I'm ready to get married… but my life situation isn't #Philosophizing#disability#disappointment#engagement January 6 2016 | Guest post by Vermilion Photo by Memento Photography My partner and I are crazy about each other, and have known since about six weeks after becoming an item that we should be life-partners (we've been close friends for a long time, so this is less dramatically ill-judged and imprudent than it sounds). We're both in our late twenties/early thirties, with more than a decade of relationship experience — both short and long-term — behind each of us. And neither of us was ever really looking for what we have found in each other, but then… there it was, to our mutual astonishment and delight. He's been proposing to me, almost as a game, on the semi-regular since we both realised that we were "it" for each other. I want to say yes with every fiber of my being. The problem is, I'm sick — the sort where you don't get completely better. And it's unclear when I'll be able to re-enter the workforce. I had this whole timeline of me finding work, then us living together, and then getting engaged after a publicly "respectable" period of time has elapsed… but as time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that there is no way to know when I will be able to work again. He is patient, but recently he's started gently questioning where the sense of legitimacy that timeline would give me stems from. And I have to confess, it's other people's opinions. After the loss of physical and financial independence, and subsequent self-esteem, that came with my deteriorating physical condition, some part of me now desperately wants to be legitimized as an "adequate adult," doing things in the appropriate order. But, insofar as "the appropriate order" mandates my return to full employment before I can do anything else, it's uncertain whether it's a practical standard for me to set my plans by. So he keeps proposing (playfully, and joyously, and without any pressure), and I desperately want to say, "Yes," so much that it aches. I feel like my attachment to, what I am increasingly suspecting to actually be some arbitrary and impractical ideal, is the only thing standing in the way. There is no doubt in my soul that he is the person for me; if I were whole and employed, I'd already have married him months ago in some tiny courthouse ceremony — not even waiting to save up for anything bigger — with my head held high and a gigantic smile on my face. Related Post Being the Lesbian in Brideland, Farmtown, Indiana. Tribesmaid Caitlin wrote this post on how it feels to be girl engaged to another girl surrounded by girls engaged to boys. But I worry that, as I am, my peer group would not respect me for getting engaged and starting to plan a wedding, before getting the rest of my life in order. I have a dream partner who deeply and immediately wants to marry me, and it's very much what I want, too… How do I make it okay in my own mind to let myself move forward when my life circumstances are "wrong"? And how do I steel myself against the possible judgements of my peer group? Anyone is the same "I'm ready, but my lifestyle isn't" boat? How are you dealing? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Vermilion Vermilion is a spoon-wielding badass, a former punk and a current lover of fluffy textures. She likes small, fuzzy animals, expensive perfume and cheap beer, and she dreams of one day being able to call herself "completely recovered" from her current physical difficulties. PREVIOUS These two brides had a mind-blowing Pennsylvania rainbow wedding NEXT Rustic loveliness on a budget: a potluck wedding with oodles of style Show/Hide comments [ 64 ] I say screw it – go ahead and marry your life partner if that's what you want to do. As long as you two don't put yourselves in debt thowing a wedding everyone else and their judgement can go to hell! I bet people will be much more supportive than you think. Good luck! 66 agree Reply annnd you might get a little outside counseling to figure out why you are hesitant to do this at this point in your life. I agree- screw what others think…judgements are bad form! 10 agree Reply Stop worrying about how others will feel about THE WEDDING and worry about how you will feel about THE MARRIAGE. Whether your peer group throws confetti or tomatoes, you're the one committing to this person for a lifetime. That's where your focus should be. Plus, in the end, whether it's confetti or tomatoes – any judgement made will be based much less on one day of your life than all the years that follow (and the quality of the marriage you work on in those years). 62 agree Reply My husband and I got married when our life situation was arguably "wrong". We were both unemployed, facing bankruptcy, and he was on the verge of depression (which post-marriage turned into severe clinical depression — and although he's doing better now, he still hasn't rejoined the workforce). We got married rather suddenly at city hall mostly for his immigration paperwork, before announcing an engagement. My traditional parents were NOT impressed, so we called that date our "engagement", then got weddinged 10 months later. I did it at the time to please everyone, but now I'm really open about the fact we got married at city hall first, because to us, that's our anniversary. It's been over 5 years, and I can honestly say that in all the turmoil, getting married was the best choice we made, despite the feeling like it was all out of order. I know my situation isn't the same, but that feeling of expectation and order was huge for me, especially considering the very traditional background my family holds. But we did what felt right, and still today I have people in my life who just can't understand why I have a husband who doesn't work, and they don't understand why we made the decisions we've made, but you know what? It's not their life!!!! So who cares? I don't need them to approve or understand, I just need them to acknowledge that we're doing what's right for us. If getting married feels right to you, there is no order of events that will make it more or less right. All that matters is your relationship with each other, life circumstances be damned! And you may even find that reaching your life goals becomes easier doing it "out of order" 🙂 35 agree Reply i'm in a similar situation, not with the illness (sending spoons!), but with general life circumstances being less-than-ideal. he's not working steady, i'm nearing the end of my grad program, a move might be in our near future–basically a lot of instability. but here's the thing: part of why you get married is to tackle those challenges TOGETHER. you commit to each other so you can weather the storm side-by-side, not just to enjoy the calm when it passes. and that's IF it passes…. life is always going to throw you some new challenge. if you've found the person you know is the right partner for you, what more is there to wait for? 37 agree Reply I can empathize a lot with what you are talking about. You are not alone, stay Strong! I few years ago I met my partner. At that same time I was questioning if I should go back to school or not. After months of deliberation, conversations with friends and family, and a long talk with my partner (we were ready to move in together, but I was planning to move back home to save money for school), I went back to school… full time, and moved in with my partner. I am normally a very independent person, I would always pay for my side of the date (I would even sneak the waiter my card at the beginning just so there would be no argument) and had an aversion to anyone helping me with anything. Becoming financially dependent on my parents and partner was soul crushing for me, and there were many self-conscious tears and much self-doubt during the first year of my schooling. The situation got worse when my mother was diagnosed with cancer just a month after a death in the family, and I had a complete breakdown due to stress. The important thing that I came out of all if it realizing was that my partner was there the whole time. And he didn't run away screaming. We all like to think we can do everything on our own. And for the most part we can, but should we? Just because we can climb a mountain bare foot and fight off a grizzly bear with small stick, doesn't mean we should do it just to prove we can. When people ask me "When did you know you wanted to marry Andrew(my partner)?" I love to tell my favorite story about him, and my least favorite about myself. I was in the middle of a panic attack (for most of the above reasons) and Andrew had been sitting quietly in the corner