Post # 1
My boyfriend of nearly 4 years wants to get married, but I’m not so adamant to do so. Not because I wouldn’t want to be a wife, or because the costs of a ceremony, but probably like many people. I am absolutely scared of divorce. Every single female in my bloodline has divorced, at least once, most of them twice to three times (Except an aunt who is about to get divorced after over 20 years of marriage, then it will be EVERY female). My mom is on her fifth marriage now, and having divorced 3 times during my childhood and being shuffled around between guys has psychologically traumatized me.
I’m not scared about my boyfriend’s commitment to me (trust me, he ain’t goin’ anywhere 😉 ). But with my family’s history, am I doomed? and Everywhere I go there are tons of divorced people. Most of the people I work with who have married, have also divorced before!
The only reason my boyfriend wants to marry me is to be able to call me his wife, that’s it. Is there not another option for this? If I ever divorced, that would be the biggest failure of my life, and I could never forgive myself for that. I already feel like every choice I’ve made so far has been the wrong one. I don’t want to make any more wrong choices. 🙁 I don’t want to end up like my parents or grandparents did!!! #soconfused
Post # 3
I don’t have much that I can say other than everyone else in your family is not you. They don’t have your relationship and there’s nothing that says that just because everyone else in your family has been divorced that you will also get divorced. I knew someone who lived in a divorce free family and she got divorced.
Post # 4
@raziel1687: The only reason my boyfriend wants to marry me is to be able to call me his wife, that’s it.
Huh? “That’s it”? That’s the only reason? That’s kind of odd to me.
But on to your concerns… I’m no expert but I don’t think divorce is like diabetes or cancer. If it runs in your family, you aren’t going to “catch” the divorce bug. It doesn’t run in the bloodline.
If you have legitimate fears about the success and longevity of YOUR relationship, then don’t rush to get married before working out all the kinks. If you have unreasonable (in my opinion) fears about being infected by divorce because of your family and peers, the only thing I can suggest is seeking the help of a therapist or clergy-person to work through it.
Divorce is a real possibility for a lot of couples and I’m sure not everyone goes into a marriage expecting it to happen to them. All you can do is your best to set yourself up for success – know the person your marrying, have a clear understanding of who they are and what they have to offer, good communication, love, trust, respect… all that good stuff.
Post # 5
Of course, divorce doesn’t literally run in genes, but boredom and low tolerance for people’s crap runs in my family’s genes. Also, on my mom’s side, a lot of it is wrong choice in men. These men seemed like Knights in Shining Armor at first, and then later turned into something completely different and horrible. I did read somewhere that divorce can actually be contagious, as in you are more likely to divorce if you are surrounded by people that divorce (whether they are family or friends), and less likely if you are surrounded by people that haven’t divorced. Part of me wants to get married, part of me doesn’t. I’m just trying to read everything I can on the matter at every angle to help me make up my mind (My boyfriend said he wants to propose to me by the end of the year!!! 🙁 ). Thanks everyone for any responses.
Post # 6
If you are scared of getting married for any reason, then don’t!
Your BF’s reason to marry you is one of the poorest reasons I have ever heard. Again, if you feel secure in the relationship and want to get married, then go for it. But if you are plagued by fear, don’t do it!
Post # 7
Maybe a few sessions of couples counseling would help with the fear? Or some self-help books, things that get you two talking about EVERYTHING, not just all the sunshine and rainbows part of marriage. The hard stuff, finances, religion, how to handle in laws…. if you talk it all out before maybe you’d feel more confident.
Post # 8
Thanks guys. I already feel secure in my relationship the way it is. I feel that getting married would make me feel so indeed secure that I would feel trapped and suffocated actually. The only benefit I see for me getting married is if I had kids, because I don’t like the idea of having kids out of wedlock (even though I was a child had out of wedlock myself). But other than that, it has no real benefit for me. I already know my boyfriend is very committed to me. I feel very secure. What else do I need? But he wants to make our relationship “official.” and to call me his wife. Everyone else pretty much calls me his wife anyway. lol To both our families, our relationship IS official and solid (Even though his mom would like to see us get married, and my sister-in-law who’s married to his twin brother would be ecstatic about that idea too). Our relationship is just not legally binding to the government. Which I doubt he cares about that, nor do I. So I’m not sure exactly what he wants. I just know I don’t want to ever divorce and marriage has little benefit to me personally. I’m just kinda rambling my feelings here….
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
“If I ever divorced, that would be the biggest failure of my life, and I could never forgive myself for that. “
No it wouldn’t, and yes you could. A life lived in fear is a life wasted. Don’t let your fear control you.
