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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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Apologies if this rambles. I'm not sure where I'm going with it.

I've been dating Boyfriend in the Rain for almost eight years. The two of us are best friends and lovers. We rarely argue, and are so close and considerate of each other that people who don't know how long we've been dating frequently assume that we're in the first flush of love, as it were. He brings me fresh-cooked dinner at work when I have to stay late. We've talked about the future many times, and we have agreed that we want to stay together. I am "the one" for him, and he is "the one" for me. We have, however, never talked about marriage, except on the vaguest terms. (For example, once when we were at a wedding where everyone got drunk and very undignified at the reception, he commented that he doesn't want alcohol at his wedding. I agreed. And I've occasionally mulled over the problem aloud of what color my dress should be, since I look really crappy in white, and worse in pastels. If anyone cares, I'm thinking green.)

Recently, a lot of the women at the yarn store where I work have asked me why the heck we aren't married. The only answer I can give is 'We've both been very busy trying to start our lives, and it just hasn't come up.' They don't buy that as an excuse ("Well marry him NOW then!") and I'm reduced to just shrugging and trying to change the subject. I know that they're just old-fashioned and further that taking marriage advice from women all of whom are divorced is a questionable decision, but their words have planted a strange bug in my head -- I'm starting to think that maybe I do want to marry him.

The problem is that my reason is really stupid. I want to marry him so that he can be Husband in the Rain instead of Boyfriend in the Rain. That's it. That's the only reason -- so when I refer to him, I can say that he's my husband. So I can go to bed at night next to my husband. So I can greet my husband when he comes home from work in the evenings. I know there are lots of income, tax, and hospitalization-related reasons to marry someone, but for some stupid reason, none of those seem important to me. I just want him to be my husband.

I feel like I need to turn in my feminist card. [Razz]

In the meantime, there are tons of reasons to keep putting it off. For one thing, we're still trying to set our lives up and start out in the world. I'm still editing the stupid novel. He's thinking of going back to school to get a masters in education so he can become a teacher. We're still both caught in what I call the 'Black Winter Day', the null space between childhood and adulthood. Better to set our lives up first and then think about marriage, right?

Also, marriage is going to provoke endless stress. For one thing, his family is devoutly Mormon and I'm not going to convert, not even to make them happy. I feel that doing so would be a terrible lie to them and to the congregation. They're tentatively accepting me now, but I think that if he marries me, there are going to be issues. They're going to think it's absolutely tragic, worthy of much ranting and tears, that we cannot be Sealed in the temple. I am never going to hear the end of it.

And then there's my strange and fragmented family, which I keep un-Draaah-mah-y by executing a very careful balancing act. It will all come crashing down on me in a wave of guilt and backstabbing the moment that wedding planning hits the scene.

Also, the idea of having a wedding in general terrifies me. I'm a laid back person. I don't like being the center of attention, even on my birthday. (My boyfriend insists on having a party, but I'm very clear that we're having "a very fun party to entertain our friends, which coincidentally falls on Kitten in the Rain's birthday", not a "birthday party".) A wedding, where I absolutely CANNOT pretend it's all about the guests because no one will let me? Terrifying. But given the temple problem above, as well as the 'half my family are psycho guiltmonsters' problem, I think eloping would be starting out too much on the wrong foot with both sides of the family.

Oh, and then there's the big whammy. Children. With a handful of notable exceptons, I don't like children. They are loud, demanding, and often they are gooey. I don't want children. I would be a terrible mother -- I know people insist that I wouldn't be, but they don't know me. They know the controlled persona that I can keep up for a few hours at a time for social occasions, not the person who has type II bipolar and often needs substantial amounts of quiet time alone to keep herself in balance and in check. I know that I would be no better of a mother to a child than my mother was to me, and frankly... no. I don't want to put another kid through that.

Boyfriend in the Rain loves children and thinks he'd be a great father. (With the right woman for the mother, I'd agree. I am not the right woman.) He wants children. Several children.

So you can see where that would be a problem.

