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My family don't know I'm married

(18 Posts)
QueenOfHearts22 Mon 02-Nov-09 16:10:43

I have been lurking for a while and really wanted to post but haven't had the chance until now...

So I have now been married for almost 2 years - we live abroad and got married here. My hubby is not a Brit, but has been over to visit the family with me numerous times. I was only 20 when we got married, and as we couldn't afford a 'real' wedding we just did it at the Registry Office and told no one, planning to have a wedding ceremony at home soon after.

Time has passed, and we have not managed to have the ceremony yet - it's getting really tough as I am close to my fam, especially my sisters. I feel dispicable for lying to them, but it feels like too much time has passed now. I just want it to be out in the open, but I'm scared it will cause a rift between me and my mother.

Should I just hang in there until we can have a ceremony? But we will be lying for the rest of our lives...we will be celebrating a different anniversary than everyone thinks.

...am I a horrible person? We are very happy together, so that is not an issue, but every time we go home it gets harder not to say something.

Panicking a bit as I am going home this weekend without DH!

AccioPinotGrigio Mon 02-Nov-09 16:24:28

Not sure what to say really. I am intrigued to know why you got married without telling them in the first place, particularly as you say you are close to them. Being nosey really so you don't have to answer that one.

How would your family take it if you told them the truth? Would it cause a major rift?

QueenOfHearts22 Mon 02-Nov-09 16:32:08

Lol go ahead and be nosy

I didn't tell them because A) I was young and I knew they would be very upset (obviously this was a stupid decision), B) because they hadn't met my DH at the time, so would have been upset at that too, and C) because they wouldn't have been able to attend, which would have caused major arguments.

I didn't want to argue, nor for them to try and dissuade me, so we just went along and got married. I just didn't think it'd be so long before we could be 'openly' married

I know I sound ridiculous but I just feel crap about it.

Honestly I don't know - I can see it being horrendous and causing serious arguments, and people falling out...

What would you feel if your daughter had done this?

more Mon 02-Nov-09 16:39:53

I would probably feel hurt, annoyed, start to re-evaluate exactly what kind of relationship we have here.
I think I would prefer it if you lied to me and the next time the two of you go home tell your family that you have decided to get married, and then do it again without telling your family that you are already married. People have two marriages all the time, one abroad and one at home, one in Vegas, one 2, 5, 10, 30 years later. I would never want to know, because I doubt that I would be able to really trust you again. Sorry!!

AMumInScotland Mon 02-Nov-09 16:41:58

Not sure where you are or what religion if any. But depending on that, could you arrange a blessing in your church/whatever and invite your family to it. You could then say "we'll do the legal bit in the registry office, just us, but want to invite you to the celebration". Weddings (or blessing a marriage) doesn't cost much money, so you don't have to go all out on a mega-wedding if it's the cost and difficulty which is stopping you.

QueenOfHearts22 Mon 02-Nov-09 16:51:42

Sadly we are two different religions (well actually one religious, one atheist) so a religious thing is not an option. I had planned to have a ceremony at my godmother's beautiful manor house, with a friend's company doing the catering, which would be cheap-ish. However my mum has vetoed the idea saying she wants to pay for a 'proper' wedding (ie over 100 guests!), and needs a few years to save and plan.

So there lies my dilemma. Yes I do feel horrible, but it wasn't meant to be like this. I didn't set out to be deceitful, just to save them a lot of pain and upset. blush

I suppose you're right - I can't really tell them now just to make myself feel better...wish I had just had the balls to tell them we were doing it when we did really!

DuelingFanjo Mon 02-Nov-09 16:57:11

You're an adult so I recon you should stop beating yourself up about it. You made a choice to not tell them and so that is how it is. Getting yourself in a tizz about it isn't worth it. I think you should just tell them as soon as you can, don't load it with apology but just tell them how and why you did it and then stop feeling guilty.

AMumInScotland Mon 02-Nov-09 17:07:48

Well, I don't think it should be up to your mum to veto your wedding plans - it's really up to you and DP to decide to marry, and make the arrangements. Of course lovely if family offer to help out, but it's not their wedding, its yours.

Personally, I don't think I could carry on not telling them, and it sounds like it's eating you up to be dishonest with them. So I think you need to tell them, first chance you get.

If you feel it will be really hurtful to tell them you've been lying all this time, you could lie just a little more and tell them you did it on the right day and month, but lie about the year - then at least you'll be able to have the right day as your anniversary. If its coming up on your anniversary, that would be a good time to do it.

And either admit - "Actually it's our second anniversary today", or else "DP and I decided we wanetd to be married so we went to the Registry Office". We can have a big family party later if you still want to.

GroundhogsRocketScientist Mon 02-Nov-09 21:47:17

Hmm, i don't know.. agree that the wedding should be what YOU want, not what your mum wants, especially as a massive blow out weddingwill take even longer to pay for, and all that money for what... better to spend it on your home....

Plan the wedding YOU want and that is that.

I had friends of mine, years ago that were actually american, both living in the UK, and with a mega mega wedding planned in the states later on in the year. suddenly they were told by UK immigration that the visa that her DF had didn't actually cover her and technically if she were to be working, she'd be doing so illegally.

So they got married quietly in London and then got the US wedding done as planned later.

Go for the wedding you want, 1 cos its what you want and 2, you can achieve it faster.

