Author Topic: BWW after a decade of living together...  (Read 11840 times)

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thedudeabides

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #120 on: July 22, 2013, 10:43:28 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive if someone at my wedding considered it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 10:47:15 PM by thedudeabides »

Kaymar

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #121 on: July 22, 2013, 10:52:05 PM »
I personally don't care what kind of wedding any couple has..to me if they want after all this time the BWW, fine.  But they should realize there are somethings that aren't quite right..3 showers?  Showers are to help the couple set up their home..after 10 years that should be established.  Registering for things, and expecting large wedding gifts?  No, you are already established.  So throw whatever party you want, but understand that after 10 years, it is not so much congratulations as finally!

Is there a "Finally!" section of wedding cards I have missed in the Hallmark aisle? The bolded is a fairly offensive sentiment. A couple waits a few years longer than some other couple, and suddenly they don't even get 'congratulations'?? Just 'finally!'? That's utterly heartless and extraordinarily condescending.

There's not actually any etiquette rule that I'm aware of that decrees that showers are only allowed for 'unestablished' people anyway. I've been to quite a number of wedding showers over the past few years, and not a single one has been for a bride that was still living at home with her parents, or even in her first year out of their home.

And as has been asked before: what does it mean to be 'established'? If you aren't supposed to have a shower if you are 'established', does that mean if you don't meet your mate until you are 40 that, tough luck, no shower for you?

Yes, exactly what I was speaking to earlier.  I met my partner a bit before my 40th birthday - got engaged at 41 after almost two years of dating, will likely be married when I'm 42/43.  We haven't been living together for a decade, but independently we each had been functioning as adults for quite a while (he's younger... not sure how or if that factors in).  I don't want, and will refuse, a shower, but as someone who's heard others complain about couples who didn't register for their weddings, I feel like I should register.... but for what?  If I select normal household items, apparently some will look askance because I do already own a carrot peeler and my bed has sheets.  China is expensive and falls short on the daily utility scale, so.... what to do? As someone said earlier, no matter what I do, I feel like I can't win. 

I'm grateful that my mom apparently doesn't share those views - she has happily been emailing me wedding dress photos for the last couple of days despite my advanced age and established household.

Hmmmmm

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #122 on: July 22, 2013, 10:54:08 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive that someone I might invite to my wedding would consider it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.

It's not the living together that changes my opinion. It's the living together for 10 years and having 3 kids together. Having a BWW after a life together like that to me says. "During that last part of our lives while we were bringing children into the world, we weren't really sure if we were 100% committed to each other for the long haul. Though we believed in the concept of marriage, we weren't sure if we wanted to live together forever, and wanted to be able to easily change our relationship status. But now we've decided we want to have that commitment and we think our children will be happy to know mommy and daddy plan to stay together for the next few years."

It's why I couldn't understand why people made such a big deal about Brad Pitt and Angalena (sp) getting married. They had adopted kids together and had bio kids. Was a document going to tie them together anymore than that? Were they really less committed to their life together before having a wedding ceremony?

kareng57

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #123 on: July 22, 2013, 10:58:27 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.

What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?

What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?

If you've lived in your own home for 10 years you really don't need a "shower" for crockpots.  My friends that married in their 40s (none of whom had produced any children) had different sort of parties.  A Christmas themed shower where everyone brought an ornament.  A "stock the bar" party.  the sense of upgrading just wasn't there.

I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.


Okay, my opinion is that in NA (I realize showers are not generally done in other parts of the world) is that showers have lost their original purpose.

They seem to have originated in the post-WWII years, when most marrying couples had been living with their own parents, or perhaps in very basic student housing.  They truly needed very basic items to establish a household - things that would cost perhaps $ 15 in today's dollars - things like tea towels, laundry hampers, kitchen-utensil sets, etc.  But these days, the majority of marrying couples have been living independently - either individually or together - and already have the basic stuff.  These days, shower gifts seem to be meant to come off the general wedding gift registry - therefore, people give shower gifts of about $ 50 value (such as espresso makers) - plus, being expected to give a wedding gift if they attend the wedding.  So I question the necessity of showers in many cases.  No, it's not my call to to call them "rude" - I can choose to attend, or not.

