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How do you know you're ready to get married?

(30 Posts)
dkb15164 Tue 20-Feb-18 18:04:17

Known partner for a year and half, were like best friends (although he secretly fancied me all along) at beginning, followed by one night stand that led to 2 months happily dating before we discovered I was up the duff. This unplanned pregnancy main factor in decision to move in together last month in preparation of baby's arrival due to logic, currently 32 weeks. We love each other a great deal and he has been nothing but supportive and encouraging since finding out I'm pregnant. Said at the time he would endorse whatever my decision was 100% but later admitted to me that if I had decided to abort he would have been devastated but lived with it and that if I had decided to put baby up for adoption he would have been torn between staying with me and adopting/taking parental guardianship of baby himself as he has always wanted to be dad. He reads all the baby books, wakes up in middle of night if I'm crying hormonally, makes dinner and runs me baths when he gets home before me. Witnessed 3 of my mums marriages and never seen a man be so kind and loving that it makes me a little distrustful. This morning I had a uni assignment due in and he stayed up with me to help me finish it. We seem to bring out the best in each other - I make him more thoughtful and helpful towards strangers and he makes me less anxious about things, my family are a bit wary of him due to 9 year age gap. His family are lovely, his mum has made me feel like one of her own. His friends are wary of me, again I think because of the age gap. My friends have ditched me since finding out I was pregnant so their opinions don't largely matter but seems positive from them anyway. Reason why I'm asking is that when we were watching married at first sight the other night topic of marriage obviously came up (his best friend's engagement party coming up soon as well). He said he thinks that he would only wait a year before getting engaged to somebody. The way he made it sound was that he would propose by end of the summer. He kept asking me how long I think is appropriate to wait and I didn't have an answer. My mum always said that I should see person through every season of weather before getting married. Technically with pregnancy the seasons have been altered compared to a normal relationship so don't know if it would mean that starting from baby was 2 or something then a year or what. But she also said I should wait till 30 before marriage and kids. We both want same things for our lives, want to travel with the kid and see the world. I feel like I know him like the back of my hand. But a part of me also doesn't want to be judged for being that girl who got married just because I got pregnant or for getting married so young. My brother and mum are the only ones who don't have problem with partner's age because they've had years of parents evenings and report cards telling them I'm extremely mature for my age. How long would/did you wait before marrying someone?

TheNaze73 Tue 20-Feb-18 18:26:38

Making a lifetime commitment to one person would be insane after only 18 months.

Sarahh2014 Tue 20-Feb-18 18:29:04

Not insane after 18 months but make sure you 100% sure.i got married my XH after 13 months big mistake

NameChange30 Tue 20-Feb-18 18:35:00

Well having a child is arguably more of a lifetime commitment than getting married. You can get divorced but you’ll always have a child together. If you both want to be in the child’s life you’ll have to see each other at significant events for your child.

Honestly OP it’s a moot point. In an ideal world you’d live together for a year or more before making a big commitment like marriage, children or a joint mortgage. But that ship has sailed. You’re pregnant and intend to continue the pregnancy. So get married if you want the legal protection and commitment before having the baby (I would if I were you).

He sounds great btw. Hope it all works out. Do what you want and not what your mum or others say (and that includes us internet’s strangers grin).

EmergencyMedicalHologram Tue 20-Feb-18 18:35:10

I married just after i had my 1st child, we had known each other just under 2 years. I was 19. We have been together nearly 31 years this year. When you know you have met the right one, you just knowwink

NameChange30 Tue 20-Feb-18 18:41:18

How old are you btw?

mrssapphirebright Tue 20-Feb-18 20:19:17

Married by first dh (childhood sweetheart) at 18. Had known him through high school. Divorced at 19.
Married 2nd dh at 21. Had been together a year, he was 10 years older than me. We went on to have two dc but I divorced him at 35. It was amicable and he is still a good friend and we coparent well.

Ultimately marriage is bloody hard work. The kids kept us together for as long as we did. But in reality we shouldn't have got married as it was on a whim. Had my dc at age 26 and 28. We grew apart and even though the age gap never made a difference whilst we were married it's more obvious now (I'm 42, he's 52).

I am now married to my third and final dh! My parents were totally shocked at history repeating itself as I married him after only 6 months. The difference this time? I've known him since I was 21, we've been friends since uni. We've been very happily married for 7 years now.