This issue hasn't come up yet, because Boyfriend in the Rain also grew up very poor because his parents had kids before they had enough stable income to support them and he doesn't want to do the same thing with his kids. Given our chosen professions (writer and highschool teacher) it may be that we never have the kind of income to support children. But it may be that I'll somehow stumble into being a bestselling writer, or he'll switch gears and become a coveted artist, or we'll win the lottery or something, and if that happens, we're going to have to work something out. We've talked about this many times in the past, and he has assured me that whatever we work out, it will not involve me having to raise children (and thus risking scarring them for life) and it will not involve us splitting up. However, everything that is logical and reasonable in me tells me that we should probably work it out once and for all before tying the knot.

So there are tons and tons of reasons why we shouldn't get married and very few compelling reasons why we should. Nevertheless... I can't get it out of my head. I want to marry this boy. Just the thought of being married to him fills me with delight.

I haven't mentioned it to him yet, or even let on, because I don't want him to feel pressured to do something that everything rational in me screams is a bad idea. Right now, I'm desperately hoping that I'm just being hormonal, and this strange urge will dissapear once my hormones stop taking over my brain with their strange animal urges.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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First, you need to address the children issue. If you don't want kids and he wants kids, you need to figure out what you are going to do about that.

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten in the rain:
I know that they're just old-fashioned and further that taking marriage advice from women all of whom are divorced is a questionable decision, but their words have planted a strange bug in my head -- I'm starting to think that maybe I do want to marry him.


Excuse me? Divorced women have been married. Some of us were firmly committed to our marriages and were left by partners less so.

Some of us see clearly where things went wrong and what to avoid.

I do have an opinion on the rest, having dealt with the kids issue. But since I am divorced, I am sure that my viewpoint would be questionable. [Roll Eyes]

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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candycane from strangers
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I know it's probably an awkward thing to bring up in conversation with him, but it sounds like that's what you need to do. Especially the issue of having children. If he really really wants kids, but you absolutely don't both of you could end up bitter and unhappy down the road, even if there aren't other problems (unless you talk it out and work something out, just don't ignore that particular situation).

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Me: "He's 19? Uh oh, I bought him a beer."
A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
God Re-Animate Green Pork Bush

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
First, you need to address the children issue. If you don't want kids and he wants kids, you need to figure out what you are going to do about that.

Ditto and amen. The religion thing is easy enough: you aren't going to convert, so there never will be a temple sealing. No problem.

But the kid thing is really serious.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten in the rain:
I know there are lots of income, tax, and hospitalization-related reasons to marry someone, but for some stupid reason, none of those seem important to me. I just want him to be my husband.

I feel like I need to turn in my feminist card. [Razz]

If it's up to me, I think we should let you keep it. [Wink] It's not like you want "a husband;" you want this particular man, whom you love and with whom you are extremely compatible, to be your husband.

I'm not saying you should press for marriage, or even bring it up, but the reasons you give for feeling that "tug" toward it are, IMO, much better reasons than any financial reason.

quote:
Also, the idea of having a wedding in general terrifies me.
People get married all the time without having weddings. If you decide to get married, go to the courthouse or wherever and do it, and the hell with any family expectations.

The issues with your families are the kind of things that married people -- and unmarried people who share their lives -- often have to work around. After all, if he didn't marry you, would BitR marry a Mormon woman? If he has chosen not to live his life as a Mormon, the conflict between him and his family over religion will almost certainly never go away. BTDT (JW, not Mormon, but similar issues).

Now, the children thing, that's kind of a biggy. If you really don't want to have children, you should not marry a man to whom it's essential to be a father. If it's essential to BitR that he be a father*, he should not marry a woman who doesn't want to be a mother. Note: His thinking he would be a good father is not necessarily the same thing as it's essential to him to be a father. This conflict, BTW, is another one that won't be solved by your not getting married. Presumably if he stays with you and doesn't marry you, he won't also have kids with some other woman. [Eek!]

Whether you two ever decide to get married or not, there's no harm in feeling, enjoying, or even lingering on that tug.

Edited to finish a sentence after I fat-fingered and hit "add reply" too soon.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Katness
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten in the rain:
So there are tons and tons of reasons why we shouldn't get married and very few compelling reasons why we should. Nevertheless... I can't get it out of my head. I want to marry this boy. Just the thought of being married to him fills me with delight.