Personally, I'd just get the wedding sorted out fast, so the guilt doesn't get to you in the meantime.

Be strong, don't let your family bully you into a huge wedding, it's not what you want or need.

merrymonsters Mon 02-Nov-09 22:56:02

My sister was married for a year before she told our mother and all her siblings (she was even living part-time with my other sister at the time of the wedding). We were surprised but not offended. She admitted that 'it could have been a horrible mistake' and I suppose we would have tried to talk her out of being so reckless, especially because they used to argue at the time.

They've been married 8 years now and have 3 children and are very happy.

Having said that, my siblings and I are not obsessed with weddings and have a 'do what you want' attitude to these things. It will obviously be harder for you if they're likely to guilt trip you or start crying.

I think you need to just plan a party, tell them and ride it out. They'll just have to get used to it.

QueenOfHearts22 Tue 03-Nov-09 06:49:35

Thank you all for the advice. DH is saying that we should tell them after we have a ceremony, as it'll lighten the blow....not sure I agree, but he's said that if I really feel so awful then he will support me in telling them.

I think perhaps I will speak to my sister, she won't be angry, more hurt, but she'll understand. And she wouldn't say anything...

Re mum's veto - she's an event planner (ergo control freak!) and my wedding has always been her dream event. Equally I know she will plan a stunning wedding, and have always envisioned her doing it. It's just that she is guilt tripping me into letting her pay (which honestly would help us a lot obviously). Part of it is that, at 22, she thinks I am still too young to marry, and is trying to delay it. I understand her worries, but all the same it was a bit upsetting that when I told her we were engaged, her initial response was 'well you need to wait until 2011'. She wasn't excited or happy for us. Mind you she was devastated when my sister fell pregnant (even though she was 32 and it was planned!)...so she has a weird outlook on 'family' events like this.

I think I'm just going to set a date and that's that. Maybe I'll tell her that this weekend...I need to start planning and we want to be recognised as husband and wife!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Nov-09 07:26:21

You are already husband and wife.

I would come clean now with your family and say that you got married almost two years ago at the registry office. She cannot therefore plan a "stunning wedding" for you as you are already married and therefore you do not need to set a further date. Plan a celebratory party instead.

Both of you need to sit down and talk with these people asap.

Also stop feeling guilty, guilt is a useless emotion.

QueenOfHearts22 Tue 03-Nov-09 07:34:34

Well we do need to have a wedding under UK law, so that's not an issue, we can still have a proper one.

I'm torn now blush

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Nov-09 09:18:32

You have already had a civil ceremony. That should suffice in UK law as well.

May I ask where you got married, was it in Europe for instance?. You're already married, you do not need another ceremony for the family and or societal convention. You need to tell them as a couple that you got married just shy of two years ago now. You were old enough to make a decision and got married.

I only ask this as I got married abroad and our wedding ceremony is fully valid under UK law.

Re this comment of yours too:-
"DH is saying that we should tell them after we have a ceremony, as it'll lighten the blow....not sure I agree, but he's said that if I really feel so awful then he will support me in telling them".

Well he should support you anyway in telling them!!. Telling them after the ceremony is not really an option as its going to reflect badly on both of you - tell them now.

QueenOfHearts22 Tue 03-Nov-09 09:23:35

No we were married in the Middle East, and our marriage license is, according to the Embassy, a 'grey' area (we were married in an Islamic court, so although the document is legal and binding here, it's questionable whether it would be in a non-Sharia country). That needs to be checked out in detail, but if we're getting married in the UK anyway then it doesn't really matter.

I do want to have a wedding in front of all my friends and family, that was always the plan so it isn't really an issue, but I just don't know if I should let sleeping dogs lie (so to speak!), or tell them before/after our UK wedding.

QueenOfHearts22 Tue 03-Nov-09 09:24:01

Marriage certificate, not license, sorry

slug Tue 03-Nov-09 10:08:29

Hi QOH2. My best friend and her husband got married without telling anyone. They did it that way because there is a large age gap between them (he is significantly younger), she is foreign and his parent's would have gone over the top in a Hycanth Bucket middle class wedding extravaganza type way.

Initially they intended to tell his parents they had got married during a trip they intended to take to NZ 6 months after their actual wedding. The trip was called off so that plan was shelved. It is now 16 years later. They are still married. They still haven't told his parents, though, by now I think they suspect grin.

One of my sisters also refuses to acknowledge that she is married. We all know she is, they did it in a registry office when she was 7 months pregnant because of visa issues. She has always opposed the institution from a feminist viewpoint and, having effectively been forced into it, she refused to acknowledge to anyone that she did the deed. We are all amused at her stance. Noone in the family is annoyed at missing out on the ceremony, least of all our parents.

You are an adult. What you have done is neither unusual nor something to be ashamed of. Congratulations by the way.

QueenOfHearts22 Tue 03-Nov-09 11:46:54

Thanks Slug It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one! I think I will just go ahead and start planning a UK ceremony, and no one need know or be potentially bothered by it.

As much as I know it is my decision and really no one else's, I have only really got my relationship with my mother back on track recently (funnily enough since I left the country!), and don't want to throw a spanner in the works.

We live as husband and wife and are very happy, so I suppose I should just be thankful for that, especially as it really could have turned out very differently!

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