Post # 1
It’s been a while! All is well here. Months ago, my boyfriend and I picked out a ring style we both agreed upon and a general price and carat size. Every once in a while, we dive into a jewelry store here or there but end up agreeing the ring style we previously chose was the best.
We live together. Day to day life with him is relatively predictable, which I like. Out of everyone I have ever dated/been with, I know he is the only one who I’d like to spend my life with (save for an unrequited love back years ago, but that’s all lust!). However, as time moves slowly and steadily into the future I find myself becoming conflicted. There are days I just want to be engaged so we can move on and be “official”. Buying a house, having a child, etc. Wedding planning. I can’t wait, and most of all can’t wait to do this with him.
But then there are times I sit back and think… is it worth it? Getting married. I seldom see people who are really, truly happy. Both his parents and mine, included. His married friends. My married friends. I think my brother and his wife are happy, but I question if my sister and her husband are. I shared my concerns with my boyfriend who seemed a little alarmed, but I explained it’s never really a question about if HE is the right one. It’s just a question if getting married ruins things somehow in a mystical way. It’s a question of being able to really love one person for the next sixty years. We talked it out and he calmed my fears. He explained to me that he is there are a partner, as am I. We support one another emotionally, financially, physically at times. We have each other’s backs. It’s “us against the world”.
Is this a natural concern other Bees have, or am I alone?
Post # 3
I think there are plenty of happy people. A lot of my friends are quite happy, but most of us have been married under 3 years, also. However, my parents have been married for like, 27. Sure, they’ve had a few rough years. I thought they were possibly going to split right before my brother died because there were so many issues going on. I know they were unhappy then and there was a LOT going on. However, they are quite happy as clams now. Expect some blips–people will go through ups and downs as couples. THis “truly happy” blissful stage, well, I don’t know if that exists because I don’t spend a majority of my day walking around on clouds with rainbows spewing out of my bum. But I don’t think that’s realistic. I guess, ask yourself what happiness is. I don’t think getting married necessarily ruins things. i think people can grow together and can grow apart and that yes, people can change 20+ years down the road. There’s no denying that. Sometimes things happen in life that tear you apart (especially with kids, like drug problems or other things that are huge, but nobody thinks will ever happen to them, naturally) but it’s something that you can’t expect. You just face it when it happens. You can’t predict the future, though, and I personally refuse to be scared of getting married (ahem, being married) because of what may or may not happen down the road. I’m sort of a tackle it as it comes sort of person. I know myself, i know him, and hopefully we grow together. And if not, well, such is life. All we can do is try to make things work, whatever we face. I won’t be naive and say “omg we’ll still be in love in 30 years” because we’ll have to work at it and we’ll have to work to stay happy. But it’s like that with anything I think.
Post # 4
I absolutely think that some people are happy. My parents have been together almost 34 years and are enormously happy (its sickening, really lol). My grandparents were married almost 50 years when my grandfather died and they were still in love like teenagers. Almost all the marriages in my family are happy, and the ones that aren’t it seems its more an issue of one or both people being unhappy with themselves first.
Post # 5
Thanks. 🙂 I think just being around so many people who are not happy compounded the issue with me, so I got a little scared. I am sure it will pass.
Post # 6
Being around unhappy/crabby people all the time is the surest way to make you doubt yourself. Pessimism is contageous.
Post # 7
My FI and I moved in together right after we got engaged and then bought a house a few months after that. (Yes, definately puting the cart in front of the horse or whatever that saying is) After two years of living together (oops?) he had started to lose his patience about not being married yet. I guess a lot of my feelings were very much like yours — “would getting married change things?” “is this going to be what I want in another 20 years?” etc.
It took a while for me to figure it out but all of these feelings (for me) stemmed from my anxiety about having a wedding.
So, long story short… I knew I loved him and wanted to be with him… just the stress/cost/anxiety of planning a wedding was ruining all the reasons why I wanted to be married. We’re going to elope and we’re both happy.
