a big emotional toll, and extricating finances and obligations just makes it worse. It doesn't make us bad people, or mean that we are failures as individuals, but it is exhausting not to mention financially devastating. I believe that this is what the OP was talking about.

march_manness, there's certainly no reason to rush into marriage. Statistically, second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages. Take the time to get to know your lover, and learn to communicate about everything. You know the reality of marriage, and know the commitment that it takes. If you don't want to make that kind of commitment to her, prefer to play the field, or don't share the same long term goals then be honest with her and decide together what the next step will be.

If you are looking for a deeper relationship and are willing to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work to get there, then take the time to get to know this woman as well as you can. You haven't mentioned if you both share a common faith, but some people discover that incorporating their spirituality into their relationship makes their life and their relationship with their spouse more deeply satisfying. That may be something to bring up while you're doing your soul searching together.

Anyway, I believe that by getting counseling now you are already on your way towards improving your chances of a successful second marriage, if that's what you want in your life.

Just my $.02.

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Old 02-25-2015, 02:57 AM   #22
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I hear this fairly often. I hope this doesn't come across as picking on anyone, because that's not my intention. More of a general rebuttal :-) And, I apologize if this is a diversion from the intent of the thread.

This hasn't been my experience. When I was dating, each relationship was implicitly conditional. When the relationship no longer met one of our needs we generally expected it to end so that we could each move on to another relationship. There was no expectation of anything more permanent. The people around us understood the transient nature of those relationships and acted accordingly.

There came a time in my dating life when I wanted a relationship that was much deeper and more intimate than what I had experienced while dating. I wanted to make an unconditional and permanent commitment to the woman who would become my wife. I wanted to be able to dedicate myself completely to my relationship with her. We wanted to work together towards certain goals, including raising a family and eventually retirement. I wanted to publicly declare that commitment, and I wanted the love of my life to do the same.

Could I have done that without getting married? Yes, but it would have been more difficult and risk prone. The fact of the matter is that commingling assets, taking on debt, and making sacrifices for each other and our family complicates our relationship in ways that have legal implications. We wanted the community to acknowledge our commitment to each other. For the most part we want the government to stay out of my marriage, but we do expect it to acknowledge the uniqueness of our relationship as husband and wife. There is an established legal framework that helps people like us, and even protects us as individuals if things do fly apart at the seams. We're not alone. These are the very same reasons that the gay and lesbian community is fighting so hard for marriage. It is far more than a piece of paper.
If you view dating less difficult and less "risk prone" than getting married, That's Fine. Like I said already above, my view about dating is different than most people, because once I mate, I mate for life. When I choose a partner to date, I consider myself "emotionally married", and the only difference between me dating someone and me being married to someone is a legal piece of paper.

As a pansexual woman who has had several relationships with women and non-gender-conforming people, I'm all too aware of the fact that my marriage to my cismale husband was MUCH easier to get than if I had wanted to marry any of my female/non-gender-conforming partners in the past.

Legally, marriage IS different from dating, which is what I made absolutely clear in my above posts.

Emotionally, though, once you're committed to that person, there shouldn't be a change in feelings towards your partner once you get that legal piece of paper.

If you're ready to marry someone, in your heart you're already married. The piece of paper shouldn't change anything other than the legal/tax portion of your lives.

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Old 02-25-2015, 10:08 AM   #23
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I think marriage is what the two people involved make out of it. I think it is generalizing too much to say that women aren't treated as equal so therefore a marriage certificate favors only the male. One could even make an argument that many women get the better end of the stick from a divorce, based on a marriage certificate. Legally speaking it is 50/50 piece of paper and as far as I know the same was true 200 years ago, legally speaking. I have never seen a marriage certificate where it says the woman belongs to the man as property. People can interpret the intent of things however they want but the law is usually a fairly black and white issue.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:47 PM   #24
satindesire
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Originally Posted by subwannabe View Post
I think marriage is what the two people involved make out of it. I think it is generalizing too much to say that women aren't treated as equal so therefore a marriage certificate favors only the male.
Except I never actually said that. /sigh

I said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by satindesire View Post
A piece of paper can't keep you loyal or in love or happy. All it historically did was make sure you OWNED YOUR WIFE. As in...like property.

