Marriage or not….

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    Hello all:
    I am in a situation where me and my boyfriend of 4+ years are discussing whether to marry or not. He has been married twice before and me once. We have both come a long way since our divorces and somewhat gun shy about marriage. I go back and forth but he is slightly more apprehesive than me as his divorces were not civil as mine was (no lawyers were involved in my divorce).

    I know what all my friends think, but without like minds I feel they may not understand where I’m coming from. And since I don’t have a sangha, I have turned to this route….

    I am thinking in the buddhist nature, what is the point of a ring and a title. We have discussed putting everything in the other person’s name as we would if we were married, but just without the title. I know more goes into marriage than just that, such as social security and insurance, and such, but I am conflicted on if this is the correct, or fair, view of a marriage. I have read some places that taking a vow seals more than just a name also. This makes me stop to think what is right and what isn’t, though there is no right or wrong answer. I also feel that it may just be that, a title and a piece of jewelry. This seems to be against the buddhist thought and practice.
    I also feel like this is going into this with the wrong idea, that of getting a divorce and setting ourselves up for such. To be honest, I am leaning against the marriage, but I go back and forth depending on the day.
    I am very conflicted and any thoughts or words of wisdom are appreciated!

    Thank you,



    I really like how you’re looking at this from multiple perspectives, and trying to understand the right path. Marriage or not marriage seems like the question, but it also seems irrelevant. There are the social conveniences of being married, and that’s about it.

    Unless of course there is something you’re not saying? A deep yearning for it? For instance, if you quiet your mind and ask your heart, does it want it or not? From a Buddhist sense, it really does not make a difference. The important part is your dedication to the intimacy you share with him, which is something you’re already committed to do. Said differently, you seem like you’re married in all but paper, so the pros and cons of the paper are social. My only concern is that when the heart and mind disagree, if the mind wins at first the heart isn’t swayed. If you really want it, and he convinces you (or you convince yourself for him) it could be problematic later on.

    It really is up to you!

    With warmth,


    Thank you for the feedback. The main things are our pasts that are keeping us form it which is why I included that. He does have children but everything is fairly well with them so that isn’t an issue in this.
    I feel the reason I want it, when I do think of it, is my upbringing. All other reasons besides that seem irrelevant to me (as you said, we are already married – minus the social portion). Since I do go back and forth I will definitely have to take my time and meditate (the best thoughts come up when you clear your mind!) to see if the heart and the mind connect.

    Again, thank you for the feedback and the different perspective!


    And if I may add one more thing. Imagining a worst case scenario, what would happen if you did marry (in whatever civil or spiritual definition of the word) and then, someday, got divorced again?

    The play would go on and the world would continue to turn just as before.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by John.
    Canadian Eagle


    Did you end up getting married ?

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