Post # 8
I don’t really think that being married changes the relationship. If people were unhappy or unsure before the wedding, they will be the same way afterward. I think the problem is that a lot of people don’t work on their relationships so they end up not communicating and unhappy.
Post # 9
I’m going through this right now. For the longest time, I believed in marriage because my parents seemed so happy together even after 27 years of marriage. Well, this past weekend they just dropped the bomb that they’re splitting up. My uncle and his husband are splitting up, my aunt is leaving her long time (~15 years) partner and I learned my other aunt and her partner are on rocky ground. Everything is falling apart and I’m wondering the point is. I can only think of one couple who seems truly happy after 20 or so years of marriage and now I wonder if they are.
I think what is comes down to is are you happy with him right now? I look at FI and I KNOW that I love him and want to be with him. There’s no doubt. Maybe we won’t always be this happy and maybe one day we’ll decide to go our separate ways but I can’t let that stop me from marrying the person I love right now. No one knows what the future holds. If I had known that I was going to end up in a crappy job after college, I still would have gone because I don’t regret those 4 years. They were some of the best times of my life. I have to think of marriage that way too. I don’t know where we’re going to be 20 years from now but I’m looking forward to finding out.
Post # 10
I’m with MissAsB. I also don’t think getting married changes the relationship significantly and I think you have to work on your relationships even when you’ve been married 30 or more years. My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage, but I was relieved for them as they were never truly happy together. FI’s parents have been married for over 50 years, but they’ve always been happy together and have worked to stay that way.
Post # 11
I’m not sure that unhappy couples are unhappy because of the other person in their relationships – things happen beyond your control, or things go badly at work, or someone gets sick, your self esteem is low, etc. etc. When you have someone at home all the time, it could be easy to take that for granted when other things get bad, and that’s where unhappiness comes from. But if you approach your marriage as a living breathing thing on its own that needs to be nurtured, I think that will help things. Good times and bad times ebb and flow, but if you take care to work on your relationship, I think you’ll come out afloat.
Post # 12
I think the other thing is that I refuse to let other people rain on my parade. I’m in love and I want to get married to my fiance in front of my family and friends. I don’t want to let what might happen or what has happened to other influence me.
If I knew for SURE that FI and I would split up in 20 years… I would probably still marry him. There would probably be a lot of good years between now and then and who is to say it’d be easier if we weren’t married? I’m not sure that every person that gets divorced regrets getting married.
Post # 13
Yep, I 100% agree with MissAsB. I don’t think marriage has anything to do with a couple’s happiness, its has to do with the relationship itself. I do think that in marriage however, couples tend to stick it out longer then if they weren’t married, due to the costs of divorce.
Post # 14
I agree that marriage has little to do with a couple’s happiness. If someone is expecting constant happiness, they probably have a lot of growing to do on their own. Marriage is so much more. When we get home at ten at night, we might be grouchy, or have to talk about the bills, or want to be alone with our computer. I don’t think it is about happiness. I think it is about commitment, growing, and changing WITH someone. Good times and bad. It isn’t happy or fun to get home late after a hard day and have to talk about the bills. But it is reality. If you are doubting it, then maybe wait to do it. I think it should be a natural progression, and a lifelong commitment. I also think it is an illusion to think of it as about love. Not that there isn’t love – but there are different kinds of love, it isn’t only and always going to be the same kind of love and I think it is important to understand that. So, why wouldn’t you love someone (in a special way) who you have been with for 60 years? Maybe you just need to be on your own first so you appreciate that person. For us, we appreciate each other enough that we would always see one another though anything. I don’t think marriage ruins things in a mystical way- I think people just do it for the wrong reasons, have unrealistic expectations, and maybe haven’t lived enough themselves before they do it.
I agree with what @Melissabegins says- a relationship is a living thing, and it needs to be tended. If you are commited to keeping it healthy, it can survive.
Post # 15
I am 34 and just getting married, so I don’t really believe in the marriage happiness. What I do believe in is having kids with a supportive person. If you want to have kids, that’s the reason to get married.