(Closed) Does anyone feel like their relationship is judged bc they don't have a ring?

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 46
Member
33 posts
Newbee

Although my husband’s parents and family have been nothing but nice to me for the year and a half that we dated, I immediately felt a different level of closeness and warmth after I had his mothers diamond on my finger. My fiancé was in a relationship for almost 10 years before he met me and I feel grateful that his family reserved the special treatment for his future wife (me) and not for all his past long term girlfriends. 

I knew I was the girlfriend before the engagement but it didn’t bother me as I knew I’d be spending the rest of my life being the dil, sil, aunt, etc. 

Post # 47
Member
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

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Luckyinlove05:  Absolutely perfect example of why there is a difference between the two life/relationship stages and why it should remain that way. 

tofupup:  

 I think your situation was a bit different. You decided NOT to get married (originally) which means that you were in the “final” stage of commitment. So everyone should respect that. But if you had always planned to marry then you wouldn’t be in the “final” stage by both your own definition and everyone else’s (just like the OP, she is expecting an engagement at some point). So if you and the world both agree that there is more to come, you shouldn’t expect to get that “more” before actually getting to that final stage.

Hope that makes sense.

Post # 48
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Yes, yes and yes. We’re now engaged, but had been together for over 5 years prior to that – lived together for over 4 years, completely joint finances, had made each other our pesion beneficiary and completed wills to name the other person.  But before we got the ring some of Mr’s family treated us like we were a casual fly by night thing.

When his brother got married they asked whether they should just put Mr’s name plus one, or whether to specifically use my name as the plus one. 

His brother makes a lot of jokes about giving us relationship advice and marriage advice ‘once we finally understand what it means’ urgh. They got married becuase they wanted the presents, and spent most of the first year of their marriage living with her parents, with her parents making their bed and doing their washing, etc. I can make do without that advice, thanks.

When the brother and wife had a baby his parents asked how it felt to finally be an uncle – ignoring the fact that we have nephews and neices on my side. They just don’t acknowledge that as real family.

It irritates me a bit, and I honestly can’t understand that viewpoint in the modern world from non-religious people. 

I have to say I disagree with other posters who think being married will magically flip a switch and allow access to certain rights and titles. Not being personal, just my own opinion.

Also, any relationship can breakdown at any time. For me the ring doesn’t matter, I put the same love and effort into this relationship now as I will do once we are married. There are countless stories of happy couples living together their whole lives without marriage, as well as stories of those who dont. There are also countless stories of married couples separating after 30 years or more, as well as those who stand the test of time.

Post # 49
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Couldn’t work out how to edit my previous comment.

I was just thinking that the fact I disagree with other posters who think being married will magically flip a switch and allow access to certain rights and titles probably comes from my own family. It’s a mix of married, un-married, siblings, step-siblings, half-siblings etc. It’s more about the love.

Also, I have a friend who’s father left and divorced the mother when he was a baby. Years later she met someone else but took the decision not to get married as she felt she was too old (as if you’re ever too old for love and life and happiness, but whatever). His ‘step-father’ has done everything with him – riding a bike, paying for university, rent. Actually been a father to him for over 20 years by ensuring he’s prepared for the world. But he still calls him by his first name rather than father / step-father. I can never understand that.

Post # 51
Member
73 posts
Worker bee

Yes. 1000 times yes to the being judged. Strangely it’s mostly by my aunts who are all in unhappy marriages. I don’t understand how they can be so judgemental of my relationship when SO and I are clearly, very happy. 

Post # 54
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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ellagrace:  Hopefully it sort of helps just to know there are some others in the same boat, although its a shame I haven’t got a solution for you as I’m still working on it myself!

Like you I’m also not sure my in laws will suddenly warm to me more once I actually become a Mrs… but maybe they will if that’s how they see it?!

I guess it’s a bit different for me in that I’m not specifically eager to get close to them – particularly if their love is conditional and there are rules to be adhered to. Of course it would be nice to be close but I’m easy going (And given the horror stories you hear about in-laws I like to count myself lucky we get along alright / can be civil)

Post # 55
Member
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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ellagrace:  You are not alone!! I feel your frustration. Like you, my Future Mother-In-Law and actually most of his family generally treat me like I’m part of the family. I am in love with them and I know they love me, I am included in family trips, etc. For context, we have been together over 5 years and have been living together for the past year.

