Exploring Less Traditional Ideas of Marriage

Exploring Less Traditional Ideas of Marriage

A lot of people feel uncertain about their marriage. It may not be happy, and they may even contemplate divorce at some point, but for some reason, they are just not ready to let go. 

They may be sticking around for financial reasons. A stay-at-home mom may not work or earn income, so how will they support themselves after a divorce? Many do not have family who can help.

Some stay married for some other benefits. For example, their spouse may provide health benefits so they can receive medication and treatment for a chronic illness. 

Some couples stay married for the sake of the children. They do not want to break up the family and interrupt their children’s routine, so they stay together until the children are grown.

In the past, when it came to views on marriage, it was either all or nothing. You were either happily married or not. If you were happy, you stayed together. If you were not happy, you got a divorce and moved on.

Things are not so simple anymore. Getting a divorce is not that easy. Not only is it expensive, but it comes with uncertainty. What if you do not get custody of your children? How will you support yourself? What if you do not get a job or lose the one you have? What if you never find another partner and end up alone the rest of your life?

A divorce does not mean your life is over. Many people thrive after a divorce. However, starting a new life after divorce can be understandably scary for many people, especially those who have been married for decades. 

So, if you are indecisive about your marriage, you are not alone. However, the rules of marriage and divorce no longer apply. Contrary to what you may have been taught, you can stay married if you are no longer in love. There are so many lifestyle choices nowadays, so you can turn your marriage into something that suits you. There are 10 types of marriage on the marriage/divorce continuum that you can consider if you no longer feel the love with your spouse, but do not want to get divorced. 

Working Traditional Marriage

This refers to couples who want to stay married. They get along well and love each other. They are always trying to work on their marriage and may even seek therapy and other outside help if necessary.

Ambivalent Marriage

These couples are not trying. They are stuck in the middle when it comes to their emotions. They do not want to put in the work to make their relationship better, but they also do not want to go through the divorce process.

Personalized Marriage

A personalized marriage is a marriage based on your terms. An open marriage is the most common example of this. This is when you and/or your spouse have sexual relations with others. Maybe you just want to stay together so you can focus on raising the kids. In any case, in this marriage, you work with your spouse to get your needs met.

Independent Marriage

This is when you are still legally married, but pretty much live separate lives. You may not live together. You and your spouse have no connection and basically co-exist.


This is when you and your spouse go through the same actions as a divorce, but without the formalities. You two are able to negotiate on assets and child custody on your own, without the legal hassle. You live separately but are still legally married.

Transitioning Out

This is when you and your spouse live apart, but are not legally separated. You are basically trying out divorce.

Legally Separated

A couple is legally separated when they no longer live together and they want to separate themselves financially. This couple wants to get divorced, but has chosen not to do so due to reasons such as taxes and health benefits. They do not want an emotional connection with each other.


This is when a couple goes through the divorce process but still lives together. This is often due to financial reasons. The couple wants no connection with each other, but need to continue to live together, which can be awkward.


In some cases, a couple divorces but continues the relationship. This is rare, but can happen in cases when, for example, a person would not receive certain healthcare or tax benefits if they were married. The couple continues with a romantic relationship, but is no longer legally married.

Traditional Divorce

You are likely familiar with this term. This is where you and your spouse legally end the marriage and get a divorce. You will split assets and negotiate on child custody, alimony and other matters. You and your spouse will have nothing to do with each other, unless you have kids. 

Seek Legal Help

If you are feeling unhappy in your marriage, divorce is not the only option. There are ways you and your spouse can stay together, whether it is for the kids or for financial reasons. Maybe you just do not want to deal with the hassle of divorce.

However, if you are truly unhappy and just want to be free, divorce may be the option. Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can guide you through the process. With more than 30 years of experience dealing with family law matters, he can give you the advice you need. Schedule a consultation by calling (954) 346-6464.