reading a book. He heard me hyperventilating from the other room and came running. He tried to ask me what was wrong, but words failed me. (fyi, this is the first time he'd seen me even cry, much less this much). He then ran into the other room and grabbed my cat. Yes, my cat. He pushed her at me and said "Kitty?" with a desperate look on his face and worry in his voice. All I could do was cry and shake my head. He ran out of the room and returned a moment later still holding my cat, but with a hot cup of tea in the other hand, "Tea?" More crying. By the end I wore myself out and laid down on the bed wheezing, Andrew came up to me and put all the comfort items he had collected down (I later realized they included a season of my favorite tv show, some chocolate I had told him to hide from me, and a stuffed unicorn I had never seen before). I cried and slept for another few hours and when I was able to talk we discussed what had just happened. I had broken down and needed help. This wasn't a bad thing in the end. I still feel pangs of guilt/shame/regret or whatever you want to call it about wanting to be the bada** no-nonsense I-can-do-it kind of gal, but sometimes you need to count on someone else. It sounds like your partner has been there through the thick and the thin (forgive the pun, but: "through sickness and in health") And he seems ready to make it official. Your true friends will understand. I know mine have. Regardless of what you end up deciding, be sure to talk to your partner and let them know the reason behind your hesitation. Not just the physics, but the deep down reasoning. You are an independent person who can take care of yourself, and you want to hold onto that feeling. It's a tough choice, and there is no right or wrong, but only what you are happy with. Good Luck! xoxo 47 agree Reply Your SO sounds amazing. 17 agree Reply from your post, it certainly seems you should forge ahead with your marriage, but perhaps it would give you more peace of mind to discuss this one-on-one with a qualified therapist to help you sort out what matters and why it matters to you. don't ignore your feelings, sort them out and understand them. to me it sounds like the uncertainty of your health issues is a real sticking point. maybe you need help to "shift gears" and accept your life, and yourself, as is. it sounds like your partner has and loves you, and that is spectacular. just my thoughts ~ wishing you all the best <3 10 agree Reply Getting engaged doesn't mean you have to rush to the altar. If you and your partner are ready to get engaged then maybe that's the appropriate first step. From there you can re-evaluate. When I got engaged I knew I wouldn't be ready to get married for 2 plus years because there were other things I wanted to accomplish first. But taking that step with my partner (engagement) really helped our relationship. 7 agree Reply I cannot tell you how much this rings true for me and my own personal situation. I am no expert, and you, gentle internet stranger, are just that, but I have discovered four universal truths that you may find helpful. 1. There is no correct way to love and be loved. Our stories are all our own, and all unique. What is the right timing for one couple is just as wrong for another. 2. The Grown-Up Police will not show up at your door demanding you turn over your Grown-Up papers if you choose to follow your own happiness. If your peer group is filled with members of the grown-up police, it may be time for you to reassess your peer group. However, often the best people in our lives are disguised as members of the Grown Up Police, but when faced with the honest truth that the situation you find yourself in is what will give you the most happiness, most members of the Grown-Up Police will grudgingly admit that they are, in fact, quite happy for you, wish you all the best, and buy you something from your Amazon wishlist as a symbol of goodwill (since that's what Grown Ups do at weddings). 3. There will be no mob of people in pantsuits with well-balanced checkbooks protesting your improperly-time-lined wedding. Proper timelines and life milestones are great, but they aren't *real*. You can have an idea of where you're going, but even regardless of your new health situation, you never know if your car is going to break down or if your goldfish is going to pass solemnly into that long goodnight or if your boyfriend's nose is going to fall off due to an ill-timed case of frostbite. No one plans the crap things in life. There is no "getting a terminal illness" milestone that people want to hit before they are 30. Our lives are, against all of our wills, intermittently strewn with obstacles. And you have, with you, wanting to stand by your side, a man who wants to take the car wrecks and dead goldfish and lost noses along side of you, with you, together. 4. You are loved. You are so very, very loved. You have found a partner who is aware of your situation and asks you, with joy and with love, to be his partner and life companion. Your soul aches to say yes to this man. If you suddenly found yourself in a alternate universe where everything else was the same, (except, we will say, you now have antennae) and your alternate-universe self forgot, somewhere along the timeline, to place these arbitrary rules on yourself, would you keep turning him down? Or would you say yes, lock antennas and live happily ever after? Say yes. Forget the rules, they're made up anyway. Say yes. Do the thing, internet stranger. Do the thing. 65 agree Reply Grown-Up Police! Love it. 11 agree Reply I hate to be the one to say this, but you perhaps need to consider NOT getting married. Please keep reading why, as I'm in the same boat. I'm chronically ill. I recently had to go on SSI, due to my inability to work. Now, SSI has been lifesaver in a shitty situation, but here's the thing. I'm allowed $2000 of assets. That's it. If I were to legally marry my partner, then that would increase to $3000. This means there's no saving for a rainy day, or for retirement, or anything like that. If you think there's a chance that you'll end up on SSI/SSDI then you need to do some research into what the laws are in your state; I have no idea if the assets laws are federal or by state. I'm so, SO sorry to have to bring up a reason why it might not be a good idea to get married right now. I wish I could say screw everyone else, and throw confetti for you. I wish you health and happiness. 14 agree Reply I was going to point this out as well. Since we don't know what kind of illness the OP has, these are very real concerns. Additionally, if the condition is degenerative, many Social Security programs will cover a caregiver UNLESS you're married. If you're married the assumption is that your spouse can be your full time caregiver (you know, in addition to being the only one of you capable of holding down a full time job or taking care of any children). Now, these concerns only apply to a legally recognized marriage. You can still stand before G-d and your community, declare your vows, and happily move in together with out the government getting involved at all (unless your state has Common Law marriages in which case you might run into some trouble down the road). If you have a chronic illness, it may be time to face the harsh reality of planning for your future with that illness, rather than continuing to try to reestablish the plan you had before you were diagnosed. Once you've figured out your *general* long term life-with-this-illness plan, seeing how and when marriage fits into that should be a lot easier. 5 agree Reply I was in a very similar situation. I am very sick with an illness I will live the rest of my life with, cannot work, and my fiance and I don't have the perfect living situation. However, one thing I have found is that when you live with a lifelong illness, there is no such thing as a "normal" or "perfect" timeline. I had to reassess what "normal" was for me, not only for my marriage but for my education and what I want to do with the rest of my life. Then I had to confront my own fears and judgements about what other people thought of our relationship, my worries that he wouldn't be able to handle a sick wife for the rest of his life and would eventually leave for a "less damaged model". In the end I realized that he has seen some of my very worst episodes and stayed. Because we make each other happy. Neither one of us are perfect, but my broken and shattered pieces are the glue that holds him together, and vise versa. Now, that's me. I decided to marry him despite the distinct lack of a perfect or normal timeline. But you need to look at logistically if marriage is right for you. I don't know what illness you live with, but marriage can effect social security income, insurance, , and a slew of other things. But if you are with the right person, that love can heal you. It has for me. I would ask yourself, are you holding yourself back because of what other people will think, because of your own fears revolving around your illness, or because of financial /logistical reasons. An honest answer to these questions could enlighten the path you should take. Remember, you have but one life to live. Do not waste it because of the opinions of others. Live it for yourself. You are the only one who can, and life is to short to be anything but happy. 