Marriage Vs Live in Relationships : Twelve points to note.

Twelve differences in random order, mainly from women’s point of view. Do add more.

1. Legally, marriage doesn’t permit murders and violence, but sexual assaults on the partner are legally allowed. (even if the spouse is minor)

Socially – some violence and sexual assaults are tolerated. Complaining or even speaking about these crimes is seen as ‘washing dirty linen in public’ – considered condemnable and ‘shameless’. Murders are generally condemned though one doesn’t hear of many convictions or sentences.

Live in relationships do not permit murder, violence or sexual assaults, socially and legally. There have been news of reporting and convictions of sexual assaults in Live in relationships.

2. Financially, ending a marriage seems to put women at a disadvantage. Most women seem to find it difficult to end even abusive and violent marriages.

Link: “Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”

Many women find it easier to separate, and settle with custody of children, loss of stree dhan, and no child-support, maintenance or alimony.

Link: “What if I let go the gold and money, not that I am rich, but they won’t give me a divorce easily…”

Live in Relationship – No legal procedures or lawyers are required if the couple decides to end the relationship. Women are more likely to get the custody of children (if any).

There is less financial loss for women because there was no dowry and wedding expenses. There is also more chance of the father paying for child support.

The chances of being paid maintenance or palimony seem to be equal if not more, in a Live in Relationship. [Link: a man in a live in relationship… expected to provide palimony to a partner]

3. Pressure to have children (or male children) only in Marriages.

In Live in relationships, the couple might face pressure to get married, or to separate and submit to an arranged marriage.

4. Less chances of demands on the woman to serve the in laws (ladke wale) or to live with the partners’ family (Patriarchal Joint Family), or to follow their customs in Live in Relationship.

5. Marriage is mainly a Patriarchal institution in most (not all) parts of India, made more so by the law. It also involves Patrilocality and Patrilineality.

Live in Relationships are not bound by Patriarchal traditions. The woman is less likely to be expected to give up her identity, ‘western’ clothing or financial independence, by the man’s family/community. The man is less likely to be seen as the Provider, ATM or Guardian.

6. The man might still have patriarchal ideas, but it is likely to be easier for her to walk out, legally and socially, if she is in an abusive relationship and if she does decide to do that.

There is likely to be lesser expectation and pressure on the woman to stay in an abusive relationship. (partly because there was lesser investment made by the parents in the form of dowry, social approval and wedding expenses etc).

7. Parental or community’s approval; caste, subcaste, religion, ancestors and compatible horoscopes could be a consideration in many Marriages.

Live in Relationships are more likely to be based on compatibility and ‘choice’ of the couple.

8. Live in Relationships are more likely to be viewed as exploitative of women because they are easier to end – something, it is felt, that no woman would (or should) ever want. Withholding of divorce in Marriages, even when the couple is ‘separated’ is seen by many as empowering for Indian women.

Marriages are generally not seen as exploitative of women, though Supreme Court did point out: Daughter-in-law should not be treated as domestic help, says Supreme Court

And even though concerns about daughters’ marriages are the biggest reason for Indian parents not wanting to have girl children

9. Women are expected to view patriarchal symbols of marriage (sindoor, taali, mangalsutra, a change of name etc) as privileges, and Live in Relationships do not award or take back traditional symbols.

Divorce could require women to change their name back to their ‘maiden’ name. (A name of your own, to keep or to change.)

10. Couples in Live in Relationships might find it more difficult to rent a house. (Unless they claim to be married and no Marriage Certificates/photographs of the wedding are demanded)

11. Live in Relationships do not require training and ‘saving’ from the time of the birth of a girl child.

Concerns about the marriage of a girl child are seen as the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

12. Generally, traditional marriages require fitting into predefined roles. Women are more likely to find themselves free(er) to be themselves in Live in Relationships.

Related Posts:

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?
Live in Relationships: The man gets a temporary disposable wife?
Live-in relationships in general are inherently advantageous to men and disadvantageous to women?
Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes?
Indian women and their Easy Wealth.
A comment- ‘Reverse the gender, and it is marital rape.’
Why exactly do we disapprove of Live-in relationships and Premarital sex?

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

76 thoughts on “Marriage Vs Live in Relationships : Twelve points to note.

  1. As far as maintenance goes, I think there should be none for live-in relationships. I mean…that’s the point of being in one in the first place! People deliberately choose not to get married so that there are no legal implications. When my wife and I started out, we were in a live-in for a year. We both would have been horrified if we thought it was a quasi-marriage. Something is seriously wrong with our laws in India.

