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Marriage.. feeling pressured..


hkitty

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So lately I've been constantly thinking about marriage. For some reason it just suddenly hit me that I feel this pressure that I should be getting married right now.. mostly because everyone around me at work are getting married and having babies (but they are a little older than me). Most of my high school friends arent married yet or have kids, but I have a few other ppl I know who have at least moved in together and are going to get married. I keep comparing my relationship to others and its starting to really bother me. It makes me think whats wrong with my relationship? I've always known that I wanted to get married and have a family. I've been with my bf for 4 yrs (first couple yrs were rough and we broke up for 3 months but got back together. Things have never been better) and I know he is the one but at this point in our lives, I don't think he's ready. And to be honest, as much as I dream of getting married to him.. I know I'm not ready. Well not financially at least. I'm 24 and still live with my mom and I do have a full time real job but it's definitely not a good paying job. Plus I have a spending problem which is what I'm working on. My bf is 27.. has a pretty good job but still lives with his step mom & dad at home. Mind you we live in Hawaii.. very expensive for rent or to buy a place. So hes working hard and saving money cause he eventually wants to buy his own place. But he does talk about our future together and that he wants to be with me for the rest of his life. We've talked about marriage in the past and children.

 

There is one thing that bothers me though and that is I don't think he views highly of marriage. I mean he told me he eventually does want to get married maybe in a couple years but he doesn't seem to find it as sacred as I do. Like to me its really important and to him its just a piece of paper. He also wants to live together before getting married but I want to do it the traditional way and get married before we live together. He said that he would rather be engaged and live together and then get married. I don't know.. I feel like he may be a little scared of marriage? His dad also isn't the greatest example. His dad was with his mom for like 10 years and then she got pregnant so they got married. But then they ended up getting a divorce a few years later cause he was never there. Then later on his dad was with another woman (now his stepmom) for like 15 years and then finally got married to her. So I feel like my bf thinks its ok to just do the same thing as his dad. However, I HAVE told him and have made it clear to him before that 2 really important things that I want in my life is marriage and kids and if its not with him then I guess it will it be with someone else. So I told him if thats not what he wants then to tell me now cause I dont want my time to be wasted. As much as I love him to death.. I know i'd be unhappy if I didnt accomplish those 2 things. He said he understands that.

 

My bf is great.. hes a hard worker, always takes me out to nice places, pays for everything, and is understanding n loving for the most part. But I guess I just fear that he think it will be ok for us to move in together get engaged, and then get married like 10 or 15 yrs later?? Should I give him a deadline or should I not pressure him at all? Gosh, marriage is such a stressful topic... its giving me a headache! I don't even want to get married YET. Maybe in a couple years or so. But everyone around me is getting married kind of makes me sad and makes me wish I was getting married right now too...

 

what really made me happy though was a couple weeks ago we talked about what we would want to name our kids.. and he thought of a few names.. which made me think ok.. he really does see a future with me..

 

 

sigh.. sorry for the long post!

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not once in here have you said why you want to get married, other than the pressure you're feeling by comparing your relationship with others.

 

for this reason i don't think you're ready and i don't think you should even be thinking about it or bringing it up.

 

side note: living together before you get married is a socially acceptable practice these days and it helps you learn SO much about the other person. I'd be a little worried if you didn't try this, even for a month or so to test the waters. It's not fair entering a marriage without knowing all the facts.

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Well I truly love him...I know he's the only man I see myself with. I feel like we've been together long enough that we should be taking the next step. The only thing that is stopping me is me not being financially stable and I know hes not ready just yet..

 

But I constantly think about us living together, our wedding, having children etc.

 

Yeah I see what you're saying about living together before getting married but I guess I'm basing it on statistics and how I always hear that cohabitating before marriage leads to a more likely chance of getting divorced OR not even getting married at all.

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Also what makes me want to get married in the near future is that things are so good right now between us.. we use to fight a lot before but we both have learned to communicate so much better with one another. I've never been happier in my life.. thats why I feel like it would be so perfect right now to take that next step..

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not once in here have you said why you want to get married, other than the pressure you're feeling by comparing your relationship with others.

 

for this reason i don't think you're ready and i don't think you should even be thinking about it or bringing it up.

 

side note: living together before you get married is a socially acceptable practice these days and it helps you learn SO much about the other person. I'd be a little worried if you didn't try this, even for a month or so to test the waters. It's not fair entering a marriage without knowing all the facts.

 

Just because something is socially acceptable doesn't mean it is the best way to do things. People rack up so many of these pseudo-marriages these days (living together) and think that somehow they are better because they never got divorced...and yet they have have gone through 4 or 5 live-in relationships and even had houses and children with some of them. So it still amounts to complicated failed relationships and playing house with many many people. Marriage is indeed different from living with someone. Most of the people I have known who have lived together before marriage have told me that it is completely different..the committment is different, the feel of the relationship is more solid once married. People never know all the facts even when they live together. The OP's boyfriend's father is a prime example of what happens many times with the live-in relationships and having them fall apart once married. Often the real big relationship/breaking issues come out in full force not when couples are living together, but when the couple is married. Also, when living together, it is very often not on equal footing...one person (usually the woman) is looking ahead towards marriage while the other (usually the man) is just living day to day and not really thinking too much of the future despite what he says to the contrary (words to entice the woman to live with him)

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woh hold on did i touch a nerve there or something?