I'm in a similar spot with my boyfriend... except that there aren't "tons and tons" of reasons why not, there are only a couple, and those are fixable. If we can get these last couple of items in order, then I am fully convinced that we will have a terrific happily ever after. If not, then it will the saddest day of my life to say goodbye... but I will because I "settled" for my first marriage, and I won't make that mistake again for my second and last one.

And, the simple answer for why you're feeling this way is that the heart wants what it wants. [Wink]

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Eschew Obfuscation.

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Aud
We Three Blings


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If ever there was a need for domestic partnership...
(or a least a more mature sounding word that "boyfriend")
It is not anti-feminist to want to share your life with someone and do so offically. In fact you sound like you have a solid basis for a marriage since you aren't obessing over the wedding.

HOWEVER

Look, there is a reason that in the Catholic church at least, the issue whether to have children is a legitimate reason for an annulment. It is a BIG deal. Huge deal. You are only going to hurt him if you insist on marrying this boy when you two have such a major divide on this issue. You can't let money be what is stopping you from having the conversation.

He is willing to live with compromise right now but will he always. When all of his friends are parents will be still be happy? I'm not saying he won't ultimatly choose to live childfree and happy with you but you're still not having the real grown up conversation about children here.

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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The whole "setting up your life" thing is a non starter. You don't need to have everything set to be married, you build that life together. There isn't a magic marriage card that makes it different.

But the kids thing, yea, that's a biggie. You need to settle it once and for all and not just hope that you never make enough money. Actually, I think you need to figure it out before you do any more life building together. Because if you never ever want kids and he really really does, then it's going to eventually tear you apart. Better you know that now than later.

Gibbie

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If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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- I often daydream about marrying BoyfriendS for the same reason, just so he'll be HusbandS. Burn my feminist card too I guess.

-Maybe eloping would curtail all the wedding hullaballoo drama?

-The kids issue strikes me as extremely major and should definitely be figure out to both people's definite satisfaction before any kind of marriage. If he really, certainly wants kids and you truly, absolutely do not, then frankly I don't see how it can work out. Perhaps just as a suggestion you could be the breadwinner and he could be the stay at home parent- thus providing an oppurtunity to minimize your contact with the kids to the few hours that you feel you can control your bipolar and other issues. Not sure how fair that would be to the kids, but surely better than being raised by a mother who resents them.

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Officially Heartless

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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If you didn't want to have a big to-do wedding you could always host a surprise wedding. Everyone thinks they are coming over for a barbecue or something and- surprise! You're wearing a pretty dress and an officiant is there. I have heard some people have a lot of fun with that. Alternately, you could plan the whole thing alone and not let on you're engaged until you are about to send out the invitations (about 6-8 weeks in advance). That way when everyone offers their opinion you can smile and say it's taken care of.

You have other very good reasons to put things off (like the kids issue), but having a wedding doesn't have to be a big production.

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This used to be the life, but I don't need another one.
MyBandwagon

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shifty rob
Jingle Bell Hock


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Regardless of whether you get married or just continue to live together, the kid issue will loom bigger and bigger. It is an issue that needs to be discussed eventually. It has the potential of becoming the "elephant in the living room" issue, even if you are still living singly together 10 years from now.

As for the religion issue, and the in-laws (AKA the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)- you may have to break a few eggshells, but be true to yourself. Feigning religious belief for the sake of a wedding ceremony is not true conversion, nor is it healthy for the marriage. If you decide that his religion is a good fit for you, explore that opportunity. Otherwise- don't feel guilty. My grandfather drove my grandmother to church every Sunday, and sat in the car reading the paper until she came out after mass. You can be supportive of differing beliefs without sharing them.

Don't let the idea of a wedding get in the way of your (potential) marriage. My wedding was 21 years ago, but my marriage continues on (and on, and on... oops! Is my microphone still on?).

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"They got a name for the winners in the world; I want a name when I lose" -Steely Dan

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Starla:
If you didn't want to have a big to-do wedding you could always host a surprise wedding. Everyone thinks they are coming over for a barbecue or something and- surprise! You're wearing a pretty dress and an officiant is there. I have heard some people have a lot of fun with that.

