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Old 11-24-2010, 01:27 PM   #41
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This seems a bit of a contradiction to real life. The stereotype, and there is some significant truth to it, is that in long-married couples the wife is more likely to be the one telling the husband what he can and cannot do. Hence the term "henpecked husband." Likewise, women are the ones often clamoring for marriage, so perhaps the advice you received is the voice of experience (i.e., don't push to get married so much, it's not all it's cracked up to be).
This stereotype of girls clamoring for marriage is not evident among my cohort. Maybe drinkers are self-selecting.

But I can assure you that the widows I work with would never remarry. They lost husbands in their 40s and have been enjoying life quote: "without someone telling them what to do."
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #42
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A good marriage is a real blessing. When your best friend is your spouse it doesn't seem like someone is telling you what to do. On the other hand a bad marriage is ..... Well you know.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #43
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One nice thing about being unmarried (and in my case, not living together and with completely separate finances) is the Medicaid issue, at least as I understand it. It seems to me that if one partner needs to spend down his money to qualify for Medicaid, the other partner's money is not involved and would not have to be spent down as well.
There are special provisions to prevent a spouse from becoming impoverished by Medicaid spend-down, and also to prevent a home being taken from a spouse, even though Medicaid may have a lien which can only be exercised after the spouse's death. I think. (No one should rely on this as advice).
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:17 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby View Post
This seems a bit of a contradiction to real life. The stereotype, and there is some significant truth to it, is that in long-married couples the wife is more likely to be the one telling the husband what he can and cannot do. Hence the term "henpecked husband." Likewise, women are the ones often clamoring for marriage, so perhaps the advice you received is the voice of experience (i.e., don't push to get married so much, it's not all it's cracked up to be).
From what I have seen both sexes can get pretty controlling, perhaps in different ways. It is easy to criticize this, but actually I can see where it comes from. Each spouse is kind of stuck with the other's decisions, for better or worse. And that can get you into a lot of trouble.

OTOH, if you discover that your boyfriend is an idiot, you can at least chuck him with minimum cost.

Ha
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #45
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Strangest of all to me is when I have commented that I would consider remarrying IF the right guy came along, every single woman I know who has been married for over 30 years (yes, I said every single woman) says to forget it, stay single so you don't have to answer to anyone else and can do what you want. This tells me something...
I don't have anyone telling me what to do. I can't imagine being married to anyone who thought they could tell me what to do. Yes, we make many decisions together, but I don't see that as "answering to anyone". We're a team. There is a lot of cooperation. We both enjoy that.

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Old 11-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #46
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I feel marriage/monogamy is far too much work to be "natural", and is more likely a cultural construct.
Monogamy unnatural for our sexy species - CNN.com
There was a theory that I read that said men and women were meant to be together for about 7 years; about the time to raise a child.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:59 PM   #47
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My friend is a union negotiator, who was formerly an Ivy League philosophy instructor. To him, the analysis is simple. He cannot know what it is like to be in a marriage without running the risk of a difficult and expensive exit, so he analyzes it from the outside. Almost 50% of couples divorce, more than that % in our city. So marriage is a failing project for at least 50% of men. (leaving aside that for some women and some rare men it can be an emotional failure but a financial success). Of the 50% who do not get divorced, how many stay for financial reasons or other reasons different from emotional gratification within marriage? How many would love to leave, but don't want to pay the fee? It cannot be none, so marriage is therefore a net loser for men as a group, and possibly for women.
I'm a nerd, at least by upbringing, but I know that it ain't right to analyse the most important things in life as if they were stock picks or insurance policies.

Aside from that, the logic doesn't even hold up. Even if 50% of couples divorce and 20% more are unhappy, you haven't shown that marriage is a bad bet, unless the only definition of success is that you're still together and smiling until you die.

Is a 25-year marriage with great kids which ends in divorce because one partner had an ill-advised fling or psychological problems after 24 years, to be written off as a total failure? If my wife finds out about the gimp suit runs off with her boss tomorrow, I don't think I'd look at our marriage that way. (Her boss is female, so maybe if I was nice about it they'd... no, never mind.)

It's ironic to have that sort if view on this board, where people are normally pretty objective about the value of things over time...
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:11 PM   #48
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I'll offer an example of what I think is the gold standard of marital commitment. A guy at work married a wonderful girl, everything goes well for about five years.

Then she came down with multiple sclerosis. I knew them for twelve years, and during all that time she was in a wheel chair or one of those motorized scooter things. The last two years of her life she was bedridden, and when it came to that, he fed her, changed her clothes, bathed her, and changed her diapers.

From the time she got sick to the time she passed away spanned eighteen years.

That is commitment.

The guy must be an optimist. He got married again three years ago.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:26 PM   #49
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Speaking from inexperience, IMHO the only logical reason to get married is "for the kids". Past the age of parenthood (at least for females) marriage seems to introduce unnecessary complications.
How about to get health insurance? (my situation)
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:35 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby View Post
This seems a bit of a contradiction to real life. The stereotype, and there is some significant truth to it, is that in long-married couples the wife is more likely to be the one telling the husband what he can and cannot do. Hence the term "henpecked husband." Likewise, women are the ones often clamoring for marriage, so perhaps the advice you received is the voice of experience (i.e., don't push to get married so much, it's not all it's cracked up to be).
I'm one of those 'contradictions'.

You've not spent years wondering what behaviors would not be acceptable that day.

As have mentioned, he was the one that wanted to get married.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:07 PM   #51
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Perhaps I missed it, but I don't think anyone has mentioned the long term care issue. It's surprising. One might want to remarry to have someone to help with the difficulties of old age.


