August 1, 2012 at 8:43 am #35565
Needless to say, we’ve had lots of very insightful debates and discussions both here in the forum and in reaction to various LW’s regarding the topics of marriage and children. I think I’ve already put myself into the “no desire for kids” camp, but recently I’ve been having some frustrating thoughts about marriage. And that strange thing is, the frustration is not between my boyfriend and me but is instead completely internal!
I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and living together for just over a year. I was very nervous in the beginning about living together (it’s both of our first times to live with an SO) but it’s been absolutely wonderful and amazing. We never really had any of the problems that are frequently mentioned on DW when issues of co-habitation come up. I can honestly think of maybe 2 things that annoy me the tiniest bit, but overall it’s just the best thing in the world to come home to him every night and wake up together every morning.
Anyway, we’ve definitely talked about marriage but I know it’s something he isn’t ready for. While I’ve been working full-time and supporting myself for a good while now, he just recently finished grad school and is still looking for his first full-time job. I wouldn’t want to get married until he’s more settled career-wise, and he feels the same.
But the problem is, why do I want to get married at all? The fact that it’s something I want bothers me much more than the fact that he isn’t ready! We have a great life together — great apartment we just moved into in May, we’re learning to cook, we’re going on a big trip to America next month so he can see where I grew up, etc. Wedding ring or not, I know he is totally committed to our relationship and future toegther, and I would never doubt his trust. In short, I don’t think actually being married would change our current situation too drastically. In addition, we don’t even want to have kids, so what might be considered one of the more traditional reasons to wed isn’t even relevant.
But more and more, I just have this crazy and unrestrained desire to be his wife. Of course the wedding part would be fun, but that’s not what I’m craving — I want us to be MARRIED.
And it really irritates me, because why can’t I be happy with the wonderful life we have together as it is now? Why do I feel like I need him to be my husband? I’ve always been very independent — I moved half-way around the world when I was 22! I guess part of it maybe has to do with being tired of only depending on myself for all these years (and here I go, answering my own questions!) But I like my independence, I like doing what I want to do and taking care of myself. How did I escape baby fever but get stuck big-time in wife fever?!August 1, 2012 at 8:50 am #35566
Maybe subconciously you are really amped about the tax benefits?August 1, 2012 at 9:02 am #35567
Aside from tax benefits, there are a ton of legal rights you have when you’re someone’s spouse. Medical issues come to mind for me, specifically. If something were to happen to my husband, as his wife, I have the rights to make decisions for him, and for us as a couple. That’s HUGE. When you’re not married, you don’t have those rights.
But aside from that, for me, there was just something about legally committing myself to him and to us in front of my closest family and friends, that was really special. I made a vow to put US before ME. That means something to me.
It’s not wrong to want that. And it’s not wrong not to want it. It’s a personal thing to be decided by you and your significant other, and whtever you decide is ok.August 1, 2012 at 9:22 am #35569
well yes, medical benefits, power of attorney (or whatever it is called) if something terrible should happen and either of you is on life support or whatever, automatic benficiary to life insurance… BUT there are ways to get around that- there are documents you can draw up that will give you all those benefits without the marriage.
getting married is a big deal. my boyfriend continually says how were “basically” married, he calls me his wifd, ect, and i always correct him. we are NOT married. getting married is a huge, huge deal. it is a promise for life, a joining of absolutely everything you are- your debt, your home, your assets… ect. it is a huge deal. it is not wrong to want that. it is not wrong to want that seriousness to be added to your relationship. i also want that. someday, not now, but someday.
i would just talk to him about it. frame it as a i take our relationship very seriously and someday i want to join you very seriously in marriage. you are young.. you do have time, as people say. but it is not wrong to want it.August 1, 2012 at 9:48 am #35572
Maybe you’re sick of referring to him as “boyfriend” ? haha, I have been in a long-term relationship, am 25 now, & finding myself feeling dumb referring to my boyfriend as “boyfriend.” I feel like “oh, and my husband…” or “my fiance…” sounds more age-appropriate? None of my close friends are married or even close to it (although a TON of his friends are, or are engaged) & I have no desire for a wedding, or to even BE married (we don’t live together, my life is nowhere where I’d want it to be, etc.). BUT the terms “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are just getting on my nerves.August 1, 2012 at 11:50 am #35581
I’m an independent lady who never wanted children. Aside from a few embarrassing years, I haven’t felt like I absolutely must have a man in my life in order to be happy. But still, when I reached a certain point in a certain relationship, my heart wanted to be married. Marriage does make a difference in a relationship. It may not change things much on the outside when you’re already living together, but it is different. It’s why we wait until we are ready to make that sort of commitment before we do. It’s why your boyfriend isn’t like, “well, we’ve been living together for X amount of time and things are going well, so we might as well go ahead and sign that little piece of paper.” It is different than living together and it’s not a wrong thing to want. The ways in which it is different are hard to quantify outside of legal issues, children, and finances, but most of the time there are differences and you aren’t being silly or romantic to feel that way.August 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm #35590
Maybe I’m wrong and this is just me, but maybe it’s that marriage is “FOREVER.” Some people like the fact that every day that you’re together is a day you chose to be together, but that isn’t for me. And many will reiterate the point that marriage is no guarantee on foreverness (hello, divorce). But it is a pledge to be together forever and a pledge to merge your lives. There is a certain amount of psychic stability that goes along with deciding to take that step. For example, you say your boyfriend isn’t ready to get married (due to his instability in life right now.) If there was no difference, why would he care about establishing himself before getting married? It isn’t just the cost of the wedding; it’s the commitment the attention that a marriage requires. For many people, it is a difference and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that or wanting it.August 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm #35594
Marriage, when done right, is a wonderful thing. If it didn’t mean anything no one would do it. I get that some people it doesn’t mean anything to and I’m not knocking that. However, for the majority of people it does mean something to them. You should not feel annoyed about those feelings. There is nothing wrong with them!
