Post # 1
Let me just preface this with – this is not meant to offend people who got out of a terrible marriage via divorce. I am not against divorce, I am against those who do not take the institution of marriage seriously – I’m having a rough day today.
I’ve been doing really good about the whole “pressure” thing for the last year, at least I think so, ever since we discussed a timeline. But I just can’t help but think that all of the crumbling marriages around me is delaying my engagement. When we had our BIG talk, he brought up that what we had was so good, why would I want to change it? He’s scared that when we get married something will happen, or we’ll fail… and honestly with the current divorce rate hovering around 50% and pretty much everyone I know having a divorce in their past, present, or future, how can I argue that fear?
Both my SO and I come from separated parents, several of our friends who have married young have crappy/ending marriages, I just found out about my old boss’ (I was promoted) husband gave her a “Dear John” letter and left her for his pregnant girlfriend, and now my coworker besty just told me about his wife filing for divorce because he’s having an emotional affair while she’s off having physical affairs. Does anybody have a happy marriage anymore??!
Seriously? Thank you…
I can’t help but be angry and blame people who don’t take marriage seriously, or take it too seriously (I can’t leave because we’re married even though he’s verbally and emotionally abusive), and ruining it for me.
Anybody else ever feel like this?
Post # 3
Yeah, sometimes. He’s even told me we gotta take our time so as to not get divorced like others he and I know. It’s irritating sometimes, especially when we’ve been dating for 2yrs at our ages. It’s not like we’re kids just running off and doing things they see adults do with no lan for the future. Argh.
Post # 4
Yes. In my case I harbor a lot of blame for my own parents – Dad’s on wife #3, whom I cold swear he married for her credit rating, and he proudly disonwned his sons from his first marraige, and then me from the 2nd. I’m also frustrated with SO’s parents and THEIR marraige, which while it’s lasted over 30 years, has its own issues of who’s dominat, when and why – it was not a healthy environment for him because his mom (partly the fault of his dad) has a lot of animosity towards men, and she had no problems letting her sons hear her feelings about how incompetent men can be. So, I have no super-positive role models in my family, and he sees his mom dominate his dad as a way to get back at the dad for being too overbearing early in the marriage. Sigh. He’s told me he figures I’ll want to leave him eventually anyway – “all women are like that” so he doesn’t see the point in marriage at times.
That said, I can attest to the fact that many people we know who have gotten married during the very long time we have been dating are still together, and as far as I can see, are happy enough to make it through pretty big problems – one couple that almost divroced 1.5 years in is now very happily exepcting a baby. Others are are kid #2 and seem to enjoy parenting. Still others have made it past their 10th anniversaries, so I can see the good examples, too.
TV, movies, even books and popular culture are working at odds with the mindsets needed for a happy marraige. Men are being told marraige to the “old ball and chain” is “game over”. Women are being told to man-hop looking for the biggest ring. Reality TV shows the most shallow, ugly people sleeping around on each other, then professing to want a ‘real’ relationship. People have forgotten that part of love is sacrifice – on both sides. People have forgotten that a real marraige is WORK. No matter how much in love you are, you WILL get tired of his socks being on the floor, ad he’ll get tired of your make up cluttering up the bathroom. Real, long-lasting love between adults can get past things like that, bad in-laws and even horrible things like affairs – IF both parties work at it. I’m so sick of movies and TV shows that glamorize affairs and casual ‘hook-ups’ and then have the characters mourning their lack of stability in their lives. Hook-up culture does not mesh at all with managomous relationships that lead to marriage. (steps off soap box)
Yes – I agree that so many bad examples of married life, from sitcoms to immature colleagues and friends can make the modern man even more marraige shy than his predecessors.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
It’s a legitimate fear to be sure, but fear of failure really isn’t a good reason not to do something. If we held back every time we were afraid to fail, we would get nowhere in life, and try nothing new. The best things we can do for ourselves are those that scare us, because they help us grow. And ultimately failure is always a learning experience, for better or worse. Is he just not a risk-taker at all? Can you think of other risks he has taken in his personal life, education, or business that have paid off but could have resulted in failure? Or some failures that ultimately resulted in better successes? Helping him to see that paralysis caused by fear of failure isn’t a solution might help move things along. 🙂
Post # 6
OMG yes your are not alone. I definitely fear those statistics ALL the time. My mom was only married once when I was little and his mom was never married. And still they are both single women. Our grandparents on the other hand (mine and SO) have stayed together. Mine 30yrs and his 55years. So we do see that but only in older couples. All of the people our age or close to our age as you said have crappy marriages and/or have gone through a divorce. It sucks and it’s very frightening to actually want to take the plunge! I think that’s part of the reason I’m still waiting because SO’s bad decisions or witness of bad decisions in his past when it comes to relationships. Although its not fair. And as scary as “marriage” is I still want it. The picture perfect marriage as I have it in my head. I know it will be hard and I know it will take some work and dedication but I’m up for the challenge. I couldn’t see myself in and out of relationships for the rest of my life or just living has boyfriend/girlfriend forever. It’s just not me (no offense to anyone). But for me and my SO after almost 4 years together I think it’s time for him to sh!t or get off the pot. If everyone jumped off the bridge would you? My answer: hell no I’ll be here chilling and enjoying life all by my lonesome. So that’s how I see it when it comes to getting married. Don’t let everyone else’s failure dictate your future or your happiness. I’m definitely not. I honestly can’t name ONE “happily” married couple that I know personally. Even SO’s grandparents who been married for 55 years had a “rough patch” he left for 8 years (that’s a LONG time) but came back and they’ve been together ever since.
At the end of the day everything is a statistic and we can’t get caught up in that. Whether it’s hitting the lottery, obtaining a degree, getting a particular job, having a healthy baby. There are odds for it all. You just have to make the best of what you have and plan to play the hand that you are dealt.
