KYW Regional Affairs Council
By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In this second part of the KYW Regional Affairs Council series, we examine some of the reasons that committed couples raising children choose not to get married.
Dr. Stephen Treat, senior therapist with the Council For Relationships, says he hears many reasons from heterosexual couples as to why they choose not to get married.
“I think the reasons are all over the map,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “It can be an emotional thing; (or), what they’re doing is working, (so) why mess it up?”
Ellen Mogell and her boyfriend, Jeb Woody, have been together for a decade (see Part 1). For them, the decision has both financial and familial underpinnings.
“It just isn’t a priority,” Ellen says. “I wouldn’t spend $30,000 on a wedding.”
Jeb points out they don’t have to have a lavish wedding.
“We’ve talked about going to City Hall, but we don’t want to upset anybody,” he says. “And then, where does it stop? So then it’s either City Hall or a 250-person wedding. It’s almost like there’s no in-between. So we just leave it alone.”
“People talk about how ‘it went by so fast’ and they don’t remember a thing, yet they spent an entire year alienating their family and friends over who’s going to sit where,” adds Ellen. “That seems like a nightmare to me.”
Besides, notes Dr. Treat, marriage can — and sometimes does — change the relationship.
“It’s like having a good neighbor for years and then going on vacation with them for two weeks, and then all of a sudden never speaking with them again,” he says.
But he urges couples to examine the reasons behind their choices:
“Not that marrying needs to be the norm or the ‘better’ choice, but why (are they making) that choice? It would be no different to make the decision to not have a child.”
Listen to Part 2…