Tired of Being Single

Married or Single?This morning I went to the doctor. I’m having minor surgery in two weeks and have had several appointments leading up to the surgery. And today, for the third time in the last two months, I had to check “single” under marital status.

I’m not single.

I have been in a “marriage-like” relationship for almost nine years. Together my partner Megan and I own a home and everything in it, a car, a dog, a cat, and are planning for raising children together. We have a joint checking account. Our credit cards are in both of our names. She is the principal of my Power of Attorney for health care, finance, and property and I am the principal of hers. She is my beneficiary and I am hers. We are registered domestic partners in the city of Madison. We publicly proclaimed our promise that we would love and care for each other, in good times and in bad, until the day we died.

And yet, I have to check “single.” The best I can do on legal documents like the one I filled out today is to write “spouse” after Megan’s name where I list her as my emergency contact.

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At 11:19 PM, Blogger Julie said...

I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life, but my wife and I have been married for five years. I don't care if the Wisconsin government or the Federal Government does not recognize it. I check married on EVERY SINGLE FORM I fill out -- except tax forms.

I have been to the doctor recently and saw that someone removed spouse from behind Cheryl's name and added other. I made them correct it.

Anyway, that's just me, or rather us, as Cheryl does the same thing. With exception of tax forms, we always list married.

I'll keep you in my prayers for your surgery.

God Bless.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Ingrid Ankerson said...

Thanks, Julie. Often I do check married -- depending what it is I’m filling out. I was particularly thrown off by one of the forms I had to fill out this time because the entire thing was about whether or not I was married!

And sometimes it feels like I am making a statement by checking single and then listing Megan as my spouse. But I’m with you from now on… I’m checking married from here on out.

Anyone else out there who checks married? Single? Has anyone gotten in trouble for checking married? What about those of you who got married in Canada or Massachusetts? What box do you check?

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Joshua Freker said...

I recently took a trip to Mexico. On the customs forms, they ask first if you're married, widowed, or single. Then they want to know if you're traveling with any family. I was with my partner (of 5 years today) and naturally wanted to note that we were married and family. Often on other forms that ask for marital status, I add a new field and call it "partnered." But because this was a matter of getting into Mexico and then back into the U.S., I felt like doing that would only make us vulnerable to a surly customs agent. We wrote that we were both single and not traveling with any family, then went through the lines separately.

Then today, we bought our first-ever brand new car together. For the loan, I had to sign a line verifying that I am single. It's jarring because it doesn't feel truthful to say I'm single. I haven't been single in years!

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Carrie said...

ARGH! This continues to be an infuriating and bothersome issue. Of course I think about the larger issues of equality and what's right, but sometimes I get into my prior-life administrative assistant mode and think, 'It's only a form and a form can be improved. Why don't businesses/institutions change their forms to include everyone?' It’s not like we haven’t filled out other forms that state who our next of kin is or who to call in case of an emergency. What I usually do is cross out what I don't like on a form, write in what I want, usually “partnered” or “in committed lesbian relationship” and start a fight in the lobby if pressed to conform.

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Cris said...

Like Carrie, I often change the form.

After 15 years, 3 children, 9 grandchildren, everything in joint, powers of attorney and one of the first domestic partnership agreements in the city of Madison, we have done our thing, our way. We have not had any obvious difficulties, mostly because we do not allow for them.

However all the details that the legally married assume, we have to address constantly. Benefits that the legally married assume, we are not allowed.

We have to keep fighting for the rights to CHOICE.
Today, marriage is a flawed institution. 2 out of every 3 str8 marriages end in divorce.
Do I want to be married? I do not know. But I know I want the right to make the choice.

The religious zealots need to get their heads out from between their knees, marriage is granted by the government, not the church. Blessings may be granted by the diety, but not marriage. If they want to set standards for their followers, they have every right, but where do they think they have the right to dictate what the law says?

Keep fighting for the right of CHOICE. As a womon, as a partner, as an individual. The right to choice should be a foregone conclusion.

(ps. we now have a bit longer to fight before the vote....PLEASE folks, get involved!!!)

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Ingrid Ankerson said...

An update:

Surgery went well. And I'm on the path to recovery, which unfortunately includes crutches and a cast up to my knee.

I was asked again about my marital status. This time I answered, "I am married, but it is not legally recognized."

This of course threw the woman off on the other end of the phone, so I just said, "I consider myself married. You can check 'married.'"

And then later she asked me if I wanted to list my husband as the emergency contact.

When I told her I was married to a woman, she took it in stride. "Oh, OK" she said, "And now I understand why you answered that way."

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous George said...

Being Heterosexual and Married for 30 years, I have never given a lot of thought to what Gay couples must go through with this situation. After reading this article and the posted comments, I realize that the Right Wingnuts are trying to make everyone like them, which I am NOT. I promise to do whatever it takes to help keep these crazies out of our lives here in Wisconsin and to do whatever it takes to vote down the gay marriage ban. Best of luck to all of the gay couples that read this and I hope we can ALL live happily as "married" couples. Let's not let the Right Wing zealots run our lives!!

At 3:28 PM, Blogger ShayShay said...

My wife and I were married in Canada. I check married on everything that isn't a tax form. Sometimes she makes me change it though because she's afraid we will get in trouble. I refuse to change it and say that she can fill out the form and check whatever she wants. We've never gotten in trouble for anything... yet. I've even checked married and listed her as my wife on legal documents. I really feel that saying "single" is lying... and I hate lying.

We did buy a house together and while the loan officer was helping us fill out the forms he said "We'll check single even though we know better." That was kinda nice of him.

It's a kick in the teeth everytime I have to check "single." I'm not single. I'm legally married. It's a constant reminder that my family doesn't have any rights in the "Land of the Free"... as if we aren't already reminded of that every day.

I'm really worried about what happens when we have to go into the hospital. (Which happens often with me. I'm very accident prone and allergic to everything.) We look a bit alike (both Irish) and everyone assumes we're sisters... but when we fill out the forms and check "married" and that the other is our spouse, I'm always concerned that we will be treated differently or not be allowed to make decisions even though we have Power of Attorney.

I also don't make it any secret that I'm married to a woman. Whenever family comes up in coversation, I always say "my wife." Sometimes people change it to what they thing they heard and ask about my husband. I correct them. Then they usally ask where we got married and all that. If they start asking questions, I use it as an opportunity to talk to them about the amendment and about the rights we don't have. Most of the time people who were against same-sex marriage come away from the conversation saying that it's not fair that we don't have any rights... even if their belief system is against our marriage.

So... I guess what I'm saying it to check "married" and write "same-sex marriage" if you have to. Write that he/she is your spouse if you are married but it isn't recognized. The more we are out there about our family, our lives, and the hardships we go through, the more people will understand how wrong the amendment is.

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Dominic Ebacher said...

You interest me, I am glad to wish you happiness!

Peace and Love.

Dominic Ebacher


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