The difference this time? When you know, you know. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. You can't see yourself with anyone else ever again. I think the older you get the more sure of yourself you are and ice you've experienced love and relationships a bit you know who is right for you and why.

Good luck op.

Haffiana Tue 20-Feb-18 22:19:59

My friends have ditched me since finding out I was pregnant so their opinions don't largely matter

This worries me. Why did they ditch you exactly?

How old are you?

Anonagain2017 Tue 20-Feb-18 22:45:31

You don't say how old you are? 9 year age gap isn't that much so makes me think you are very young.
There is no right or wrong about when to get married but there is no rush so just tell him you'd rather wait a while longer. See what sort of Dad he is first!

Mrstobe90 Wed 21-Feb-18 00:14:53

Only marry someone if you have no doubts that it's the right decision.
My husband and I got engaged after a year together and married just before our 2 year anniversary.
Many people said it was too soon but we're so happy in our marriage and have just welcomed our daughter into the world!
Do what is right for you but don't take the decision lightly. Xx

lucylouuu Wed 21-Feb-18 00:20:52

how old are you? i think there's a different between if you two are " 41 and 50 " and " 16 and 25 "

SVRT19674 Wed 21-Feb-18 07:50:45

@theNaze73. Got married after a year and a half and still married ten years later. My boss married his girlfriend of ten years and the marriage lasted six months. It comes down to quality not quantity.
OP just make sure when the time comes that you both wish to marry for your own sakes, not because you have a child. By the way, my mum was 11 years younger than my dad.

MiniTheMinx Wed 21-Feb-18 08:37:20

I'm 45 and I've never been ready to marry anyone until now. Three ltr with men who wanted to marry me, and two children. I waited 20 years plus to find the right person and even then I wasn't thinking in terms of marriage. Seems quite final to me. But when you meet the right person you have no doubts. I am getting married in September this year to the only man I've ever wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And what makes this easier for me is that my life is now much shorter than it was 20 plus years ago! Joking about yesterday, in response to my plan to be buried in the Jewish cemetery, (he's not Jewish) "oh, I'll have to get someone to mix my ashes with araldite and have it painted over your grave" I laughed but a tiny part of me deep in the recess of my mind shouted "bloody hell no, that's for eternity"

I guess what I'm saying is this, if you have no doubts and not only do you want to but actually see yourself married to this person for life, then do it. But also, although you see this, and want this, and years later it's not the right thing.....you are allowed to divorce. And being young you are more likely to divorce because you have a very long stretch ahead of you. Realistically people change over time. This is less likely as you get to be 'old' like me. And whether people change in complimentary ways and grow together rather than apart is largely down to will and not chance. If you think it's luck.....you'd be wrong.

frenchfancy Wed 21-Feb-18 08:45:53

If you are having a child together and love each other then marriage is the obvious outcome. It will give you and your child stability and protection. Length of time together before marriage doesn't seem to equate to a long happy marriage. Plenty of people know each other for years then go on to have a failed marriage, others(like me) got married just a few months after meeting and are still together 25years later.

Allow yourself to be happy without worrying about the future.

LemonShark Wed 21-Feb-18 08:46:04

This all seems a bit odd OP that people would have such a huge problem with 'the age gap' when it's only nine years. That's nothing unless you are very young (as in you're 18 and he's 27 or something). What's your age?

The only way I can imagine the age gap being an issue is if you're very young as above, so if that's the case I'd say you're definitely right not to think about marriage yet. You're too young. A child is a commitment in a sense but ultimately all you're committing to is having a child. The commitment is between you and the child not you and their other parent, your relationship with him would at best be co parent and friends if it didn't work out. Marriage is a commitment to him directly. And very messy to dissolve, harder to walk away.

I doubt you know him well enough yet with getting pregnant so fast. Your relationship hasn't managed to follow a natural course of getting to know each other no pressure as you know you're about to have a child together. His comments about how he wouldn't wait longer than a year to propose seem a bit suspect imo, as if that's his default assumption for his life with no real concern about how the actual real live woman he's with feels. Why the rush? I'm wary of an older man trying to rush you into marriage if you are younger or inexperienced.

Wait and see how you feel in a couple of years before engagement. Let him know you want time to both adjust to being new parents and enjoying your relationship before rushing to the next step. Tell him you can talk again when baby is two or three. Take the pressure off.