7 agree Reply This is something I've been thinking about. I'm not sick, but I will be having a baby in the next few months. Right now *I* make enough on my own that I don't qualify for any sort of social services, but my boyfriend makes significantly less. I wonder if it's better for us to stay unmarried. However, if benefits aren't an issue, I might say that maybe she should marry her person. Marriage does confer some rights and access that simply 'being together' does not. Reply I'm a welfare worker, so I'm going to hop in & comment on this. I'm hoping you have enough income between the 2 of you, for you to be OK economically when you are off work on maternity leave. Otherwise, depending on the laws of your county/state/province/territory/country, a few things could happen. If you feel you must apply for social services when your child is born, then often you have to disclose the name/location/work details etc of your child's parent, so that social services can help you go after them for child support. And that is usually a pretty strict requirement; it's not optional. Or, if you are residing together & are the parents of a child, then your relationship's "legal" status won't matter – you will usually be seen as spouses, & then his assets & income are taken into account when they decide how much they will give you in benefits (if anything). I've seen people try to fudge around the facts, saying "X is just my room-mate", or "I don't know where Y is" – and then, things tend to get awful. You'd be surprised who SS will talk to, try & track down, etc, or they will order blood tests, talk to your employer, neighbours, etc. Not being 100% honest with them, can equal a fraud charge down the road. All that being said, well, like I said – I hope your situation is economically sound, life is good, and I wish you congratulations on the impending arrival. Reply I wasn't so much thinking about just social services for the baby, but more for him. Alone, even with the baby, I qualify for NOTHING! Though I feel like I make no money :-/ But he does qualify for a few things, and for things like lowered student loan payments. Those are the things that I am more worried about screwing up with marriage. I don't know if him marrying me would screw him up…for me I don't think it would be that big of a deal Reply I say ask yourself these two questions: 1) If you never get well enough to rejoin the workforce, and thus never marry him, will you regret making that decision in 5, 10, 20 years? 2) If you get married now, and then get well enough to rejoin the workforce in 2 years, will you regret not waiting? Mu hunch your answers will be 1) yes and 2) no. Just some food for thought. 10 agree Reply I was quite surprised at where we received judgment during our engagement and where we didn't. My husband's family is full of people who have gone through nasty divorces and speak bitterly about marriage in general, so I was bracing myself for a whole host of judgment from them, but nope. They were totally supportive. I thought my feminist friends would judge me for taking my husband's last name, but they said "you do you." Some of my peers posted passive-aggressive statuses or articles on social media about how "people [our] age who get engaged are destined for failure in marriage," but these people were whiny in general about their relationship status, so they took their frustration out on others. My husband was unemployed for the majority of our engagement, and no one batted an eye at that. In my experience, what's worse than braving judgment with someone supportive by your side is chasing the moving target or "perfect" or even "okay." Working on and showing how strong your relationship is from the inside, and it definitely sounds strong from the inside, will protect you from a lot of judgment from the outside. 3 agree Reply My heart breaks reading this. Dear author. Chronic illness takes SO MUCH from our lives, don't let it take even more. Say yes, let the love and joy of that moment wash over you both (as well as your close friends and family). Savor it. It's one of the greatest feelings out there. My husband was diagnosed with MS about six months after we moved in together. We knew we wanted to be together forever, but diagnosis with a chronic disease of that sort changes how one approaches marriage. He had a lot of unspoken, but understandable, insecurities. After a few months, I proposed to him. Because I knew being married to him was what I wanted and I wasn't going to let MS take that from us. And we are so happy with where our life is…I know it was the right choice. 12 agree Reply Just say yes. You know you want to, you know it's right, and I think deep down you know you don't need to worry about other people's opinions. I pretty much never comment on here but I had to comment now, because there's never an "acceptable" time to get engaged, really. You just have to know that YOU feel ready and that your partner feels ready and that's all that matters. I never really thought I'd get engaged or married, but I had always said that if I DID, I would wait until I had a stable career, income, etc. etc. Well, it didn't end up happening that way. I met my now-husband when I was living abroad (I'm from the US but went to grad school in Australia) and by the time we officially got together, we pretty much knew that was "it" but my student visa was set to expire in a few months so we had to make a decision about what we were going to do. We both would have preferred to be in a much more stable place before getting married so we could at least save up enough to have a wedding that both of our families could attend, but what with the immigration situation looming for one or the other of us, we had to just do a courthouse wedding so we could have a legal basis for a visa application (he ended up deciding to move to the US with me, long story short). And by the way, we got officially engaged about three and a half months after we actually started dating. We were a little worried we'd get some negativity from people, but amazingly, all of our family and friends were 100% supportive, even though it may have seemed like a very rushed decision (and even though we were very close friends before we got into a relationship, we hadn't actually even known each other that long, haha). Well, we've been married over three years now and neither of us regret it; getting married in a courthouse just meant that we both knew we wanted to be together so badly that we'd do whatever it took to be able to live in the same country together. Honestly, that felt more romantic than anything, and we're both adults in our early 30s with plenty of previous experience so we felt that it was our decision to make, whatever happened. We've been through crazy amounts of moving and job-related turmoil and even now we're only just starting to feel a bit more financially stable (screw you, job market) but I don't regret any of it. Who cares if it's not the traditional or expected path, just do whatever makes you happy. Life is short, don't waste it worrying about what other people think! And if they try to give you and flak for it, tell them to mind their own beeswax and/or just be happy that you're happy! Carpe diem and enjoy the love that you and your significant other are so lucky to have found together! 2 agree Reply You are an adult. Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for your decisions. Channel your inner Fuck Off Fairy and marry the man already! 