I've noticed that a lot of the members on this site talk about their husbands or wives.

I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years and have 2 kids with him (one on the way). We've lived together almost 4 years. I plan on staying with him and raising my children with him as my partner but I just don't think about marrying him. I don't see the point of marriage if you're not religious. I mean isn't the reason people get married basically because of religion? Maybe for legal reasons too but I see it as much more of a religious thing.

So my question is if you're an atheist why did you (or would you) get married?

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States license officiants empowering them to legally marry couples. My wife and I were married by an officiant from the St. Louis Ethical Society that married us at a country club. Choice of marriage venues are not limited to churches and courthouses.
I forgot to mention: i had a basic civil ceremony in my apartment and also have a prenuptial agreement. I would not get married without one.
The way I see it marriage never really had much to do with religion in the first place. Marriage is and always has been a symbolic way of saying I'm no longer available; I've already selected a mate or had one selected for me.

Some reasons I'd get married for:
Children (makes the legal stuff surrounding this easier)
Symbolic (Lets others know I fully intend for this person to be my partner for the rest of my life)

I do currently have a boyfriend and we intend to get married for the above reasons. At the moment it isn't advantageous in any of the above ways (except symbolic) to do so. When we get married it will be a private affair with a casual reception later on for friends and family to celebrate our happiness in being together and committed to each other. There's nothing religious about any of it for me.

If marriage doesn't work for you and isn't important to you that's just fine with me. I've known many people in successful committed relationships who never got married.
Well, I would say it does tie in with the purity laws the abrahamic faiths are so obsessed with. If you have a monogamous marriage (which is the only proper type of course according to christians) you minimize the chance of spreading disease through promiscuity. Everything the church is obsessed with comes back to preserving the ingroup.

When I told a former girlfriend of mine that my wife and I have a sexually open marriages she asked "then why did you get married?" I was stunned. Is sex the only reason to commit oneself to a long term relationship? I still don't even understand what she meant by it. Then again, another person I know doesn't understand why we'd get married with the intention of never having kids. It's pretty simple really, we're best friends and we love each other. I guess that's not a good reason according to some.
If you have a monogamous marriage (which is the only proper type of course according to christians) you minimize the chance of spreading disease through promiscuity.

Althought that may be one reason, I doubt it was a significant reason. More likely is that women were chattel and a man must be sure that he has a sexually faithful woman to avoid being cuckolded or unwittingly investing in another man's offspring. Marriage warns away interlopers while socially announcing a man's ownership of the female. Also, it often served as ways to bind seperate families together for mutual benefit.

my wife and I have a sexually open marriages

Good on you two. That is an arrangement I could never be happy with. To each their own, though!
Personally I don't know whether I might one day want to get married or not. I would like to have a life partner, certainly, and I think I'm still too young to be considering the possibility of children, although I am open to the idea. Overall, I understand the legal benefits, but I'm not particularly phased if I hear about couples who have decided to get married and couples who've decided to simply live together. I am much more concerned about couples who get married too suddenly or too young compared to couples who grow old together but never marry. I reckon it's just a matter of personal choice, regardless of the reasons. I also know that the man I marry will be/ must be an atheist, which means that my marriage ceremony should preferably be completely devoid of any religious overtones, which is probably going to me fairly difficult to do.
Yes, there can be downsides and risks involved in any union, legally recognized by the state or not. People really need to understand what they are getting into and know both the benifits and the risks.

And I don't think that youth or length of relationship is as important as the level of commitment people are willing to bring to a marriage. Young people seem less willing to make certain commitments, but this can afflict more mature people as well. I know many people that treat marriage as something akin to "going steady", and they are in their late twenties, thirties, and forties.
What? They announce divorces in the newspaper where you live? Thats awful!
I don't think so. Births and deaths are really only in the newspaper here if the family pays for them to be. But thats really it. That sounds embarrassing.
which, most of us seem to think legal govt issued marriage license can be completely divorced from any religion.

thanks. i just wanted to know what the benefits of marriage would be since i had always thought of it as a religious thing.
Still I don't want to get married. I wouldn't want to risk paying for a divorce. Even though right now I want to be with him I don't know what I am going to want in 10, 20 or 30 years and I think it would be naive (maybe) to get married.
BINGO, DITTO, You are so right about it all.


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