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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2011
    Location
    Florida
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    1,329

    Default Is it alright not to get married?

    Ok, I was reading the "knew he was the one thread" and it had me thinking. Marriage, the word/concept I am not a huge fan of.

    I have been with my man for 4 year and we have of course talked about marriage. There is an 8 year gap between us though and I am finishing my senior year in college when I said I may be ready to marry when we talked about it in the past. I always said when I graduate college we can get married, but I saw it as a far future event.

    BF has started bringing the idea up again and though I see him as my world and see me with him forever, I am still nervous of the idea of marriage after watching so many around me fail.

    He is not the only one mentioning it either. My friends, trainer, relatives, and whoever else is bringing it up. When I tell someone that we have been together 4 years, they ask why we are not married. I feel it is a huge pressure to shack up with someone, but can there not be commitment without vows?

    I never wanted a wedding, too much hassle, but a simple ceremony on the beach or going to Vegas for a wedding/honeymoon has been talked about between me and BF, but I am not ready.

    He has student loans still and I am debt free because I have worked two jobs to pay almost all my loans off before getting out of college. By the time I graduate they will be paid off. Is it bad that this a huge factor for me? I have talked to him about them, but he does not want to face the problem. He has a successful business that brings in a good amount of income.

    I do all his finances now and have helped him get his stuff together, but I am afraid that there will be a push to combine our accounts and income. We have one combined account that I put money in for bills/rent/whatever but my money is still separate. I want this to same the same for the marriage which I will talk to him about as well.

    Finances are the main thing holding me back and my distrust in marriage in general. We have a home together, trucks together, two dogs, and are coexisting peacefully with no issues. Why change it with marriage when everything is near perfect?

    I guess I would just like some advice or some help? I am happy with my choice not to get married and BF seems fine for now with it, but I am afraid come May it may be a different story.

    Thanks!
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.



    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
    Posts
    2,743

    Default

    I think you should do what you are comfortable doing. Don't get married because anyone "thinks" you should- get married because you want to. And there are probably pros and cons to living together vs. being married. Be sure you know what they are. Good luck.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2008
    Location
    Scranton, PA
    Posts
    729

    Default

    If your finances are the issue.....my husband and I are married, I have my bank account, he has his. I do the book work for the bills and pay most of the cell phone bills, grocery bills, and animal bills. he pays the mortgage and utilities and its a toss up who pays the car insurance.
    So basically we decided who would pay what and then the rest of our pay check belongs to us. He can buy whatever he wants within reason and I do the same. We consult with each other when making purchases over $100 or so.
    He has student loans but he's very motivated to pay them off. It doesn't bother me because his education helps pay our bills.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2008
    Posts
    764

    Default

    Marriage is a "contract" between you and Sig. Other. You two can make it whatever you two want. Nothing wrong with writing it down, either.
    Do what makes you happier and works.
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,307

    Default

    Sure if you're just you & he. Children are a different situation. New Life needs binding commitments and support.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2003
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    It is absolutely ok not to get married. When you feel ready, that will be the time. Is is also ok to feel apprehensive about getting married -- I think most people do. I would not have been ready to get married just out of college. If you think you aren't, stick to your guns and just say no.

    Just a note about the student loans -- if this is your only financial objection and he's paying them off with his good job? Meh, not a big deal. Hubby and I both had them and it really wasn't a big issue. They payments were manageable and that was the only debt. We're very careful with our money, though, so if he isn't and has that debt, that's a big issue.
    According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,615

    Default

    I married my DH 13 mo ago. We've been together for over 21 yrs...

    Personally, I think people should wait until they are over 30 yrs old or so to marry. People grow up, change, and just think differently over the yrs. You aren't the same person at 22 that you are at 35.

