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Joined: May 2004
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heada Offline OP
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Hi, I am knew to this site. I am tired of talking to friends/family about my situation, and need a fresh perspective. I am 27 years old and have been with my boyfriend/fiance (whatever the heck he is) for over 10 years. We are inseperable. We have a wonderful life together, we travel, both love school, have loved moving all over the country for new adventures, and it is like we are completely one-like we are married. BUT...he has a marriage "issue". He is absolutely terrified of marriage. He comes from a really broken home-a few bad stepdads, alcoholic mother, etc. I can't blame him for being scared-I am too sometimes, but this issue is causing SEVERE problems in our relationship. I am becoming very bitter towards him about this. We will be needing to move again for him to attend law school, and I don't know if I am up for it this time. I really need to have the "security" of marriage this time. He keeps saying "IT (that being marriage and a ring) is coming really soon, it is going to happen really soon." But he has been saying this for a long time now. I have always been supportive of what he wants to do, and have never held him back, and like I said-we are inseparable-we spend all our time together, have lived together for over 6 years now, things are wonderful-except for this issue, which is becoming a bigger and bigger problem (for me). I just keep holding on though, thinking he will come around sooner or later. Am I crazy for thinking this? What are the odds that "IT" will happen? and if he is just not the marrying type-am I wrong to stay with him forever in a commited relationship-just not with the paper?
PLEASE HELP! Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! This "issue" is really starting to weigh heavy on my heart and soul...
~H eek

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Greetings!

Since you are hurting, I feel for you. Let's begin here...why is legal/official marriage important to you?

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heada Offline OP
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Thanks for responding! Well, of course, I am sure it goes back to how I was raised, and of course the pressure that society puts on you!
I am tired of filling out forms that ask for your marital status and having to mark "single"! (stupid i know), or being dragged up at this wedding I went to this weekend to catch the darn bouquet with the "rest of the single girls". And I just want to scream-JUST CUZ I DONT HAVE THE PAPER-I AM NOT SINGLE!

But the main thing is just a deep down emotional thing I put upon myself-insecurity thing I guess-I feel as if the piece of paper somehow makes me more secure?? and there must be something "more special" about marriage, otherwise, why would my significant other be so afraid of it???
Thanks :love:

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I think the something "more special" about marriage is that the lifetime commitment allows you to make long-range plans together.

Susan

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Thanks Heada, this gives me greater understanding of your thoughts on this issue.

If you really want to remain with this man rather than leave him in search of a man more willing to go through the legal and formal hoops, may I suggest a compromise and change of viewpoint? What I suggest may not work in your reality but it's the best I have come up with so far.

It sounds to me as if you are indeed in a committed relationship much like a marriage. You are only missing legal documentation. In matters of the heart, it can be asked...what is a marriage certificate anyway??
Personally I made an eternal vow to my spouse. No one gave us a piece of paper to solidify this for us. But it is no less real and no less binding.

If your friends/relatives persist in attempting to fix you up with the right man and asking you to join other single women in catching the bouquet then they are being disrespectful to you and the man in your life. I believe though that your own confusion about your position in his life leads them to be confused so let's not hit them in the head with lightening bolts just yet.

The two of you must define your positions in each other's lives. This would be the important factor for me. Has he indicated that his intentions are to be with you for a lifetime? Has he committed himself to that by word and action if not legal documentation?

If he has, then work on making yourself feel more stable in this by seeing him as something more constant and important in your life. If he has indicated this is a lifetime commitment for him...he is not your boy friend. He is your mate, your lover, your dearly trusted friend..he is all the things to you that a married women gets in the right mate. I like the word mate myself, others like significant other, and some use fiance. As long as it carries weight for you and for others, it doesn't matter which, just use the one you are both comfortable with.

If he has opposed making this sort of serious commitment to you and for you, and has instead felt the need to leave the front door open for escape, then you have a deeper problem. To me, this would indicate that marriage isn't the problem and stability is not present at all.

Which is more suited to your relationship at this point?

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heada Offline OP
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Thank you so much for your reply's!
XLadyRogue-you are extremley eloguent in the way you write down your thoughts! What you said was very moving. Yes, my "mate" (I like that), continually tells me we are together FOREVER! He is definetely commited to me for life. We constantly talk about the future, and most of our "junk" is combined (bank accounts, etc). He is the most wonderful, trust-worthy mate a gal could have.
So, I guess I need to come to terms with this all and have a better outlook. Because I know in my heart I will not find a better, more loving or caring person for me out there, and it would be ridiculous to leave him just for the "paper". I love what you wrote:
"Personally I made an eternal vow to my spouse. No one gave us a piece of paper to solidify this for us. But it is no less real and no less binding."
That is beautiful. Sometimes it gets hard though, because others don't understand this kind of thinking, and I get a lot of slack for it, and then end up second guessing myself! I know friends and family (well most of the them) have only my best interests at heart, but still....
Well, thank you so much for your thoughts; they were extremely uplifting. I was kind of expecting to get some negative thoughts (human nature I guess).

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You are most welcome!

Legal marriages and formal weddings remain socially expected. My husband and I jumped through those hoops. I say this because we really did this to please others, not ourselves since it made no real difference in our relationship.

I also have long found it funny that while our wedding vows provided a promise of a lifetime and can be dissolved by divorce, our original vows aknowledged our bond to one another as soul mates for eternity.

When legal protection is removed, it's only about perception and feelings. For some however, that documentation can cause changes in those perceptions and feelings.

There are advantages to an official marriage. Thanks to lawyers and changes in laws, protection of your assets is not guaranteed. Many insurance companies still require a man/woman to be legally married for them to cover the partner. Be sure to check into that if this is a concern for you. Social security and other death benefits may only go to a legal spouse, if this is an issue, you should also research this.

How are you standing with these issues right now?

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It is important for you to think about a few other things........I would highly recommend you NOT co-mingle your finances. You would have a hard time proving what monies are yours if the situation ever arised where you had to prove you deposited x amount of dollars into that account.

If you buy anything like a house or car make sure your name appears on the papers regardless if you are in a community property state.

I would be curious to know who is the bread winner? He is going to Law School, so I am assuming you are the one who is working and 'supporting' him?

You say he comes from an alcoholic mother and a few bad step-dads.....this would be sending major red lights to me! Children of alcoholic parents have a great deal of baggage and have lived a dysfunctional family life, which would be continued unless he has undergone some therapy. The issues are major!

My son who is your age just spent 8 years with a young lady that I liked very much. She was great but the minute they moved in together I knew he would never marry her, and he didn't.

I hate to sound so negative about your relationship but when you are in love you tend not to see the realities of the situation. When you do see the realities, it is generally too late and everyone gets hurt.

That is my two cents worth on the subject.

Sveina


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