It sounds to me that you want to get married for the RIGHT reasons. No one should get married expecting it to change their relationship! For me, it didn’t change anything about the day to day things and that is perfect. I did create some kind of hard-to-explain shift that kinda goes deeper now. I know that doesn’t make sense. Secondly, saying that you want to get married to be married and not for the wedding is a GOOD thing. Yikes, getting married for the wedding is a terrible idea.
Be open and unashamed about your feelings.August 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm #35608
I don’t know how old you are, but perhaps age plays into this? Maybe the fact that it’s wedding season and you’re seeing a LOT of bridal/wedding crap going on right about now? Maybe it’s the fact that he CALLS you his wife, but it isn’t true, and you don’t want to really live a “lie”. Note that I didn’t say “live in sin”, because I doubt it much matters to anyone at this point in the game. The “lie” is the “wife” appelation when it isn’t true, thus potentially confusing outsiders who don’t know the two of you well, and perhaps investing him and you more into the relationship than he claims to want at the moment.
Personally, I don’t think it’s right to call someone a spouse until you’re married. But, I have previous experience with this issue. My 1st husband and I got together when I was 16 and I lied about my age to all of our mutual friends (luckily, they weren’t exactly paying attention to the fact that I was 18 for 3 freakin’ years), and on top of that, to make himself sound more “respectable”, he called me his wife. Worse, his “trophy wife” (he was 32 when we married). Even now, every female he dates is his “wifey” (he picked that up more recently). It’s a small lie in the grand scheme of things, but dishonesty of any form can really make you wonder about the rest of the relationship, and balk at the idea of NOT having it be true because otherwise, it’s still a lie.August 2, 2012 at 3:50 am #35639
Thank you all for your input and your reassurance that I’m not irrational or totally anti-feminist for wanting to get married! Your comments helped me realize that I think what I’m really looking for is the sense of family that marriage brings. I’ve lived very far from all my family for most of my adult life and have had to be extremely independent. On the one hand, I like the sense of self-reliance I’ve had to develop over the years — but at the same time, the idea of making my own family has an undeniable appeal.August 2, 2012 at 6:45 am #35642
@daisy- I think it’s perfectly reasonable that you want to marry someone you love and not anti-feminist in the slightest. I was with my boyfriend for a little over 2.5 years when marriage came up. He was the one that really wanted, and I was in a similar place as you. However, once I came around to the idea, I was annoyed by just how much I wanted to be married. But it boiled down to the simple fact, that I knew I loved him and wanted to be with him forever, so marriage made sense and it made sense to want it.
Coming up on our year anniversary, I realized marriage does change things, but not necessarily in a huge way, especially if you already lived together (we did), and not in a bad way, but in subtle, everyday ways. There is a permanency to the relationship that makes everything easier. We live far away from our families, so when we got married we became our closest family member locally. It was silly things, like getting updates because I was “the wife” when he was in the hospital, or both us realizing he could medical decisions for me when I underwent surgery last week, that was a reality check that we are a “we” in every sense of the word. A boyfriend or longtime partner can definitely be part of a “we”, but when you get married, it becomes that much more so.August 2, 2012 at 9:08 am #35650
I get it. I dont really know why I want to get married, but I do. I don’t even want a wedding – the thought embarrasses me. I just want a party, and a ring and my boyfriend to be my husband (in no particular order, obvs)
Why is this??August 2, 2012 at 10:05 am #35653
I’m the same way, I’ve just always known I’ve wanted to get married. I think nowadays there are so many couples who live together, or who have and raise children outside of marriage, that sometimes people who want to get married are looked upon as silly or old fashioned. No matter how you choose to live your life, if you are doing what you want to do and not hurting other people then you are doing it the right way.
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