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    • Agree. No point treating it like a legally binding relationship, makes the idea of having a relationship not bound by laws redundant. May as well call it marriage then, if financial obligations and terms are going to be imposed.

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    • eh, in Canada, living together for more than six months automatically becomes something called common law–you file your taxes together and get some benefits. I’m pretty sure there are some rules that are enforceable if the couple were to break up, but I’m not sure what they are (I don’t think ‘maintenance’ is one of them and I agree that maintenance shouldn’t be required for non legally binding relationships). I don’t think common law constitutes a ‘quasi marriage’ but a necessary set of rules when two people share a common space.

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      • I agree with Kay. I don’t see why live-in relationships should be treated as any different than marriages if children are involved.

        However, I don’t think maintenance needs to be given for the women, if they are in live-ins.

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    • I am not sure I agree… ! I dont really get the concept of maintenence … unless there is a child, of course. Why should anyone be responsible to maintain a fully capable grown adult?

      But, regardless, I think that people in Live-In relationships should be able to claim all the same legal recourse as a married couple, incl maintenance if they are eligible for it. The law should hold both a marriage and a live-in at par.

      My husband and I were in a live-in for about 2.5 years, and even though we started off keeping our finanaces seperate, somehwere down the line things got muddled and eventually my husband paid all the bills and expenses and I saved and invested almost my entire income. Does it make it any less his than mine just because the investements are in my name and we arent married? If were to break up, shouldnt my husband have the option to go to court to reach a fair settlement?

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      • The choice not to work is never an individual choice, it’s more accurate to say it is a couple’s choice/decision that one of them does not contribute financially to the household.
        The law tries to uphold the rights of these people, who contributed to the family, but in non-monetary ways.

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        • I suppose you are right… but i still think whatever a couple accumulate in the duration of their marriage belongs equally to both of them, regardless of who was earning how much.
          So when a marriage ends, they should divide up the assets equally between them, and then each manages with what they have.

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      • I think getting married is a choice. So is not getting married. If two people don’t get married, the law has to assume it is because they want no legal recognition of their being together. If they want to split, they walk their separate ways with whatever is legally in their name. No hassles. No commitment. Nothing.

        Shouldn’t that option be open for couples choosing to live that way?

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        • Of course the choice to not get married should be available…and it always is.. no?
          I mean you are not required to *do* anything to legally recognise your relationship. You can exactly what you describe , no hassles , no commitment. and part ways with whatever we have. And most of the time , I suppose these would work exactly like that…

          But if one party feels wrounged , they should have the ability to seek legal aid…

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      • @Azure

        No, I mean couples should have the freedom to live together without future legal obligations if they want. If one of the parties feels “wronged”, then let them ask for an apology or whatever. The law shouldn’t get involved. I feel two people should have the right to say to one another “Let’s live together and not have any recognition in law whatsoever”. Isn’t that possible?

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        • This is an interesting argument. The thing is, there is also a couple who might want to enjoy legal protections but not marry – yet. If a relationship is seen as a potential pathway to marriage, you may want to keep some basic protections for the vulnerable party (example, the one with a child or the one who gives up work for couple related reasons).

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        • @abvblogger

          I think having legal obligations is the _definition_ of marriage. I feel it’s a contradiction in terms for a couple to want legal protections and not get married! I mean..that’s what marriage is right? Making the government take note of your legal relations? The opposite of marriage is _not_ having legal protections😀

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      • Many women are pressurized into giving up paid employment after marriage. After many years of being a full-time home-maker, they are qualified to do little else.
        Many families first force women to give up their careers and then turn tables on them by treating them as unwanted liabilities.

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  2. Marriage is bad for men.

    1. Men are assumed to be primary protectors and providers in marriage.
    2. Divorce is costly for men. A failed marriage is a crime for men.

    In a live-in relationship, rape is the biggest threat for men. You know, women can file rape case on a man if he leaves the live-in partner. Of couse woman can do that at any time, no problem as per the law and feminists views. Actually recent uprise in the rape cases are caused by this “Rape on the pretext of the marriage”. Though, these girls first accept for Live-in, if they find the boy is leaving they file rape case on him. So, for men live-in is not an option at all. They must marry or be ready to be booked as rapist.

