General chatter - Marriage/Long-term relationships rant




luciddepths
09-24-2013, 01:45 PM
Hey guys, so i've got a rant. No one to talk to about it, i figured maybe others have gone through this or felt this way


So my hubby/SO and i have been together 9 years. We've lived together for 8.5 of those years. We are NOT married legally (will be next week though!). But i'm really struggling with others and how they view our relationship. It seems because we're not married we're not a "valid" couple. Some feel that because they are married (married for a year or less and have only actually been a couple for a total of 3-4 years) that trumps our relationship. These people seem to think they can give US RELATIONSHIP ADVICE! Are you kidding me? They definitely love to say things to us like "oh you don't know, you aren't married". Sometimes I just want to say things like "oh, you havent been together long enough to understand".

We've been together almost a decade and they haven't been even HALF that time...yet they feel the need to give or try to give us marriage advice or let us know that because they are husband and wife that some how is more important.

I'm so frustrated. My soon to be brother in law...he is very religious and my SO and I are not.. at all. (We're very live and let live as long as you aren't hurting anyone) He has been giving books to my SO about marriage and about how to have a successful relationship/marriage. Hes been married 3 months! 3 months. Together 4 years? I think. They have NEVER even lived together! yet he feels the need to tell us how he thinks we should live. The brother is older if you're wondering.

I'd like to add these books are very sexist and they basically are marriage guides from the 40's-50's.

We also just told all of our siblings we are getting married next week. We emphasized that we are getting LEGALLY married and not having a wedding. Because we wanted to have the same last name and we are going to start trying to have kids and want everyone to share the same name so we are listed as a "family" kinda thing. His brother instantly started in on how "as someone married, you need to focus on the day. It is the most important day of your life!" To us... it isn't. We've been together so long that every day is important and we don't want to spend a bunch of money for 10 minutes in the park.


This isn't the first time we've run into this kind of BS. A good friend of ours, his wife is like this where she only values marriages and not the long term relationships.


What i'm getting to is, i'm very mad at people who just constantly refer to longterm couples who have CHOSEN not to get married as just a boyfriend/girlfriend situation or put less value in that couple because they are not married. For myself it comes down to the length of time any couple has been together, that's the important part.


Sigh. Anyone else feel this way?


vintagecat
09-24-2013, 02:08 PM
Lucid,

The only reason my DH and I married legally was the power of attorney and disposition of assets issues. Otherwise we didn't care. We bought a house together and were fully committed.

For our "wedding" we had a champagne brunch (very informal) had a friend commissioned as a one time deal to perform a very brief non-traditional wedding ceremony on our back deck. We were dressed in street clothes and we all went to the state fair following. It was a pleasant day and much more fun than all the big white hoohah but it wasn't the pinnacle of our relationship by a long shot.

I get what you are saying and your irritation. If the "advice" follows discussion of your relationship, then just don't tell them your business. If they ask, just smile and say, "Everything is great." If it's unsolicited out of the blue advice, again just smile and say, "Everything is great."

FWIW as a co-habitating couple living together for that length of time, many states recognize that as a common-law marriage. Best to you.

Illegitimi non carborundum
Don't let the bast@rds grind you down

PUPMOM5
09-24-2013, 02:13 PM
You know your relationship is valid and beautiful. These people are trying to feel better about their own relationships, giving themselves legitimacy by questioning yours (giving you advice, pamphlets, "oh, you don't know know, you're not married, etc). Realize they're acting out of insecurity, give them a dismissive and pitying smile, and then dismiss it.

Every relationship is different. Plenty of people want to tear down the legitimacy of others and uphold some idea that signing a marriage certificate is your introduction to some real adult life. My husband and I have been together for almost five years, and married almost a year. We don't know **** about being married. But we do love each other very much and work at it every day. The only relationship you can know or judge is, perhaps, your own, and anyone who tries to tell you any different is selling something or trying to make themselves feel more secure.

Congrats on your awesome relationship (and impending nuptials! and weight loss!) It sounds like you guys make your path in life and are smart enough not to let anyone stop you. That rocks!! :hug:


Desiderata
09-24-2013, 02:14 PM
Congrats on your nine years together - that's wonderful! I hope your ceremony next week is a nice commemoration of your relationship that fits the two of you, no matter what anyone else thinks. I can't understand the mindset that some people have in not respecting others' long-term relationships. I know several very long-term couples (some straight, some gay - I note the latter, because until recently, they couldn't get married) and it's unfathomable to me how someone could not accept, acknowledge, and respect them as life partners. Being on the receiving end of that would be so incredibly frustrating and angering. What your BIL or anyone else thinks doesn't really matter - but that doesn't make the treatment any less rude.

doingmybest
09-24-2013, 02:36 PM
Some people love to give advice - I think it's a self esteem issue so that they can feel superior.

