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Married life, is it different?


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#1 ReganP

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    Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:33 AM

    OK, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to post this but I'm wondering if married life is really very different from unmarried life.

     

    Here's the back story:

     

    • I'm 22 and not engaged, I'm also not really planning on it any time very soon, my boyfriend and I just aren't very interested
    • The boyfriend and I live together, we just moved to a new city together (we did not live together in the city where we met)
    • Of course our parents want us to get married, pretty much ASAP, but we aren't really interested

     

    It's not that I hate marriage or anything, we just don't see the benefit. We make future plans together, are planning on (probably) spending the rest of our lives together, and are very much in love. We are also very much 22 and 23 though, and we know that a lot can change and there's really no rush.

     

    The thing is, the friends of our who have gotten married or are engaged fall into one of two categories. Either they are very happy, as they were before they married, and nothing seems different at all except they had a big party, or they are not so happy because somehow the dynamics of their formerly successful relationship changed after marriage.

     

    I know we aren't exactly very traditional or typical in that we already live together, which changes the incentive to get married a lot in my opinion, but I'm wondering if you think married life is much different (read:better) in your opinion. 

     

    We're just so happy now and I don't actually see getting married contributing to that at all right now. It sort of seem like just an expensive and intense project to take on, the wedding that is, not the actual marriage.

     

    Thoughts? Also, sorry for the rambling.



    #2 acireta

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      Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:03 AM

      Well, I've only been married for two weeks so I can't give you any long-term perspective, but I'll tell you what I've noticed so far: other people's reactions. To some other people, we are no longer a-couple-living-together-and-we'll-see-if-it-works-out. Our relationship is now somehow validated in their eyes. That's the biggest change I've noticed, even though I don't feel any differently.


      Don't get me wrong, I didn't get married to validate my relationship to other people. I got married because I know I want to spend the rest of my life with this person, and having a formal, legal commitment was important to Al and to me. We lived together for two years before getting married, so our routine is very comfortable and functional. We also know how much we enjoy each other's company on a daily basis because we've had it for a few years already.

       

      I'm sure some couples don't need this legal document; but we wanted it. A relationship could be just as valid without the piece of paper (of course, I immediately think of the benefits of a shared last name, making emergency medical decisions, taxes, etc. that come along with the piece of paper).

       

      I think how you let a wedding define your relationship/marriage is completely under your control. If it changes your relationship for the worse, you have to work to nurture it back to a good place or let it go. If it doesn't change it and you're still as happy as before, hopefully it was a good party! :-)

       

      I also think you sound very mature, understanding how much you will both change in the coming years. I can't even tell you how much I changed and grew up between 21 (graduating college) and 26 (meeting my husband). Just enjoy your love and where you are in your lives, and don't pressure yourselves into anything that doesn't seem 100% true to who you are as individuals and as a couple. I know the pressure from family can be tough, but as long as you guys are a team, I hope you can make the decisions that are best for you both!


      Erica & Al - April 3, 2012 - St. Thomas, USVI

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      #3 ReganP

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        Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:11 PM

        Wow, thank you! That was very helpful. I agree that how you let a marriage define your relationship is in your control. I feel confident that if we did get married it wouldn't wreck our relationship or anything, but I think it could strain it at least a bit.

         

        Because we're so young, we feel like we'll think differently about our relationship if we "have" to be together because we have a contract. I know we don't have to feel differently if we don't want to, it just seems like it might be difficult not to since society starts viewing and treating you differently when you're married.

         

        Obviously, this can be a good thing because people take your relationship more seriously and, in some cases, they even take you more seriously just as a person. But, people expect you to do and not do certain things after you're married, and we don't necessarily like the things we think we'll be expected to do and not do.

         

        People expect your priorities to change and for you to drop some habits and develop new ones. I know that some of these things can be a good thing, and they are probably bound to happen eventually, we just don't want to feel like we'll have to become different types of people because we're married. Does that make sense?



        #4 acireta

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          Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

          Totally makes sense. I like the way you think. Society has a lot of expectations for relationships, some but not all of them reasonable or current LOL

           

          This site rules all for destination weddings :-) but you should also check out offbeatbride.com. They have a lot of really interesting articles about different ways of thinking reasonably about marriage (not weddings) and good tips for assessing priorities in relationships.


          Erica & Al - April 3, 2012 - St. Thomas, USVI

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          Wedding & AHR Pics


          #5 Norma83

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            Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:59 PM

            I agree with Erica.  You shouldn't rush into anything that you aren't 100% sure about.  If you guys are happy with living together and seeing what happens, then I say go for it.  The last thing you want to do is get married because others think it's the "right" thing to do.  You and your BF ultimately know what's best. 