    So, live-in is very bad for men. Men has to choose, bad or very bad. Men go for the first thing.

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    • If ‘men’ (thanks for the gross generalization of all men, by the way) think marriage is so bad and all girls are devils who will jump at the chance to file a false rape case or hand in divorce papers at the drop of a hat, why don’t these ‘men’ refuse to get married?
      Oh wait, those same innocent victims don’t have the courage to stand up to their parents (read mollycoddlers) and refuse an arranged marriage. Or they don’t really want to give up their entitlement in society to a person who cooks, cleans, bears children and pays them for it! Oh no, how very sad that men are ‘forced’ to choose like this. We shall keep you ‘men’ in our prayers.
      We will also forget that society’s stigma against rape victims and (female) divorcees also gives men the advantage in these situations!
      So dear commenter above, get outside your bubble of male entitlement and open your eyes to Indian society!

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      • Generalization exists in the minds of readers. If you have that feeling, you see generalization. When you people use “men” in this blog so frequently instead of using “some men”, you find nothing wrong but one person uses “men” for different purpose, you all see is “generalization”. Now, I see only hypocracy.

        Men have courage to stand against injustice they are meeting out in the society, in the law. There are many men who are fighting against them and remaining men also join in near future.

        Society has stigma against men and women but in different areas. If rape victim face stigma, rape accused also face the same stigma. Everyone believe women saying the truth. They say, “No women lie about rape”. Isn’t it stigma against men?? So, it’s not me, you need to get outside of your bubble and open your eyes to your feminists world and what they are doing in the disguise of equality.

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      • It is because through centuries man has trained by the society that his duty is to provide and protect women. Society has taught him marriage is sacred and every man should get into married . This sytem is changing slowly and in usa and western countries 60% of man are not getting married and many man has no relation with women at all fearing false marital rape and property division and domestic violence. Fortunately india also going the same way and in few years time man will run away from the marriage fearing false ipc498a, d.v and rape and loss of property etc. Western feminists blame man again that they are not committing, not taking responsibility and crying man are running away from famility life. By the way if all man are domestic abusers and dowry seekers why the so called empowered women stay away from the marriage? Why blame man instead why don’t women stay away from marriage if the marriage is disadvantaged to you. Instead of blaming man and patriarchy you feminist has any agend in your life? Shame on you the so called empowered modern women. Ohhhh todays world marriage is a business for women to loot mans hard earned money and property in the name of womens right. Don’t repeat feminist mantra like cooking, washing, cleaning and for your information how many modern women knows all these chores? Todays machanised world who want a women to do all these chores instead machine will do far better than wife with very cheap rate and no need to go thourgh draconian laws.

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    • Why do they have to choose between the 2 , there’s a 3rd choice, stay single, do your own work and take care of yourself 🙂 be happy and live free …
      Why go for a choice knowing it’s bad, are men idiots??

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      • Good question. Why men don’t stay single? To understand this better, let me ask a question. If women are so disadvantaged in this hell called “Indian Society”, why did they married all these years?? Are women idiots? What do you say??

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        • Till now they isn’t have a choice, not being arrived, beng in a live in relationship etc fr women was a stigma, forced by society, not given much education and even less freedom to be inancialky independent. that’s why now that its easing up and women are becoming more financially independent they are breaking out and choosing other options.
          Nt so fr men, they could always say single, dictated terms, financially ind, heck even widowers and divrced men gt thur pick. So if marriage is bad and live in is worse why opt r it.. Stay single, hire and pay for stuff they don’t want to do and live happy?

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        • You think women get a choice? In a society that, for the longest time, thinks of unmarried women as “broken” and “damaged”, in a society that refuses to afford women even a mediocum of respect without having a man’s name attached to their own, in a society that has largely believed women to be “expendable goods” that can be traded off to another family, do you honestly think that women have had much of a choice in the matter? Especially if that choice is between abuse and shunning from society at large vs. abuse on a smaller scale?

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        • Most women don’t really have a choice. From the cradle onwards, Indian women are raised with marriage as the sole purpose of their lives.

          Personally, I would say that Indian women should refuse to get married, given how unfair marriage is in India. Women are expected to make all the adjustments and sacrifices in Indian marriages, men are only given one role to fulfill — to earn money.

          Women are required to make all the other innumerable sacrifices that a working marriage requires.
          If women stopped getting married for a few decades, Indian men would realize just how unfair marriage expectations are for wives.