I would always give a wedding gift, no matter how long they have been together.

thedudeabides

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #124 on: July 22, 2013, 10:58:50 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive that someone I might invite to my wedding would consider it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.

It's not the living together that changes my opinion. It's the living together for 10 years and having 3 kids together. Having a BWW after a life together like that to me says. "During that last part of our lives while we were bringing children into the world, we weren't really sure if we were 100% committed to each other for the long haul. Though we believed in the concept of marriage, we weren't sure if we wanted to live together forever, and wanted to be able to easily change our relationship status. But now we've decided we want to have that commitment and we think our children will be happy to know mommy and daddy plan to stay together for the next few years."

It's why I couldn't understand why people made such a big deal about Brad Pitt and Angalena (sp) getting married. They had adopted kids together and had bio kids. Was a document going to tie them together anymore than that? Were they really less committed to their life together before having a wedding ceremony?

Clearly they did, or they wouldn't have bothered to get that little document in the first place.

I don't understand why you feel you have any place to judge whether or not other people feel any more or less committed by having a marriage license than simply by living together.  It's an exceedingly personal decision.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 11:01:25 PM by thedudeabides »

kareng57

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #125 on: July 22, 2013, 11:04:31 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive that someone I might invite to my wedding would consider it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.

It's not the living together that changes my opinion. It's the living together for 10 years and having 3 kids together. Having a BWW after a life together like that to me says. "During that last part of our lives while we were bringing children into the world, we weren't really sure if we were 100% committed to each other for the long haul. Though we believed in the concept of marriage, we weren't sure if we wanted to live together forever, and wanted to be able to easily change our relationship status. But now we've decided we want to have that commitment and we think our children will be happy to know mommy and daddy plan to stay together for the next few years."

It's why I couldn't understand why people made such a big deal about Brad Pitt and Angalena (sp) getting married. They had adopted kids together and had bio kids. Was a document going to tie them together anymore than that? Were they really less committed to their life together before having a wedding ceremony?

Clearly they did, or they wouldn't have bothered to get that little document in the first place.

I don't understand why you feel you have any place to judge whether or not other people feel any more or less committed by having a marriage license than simply by living together.  It's an exceedingly personal decision.


Of course it's personal, and it's also personal on the part of the wedding/shower invitees as to whether the event is worthy of their attendance and/or gift.

Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #126 on: July 22, 2013, 11:05:08 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.

What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?

What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?

If you've lived in your own home for 10 years you really don't need a "shower" for crockpots.  My friends that married in their 40s (none of whom had produced any children) had different sort of parties.  A Christmas themed shower where everyone brought an ornament.  A "stock the bar" party.  the sense of upgrading just wasn't there.

I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.


Okay, my opinion is that in NA (I realize showers are not generally done in other parts of the world) is that showers have lost their original purpose.

They seem to have originated in the post-WWII years, when most marrying couples had been living with their own parents, or perhaps in very basic student housing.  They truly needed very basic items to establish a household - things that would cost perhaps $ 15 in today's dollars - things like tea towels, laundry hampers, kitchen-utensil sets, etc.  But these days, the majority of marrying couples have been living independently - either individually or together - and already have the basic stuff.  These days, shower gifts seem to be meant to come off the general wedding gift registry - therefore, people give shower gifts of about $ 50 value (such as espresso makers) - plus, being expected to give a wedding gift if they attend the wedding.  So I question the necessity of showers in many cases.  No, it's not my call to to call them "rude" - I can choose to attend, or not.

I would always give a wedding gift, no matter how long they have been together.

Well, if we want to get super technical/historical about it:

"A bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding. The custom originated in the 1890s and is today most common in the United States, Canada, and by North American influence, in Australia. The history of the custom is rooted not necessarily for the provision of goods for the upcoming matrimonial home, but to provide goods and financial assistance to ensure the wedding may take place.