Every now and then something will happen that is a painful reminder that I’m not part of the family at this point. The example that sticks out in my head is when SO’s  sister specifically told him “do NOT invite missoptimism” to a weekend family trip…turns out she planned to announce that she was expecting. While I get that she wanted to share the intimate moment with her parents and siblings, it really hurt that she purposefully excluded me from such a happy moment. SO completely understood why it hurt me – I have a small family and no siblings, so my only opportunity to be an aunt is if his siblings have kids. SO mentioned this to her and she said she didn’t even think of it that way and didn’t mean to hurt me. Even though our lives are so intertwined, I’m still just not universally appreciated as part of the family until I have a ring on my finger.

I think the reason these things hurt so much for us waiting gals is we are actively envisioning and planning our future with our SO’s (and their family members that accompany their lives), but it’s not as mutual from the other side without an official title/ring/marriage certificate, etc. I don’t think it means girls like you and me aren’t loved or accepted by our future in-laws, they just don’t know the ins and outs of the relationship and may take it as face value by the “title”. Hang in there, girl!

Post # 57
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

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bitsybee:  I see what you’re saying and agree to a certain extent but…I don’t see what’s so wrong with saying girlfriend instead of friend whether the birds and the bess talk has happened or not. If they are little and curious as to what a grilfriend is, TALK to them about it. Saying uncle’s friend after 4.5 years of dating is insulting in my opinion. She IS his serious girlfriend, and to dumb that down to a child just because they are a child is just silly. And the cooties comment? I hope you’re joking.

And to the OP, I feel for you. If my FI’s family (or some members rather in your case) treated me that way after 4.5 years together I would feel pretty crappy. The institution of marriage is a beautiful thing, but to make people feel that way because they are not married, whether it’s because they arent quite there yet, or they just dont want to get married but they want to be together is just so rediculous and judgy. I hope it gets better for you!

Post # 59
Member
2873 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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Aklove: and 
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ellagrace: I was 100% kidding with my cooties comment and clearly my attempt at injecting humor failed. I can own that I misread the room, as I’ve been supportive of your situation, ellagrace, since participating in this thread. 

However, I do stand by uncle’s friend as the introduction for my kids because that is how things work in my (decidedly not eurocentric / americentric) family. There’s a lot of weirdness around romantic relationships in my family and culture so it’s something we pick our battles on.

For example, my siblings and I weren’t allowed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend until we graduated from college. For other examples, I could go into my brother’s long term girlfriend who swore up and down she’d marry him and he thought they were going to get married, until it turned out she was promised to another man (arranged marriage) or my sister’s 4.5 year boyfriend who we all thought they were going to get married and that I treated like a brother but it didn’t work out.

Family is something super serious in my family, so for every sibling relationship that goes 4.5 years and doesn’t work out is like having a death in the family. My family is also uber-Catholic, to the point of preferring long distance marriage to divorce. 

In terms of kids, we don’t dumb down our talking to kids, but we don’t want to trigger our kids’ curiosity if we can help it. Using the boyfriend / girlfriend word is something that could trigger the birds and the bees discussion before we’re ready. It works for our family because none of my siblings currently have SOs that they’ve introduced to family anyhow. 

I’m sorry if you found it insulting and demeaning, because I’m not insulting or judging you. I’m just sharing what works for us, given my family’s cultural and religious background. Just because it’s what works for us doesn’t mean that it works for you. 

I find it interesting that you’ve latched on to the more colorful parts of my responses, instead of focusing on the positive and supportive parts of my responses. As you’ve stated your position of wanting to wait for the wedding, that you have your FI’s support, and the support of most of FI’s family, all of which is really great! There are many who are engaged or married WITHOUT that level of support, so you are much better off than NOT having that support. Why not focus on deepening your relationship with those who support you, instead of focusing on those who dgaf?

If you look for insults and judgement, you’ll find them where none exist. You sound like an awesome person, which is why I’m sharing my story with you. If you can’t accept that different families are different, your behaviors are insulting and demeaning as well. 

Post # 60
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

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bitsybee:  It was just the way it came across. Thanks for explaining your thoughts further. They are easier for me to understand.

I still feel that it doesnt come across well to the person on the reciveing end, such as OP, and I think her hurt feelings are completely justified..but then again it sounds like you and I came from completely different backgrounds, so I can respect why you feel the way you do. Guess it’s what makes the world go round, right? 🙂

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