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    • I agree totally with your point 1. And tangentially with point 2. Your remaining paragraphs, i feel, are complete nonsense.

      Men are indeed expected to be primary protectors and providers. Men in our society do not have the option of being stay-at-home dads without facing considerable ridicule and censure. I know a few guys who would rather pursue something artistic (with lesser or no pay) than hold a 6 AM – 10 PM soul-sucking spreadhseet touting MBA type job.

      Divorce is indeed costly for men I feel. I do not know the laws, but from anecdotal experience I feel more often that not divorce seems to be unfavorable to men in our marriages. (Assuming there wasn’t any abuse or harassment) I’ve seen cases where men end up paying considerable amounts of money even when the woman was more than capable of supporting herself.

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  3. I personally do not discourage live in relationships at all/ The thing is Women in India are bound to behave and treated in a certain way. And havee seen MEn who are liberal too before the wedding change and treat girls like doormats. In this time and age I think its about time we leave our society of all these trivial issues that u mentioned in the points. But alas we refuse to change no matter what.
    ” >> Generally, traditional marriages require fitting into predefined roles. Women are more likely to find themselves free(er) to be themselves in Live in Relationships.
    >> Women are expected to view patriarchal symbols of marriage (sindoor, taali, mangalsutra, a change of name etc) as privileges, and Live in Relationships do not award or take back traditional symbols.”

    Also with advertisements like the recent havells one there is a active involvement of the entertainment industry too in breaking the stereotypes so fingers crossed to a free country for women. For those who haven’t here it is http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/2014-05-21/Women-are-not-kitchen-appliances-Havells-95798

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  4. Whatever said, either should be out of personal choice. And then the way you make it work should be a matter of personal choice too. Married couples, especially Indian men, need to learn to draw a sacrosanct boundary around themselves, and not let anyone step within; not even parents. Rigidity / stupidity on the part of families, biased upbringing of sons, desire to control grown up children’s lives for selfish benefit…. all that has to be overcome.

    I don’t judge anyone who decides to live in or get married. The choice is theirs, and that is the critical part.

    However, I have no bandwidth to put up with people who try to control the lives of other adults. Nuff said.

    e-pinion.blogspot.in

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  5. “Legally, marriage doesn’t permit murders and violence, but sexual assaults on the partner are legally allowed. (even if the spouse is minor)

    Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court”

    May I ask you why you intentionally wrote that ? Are you really that naive Mam ? Why you didn’t elaborate this “Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court” ? Is it really because that courts think that they should be legally “allowed” (seriously ?) or is it because as of now its very hard to prove with evidence that an intercourse is forced if it is ?

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  6. I think clandestine nature of live-ins in India is dangerous and leave one partner (the emotionally weaker/dependent) vulnerable. It often turns abusive (in many cases I know). One friend was blackmailed. Says he will inform her parents that shes living with him. One was constantly pressurized by the partner to get married. One used to get beaten up, but she couldnt go anywhere or ask for help because no one knew that she was in a live-in. One had to do ALL the work in the flat like cooking, cleaning without an ounce of help while managing her studies.
    I also know a few who are quite happy too. But then those are people who wouldn’t put up with shit from anyone.

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    • whatever u said happens in marriage too…One partner might be emotionally dependent on other.
      In some cases wife has to do all the work….if she complains she is termed lazy an given a bhashan on virtues of wife.
      Wife beating is pretty common too…infact many ppl consider it quite normal.
      Emotional blackmail and manipulation happnes in marriage as well.
      There r several things which can go wrong in marriage too…and there r happy marriages too where both partners are equal and dont take shit from anyone. So I dont really see a diff…..

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      • @Neha: Nidaa is pointing out that it is difficult to seek external help because of the clandestine nature of live-in relationships in our country. And I agree with it. Not everyone can have a devil may care attitude.

        That does not mean that live-in relationships are bad but it translates to we need more acceptance for them in our society.

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    • @Nidaa. OK, but for a woman in a live-in relationship it is much easier to get out of an abusive relationship, since there is less pressure from the families, is it not ?