One thing: If you decide to go this way, warn your elderly relatives first. My cousin and his wife were married at what most of the guests thought was her 21st birthday party. Her grandmother almost had a heart attack.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Lil' Molly
Deck the Malls


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So I'm another one who needs her feminist card ripped up (although I'm not sure I was ever actually issued one... I'll have to check on that) I get that warm fuzzy squee feeling down inside when I think about calling LilBoyfriend my LilHusband. (don't know if he'd like being refered to as Lil, but it fits, so oh well [Smile] )

The only reason we're not married is that he's playing in the sandbox (Iraq) for another six months.

I'm going to add my "me too" with the kids thing. That is definately something that needs to be worked out between you too. The rest is all incidental stuff that can be dealt with. While you don't want to alienate either family, grudges against you for religion or whatever can be dealt with if you demonstrate to them that you are a good and loving person and make their son happy (Unless they are truly out there).

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... and now back to your regularly scheduled lurking.

I have 15 points and owe 1 keyboard!

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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So are feminists not supposed to want to get married? I must have really missed the memo on that one [Big Grin] .

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Lydia Oh Lydia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I'll agree with the other posters that the children issue is a big deal. That will need to be brought up sooner or later, regardless of whether you two decide to get married. For me, no matter how much I love my DH, if he had told me for whatever reason that he didn't want children, I would not have continued a relationship with him and I defintely would not have married him.

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"My name is the symbol for my identity and must not be lost." Motto of the Lucy Stone League.

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willowsma
Fighting Irish Stew


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My first marriage broke up over the 'kid issue'.

I wanted them, he didn't. I knew that going in but naively figured he would change his mind. He never did. In retrospect I am very thankful he stuck to his guns and didn't cave in to my pressure. (my extremely selfish pressure I might add, since he made it quite clear before the marriage he never wanted to be a father)

Anyway, I second all on this thread who say the children issue is huge and must be addressed first and foremost.

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
TurquoiseGirl wrote:

Excuse me? Divorced women have been married. Some of us were firmly committed to our marriages and were left by partners less so.

You know, as I was writing this, I had a feeling that it was going to be a problem, but I was stupid and wrote it anyway.

What I meant to get at was that every single one of these women married men who were wrong for them and then stayed in unhappy marriages for way too long. The reason they think we have to get married? Because they cannot concieve of being with one person for eight years and not hating them. Clearly, if we still love each other after all this time, we were beyond meant to be.

They are, in short, not grounded in the realities of human relationships. (Their relationships with their children are similarly messed up and fragmented.)

I probably should have said this the first time around, but I was lazy and stupid.

quote:
Lainie wrote:

Now, the children thing, that's kind of a biggy. If you really don't want to have children, you should not marry a man to whom it's essential to be a father. If it's essential to BitR that he be a father*, he should not marry a woman who doesn't want to be a mother. Note: His thinking he would be a good father is not necessarily the same thing as it's essential to him to be a father.

You've nailed more or less what it boils down to. We've had it out over children many, many times before (we usually go through the whole shebang once or twice a year) and what it comes down to is this: We're both still growing and changing. I say now that I'll never want children, but there are lots of Snopesters who I'll bet can stand up and say they didn't want children either until one day they decided they did. He says he wants children, but it's very possible that he'll discover that after teaching them all day, the last thing he wants to do is come home to MORE KIDS. It also might be that between teaching kids and sometimes helping his enormous family with their endless supply of kids (his family is HUGE!) he'll get what he wants from the whole child thing. For him, it's not about spreading his seed (since he wants adopted kids) but about teaching and shaping someone and having the experiences of having kids around. There are lots of things that could happen. We've got a really good thing going together, so it seems silly to break it off when it might very well resolve itself in the end. Part of me thinks that this amounts to hiding our heads in the sand, but there just isn't any other way to resolve it right now.

What's worse, whenever I bring it up, Boyfriend in the Rain gets annoyed with me, because in his mind, it's resolved. The resolution, to him, is that he's committed to staying with me no matter what, so if it gets to be a problem, we'll fix it in some way and that's that. He thinks I'm being a worrywart for wanting to know HOW it will be fixed. He thinks that's silly because it's absolutely set in his mind that A) we're not going to break up and B) as long as we're together, hardships and unhappinesses will clearly be only irksome little problems. Which is fine for now, while he's so busy trying to carve a place for himself in the world that he hasn't got time to worry about much else, but what happens once he's embarked on a career?