8 agree Reply I have three things to say. 1. Just like everyone else said, go ahead and get engaged! You really have no reason not to, and it sounds like the right thing to do, based on what you gave said. I think people will dissaprove less than you think, and even if they do, scew em. 2. This may not be a popular opinion (it sure wasn't when I thought about it), but if you are on disability or government assistance for your chronic illness, you may want to find out what "official" state- marriage will do to it. One of my best friends got married recently, and she is on disability, and her husband doesn't make enough to support both of them- especially not her medical bills. However, if they had gotten married legally, she probably would have died because of lack of medical care (I am being quite literal). So, they ended up having a wedding with their friends and family, and just didn't do the paperwork. Some people will say it's mean or dishonest, or whatever, but what does it matter if you are married in your hearts, or religiously, if that is your thing? 3. Honestly, I don't think that getting married while going through something like this is a bad thing if you are sure you would be together otherwise. Marriage is wonderful for this, because it isn't just you anymore; you can work on it together, and you would be a team. I don't have a chronic illness, but I was laid off from my job not long after I got married, and have been having a really hard time finding a job since then. I am in my early 30's and have a lot of experience that should be helping me, but it just isn't, and it's been really hard for me. However, having my husband around, being my chering section has helped me so much that I can't really put it into words. I honestly don't know what kind of emotional state I would be in if he weren't with me, but I don't think it would be good. But I also know that that doesn't make me weak or dependent (I've always been so afraid of being these things), it's just him helping in an awful situation. I feel like your significant other could help in your situation as well; you would be amazed. Obviously you shouldn't get married just for the emotional support, but being in a situation where emotional support would be helpful shouldn't be a hindrance either. 8 agree Reply My fiancé and I have been together for seven years (on Sunday!). We got engaged on our sixth anniversary. We started dating while living in the same town. A year and a half later, I moved to a city three hours away. A year and a half later, I moved home. Three months later we moved to a new city, 12 hours from my hometown. A year later, he moved 10 hours away for work. We've spent the past three years visiting as much as possible between my insane double-major (I'm a non-trad student) schedule and his work schedule. We've talked about getting married for years now – probably five, five and a half years. It was frustrating knowing we both wanted to get married, but also knowing it wasn't the right time to get engaged. After we got engaged last year, we set a date for this upcoming summer. As we got closer to the end of last semester and I realized just how much work still needed to be done (especially knowing I had two junior projects to do the semester before we tied the knot), we decided to push the date back. We're now going to get married in two years, on either the nine year anniversary of meeting or the anniversary of us starting to date. Neither of us wanted to date this long before getting engaged. Neither of us wanted a three year engagement. But we also did not anticipate how much long distance we'd be doing. And I'd rather us both feel really good about the planning of our wedding and be able to live together as a married couple immediately. We both hope long distance won't follow us into married life. This really wasn't relevant to this post, but it sort of falls into the category of wanting to be married but life not letting it happen yet. Reply Marriage is an opportunity to work as a team and build a life together. You do not need to have anything "sorted" first. You and your partner together will sort life out and it will be an ongoing process for the rest of your lives. 2 agree Reply Life has so many things to throw at all of us. Remember the adage, "don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides?" While it sounds like you have an extra tough situation, having it all figured out, in the right order, is mythology as far as I'm concerned. We're all struggling and figuring things out on the inside, no matter what order we do things in. And the truth is, we're all still whole and complete people, being who we are. We just have to be willing to see that in ourselves. Furthermore, sometimes people's lives hit the fan AFTER they've gotten engaged or married. You never know whats around the corner, you just might know who you want by your side while you face and survive it all. My father died suddenly in a tragic accident a few weeks before my now husband and I were to be married. Who the hell could have seen that coming? Did I consider delaying the wedding? Yes. But ultimately, getting married during a difficult time injected a much needed dose of joy, happiness, and togetherness into a horrible life situation. And I have been so grateful to have my husband by my side as we face grief, healing, supporting my mother, and having so many tough conversations that ultimately have brought us closer together, though there have been strains on the relationship that we have had to intentionally work hard at. After the trauma we experienced, I was terribly afraid of being a drain on my husband- emotionally, physically, financially. I felt that I would never be the same. And I won't be. But ultimately I've been able to see that I can give him support and encouragement in his life, even as I need his support. And we've been able to learn to take care of ourselves with support outside the relationship (like therapy and other friends) when it gets to feel like too much. You have someone who wants to go through your tough times with you. Who has experienced your tough situation and has grown with you.That is an incredible gift that not everyone has, and I say, go for it. 1 agrees Reply Ah there is no such thing as an "adequate adult".. illness or not, if you're waiting to "grow up" before taking this step, you could be waiting forever. I want to answer your last question first – how do I steel myself against the possible judgements of my peers? .. Consider that it's not their judgements you are worried about. If those possible judgements didn't resonate deeply with something inside of you, then we wouldn't be talking about it. It's your own self judgements that are the real opponent here. I say, go within. The "peers" are the distraction. Work compassionately with your own resistance, your own limiting beliefs. I have a chronic illness too. And what strikes me is how quickly I rushed to answer your question like this: "jump in! Get married! Follow your heart! Forget doing things in the "right order", whatever that means!" And yet, in my own life, I have waited. Waited to get well. Before doing the Big Things. Funny how when it's someone else, the answer is so plainly obvious. When it's ourselves, we can not see clearly. At least, not at first. We all have a master plan in our heads, consciously or subconsciously. But then life happens. Illness happens. Loss happens. Unexpectedness happens. If it's joy you're after, then throw out your old Plan. You know what's amazing? That makes room for something even better to happen. 5 agree Reply there can be many pragmatic reasons to wait to get married. legal marriage effects things like hospital visitation, power of attorney, taxes, gov't benefits, etc, etc. there are also good emotional reasons to wait to get married, sometimes you just arent ready. but i cant imagine a scenario when its a good idea to wait based on other people's opinions. also, life rarely happens in any kind of sequential order, i mean shit happens, so i also cant imagine a scenario when it would be a good idea to wait based on some real/imagined timeline that you have to follow. i think you should just take a very logical look at this problem -the emotional part is settled, i would say, you want to marry him emotionally- so pragmatically, are there problems? if so, form a plan and address those things. if not …. well, then go for it. i will tell you i used to be very scared of getting married. i come from a divorced religious home, and i had the "marriage for life" thing beaten into me from two different angles, the "divorce = failure" one and the "god will hate you/marriage forever" one. my boyfriend, now fiance, and i will have been together for 7 years when we get married in may. i cant tell you when it happened, but sometime during those 7 years, i went from OMG MARRIAGE THAT IS TERRIFYING WHAT IF WE FAIL, WHAT IF WE ARE WRONG ABOUT ALL THIS WE HAVE TO BE ENGAGED FOR YEARS TO FIT ALL THE PREMARITAL COUNSELING IN SO WE CAN DIVORCE PROOF OUR MARRIAGE to, eh, fuck it. so what if we divorce? like literally, so