Relationship? Married? If so, why?

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
7Wannabe5
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:05 am

I think maybe it depends on whether your ERE plan is more robust or more anti-fragile. Marriage moves the more fragile state of friendship towards the more robust state of kinship but it also moves the more anti-fragile state of attraction towards the more robust state of kinship. That is why even though my SO has somewhere between infinity and 20X (depending upon valuation of my rare book business/inventory) more financial assets than me I am the one who is currently foot-dragging on legal marriage. Well, also due to thoroughly irrational fear that he is such a hard-core negotiator he will somehow find a way to construct a pre-nup that will be the equivalent of Articles of Indenture for me or grant him pre-Victorian era husband rights to all the intellectual property that might pop out of my head in the future (which may or may not be inclusive of a title along the lines of "The Myth of the Happy Co-operative Egalitarian Marriage") or something like that.

Anyways, my current relationship commitment is that I will not break up with him but I will not do anything to prevent him from breaking up with me. Since I am naturally a very nice person I believe this is an anti-fragile solution.

Noided

Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Noided » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:23 pm

I want to thank everyone here for your answers. I am happy this didn't turn into a toxic thread. Sometimes Im afraid it might seem as if Im attacking the people in the discussion, which is/was not my intention.

I've been studying the marriage laws here in Portugal and if you are not married, you can't have acess to your SO in case of an emergency, which I think is kind of dumb but oh well. At least I can choose to have separate assets if I choose to go that way.
7Wannabe5 wrote:(...)


Got kind of confused with your post to be honest haha.
henrik wrote:Noided, you might enjoy this thread :)
Thanks for the topic. I am reading it and I think I finally found someone who understands me!

7Wannabe5
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:46 am

noided said: Got kind of confused with your post to be honest haha.
Right. Please ignore. I was mostly just being silly. I had only read the first few chapters of "Anti-Fragile" when I wrote it. I think the question to ask yourself is whether or not you would really be the half of the couple with more "skin in the game" under contract of legal marriage. IOW, do you consider it fair to ask your partner to engage in social marriage contract absent legal marriage contract? For instance, it is commonly assumed to be the socially mandated job of the younger/healthier female partner to care for her male partner in decrepit old age. Therefore, bitter old single females when on the dating scene(roughly my potential peer group except that I am usually rather cheerful) are sometimes heard to mutter the truism "All these old guys are looking for is a nurse or a purse." Anyways, my point here being that, all other things being equal, social-financially-egalitarian-marriage is only really fair (given current actuarial tables) if the female half of the couple is around 3 years older than the male UNLESS the pre-nup provides for end-of-life care because no matter how tough a guy seems you can't really trust that he will just go off into the woods alone to die a noble death anymore than you can trust a female no-matter-how-good-she-seems not to file for divorce and take half your goodies at mid-life. My ex-father-in-law biked the entire Lewis and Clark trail solo at age 69 but his 3rd wife ended up caring for him full-time for over 5 years (approximate length of time in which one could achieve financial independence according to this forum) out of the 16 they were married before he died from degenerative nervous system disorder.

Noided

Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Noided » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:19 am

Let me see if I understood what you are saying: one of the perks of marriage is that a person will take care of you when you are older?

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jennypenny
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by jennypenny » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:12 pm

Noided wrote:Let me see if I understood what you are saying: one of the perks of marriage is that a person will take care of you when you are older?
I can't speak for 7W5, but I think one of the perks of marriage is that someone is contractually obligated to care for you and have sex with you when you're old.