BTW, most of our friends are already married and have children. Some of them are married, divorced, remarried, and have children.

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Davros
Happy Holly Days


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if it is of any help Mrs Davros and i got maried in a differant country (china) and I phoned the news home
lots less stess that way (for Us anyway)

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Wake up --- time to die
So I'm Evil Get over it

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Lil' Molly:
While you don't want to alienate either family, grudges against you for religion or whatever can be dealt with if you demonstrate to them that you are a good and loving person and make their son happy (Unless they are truly out there).

They're pretty far out there. They're not 'We go to church every Sunday and mostly remember our evening prayers' type people. They're 'We go to church every Sunday, have prayers before each meal during which we sometimes get choked up with the sheer emotion of our faith, say prayers every night (after reading a passage of scripture), abstain from all alcohol and caffiene, and help out in the church several times a week.' BFitR's mother's main hobby right now is making up little educational materials for family home evenings, with Mormon-themed games and activities, quotes of scripture, etc.

So they're scary-devout. They're not openly judgemental, though. Not yet, at least. His mom once let slip to him that she felt we were 'shacking up', but she was emotional at the time, and I'm almost positive that several of his sisters Do Not Approve of me, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I'm a confedant woman who doesn't do things their way. And either way, right now they're keeping whatever opinions they have to themselves.

So as of now, their dissapointment with my (lack of) religion has been limited to the occasional offhand comment. When we were over at their place yesterday for Mother's Day, my boyfriend's mother included in her evening prayer before we left -- she wanted to send us off with a prayer -- that some of us would come to see the light of God and feel His love. [Roll Eyes] She means well, so I let it pass.

I think that the heat might get turned way, way up if we get married and I don't convert. Right now, I think they have it in their heads that I'll convert if I marry him so that we can be Sealed in the temple, the way that my boyfriend's dad did. I think that it's gonna hit the fan if we get married and they find out I'm willing to do no such thing.

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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You could point out to your possible future in-laws that you can be sealed after the fact by a future descendent- even a niece or nephew. I know that sounds a little flippant, but it might be a way out.

I would be more worried about the whole kids issue. It sounds to me like some of your reasons for not wanting them are similar to mine. Although I, in general, like children, the thought of what would happen were I to have another major depressive episode scares the crap out of me. As well as the thought of passing that particular trait on.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I see more than just the "kids" issue here. For me, #1 is TALK to Boyfriend in the Rain about kids, church, marriage, money, etc. Don't ambush him, but make time to start the talking process. Lack of open communication is one of the #1 reasons for a marriage breakup.

There is no hurry. If he is "the one", it will last.

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And now for something completely different...

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:

ut there are lots of Snopesters who I'll bet can stand up and say they didn't want children either until one day they decided they did. He says he wants children, but it's very possible that he'll discover that after teaching them all day, the last thing he wants to do is come home to MORE KIDS.

The plural of ancedote is not evidence (damn the snopester who stuck that in my head), however, I am only going to address this part as it does apply to me-- my husband is a High School teacher as well--he also married me with two children in tow (one of which just became a teenager herself)...

He is NOT a "baby" person--that is, he'll hold them, coo/play with them, but after that, it's hand them over to momma, I'm done. He can't stand the midnight cryings and well, all the crying they do--he just cannot. When my two year old nephew was a baby and colic--he would always have to leave the room--the crying just killed him--annoyed him..

This isn't to say that I think he wouldn't have made a great father (should we have had kids together) because I truly think he would have.

BUT... to address your specifc quote:

He comes home everyday to his girls(he will be adopting them by this time next year) and though he might be annoyed due to the stress at school--usually the first thing he does when he gets home is always **with them**... That is to say, he walks in, kisses me, and sits down and plays video games **with them** almost immediately.

It may be his way of unwinding. It may be his way of de-stressing. But it is something that is an always.

I can almost assure you that your husband may be a kid lover, and he most definitely will come home from teaching one day and scream "AHHH!! I hate teenagers" in a venting rage; but he certainly will not ever "not like" his kids when he enters his home. I think seeing his kids when he comes home, is the one thing that "sanes" my husband almost immediately.

