Tag Archives: Common-law marriage

It's Not So Hard to Be Married………….

This morning, we did it – converted our existing civil partnership to formal marriage. Not a wedding, no grand celebration: the time for that was 9 years ago, at the civil partnership ceremony. This was just a legal procedure at the Guildford Registrar’s office, costing all of £8.

It’s good to have done it, but I’ve now experienced one conventional, formal marriage lasting 9 years, followed by an informal committed relationship amounting to what was in effect a legally unrecognized common- law marriage (19 years in total), the now defunct civil partnership lasting just under a further 9 years. That first marriage began over 40 years ago. During those four decades, I’ve fathered two children, and supported by my spouses, watched them grow, mature, marry and produce children of their own.   I’ve also gone through grief and bereavement for my own parents and brother, supported by my partner – and supported him through the deaths of his own mother and other family members.

I’ve experienced divorce, and a further painful separation.  My spouse(s) and I have shared and supported each other through myriad joyful celebrations and difficult trials, trivial and serious.  I think I’ve earned enough in practical experience of the realities of marriage, to claim some understanding of what it’s all about.

As I begin this new marriage,and largely agree with Stephen Sondheim,  in “Company” – It’s the little things you share together, that make perfect relationships. (Like Joanne in the video clip above, “I’ve done it three or four times”).

It’s the little things you share together,
Swear together,
Wear together
That make perfect relationships.

The concerts you enjoy together,
Neighbors you annoy together,
Children you destroy together

Becoming a cliche together,
Growing old and gray together
Withering away together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s not so hard to be married
It’s much the simplest of crimes
It’s not so hard to be married
I’ve done it three or four times.