Graham and I have been together for over fourteen years now. We got engaged about eight years ago (yep, bad fiancee – I can only tell you exactly how long ago it was when it pops up on Facebook memories!). We started inquiring about weddings and actually getting married a couple of times, but new babies/house moves/life got in the way, and we’ve never ended up getting around to doing it. Some research recently carried out by Slater Gordon about #TheModernMarriage has made me think about my feeling about being an unmarried mum.
So far, it hasn’t really made a big difference to me whether we did or not. It would be nice to have the same surname as the kids and have a lovely big day, but other than that, it hasn’t been a big thing on my radar. The fact that we aren’t married means we have fewer rights financially if we split up or one of us died, but apart from that, we live as though we are married. We are both on the birth certificates of the kids, the bungalow is on a joint tenancy and we have a joint bank account. We’ll get married one day – we are hoping to do it in the next year or so – a tiny little thing with just our immediate family, but not for any reason other than we want to.
Being an unmarried mum is one of the few things I have been openly judged on. I had a friends relative tell me that it isn’t fair on the children (why? They couldn’t give a sh*t!) that their parents weren’t married and having babies outside of marriage isn’t really ‘the done thing’. I couldn’t care less about someone else’s opinions on whether we have signed a piece of paper or not, but marriage is still seen as something important. I know many people assume that because I have children, I’m married – doctors have referred to me as ‘Mrs KidsLastName’ or someone has asked me about my husband. According to the research by Slater Gordon into #TheModernMarriage, whilst it still is clearly important to many people, 67% of people think there is less pressure to get married nowadays than there was ten years ago. I wonder what the general feeling towards marriage will be in another ten years time?
What are your thoughts on marriage? Do you think attitudes towards it have changed?