IlliniDave
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:16 am

Yeesh, all this talk of "contractual obligations" gives me the heebie-jeebies and reinforces some of my cavalier attitudes about being a big boy and taking care of myself. Hopefully when my time comes I'll just tumble out of my canoe and that will be the end of it. It's strange I find the contractually obliged "perks" rather distasteful (collecting on what would be "due" me per the contract, that is). I guess whatever vision of relationships I harbor are hopelessly silly and naive. The vivid memory of what it takes to dissolve one of those contracts (of the formal and legal variety) might play a part in my impractical outlook. It's also strange that people generally pro-relationship in their outlook seem to do more to dissuade me than their counterparts! :)

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Chad
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:29 am

Taking this a little further to include children from a marraige, it is very nice to have these "contractual" obligations. My recent experience with my mother's disease and now my father's inability to completely manage his own life (not sick, just uneducated/unskilled for the modern world) suggests my desire to not have kids may create serious issues for me towards the end of my life. It would be nice to just "tumble out of my canoe" into oblivion, but that's not always going to happen.

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Dragline
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Dragline » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:22 am

Sounds like there may be a market for a "canoe tipping" service. ;-)

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Chad
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:43 am

Canoe tipping would be a non-traditional choice for euthanasia.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:00 am

noided said: Let me see if I understood what you are saying: one of the perks of marriage is that a person will take care of you when you are older?
If you are a man. Most of the people in nursing homes are female. Of course, personal demographics might vary. My SO is 7 years older than me and smokes a pipe so I'm not counting on it. Luckily, I have 3 younger sisters with whom I have a pact for old age co-residence and 2 children who are fond of me and have recollections of a happy childhood under my care.

Anyways, I believe there is very little that either party is legally contractually obligated to provide under the terms of modern marriage. Social contract is more the issue. Maybe my perspective is old-fashioned or sexist or biased by my personal experience but I think there is a level on which a woman makes social contract not just with the man she marries but also with his female relatives. For instance, after my divorce I remained on very good terms with my ex-mother-in-law because according to her code I had been a good wife to her son and a good mother for her grandchildren and she apologized to me for her son's behavior even though she loved him dearly. I had another long-term relationship with a man who was older and wealthier than me and at the beginning of that relationship his sister actually verbally stated that she believed that I might be a "gold-digger" but after we broke up she thanked me on the phone for taking care of her brother during a bout of mental illness. I am not legally married to my current SO but I have social relationships with his two daughters, his two sisters, his two nieces, one female cousin, his great-aunt and his two great-nieces. Therefore, I believe that I do have some (but not all) of the social obligations to provide him with care that are assumed with marriage BECAUSE if I do not fulfill these obligations then the other women in his family or some poor girl making minimum wage at a nursing facility will have to fulfill these obligations in relationship to him. However, the thing you should bear in mind as a man (give or take depending on your social milieu) is that if you do not legally marry a woman then it will be the case that your female relatives (and society in general) will hold her much less responsible for her actions. Not a single person in my acquaintance (including my ex-husband himself-lol) blames me for divorcing him but I still have twinges of guilt because now my daughter will likely be stuck caring for him in old age. I do not fear dying alone. I fear that I may spend a significant portion of the last decades of my life feeding soup to one grouchy old skinny red-haired man and one grouchy old portly black-haired man tucked into bed together like a scene from "Willy Wonka" Actually, it is not the soup-feeding I fear for future-me. It is the nail-clipping. Put that image into your calculator and then tell me if it is not worse than the possibility of losing half your wealth at midlife.

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Ego » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:33 pm

IlliniDave wrote:Yeesh, all this talk of "contractual obligations" gives me the heebie-jeebies and reinforces some of my cavalier attitudes about being a big boy and taking care of myself.
The idea of early retirement tends to appeal to those who have great respect for self sufficiency. While self sufficiency and independence are important, they are only halfway to the real savory part of a good life that comes after the long journey from dependence to independence and then on to interdependence.

Noided

Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Noided » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:41 pm

Ego wrote:
IlliniDave wrote:Yeesh, all this talk of "contractual obligations" gives me the heebie-jeebies and reinforces some of my cavalier attitudes about being a big boy and taking care of myself.
The idea of early retirement tends to appeal to those who have great respect for self sufficiency. While self sufficiency and independence are important, they are only halfway to the real savory part of a good life that comes after the long journey from dependence to independence and then on to interdependence.
Nah, ill define my path think you very much.