I am very live and let live too. Everyone else needs to mind their own damn business.

Try to ignore what others say. You and your SO know your relationship better than anyone and that is all that counts.

I think people who live together and choose to stay together can show as much or more commitment since they can walk away much more easily than married couples.

Best wishes to you both no matter what your status is! :hug:

luciddepths
09-24-2013, 05:07 PM
Thank you guys!

it's always unsolicited ALWAYS. Well, I think it shows a real commitment because we're here because we WANT to be. Not because we HAVE to be. Now i'm not saying thats the case for married people but because of the convo. I'm some what lashing out. Ha ha.

Oh definitely, their views don't matter. But we talk about it sometimes and how annoying/rude it is to sluff us off as just "dating". You know?

The BIL really is hard to deal with because he is constantly either pushing the bible (nothing wrong with beliefs but.. we've told him many times.. hey look! not interested) and his view of how relationship or marriage should be. It's just hard for family functions and stuff it seems to ALWAYS come up.

Thank you so much! it's true I guess they are just insecure about their relationships. We dont argue, we have never got in a fight or even raised a voice.. ONCE. Communication is our top priority. If I were them I guess I'd feel insecure too. ha ha.

luciddepths
09-24-2013, 05:09 PM
Thanks guys! Sigh, I just get annoyed...and angered. I'm glad others can relate in some way.

belovedspirit
09-24-2013, 05:18 PM
I agree with everything you said! But I've been mostly single my entire life so I haven't had those kinds of comments made my way. Still, I have no doubt that I'd roll my eyes at them (at least internally). They sound preposterous. :dizzy:

Congratulations on your 9 year relationship!

JulesMarion
09-24-2013, 05:35 PM
Thank you guys!

it's always unsolicited ALWAYS. Well, I think it shows a real commitment because we're here because we WANT to be. Not because we HAVE to be. Now i'm not saying thats the case for married people but because of the convo. I'm some what lashing out. Ha ha.

Oh definitely, their views don't matter. But we talk about it sometimes and how annoying/rude it is to sluff us off as just "dating". You know?

The BIL really is hard to deal with because he is constantly either pushing the bible (nothing wrong with beliefs but.. we've told him many times.. hey look! not interested) and his view of how relationship or marriage should be. It's just hard for family functions and stuff it seems to ALWAYS come up.

Thank you so much! it's true I guess they are just insecure about their relationships. We dont argue, we have never got in a fight or even raised a voice.. ONCE. Communication is our top priority. If I were them I guess I'd feel insecure too. ha ha.

While I am a Christian and believe in the Bible and probably am more similar to the BIL in my beliefs, it's no one's business but your own what you choose to do with your life and your relationships. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage - definitely don't blame you for not spending a bunch of money for 10 minutes. I would be irritated too, if someone with less relational experience were trying to give me advice as if I knew nothing. Though, from the perspective I have - marriage is a legal contract, and if nothing else, dating or a long-term relationship is much easier to walk away from if things were to go badly, which unfortunately in many peoples' minds, discredits the experience as anything "binding".

The BIL sounds like he's coming across the wrong way. There are people who are very open to talk about God and differing opinions, and there are those who don't want to listen. He just sounds like he doesn't quite understand how to discern the difference between the two. I'm fairly certain you guys know what he and his wife believe in and how they feel about your relationship, and no further explanation is necessary. That being said, I take marriage and relationship advice where I can get it because you can never really know enough about the topic. From what you said it sounds like they act like they are discrediting any experience you may have simply because you are unmarried, which may be your interpretation or their intention.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is give them the benefit of the doubt and take it as a sign that they care. Everyone has their opinions and chances are they have no idea that it bothers you. Honesty with kindness is always good, and maybe if you told them that while you understand where they are coming from, you don't find their advice necessary and if you ever do, you know where to find them. You'll never really get away from people spouting their opinions, but you can let them know you already know, and that its' not necessary.

My belief in the matter is that you can make people aware of what you believe, tell them that you care enough to share what you know and why you believe certain things, but if they do not want it - you don't shove it down their throat, because it'll just make them gag. Live by example and let the results speak for themselves.

novangel
09-24-2013, 06:58 PM
Most important day in your life? Not really. Just ignore the unsolicited advice.

EagleRiverDee
09-24-2013, 08:28 PM
My SO and I have been together for 13 years. We are not legally married. I often refer to him as my "DH" because it's simpler. We do intend to marry...someday. It's not a priority for us because we feel we have everything we need and marriage won't change anything except the legal aspect. We haven't had to deal with judgmental people like you have, and that helps.

patns
09-25-2013, 11:54 PM
About the religious type advice, sometimes people think it is part of the territory to talk about beliefs. My brother is very conservative Catholic and my BIL is Jewish and sometimes I think if they don't kill each other in heated discussions about religion one of the rest of us in the family will do the deed being so sick of listening to them . Both of them are way out of line. They have opinions about everything anyone does.

