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I woke up at 4:30am thinking about this for some reason.

NOTE: I am happily married and wouldn’t change it.

But brain be weird sometimes.

So as I was falling asleep, I thought about it, and thought about it every time I woke back up.

Why DO people get married?

You can be together and share your life with someone without the license. So why make it government legal.

Here’s an example.

Fred and Wilma are high school sweethearts. Together since they were teenagers. They love each other dearly and are moved in together by their mid-twenties. Eventually they buy a house together, except Fred’s credit is better so it’s his name on the home loan. They never marry.

But, eventually Wilma is making more so she’s paying the home loan and they split the remainder of the household bills. They pick out furniture together, they grocery shop together, they share everything.

They’re perfectly happy, and decided many years before they didn’t want children. By their thirties they’re doing quite well.

The only issue they have is that Fred’s parents, Don and Karen, don’t like Wilma. Karen especially. She thinks Wilma stole her only baby away before he was even grown and now she won’t have grandchildren because Wilma doesn’t want children.

So, they don’t talk to Fred’s parents much. But other than that, life is great.

But one day, while Wilma is at work, Fred is in a horrible car accident. Wilma rushes to the hospital Fred needs surgery so Wilma, the o my person there to consent, allows it without question.

But while surgery keeps him alive, he suffered a severe brain injury and was put in a ventilator during surgery.

Don and Karen show up (who called those two). And the doctor comes in. He tells them all that Fred’s brain injury was severe. He’s on ventilator but may never come off. And if he does he might be functional and require constant care.

Wilma, who has know Fred for decades, loved him for decades, knows that Fred would not be a burden. And that he wouldn’t want to be on life support indefinitely. She tells them this.

But Karen disagrees. She won’t let Wilma take her baby away forever. She wants to keep Fred on life support, in case there’s a chance he could come off. Even the tiniest chance.

So Karen makes it known that Wilma and Fred were not legally married. Which means that what is his is not hers and vise versa. Because Karen and Don are Fred’s only living legal relatives it is decided to keep him on life support.

Eventually the time comes when Fred’s body no longer can hold in on life support. So despite Karen’s desire to hold on to a son that was no longer there, Fred dies.

Fred had no will.

A will would have been a legally binding document that would have made Wilma Fred’s heir if he so chose.

So all those years together, all that time spent together, sharing a life, because Karen hated Wilma, Wilma could get nothing from Fred’s estate.

Of course

Proof of a relationship, proof Wilma paid for the house, despite it being in Fred’s name, all the shared possessions. Might save Wilma in this situation.

Also I don’t know much about the laws. I don’t know about “common law marriages”, if there still a thing.

But I do know that wills are legally binding, if properly done.

If you’re gonna be in a long term relationship without marriage, be sure you have something legally binding, because the wrong angry person could fight it.


NO IDEA why all this came up in my head at 4:30 in the morning.

Thanks for reading!