I had written a response to 7Wannabe5, but I think the forum ate it up... Well lets just say I don't agree with the "I have to force this person to be with me, or he will leave" attitude.

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Chad
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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:43 pm

Ego wrote:
IlliniDave wrote:Yeesh, all this talk of "contractual obligations" gives me the heebie-jeebies and reinforces some of my cavalier attitudes about being a big boy and taking care of myself.
The idea of early retirement tends to appeal to those who have great respect for self sufficiency. While self sufficiency and independence are important, they are only halfway to the real savory part of a good life that comes after the long journey from dependence to independence and then on to interdependence.
This is something I have just started realizing. I have historically been very very very reluctant to infringe in any way on my independence. I'm working on changing that.

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:22 am

Noided wrote:
Ego wrote:
IlliniDave wrote:Yeesh, all this talk of "contractual obligations" gives me the heebie-jeebies and reinforces some of my cavalier attitudes about being a big boy and taking care of myself.
The idea of early retirement tends to appeal to those who have great respect for self sufficiency. While self sufficiency and independence are important, they are only halfway to the real savory part of a good life that comes after the long journey from dependence to independence and then on to interdependence.
Nah, ill define my path think you very much.

I had written a response to 7Wannabe5, but I think the forum ate it up... Well lets just say I don't agree with the "I have to force this person to be with me, or he will leave" attitude.
My post was half tongue-in-cheek, but let's face it ... no matter how well I take care of myself between now and then, no one wants to sleep with a 65yo woman. I'm under no illusions about that.

Sex is great and good for my health, and I'm glad I've secured a lifetime supply. 8-)

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:43 am

noided said: I had written a response to 7Wannabe5, but I think the forum ate it up... Well lets just say I don't agree with the "I have to force this person to be with me, or he will leave" attitude.
Right. One evening several weeks ago I was relaxing in the living room with my SO and his two young adult daughters. He was clipping his toenails and he looked up and around at the three of us and inquired in his guilt-provoking Iranian paternal (much like stereotypical Jewish maternal) manner "I wonder who will do this for me when I am old?" The three of us looked at each other and none of us said anything until the buck slowly came to a stand-still in front of me due to the gravitational pull of maturity. I put on my thinking-cap and made the suggestion "Maybe the John-of-the-future will do it." Since John-of-the-present is a strapping young man who is willing to do odd jobs for my SO for very low wages due to the fact that he apparently has a crush on one of his daughters, my suggestion was received with much hilarity and agreement by my semi-step-daughters and a deep sigh and dark comment along the lines of "This is what I expected. No gratitude. No loyalty." from my SO. Unfortunately, I am still suffering a bit from this event and that is why my last post was so negative. Sorry.


Okay, so if we are in agreement that guilt or duress are not the reasons why we want somebody to choose to remain in relationship with us, the question "What are the reasons we want somebody to want to remain in relationship with us?" The thing I have rather surprisingly found to be true as a low-earning, frugal woman dating at mid-life is that there are many men who do want to be appreciated for offering some level of financial support or advantages as part of the package they are offering up. It really depends on how much you have a more practical view of the world vs. how much you have a more magical view of the world that informs you and others that you wish to be appreciated simply on the basis of the fact that you are a unique snowflake. The biochemicals that increase when we "fall in love" with somebody cause us to believe that the other person is special in a special way. These are basically the same biochemicals that promote the illusion that something is very important or interesting when you are under the influence of certain recreational drugs. So, it is very important that you ask yourself whether of not you are the romantic equivalent of somebody who can't hold his liquor before you make legal or financial commitments. However, if you are reasonably certain that you are capable of acting in your own self-interest, there is absolutely no rational reason why you shouldn't consider all sorts of variations on financial contracts as part of negotiating a relationship that is also inclusive of human pair-bonding behaviors. Entering into or somehow managing to maintain a relationship that is absolutely independent and even-Steven financially is in no way a guarantee or even a signal that your SO really "loves you for you" or some other magical notion like that which separates a human being from the assets and behaviors they bring to relationship. Maintaining these sorts of magical romantic notions is even more likely to render you victim due to your inability to exit a bad relationship in the future. Every person is special. Not every special person is a good relationship partner for you. Somebody who is a good relationship partner for you this year may not be a good relationship partner for you 20 years from now and their enduring specialness will not alter this reality.
jennypenny said: My post was half tongue-in-cheek, but let's face it ... no matter how well I take care of myself between now and then, no one wants to sleep with a 65yo woman. I'm under no illusions about that.
Not true. I highly recommend you give "A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late Life Adventures in Sex and Romance" by Jane Juska a read. I don't deny that younger women are on average more attractive but the primary reason why older women aren't solicited for sex is that they no longer signal availability. I mean, stating that there is no one who want to sleep with a 65 yr old woman is the equivalent of stating that there are no 79 year old men who would still have sex with a pumpkin if it was capable of signaling availability.