      As you say the main point is not putting up with shit from anyone, whatever your situation🙂

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  7. I dont really see a point to marriages if kids are not involved, to me a commitment is a commitment with or without a piece of paper, having said that, i would certainly want that legal document before i had kids, mostly for security for them. what if I die ? who inherits who takes care etc., etc.,
    but otherwise i don’t see any benefit to marriage that cannot be accommodated by live-in relationships.
    But I’ve been married close to 18 yrs and i can safely say that piece of paper doesn’t make one iota of difference to my commitment to my partner. Its mostly for our parents who prefer we live under the legal sanction for their peace and so society wont judge. I have told both sets of parents repeatedly that i will not hold my children to this and they can choose who they live with, how they live with and where they live with with our full support.
    that’s one of the ways i can help the cause of women. but then again my extended family considers me something of a weirdo..

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    • Here are two situations where the legal protection may be of benefit:
      1. If one partner falls ill, the other partner needs to be in a legal position to take decisions on his/her behalf if that is what they wanted. Otherwise this right will go to the legal next of kin.
      2. In the event of separation, each partner will have no claim on property that is in the other’s name. As someone already pointed out, when two people cohabit, their incomes cannot be kept so cleanly divided.

      This is why common law relationships are given the status of de facto marriages in many jurisdictions. “Common law” refers to the principle that the law should be equally applied to everyone. So if two people are cohabiting in the same way as a married couple, then the rules applying to married couples should also apply to them to some extent.

      Live-in relationships can certainly be just as loving and committed as marriages, but they are unlikely to improve women’s lives if the participants and their mindsets remain the same. It is probable that they appear more attractive in India because the women who have the courage to live out of wedlock are more likely to be stronger and non-conformist and are therefore better able to stand up against abuse.

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  8. I think looking back at the way things are back home in our nation, marriage has lost its stand long time back.. its more of business these days .. people want a maid and they look at the dowry.. the girl sides look for someone who is rich and is earning mega bucks..

    Live in relations well to be frank I dont know people back home who are into it , so cant really comment .. but if i have to comment from the experience here in uk then I am all FOR it , if it works fine if not then move on .. Although live in relations are looked with the wrong eye still ..

    I mean we frown at a boy and girl roaming around late at night !!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. IHM, you are right about all 12 points. The 13th point I wanted to bring up is the one Nidaa talked about – the danger of abuse in a live-in relationship. Not that there is no abuse in a marital relationship – there’s tons of it. But in many cases nowadays, parents of daughters are stepping up to their roles, not putting up with it. We are indeed making progress in this area. One very conservative family I know recently asked their daughter to leave her abusive husband and come and live with them until she can support herself. However, we are not there yet, in terms of acceptance of live-ins. The very same parents may not be supportive if the daughter’s partner turns abusive and may put on a ‘she deserved what she got’ attitude.

    Looking at your list makes me wonder why people (including myself) got married in the first place. I love my husband and am committed to him, I don’t need a piece of paper or the government or a priest telling me what the rules of my relationship ought to be. Although, as MR says, marriage does protect children’s rights, at least in countries where there is no common law in place.

    However, for many Indian women who are not given an education/survival/job skills, who are given no choice but to enter patriarchal setups, marriage has zero incentive. But I don’t think live-ins are the answer either. Being in a live-in relationship with the same patriarchal roles and without true liberation can make it just as bad as marriage or worse for women. Women have to learn to be full fledged adults first, before they enter any kind of relationship.

    So, what’s the better option – marriage or live-in? I’d say, if it’s an egalitarian relationship, it doesn’t matter. If it’s going to be a patriarchal relationship, then it’s better to stay single and be happy.

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  10. I’ve dated 4 and married 1, and none of the guys or their families brought up these issues. My husband’s family isn’t really bothered about any of these regressive or patriarchical attitudes.
    From what I understand, I believe your posts/issues are very pertinent to women who’ve been in abusive families/marriages, or people who are stuck in a very regressive part of the society.

    Surely India is a better place than you’ve portrayed in this post?

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    • “From what I understand, I believe your posts/issues are very pertinent to women who’ve been in abusive families/marriages, or people who are stuck in a very regressive part of the society.”

      FYI , just because YOU haven’t encountered some situations does not mean they don’t exist. Wake up. What IHM is talking about is highly common.

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      • I have no doubt that situations exist and that countless women need to be helped, including some friends of mine. All I’m saying is IHM’s blog appears a little too extreme for me.

        This post is far too much a generalization of marriage in India and the way I interpret it, leads me to think that marriages in India can never be happy. How can you agree with that?