Yes some people do get married quickly and it works, but they're the outliers. there's a reason for the phrase 'only fools rush in'. Give yourself some time to adjust to being in a serious relationship with a first child.

rocketgirl22 Wed 21-Feb-18 08:52:25

Your dp sounds great, and you sound happy.

We were married around 19 months, I knew I wanted to be with him, so for me I had no questions and we have been together for 17 years.

You are having a baby together and to me that is a far bigger commitment than getting married.

Why not have a long engagement so you can be sure, and plan a lovely summer wedding when your baby is a tiny bit older and can join in with the celebrations. Being married made me feel secure and happy.

palmfronds Wed 21-Feb-18 08:53:37

Hmm... When it comes to waiting and getting to know each other, I'd say that boat has sailed. You're having a child together and only marriage can provide you with adequate legal and financial protection should everything go wrong.

You don't say much about your work/living/financial situation but be aware that if you are unmarried, living in his house and not working, you could easily find yourself homeless and penniless with a baby to look after if something goes wrong.

Normally I would advise people to take their time before getting married but in your case I think it would be the safest thing.

Velvetbee Wed 21-Feb-18 10:11:58

I was married after 18 months, we didn’t live together beforehand either. It was a steep learning curve on both sides but we’re still happily together 23 years later.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 21-Feb-18 10:31:26

1st relationship - he waited too long.
7 years!!!
2nd relationship was quick. Started dating in October and were married by the next July, so just over 18 months.
There is no real time limit.
I got married at 26.
He sounds like a good one, from what you have written.
If it feels right then it is right.

mayhew Wed 21-Feb-18 10:53:45

There is no correct length of time. My husband and I were together 10 years first, we just wanted to finalise our commitment. Our daughter is thinking marriage in less than a year because it will make it easier for her foreign born OH to stay.
However, marriage has no magical qualities. It will not strengthen a shaky relationship. It will not make someone a better parent. It will not make an unhappy person happy.

isthistoonosy Wed 21-Feb-18 11:04:17

Have you considered the legal and economic side of getting married and cohabiting? Do you realize there is no such thing as common law marriage?

What are your plans for uni and work after you have the baby?

HobnobBob Wed 21-Feb-18 16:10:13

Why did your friends ditch you, how old are you? And as a pp said there is no such thing as ‘common law’ so think about what you’re giving up in terms of protecting yourself and your child should anything go wrong.

dkb15164 Wed 21-Feb-18 17:10:38

Age 20 and he's 29. Before anybody says I haven't lived yet, I've lived on 3 continents, backpacked across Europe solo and am in my 3rd year of uni, I have a lot more life experience than most people my age. Plans are to return to uni after summer with parents childcare support and using my unis childcare grant for flexible paid childcare to top off what they're not able to. Friends are very party hard type people, never bothered me before but since falling pregnant I realised every get together involves alcohol and smoking which makes them feel awkward around me not drinking/smoking so they stopped inviting me to anything full stop. They don't know how to handle me going to antenatal classes or painting nursery or baby shower etc, its just so far from where their lives are at.
I read a statistic online that the first 5 years of a kids life is the most stressful time for a couple's relationship and can determine whether a couple will make or break. Maybe waiting till the babies 5 to see if we've stood the test of time would be a good idea. It just leaves me with little security other than his word, and both our parents word that they'll look after me. I've told him that I want to wait and see and he says he doesn't want to put pressure on me, joked that he's doesn't care if we wait till we're 70 and grey if that's what it takes to make me comfortable which is nice. The fact he owns the flat we live in makes me uncomfortable as well. He says as soon as the baby arrives he's changing his life insurance policy to have me and baby as sole claimants but who knows honestly, he could just be saying it. He has redecorated his whole flat for me, painted the walls the colour I like and put in wood floorboards etc, but he could just be doing it for an easy life. Reading what you guys said about being financially vulnerable has made me worried he's just doing everything to prevent me kicking off hormonally.

lucylouuu Wed 21-Feb-18 17:20:20

he sounds absolutely lovely! has he done anything to make you so unsure/untrusting of him? I don't think you need to be so stressed about getting married though.. it seems like you want to get married so you feel more secure but it sounds like he's pretty certain about this already

dkb15164 Wed 21-Feb-18 18:05:30

He's never done anything to make me distrusting of him. We've had our little disagreements and arguments but nothing serious and usually always resolve it before bed. It's mostly because other people are wary of the age gap that I feel I really should be wary.

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