Post # 7
I’m thread-jacking a bit but I can send a shout out to SO’s ex-wife, the B**** that begged my SO to marry her and once he did, decided that she didn’t want him anymore after having his child 2 years after they were married. SHE is delaying my engagement.
Damn, that felt good. While I’m happy that she let him go so I could find him and appreciate the amazing man he is, if she didn’t F him like this, he might not be as skiddish now.
Post # 8
aww it’s tough when you see so much failure all around you. well let me comment from my experience. My husband and I just got married last June, one of the last of a 5 year long string of weddings within our circle of friends. Our parents are still happily married, as are many of the marriages in our families. Our friends are all still happily married with the random exception. There’s only been 1 divorce (out of almost 30 weddings), it was one of the first weddings and lasted 5 years. But there were issues there that were not getting resolved and that is the fault of the specific couple. Of course, others haven’t been married long enough to judge 100%, but they are all going strong and happy. To me, whether a marriage lasts or not is in the hands of the couple themselves. No matter what’s going on around you, if you don’t openly and honestly communicate, learn to compromise, or trust each other then you’re in a recipe for failure. So if your relationship is good now, why should it change because you get married? It should only strengthen!
Post # 10
I certainly wonder how much my bf’s parent’s failed marriage (dad abused mom, she left when he started in on kids) contributes to his delay, but I think it’s more his general “avoid change” personality.
I’d say first compare apples to apples. If he is looking at how many marriages fail, maybe you should look up statistics on how many long-term relationships fail. Not being married is no guarantee of stablity/happiness anymore than being married is a guarantee. (And long-term is more fair a measure than just any non-marriage relationship.)
As for practical, non-emotional reasons to change your status:
-Inheritance laws favor married couples (no estate tax)
-Social Security benefits
-Family leave to care for ill spouse
-Certain protections when old to live together in nursing home and for family home when in nursing home
Just look up gay rights/benefits debate and you find all of these 🙂
Post # 11
@phoenix718: that’s kind of what happened to my poor friend who got divorved! they were together 5 years, she had his baby, and decided to resent him for not changing the way she wanted him to. because god forbid she should love him and accept him for who he WAS, which was a good father and great guy. but not the kind of great guy she wanted, i guess. it was horrible, and this is the second time she’s done this, she has a 12 yr old from a previous relationship who our friend adopted and is now pretty much her dad. that will never change because he’s a good guy. and now the baby stuck in the middle, it’s so sad.
Post # 12
Oh I also meant to add that having a great example of my parents (still happily married, we are planning their 40th year anniversary family vacation next year) actually made me nervous about marriage – fear of failing to live up to that great example. (Yes, they are still disgustingly cute in their little habits of holding hands and such.) So it can work both ways. And to be fair…it was a legitimate fear with my previous exs. This is the first I’ve actually wanted to get married to and felt “ready” to be engaged.
Post # 13
I see what you mean. It can be frustrating when one uses the excuse of the divorce rate or so-and-so’s cheating on so-and-so as a means not to marry. It is easier to focus on the negative because that is what is more sensational these days, to look around and compare to others couples and gawk at the horror. However, none of those other couples are going to be standing in your bedroom at 2am when you are being passionate with your SO (or if they are, that’d be either very weird or kinky LOL), or when you are working out an argument together. So in truth, whether they sink or swim is up to the couple and only that couple. I think it is a wise wake-up call, certainly, to pay attention to the divorce rate and what others go through so that you can form your own standards and red flags you may very well encounter, but to bank totally on the failed marriages is canceling out the 50% or so that *do* succeed. Lasting, healthy marriages *are* out there, it just takes a more balanced eye to see they exist.
Do what you can as a couple to lessen the noise and focus on each other. We must be accountable for our own relationships in this way.
So. Which perspective shall it be? The perspective that we will fail, or the perspective that we will overcome?
Post # 14
My parents have been (as far as i can tell) very happily married for 38 years this year! my Husbands parents will hit 30 in August!
i hope that is some inspiration for you 🙂 i always thought maybe it would give my husband and I a “good shot” at growing old and gray together, having grown up seeing what a happy marriage is. I think it did have some affect on us both but in the end WE have to be the ones to make it work, we werent born with the “our marriage is going to last forever because our parents did” gene. We have to both want it and strive for it everyday.
I havent been married but 2 months so i’m still in the lovey dovey stage but i know we will hit lulls, rough patches, have arguments, possible financial struggles, KIDS! but in the end we want it all together and we both knew and voiced our need to want to get only married once and what marriage really means to us – you have to have common goals and wants and put forth the effort to do it together. No one said marriage is easy, but with love, support, good communication and the WANT to make it your marriage the best thing it can be everyday then you can have a long and happy marriage too.
BTW im pretty sure the 50% divorce rate is false – those stats are based on a single year. lets say there were 2.4 million marriages last year and there were 1 million divorces – that looks abour 50 percent right? but that doesnt take into account for the people who stayed married that year…see what im saying? ill have to find some credentials on that but i dont like to hear anyone has a 50% chance at their marriage.
Now about your FI – he needs to be mature enough to realize that just because everyone else is doing it doesnt mean you have to 🙂 learned that as kids right? i always want to prove people wrong so bring on those 50 years of happy marriage.
**i actually did a poll the other day, check it out
Post # 15
@totheislnds: The 50% divorce rate usually refers to the chance for a marriage to last a certain length of time such as 25 or 40 years. The yearly divorce rate is much lower. 3.6 per 1000 people in 2005, which is a drop from prior years (but so did the marriage rate drop, as tends to happen in recessions). http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsUS.shtml
Post # 16
Here’s a better link to statistics (click on the articles for information): http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/mardiv.htm