The custom of the bridal shower is said to have grown out of earlier dowry practices, when a poor woman's family might not have the money to provide a dowry for her, or when a father refused to give his daughter her dowry because he did not approve of the marriage. In such situations, friends of the woman would gather together and bring gifts that would compensate for the dowry and allow her to marry the man of her choice."

According to wikipedia.

I'm pretty sure no one fits those requirements anymore, 'established' household or otherwise.

Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #127 on: July 22, 2013, 11:08:05 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive that someone I might invite to my wedding would consider it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.

It's not the living together that changes my opinion. It's the living together for 10 years and having 3 kids together. Having a BWW after a life together like that to me says. "During that last part of our lives while we were bringing children into the world, we weren't really sure if we were 100% committed to each other for the long haul. Though we believed in the concept of marriage, we weren't sure if we wanted to live together forever, and wanted to be able to easily change our relationship status. But now we've decided we want to have that commitment and we think our children will be happy to know mommy and daddy plan to stay together for the next few years."

It's why I couldn't understand why people made such a big deal about Brad Pitt and Angalena (sp) getting married. They had adopted kids together and had bio kids. Was a document going to tie them together anymore than that? Were they really less committed to their life together before having a wedding ceremony?

Clearly they did, or they wouldn't have bothered to get that little document in the first place.

I don't understand why you feel you have any place to judge whether or not other people feel any more or less committed by having a marriage license than simply by living together.  It's an exceedingly personal decision.


Of course it's personal, and it's also personal on the part of the wedding/shower invitees as to whether the event is worthy of their attendance and/or gift.

Sure, but isn't there something a little strange about saying, essentially "I feel you committed to one another when you had a child; I didn't celebrate your commitment to one another then, but I'm also not going to celebrate it now that you're officially committing by marrying"?

Hmmmmm

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #128 on: July 22, 2013, 11:08:36 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive that someone I might invite to my wedding would consider it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.

It's not the living together that changes my opinion. It's the living together for 10 years and having 3 kids together. Having a BWW after a life together like that to me says. "During that last part of our lives while we were bringing children into the world, we weren't really sure if we were 100% committed to each other for the long haul. Though we believed in the concept of marriage, we weren't sure if we wanted to live together forever, and wanted to be able to easily change our relationship status. But now we've decided we want to have that commitment and we think our children will be happy to know mommy and daddy plan to stay together for the next few years."

It's why I couldn't understand why people made such a big deal about Brad Pitt and Angalena (sp) getting married. They had adopted kids together and had bio kids. Was a document going to tie them together anymore than that? Were they really less committed to their life together before having a wedding ceremony?

Clearly they did, or they wouldn't have bothered to get that little document in the first place.

I don't understand why you feel you have any place to judge whether or not other people feel any more or less committed by having a marriage license than simply by living together.  It's an exceedingly personal decision.

Yes, it is personal, so why have a BWW with everyone involves? Is society expected to modify how they now view your relationship?

kareng57

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #129 on: July 22, 2013, 11:12:09 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.

What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?

What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?

If you've lived in your own home for 10 years you really don't need a "shower" for crockpots.  My friends that married in their 40s (none of whom had produced any children) had different sort of parties.  A Christmas themed shower where everyone brought an ornament.  A "stock the bar" party.  the sense of upgrading just wasn't there.

I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.


Okay, my opinion is that in NA (I realize showers are not generally done in other parts of the world) is that showers have lost their original purpose.

They seem to have originated in the post-WWII years, when most marrying couples had been living with their own parents, or perhaps in very basic student housing.  They truly needed very basic items to establish a household - things that would cost perhaps $ 15 in today's dollars - things like tea towels, laundry hampers, kitchen-utensil sets, etc.  But these days, the majority of marrying couples have been living independently - either individually or together - and already have the basic stuff.  These days, shower gifts seem to be meant to come off the general wedding gift registry - therefore, people give shower gifts of about $ 50 value (such as espresso makers) - plus, being expected to give a wedding gift if they attend the wedding.  So I question the necessity of showers in many cases.  No, it's not my call to to call them "rude" - I can choose to attend, or not.

I would always give a wedding gift, no matter how long they have been together.

