The problem we are having are our insecurities. He seems to be afraid that I am going to go off and cheat on him while I am afraid he’s going to leave me due to my STD and because I can be so needy. We have both expressed our concerns, and we both know deep in our hearts we love each other, but we’re both having a hard time with this. Is this a long-distance fear, or do you think we need more than just time together to get back on the right track?
Also, problem two: we are planning to get married when I get out of the Marine Corps, but with my herpes, I’ll need medicare very quickly and we were thinking of a shotgun wedding instead of waiting a year or two to see how we do. Neither of us believes in divorce, but we also both know that I need medical coverage as soon as I get out. What are you thoughts/opinions on this? — Medically Necessary
Health insurance is not a good enough reason to marry someone. Even love, a child together, and health insurance aren’t good enough reasons to take the plunge if you don’t feel ready. From my understanding, your relationship is currently long-distance, which means some of these new issues — like your STD — have yet to be worked out in person, right? I say once you’re out of the Marine Corps and back at home, give it some time before you jump into marriage. Research different ways to get health coverage. Talk with a military representative about what benefits may be available to you once you leave the military. Get a new job that offers insurance. There are other ways to get coverage than simply marrying someone with it. You’re crazy if you think marrying someone you aren’t yet ready to marry is the “easy” way to get insured. There’s nothing easy about being married to the wrong person (or even the right person at the wrong time).
In the meantime, you and your boyfriend need to work on your relationship and your issues. Go to couples counseling. If you’re religious, talk with a clergy person about your relationship (many churches offer their own pre-marriage counseling that you could look into). Live together on a trial basis before getting engaged and see what issues arise when you not only live in the same town again, but share the same walls. Spend lots of time communicating about your fears — and hopes. Talk about what you both want in your future and make sure you’re on the same page. Do you plan to be a stay-at-home mother? Is he willing to financially support you? Do you both want more children or is one enough? Do you both have a good understanding about herpes and the effect your condition will have on your sex life? Does he?
I have no idea if yours is a relationship that will stand the test of time, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that you don’t seem to have any idea either. Marriage can be hard and a couple needs to enter into it with a lot of confidence that they’re making the right decision. I don’t read confidence in your letter. Instead, I read a lot of doubt. I mean, you’re already talking about divorce: “Neither of us believe in divorce, but we also both know that I need medical coverage as soon as I get out.” What does that even mean? That divorce is something you’re willing to risk just so you can get insured? That’s not a healthy way to enter a marriage. How about: “Neither of us believes in divorce, so we’re going to make sure we’re 100% committed to each other, have worked through our issues, know how to communicate well with each other, solve problems effectively and are ready to take the huge step of marriage before we tie the knot.” Until you can say that with complete authority, I’d definitely hold off on picking out your wedding dress just yet.
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