             

            I get married in a few weeks but let me tell you, my fiance and I have been together for 11 years and are barely getting married.  We've been together ever since high school.  We were 16/17 and we're now 28.  Of course, since we met, we have both grown so much.  We always knew that if we got married, we would do it on our own terms and when we were ready.  Everyone that we know would always ask us why haven't we gotten married, why are we waiting so long, why not just go ahead and get married because we act like we're married already.  I mean, we would get asked all the time and it got pretty annoying.  It just wasn't what we wanted and we aren't the type of people to do something just because others are doing it or tell us to.  We had a plan and we stuck to it.  When we finally got engaged, we had been together for 7 years.  My fiance had just gotten accepted into law school and although we got engaged, we decided to wait 5 years to actually get married.  Everyone thought we were crazy but we didn't care.  Well, 5 years later, my fiance graduated law school, and we get married in just a couple of weeks.  To me, waiting this long to get married is the best thing that we could have done.   Yes, maybe we waited longer than most but who cares!  It worked for us.  Although we aren't married yet, we don't see "married life" defining our relationship.  A lot of people have told us that things are going to change when we get married.  We always say, why does it have to be that way?  Everything that people have told us, has been the opposite for us.  So we just take it with a grain of salt.  Everyone is different and we all do things differently.  Just because one person has had trouble, doesn't mean that the next person will. 

             

            I'm sure your parents would love you guys to get married but you have to remember that you are the one getting married, not them.  You will have to be the one to deal with things, they don't.  Your parents might mean well but really, you have to do what works for you.  When my fiance was in law school, I was always told by so many people that I was an idiot waiting for him.  That when he got done with school he was going to leave and it just was not going to work out.  If I were to have listened to every single person that told me that, I'd be missing out on the love of my life.  People will tell you a lot of hurtful things just because they don't want to see you happy.  You just have to focus on what matters to you and do what makes you happy!



            #6 Oct 2012 Bride

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              Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:21 PM

              Everyone has great points. I'm with them. Wait until you too are ready. Give yourself time. Learn yourself and you wants and likes. If and when you are ready then that is the right time. Never get engaged because other people want you to be. They could be walking you into being stuck in a bad relationship. I was previously engaged and both him and my mother used to pressure me to set a date and start planning. I never did and eventually I called off the relationship. He wound up being a completely different person. And I'm glad I stuck to my guns. I guess back then I knew he really wasn't the one. But now. I knew from the beginning my now FI was the person I wanted to spend my life with. I love him whole heartily. We've been living together for almost 2 yrs and he proposed this past February. We were asked everyday, it seems, when were were getting married. 

               

              My thing is if you are making a life together then it doesn't matter if it takes you a longer than other people want because you have your whole lives together.



              #7 ReganP

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                Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:29 AM

                 

                Originally Posted by Oct 2012 Bride 

                 

                My thing is if you are making a life together then it doesn't matter if it takes you a longer than other people want because you have your whole lives together.

                 

                Thank you! These are my sentiments too!

                 

                 

                Originally Posted by Norma83 

                 

                 To me, waiting this long to get married is the best thing that we could have done.   Yes, maybe we waited longer than most but who cares!  It worked for us....  Everyone is different and we all do things differently. 

                 

                 

                 

                Yes, this exactly! I don't understand why everyone knows that every relationship is different but they expect everyone to approach marriage in the same way.

                 

                 

                Thanks all of you ladies for confirming that I am not just being ridiculous! I really appreciate getting viewpoints from people with actual experience and different experiences. 

                 

                I think part of the trouble with this whole situation is that my boyfriend and I are from Texas (we moved to Miami together) and even though Texas is not like it looks in the movies, people are rather inclined to get married young and settle down quickly there. So, both of our sets of parents (who are all from Texas) don't understand why we don't want to do it like everyone else. All of our respective siblings and cousins are doing it the way their parents did, married some time between 22 and 24, and they can't understand why that's not the life we picture for ourselves.

                 

                But you all are right that we just need to do what works for us and what feels right. There'll be plenty of time for us to get married later if we want to, and if we don't it doesn't mean we can't spend the rest of our lives together.

                 

                I think I might be sticking around the forum though because even if I don't want to get married any time soon, wedding stuff is still so much fun ;)



                #8 ReganP

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                  Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:30 AM

                  Thank you! I will definitely check it out!






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