Well, if we want to get super technical/historical about it:

"A bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding. The custom originated in the 1890s and is today most common in the United States, Canada, and by North American influence, in Australia. The history of the custom is rooted not necessarily for the provision of goods for the upcoming matrimonial home, but to provide goods and financial assistance to ensure the wedding may take place.

The custom of the bridal shower is said to have grown out of earlier dowry practices, when a poor woman's family might not have the money to provide a dowry for her, or when a father refused to give his daughter her dowry because he did not approve of the marriage. In such situations, friends of the woman would gather together and bring gifts that would compensate for the dowry and allow her to marry the man of her choice."

According to wikipedia.

I'm pretty sure no one fits those requirements anymore, 'established' household or otherwise.


I did say that I did not expect others to agree with me.

Just that, IME in the 1960s and 70s (when cousins and neighbours were marrying), the gifts were quite modest.  That's not the case these days, when shower gifts are generally expected to be $50+, when most guests would also be giving a wedding gift.

I politely declined two offers of showers when I was engaged - we both had been living independently and had two of a lot of things already.  I'd have felt pretty guilty accepting shower gifts, and subsequently wedding gifts, from the same people.

LadyR

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #130 on: July 22, 2013, 11:15:29 PM »
I got married after three years of living together (no children). Almost everyone I know has lived together before marriage and some of have been together many years. I don't begrudge any of these people the trappings of a BWW and honestly, most of the people took a while to get married because they were trying to pay for it themselves and not go bankrupt in the process.

I had two bridal showers, one for each side of the family. I also had two baby showers, one for friends and one for family/my mother's friends. I didn't throw any of my showers, other people did, I just provided guest lists (and there were no overlaps). Most people I know, regardless of how long they've been together, have at least one shower, if not more.

You said that if they had gotten married before living together/having children you would have had no issues with wedding/shower gifts, so I do think you're being petty begrudging it now. Maybe a registry isn't to your taste, but some people like it. I know I used my registry as a chance to finally stop using hand-me down appliances and get some nicer stuff (I also have relatives who are opposed to cash as gifts and inquired several times about registries).

I agree with one set of showers per person. I don't like showers for second babies or second wedding (though there are exceptions to the rule), but I don't begrudge a first time bride a shower, no matter how long the couple has been together or how many children they have.


Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #131 on: July 22, 2013, 11:15:48 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive that someone I might invite to my wedding would consider it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.

It's not the living together that changes my opinion. It's the living together for 10 years and having 3 kids together. Having a BWW after a life together like that to me says. "During that last part of our lives while we were bringing children into the world, we weren't really sure if we were 100% committed to each other for the long haul. Though we believed in the concept of marriage, we weren't sure if we wanted to live together forever, and wanted to be able to easily change our relationship status. But now we've decided we want to have that commitment and we think our children will be happy to know mommy and daddy plan to stay together for the next few years."

It's why I couldn't understand why people made such a big deal about Brad Pitt and Angalena (sp) getting married. They had adopted kids together and had bio kids. Was a document going to tie them together anymore than that? Were they really less committed to their life together before having a wedding ceremony?

Clearly they did, or they wouldn't have bothered to get that little document in the first place.

I don't understand why you feel you have any place to judge whether or not other people feel any more or less committed by having a marriage license than simply by living together.  It's an exceedingly personal decision.

Yes, it is personal, so why have a BWW with everyone involves? Is society expected to modify how they now view your relationship?

Well, all decisions for couples to commit to one another are personal, so why should anyone have a BWW?

thedudeabides

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #132 on: July 22, 2013, 11:16:27 PM »
You know, you guys have convinced me.  In an age when roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, why should I bother marrying my girlfriend?  We'll just live together and make a family and tell everyone that we're husband and wife without going through the ceremony and public declaration.  Nobody here would have a problem with that, right?

The problem is the difference between what a couple considers their relationship and how that is perceived by the surrounding community.

Over and and over again, I have heard how people don't need "a piece of paper" to have a life together.  I agree!  You don't have to get married to make a life together.

But, after living together and making a life together, going through a step that you skipped doesn't obligate the community to behave the same way as if it was a couple who were just starting out.

