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One thing that really impresses me about this thread is that even though there are very different opinions, some of which touch on raw-nerve subjects, everyone had been polite and thoughtful whether they agree or disagree. That's awesome.

As for my situation, I am very glad that DH and I trust each other, and have shown over the last 10+ years that the risk associated with that trust is minimal. I also agree that there is a difference between two individuals and a marriage. Not only is there a different feel, but there is a significantly different set of legal structures. We haven't talked about those in this thread, but I think it is important to understand the legal consequences of marrying someone. Most people don't pay attention to that. In fact, I would say that's true for people who marry and for people who co-habitate.

Because of my own relationship history, I have spent quite a bit of time understanding the specific legalities of relationships between people -- married people, unmarried partners, and parent-child relationships. All the legal underpinnings of those relationships arise out of the awful things people do to each other when a relationship is falling apart. Because of my own history, I think it is really important to make sure to be in the most legally protect. I suspect most people would think that our pre-nup is crazy strict.

Still, even more important than those legally protected relationships is entering a partnership with someone who can be trusted. On this, I agree with Joel entirely. Assessing the risks rationally is very difficult; our biology consistently tries to override rational thought. And it's still important to do everything possible to figure it out.

ThyPeace, and I suspect I'm repeating myself...
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