Noided

Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Noided » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:00 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
noided said: I had written a response to 7Wannabe5, but I think the forum ate it up... Well lets just say I don't agree with the "I have to force this person to be with me, or he will leave" attitude.
Right. One evening several weeks ago I was relaxing in the living room with my SO and his two young adult daughters. He was clipping his toenails and he looked up and around at the three of us and inquired in his guilt-provoking Iranian paternal (much like stereotypical Jewish maternal) manner "I wonder who will do this for me when I am old?" The three of us looked at each other and none of us said anything until the buck slowly came to a stand-still in front of me due to the gravitational pull of maturity. I put on my thinking-cap and made the suggestion "Maybe the John-of-the-future will do it." Since John-of-the-present is a strapping young man who is willing to do odd jobs for my SO for very low wages due to the fact that he apparently has a crush on one of his daughters, my suggestion was received with much hilarity and agreement by my semi-step-daughters and a deep sigh and dark comment along the lines of "This is what I expected. No gratitude. No loyalty." from my SO. Unfortunately, I am still suffering a bit from this event and that is why my last post was so negative. Sorry.


Okay, so if we are in agreement that guilt or duress are not the reasons why we want somebody to choose to remain in relationship with us, the question "What are the reasons we want somebody to want to remain in relationship with us?" The thing I have rather surprisingly found to be true as a low-earning, frugal woman dating at mid-life is that there are many men who do want to be appreciated for offering some level of financial support or advantages as part of the package they are offering up.

It really depends on how much you have a more practical view of the world vs. how much you have a more magical view of the world that informs you and others that you wish to be appreciated simply on the basis of the fact that you are a unique snowflake. The biochemicals that increase when we "fall in love" with somebody cause us to believe that the other person is special in a special way. These are basically the same biochemicals that promote the illusion that something is very important or interesting when you are under the influence of certain recreational drugs. So, it is very important that you ask yourself whether of not you are the romantic equivalent of somebody who can't hold his liquor before you make legal or financial commitments. However, if you are reasonably certain that you are capable of acting in your own self-interest, there is absolutely no rational reason why you shouldn't consider all sorts of variations on financial contracts as part of negotiating a relationship that is also inclusive of human pair-bonding behaviors. Entering into or somehow managing to maintain a relationship that is absolutely independent and even-Steven financially is in no way a guarantee or even a signal that your SO really "loves you for you" or some other magical notion like that which separates a human being from the assets and behaviors they bring to relationship.

Maintaining these sorts of magical romantic notions is even more likely to render you victim due to your inability to exit a bad relationship in the future. Every person is special. Not every special person is a good relationship partner for you. Somebody who is a good relationship partner for you this year may not be a good relationship partner for you 20 years from now and their enduring specialness will not alter this reality.
Can''t you stick to simple short sentences? It makes the discussion harder and less friendly for me and everyone else.

Just because man want to offer you some finantial security it doesn't mean that you have to take it or go along. I don't want that for me, but if you do, go ahead, its (mostly) a free world.

You don't have to lecture me on brain chemicals, I am not a 15 year old girl.

