Saturday, July 22, 2006

Reluctantly Married

Okay, I admit it. We married for the health insurance. Mr. Lesbian (my transgender lesbian husband) and I had been together, reasonably unhappily, for 8 years when hir work (with the State) told hir that there would be no more domestic partners health insurance benefits. We now had the Commonwealth of Massachusetts behind us legally, and we had better use those civil rights otherwise we'd be shit out of luck, insurance-wise!

So, dear reader, we married.

Would I do it again if I knew now what I knew then?

Nope. (Although the wedding party was a lot of fun.)

Sitting with a queer client the other day, I was asked my opinion on marriage. Was there really a reason to do it if you were queer? Not a unique question, but still a good question to ponder. I thought about my own marriage and realized that I really did primarily do it for the security that having health insurance gives, and also because there didn't seem to be a good reason not to. On the other hand, Mr. Lesbian is about to come into a fabulous amount of inheritance and being legally married meant that I was also protected given the terms of the inheritance trust, which stipulates that only "spouses" may inherit through the trust beneficiaries in the event of death. We both wanted to make sure that our relationship was somewhat financially protected and getting married would take care of that.

I don't particularly think of marriage as a sanctity, and this is primarily more to do with my atheistic/anarcho/commie-pinko-queer leanings than from anything else. I don't have a huge amount of respect for the institution of marriage, but as a lesbian I know that being able to be married offers me some legal protections that I wouldn't otherwise have. On the whole, I think of marriage as a romantic crock. While it feels emotionally meaningful at the time of the ceremony, and it sure is wonderful to have friends and family ooohing and aahing over you, one day later you're wondering what the big fuss is all about.

I don't love hir any more than before. We are both as fucked up now as we were before the ceremony, and our relationship has all the same glitches and messes that we had six months into this juggernaut. But, the good news is that if either of us is in a car accident, they can't turn us away at the hospital bed. There are some legal protections in terms of inheritance and, minutely, in terms of state taxes that benefit us.

So, I think that as long as you don't expect legal marriage to sort out the relational/emotional fault-lines in your relationship then by all means take advantage of the legal privilege to marry. Otherwise, really.....what's the point?


Blogger Geeky Dragon Girl said...

I am sooooooo feeling you on this issue. I HATE weddings. And marriage is the biggest, overinflated piece of delusional garbage I've ever seen. The only thing worthwhile are the legal protections you mentioned. I don't think I'd care for marriage even if I was straight!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Sapphique said...

Geeky, it's such a hot button issue for our community. I want the legal protections, the absence of oppression, and yet bristle at what marriage means. Thanks for your comment.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous outsidemymind said...

First of all...great blog...funny as have a wonderful sense of humore...
Marriage and health insurance...Isn't that was the only reason people marry?

4:39 PM  
Blogger Sapphique said...

Outsidemymind, glad that our sense of humors mesh! I think people marry for all kinds of reasons, not always good ones, although nearly always the reasons are well-meaning.

I find as a sex therapist/couples therapist that people's belief/value systems about marriage, regardless of whether they are gay, lesbian or heterosexual, directly impact the smooth-running of their relationships. Oftentimes these dearly-held (unfortunately mostly existing on a meta and invisible level as a sub-text in a relationship) beliefs really screw up a couple in the long run. An example: if one half of a couple believes that their "spouse" should be able to figure out what they need and want, it is a recipe for disaster when their partner is unable to do this. It's almost impossible to uncover these beliefs unless you dig.

4:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home