what? then you divorce, and life goes on, and on and on and on. now, like i said, there are practical implications for legal marriage. i have come to realize that is all that i find to be "real" about a marriage. everything else is emotional, and therefore not tangible or measurable. the only thing that matters in the real world are those legal issues. i am ok with the legal issues, i welcome them in many ways as we both live apart from our families now. so, marriage is something you do, and it is also something you can un-do. there is a comfort in that, for me. its also only one facet of a person's life. you will still be you when you get married. its like losing your virginity, right, like that concept is so stupid because you are still you. the same person was the virgin as was the non-virgin. nothing really changes. so i feel you in a lot of ways. it seems like you are putting marriage up as a very, very, very Important and Special Thing. what freed me was shedding the importance and special-ness. Reply There is no such thing as an ideal time to get married. Even if you got well enough to work, something else would come up. People get married while paying off student loans, while in the middle of an expensive reno to their house, while sick, while pregnant, while unemployed, while their parents freak out, you name it. There is no such thing as an ideal time to get married. 3 agree Reply I feel you! I'm in a similar situation right now (change wedding with baby, but the fear of judgement is something I worry about). It is so easy to say "don't worry about the judgement", but it's a real fear and it really sucks worrying that the people you care about most in the world aren't going to be happy for you, something that is suppose to be one of the happiest things ever. The thing is the people who care about you, will be happy, and will want to help in any way possible. Besides, you can always get engaged. Being engaged does not mean you need to rush into wedding planning. And you could just have a small wedding with your partner, and plan a bigger 'do'/vow renewal when you feel like you have your ducks in a row. Life is too short! 1 agrees Reply I've been through some friend group turmoil due to my relationship choices – I had an affair with my (now) fiance while I was still in an unhealthy marriage with my ex. When it came into the open, everyone expected him to slink away and disappear, but we knew we'd stumbled on something pretty incredible and weren't willing to give it up. We waited to start "officially" dating for 8 months after my ex and I split because I was worried what our friends would think, but honestly it didn't matter. We lost a few friends, a few warily hung on and have now come around to be huge fans our relationship, we made some new friends who know the story and couldn't care less, and most other new friends have no idea. Friends will always come and go, that's just a part of life. I honestly don't think anyone will judge you for getting engaged, but if they do, then you find out who your true friends are and who you can let go to make room for awesome new friends. 2 agree Reply I was exactly where you are, and my heart truly goes out to you. I had been bedridden with severe illness for years when my fiance proposed, and he asked knowing I may never recover. But, being one to lead with the heart, I eagerly said yes…we set a date…the date came and went. And here I am, bedridden still. At first, my limitations felt like a crushing defeat. I felt useless and inadequate. He "deserved" a healthy, active woman. My family and friends "deserved" to attend a real ceremony. Hell, I "deserved" the excitement of planning one. But my perspective drastically changed as I continued, day by day, to behold the undeniable alchemical nature of our relationship, irrespective of health, location, finances…or any other obstacle that tends to get in the way. On our planned "wedding" date we had a private ceremony with just the two of us and exchanged rings/vows in a very meaningful way. We told those closest to us afterwards, and every single person not only accepted this unorthodox plan, but was ecstatic for us. To us, marriage is about the intention and commitment we consciously make to each other. Even as an independent, highly unique, generally counterculture woman who never gave a damn about what other people thought…I STILL felt emotionally affected by societal/gender pressures when it came to matrimony. Letting it all go was the single best decision I've ever made. For all intents and purposes, we ARE married. And as far as we're concerned, anyone who prioritizes a *wedding* over the totality of a devoted, synergistic, inspiring, perfect life partnership…something many people are never lucky enough to find…is not someone we NEED on our side anyway. It takes a courageous, compassionate, sincerely loving man to propose to a chronically ill woman. Your partner sounds like he's among the rare and precious few who will always see and value you for being exactly YOU. Don't let fear rob you of your dreams (and please don't deny yourself love, or your partner the chance to love you!). Even with my physical limitations, my husband and I bring endless magic to each other's lives, and not a day goes by that we don't revel in gratitude for the opportunity to be life partners. Best of luck with both your health and plans. <3 3 agree Reply I mean this with absolute respect: what will being married change about your relationship? I can't wait to marry my partner, but it's not happening for at least a few years. During a burst of insecurity and anxiety, I once asked my partner, "Do you want a life with me?" He looked at me very calmly and said, "I already have a life with you." And I realised he was right. As much as I can't wait to get married to him, I realised that us getting married would not be "beginning our life together". Our life together has already begun. We have short-, mid- and long-term goals together. We have many boxes to tick off before we get married (moving in together, for one thing), and I am looking forward to enjoying every step of the way. I absolutely do not wish to invalidate your desire to be married. But I want you to think about WHY it's so important to you, and why it can't be done now. Do you want to be legally recognised as husband and wife? There's no reason why you can't do that now and maybe keep it private to your friends. Do you want to publicly declare how much you love this guy? Go right ahead, and have an epic wedding later down the track! But know that life is now, and that your partner is a part of your life right now. Even if you are not legally married, you have already chosen each other as your life partners, and have chosen to entwine your lives together. 4 agree Reply The way I see it getting married will not keep you from doing anything that you would were you unwed. No persons situation is ever going to be just right for getting married. We could all use more money or a better car or a better job. Being married will not keep you from any of those thigs. Reply First, you're not alone. I quit dating around the time I was diagnosed with lupus and through a bad flare-up because the last thing I wanted was to be around other people. Four years later I finally went into remission, found my sex drive, and met someone who played to all my kinks. Little did I know how well we'd connect. Most of my relationships ended when I went through what I now realize were flare-ups but he's still here. At my last appointment, my doctor wanted to know how I felt about having children because the next options could sterilize me. I lost a fiance to this prospect once before so you can imagine the anxiety in breaking the news to my partner. His response was, "There's this thing called adoption." We've batted around marriage frequently. There are a number of things working against it. Our career choices involve a lot of travel and uncertainty, our backgrounds are radically different, I'm 12 years older, and I'm sick. We knew going in it wasn't going to be easy and neither of us were going to change. We can't plan but what we can do is commit and communicate. We know marriage is going to happen, but we don't sweat the timeline. If I get him now and forever, who cares when we let everyone else in on it? The traditional milestones aren't happening. But again, who cares? We're hitting the ones we want to hit for ourselves. We've spent far more time discussing the details of the marriage (finances, child-raising philosophies, power of attorney, medical preferences, etc.) than the wedding. It'll probably come down to one of us PCSing and