(Closed) “Getting Engaged Will Change Everything”

posted 7 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2006

I’m not in a similar situation, but lordy I don’t want to give up all my weekends to wedding planning even though I will LOVE planning!!  That’s just not realistic and probably a recipe for disaster if you give up all your hobbies.  I personally would panic if my SO gave everything he does for fun up to spend time with me 24/7, I think we both need some separate “me” time.  

It’s so so so important to keep up with hobbies, separate friends, and “me” time because in times of stress (and planning, getting married, and having kids IS stress) that’s what you need to provide as a release so you can manage the stress.  Stress isn’t a bad thing, those things that I mentioned as being stress are all positive but they are nonetheless stressful.  Moving is the #2 most stressful event (#1 is the death of a spouse to put it in perspective) yet it can also be a ton of fun.

I think you guys need to have another discussion about engagement expectations and life expectations because what your SO is talking about is called enmeshment and it’s not healthy.  A little enmeshment can be good, but a lot can be very bad.

Post # 5
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Well, if you’ve both agreed on your house and baby timeline, getting engaged or married doesn’t change that. My husband and I did not wedding plan every weekend. We are waiting years to have kids. We are traveling around Asia for 6 months together instead of buying a house right now.

Your wants and needs do not magically change because of your marital status. I think you guys need to have the serious baby and house talks and see what your financial goals are. If you two are moving forward as a team towards a greater (but still flexible) it may make him feel less freaked about what would happen if you move forward. These are discussions and decisions that need to be done prior to marriage, anyhow!

And if that doesn’t work, he’s honestly using excuses for not getting married. It’s him saying NO without having to say it.

Post # 6
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2006

@izziebear: I didn’t mean to make it sound like you were out of touch on this at all!  I just wanted to express how important it is you guys rehash this since his ideas are a bit out of touch, and you’re right, probably due to nerves!  Very cute actually, but also very dangerous should they be real expectations.

Post # 8
Member
1844 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

  Hi,

  I believe that getting engaged will certainly change aspects of your life, but it shouldn’t totally change everything. Have you guys talked about how long of an engagement you will have? We are definitely on the longer end…nearly two years. It’s been nice, though, in the sense that we have time to save and not every weekend is taken up with wedding stuff.

  I agree with the other PP’s. Talk with your SO about your expectations for yourselves and for each other. I think you will feel a lot better when you’ve had that conversation :-).

Post # 11
Member
1844 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@izziebear: It really, truly does get better :-). Change is scary, even if you are really, really looking forward to it. During the past few weeks, my Fiance was busy, getting ready for a big presentation. There was no way I could bring up wedding stuff. Now that it’s over (and it went well), he’s really excited to talk about it. I think that once he sees that he will still have his time to pursue his interests, he will relax.

Post # 12
Member
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

It’s very good to have a talk about the future and at least establish that you both want the same things (kids, a house, the lifestyle) and a somewhat reasonable timeline as to getting it (meaning, if say, you wanted to become a 9th-circuit judge before having kids or if he wants to start trying on your honeymoon, you should probably figure that out). 

BUT getting married does not mean that you have to take on all that change all at once. Getting married does not equate “being an adult”–and what I mean by “being an adult” is that a lot of men (and women) think that getting married means they have to suddenly become something else (“I can’t hang with the boys at bar-night anymore, I’m married”; “I have to take that job even though I’ll hate it because it pays more and I’m married”; “I have to trade in my sports car for a minivan because I’m married”). That’s not to say that you won’t have changes after marriage–you will, but it doesn’t mean that you automatically buckle down, buy the house, get the dog, a year later have your first child, have a second child, move to the burbs, and sign the kids up for soccer. You don’t have to do any of that if that’s not the life you envision. 

So perhaps you just sit down with him, rehash that you both want the same “big picture” (house, kids, etc.) but also gently remind him that marriage is a partnership and you don’t have to do anything until you are BOTH ready to do things. Compromise yes, but give up things? I’d tell him something like, “Look, I’m sure that we’ll be able to do some wedding planning over the weekend AND have room for your soccer game. If it means that we can only look at one venue per weekend and it takes a little longer to find one, then so be it. And when it comes to finding a house, we’ll look and see what we can afford and if it gets too overwhelming and time-consuming, we’ll back off a bit. People are always selling houses; when we’re ready, something will be for sale.” 

Marriage isn’t about putting a grand plan into action. Marriage is a practice in flexibility and compromise–that’s what it means to me when people say “it changes everything”–it’s about change, all the time. That’s what makes it a worthy pursuit. 

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