As for the rest of it, yeah, that baby thing WILL ruin a marriage. You have GOT to straighten that out first.

The religion--bah, it isn't their life.
The wedding itself--bah, it isn't their wedding.

But the kids are going to be his. You've got make sure you absolutely cannot have them in any way before you jump into this. If he wants them this badly (and teaching won't change that, I assure you), he's going to want them down the road.

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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sleeping_dragon
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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The thing that strikes me is that the two of you have never discussed marriage at all except for in "the vaguest terms" as you've put it. Children have been important enough to discuss and disagree about, so why hasn't marriage come up? Could it be that, despite his religious upbringing, the boyfriend just isn't into the idea of marriage?

The religion thing: if a person has a close relationship with his family, then you DO marry the family as well as the person, regardless of what many people think. Sure, your relationship with your boyfriend should be more important, but you have to think about the realities of dealing with a family that's opposed to your relationship. It sounds like you've managed to handle them thus far. You just need to ask yourself if you'll be able to continue to handle them if they turn the pressure up.

The kids thing: like many of the others, I agree that it's a big issue. I sneaked a peak at your profile and saw that you're 26. It's not like you're 16 and saying you don't want kids. Yes, you're still developing as a person, but really, we do that our whole lives, don't we? It doesn't sound like it's a rash, spur of the moment or bad-babysitting-experience type of decision that you've made. You mentioned that there are probably quite a few Snopesters who didn't want children and then were happy when they had them. I wonder how many of them were bipolar though. I think being bipolar makes you (using "you" in the general sense) come more face to face with your strengths and weaknesses. If you realise that you wouldn't be able to cope with all the pressures that come with children, more power to you for recognising it NOW before you have kids. So the only real question on that issue seems to me to be his degree of desire to be a parent. Like others have said, you're only going to figure that out with open communication. Don't let him avoid the issue and put off the discussion to the distant future. Tell him how much you're concerned about it, how important it is for you to have the issue resolved. It sounds like he really loves you and if you make him really aware of how much it's bothering you, he'd be willing to set your mind at ease.

Good luck!

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He who angers you controls you.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by sleeping_dragon:
The thing that strikes me is that the two of you have never discussed marriage at all except for in "the vaguest terms" as you've put it. Children have been important enough to discuss and disagree about, so why hasn't marriage come up? Could it be that, despite his religious upbringing, the boyfriend just isn't into the idea of marriage?

I don't think it is too wierd, I know that we have only really discussed marriage in concrete terms since deciding to get married.

I am going to second part of what Lainie said, and say just enjoy that happy feeling and don't dwell on the logistics of getting married. Cross those bridges when you get to them.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by sleeping_dragon:

The religion thing: if a person has a close relationship with his family, then you DO marry the family as well as the person, regardless of what many people think. Sure, your relationship with your boyfriend should be more important, but you have to think about the realities of dealing with a family that's opposed to your relationship. It sounds like you've managed to handle them thus far. You just need to ask yourself if you'll be able to continue to handle them if they turn the pressure up.

I should probably clarify that before we started dating, Boyfriend in the Rain wasn't very close to his family. He only started getting involved with them again after we settled down a bit. He hasn't regretted it, but he also can take them or leave them, and he's told me that if they ever say a wrong word about me to him, he's going to let them have it with both barrels, and if it ever turns into a question of them or me, he'll walk away from them without looking back.

I believe him. He's interceded many times to take the brunt of his family's displeasure and has never shunted the "bad guy" role over to me, even when he's basically getting them to do something that I want them to do. (ie, I really am the bad guy.) For example, they have a habit of popping by unannounced, which is something I don't really like. Instead of telling them not to do so because I don't like it, he's asked them not to do so and claimed that he feels HE needs warning. When they've ignored his request, he's invented reasons why we're too busy to have company that never have anything to do with me. Similarly, I don't like having one of his sister's kids in the house because they're undisciplined little hellions who break our stuff. Instead of telling her that I have forbidden them in the house, he's told her he doesn't want them here because he has all sorts of chemicals needed for his painting all over the house, and he's afraid one of the kids will get into one and get sick. She doesn't like having to watch her kids too closely, so that's worked so far.