Another thing you say is, because I have my contract-less relationship, this does not mean that my SO loves me more then someone in a contract bound relationship. Is that even relevant?

Lets assume I do have a childish notion of love. Who do you is mostly likely to break up a relationship where they are unhappy? The unmarried person, who just talkes to their SO, and they go their separate ways OR the married person, who is thinking how is wealth will be affected if he decides to leave this person he does not like anymore?

Again, I have a hard time understanding your walls of text, so sorry if I am missing something. I don't think your arguments are helping the case for marriage.

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Sclass » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:17 am

JohnnyH wrote:I would say for most of the not yet retired men in this forum, who are considering children, the risks greatly outweigh the rewards and approach with extreme caution. Not only can you potentially lose nearly every asset in a divorce but I've seen retired PhDs forced to gain employment (to quote the opposing lawyer "even if it is minimum wage"). A bitter divorce can destroy your wealth (transfer, lawyer/legal fees, taxes...) and life (stress, lose custody/visitation of children, forced out of retirement, jail if you do not comply). If you end up with an alimony payment based on a previous wage earned (google Dave Foley divorce) you can end up an indentured servant for the rest of your life.

No relationship in my life so far has been able to overcome my fears of the above. Also, I think the rewards of marriage do not come close to justifying the risk to MOST FI people... Prenuptial routinely get thrown out be omnipotent judges and can be picked apart by future legal teams with far greater resources than those that created said
Sclass wrote:Strategically from an ERE perspective I could live cheaper alone. And I did for a good part of my life. But it was empty moving in and out of relationships on a yearly basis with mates that wanted to change me into Mr. Middle Class Dad of Two, salary getter, church tithe participant, bling buyer. Everyone seemed to have this five point agenda for changing SClass.
So you eventually met someone who didn't try to change you into all those things? Can I ask if this happened before or after you retired?
Yes. It's a quirk. I met her when I was 19. I dated her best friend. We became friends for a long time and we had no idea we'd do this. In fact, she thought I was kind of a circus clown in our social circle for a very long time. I think she saw enough of my relationships fail that she didn't want to attempt what others failed at. It's a fluke. not a good example of how to win at the love game. (Fail with everyone and see who is left)

I can see your conflict. It is a very big deal and you should be concerned. A spouse can make or break you.

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:07 am

noided said: Again, I have a hard time understanding your walls of text, so sorry if I am missing something. I don't think your arguments are helping the case for marriage.
You are right. My arguments are not helping make the case for marriage.

My arguments are also not helping make the case for accepting financial support outside of legal marriage. My situation is rather unique because my SO not only wishes to offer me financial support, it is his clear strongly stated preference that I accept financial support from him and do not otherwise seek or continue employment. Therefore, I need to consider my own opportunity costs and security risks before accepting pre-nuptial agreement or detailed domestic partnership contract. I apologize for the fact that I was clearly attempting to get my own head straight about my own situation by babbling stream-of-consciousness on your thread.

One thing about my situation or experience that might really be relevant to your question is that I do believe that it is true that the older men get the more they want a wife (or non-legal domestic partner) and the harder or more "expensive" it becomes for them to get one. It is like there is some point around the age of 45 that the tables turn and single men start wanting marriage and single women start shunning it. I offered my current SO the option of a monogamous sexual relationship with separate living arrangements and independent finances and he turned me down.

In the very good book "Advice from an Old Mistress to a Young Wife" the author makes the statement "Marriage is for amateurs." I believe that this is a deeply true statement because it becomes very difficult to rationally choose to marry once you "know better" but it is also true that you are unlikely to succeed at marriage unless you simply do it for love.

I hope that I was more cogent this time? -lol

Noided

Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Noided » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:44 pm

Much better :) The thread is not mine though, its everyones.