marriage making it easier for the other to get closer. tl;dr less worry about other people and more talking it out with your partner 1 agrees Reply I'm in a really similar place right now. We didn't expect to end up dating, had been friends for years beforehand, have been dating for a few years now. We've talked marriage, and currently are trying to buy a house, so we're in it for the long-haul. But right now, life has us living two hours apart and (because of trying to buy the house, actually) we're not quite in the position to do it. But my grandfather's cancer has come back and they're giving him two months, and its hit me how badly I want him to be there for the wedding. I really want to just go do it, so he can be there, but we just can't right now and I just… feel for you. Reply Thanks, everyone, for your advice, and to those who offered compassion and support, thank you especially from the bottom of my heart. To those asking why we want to get engaged right now; it is important to him. He says he wants to shout to the world how much he loves me, and wants to do it in an officially-recognised way. To the person who suggested I hold off, for reasons of maintaining government financial support that might be severed should my assets increase, it is my hope and expectation that I will be able to return to work within the next year – and if I can't, my sweetheart has the means and the will to support me until I can. To those expressing sympathy from similar situations, for whatever circumstances, my heart goes out to you, and I wish you strength on your journeys. I believe in happiness for you, and I hope you find it soon. To those suggesting we get engaged but not rush into marriage; to me – and this is only my personal values, which I do not project on anyone else's situation – a long engagement that seems to be "just another stage of the relationship" has never been what would be right for me. For me, the engagement is the period in which you plan your wedding; that's all it is. I have never wanted, in my life plan, to get married as a general aim; it is him, specifically whom I wish to marry, and who has woken that desire in me – and the wedding is just the social rite that marks the beginning of that marriage. I have especially never particularly wanted to "get engaged" for its own sake, but that with him, engagement is a necessary stage before marriage, which is what we both dearly want. So to get engaged, for me, necessarily means that the wedding becomes an imminent prospect, or what's the point (again, just to me)? A little while after submitting this request for advice to Offbeat Bride, I went to holiday with him for a few days in another City, two days before Christmas. Only upon the evening of the day of my arrival did I discover that, of my most vital (and tightly-controlled) medication, I had accidentally packed a nearly empty box. With no way of getting home until after Christmad, and no hope of getting any doctor to release me more medication when I already had another two weeks collected on the record, I panicked. I sat on his bed, with my head in my hands, and I wept, while he rubbed my back and petted my hair. Then he disappeared to his computer for five minutes, but I was too distressed – in the heart of my anxiety attack – to really notice, until he came back, kissed me, and quietly informed me that he had booked himself flights to and from my home City the next morning, and so that I mustn't fret; he'd have my medication back in my hands before lunchtime. I protested, but he just smiled and told me the fares were booked, the deed was done, and that it was nothing to him to make the trip. Sure enough, the next morning, on Christmas Eve, he got up at 6:30, took his pre-booked cab to the airport, flew for a couple of hours, took a cab to my house and asked it to wait, let himself in with my keys, found my meds, locked up, took the cab back to the airport, and flew back to me. And, as promised, he delivered a full box of my medication into my hands before 11:30am. Overwhelmed with joy, and love, and gratitude, and nearly weeping from the combination, I threw my arms about him and kissed him, and then tearfully asked, as you do, "How can I *ever* repay you?" He simply squeezed me gently, smiled down at me, and said, "…Marry me?" Well, there was only really one answer to that question, then, wasn't there? You'll be pleased to know that I said yes. Already, I know it was the best thing I have ever agreed to. We are hoping to marry in March – April 2017, and not a day goes past when I don't look at him and think, "This incredible person is going to be my husband," with joy and wonder. And you know what? All those people I was worried about judging us? Every one of them has been like, "Oh, how wonderful, thank Heavens you grabbed onto it with both hands – you really deserve some happiness." And every single person I was worried about judging me, because I wasn't back to work yet, when I came out and just asked them, has actually said, "Oh, wow, no. No-one's saying that! We all just talk about how impressive it is, how much you've achieved so far with everything that's happened to you, and how well you're doing to bear up under it. Everyone's really proud of you!" So there you go, fellow OBBs; sometimes, the nasty voices you're hearing really *are* just all in your head. Anxiety is an insidious beast, but it's not to be trusted. Sometimes it's worth taking the leap, despite insecurities and worries that seem perfectly sensible. Sometimes that's what you need to do to learn what the world *actually* looks like. So that's my happy ending. For now, anyway. Life will throw crap at us, and even after I get back to work (which I am determined to do), I know there's no way to predict what will come our way. Maybe *he* will get sick, and it will be my turn to be the carer. But I know that whatever happens, I'll have a teammate at my side and my back, to help me make sense of it all. And that's the best feeling I could ever have imagined. 🙂 22 agree Reply YAY!!!! I squealed with Joy! He sounds like a really great guy. I'm so glad things worked out. Best of Luck and well wishes 🙂 1 agrees Reply He is legitimately the sort of partner I honestly had always thought only existed in fairytales and especially far-fetched rom-coms/Nicholas Sparks novels. My very own Tristan Thorn. ^_^ If ever I had had nurtured any doubt, I know for sure, now, that he would do anything for me, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have found someone so wonderful, and am deeply humbled to be the object of such devotion. I'm going to spend the rest of my life trying to be just as wonderful a partner as his own wonderfulness deserves. Thank you so much for your kind wishes. <3 4 agree Reply I teared up reading this. Congratulations! 2 agree Reply Thank you so much for celebrating with us, gentle stranger – we're so happy! *hugs* Reply YAY!!!!!!!! Congratulations to both of you! Reply Thank you so much! Reply So happy to hear that – congrats! Maaaaaaaan – he flew RT to get meds for you. Whoa. He. Is. A. Keeper. 1 agrees Reply He is my hero, and I intend to work my arse off for the rest of my life to be equal to that devotion. Thank you. 🙂 Reply Stop focusing on how your marriage could be negatively affected by your current limitations. You've done plenty of that. Instead, consider how it could be positively affected by having this awareness of your health concerns going in – you'll both be much more prepared for the ways that your illness will affect your relationship than you would be if you'd become sick when you were already married. You can start your marriage with the confidence that comes from knowing that with all this uncertainty around your health, your partner would rather marry you sooner, not later. Health shit happens. Married couples adjust to new diagnoses, serious injuries, and disabilities (and all of their consequences) all the time. You have a head start. In some respects, you are less prepared for marriage than other people, but in other respects you are more prepared. This is true of all people and all relationships. Just because you can see reasons to wait doesn't mean you actually have to wait. It means that you've put serious thought into your decision, have weighed your options, and have done your best to prepare yourself for whatever you do end up choosing. 