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Marriage is more than a piece paper

Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM



Last week we heard from Lizzie who changed her mind about wanting to marry. When she and Cameron started to date, neither of them wanted to get married. But after three years of living together, she started to want that “piece of paper” that Cameron thought was so meaningless.

Your thoughts . . .

DEVON: Obviously, getting married wasn’t just a piece of paper to this couple. It was a sign of commitment to both of them, one she wanted and one he wouldn’t agree to. The fact that they went to counseling and neither would budge is a sign that each was more committed to their position than to each other. That’s a good indicator that they should go their separate ways.

Cameron said being married would change the idea of them being together because they wanted to, not because they had to. But he was divorced. His divorce should have taught him that no piece of paper is going to keep someone in a marriage if he or she doesn’t want to be in one.

As for marriage itself being “just a piece of paper,” so is any contract. People sign employment contracts and real estate contracts, and they, like marriage, are not just inconsequential pieces of paper.

Marriage is a legal contract with responsibilities and rights given to each partner, such as the right to file a joint income tax return, the right to each other’s pensions and Social Security benefits, the right to share family medical insurance, and the list goes on.

A marriage license might be a piece of paper, but the rights and responsibilities it confers are considerable.

DAKOTA: There’s an eight-year age difference between them. When Lizzie divorced, she was young and pretty gun shy, not all that worried about her biological clock. As she hit 30, the undeniable fact was that if she wanted to have children, time was not on her side. Even if living together was all cool at first, her family, friends and probably own moral compass (kids should ideally have married parents) soon tipped the scale in the other direction.

Cameron, on the other hand, really doesn’t have a biological clock and may have had no interest in kids at all. He doesn’t have to grow up.

I say Lizzie dodged a bullet because Cameron is a Peter Pan who will never grow up.

HARPER: Lizzie’s first mistake was moving in with Cameron for convenience rather than because both parties were ready to make a commitment to each other. Cameron wasn’t committed to her. That little piece of paper didn’t destroy her happiness. On the contrary, it showed her exactly what Cameron thought of the relationship, and helped her get out before she wasted more time.

SHIRLEY: I just can’t dump on this guy. He told her from the very beginning what he wanted, and it was what she wanted as well, at the time. Just because her view changed and his didn’t doesn’t make him a bad guy. Would people be just as upset with her if he were the one to change his mind? I suspect the answer is no.

Do you have a technique for successful online dating? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.

Creators Syndicate



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