Lecomtes
09-26-2013, 10:13 PM
OMG what an obnoxious a$$. My man and I have been "living in sin" for over 7 years, and it never ceases to amaze what some married noobs think they have over us. OK little boy, if you say so! LMAO! Sorry you have to put up with him! :)

Trudiha
09-27-2013, 02:52 PM
My half-brother is a hardcore Christian fundamentalist, I'm a lesbian, feminist atheist. While I didn't agree with much he said and found a lot of it mildly offensive, I pretty much defended his right to say it, until he started to tell my terminally ill father that he was going straight to ****. It took me a wee while but I eventually found a passage in the bible that stated fairly clearly that people who don't want to hear the message should be left alone, it's Matthew 10:14. Your BIL will find it pretty difficult to argue with the bible.

MauiKai
09-29-2013, 09:07 AM
I guess they are just insecure about their relationships.

Not true at all, most likely. That is just silly, to think that because someone offers their perspective on something, they must be insecure or jealous of you.

While I am a Christian and believe in the Bible and probably am more similar to the BIL in my beliefs, it's no one's business but your own what you choose to do with your life and your relationships. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage - definitely don't blame you for not spending a bunch of money for 10 minutes. I would be irritated too, if someone with less relational experience were trying to give me advice as if I knew nothing. Though, from the perspective I have - marriage is a legal contract, and if nothing else, dating or a long-term relationship is much easier to walk away from if things were to go badly, which unfortunately in many peoples' minds, discredits the experience as anything "binding".

The BIL sounds like he's coming across the wrong way. There are people who are very open to talk about God and differing opinions, and there are those who don't want to listen. He just sounds like he doesn't quite understand how to discern the difference between the two. I'm fairly certain you guys know what he and his wife believe in and how they feel about your relationship, and no further explanation is necessary. That being said, I take marriage and relationship advice where I can get it because you can never really know enough about the topic. From what you said it sounds like they act like they are discrediting any experience you may have simply because you are unmarried, which may be your interpretation or their intention.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is give them the benefit of the doubt and take it as a sign that they care. Everyone has their opinions and chances are they have no idea that it bothers you. Honesty with kindness is always good, and maybe if you told them that while you understand where they are coming from, you don't find their advice necessary and if you ever do, you know where to find them. You'll never really get away from people spouting their opinions, but you can let them know you already know, and that its' not necessary.

My belief in the matter is that you can make people aware of what you believe, tell them that you care enough to share what you know and why you believe certain things, but if they do not want it - you don't shove it down their throat, because it'll just make them gag. Live by example and let the results speak for themselves.

I think this is a very good post on the matter. While I am one of those people who puts more credence on a marriage than a long term cohabitation, it's none of my business what other people do and I don't stick my nose in to it. I have friends that have chosen to cohabitate rather than marry, and I certainly don't look down on them for it, because what they do doesn't affect what I choose to do.

I also think it's silly to blow tons of money and go into debt for a wedding. It's not "your day" or "the most important day." Anyone who goes into a marriage with that mindset is going to find a long hard haul in front of them...life doesn't hinge on one expensive day. (Interestingly enough, as more and more people place such importance on the wedding day itself, the divorce rate keeps going up, while the marital satisfaction rates show a decline. Skewed priorities? Unrealistic expectations? I don't know.)

Perhaps the best thing for you to do is to inform these people that you don't care to receive relationship advice from them, or anyone for that matter. If they persist, just keep reminding them until they get it. They will eventually.

For what it's worth, I've been told by many that they disregard courtship years in the "total" of years together. So these people who've been married a year may very well feel they've been together longer than you all, simply because to them you aren't "together" yet in their eyes. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that may be the perspective they are coming from.

FickleHearts
10-01-2013, 01:28 PM
Late to the topic, hope your pending nuptials go well!

My husband and were together for 15 years, starting from graduating high school till now. He is very religious, I'm not, but we had no real desire to get married as his parent's marriage wasn't the best in the world. He was terrified a piece of paper would change everything. I was fine with or without it. I mean, I always dreamed of a wedding, but I really just wanted an excuse to dress up and eat LOL.

Then one morning he just woke up and decided he was ready. We wanted a family and wanted to legally bind our relationship for your same reasons. We'll be officially married for 3 years in November. We had a small ceremony with just him and I in Jamaica.

We tell everyone we've been together for 15, because we were. We never strayed, we never broke up, and while it isn't all rainbows and unicorn farts, we're happy. All that paper did was give Uncle Sam a reason to take out more taxes and make it easier for our possessions to get sorted after death.

