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I think I'm marrying for the wrong reasons and I'm wobbling on it.

(26 Posts)
joggingonwardandupwards Tue 18-Mar-14 10:05:56

A few months ago I was desperate for DP to propose. I'm mid thirties and never been married. He had so I suppose I felt hard done to in a way, jealous that he married her but not me, I wanted the proof that he loved me enough to marry me ... anyway I went on at him and he proposed.

Thing is, now I'm not sure I really want to marry! Now that I've had the proposal I think a small part of me is thinking "good, you proved you loved me enough to ask for marriage, that's all I needed". Do I actually need or want the marriage and if so, why?

If I'm really honest with myself it's for all the wrong reasons. Financial security (I work full time and can support myself but he earns a lot more and together we're very comfortable financially). The house? (in his name, if we married I would have entitlement to it). The commitment? How many married men/women have affairs? it's no guarantee of commitment is it?

I keep thinking about how much I loved being single, having total power over how my house looked, whether I had pets or not, how the money was spent - but god I'm miss him so much if we ever split and I DO love him.

I suppose the ultimate was when I found myself researching the logistics of divorce on the internet a few days ago and thinking "shit, marriages are REALLY difficult to get out of!"

This isn't the way a happy bride to be should be thinking is it?

Or is this normal pre-marriage wobbles?

angel1976 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:14:59

Hi joggingonwardsandupwards, reading your OP, I wonder if you are are wobbling due to the fact that maybe your DH was pressured into the proposal so you don't think it's sincere and now you are looking for a way out?

There is no guarantee in life. I am in the process of getting divorced, I never thought I would be doing this (my ex left for someone else). I swore never again though I am glad I did (I have two very lovely DCs out of the marriage) iykwim.

I think if you are planning to have kids, you need to consider marriage seriously, the number of times we have seen on this board how many women get screwed over by men due to not getting married and they get left with nothing... And yes, a marriage is hard to get out of, I am in the process and it's no fun.

I do think marriage holds a very strong romantic appeal. I am now in a relationship with a lovely man and I find myself thinking that if we don't get married, then what do we have in a way? Good luck! x

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Mar-14 10:18:48

I think it's pretty normal. I also think more people should be honest about their reasons for getting married, look at the implications of being married, and especially things like financial/property security which I think are hugely important and often completely disregarded in the (IMHO silly) obsession with fancy dresses and venues. What you say about the power balance is also very important. Even though you're committing to someone and even though you love them, things like privacy, independence, control of money, attitude to pets etc shouldn't just go by the wayside. If things aren't equal pre-marriage, a wedding ring won't make things better or worse. So find a solution beforehand.

Marriage isn't particularly difficult to get out of but it can be expensive. Prenuptial agreements are increasingly popular. Better to fix the terms of a separation now while you're very amicable and not anticipating divorce than wait until it all falls apart and you're trying to find middle ground with emotions running high.

Bonsoir Tue 18-Mar-14 10:22:14

Marriage can imply a loss of power for one or other of the couple.

AutumnMadness Tue 18-Mar-14 10:51:47

jogging, I think what you are experiencing is fairly normal. Especially for a mature woman who is too grown up to believe all the "happily ever after" tales. I would suggest that what you are afraid of is rather change than marriage. Life is going to be challenging and complicated, with ups and downs, regardless of whether you are married or not. But change can be annoying and frightening. I personally hate it. But sometimes change, once you got over the fright, brings interesting things into life. Get married, see what it's like, if you hate it, get divorced.

AutumnMadness Tue 18-Mar-14 10:53:13

And I agree with Cogito, marriage is not big brother's house. If you want private space and time to yourself, make those conditions of your relationship.

eurochick Tue 18-Mar-14 11:00:45

I felt similar. I wanted a show of commitment. The proposal was it. I wasn't that bothered about getting married. I even suggested that we call it off, but as my fianc� pointed out, we had told everyone... So we went ahead, had a great wedding and to my surprise I love being married. Nothing material changed as we were already living together but I felt more settled and grounded. I wasn't expecting that.

arsenaltilidie Tue 18-Mar-14 17:00:31

Good luck and your stupid games.
You force him to propose to "show he loves you?" But you don't actually mean it.
Not once have you mentioned you want to spend the rest of your life with him.
Instead you are more concerned about what you'd gain.