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Originally Posted by subwannabe View Post
One could even make an argument that many women get the better end of the stick from a divorce, based on a marriage certificate.
A product of a sexist culture that expects women to either not work for her own income while married (the man "brings home the bacon", the wife is the domestic partner), take time off work to raise children (because women are "better suited" to raising children), or work part time in order to have the time to take care of most of the domestic duties (because laundry and cooking and dishes are "women's work"). It's difficult if not impossible to re-enter the workforce after quitting a job to take care of babies, as anyone who has been unemployed in the last 10 years understands, this economy is not kind to people who have been unemployed for any length of time and for any reason.

A product of a sexist culture that understands the wage gap in that most women make less than men do even when doing the same job. Therefor, they get more during divorce settlements to make sure they don't end up homeless, impoverished, and better able to take care of the children that they are, according to our sexist culture "better able to raise" than a "non-nurturing" father.

This isn't a favor to women because we're "treated better" by divorce courts, this is a serious issue that is a problem, not a bash to men because MISANDRY! It's what a lot of people call "benevolent sexism". Which sounds cute and fluffy, but to Intersectional Feminists, sexism is sexism even if it benefits us, and we don't want it. We want a world where men take on equal childcare and domestic duties, we want a world where women make the same wages as men, so that divorce courts won't "have" to favor women anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwannabe View Post
Legally speaking it is 50/50 piece of paper and as far as I know the same was true 200 years ago, legally speaking. I have never seen a marriage certificate where it says the woman belongs to the man as property. People can interpret the intent of things however they want but the law is usually a fairly black and white issue.
I'm genuinely sorry that you believe "history" was only 200 years ago and stopped existing before that.

http://www.historyofwomen.org/oppression.html

It's historical fact that women were considered property, and that once married all that a woman "owned" was considered her husband's property. Women weren't allowed to make contracts, own land, appear in court, or do business. Until the late 1800's, when women got sick of it and started fighting for property rights.

In the Bible, women were commonly referred to as men's property: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s." Exodus 20:14

Women were bought and paid for like property: "And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. And the princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And he dealt well with Abram for her sake; and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and menservants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels." Genesis 12:14-16

In the Bible, when a man raped a woman, he didn't go to jail. He paid her father a property damage fee and married her.

Women were war trophies: " When thou goest forth to battle against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God delivereth them into thy hands, and thou carriest them away captive, and seest among the captives a woman of goodly form, and thou hast a desire unto her, and wouldest take her to thee to wife; then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month; and after that thou mayest go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her." Deuteronomy 21:10-14

The Abrahamic religions have had MASSIVE influence on how human beings have treated the world's people for thousands of years. And yes, influence on how we've treated women for thousands of years.

The concept and reality of women-as-property isn't some Feminist Conspiracy Against Men, it's historical fact. And there are plenty of people out there to this very day that don't consider women people and think of them as property and things to own. This isn't some remnant of a bygone era, intense misogyny against women and the belief that women aren't human happens TODAY.

http://www.landoverbaptist.net/showthread.php?p=731358
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Last edited by satindesire : 02-25-2015 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subwannabe View Post
I have never seen a marriage certificate where it says the woman belongs to the man as property. People can interpret the intent of things however they want but the law is usually a fairly black and white issue.
State or church? How much has religion tried to impose their values of marriage as law? How much does religion still play an influence today? How many will interpret church guidance as a law above state?

While the typeface will appear equal it does indeed depend on who is waiving that piece of paper.

Even vows of a Christian wedding ceremony were biased toward males in the life time of many here. There are also generational pressures upon the interpretation of marriage certificates.

"...but the law, but the law..." is only but one influence over the interpretation of a marriage certificate.
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