He may leave anytime if he wishes to leave. Likewise, I may leave anytime if I wish to leave. That is our privilege as unmarried people; we don’t have to ask permission from the government on whether we may terminate our relationship or not. It is, after all, a private matter, and should stay that way.
Besides, if the only thing that would keep a person in a relationship is being forced, especially by the law, to stay, then the relationship is better off dissolving. There is no point in staying in a miserable relationship. There is no point in keeping a person in a relationship where he/she does not wish to be in given his/her own free will. One is better off being single than being stuck in a relationship that one wishes to be free of; likewise, one is better off single than being bound to someone who no longer wants to stay.
And as we’ve seen (time and again), the lack of divorce has not immunized bad relationships from infidelity, abuse, and even abandonment. A person who wants to cheat on his/her spouse is gonna cheat. A person who wants to abandon his/her spouse is gonna do so, lack of divorce be damned. It is disadvantageous mostly to the wronged party; imagine being legally bound to a spouse who is no longer one’s spouse in practice, but only by word of the law. Unable to pursue a new marriage, where he/she might find happiness, simply because the law says, “You can’t.”
(Lack of divorce? Wut? To give some perspective: I am writing this from the Philippines, the only country in the world, apart from the Vatican, where divorce is not an option, because Jesus. So if you get married here, and live here, you’re stuck with your spouse, through good — hopefully — and through bad — unfortunately. That is, unless you can shell out the money for an annulment, a luxury that most Filipinos just can not afford.)
Some would say that it’s a way of expressing commitment. Well, I think there are better ways of expressing commitment without involving the government. How about a nice faux-wedding party? Gather family and friends, get into those suits and dresses, have a splendid meal, then say your vows in front of them. All the thrills of a wedding, plus the commitment and accountability from saying your promises in front of your loved ones, but sans the government meddling.
As for legal rights, such as inheritances, writing a will is an option. I’m only 28, in relatively good health, and I’ve already written a will. Regardless of your relationship status, you should, too. You never know just what might happen a few hours from now, and it would be good to have your financials covered at any time.
I believe it is impractical to get married, especially in this country. What are your thoughts on marriage?