 

you're telling me that you honestly don't see the benefits in living with someone before getting married? I could just as easily say that any of those friends you've had who moved in together without getting married (whether they had kids or not) would have probably gotten divorced if they hadn't tested the waters before commiting and moving in with eachother. Marriage can make some people work harder, but if you throw in more stress and obstacles (which living with someone does) it can soon get overwhelming. How long before you're thinking "Good Lord I've bitten off more than I can chew!"

 

It makes sense to try to live together as a couple before getting married - what if, heaven forbid, your other half always leaves the toilet seat up, refuses to clean and hires a maid, only washes clothes when they've run out, plays music at +10 constantly because they hate the quiet, or only washes dishes when they're needed, and hangs the toilet roll 'the wrong way' every time despite being told a million times not to. What if you find out that everything you're doing is wrong in their eyes and that your partner is so anally retentive that every CD and bookcase has to be arranged A-Z and 'just putting it back in the case' isn't enough by half?

 

all i'm saying is that not only is it socially acceptable to share a place before getting married - but it's just common sense. I know I've listed above 20 or so petty ways that can grind and grate on a relationship but by Lord do they add up. Getting these problems out of the way BEFORE marriage is giving yourselves breathing room to relax after marriage. What if you truly cannot get along together and could have avoided a costly divorce by checking this kind of stuff in the first instance?

 

Your views on men living day to day with women looking to the future are kind of offensive and sexist to me. I have an idea of what I'm doing as will many men, I think that's bad experience talking on your part so I'll leave it there.

 

I bought a house to live in with my SO to give us a good solid backing, our own place to do with as we wanted, and a chance to see if we could cohabit under the same roof without killing eachother. Why would I marry someone I can't even live with?? Sure, we've come to blows over several things we've done which have annoyed the other person - but in no way did it trivialse our relationship by not being married, and I defy anyone's intentions in a relationship who's willing to move in together but isn't willing to put some effort in to make it work.

 

If anything it'll put less of a strain on us when we do get married because we know about and have sorted through all these issues BEFORE getting married.

 

In my opinion, marriage will be no different to how it is now, provided we both continue to put in a level of effort that we're doing now which we've both commited to. I therefore submit to you, that not living together, even as a trial, is a seriously wreckless idea. Save yourself the hassle and check

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How much of your focus is on the party you plan to have to celebrate the marriage vows? Make sure you're not getting stars in your eyes because your co-workers are talking about the party (that's not the wedding - the wedding is the vows you take - not the reception or party you have to celebrate the wedding).

 

I agree that if you're not ready, then limit your discussions to whether you and your bf have the general goal of marriage in the next ___ years - you fill in the blank after you decide what that number is. I personally wouldn't be happy marrying someone who thought that the marriage certificate was just a piece of paper because you need the level of commitment it reflects to solidify your bond, to get you through the harder times, etc. That's just my humble opinion. I also wouldn't guess at whether your bf is scared or try to analyze him - if it's important to you, ask him directly and have a real conversation about it.

 

I don't think it's necessary to live together before marriage and I don't think it's a great way to "test" the relationship - especially if the couple is aware that it's supposed to be a test it won't resemble the real thing well enough because you'll both know that you don't feel sure enough to marry without the test and you'll both know that moving out is much easier when you're just living together. I also wouldn't get engaged without having a wedding date planned shortly after you get engaged.

 

It's great that you're being honest and objective with yourself about your financial and living situation - why not decide to start saving now (not for the party, for the expenses of moving out, etc) -- even if you don't marry him it doesn't hurt to have savings and a plan.

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That's what many people thought when they embarked on living together and then got married...and then they realized how naive their original assumptions were. All kinds of issues crop up in relationships..issues that never cropped up before. Relationships aren't stagnant..what you see living together may not be necessarily what you get once married. No matter what issues you think you sorted out while living together, those same issues or new ones can crop up once married. Generations upon generations of young men and women got married and some did indeed live happily ever after even though they never lived together beforehand. The whole living together rationale that people use these days is more out of a sense of convenience, pooling money, not wanting to travel, wanting the luxery of having a bed partner at hand, without having to sign on the dotted line. No matter how they dress it up as "testing the waters", it really amounts to a convenience issue because many people are just as reckless when it comes to deciding to live with someone..they don't put much thought into it and then they find out later on that it can be a very messy business as well if it splits up.

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Getting married before you are ready is a bad mistake. Everyone reaches this stage at various times. In my case, I didn't reach the stage where I wanted marriage until my mid 30's. Some never reach the stage to marry. In my opinion 24 is awfully young to marry. Don't worry about marriage yet, you have time.

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I agree with NewWave. You are too young to get married, and you have lots of time. Don't allow yourself to be pressurised. If this man is intended to be your future husband, then he will be. Marrying someone is no guarantee, as we all know, of their staying with you for the rest of your life.

My father used to say (and he was a very wise man): "Marry in haste, repent at leisure".

Give yourself time, enjoy life and your work, live in the present.

 

Take care

Hermes

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