My work Wifey Kristen isn’t married. She is also sick of the “when are you getting married”? question after eight years in a solid relationship. Find out more by reading her post below …
Getting married is always something I knew I would do. Actually, well, maybe in my awkward high school days I questioned it once or twice when all my besties had boyfriends and I only had boy friends, but that doubt soon past when I started to look beyond the lunchtime quadrangle. In 2010 I met my now partner online, a terrifying step in its own right but I found it pretty comforting laying my cards on the table and being honest about what was on offer and what I wanted in return. Nothing too out of the ordinary, a like-minded person with the same values and hope for a happy stable future. #mustbeabletomakecocktails. Cue Ben.
I don’t remember much of the first couple of the years. Things were easy, we spent every minute we could together and sleepovers became routine and we eventfully moved in together. It sounds terrible to sum up three years of our relationship so rapidly but the foundations we set in those first few years is what’s kept me comforted when people question it. “Why aren’t you married” “When are you two getting married” “You’ve been together HOW long”.
I’m not exactly sure what they’re questioning. Are they questioning our love for each other, are they questioning our commitment, are they questioning the best before on dating or the expiry on access to a marriage licence? Either way, I know it’s not malicious, it’s just what’s expected at our age and after catching the bouquet three times, I agree with them. When will we get married. We just celebrated our eight year anniversary and soon I’ll run out of fingers to count them.
People say just as often, “Oh one day he’ll propose, when you least expect it”.
The problem is this makes me expect it. I return to work after a tropical holiday and people grab my hand and I have to disappoint them, because the perfect romantic sunsets they dreamed in their head didn’t end in a bended knee.
The fact is, I’d love to get engaged. I’m ready. We talk about it. We’ve shopped for rings. When will he propose? How do I know! I don’t want to know – I want the romantic, butterfly consuming and unexpected surprise and if I knew the date and time I sure wouldn’t be sharing it. The reality is, he is the one I am committed to for the long haul, 18ct gold pave diamond brilliant cut three row band or not 😉 The other fact is, we’re obviously just not ready. Things aren’t always rosy and when things are wonderful we are okay with things just being wonderful. We bought a house last year and entered into a big mortgage. I won’t lie and say it’s a far bigger commitment than marriage, because I don’t think it is, but I do think that it sure helps us feel committed. In sickness and in health we are there for each other, for better or worse I can’t threaten divorce papers to get my way!
Nothing anyone says or asks is a surprise to me, but I would say it’s starting to wear thin and I think I absolutely know what mums feel like 18months after their first born and they get the pressure to have round two conception date locked in.
At a recent dinner for a friends birthday, I sat next to her mate who I’d met maybe a handful of times but never at any length. After a few rounds of champagne she sat up straight in her seat and confidently thrusted her thoughts my way…”I don’t know much about your relationship (stop right there then?!) but I think you should just leave him. That’s right. Teach him a lesson.” “Wow” I laughed, “that came out of nowhere”!
She then proceeds with what I assume was an attempt to redeem herself “or get knocked up and that way he HAS to marry you.” My cautious reply that I’m pretty sure that’s more commonly known as entrapment didn’t avail any opinion sharing or desire to spend her 200 cents in my aisle. “I knew a girl once who ditched her man and he ended up moving on and marrying another woman a year later”. Wow, how is this even relevant to our current conversation, how is this relevant at all. Is that meant to make me feel empowered? Lay off the bubbles sister.
I reflected (ok stewed) on her comments for the rest of the weekend.
What had she witnessed in the short hour we’ve sat side by side to think that’s an option. What had she heard, why is she even thinking about us?! Are other people thinking this about us?.
I ended up in tears asking Ben how often he gets asked all the probing questions and sharing what had happened at my end of the table. He tells me never. Never? Really? “So no one sends you email articles at work about planning for a wedding, or pulls you aside right before Valentine’s Day and says “tonight could be the night”?.
He was saddened that I was so upset and simply suggested I don’t entertain questions or let people who don’t know us bother me. Easier said than done captain obvious. But he was right.
We’ve got eight years on the board, that’s already past the average length of a marriage these days and we are strong. Legally our relationship is recognised as common-law: denoting a partner in a relationship in which a man and woman cohabit for a period long enough to suggest stability. Stability (noun) meaning solidity, strength, secure – turns out that’s exactly what those cards were we both laid on the table all those years ago so why let those on the roulette wheel worry me? And in the end when he is being a jerk and I feel like running away, at least I know things will all be okay cause he’s making cocktails for dinner!