Top Eight Reasons Not To Marry by Bella DePaulo
- Long-time readers know how much I detest those “why you are single” stories that point fingers at the supposed flaws of people who are not married. It is time to flip the script, and list some of the most important, non-singlist reasons for not marrying.
I started thinking about this most recently when the New York Times published the story, “Gay couples, choosing to say ‘I don’t.’” Many of the reasons gay couples offered for not marrying are also embraced by heterosexual couples (and singles) who are just not getting swept up in the relentless matrimania.
Here’s my list of Top 8 Reasons Not to Marry, which includes some of the reasons noted in the Times as well as a few of my own.
#2 Other single people are open to marrying but they won’t marry just for the sake of marrying. They have standards. That doesn’t make them “too picky;” it makes them wise.
#3 The injustice argument that is most familiar and has been around the longest: Marriage is not so great for women. Historically, women have been oppressed in marriage. Even in contemporary marriages, women still generally do more of the housework and the child care (when there are children) than men do.
#4 The injustice argument that still has not gotten the attention it deserves: Marriage is unfair to single people. From the matrimania that confers unearned status to the (Link): laws that grant undeserved benefits, protections, and privileges, marriage creates a caste system. No one should be proud of that.
#6 The marriage mentality overvalues one particular relationship and undervalues a wide range of other relationships, some of which are more egalitarian.
The overvaluing is practiced by married people who look to their spouse to be their Sex and Everything Else Partner (or Seepie, as I called it in Singled Out). The undervaluing happens when everyone else other than the spouse gets back-burnered, including long-time friends.
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