    The only reason we got married, is because with age, we realized that if something happened to the other and they are hospitalized, it's much easier to visit, get documents, etc if you are married. Plus people just seem to treat the relationship more seriously. When I would say "My boyfriend", to the mortgage co, or bank, when I was conducting business for him, they wanted written permission for everything. It's just easier being married. But the commitment has always been there.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2013
    Location
    Southeastern US
    Posts
    1,679

    Default

    Sure! It's a free country. However, it does get very complicated when there are children involved.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,561

    Default

    I agree that being married is an individual choice. That being said, I think it is about a relationship so it's not just one person's choice. It sounds like the BF is ready to settle down into a marriage. Nothing wrong with that and in fairness to him, he ought to know where the OP stands. Kicking the ball down the field by saying "later" really isn't very fair to him. There are pre-marriage counseling for couples that might be very helpful. It doesn't mean you'll get married, but it certainly reviews all the major issues in a marriage with a disinterested 3rd party. Why not try that? And if it turns out that you don't want to be married and he does, then let him go so he can find someone who wants to be married, too.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,383

    Default

    Yes. Of course it's ok. Just as it is ok to have kids or not have kids. Both of those subjects invite comments from everyone around you, even strangers sometimes.

    I am married, and can say it has it's benefits and its downfalls. The benefits are not having hassles when it's time to be at your SO's side in the hospital, having legal say in what happens to properties, etc.

    The downfall is you can't say to him, "God you're driving me NUTS tonight! Just go home!" Because he IS home.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2012
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    478

    Default

    Only marry if your heart tells you to.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,151

    Default

    They say that the biggest thing that married couples fight over is


    MONEY!

    So if you are uncomfortable about the finances, that is definitely something to consider.

    Alos, depending on which state you are in, even if you keep separate bank accounts, you my be liable for your spouse's debts.

    It sounds as if it is your BF's ATTITUDE toward debt (e.g., his student loans) that concerns you. That is definitely something you need to be comfortable with before you marry.

    When we married (much older) my husband was unemployed, with significant student loans. But our ATTITUDES toward debt (pay it off s soon as possible) were the same, and I don'tthink we have ever fought about money.

    For practical purposes, we each have our own (joint) checking account, and pay specific bills but we agree it is all "our money".
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,329

    Default

    Thank you all for your advice.

    Children are not an issue and we have discussed this quite a bit. We are on agreement, at this time and hopefully still in the future that there will be no children.

    It is the attitude towards the student loans that is the issue. He pays the minimum on a loan with a huge interest rate and it piles up to almost double what the loan was worth in the beginning. Totally ridiculous and makes no sense.

    He has money to take the loan down but goes and spends it on cars that sit around the shop. We have the bodies of four 50's chevy pickup trucks, two forties Fords, 69 Charger with everything in it but not together, and just a bunch of other cars that are bodies out in the parking lot. They are rusting dollar signs and no matter how much I want him to work on them or sell them, they sit and do nothing.

    It is just frustrating and I want him to be responsible for his money. He does not care. Overdraws his accounts because he does not pay attention enough to switch money over and then expects me to fix it. Tax deadlines I have to deal with, finances I have to deal with, balancing his unorganized books is also my responsibility. I just want him to pay attention to money a bit more, it is not difficult. He is also an impulse buyer and I don't trust him with my money.

    That is the whole of the issue. It is slightly rantish as I have been doing his taxes this past month and dealing with his business requirements.
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.




  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,183

    Default

    There's two things I see. One, you're not really into the notion of marriage and two, you might be willing to tie the knot anyway but you're not ready.

    Well. You're not ready so that's that. Not being ready doesn't mean a definite ew later but it also doesn't have to mean a definite no later. Wait until you're ready and in a position where you're comfortable entertaining the thought and think about it then.

    The people asking you are being rude but with your best interests (in their opinion) at heart. If you want a response, just say that you're not ready and you want to be in a good financial place before you make such a huge commitment because you see how many marriages fail because of money...yadda yadda yadda.

    When people see that you're actually taking it slowly and seriously, their tune will change.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2007
    Location
    Gettysburg, PA
    Posts
    2,632

    Default

    My DH & I were together for 16 yrs prior to marriage. I am old school in believing marriage if you want children, but that was not a factor for us. A committment is a commitment and a legal marriage does not change that. It does give you more protection for the dispersal of assets should you split. Otherwise, if it is not under friendly circumstances, it becomes your word against his and depending what you have, could be an issue. Do not marry because everyone tells you you should
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Sport horses

    Join us on Facebook


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2007
    Location
    Gettysburg, PA
    Posts
    2,632

    Default

    My DH & I were together for 16 yrs prior to marriage. I am old school in believing marriage if you want children, but that was not a factor for us. A committment is a commitment and a legal marriage does not change that. It does give you more protection for the dispersal of assets should you split. Otherwise, if it is not under friendly circumstances, it becomes your word against his and depending what you have, could be an issue. Do not marry because everyone tells you you should
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Sport horses

    Join us on Facebook


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2000
    Location
    Chatham, NY USA
    Posts
    4,100

    Default

    FLeventer - there is NOTHING wrong with not getting married. Ed & I have been together for 33 years. He's 15 years older - he was nearly 50 when we got together. So lots older than you - and future kids were not an issue.