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        • @IHM, Great to hear from you!!! Thanks for the response🙂

          I think it’s both ways on points 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. I hate to admit it, but in the past, I’ve been abusive and responsible for breakups. I think the guys were heads and shoulders better than myself. It took me two breakups to become a reasonable person. If I’d married those guys, my family would’ve never seen that I was the reason for my husband’s troubles.

          About 4, 5, I also see guys adapt to the girl’s family and be judged on different lines – some of my relatives don’t have respect for a Son-IL who isn’t making big money, they feel the other Son-IL is doing better. The lesser-earning Son-IL isn’t allowed to speak out as much as the other son-IL, for example. He’s expected to behave respectfully, in the way you would treat someone under you.

          Overall, I feel these points reflect the worst a woman can have in marriage, and many marriages (if not most) are better than these.

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        • This post compares marriage and live in relationships, and the way each generally might affect women. Dowry is not demanded in Live in relationships and couples are not expected to move in with the man’s parents, and there is no pressure to have male children.
          The wife of the lesser earning son in law is valued less, also the wife of the lesser earning son – we seem to value people based on how much they earn and who they marry.

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        • Marriages where women are happy AND treated as equal partners are rare cases in India. Why should this blog ignore a problem faced by hundreds of women in the country ?
          Pretending that a problem does not exist is not doing anyone any favours.
          The generalization is completely justified in this case.

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        • actually, the wife of the lesser earning man isn’t respected less from what I’ve seen – she’s been put into that marriage by society/family/blah, so they approve of it. Only the man is abused because his earnings are in his hands and ‘they could have done better’.

          It depressed me when my parents wanted a boy who was one league of qualification/education above me – I have an MBA from an arts college, my parents wanted no lesser than an IIM/IAS boy. All other boys were turned down rather rudely, poking that they ought to ‘try lower’

          In short, since relationships are decided by the guy and girl, and marriages by the family, I don’t see how marriages and relationships are a fair comparison. Arranged marriages are typically worse than relationships for both guys and girls.

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    • I come from a position of privilege like you do, but seriously, look around and talk to people and you’ll realize that IHM is painting a rather rosy picture here.

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  11. There’s a legal part to it all and there’s the human part to it all. For many people, marriage is live in relationship with a certificate – meaning the commitment is the same. For many, the abusive relationship is what is difficult to get out of – whether they are married or not. Socialization runs deep, it is tough to break off a relationship, any relationship.

    Partners in live in relationships aren’t always financially independent, bringing with this the thought of ‘what now for me, if not this?’ Also, Indian society isn’t open enough to accept a women who broke a live in relationship – the stigma of having had a previous relationship exists even when a woman has had men friends before, even if her intent was to look for a longer term commitment.

    I think on paper, live in relationships looks like people can walk in and out. But in practice, people do commit a lot more when they decide to live in with each other. And if you look at it, except for the certificate, a lot else is similar.

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  12. I have often had a certain doubt regarding live-in relationships. Maybe this is the place to get it clarified.
    I have always believed(or given to understand) that live-in relationships are a sort of testing grounds for people to check if married life will work for them. It gives them a chance to walk out if things do not work out.

    Why do some people who decide to have 2-3 children, decide to not get married? Aren’t children quite a huge commitment anyway? I understand that they don’t want a huge party to mark the event or something. But otherwise what is the problem in getting the couplehood registered?

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    • In some European countries, the process of getting a divorce is pretty expensive. Many choose to stay in live-in relationships and raise a family. Yes, children require a huge commitment but that can still be independent of the partner – the commitment is from a parent to the children. Getting couplehood registered should be a choice in and of itself, regardless of children. Just as staying in a bad marriage for the sake of kids isn’t good for all parties involved.

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      • Why are divorces so hard to get in the first place? I am not talking about staying together for the sake of kids but the decision that they are a couple at all.

        If they aren’t sure if they are meant for each other and all that mush, why do they actively try to high maintenance babies into this equation at all?

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        • People can want to be parents regardless of other things in life. Divorces are expensive because of court/lawyer fees. If we had to flip the question around, aren’t single parents committed to their kids? I know many who have chosen to adopt because they aren’t in relationships, did whatever society said but things didn’t work out. They could also find a relationship later in life, after kids….and choose to not be married.

          Parenting and a relationship are completely separate things. We often choose to connect the two, they don’t have to be connected.