1 agrees Reply And if I'd just refreshed the page, I'd have known this was already solved. Reply I can't help you get it right in your own mind – though a good therapist/counselor could probably help with that (they're trained to get you through these sorts of roadblocks and help you come up with strategies to deal with them). But in terms of your peer group, if they "wouldn't respect you" for getting married before you are able to re-enter the work force, which is something you have no control over, then THEY are the problem. Somehow I guess though that they wouldn't be nearly as bothered as you think, if they considered it at all. Reply I believe some of you have already touched on the whole 'grown-up/adulting thing'. I just came across this post today and really liked its message. Since it seems a lot of your external timeline pressure is what's holding you back from your engagement and subsequent marriage, I thought I would share it with you. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/when-are-you-really-an-adult/422487/ Reply I'm in a similar boat and recently re-entered the work force after many battles with my health and still had a few scares. I say do it your life is short and you should enjoy it. We're planning our dream wedding now-I hope nothing else comes out of the woodwork but it usually does so we've learned to be flexible due to my health. 1 agrees Reply Fuck the "appropriate order." It sounds like there are a lot of things right now that are making your life hard and aren't something that you can control. You know what you CAN control? Committing yourself to a wonderful partner who brings you joy. You deserve that. HE deserves that. And as a bonus, there are some real tangible benefits that come with marriage that could help you out because of your current situation (hospital visitation rights, joint tax filing, etc.). As a dear friend of mine once said, "We already have all the inconvenient parts of marriage, so we figured we'd get the convenient parts, too." So forget about putting on a show of "appropriateness" and just say yes to the thing that will make your heart sing. 1 agrees Reply I haven't read through the other comments, so this may be a repeat: Your life and your life trajectory does not stop when you get married. You will say "I do", have a party, go to bed, and wake up again, just like any other day. Planning the wedding will take some priority over other things, but it doesn't have to take top priority if you don't want. Getting married doesn't have to be a rest stop; think of it more as an alternate route along your journey of life. 2 agree Reply Life doesn't happen in order my dear. I proposed to my wife months before we got word that she was eligible for disability benefits and she in turn proposed to me on the day we got the approval letter in the mail. Four years later we made it legal even tough we knew it would effect her benefits. Not everything is about the money and not everything is about the emotion either. It's all mixed up together and it's messy and lovely. Go with your heart. It will work itself out. Don't forget that this person loves you just as you are and that you are good enough just as you are; you don't need to do anything or fix anything about yourself before you can say yes. 2 agree Reply I think these kind of insecurites about what people will think about you getting married come a lot more from you than from other people. I felt really self-conscious telling people we were engaged, because I kept thinking that they were going to think that we were rushing into things, or not ready, or awfully young, or something. It wasn't until really quite soon before the wedding that I realized that we weren't, at all, and even more, that people weren't percieving us that way. We were meeting with the officiant, who we didn't know particularly well, and he asked us how long we'd been together; I answered, somewhat self-consciously, that it had been 5 years, and that we'd been living together for 4, and he responded that that was quite a long time. And I realized that if I had friends who'd been together for that long, of course I wouldn't think they were rushing into it. Heck, I had a co-worker who just got engaged, and when she told me I was just happy for them, it didn't even cross my mind until she mentioned it that they'd only been living together for something like 6 months, and it was maybe a little soon (they're going to do a long engagement). So why was I thinking that they'd be judging us? Anyway, a roundabout way of saying that I'm finally now, even after the wedding, really fully realizing that all that judgement I thought might be happening was honestly really just me projecting my worries about what people would think onto them. And I wish I hadn't let it dampen even a little bit of my enthusiasm for being engaged. 1 agrees Reply If your partner is willing to support you through this, then I think it makes sense to say yes. There is nothing wrong with being financially sustained by your partner at this time. And, if you two can be together now, you will be in a more secure place to focus on your health. Don't be ashamed to be supported by them, or the state, or your family, or whoever else during this time. You deserve to heal — worry about supporting others when you are well. Reply I have so much respect for your honesty <3. Just do it. Nike was right. This is your life, with your partner! You're not marrying other people's opinions (THANK GOD) so let the naysayers naysay all they want. If you feel like you can't have an extravagant wedding due to life challenges, etc., this blog is proof that all you need are a judge and two consenting adults. Do what you want, focus on your well-being, and know that you have a community of people behind you! <3 Reply Ok, my credentials for what I'm about to tell you: I'm mid-thirties with a chronic illness that's gotten so bad, I'm about to leave the workforce, potentially forever, and might be a huge burden on my fiance for the rest of our lives. So I totally understand where you're coming from, with respect to worries, proper order, financial/emotional deterioration, etc. But here it is: if being married is the thing, DO IT. We have such a short window in life to seize joy, and not everyone can recognize it when it enters their lives. Waiting for 'the right time' will gain you absolutely nothing. My fiance and I met and began dating the same day. Six months later, he moved from CA to WA and we moved in together. Three years later he proposed. Then we bought a house. We'll be getting married, probably in 2017 at this point. And we constantly joke that we always do things out of order. And you know? Nobody cares. Seriously. Our friends and family are happy we found each other. They recognize that the path we took to get to the now is not as important as the fact that we're at that now. The older you and your peer group get, the more people will just be happy that you're happy. It may feel like there's a "right way" (as set by movies, books, TV, commercials, etc.) but there really isn't. Seize your joy. Reply I had a similar experience with my now husband, but a little bit in reverse. He has severe social anxiety that we are working on, but has prevented him from working. For now, we both live with our parents, although they are literally down the road from each other. That allows me to be more helpfull to my mother and job, as well, as my job is to take care of my severely disabled father. When we got engaged in 2012, we had this whole big plan. We were going to save up, get our own little appartment, and then get married after that. We even set a date, so we could stick to the timeline. But life happned, and prevented us from doing that. The plans for the wedding became smaller, and more DIY'd, but that worked for us. There were talks for a little while of just postponing it indefinitely. Just until we could have our own palce and have the wedding we dreamed of. Ok, I'll admit the wedding *I* dreamed of. Plus, I had the added thought in my head that planning a wedding, at this point in our lives, was dumb, and a waste of money. I thought people were going to think I was being irresponsible and immature. But one night, my husband and I were talking, and we decided that we didnt care what other people thought, or that the the wedding was going to be small and simple. So we said screw it, and on October 17th last year, in front of about 40 close friends and family members at my in-law's tattoo studio, we got married. And it was the best decision we have ever made. Is life perfect? Not at all. we would love to have our own place, and be a bit more financially stable. But we make it work. We talk all day, see each other every day, and I spend Weekends, Wednesday nights, and the ocassional other night with him. And that works for us. And it turns out, I was wrong for worrying about what other people were going to think. The