Seriously, I've lucked out with this guy in a big way. And when someone like that says we'll make things work, I know he genuinely believes it. And maybe we will -- it wouldn't be the first time I worried obsessively about something that didn't turn out to be a problem. But I'm a worry-wart, so I just can't let the kids thing pass.

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ange84
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten in the rain:
The problem is that my reason is really stupid. I want to marry him so that he can be Husband in the Rain instead of Boyfriend in the Rain. That's it. That's the only reason -- so when I refer to him, I can say that he's my husband. So I can go to bed at night next to my husband. So I can greet my husband when he comes home from work in the evenings.

I fully understand this reasoning, i have been with Mr Ange for 3 years in a couple of months and after being together that long people look at me strangly when i still call him my boyfriend instead of partner, simply because for myself i don't like the use of the word partner. It doesn't fit me. Being engaged even would be good for me because then i could start sounding grown up and calling him fiancee.
The kid issue is a big one though as everyone has said. How do you go with older kids, like 4 or 5 or so. If this age and up is a bit better for you you could adopt an older child and if it's finacially good, could boyfriend in the rain be a stay at home dad? These might not even be good ideas, but they are just some ideas i thought of.

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Love is a sudden revelation: a kiss is always a discovery

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
So are feminists not supposed to want to get married? I must have really missed the memo on that one [Big Grin] .

Lookie here, I'm about to agree with Christie on something to do with feminism. Uh, yeah. I also don't see how wanting a husband makes you an un-feminist. As far as I know, being a feminist doesn't change your biology, and if you are straight, you are attracted to men. And if you find one you really love you just might want to marry him. And so long as you treat each other well, I'm missing how marriage is inherently anti-feminist.

Now then, onto your personal situation. Like everyone else has said DISCUSS KIDS sooner rather than later. If you both feel like holding fast on your positions, you do have a real problem. If you can't bring yourself to discuss it, you have a bigger one.

ETA: I originally read the title of this thread as "manwich" !

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Random thoughts while reading this thread:

Add my vote to the "children issue must be settled" column.

There's no law that says a feminist can't be married.

The problem with religion is between you and your boyfriend. He must not be too devout, or he wouldn't be living with you without benefit of marriage. Not judging, just stating a fact. His not being devout works in your favor when it come to his defending your religious choice/non-choice to his very religious family.

I, like sleeping_dragon, took a peek at your profile. If you aren't an adult at 26, when will you be? Maybe it would help if you would start calling him a man, instead of a boy, as in "I really want to marry this boy man."

It's not strange at all that you want to be married to him. To me, it indicates that simply living together is no longer enough for you, no matter how you try to rationalize it. This is normal and happens quite frequently. People's needs change as they change, and it is not surprising that your needs may have changed over the past 8 years. Maybe some of your inner conflict would be resolved if you told this to him. On the other hand, I have friends who have been together for 45 years with no marriage. [Smile] Whatever is right for you is what you should do.

The best of luck to you, Kitten. From reading your posts, both here and in other threads, I feel that you are a very kind, considerate and talented person who has a lot to offer, and who deserves to have much offered to her in return.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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It's not really that I don't think a feminist should get married, but I think it's a bit un-feminist of me to want to get married solely because I want to call Boyfriend in the Rain my husband. I see feminist reasons as being more... I don't know. Solid. Practical. There are lots of very good reasons to marry someone. Wanting to be able to call them 'husband' is not one of them. [Razz]

Signora Del Drago,G.R.I.T.S. wrote:

I, like sleeping_dragon, took a peek at your profile. If you aren't an adult at 26, when will you be?


Oh, I don't know. I just don't feel very adult yet. It probably doesn't help that I look a lot younger than I am, so people still treat me like a teenager/early twentysomething. But maybe I'm just not the sort of person who ever feels like an adult. I might be 90 one day in a nursing home, still not feeling like I managed to grow up. [Razz]

But regardless of how adult I feel, Boyfriend in the Rain and I still aren't financially independant, which I think is a good indicator of adulthood. I don't make very much money at all at my job, and it's unlikely that I ever will. I work there because it's low stress and it won't burn me out creatively. He makes a decent amount of money, but is talking about going back to school, which means taking on more debt.