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        • @Rahini. I am European and I was in a live-in relationship for 15 years and had 2 kids. We thought it was a stronger comitment to decide everyday if we wanted to be together and not ask permission from anyone being it family, state or else. When the relationship failed we didn’t have any common assets, and I insisted we went before a judge to fix rules about the kids. It was a difficult time and years later my ex is still being nasty, and I am really happy we have this Court order.

          I got married to another man 3 years ago, and I changed my mind about marriage. I do feel there is something stronger and also more romantic about marriage versus live-in relationships. SO I would have to agree with you.

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    • It is no testing ground for marriage in EU, people eventually get married if they’re having kids as they get some tax benefits (Church still has strings in state), the catholic church has the best school in town for kids (and that requires baptism and marriage in church) and sometimes grandparents would love to have a ceremony. In India, you need a marriage for two people to stay peacefully together, here in EU at least the ceremony of marriage is totally redundant. So people who don’t fancy a ceremony, party etc., simply skip it.

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      • From what I understand, people think marriage is a better option because of tax benefits and other people think live-in is better because of the Lawyer’s bills. Thank you.

        I have heard that the answer to any question to that begins with “Why don’t they?” is always money

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        • Spoken like a cop! Look where the money goes and there’s your answer…

          But surely there’s more to it. A lot of people just love the idea of a quick and easy exit if required. It’s not about legal fees per se; it’s about the stigma and stress of breaking marriage. Humans are symbolic creatures. We don’t spit on flags for a reason.

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        • Abvblogger: Thank you. But that kind of brings me back to my original question. “Why do people presume there is a huge difference anyway?” To sum up.

          If (you had that white gown party) then
          {
          you call the other person “Spouse”
          breakup is called divorce.
          you’d have in-laws (they are now your relatives)
          your child is not a bastard
          you;d have a marriage certificate
          The law is permitted to dictate stuff to you
          }
          else
          {
          you call the other person “my luv”
          breakup is called breakup.
          you’d have uncle-ji, aunty-ji and a few friends (not your relatives)
          your child is a bastard
          you;d not have a marriage certificate
          The law is not permitted to dictate stuff to you
          }

          But the other things are the same. Like
          1. Love being important and having to be nurtured
          2. Working continously on the relationship.
          3. Division of Chores.
          4. Regular battle of the sexes.
          5. Breakups hurt.

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    • In several European countries, a woman who has kids with a certain man is treated legally as a wife and is entitled to certain rights. Many people may consider it as just a legal paperwork and it does not really bother them whether they are married or not.

      You may be interested in reading about the evolution of marriage in our societies. Marriage evolved primarily as a means for the legal/political system to keep track of property and money.

      People may choose to not get married for several reasons and get into live-ins for several reasons. Perhaps they want to live closer to their partners. Save money. It feels natural next step in the relationship. i know several people who do not care about marriage and have had children without marrying.

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  13. Live in relationship are more advantageous than marriage to woman than man….. If it was the other way round, men would have decided to go for live in instead of marriage and the present society would had live in as acceptable option and marriage as clandestine option

    Secondly live in relation in a society which doesnt accept one is very different from a society in which it is accepted.

    For a society to accept live in, there are many pre requisites.

    1. Pre marital sex. No way to accept live in without accepting this
    2. Financial independence women working in offices
    3. No parental interference from either side
    4. Ability to choose partners yourself. You dont expect parents to arrange live in do you!!
    5. Option to break off the relation easily. Which means you cant discriminate against people who have been in live in. Meaning no shaming of divorces. Or widows

    In such a society, i think women will take live in over any advantages of marriage in current society.

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  14. It shows the hypocrisy of our society where men are expected to fend for the family and women in marriage made like the domestic help. Speak about the inequality perpetuated by the stupid, narrow and orthodox rules of our society. Of course, it is a personal choice and I have always been in favor of live-in-its liberal in outlook where the couple lead their life rather be at the mercy of patriarchy that takes pride in oppressing people. As a society, we need to be practical and go along with changing beliefs. By the way, who said live-in is frivolous. It’s not! The man and woman complement each other in their respective roles. Why do you need an approval stamp from society? Society is made up of people like us and its not that the ones who tell us what is morally right or wrong are some superbly intelligent people.
    I agree with all your points brilliantly put out and hope SC will come up with a law to protect the couple in live-in. A society treating its members as second class citizens is a blot to humanity. Marriage or live in, its entirely your pick. But, live in gives you exposure, makes you stronger as human beings where you get perspective.
    Brilliant post and sharing.

    Like

    • “hope SC will come up with a law to protect the couple in live-in.”
      From what exactly?

