Post # 1
Just head over to Waiting board and you see woman after woman writing posts about wanting to marry, waiting to marry, and scrutinizing trips, comments and behaviors in anticipation of a proposal.
I have friends like this. I had feelings like this at one point (fleeting and not very strong, but still came around nonetheless). I know lots of colleagues, family members, acquantances, etc. like this too.
So…heres the odd trend. Those same friends, family members, coworkers, etc. desperate to marry end up being terribly unhappy in the relationship once married. Almost all of my close friends who married men they’ve dated years and years mention divorce in the first year…and the feelings seem to persist at time goes by.
I know this is not everyone, I’ve just noticed the trend in my circles. I wonder if we are putting unrealistic expecations on what marriage achieves in our relationship and are terribly disappointed when it does not magically become perfect.. We have tunnel vision to the goal of marriage which makes a relationship function (maybe not great, but go) for 5, 10 years, but once marriage is achived, either having children becomes the new ‘obsession’ or the marriage disintegrates. Marriage has become this huge thing with a life of it’s own attached with certain expectations and roles. From what I’ve seen, marriage doesn’t make things easier, they get harder. So it doesn’t make sense.I wish we as women could get over this big hump that is idiolizing marriage and be happy with our relationship and where they go. But I realize it is a symbol of power and status for us so it affects us differently than men. My feminist self screams at this though! I also hate how it changes us women into typically confident, strong, and happy into desperate, unhappy, don’t-take-control-of-your destiny women. Like I said, I fell into this too and I’m not proud of that. I think it does us and women as a whole a disservice. It also hurts our marriage’s chance of survival because we go into it with such high expectations.
Do you get where I’m coming from? Have you noticed this as well?
Post # 3
I think a lot of women want the “hollywood” relationship. The wild, passionate romance, the dramatic over-the-top proposal, the absolutely perfect white picket fence house and the life that is like Leave it to Beaver.
Reality is a cold, harsh mistress that doesn’t give a shit about what you want or how you feel. Life isn’t hollywood and lives, loves, relationships and families aren’t like that, and thus the disappointment. They feel if they aren’t getting “the hollywood experience” they’re doing something wrong or they’re not getting what they want/are entitled to/deserve/etc.
Post # 4
@Skittles131: I get where you’re coming from. 🙂 The people in my circle, though, have all been married 5+ years and are doing totally fine. I do think, however, the wedding industrial complex puts a lot of emphasis on the wedding itself and I think that a lot of times women are in love with the idea of the wedding and marriage as opposed to being in love with the marriage itself, wedding be damned.
I bugged my FI a lot over his proposal because he literally dangled it in my face like a carrot for a long time because it amused him how agitated I would get, lol. And I fantasized about the perfect Pinterest wedding and all of that. However, as things have progressed, I care less and less about the stupid wedding while growing to care more and more about making sure our relationship continues to grow and thrive and all the little kinks (communication hiccups, etc) get worked out so we head into this committment on the right track with the right priorities. I am to the point where I just want the wedding to be over with so I can be married to my best friend forever, lol.
I hope that makes sense? I feel like I just rambled a bit..
Post # 5
I’m waiting for the marriage, not the wedding.
ETA: I shun hollywood, and and I want a simple, meaningful wedding to mark the start of a lifeling committment. I want the simplest ring. I’m not waiting for that ring, I’m wating for the next chapter of our journey together to start.
Post # 6
Totally agree. I will admit too I was totally obsessed with getting engaged before it happened, and got a little too emotional and caught up in the whole thing. However I had been with FI for 5 years at the time and we talked about getting engaged and getting married often and last year FI said we would be engaged before our anniversary then bought the ring a few months later and made me wait in torture for a few more months. Flash forward to now after I started wedding planning nd seeing how much it cost to have a wedding I honestly don’t care anymore. I am dragging out the engagement for 3 years. I have my FI and he wants to spend his life with me and quite honestly that is all that matters. I could now care less if we ever get married, because being married changed nothing other than our marital status. We still love each other and we are still the same people and we will still have the same relationship.
I know some people who broke up with their boyfriends because they didn’t propose to them within the proper timeline that they felt was acceptable. They ruined a great relationship all because they felt that being married would change things. I feel sorry for these girls who think that in order for your relationship to keep working you need to get engaged and married. I understand it is easy to get wedding crazy especially with all these addictive wedding shows and pinterest and whatnot. I mean I have been there myself, obsessed with the idea of a fantasy wedding and the whole planning and what not.
Post # 7
@Skittles131: I think some people want what seems unobtainable or out of reach. Maybe it provides a “safe” distance for them, then once they have it they no longer want it. There are other people who seem to be unhappy, no matter what they have or don’t have.
Post # 8
It’s not something I’ve particularly noticed. In my circle, you date for a few years and then you start thinking about marriage and what you want from the relationship… for example, children etc. Eventually, some of the women will say “look mate, I can’t wait forever if you aren’t in this for the long term, so either **** or get off the pot”.
I don’t think many of my friends want a Hollywood relationship, and that’s why they are happy enough once married. They just don’t want to waste their time on someone who doesn’t want the same thing now that they are approaching 30 (or older!) and ready to settle down.
I suspect that what you are describing, OP, is the type of thing that young and impetuous people do when they are still naive and idealistic. When you get old and haggard like me, you reassess your expectations!