There's also the issue of getting our lives settled. I'm trying to become a novellist. I have this book I need to finish editing for that. (Gonna put in three or four hours on that today, in fact) He's trying to become a teacher. We're still both working very hard to position ourselves where we want to be in the world. I guess I have the idea that I'm not "supposed" to get married 'till we get there. And he's old fashioned about some things because of his extremely conservative upbringing, so I expect that he won't want to marry me 'till he feels he can support me.

The best of luck to you, Kitten. From reading your posts, both here and in other threads, I feel that you are a very kind, considerate and talented person who has a lot to offer, and who deserves to have much offered to her in return.

*blush* Aw, shucks. Thank you. [Smile]

I really did luck out with him, all of my complaints and whining aside.

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BlushingBride
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Kitten, have you and your boyfriend considered discussing these issues with a couples counselor? Having a knowledgeable 3rd party go over these things with you, especially one who is trained to spot potential problems down the road and suggest solutions, will probably make you both feel better and more confident in your relationship. Besides that, these issues are exactly the sort of thing that EVERY couple should look into as part of premarital counseling.

(Of course, the first step would be to raise the issue with BitR. In a concrete way. [Smile] )

In your area, I'm sure you can find a counselor with reasonable, affordable rates (or a sliding-scale based on income). If, however, you have trouble finding an affordable service, please remember that most religious professionals (priests, rabbis, ministers) are trained to provide counseling and will meet with you to provide guidance at little or no cost. (We had our premarital counseling with a pastor, and, besides an opening and closing prayer, her advice was all sound, based on science and experience, and extremely helpful.) Sometimes religious organizations will even be able to point you to qualified, free community counseling.

I really think that if you are serious about wanting to marry BitR, and if he wants to marry you too, then you are right to feel that these issues need to be settled. And I think that some good, standard pre-marital counseling will help you to find the answers you are looking for.

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"In perfume, as in underwear, the scantiest of applications provides the greatest of returns." -Silas Sparkhammer

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Jay Temple
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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If, as I think you've said, the two of you have already talked ... and talked ... and talked ... about kids and you know that neither of you is going to change his/her mind, then I will say more directly than most: Don't marry him. But make sure that neither of you is going to budge before you make that decision.

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"Well, it looks we're on our own ... again."--Rev. Lovejoy

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by willowsma:
Anyway, I second all on this thread who say the children issue is huge and must be addressed first and foremost.

Piling on here. When Mark and I started talking about marriage, the first thing I said was that I DO NOT want kids. Not a year from now, not five years from now, not ever, and if he wanted kids, he'd best look for someone else. While Mark does like kids to some extent, he didn't care one way or another about having any of his own.
We'll be celebrating anniversary #15 in July. [Wink]

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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The Year Without A SeaPea
Deck the Malls


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Here KitR, have some empathy! I SO know how you feel.

I was never one of those little girls who dreamed about their wedding day. I never wanted to get married. And then I met SOPea. Suddenly my feelings about marriage changed dramatically!

Unfortunately, I remain unmarried, and will probably be that way for a long, long time. I have to fulfill that lifelong dream of being the crazy old lady with all the pets [Big Grin]

While I don't want to be one of those couples who are together for a snillion years and are still "boyfriend/girlfriend", I am not pushing to be married right now. I very much want to be at least engaged (inner squeeeeeeee! at the thought), but hey, it ain't happening. Might not ever happen.

It's very hard to try and weigh your present happiness against some possible future issue. I really hope you and BitR can work it out!

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you can't fight biology...

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I'm 20th Century Fox
Happy Holly Days


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Pardon me for prying, but you said "Boyfriend in the Rain and I still aren't financially independant". I'm trying to figure out if you and he are a typical young couple, struggling to get by on your own, or if there is some sort of financial support (which you do not need to divulge to us).

The reason I ask is that if you are the latter, then yes, it makes some sense that marriage is not yet in the cards. If the former, then you probably should discuss working toward marriage when you have x number of dollars in the bank, if marriage is important to you (and it sounds like it is) - if the money thing is what's been holding you both back.

Really nothing else to add here, I just mainly wondered what your situation was when you said you weren't financially independent (again, please forgive me for being nosey!).

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When my chin is on the ground I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.

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