only person who has said anything at all about the whole thing is one Aunt of mine, who's not that great with getting her mind around anything out of the box. You just need to ask yourself, Do I love them? Is marrying them right now, even though it may not seem like the best time in life, going to make me happy? Because that is all that matters. Your happiness. You'll figure everything else out. Reply As another person with a chronic illness (and who got married when her life was very much not "in order"), I empathize with this fully. But, I also know that, at least in my case, getting married allowed us to take our minds off of the effects of my illness and more on how we, as a team, we're going to handle it. Strictly speaking, commitment's not a problem – it sounds like your partner is sticking with you no matter what the relationship label. But putting up a unified front is made easier when society expects a certain kind of relationship, and it sounds like that is what you want and need right now. Reply I haven't read all the comments and I'm not sure that I can add to what has already been said. But let me just say thank you for writing such an open and honest post. I may or may not be developing a rare hereditary neuromuscular disease. I have the symptoms, but not exactly. There are some genetic tests, but those only cover some of the variations of the disease (as in, not even half). So, for now, it's a waiting game. I've had some other health issues along the way that I've been able to manage enough (hypothyroidism and anemia), though they've taken their toll. Such is the story of the past 13 years of my life. I've dated along the way, but just wonder if someone could ever deal with a life with me, with all the unknown, yet knowing I have a 50% risk of developing the disease. I also don't feel like I have a "real" job yet. While I still don't know if I'll ever find love, I'm starting to realize that no one really has it all figured out career wise. It sounds like you have someone amazing by your side, and that should count for a lot. I do understand how that might be hard to accept, though. I think that speaking with a neutral third party, maybe by yourself at first and then maybe later with him could help. Counseling has helped me through some things. Hope the suggestions here help! Thanks again for writing this. Reply I am almost 25, and I'm in the same situation with illness preventing me from working. Being as alternative, feminist, and not-quite-cisgendered as I am, I felt entirely legitimate in asking my amazing SO to marry me. I was equally thrilled when I received an affirmative answer. I have spent the last year mourning the loss of my life as I knew it. My SO has been one of the few positives in it all. My in laws, however, seem to be of the perspective that Tradition Must Be Observed – things must be done in a particular order. Particularly relevant to them is me proving I'm economically suitable as a spouse for their child. I don't know if I'll ever be in that position. The point of my blabber? Take that happiness. Life will screw with everything you see, eventually. Enjoy, nay, relish the good things while you have them. Please, if you can, take your SO & relish the time you have. Society be damned. Your health be damned. If you have to make concessions, to change things, so you and your SO can make things work – for your wedding and your life – make those changes. Your happiness is worth that. Reply I can relate to this post in many facets. I have chronic health conditions, including cancer. But my partner truly isn't intimidated or scared of facing these issues with me as my husband. He has already helped me as both boyfriend and fiancé, after I finally agreed to marry him. And we're financially not in a great position to get married either, but we're making that work out as well. We ultimately realized that being together as a unit and in a capacity that matched our faith (as a married couple) was really what matters to us most. He is there for me, no matter what. And I realized that, even though I have chronic illnesses, I am there for him no matter what. Our families have been very supportive, and so have some of our friends. For those individuals that are part of our family and friends circle who are judging our choice, we looked into our hearts and asked ourselves whether we were concerned about their opinions. After thinking it through individually and as a couple, our conclusion was that those friends perhaps should be downgraded to acquaintances and those family members kept to a minimum in our lives. We aren't the type of individuals who concern ourselves with people outside of the family and friend group, so we weren't really considering them. But I can understand why you might have concerns over what others think. Yet, I'm left thinking why any peer group matters if they aren't there to support you. My thought is that almost no one really ever gets their life together. There's always something going on the background in everyone's life that keeps the puzzle pieces from fitting. And everyone is one accident or doctor's visit away from a potentially serious life changing event that will conceivably cause their "together" life to crumble in a million pieces. Heck, one layoff from their job can crumble someone's life in an instant nowadays. I guess I learned from a lot of personal upheaval, observation, and lots of good advice that life marches on…sometimes right over you. You can march on your path with some great people who add to the journey or you can let others opinions march over you and stop you from going after the things you want most. I personally want to march with life, to the beat of my drum and now combine that beat with my fiancé's. But I wish you well and hope you can find the answer that works for you. Reply Dont let other peoples views of what adultness and independence is get in the way of what you want. If your already in a relationship where you acknowledge that your life partners then your already married in mind/spirit. The legal part just gives you an excuse to celebrate it and the legal acknowledgment of your right to be their for one another. You have health issues that prevent you from getting a job? Well think about how you would feel if your sick enough to not be conscious to say "i want my love by my side."… It was after i had an accident and i was crying and calling for my future husband that i realized just how scary the concept of not having the legal tie of marriage was. I'm estranged from my father and living in a diffrent state from my family, only have a handfull of friends in this state… Who would they call if i wasnt awake or if my phone was broken. Litterally who would they contact? A father i have nightmares about? A mother who is still with him? A brother that would rather be comfortable with the way things are than give his sister some comfort? It was then i realized my chosen famliy wouldnt be the fist looked for and just how important legal aknowlegment is. You should consider what you want in the long run in your relationship. Talk to your partner. If your limited in job but your self value hinges on it… Consider it this way, their are no guarantees in life. Would you abandon your lover if they ended up not physically able to keep a job but you are? Why are you doubting their support. Dont let pride hurt your relationship as partners… Mabey they see you as bringing more to the marriage than a paycheck. Im capable of holding a job but lost it because i had to many call ins from random accidents on both my end and me taking off to support him when he had an emergancy… Im depressed i dont have money or a job but if it was the other way around id fully expect to support him. So while being jobless sucks its no reason to aviod legal acknowledgment of our relationship. Hell we use each others bank accounts and the accident money that most people would see as mine went to our ring sets. Being the non working parner dosnt make you less. It just meens you use other ways to support your lover. Reply My husband and I married at a very inconvenient time. I was still in school and dealing with some chronic health issues, he was living and working in a town 3 hours away from me. We lived apart the first 6 months of our marriage (and I got pregnant in that time, too). It was hard. We didn't know where we would live after I graduated, or that we would be having a baby so soon, or really how anything would work out. But we wanted to be married. And so we were. And it's been beautiful. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! 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