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Is it time to get married?

By October 13, 2010 - 2:29pm
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Hi! Me and my fiance has been dating for a year and a half now and we are living together. Things have been great and I feel like our relationship is stronger than ever. We have been through a lot with each other and I definitely think that he is the one. We argue from time to time, but I think it is only normal for couple to argue.
He joined the army and he is leaving in a couple months, and that raises a lot of questions for us. Before he joined the army, we were planning on getting married sometimes next year. Now that he is leaving in a few months, things are getting very confusing, I don't know what to do. He will be leaving for 6 months for basic training and school, and we were going to get married after that. Then one day, he asked me what if we get married before he goes. I didn't give him an answer then, but a few days ago, I was thinking about it and I think it is a good idea to get married before he goes, because I really think it will make us stronger than we are already. So I told him let's get married before he goes, and he was hesitated. I was bumped out, I felt like I was shut down and that I put myself out there and get rejected in a sense. I told him how I felt and he said, he was only hesitated because he just wanted to make sure that I will be able to handle him being gone for six months.

To be honest, six months is a long time and the only reason I am worried about is how I am going to get through everyday without see him, and without him being there with me everyday, but that is the only problem. I am absolutely 100% faithful and loyal to him! The thing is I am a junior in college and I am trying to graduate next year. After that, I want to either find a job or go to grad school. I have a really clear vision of what I want to do in the future, but I am just afraid that my path and his path doesn't match. It really sounds like I am contradicting myself, doesn't it? But I want some kind of commitment before he goes so that I know for sure me and him will be together in the future, because if I am ensured that, I don't care about anything else. I am willing to move with him where ever he will be stationed in the army. I just want to know for sure that he won't change his mind about being with me after being gone for six months. I want to be that person who will be waiting for him to come back and who he will come back to. I love him with all my heart and I want it to work out between us. I just need some opinion of what I should do. I know that I want to get married to him, and I know that he wants to get married as well. The question is that IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME or SHOULD WE WAIT UNTIL HE IS BACK FROM 6 MONTHS OF BASIC TRAINING AND SCHOOL? Thank you for reading and answering!

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EmpowHER Guest

Hello, I can understand the mix of emotions that are now creating confusion and pressure with regard to getting married.
I've also been married and divorced, and while the lessons you learn always have the power to move you forward in life, there's no reason to make them more complicated or difficult than necessary.

Marriage should never be rushed, based on stats (like how long you've known each other or lived together), or chosen out of fear (for ex. wanting to be married before you are separated because you're afraid of what the separation could cause between you.) Marriage is best when both parties are truly interested, feel ready and enthusiastic about moving their relationship into a new place. Our emotions often influence our decisions, however when it comes to marriage, it's best to take a step back and examine what is driving your choices. There seems to be a lot of fear behind your question, so the question to ask yourself is what are you afraid of? If you're afraid that the two of you may grow apart or change your current perspective on your relationship, understand that getting married will not prevent any of that from happening. It may even add more pressure to your relationship that could make it harder and more stressful for both of you to make it through the upcoming change. Not only will you grow and change personally while your partner is away, he will also undergo significant experiences that will influence who he is and chooses to be as he moves forward, which makes holding off on marriage a very good idea.
My advice is to take a deep breath and accept that both of you are young, with major events about to take place in your lives that will absolutely create changes in both of you. If you can let go of trying to control what happens in favor of establishing your intention to support each other and then let life's course take place, you will both be stronger. It may feel scary, but in truth your marriage will have a much stronger foundation when each of you makes the choice freely without trying to avoid something else you're afraid could happen. Give yourselves the gift of growing and finding out if despite enduring new experiences with a physical separation, you continue to hold the same values, goals and desires for life. If you do, you will enjoy a sense of peace when you choose to get married down the road because your marriage will be based in belief rather than fear or a desire to avoid or control future events. Should you find that you begin to go in different directions, you'll be able to appreciate the time you've had together, what you've learned from each other and move forward more easily. I wish you the best.

October 17, 2010 - 3:17pm
EmpowHER Guest

I was living with my active duty (Air Force) boyfriend when he was called to action in the first gulf war in 1990. I wanted to get married because I was caring for his 6 yr old son (who had been abandoned by his mother). My boyfriend reluctantly agreed. He was gone for 9 months. Being married didn't make me miss him any more, or less. Nor did it prevent me from finding pictures he brought back from Kuwait of him with a girl sitting on his lap in his quanset hut. Nor did it matter while he was gone when I was kissed by his best friend (and liked it). Nor did it prevent the fights we had about me letting his son stop Karate lessons while he was gone. If he had died while he was gone, I would have been equally as devastated whether we were married or not.
When the time is right, you'll both know; you'll both be involved in the process and you both will be excited about it. The mistake I made was getting into it without an equally excited partner - and in the end, it resulted in divorce.
Why not get formally engaged, put a notice in the paper, buy a fancy dress, have a big fancy engagement party, and see how that goes for the next year? If you both can't get excited about that, don't make the mistake of taking the plunge and getting married. It won't work. Then you'll have a divorce on your record - and guess what - any subsequent marriages are twice as likely to end up in divorce. There again, I'm speaking from experience.

October 13, 2010 - 5:50pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for your comment, and for being a part of the EmpowHER community. You speak from the best place, I think--experience.
I'm sure your insight will provide some things to think about for our original poster. I'm sorry you had to go through all that. I'm sure it was difficult. As someone who also has been through divorce, I saw the signs, and didn't pay attention. I know how it goes. Now I'm in my second marriage, and this one is monumentally better, but I wish I hadn't done the first one. I thought it was "time" being 27 then, and didn't listen to my ex-husband when he asked a few weeks before the wedding if we were doing the right thing (should have been my screaming hint). I am a firm believer that your 20s are there to figure out who you are and what you want out of life. I was always a serial monogamist, but wish I had dated more and "tried on" more people before taking the plunge or moving in with any of them. I wish I had gotten my master's degree or toured Europe when I was singe. But we always have those "I wish" statements, don't we? Everyone has to walk their own path.
I wish you much happiness and luck in your life. I hope things have gone better for you.

October 13, 2010 - 7:29pm
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