In contrast to the previous threads that had a problem with people getting legally married, say, less than a year before having a BWW, I don't see it as a problem.

But, if you are going to live in a stable relationship, have children and in every way share your life with someone, I am going to treat you the same as any other couple who is married.  I wouldn't use the terms husband or wife but in every other way socially...

Do you want to be treated differently?  Do you want me to consider that your relationship, though very similar to married couples is somehow not as permanent?  Not as important?

How do you want me to treat you differently from people living in the same way with the only difference being a piece of paper?

I guess I just never realized that there was a sliding scale of marriedness for some people.  I hope that none of the people I know in real life feel as you do, because I find it to be incredibly offensive that someone I might invite to my wedding would consider it to be somehow less important than the wedding of my friend who dated her now-husband for four months before their elopement.

It's not the living together that changes my opinion. It's the living together for 10 years and having 3 kids together. Having a BWW after a life together like that to me says. "During that last part of our lives while we were bringing children into the world, we weren't really sure if we were 100% committed to each other for the long haul. Though we believed in the concept of marriage, we weren't sure if we wanted to live together forever, and wanted to be able to easily change our relationship status. But now we've decided we want to have that commitment and we think our children will be happy to know mommy and daddy plan to stay together for the next few years."

It's why I couldn't understand why people made such a big deal about Brad Pitt and Angalena (sp) getting married. They had adopted kids together and had bio kids. Was a document going to tie them together anymore than that? Were they really less committed to their life together before having a wedding ceremony?

Clearly they did, or they wouldn't have bothered to get that little document in the first place.

I don't understand why you feel you have any place to judge whether or not other people feel any more or less committed by having a marriage license than simply by living together.  It's an exceedingly personal decision.

Yes, it is personal, so why have a BWW with everyone involves? Is society expected to modify how they now view your relationship?

Why does anyone have a BWW with everyone involved?  Nobody needs a BWW.  One can just as easily go down to the courthouse and have the JOP do it, regardless of how long they've been together or whether or not they've had kids.  They have a BWW for the sense of community that you seem to feel only some couples are deserving of.

And kareng, yes, I agree that it's absolutely a personal decision whether or not to attend a wedding one can't summon more than a feeling of "finally" about.

Further, I firmly disagree with you about expectations for shower gifts in terms of costs.  That is very much a regional and/or social circle difference, as I've certainly not found that to be the case with any of my friends and family.  Yet other friends' families do fall into strata where more expensive gifts are expected among family.

stargazer

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #133 on: July 22, 2013, 11:33:09 PM »
There are SO MANY reasons a couple living together for years may then decide to get married.  I know for us it was something that was not taken into lightly and I wanted to be sure we were past some arguments we had among other things like knowing and being okay that I was taking on his debt before we moved forward with the finality of marriage.  Yes, we took some years to decide this.  But it would have been a mistake to do it earlier and hell YES I had a BWW.  I would never take that choice away from any bride/groom and treat them as deserving less regardless of how long they had been together or what children they had.

Poppea

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #134 on: July 22, 2013, 11:36:44 PM »
I don't see the conflict in the reactions that you do.

The up-in-arms-ness was about the deception.

I do see people who get upset about not being treated as though they're married when they're not, about not being considered a "real" couple, about other people judging whether they're committed or not. And yet, there's the argument that when they get married, suddenly they're committed, or more committed--but then what were they before?

That lack of logic and consistency is actually why I personally am not a fan of living together without being married.

Part of the "fizz" of the celebrations around people who are getting married is that their *lives* are going to change a lot. Just as they do when people have graduations or confirmations--something is supposed to change in their lives. Or something *has* changed very, very recently.

But with someone who's been married for so long--to the tune of not one but THREE children--well, not much is really changing in their lives. They may be making a more legal commitment, but their lives are really not going to be that different.
   So an acknowledgment, yes, of course, to this solemn and binding commitment. And happiness and celebration for them, sure. But let's not go overboard.
   But it's not a life change. They don't have any adjusting to do; they've been living in the state of togetherness that a married couple lives in, and for a very LONG time.

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