You can't have a religious marriage without a State license. As far as the law is concerned, the issue is more if you have children, if what you've earned collectively as a family that is greater in amount than what you had going into the marriage and it's supposed to work both ways, and if you have a common law marriage, or even a form of a marriage, then any laws that are binding on a marriage would still also be binding on you. I know here in Canada, if you live together with someone over 2 years, then that lady has the same legal rights as a proper wife.Again, I do not see that at all. I feel that I was very fair when I was first asked, I stated that I'd never marry but open to family and children to whomever I choose. I also said I have no issues with a private marriage or religious marriage, just not a State license. I was firm on this since the beginning. So, I do not see how you feel I am being unfair to her. You know, one can have children and a family without a marriage license.
If you are willing to have children, then you are still at the mercy of the law and courts concerning custody and child support. Unless you made more money and got rich after you got married, then I don't get division of new assets earned within the marriage, but maybe your laws are different than ours. To be comfortable about having children, but being uncomfortable about marriage sounds irrational because there is more legal liability to bringing a child into the world you can't support or are not willing to support then any issues with an ex-wife.
A child means you are legally liable until he is 18 years old. Spousal support doesn't have an 18 year minimum.