Maybe good luck to him.

MooncupMadness Tue 18-Mar-14 19:57:05

You don't have to get married you know. If you are in a committed relationship with someone then you should feel able to sit down with that person, have a sensible conversation about what you both want and hopefully reach a conclusion that suits you both.

You might find that he really does want to marry you and that all you need is some reassurance as to his sincerity. Or You might find that neither of you are bothered about doing it - for whatever reason - but you can carry on happily un-married and together.

daffodildays Tue 18-Mar-14 20:17:19

Marriage is difficult to get out of, if the other person does not consent to divorce and children are involved, and it is expensive.

Do not get married unless you are sure. Honestly.

I agree you should have a clear and open conversation about what you both think. I got married because my husband wanted to. He wanted to because marriage was socially valued hmm and it gave him more rights over future dc and being married was important to him. I thought if it was important to him, then I could manage with it. See opening line of my post for how things are going.

Cabrinha Tue 18-Mar-14 21:18:50

Yes, marrying him for an entitlement to his house is the wrong reason.

BeenThereHatedThat Tue 18-Mar-14 22:13:50

I got married for the wrong reasons once. Life didn't click into place, and I had no lovely surprise to find I actually loved being married. I hated it. I felt weird. I felt cold. I felt I was acting someone else's life, and I felt in a bubble, removed from my old self. I had never been able to stand his family, and suddenly I shared their surname. I suddenly went totally physically off my husband. I hated the idea that I was legally obliged to have sex with him. The rest of my life suddenly felt like a really, really, REALLY long and boring time.

My most enduring memory is waving the last of the wedding-guests off and thinking, "Shit, where are you all going? Don't leave us alone together."

I was honest with myself before the wedding, too, and I knew it wasn't what I wanted, but I was honest too late. I went through with it because by then plans were under way, the venue was booked, invitations had been accepted, and I didn't have the guts to pull out. It felt easier to go through with it and then divorce later. I was wondering in my head how soon I could escape while standing at the altar. I was lucky and had an amicable divorce on the grounds of 2 years' separation. Other divorcees I know had a far harder time of it.

I know so, so many people who thought that because they were of marrying age, or they ought to be married by now, they should marry whoever they happened to be with. I know so many people who thought that 'being married' would 'just work'. No. Life did not magically fall into place for them, either.

I have a DP now with whom I share a mortgage, children, and a surname by deed poll. When we got together, everything DID just click into place. Life just made total sense. We knew this was it. Neither of us sees the point in getting married, because we have what's important: each other. What does the state, or the church, or standing up in formal clothing in front of bored relatives have to do with what we have together? It just feels like an irrelevant, weird ritual to go through. We come home to each other because we love each other and want to see each other at the end of the day. He is the first person ever for whom all that 'till death us do part' stuff actually makes sense for me, and I do not want to marry him. I just want to spend my life with him.

If you're sure that marriage is what you want, then get married. But please, don't do it if you aren't sure. Have a massive party as often as you like, but don't have a wedding unless you want a marriage to this man. Weddings and marriages are two totally different things.

It's really, really good that you've been honest with yourself. You can be honest with him, too, and say that you just wanted to feel the same level of commitment from him as his ex had. Honesty is a foundation of a really good relationship, and a really good relationship will make you happier than a wedding-cake will.

householdchorewhore Wed 19-Mar-14 01:04:10

I felt the same OP! I googled divorce too and our decision to get married came a long time after we first started talking about it. First, neither of us fancied marriage, then we both did, then he didn't, then I didn't... Then we just decided to go for it.

The last couple of months before we did it were not good. We were both apprehensive, me more than him. The pressure felt quite overwhelming. I was very nervous, not for the Big Day as such but for the rest of my life.

Getting married for the legal reasons is perfectly fine and legitimate. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You both already love and commit. You can spend the rest of your lives together without marriage - it's fine to do it because you want the contract, the formality.

Maybe you're a bit surprised that despite the proposal you thought you wanted, you are still apprehensive and thinking in terms of legalities, not hearts and flowers and romance?

