Post # 1
My pre-wedding jitters are back after I worked so hard by talking with my FI and a therapist. But, after this weekend, when I flew to my bridal shower and bachelorette, they’re back. I think they are back because two of my friends are going through really rough times in their marriages – one is getting divorced. No one bothered to stop them from going on and on about how unhappy they are in marriage and how they’re cheating on their husbands.
I have no doubt that my FI is committed to me and that I’m in love with my FI. However, my life was pretty darn good as a single girl. A part of me feels that if I didn’t want to have children that I would not get married. That I would be happy just dating him and living with him.
I feel like at 34 that I’ve been on my own and independent for so long that I’m going to lose some of that feeling. I love my FI and he’s the one I want to be with for the rest of my life but it’s scary to know that there is no guarantee.
Sorry, I guess I just need to vent and know that I’m not alone with my feelings. Maybe I need a little sympathy too – I’m pretty pissed that my friends decided to use “my” day as one to bitch about their marriages.
Post # 3
I think this is normal! I’m 33 and will be 34 shortly after the wedding – and I totally understand about being nostalgiac about the single girl life. I loved having my own place and being able to do whatever I wanted! But I also remember being lonely and having sad weekends where everyone was busy but me. I’m so grateful for my FI and I honestly can’t imagine what I would do without him now.
I have a theory that getting married in your 30’s is much scarier than getting married in your 20’s. In my 20’s, I had on the rose-colored glasses, where all I could see was the picket fence and 2.5 kids. Now I’ve seen marriages of my friends crumble and the toll kids take on a couple and it’s scary-real. (No offense to girls in their 20’s! This is my own personal experience.)
I’m angry that your friends would discuss their failing marriages during your bridal celebrations! I’m guessing that your wedding is probably making them feel worse, and they’re trying to bring you down with them. Crappy.
So just know you are not the only one who feels this way! I’m sure you will have a very happy marriage. 🙂
Post # 4
I also think this is normal! It’s scary out there, and with so many people giving negative vibes about marriage (your two friends being perfect examples), it’s hard to be 100% sure your marriage will be one of those that makes it until the end!
With that said, not much changes after you’re married except the fact that you now have a piece of paper that says you’re married, and you have better tax breaks! I know that’s over-simplifying it, but if you’re ok with not getting married and just being with your boyfriend for the rest of your life, it’s really not much different to be married and be with your husband for the rest of your life. You’re both committed and wouldn’t cheat on each other in either situation, and your love doesn’t change for one another with or without that piece of paper, so try not to stress about it.
I get so angry at the naysayers! I recently had a vendor who also happened to be a recent divorcee for the second time try to rain on my parade. She went on and on about how I shouldn’t have done it and all men are scummy babies who just use women to be their maids and cooks. I kept my composure, but I so wanted to rip into her about how marriage is a partnership, how on most nights, I come home and my husband has dinner waiting for me b/c he gets out of work 2 1/2 hours earlier than I do…and that there ARE people with very happy marriages out there! Jerk! There are always going to be people who try to talk you out of it or who have awful experiences. That doesn’t mean that you have to turn into one of those people someday!
Just keep telling yourself that you’re throwing a big party to celebrate your relationship! That’s essentially what it is…you just get a piece of paper that says you get discounts on your taxes and car insurance :o)
Post # 5
I happened to read your post, happen to be in my 20s haven’t lead an ‘extensive’ single girl life and couldn’t really relate and moved on. I was skimming over recent posts on A Practical Wedding and was reading about saying “til death do us part” when in fact the divorce rate is so high. I wanted to share a readers response and I apologize if this is some type of blog copy write issue (I don’t blog so I’m not sure of etiquette) but here is the original post.
“I love how this relates back to the last post on readings and the Craig Arnold poem, which I love and wish we had used. It is in this “til death do we part” bit that marriage becomes about death. It becomes about facing the worst with each other whatever that may be. Marriage is not all wonderful stuff like vacations and cooking together–if it were, we may not have to get married in the first place. Perhaps, we get married so we know we have someone to back us up during the difficult stuff–the deaths, the unemployments, the taking care of young kids. It easy to stand by someone during the good times, it is the promising to stand by someone in the bad times that really makes the vows and the ceremony meaningful and so emotionally intense.”
I think what you know deep down is that you’re entering into marriage in order to go through the good and the bad with your fiance. You’ll need to communicate if you want more independence but I found this response particularly moving as to the meaning of marriage.
Post # 6
Wow – it’s so comforting to read your post. I totally understand how you are feeling. I’m 35 and have been going through those same feelings. FI and I don’t want kids and it’s not so much the losing the single life I’m concerned about – but the unknowns of what will ‘change’ with our relationship.
I’m so sorry that your friends vented their bad marriage stories to you …
The think I try to keep reminding myself of – is that at our age – we know from our friends experiences that marriage is not easy and it takes a lot of work and intentional behavior and attitudes. As long as we are both committed to that – we are on the right path.
