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Why Do People Get Married?

It may seem obvious, but some people don't see the point!

If you are trying to help someone understand why marriage is important to you, or you are ambivalent on the subject but hoping to learn why it matters to someone you love, this should help.

Relationship Advice
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Photo: Tessa Maxine

Marriage is a tradition that has existed for millennia, and as with anything, has adapted to the times. As society progresses, some people feel it’s not a necessary custom to partake in – which is of course their prerogative. After all, it hasn’t always been a concept that treated people equally. However, for many others, it’s the best way to show their commitment and to start a family. There are even couples who don’t necessarily think marriage (or a wedding) is the only way to be committed but they still want the practical benefits.

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Photo by Duke Photography; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events

If you are trying to help someone understand why marriage is important to you, or you are ambivalent on the subject but hoping to learn why it matters to someone you love, the below should help. Keep in mind that the legal benefits are based on the United States and may differ abroad.

- For those who are religious, marriage is really the only way to properly seal your union in a committed relationship. Even individuals who are not themselves religious may want to please older relatives by getting married. 

- While plenty of sweethearts choose to cohabitate for years or even decades without tying the knot (just look at Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn), the security of the legal commitment is appealing to some. Yes, there is always divorce, but it’s much easier to simply move out then to file paperwork, and couples may be more likely to work through their problems when ending things is more difficult. 

- Once you are married, you can be on each other’s health insurance. If your partner’s employer offers better coverage, or one of you is a freelancer or individual contractor, this can be very helpful. 

- Being married versus being in a long-term relationship allows you to make medical decisions if needed. This was an oft-cited issue when same-sex couples were fighting for marriage equality in the United States.

- People frequently mention the tax benefits that come with being married, and it’s true! In addition to being able to file as a unit, which is sometimes financially advantageous, a spouse also does not have to pay estate taxes on the inheritance if their beloved passes away.

Learn how to make sure you and your spouse spend time together at the wedding and discover tips for newlyweds to combine their finances.