My live-in lover and I have been going steady for 5 years now, and I consider our relationship worthy of knot-tying to seal the deal. He considers us practically a married couple anyway, and has no desire to walk me down the aisle. Any time I bring up the subject, he says I’m putting pressure on him. We are both of marital age, and I feel this is an important direction towards our future together. Should I be concerned about marriage, or is it a dying tradition? Persephone
There’s practically a married couple and then there’s an actual married couple and for some the difference is a huge, aching gulf. It can really create heaps of tension in an otherwise perfectly fine relationship. For lots of women (and men, mind you) making it official is a really important deal and something they take very seriously in terms of their relationship status. Fair enough. Other’s couldn’t give a flaming toss, and are quite happy living in sin with a couple of rug rats and a mortgage and a feeling of commitment that a piece of paper couldn’t add to. Fair enough too.
Sadly, many couples are split on which camp they’re in. Plenty of blokes don’t see the big rush to the altar a necessity if they’re already living the life of a married man. I often feel like bopping these men on the head, but that’s their position and they’re entitled to it. Problem is, this casual attitude can cause some pretty major friction if the lady of the house wants her wedding, tiered cake and her sparkly Tiffany ring. She’s earned it, is of marrying age, etc.
You’ve got several choices here as I see it.
A. Hassle him relentlessly until he begrudgingly walks you down the aisle so he can go back to watching the footy in peace. Not a great start to married life, but it can work.
B. Try to place much less importance on marriage that you do on creating a harmonious living space, planning a family (if that’s your bag) saving for a house, trip, car, renos. In short, act like a married couple. Hell – people won’t even notice after a while. You could even buy yourself a ring.
C. Drug him to the eyeballs, put him in a tux and marry him Weekend at Bernie’s style.
D. Sorry, that last one might be illegal.
E. Pop the question yourself. Hey, that’ll switch things up!
We really do see your frustration, but weddings (lovely as they are) aren’t nearly as important as day to day love and seeing your future together as long and happy, no matter what your marital status. If you can’t talk him round, don’t let it eat you (or your relationship) up.
Love, reality chick