Post # 10
@raziel1687: I wouldn’t define yourself or your relationship based purely off the past relationships of your family members. Divorce is always a possibility when you get married and a risk, but I think it is a risk worth taking. When people take the marriage vows, most if not everyone says them with a pure heart and means them during their wedding ceremony. There is no guarantee in life that everything will always work out or that your relationship will be be free of a possible future divorce or turmoil. Relationships have their ups and downs and yes sometimes when you have used every other resource out there available to try and work things out in your marriage and relationship, divorce is the right answer. And no I don’t think it would be the biggest failure of your life, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t. I think the biggest thing to consider before getting married is how hard the both of you are willing to work through issues and problems that may come up in the future within a marriage. I think some couples go into marriage blindly and fail to realize that there is real life to be dealt with after the excitement of wedding planning and actual wedding are gone and over with. I don’t think you are doomed just because of your family’s history and past with marriages. It doesn’t define who you are and who you will become. And I also hope that if and when that time comes that your bf wants to marry it wouldn’t just be so that he could call you his wife. There is a lot more to marriage than being to call one another spouses. 🙂 Good luck and best wishes!
Post # 12
@raziel1687: Honestly, your patterns of thoughts and rationalizations do not seem at all healthy. Perhaps you should seek individual counseling to deal with your fears, concerns and ideologies. No offense meant, but it really might help.
Post # 13
If you don’t “know” the answer is “NO!!!”
(Notice the 3 exclamation points)
You can do better sister.
Post # 14
Yeah. A friend of mine is in the same predicament. He really wants to marry his girlfriend but she’s terrified of marriage (her mom just divorced #4 I think) and what he decided to do is propose. If she accepts, they can be in a perpetual state of engagement for as long as she wants. He wants to show her he’s committed, so they will be engaged for as long as she wants. They’re not married, but they’re not just dating. It’s the happy middle.
Post # 15
I had to laugh at “but boredom and low tolerance for people’s crap runs in my family’s genes”. It definitely doesn’t run in my families genes but both DH and I are afflicted by it. But we both know this so we each try to slough off little annoyances and when the other does get annoyed we nicely deal with it/ignore it depending on the issue. If it’s some little thing they’d be happier we did, we try to accomodate.
I agree with PP, what your family does is no relation on you. Divorce wouldn’t be a failure unless you actively did something to cause it/refused to work on the marriage/etc. It’s not ideal, and wished it didn’t happen. If you gave your all I do believe as long as you had fun along the way and learned something, crap happens.
If you never want to get married, fine, but be honest with him.
If you want to get married at some point, great. But as others said make sure you know him and have covered all the bases (finances, children, lifestyles, etc).
I was with someone who was never going to get married, didn’t believe in it, etc (married a few months now!). I didn’t really care, then he brought it up. I almost fell off the sofa at the time, and it’s what brought me to Wedding Bee! By that point I knew everything there was to know (unless he’s hiding something but there’s faith in love and commitment regardless of marriage). The only thing I really had to ask him was “If things were all messed up would you go to counselling with me?”. Because honestly I’m not a fan, but I can easily see where there could be a time where if you’re both so hurt or whatever that you can’t communicate well and need a mediator. He said he would, though said he couldn’t imagine us not being able to talk something through, but would if I wanted.
Marriage does have benefits: taxes, insurance, immediate legal next of kin (if something bad happens). You can’t file taxes or get on insurance with out marriage in most states, but it always makes you next of kin in emergencies. On the other hand if you really don’t want to marry you can have legal papers drawn up that make each other the legal responsible party for finance/medical decisions in case of emergency (my dad has MS and my mom is useless when it comes to responsibility so he had papers for me to be his… Power of Attorney for money and I forget the fancy name for medical stuff). But you can name anyone in these papers even if they don’t know it.
ETA: Lol. I looked up the “fancy name for medical stuff” and it’s just “Medical Power of Attorney”.
Post # 16
OP you are correct that coming from a broken family increases your risk of divorce. You are also correct that studies show divorce can be “contagious” in a social group.
But high risk doesn’t mean you’re doomed. You would probably be wise to put a lot more effort into preparing for marriage and sustaining your relationship afterwards – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Put another way, look at encore marriages… the statistics for second marriages are dismal. They usually end in divorce. And yet look at the encore section of weddingbee and see how many women are happily planning these 2nd weddings, and hopefully putting a lot of planning into the marriage too! The odds are against them… but people beat the odds every day. And your odds as a child of divorce are not really that bad.