Post # 1
I’m on the fence about how I feel on this. My fiance surprised me very romantically when he proposed, I had not even thought it was a near possibility and had only brought up getting married maybe 6-8 months before, where we had a short conversation. I had said “I have loved you for 8 years, and sometimes it makes me sad to introduce you as a boyfriend when I know people won’t take us as seriously” and that was the end of it.
So I’ve been happily planning a wedding and having fun,and we were talking about our officiant and if we were going to try and get a judge to waive our 3 day waiting period for the wedding, and that it might cause disaster when the judge says no and we end up just doing a ceremony that doesn’t mean anything. I then brought up the question of why he was marrying me if it wasn’t a big deal to actually get the paperwork done. The whole conversation was pretty lighthearted, as I was really trying not to turn into a baby for no reason. My fiance said “I love you and I know I’ll always love you. I knew I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life, but I have never wanted to be married. I don’t see the point. We’re getting married because you want a wedding.” I tried to explain that while the actual wedding was going to be fun, it was more about the celebration of us declaring our love to everyone we know and making it official. We also talked about the monetary and legal benefits, but in California we’re already recognized as domestic partners and he’s on my medical benefits, he said he’d write a living will for me if it ever came down to a hard decision that I should make, etc. He said he’s happy to do what I want and that he doesn’t care one way or the other, but that he doesn’t really like marriage (probably due to how many men are screwed over in divorces, etc)
I guess I just want confirmation that it’s okay that he and I feel our own ways. I am starting to feel guilty like maybe what we have is already good enough and that I’m greedy for wanting a piece of paper and a big party to go with it. We’ve been together for over 8 years and I knew that it was finally time to get married, but now I feel like I’m old fashioned and if we truly loved each other we wouldn’t need to do this legally, that we feel it in our hearts and that’s whats important. Anyone else have a similar situation?
Post # 3
Please don’t feel guilty, greedy, or old-fashioned for wanting to be married to your man. Declaring your love and intention to be together for life in front of your family and friends is a very big deal, and IMO, it’s incredibly important. So don’t fee llike you’re making some unreasonable request!
I know that not everyone sees it this way, and that’s fine–so I wouldn’t worry about your guy and his lack of enthusiasm for the wedding. The fact that he’s willing to do it for you shows how much he loves you.
Post # 4
@stillme: And he’s not even unenthusiastic, he even helped me decide on bridesmaid dresses last night! But he is definitely looking at this as more of a party. Getting him to talk about the ceremony is a bit harder. But thank you, I do realize that he must love me a lot to go through all of this just for me and I feel grateful for him. It just stirred up some confused feelings that I hadn’t thought about before. To me, marriage was always on the table, I was just willing to wait for whenever he wanted to do this with me 🙂
Post # 5
Oh hun, I am so sorry. You aren’t doing anything wrong by wanting to get married. To you, that’s a way of committing yourself to the man you love, and that’s okay.
Sounds like you had a romantic proposal that your fiance put a lot of thought into. And he did that because he loves you and knows it’s important to you. That’s pretty great. His views on marriage don’t make him any less commited to or in love with you—so try not to fret!
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School
I think that your fiance will be pleasantly surprised by the meaning of the ceremony, once he actually experiences it himself. It sucks that he feels how he does but it sounds like you are both ok with differing opinions, so I don’t think you should worry about it!
But my hunch is that when he looks back on the wedding, he’ll be happy that he did it…
Post # 7
I don’t know that I would marry someone who only wanted to get married because I wanted a wedding. I see that as a red flag and a big problem down the road….I don’t think either of you are in the wrong, but I do think that not matching up on your goals is a really big deal. Have you tried discussing the other benefits of marriage with him? I feel like so many people get hung up on “marriage as a way to validate a relationship” (which it should not be, and is kind of pointless in and of itself), and forget about all the legal benefits bestowed (the really important stuff to me, and what separates marriage from just living together in a committed way for the rest of our lives).
Post # 8
i think more men than would carry to admit it feel this way. if he loves you and wants to spend the rest of his life with you, then i wouldn’t worry.
Post # 9
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to marry the man you love and marriage is not just about a ‘piece of paper and party’. I’d be completely disappointed as well in this situation.
While some of his points seems valid the whole point is that he needs to have faith that you are not trying to screw him over – and after 8 years it should seem obvious! I just dont understand where this whole ‘men not wanting to get married’ thing came from but I think it may have something to do with not wanting to be domesticated.