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat
It’s definitely a trend. It’s our generation, really. We want it all, and we want it all now. We want the big house, the 3 kids, the great career, AND a husband who willingly does the dishes. It makes me sad when I see people in a relationship for a year or two start pushing for marriage and children.It’s like they are forgetting about the present and about the relationship as a whole in lieu of getting to the next step. In some cases, they are suffocating that relationship.
I’ll admit, I was dying to get engaged after five years, but it was never about the perfect hollywood proposal, a big rock, or a fancy wedding. Up until the day of the wedding, I wanted to elope lol. I am sure glad we had our wedding because it ended up being an amazing day/weekend, but that wasn’t the end goal.
Would I be with my husband if he hadn’t chosen to marry me? No, because my values dictate that marriage is a very important thing, and if he hadn’t felt the same way or understood that, it would have meant that we weren’t right for each other. You can only force things or push so hard before something breaks. By waiting until we were both completely ready, we’ve got a rock solid foundation for the rest of our lives, and it was worth the angst and the stress.
Post # 10
I definitely hear you, I am a ‘waiter’ lol and my favorite thing that my bf ever said to me one time when he caught me all upset and impatient after a day of “ohhh well when are you getting married?” and thoughts of “If he hasn’t asked by now he’s not going to” running thru my head, was that we’ve been together 5 years now, he loves me and there is no reason to marry someone you think has the potential to dick you around for that long and then dump you or throw a ring on your finger to shut you up. He was like we’ve been thru so much together, things we weren’t sure if we’d get thru, crap jobs & being poor, death of a sibling, moving in together (which was SO MUCH HARDER than I thought it would be), fights that we thought we wouldn’t ever cool off from, and we’re still here 5+ years later and when we DO get married we’re going to have all of that nonsense out of the way and we will ALREADY know how to get thru any obstacles that may show up in our marriage b/c we’ve done it, we know each other & love each other and all the people you’re upset about getting married after 2 years might not even be together anymore. It made me feel better than ANYTHING else he’s ever said about it. He also threw in the “could you imagine if we got married after 2 years?” I had to laugh at this because our 3rd year together was our worst, the hardest time in our relationship by far and if it was my first year being married, I dunno wtf would have happened lol.
Needless to say it’s really easy to get caught up, especially when I’m getting outside pressure from EVERYONE. After the above counseling sesh from SO haha I was able to put some things into perspective and it made it a lot easier to remember that marriage isn’t everything, it’s important to make sure the foundation of your relationship is strong enough before taking that step.
Post # 11
@Skittles131: I think part of this is being caused by the wedding industry to be honest. In my experience marriage didn’t change anything about my life except my last name. What a lot of these ladies are waiting for is the wedding, not necessarily the marriage. I don’t mean to accuse anyone of being shallow but I think if a lot of ladies were guaranteed a ringless proposal and a JOP ceremony in advance they wouldn’t be as eager to get married. Some people are just totally focused on being “Princess For A Day”.
Post # 12
I do think some women focus too much on the wedding instead of on the relationship. Like a pp said, they want the Hollywood moment – they assume that after that the “happilly ever after” automatically follows. But life’s not like that.
I’d been with my FI for a long time and I had a pretty good idea that a proposal was coming. But I forbade myself from assuming it was coming because I knew that if I did then I’d be disappointed if it didn’t happen, maybe even to the point of flipping out at my FI. Which would be very unfair because our relationship was as strong as ever, and really marriage is just the icing on the cake. It’s nice, but if it never happened I’d be ok because I am very happy with FI regardless.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat
@Car7yn44: I can relate! I know we would have made it through, but year 3 for us was a toughie. It’s pretty amazing to be married to the one person who loves and understands you best, and completely worth the wait.
@Aquaria: It took me almost the whole wedding day to get used to the special treatment. I allowed myself to enjoy it and used my “bride power” to get people out on the dance floor 🙂 Princess for a day? No thanks!
Post # 14
@sherryberry: Lol! I am terrified of everyone looking at me. I had my bridal shower last weekend and it was the most horribly awkward experience of my life. I have felt better giving presentations in front of college classes than I did having all my aunts stare at me opening their gifts last week. O_O
I started out with the fantasy of being so beautiful and stuff for a day, but as I started to plan my priorities shifted and I realized what it was all about. If the damn thing wasn’t so far along in the process, I’d elope.
Post # 15
@Skittles131: I think the girls that I’ve seen at least that obsess over a ring or the wedding don’t feel they are getting the level of commitment they want from their SO and that seems to make the difference in how they view the wedding. When I got married, the wedding was the celebration of what we were already doing so while it held a great deal of meaning, it was just a big party to celebrate us more than it was the pure meaning of my husband’s commitment to me. We knew we were in it for the long haul and we didn’t need a ring or a ceremony to prove that. Hell my husband hardly ever wears his ring but thats completely ok with me (although I do tease him why he bought the thing in the first place if he wasn’t going to wear it!)
Where I see major issues in marriages is more with KIDS than I do with the wedding in my circles. I actually had one friend who was having marital problems insist that the reason they were having problems was because her husband wanted a boy so she was trying to get pregnant. I stil don’t know where she came up with this logic since her reasoning for that was that he “wasn’t interested” in their daughter and thats why he never spent time with them or wanted to do anything with them. Yet somehow another child was going to fix all of that. A kid is not a bandaid for a rocky relationship, and yet I see that more than I see marriage as the fixating point.
Post # 16
I don’t have anything to add just yet but really want to follow this thread.