Yes, I'm sure he would.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:14 PM   #52
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Is a 25-year marriage with great kids which ends in divorce because one partner had an ill-advised fling or psychological problems after 24 years, to be written off as a total failure? <>It's ironic to have that sort if view on this board, where people are normally pretty objective about the value of things over time...
First off, I would never end a marriage because my wife had an affair, or perhaps even if she wanted to continue it. It would also open up possibilities for me.

If your kids are grown, as mine almost were, and if the marraige was fun, as mine was, and if the divorce was civil and it didn't drop anyone into poverty at a hard time to do anything about it, then I would say it was a successful marriage. However, that is a lot of ifs, and there likely are other relationshops that can support child rearing that are not so hard to exit.

I have heard your POV before, but never before from a man.

Ha
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:29 PM   #53
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Along these lines, does anyone know the specifics of trying to have a [not married to you] SO take care of you when you are not able to express your own wishes (e.g. unconscious, suffering from dementia, etc.)?

omni
In California, I downloaded their suggested Advance Health Care Directive form which contains a Power of Attorney for Health Care... it says nothing about your agent being a spouse - which I think makes sense as often it is children.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:38 PM   #54
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The article Ha posted really is refering to remarriages later in life and the importance of considering the financial implications that the remarriage might have on estate planning, pensions, SS, alimony, future obligations of the new spouse, etc. It wasn't so much a commentary on the lovey-dovey aspect of being married or not as it is a warning to do your homework before re-establishing legal obligations and commitments to a second spouse.

As stated before, DW and I have been together since we were teens and married at 22. We've climbed a lot of walls together and both feel fortunate to have each other as partners in living life as we wanted, raising a family and now enjoying FIRE.

Despite having enjoyed this marriage so much, I can't imagine, at this stage of life, wanting to start another one if DW was gone. The legal implications and complications would be a total turnoff for me. I'm sure I'd eventually enjoy having a "special friend" but the relationship would have to revolve around good times and shared interests, not formalized, legal commitments. My current extended family would always come first and I'd expect her current extended family to be first for her as well. And finances would never co-mingle.

I watched my dad cope with this after my mother died and currently have 2 life long friends who are dating in their 60's, one due to divorce and one due to death of his spouse. All had or have feelings similar to mine and it seems to be absolutely no problem to women (in general) that marriage will not be part of the equation, although love, friendship and a lot of shared good times will be.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #55
 
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My first marriage ended in divorce after 18 years and 3 children. I was with my second wife for 35 years (married for 32), she passed azway this past January (I was her caretaker for 4 years).

I have met a wonderful woman that I want to marry.

Never say never.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:53 PM   #56
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My first marriage ended in divorce after 18 years and 3 children. I was with my second wife for 35 years (married for 32), she passed azway this past January (I was her caretaker for 4 years).

I have met a wonderful woman that I want to marry.

Never say never.
Read the article. Do your homework. If formal, legal marriage is what both of you want, lawyers can help you keep any commitments to current family despite the new arrangement. And it's fairly easy to determine if income sources such as SS, pensions, annuities or the like will be impacted.

My own opinion is that formal, legal marriage (actually we're talking about remarriage later in life) would be too much of a hassle given that modern society, in general, holds no bias against "special friends" living life together. Of course, if marriage has a special meaning to you, or you belong to a religious group or social group that would frown on a man and a woman being close without the appropriate paperwork, then go for it.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:16 PM   #57
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The article Ha posted really is refering to remarriages later in life and the importance of considering the financial implications that the remarriage might have on estate planning, pensions, SS, alimony, future obligations of the new spouse, etc. It wasn't so much a commentary on the lovey-dovey aspect of being married or not as it is a warning to do your homework before re-establishing legal obligations and commitments to a second spouse.
Youbet, you are certainly correct about that. However, when I read it it didn't take long before I reverse engineered the article and was imagining what my feelings would be if my former wife was avoiding marriage in order to continue to be supported by my alimony.

No warm fuzzies that is for sure!

"Hello divorced man, welcome to your new life as a pure beast of burden!"

Ha
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:28 PM   #58
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it it didn't take long before I reverse engineered the article and was imagining what my feelings would be if my former wife was avoiding marriage in order to continue to be supported by my alimony.

No warm fuzzies that is for sure!

"Hello divorced man, welcome to your new life as a pure beast of burden!"
Ha, if you were geographically closer, we'd be meeting at the pub so I could tell you the story of my life long friend (met in kindergarten!) and his divorce. The divorce was sad. But the party we had when his ex-DW married Mr Well-To-Do and ended her ongoing claims to a share of his business and to ongoing alimony payments was fabulous!

Yep, she had been resisting remarriage to keep the string of alimony payments and an ongoing effort to obtain a share of the family business intact. Fortunately her new guy is wealthy beyond words and he took care of her loss of income in the pre-nup so she gave in.

So I guess it's a point of view thing. If you're paying the alimony, you want the ex to remarry. If you're receiving the alimony, you have to consider that it will likely go away if you remarry.

I hope this works out for you....... Will there be a party?
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:42 PM   #59
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You guys just HAVE to be kidding. Does alimony even exist any more? Women are pretty close to half the work force, as I recall. The whole idea seem so antiquated in the 21st century.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:47 PM   #60
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You guys just HAVE to be kidding. Does alimony even exist any more? Women are pretty close to half the work force, as I recall. The whole idea seem so antiquated in the 21st century.
I keep hearing about the huge alimony payments.

As distinct from child support.

I got a year of house payments.
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