      An abused woman in a live in relationship can seek legal redress in our country’s domestic violence act.
      If you mean alimony, tax benefits etc, how would a live-in be different from a marriage?

      What many people on this forum seem to be suggesting is that a legal recognition from civil law should be granted for live-ins. Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of having a no-legal-strings-attached relationship?

      It’s almost as if the idea of a man and woman living together without the State interfering and making rules for their relationship seems scary to some people.

      Like

  15. It should be a choice, thats the key, choice to be in whatever kind of relationship one wants or not. just like the choice to have a baby or not,choice to live life the way one wants. Only a society that provides this choice to both men and women is truly a free society, we are far from it🙂 we impose diff options on different people int he name of culture, tradition,respect etc., etc., we come with a lot of baggage unfortunately.
    but IMO i prefer marriage. maybe because mine has been so good. we are all biased by our experiences. I fell in love with a guy, married him against all opposition and have had a wonderful 25 yrs. Back in our day what we did was radical🙂 oh yeah it was.. refusing to conform to society, refusing to give parents a choice and a woman walking out of the house !!!!! only bad girls did that. but inspite of all that i was of an older culture, we both are , we needed the security and solace of marriage. we married with a few friends in a temple down south, 10 of them thats it. we have 25 photogrps of the whole event , beautiful of course but a amalgam of diff things, we had thali tying, we had the 2 steps, no homam, exchange garlands , weird without any order or path. so basically that was one useless hindu marriage if one went strictly to scriptures. but i still consider that my wedding, not the signing of register. to me marriage gives a sense of well being, a sense of belonging and a sense of freedom and equality to ask and tell my partner whatever i felt like.
    i dont know how to explain it , it’s like we exchanged garlands and we are a unit, us againstt he world. together , i dont know if i can stay with him in a live-in relationship andm feel the same thing. maybe i could if i were a bit more younger and grew up more open. but i can say with 100% i dont have any problems with my sons living with whom they want , as long as they are safe, healthy and happy. and yes they are more liberal and less oldfashioned than me. I’m looking forward to seeing them muddle thru love and life , of course from our far away retired life perch.

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  16. Live in relationship has many advantages to women than Men.Law gives many bog powers to women .Men cannot leave the relationship if there are problems whereas women can walk away at will.
    men cannot leave without ‘settling’ and paying huge money….
    women has the power of claiming rape ( since all these years of live in !)…the man is immediately arrested and only released after the women ‘withdraws’ the complaint….

    Like

  17. I have issues with both, especially in an Indian society. I honestly do not think that society has evolved near enough to find live-in relationships acceptable. It is definitely easier on men than it is on women, because women who have live-in relationships are largely seen as “tainted” by the rest of society, even the men they have those live in relationships with. While in theory, the points you have listed are the actual benefits of having a live-in relationship vs. a marriage, in Indian society, both can be equally restricting and is very difficult to make it work in an egalitarian way. Most often, men who have those relationships often disparage the women they have them with, along with the rest of society, which is NOT what equal relationships are made of.

    Also, it’s important to note that when it comes to abusive relationships, live-in relationships can be equally hard, if not harder, to get out of as a marriage. It is not really the piece of paper you have, but the abuse you’re facing at the hands of the perpetrator. Also, while in a marriage, there are definitely systems in place already that lead towards abuse and exploitation of someone, in a live-in relationship, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find sympathy from the larger Indian society who will often see it as the “woman’s fault for living such a sinful life anyway”. Society needs to move forward a LOT more before these benefits will really become visible, I think.

    Like

    • I so agree with you. In fact,even if you are modern and somewhat believe in religion,…..then too live in will feel like sin.Personally ,I’d never go for live in,…..feel like sin everyday and with all that insecurity.
      And definitely, not worth killing parents over it.

      Like

  18. Great points. I lived with my hubby for over 5 years before marriage. The only thing I would say is that I received less respect from Indian society for being a girlfriend, both within India and abroad. Apparently a dash of sindoor makes ALL the difference in terms of respect level!
    In Canada we were common law and did taxes together. Common-law here is the same as wife.

    Like

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  23. From my point of view live in relationship is not good but if both person agree and in between them if mutual understanding is there then it can be done.

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    • Call girls are not in a relationship, they don’t live with the person/people they sleep with. A live in relationship is a relationship. The couple make home together – but they do not get married.

      Like

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