Our friends and family may have meant well by their advice, but the thing about advice is, you don't have to take it. We were adults and we made our own decisions. Twelve years of cohabitation didn't change anything about our life now, except maybe just strengthen it.

Good luck on your marriage, and the heck with anyone else's opinion. I wish you both the best. :D

luciddepths
10-03-2013, 05:55 PM
Thanks guys!


Hahahahah unicorn farts.


Oh I know, they have their beliefs. We don't have a problem with that, but just the idea that they openly state things (with us in the room, or even directly to us) that would hurt our feelings etc in regards to our relationship.

When we've never said anything about theirs. I think what we will do is just always refer to our time together.. and never do the "we've been married for/ blank blank"



Thanks guys, I'm pretty excited. It's TOMORROW!!!

GlamourGirl827
10-05-2013, 05:43 PM
Some people love to give advice - I think it's a self esteem issue so that they can feel superior.



^this^

Its less about you, and more about them feeling the right to give marriage advice because they are married.

Coincidentally, at the soccer fields today ( my 6 year old and 3 year old play) a woman with a baby that was maybe 14 months old came up to me to see my 2 month old I was holding. My other kids were not with me, I was just standing with my step mom. The woman came up and started talking to my baby (funny when people do that lol) and told her little girl to say hi to the baby. I told her he was 2 months old. And she started to launch into some kind of motherly advice I think...she was going into how quick the first year goes and before I know it he'll be a year old...very nicely I said "Oh tell me about it! I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. And I feel like that time has gone by in the blink of an eye!"...She actually said to me "oh you have 3 kids?..wow...and walked off!!!...Even my step mom said " I think she just wanted to preach to you like she was a veteran mom with her one kid at a little over a year old!" I took it as a compliment that I look like a young, new mom and not a worn out mother of 3 kids lol...

BUt as for relationships, my DH and I were togehter 6 years before getting married. We moved in together 4 months into dating. We just knew we were meant to be. We just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary but I tell people 13 years together. Those years not married do count and your relationship is 100% as valid without the wedding ring IMO. Really the people in your life wanting to give advice, are probably off giving advice to couples that are married, but for less time than they are. As annoying as it is, and I know it is becaus I remember treating dh and I the same way, ignore it...or telll them to shut up lol which ever approach works for you.

tefrey
10-07-2013, 01:34 PM
Luciddepths: I hate to tell you this, but they are doing this because it's the way they are and it has nothing to do with you. Some people want to feel helpful and important. Which means that even after you are married, they are still going to be giving you unsolicited advice so this is not going to end. Try to laugh it off ... or at the least, ignore it. It's not personal.

newleaf123
10-08-2013, 01:28 PM
At the end of the day, people like to categorize and simplify. In these peoples books, they've got the categoriZation and simplification of not married = not serious. It's too much work for them to analyze each situation freshly, so resort to their mental model. I wouldn't worry about it.

I hope your wedding day was great!

MarjorieMargarine
10-09-2013, 05:11 PM
I don't know about other states, but in Texas, we still have common law marriage. And in Texas, you can actually register your common-law marriage with the county clerk. And in Texas, you can back-date your common-law marriage- for example, you can file for it today and say that you've been married since ten years ago and it dates your marriage to ten years ago.

It would be kind of funny if you could do that, back-date it eight years or whatever and then when newlyweds try and give you advice, just be like, "Oh, no, we've been married for 8 years, how long have YOU been married??"

Candeka
10-09-2013, 05:25 PM
The only time I have an issue with long term couples is when they call each other "husband/wife". If you want that title, you have to get married. If you don't believe in marriage, dont want to be married, whatever reason, all the power to you but you are not husband and wife. At this time, I can not say I have a BA in Criminal Justice just because I am in the program - it is something you have to complete and finish before you can say you have it.

Also - and you can google this - there have been countless cases of couples together for 10+ years who eventually get married and then divorce within less than a year. Sure that can be attributed to some of them getting married as a solution to the relationship problems they may have been having before, but for some it means that once they got married, it felt different and was a whole new ball game to them.

However, with all that said - I tell people that just because you walk down the isle doesn't make your relationship any different. My husband and I didn't get married and walk into our shared home that night after totally different people. It was the same stuff. Same furniture, same routine, same attitudes. Some people just act "married" from the beginning so nothing changes.

I would just ignore those people. They can be very very irritating. Also, if your BIL gives you any more books, you should just make light of them and laugh at how idiotic the author is.

luciddepths
10-15-2013, 12:37 PM
Thanks guys! Everything went great :) The only thing that changed for us was... i've had the same last name 26/27 years!!! So i've got to try and get used to a new one! haha :)

shcirerf
10-17-2013, 12:15 AM
Do what works for you and POO on the rest of them.