Post # 10
I second what trailmix says! I had the same conversation with DH during the course of our engagement and got pretty much the same answer – that we were getting married because I wanted to be married, but he was happy with how things were and he loved me but he was doing it because it was important for me to have a wedding. Turns out that on the actual day when it hit him that we were actually getting married he realized just how important that step in our relationship was.
Don’t feel selfish, and don’t be upset that he thinks it’s just cause you want a wedding – he just doesn’t get it yet. And if he’s helping you with decisions that’s great – because he knows that it’s important to you.
Post # 11
@littlemissmoo: I think you’re both very right. I’ve been trying to start crafting our ceremony words, and he gets all manly about it and thinks some things are cheesy. But I’ve read so many bee’s blogs about how their husband said they would never cry and they did! I have a feeling that’s how it will be with us too.
I don’t see this as a red flag, I think that my fiance was just happy the way things were. We’ve already been through so much of our lives together, moving, gradutations, jobs, that it already felt real to him and he didn’t need any validation. I don’t think this marriage will change us, so honestly I’m not sure what will be so different about being married vs. living together forever.
Post # 12
It sounds like he does want to be with you, he just doesn’t see how being married grants him any benefits above and beyond what you have as domestic partners.
This is totally a misconception on this part – you will not be recognized as legal partners across state lines, or with the federal government. Sure, some jobs will let you you share health insurance that way, but not all.
I’m pretty skeptical of the whole marriage thing myself… I am probably just a grouchy free spirit on this stuff, but I find it weird and annoying that we’re expected to pair off two by two in opposite-gender pairs. BUT there are very real benefits, financial, legal, and societal, to being legally married. THIS is why same sex couples are fighting for those rights… domestic partnership is pretty robust in California, but it’s not the same.
Post # 13
- Wedding: December 2010 - Al Cielo / La Laguna
I understand where your FI is coming from. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mr. M. to death but getting married was never really a priority for me. We had the house and our dogs and I was perfectly content. I am SUPER practical and didn’t really see much difference other than a piece of paper and a couple rings. Mr. M. though is VERY traditional and he wanted to get married. Your right I saw this as a big party centered around us and I was happy to do this for Mr. M.
Now that the wedding is just a couple months away *gulp* it is really hitting me. This is us declaring to the world that we are team. IT IS HUGE! I think as you get along in your planning your FI will come to the same realization I did of how much this means. I am now excited on so many levels for so many reasons I can’t name them all. 😉
Post # 14
Youre FI sounds like he loves you a lot and still wants to commit to you forever. He seems to understand what a big deal FOREVER is. I know it can be disapointing that he says its not a big deal but he still wants to marry you. Guys just arnt that into weddings. I thought my FI would be on board planning the wedding but he really really doesnt care. Its just a guy thing.
Post # 15
My FH and I aren’t always on the same page about what marrige means, either. In fact, he told me that he doesn’t expect the ceremony/”piece of paper” to change anything about our relationship other than legal protections, next of kin, etc. But emotionally, he’s already 100% invested in me, and I in him – he wasn’t waiting for marriage to be fully committed, if that makes sense. He also didn’t like the “cheesier” aspects of some wedding ceremonies, but we managed to create a ceremony that we’re both happy with.
I can totally see why your feelings would be hurt with his comments, but I think in this case, his actions speak louder than words – he’s enthusiastic about the party, he’s helping you make decisions, etc. Also, he loves you and wants to be with you for the rest of his life, which is kind of the definition of marriage.
Also, I really think some guys just don’t “get it” – for men, there’s really no social stigma attached to having a long-term girlfriend that they don’t marry. Women who are in long-term relationships that are not marriage are sometimes judged by married women, and that sucks. Also, for all the talk about men getting “screwed” by divorce, women are usually the ones that end up in poverty or with a lower standard of living because of divorce. So sometimes the legal protections of marriage *are* more important to women.
Anyway, it sounds to me like you have a good man. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. And, like you say, he may be surprised by the emotion of your ceremony, who knows.
Post # 16
@Entangled: I did bring those things up (the state lines bit specifically) and he did agree with those reasons. We’re not entirely educated on the subject of all that legal marriage gives us, I’m going to have to take some time (what time!? lol) and read into it a bit more.
Thank you guys for seeing this the same way. I didn’t think it should be a big deal, but I was still confused by it. I know now that we love each other and that’s what matters, but now we get to share that love with everyone on our wedding day! And he will so cry 😀