Your experience is something to consider when I am older. I am far far away from 45 :)

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by Peanut » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:03 pm

Interesting thread. Why get married? I would say marry because you love someone enough to want to give your relationship with them a fail-safe. Others may see marriage as a trap and think it unromantic to make it difficult for either party to get out of the relationship. But actually I think it is very romantic to promise fidelity when things turn sour. I say when and not if because all relationships turn sour at one point or another. The question then becomes are you willing to fix things so the relationship can flourish again? In a marriage you make this commitment to try and keep trying until you succeed, which in its best form means falling in love again.

There seems to be a lot of concern about divorce and its financial implications. The myth that 1 in two marriages end in divorce is just that. Better analysis has put the figure at 20-25% for first time marriages. I think if you choose wisely you can be confident your figure will be 0%.

On the financial question, my opinion is no doubt in the extreme minority, but I think it is petty not to join finances in marriage and maybe even in committed partnerships outside of marriage. And pettiness is not a quality that helps one in any relationship, so might as well jettison it.

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by George the original one » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:54 pm

Peanut wrote:The myth that 1 in two marriages end in divorce is just that. Better analysis has put the figure at 20-25% for first time marriages.
Well, it's not quite a myth, rather only stating half the facts. 2nd & 3rd & 4th marriages often end in divorce, thus driving up the overall rate. Heck, a coworker has been married 5 times (twice widowed, twice divorced).

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by stand@desk » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:00 pm

A sub-subject of this thread would be to include the part of "remaining-married."

There are many reasons to get married as outlined in the previous posts, but to remain married, if you marry a good partner in the first place, you will need to take good care of yourself and your affairs and your spouse to keep the relationship positive. I find this as good motivation for keeping myself up.

I would also hypothesize that remaining single could encourage lonliness and isolation which are not good for one's long term health. If you live with a good influence that has good habits, you will benefit through osmosis and the same goes for your partner benefiting from you, so there is very good reason to stay healthy to encourage a long life!

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by slsdly » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:10 pm

I agree with the last few posts. In this thread (among others) there is a lot of focus on protecting yourself through legal means, which of course is important to consider, but you don't really want to get into the position where you need to exercise those options! Choosing wisely, being empathic and emotionally available go a long way with people *in general*. The latter two are not exactly skills INTJs are known for, but I think they would pay off... I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to meet someone right now, but even if the worst happened, a court took everything from me, and says I should be able to earn more, well, I achieved ERE once (in theory, not there yet), now I am just on the second round on hard mode :P. Even if it is a lie, I like to tell myself things are possible. It is a much more pleasant way to live? And sometimes I am surprised.

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by GandK » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:39 pm

Peanut wrote:... all relationships turn sour at one point or another. The question then becomes are you willing to fix things so the relationship can flourish again? In a marriage you make this commitment to try and keep trying until you succeed, which in its best form means falling in love again.
Yes. My mom told me when I was going through a rough spot, "Expect to fall in and out of love your whole life. Most people do. If you're lucky, it will be with the same person."

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Re: Relationship? Married? If so, why?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:09 pm

"Gandk said: Yes. My mom told me when I was going through a rough spot, "Expect to fall in and out of love your whole life. Most people do. If you're lucky, it will be with the same person.""

Strong co-sign (with obvious exception being if his name is Bill Sikes.) One of the most common things an emotionally retarded person will say to their partner before revealing that they either are already having an affair or they intend to commence having one as soon as they say what they are going to say is "I love you but I am not in love with you anymore."

I think focusing on divorce statistics is of limited use in determining the benefits of marriage because they do not take into account all the intact but thoroughly miserable marriages. I think the primary cause of stuck-in-miserable-marriage is people who are willing and able to keep their half of the relationship contract but are too wimpy to enforce contract on their SO. Therefore, IMO, a rational non-emotionally retarded way to end a relationship is to say something like "Either you stop writing bad checks on our joint account and agree to have sex with me on a regular basis or agree to engage in counseling towards resolution of these issues or I will choose to file for divorce within 6 months." The lucky people are those who never have to have these kinds of conversations but I believe they are few and far between. I honestly do not believe that there is any reliable method for choosing a partner that will preclude the ability/willingness to enforce contract as necessary.

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