I don’t really take the being scared feelings as a bad thing, personally – but more of a realization of how big of a step we are making.
How long have you been with your FI?
Post # 7
I also think it’s normal to have these thoughts and feelings. I’m 29 and some of my friends and acquaintances who got married earlier in their 20’s are starting to get divorced (I do realize that in some situations divorce is the right choice and the best option). It can be bittersweet at wedding related functions to have that undertone of folks deeply questioning their own marriges and it has made me think about what I’m committing too and what marriage means today in a society with a 49-51% divorce rate and what marriage means to me. I don’t think those are wrong things to consider, and I think it has taken my fiance and me this long to take the next step to marriage because of all those real world situations but I know in my heart and mind that I am making a life-long commitment to my fiance as he is to me. I think you just have to look to the examples of people who do have strong, long-lasting marriages and allow that to become your personal norm.
Post # 8
Oh my god — it’s as if I wrote this. I am 34 and am getting married in one month. Last week I had a sobbing, crying meltdown (to be fair, I had a ruptured ovarian cyst, and my obgyn put me on hormones LOL). But seriously, it is totally, totally scary when you are a sexy, fun, independent girl and you are getting married.
I started doing all kinds of crazy things, from counting his drinks to canceling a trip with his family because I am afraid I will freak out on them at the beach and he won’t want to marry me.
I am scared of the same things, that my FI will stop loving me, or won’t find me desirable (I’m hot but he’s six years younger, and I won’t be able to compete with models and cute bartenders at 44, right?).
I’ve been talking to a therapist and as many married friends as I can. The bottom line is that I love my man. Nothing in this life is certain. And yeah, if I could do it all over again, maybe I would have asked my parents to not spend $40,000 and just do a small beach ceremony.
But I have to have faith that everything will work out. What’s life for if not to take some risks?
Post # 9
I’m sorry they didn’t have enough discretion to be quiet. I’m going to tell you this and hope that it helps:
My mom got a divorce a few months ago, and so did my pastor. Around the same time, my fiance proposed to me. I even told him NOT TO. I was so scared about marriage because it seems like most marriages fail. I told my fiance and I just had such a hard time thinking about marriage if it was something that risky…you know? When he proposed I was shocked. I just nodded. And then I told him I was scared. You know what he told me? He said “Danielle. I’m scared too. But let’s be scared together. Whatever we do, let’s do it together” And dI just felt relieved and full of peace after that.
I don’t know if our marriage will last forever. I hope it does. I have no guarantee that he will live tomorrow or if we can work everything out. BUT, I’m committed to try. Think about if you are willing to do it afraid. If you are, which I think you are (since you are engaged and making steps towards marriage, counseling etc), then do it. Don’t live in fear if you are in love and if you know it’s the right choice.
I think feeling like we are no longer “free” and losing our independece is normal. But, they’re just feelings. If you really love this man, I’m sure when you’re married you can still be yourself 🙂 Good luck.
Post # 10
Don’t know if you are a religious person, but I think this has truth no matter who you are:
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
They use this as a reading during ceremonies sometimes too, reading it always encourages me.
Post # 11
I think it’s pretty normal and I think your friends are very thoughtless to have talked about those things at your celebrations! I can’t imagine what is going through their minds. A book I found very helpful was “The Conscious Bride”, it is good at explaining the transitions of engagement and marriage. Good luck!
Post # 12
I am sorry that your friends used your time to feed the monster of themselves! People can be so thoughtless. I understand how you feel and I appreciate your post. I can really relate.
I think you are the better off by approaching your marriage with such honesty and insight. Like lilybay said- no rose colored glasses- and I think that is a good thing. But, like 2Peas said- marriage isn’t any different than what you already have going, so you don’t have to think of it as any different. I admire your independence, you can keep it. I think of it as a very good thing.
Don’t feel like your marriage will be like your friend’s marriages- they sound like negative people.
I am only 26, but I have had a butt-load of life experience and have been completely on my own since I was 14 (had my own house, lived alone, then off to college 2000 miles away). My mother was married 4 times, so I never had any rose colored glasses or rosy feelings in general where marriage is concerned. I never thought I would get married. Sometimes I miss being “out there” in the world, feeling possibility. Having to compromise what I want with what FI wants. But for me, the stability he provides is worth it. What makes it work is that he lets me do what I want, he trusts me.
I am sure you can maintain your independence, your marriage license doesn’t have to change that, and I am sure you will keep your good relationship going.
Post # 13
I took “time off” from Wedding Bee – I’m in grad school and had classes yesterday – and am just now reading your messages back to me. I’m a little teary because it is comforting to know that you, complete strangers, understood me in my moment of need. Thank you, thank you.
I’m feeling much better today and am very much looking forward to my wedding day (24 days)! I know that there are no gaurantees in life or in love but will enjoy every moment!
I wish you all love, luck and happiness!
Post # 14
@1littlep: Yay!!!! Good to hear. So happy for you.