Ok - I'm new here and am probably repeating a post that has been bashed to death in the past - I've had a look through the old posts and couldn't see anything . . . Can ANYONE tell me when it might happen that the Army drags itself out of the dark ages and starts to recognise long-term relationships for what they are. I am advised that in civvy law, a relationship that has endured a minimum of 6 months is labelled "long-term" and basically, the partners are treated for all wants and purposes as married. Recent changes (such as allowing unmarried partners of servicemen who are killed to claim death benefits) are indeed a step in the right direction - but that's all it is - a step. How about putting on the reeboks, installing an escalator and getting a "wiggle" on?! I understand that if the Army was to suddenly say, "Crack on, chaps!" there would be a massive rush for things like MQs etc and the extra 3.x billion pounds allocated to the defence budget this year would not be enough to cater for the mass of disturbance allowance claims and the like. However . . . My girlfriend and I have been together for over 3 years now. I am sick to death of people telling me to "get married, cos it's easier, innit!" NOOOO! If I wanted to get married, I would do - and it wouldn't be to make things "easier" - no, it would be for the good old fashioned reasons. (What, like dinner on the table etc. . . sorry, I digress . . .) My point is that service personnel in similar situations such as mine are almost being discriminated against because we are not married. I have read articles and letters from others around the service community on a similar subject and I know that I am not alone when I tell the "pro-marriage gang" to get off my back for a while. Even an RSM told me to get married!!! I mean, really - what kind of counselling is that?! I hear you suck your teeth at my use of "discrimination" and probably with good reason. However, that is what I call it when I am told that a job vacancy for a dependant (which has been available for over a year now) cannot be filled by my suitably qualified "life partner" (as the civvies call it) because we do not have the relevant paperwork (ie marriage certificate). Now, before the lobbyists get on my back, I am NOT trying to "dumb down" the institute of marriage - I am all for it. Personally, I've tried it and it didn't work for me (or another 16 personnel in my Sqn in the last 6 years). Next time (once bitten, twice shy), I want to be sure that I am making the right decision and not just taking advice from a more senior chappie who just wants the problem to go away (regardless of how well meaning he or she may be trying to appear to be). So . . . the question again . . . when are we going to be treated a little better than the social leppers we seem to have become?