    Money, however, turned out to be. He had a business which 'seemed' good, spent money fairly freely. We went on a summer trip across country shortly after we got together and by the time we got back, he had to declare bankruptcy. Of course, had put up his house (ex & teen son living there), so lost that, too. Owed everyone, but most importantly, state sales tax & IRS, neither of which is forgiving. Who knows whether he received bad advice or ignored good advice, but he had chosen to try to keep paying vendors rather than taxes. NOT a good plan.

    So joining finances (I didn't have any money either, but did have a job) was not an option. You are very smart to have paid your debts - and even smarter to not want to get involved with his. And I share your hesitancy and concern about changing attitudes once those papers are signed. Nope, not for me.

    NY considers domestic partners for insurance purposes (private businesses don't have to, I guess, but the state does) so he is on my insurance. I own the house.

    Now, kids? That throws another aspect in. I went back and scanned your initial post & don't see that you mentioned the possibility - but kids might color your choice.

    Good luck to you. Don't do anything you don't feel comfortable with. And some of my feelings might be colored by my mother's 4 marriages.

    Carol
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FLeventer View Post
    ...I want him to work on them or sell them. ...

    ... I want him to be responsible for his money.
    ... I just want him to pay attention to money a bit more.
    "I want him to be..." or "I want him to do..." are BIG danger signs (as I learned the hard way in a 10 year relationship in which, luckily, we did not marry, though we owned a farm together. Not finances in my case.

    Either love him for what he IS, faults and all, or don't get married. Trying to change someone (even if he agrees he SHOULD change) will only make you both miserable.
    Last edited by Janet; Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


    3 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2002
    Location
    Cow County, MD
    Posts
    6,971

    Default

    Pay attention to your gut. Don't do anything that you don't feel absolutely right about.

    I think you are right to be concerned about how he manages his finances. Let me tell you a little story.

    Fifteen years ago, when DH and I got engaged, my future MIL said to me in her deep Southern accent: "Well, honey, I sure hope you've got the checkbook, 'cuz [last name] boys can't manage their money."

    Luckily, I already knew this. DH had asked me once to help him balance his checkbook. Sure, no problem. This was in October. I looked at his register and the last entry he had put in was from May.

    Of the previous year
    .

    So I went online and straightened it all out, and of course he was overdrawn. I told him he needed to get overdraft protection, and set him up for $2000 of overdraft protection. So imagine my surprise when, over the next month or so, we started getting overdraft notices in the mail.

    I told him that he was done having access to his own money, and he was going on an allowance. He freely admitted that he had no self-control when it came to money, and he willingly handed me the purse-strings. If he hadn't, it wouldn't have worked. We'd have been in hopeless debt the rest of our lives. Well, if I'd actually married him rather than running away screaming.

    If your guy won't willingly make changes in how he handles his money, you're going to have to make some decisions. Even if you keep your money separate, you are vulnerable if you buy a house or car together and it's not something that you can afford by yourself. DH and I bought property together just before we got married, and we joked that we were tied together by a bond stronger than love: mutual debt. It's true, too--debt has a much longer shelf life.

    Good luck and obey your instincts.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,277

    Default

    YES. I have been with my SO for 7 years, but I do not believe in marriage. I watched too many other marriages, including my parents, to have any faith in the rather antiquated tradition. If you want to be in a committed relationship, just do it. Do NOT think that a piece of paper will change anything (except maybe some tax benefits and legal issues).


    2 members found this post helpful.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2005
    Posts
    429

    Default

    Seems to me your gut is saying no to marrying HIM...... not just marriage in general.

    What you see is what you get.....his attitude towards debt probably extends to others things as well....

    Seems to me that your bringing up a topic of concern rather than the real issue of being able to depend on him to follow through with finances and other commitments.

    Listen to the voice inside...........


    2 members found this post helpful.

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