I think it's a good thing to think of marriage in practical terms, after all it is a practical, legal agreement. And regarding looking up divorce, so what? You wouldn't sign any other contract without looking up how you can get out of it, so why get married without doing so? I'm sure that despite this, you really really want to get married and have a great relationship and are willing to work hard at it. You're preparing for marriage and thinking about the seriousness of it - which I think is much better than wafting around on a cloud of fuzziness just thinking about an expensive white dress and bad wedding food!

I found talking about my fears with DP really helped.

Now I'm married I'm very happy! Best of luck OP.

Rainbow13 Wed 19-Mar-14 01:15:50

If I'm honest it doesn't sound like either of you are ready to marry or are doing so for the right reasons.

He shouldn't feel pressured by you to propose just to prove his love. and you don't sound like you really want marriage.

The divorce rates don't bother me at all. it depends how you see/value your marriage/spouce. which can depend weather your marriage lasts or not.

Qix Wed 19-Mar-14 01:22:55

You wouldn't necessarily have rights to his house, unless you have children together.

If you think you are marrying for the wrong reasons, then you probably are.

Dirtybadger Wed 19-Mar-14 01:23:50

Cabrihna I assume if the op works full time she has contributed and will continue to contribute money which is paying off his mortgage. Maybe ring fence the money he'd put in himself but otherwise without marriage and/or name on the deeds that might leave op a bit stuck. Of course if op just pay bills then fair enough there is no entitlement.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Thu 20-Mar-14 18:00:53

There's nothing wrong with considering the practicalities of marriage, just be sure you don't expect it to change your relationship. DH was convinced that things would change after our wedding, he was kind of stunned that two weeks later we were muddling along the way we did before. I hasten to add that there was nothing wrong with our relationship, he was just under the impression that married life was different to living together!

Also, pre-wedding jitters are perfectly normal. I walked down the aisle feeling like I was going to throw up, I was so nervous!

Logg1e Thu 20-Mar-14 18:16:39

I think that you are marrying for the wrong reasons, you sound as though you have been quite mercenary and manipulative.

WherewasHonahLee Thu 20-Mar-14 18:23:12

"The house? (in his name, if we married I would have entitlement to it)."

Niice.

Please don't marry him. Let him have the lucky escape he needs.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 20-Mar-14 18:43:59

Now that I've had the proposal I think a small part of me is thinking "good, you proved you loved me enough to ask for marriage, that's all I needed".

That's very honest of you to say so. Many couples have very long engagements and never seem to fix a date, you're not alone.

Are you slightly worried that if his first marriage didn't work out, DP's second might be doomed?

A year ago there was a report by the Marriage Foundation which suggested 45 per cent of marriages between first-timers are destined for the divorce courts, while just 31 per cent of second weddings will end in failure.

A Relate counsellor observed that people in second marriages seem to have more insight and self-awareness. Perhaps there's more motivation to work through problems and save the marriage.

Talk to him about it, maybe he feels there's no rush to get to the altar either.

Chunderella Thu 20-Mar-14 19:14:44

There's nothing wrong with getting married for practicalities and legalities if that's what you want. And people do get cold feet.

Logg1e Thu 20-Mar-14 19:44:52

So long as you're open and honest with each other about your motives I guess Chund?

olathelawyer05 Thu 20-Mar-14 20:29:44

"I'm mid thirties and never been married. He had so I suppose I felt hard done to in a way, jealous that he married her but not me..."

"...I wanted the proof that he loved me enough to marry me ... anyway I went on at him and he proposed...."

"...Now that I've had the proposal I think a small part of me is thinking "good, you proved you loved me enough to ask for marriage, that's all I needed"..."

Wow.

olathelawyer05 Thu 20-Mar-14 20:40:09

"...while just 31 per cent of second weddings will end in failure"

Just 31% eh?....That's a high enough figure anyway, but these are just the ones that actually get to a 'divorce'. There's probably a whole lot more that are failures as relationships but don't actually get to a divorce, and so don't make it into the statistic. Its almost certainly naive to think that the other 69% are inherent 'successes' simply because there is no divorce.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 20-Mar-14 20:47:04

I would also be inclined to check that you do have some legal protection to your home. Just being married won't cut it, especially if it's in his name and not yours, and he hasn't written a will. If it came to a divorce you wouldn't necessarily get a share in the house because he could show quite easily that you contributed nothing to its purchase.

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