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Joined: 26-08-12
Aug 27 2012 00:19

My partner wants to get married but I obviously have my own objections to going about this. Problem is that I'm having trouble articulating this. Can someone help out with this or link me something. I’ve read the Emma Goldman Marriage and Love article but was looking for something a little less outdated or just more relevant to our own time.

Joined: 31-08-11
Aug 27 2012 10:28

In my views, simply have the courage to say to your partner that you don't want to get married. Then, explain your reason why you don't want to get married.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Joined: 14-01-04
Aug 27 2012 13:36

Still a bit outdated but...
Dubliners' version of 'Don't get married'

ComradeAppleton's picture
Joined: 12-08-12
Aug 28 2012 08:47

It really depends what marriage means to you (i.e. why you are getting married). Free love is obviously the expression of amorous relationships under anarchy, but free love doesn't imply not having one partner for life. I'm opposed to marriage because it's a state and church function, but in today's world it might actually be useful to get married for economic/pragmatic reasons (the state doesn't steal as much from married couples in some countries). It's not like getting a piece of paper from an illegitimate court makes you lose your anarchist credentials, and if it means a lot to your partner...

What's important is you and your partner being on the same page. Since I assume he/she's not an anarchist you might have a lot more problems with other things in life... like raising children, for example.

I believe there were some essays on marriage on the Anarchist Library, so you can look that up.

Joined: 6-01-07
Aug 29 2012 12:55

Whether people get married or not is hardly a critical factor in workers resistance to the impositions of everyday life in capitalism or to developing an awareness of the need for revolutionary change but......

I have always been suprised at the number of committed anarchists and even anarcho-feminists who do decide to get married in the absense of any genuinely substantive social or economic pressures, especially in the conditions existing in most 'western' countries where so many other non-anarchist workers have resisted the requirement for a religious and/or state sanction for their relationships. One doesn't have to be some kind of ideologically based 'lifestyle anarchist' to at least try to live up to ones principles in the few areas of life in this society where that is possible.

So I have to conclude that the psychological pressures which we are all subjected to in growing up in this alienating social envireonment are more significant than any ideological opposition to the role of religion and the state in our lives. The tiny anarchist and communist milieu is not able to create some protective bubble around itself and we individuals that identify with that milieu have inevitably to compromise much in our personal relationships if we are not to be even more isolated than we are.

Still our resolve can be buttressed with some intelectual insights into how this all works even if some of those we choose to involve ourselves with are not to be pursuaded against their emotional need for the illusory security of the marriage contract by such means.

Some aspects of the relationship between 'work and leisure', 'public and private' and the emotional underpinnings of marriage are explored in this text titled 'Love and the bourgeois family: Scene of happiness, pschological terror and mass murder' in the library here or at: which might stimulate some thinking though there is plenty written from within the early feminist movement that you could explore.

flaneur's picture
Joined: 25-02-09
Aug 29 2012 13:29

On the flipside, you get the opportunity to change your last name if it's no good, a ring and an excuse to dress to the nines. Don't forget the free money and daft gifts like a toaster.

Joined: 26-08-12
Aug 29 2012 17:49

Thanks all for the advice so far. I appreciate it.

Cooked's picture
Joined: 6-04-10
Aug 29 2012 18:50

Marriage is a pretty good deal. I mean you can arrange everything separately and by you own book but marriage does a lot of stuff and does it rather well.

  • A party where people will make a serious effort to show up. Relatives and friends from all sorts of periods in your life will meet.(can also be a problem)
  • Inheritance is normally sorted the way you'd expect.
  • Various stuff becomes cheaper
  • The rough template of ceremony, food, party etc is pretty decent.
  • It has very little material impact on class relations

Saying all this I'm probably never going to get married despite having been with my partner for 14 years and plan to stay with her for as long as possible. It just feels a bit wrong for me to do it, considering all the baggage. I see this as a quirk of mine (and my partner) the sensible thing is to throw the party and get married, I'm sure it can be exciting and fun. Making a big fuss about the two of you and your future plans seems like a nice idea, no?

RedEd's picture
Joined: 27-11-10
Aug 30 2012 13:19

Marriage can provide more financial security for people do more/all of the unpaid labour in a relationship while their partner does more/all of the paid labour, particularly when children are involved. It's obviously an imperfect system from that point of view and nothing like what I'd like to see in an 'ideal world' (where the notion of financial security would be redundant). Because of this and other bits of legal protection marriage provides (depending where you are in the world) I think it can make a real difference to people's lives whether they are married or not, and I don't think there's any use in discouraging people from getting married (or encouraging them to), though plenty of use in analysing and explaining all the problems with it as an institution and how it fits into capitalism more generally.