Dunc and I have been together since 2011 and started seriously discussing our future of getting married and having kids during the summer of 2013. Although these things weren’t iminment, we both agreed that is how we wanted our future to look. However Dunc was probably not as bothered about the whole marriage thing. He, at this point, had never been to a wedding and although many of his friends were in long term relationships (over five years), none were engaged. I think he didn’t quite get it.
I on the other hand was certain about what I wanted. In 2010 I came out of a four year relationship and was keen to not waste time again and to not fall into just being a girlfriend forever.
Forward onto 2015, Dunc and I bought a house together, we moved in, we got pregnant, we celebrated four years together. Still no engagement. I felt very confused and had already made clear to Dunc prior to our pregnancy that I would have the same surname as my children and it was up to him as to what that surname would be.
Once Wilf was born it took us over a month to get him registered because of the name. Dunc then promised that he would ask me to marry him and being caught up in a world of emotions I agreed to let Wilf have his surname. Something that I have had regrets about since.
Also, over the space of a year, out of the six friends in long term relationships, three got engaged and three ended. Ouch. It was like it was make or break time.
Earlier this year, after attending the wedding of one of his oldest friends (who is just three years into his relationship…) I had a really tough month. I felt like our relationship was falling away. We were still not engaged, Dunc never spoke about our wedding anymore and I just didn’t feel as confident about us. It was utterly shit.
I caved in and spoke to him. I didn’t want to be that girl who moans about not having a ring on her finger, but I needed to hear Dunc tell me that I was the only one for him and the one that he wants to be with forever. I needed him to show me how he feels (he is shockingly bad at displaying emotions). He assured me of how he feels and over the following weeks I did start to feel better.
I really do feel that having a little one will impact on your relationship no matter how hard you try to not let it. I was determined it would make us stronger, but I think that not having that commitment of marriage has made me feel less stable.
I also hate that he has a different surname. We all got new passports recently and I’m a Miller whilst they are not. At the doctors I’m a Miller whilst they are not, at weigh in clinics I’m a Miller whilst they are not. It just feels shit. “Oh, no, we’re not married”, “he’s my partner”…. it gets tougher. You feel like you have to explain yourself all the time and why you’re not married. Why do I feel like that? I don’t think I should, but I do.
Money is tight right now for a number of reasons and so even though I don’t want a fancy ring I can’t see him being able to get a ring any time soon. I can’t imagine Dunc putting money aside for it. It’s also not something we talk about much anymore. And I feel awkward if we watch people get engaged on TV.
I don’t even want a wedding. I just want to be his and for him to be mine. I want him to scoop us up and run away, just the three of us and get married, just us.
I really didn’t think marriage was so important to be done before kids, but now I get it. It’s your foundation, it’s your stability, it’s what you build your family upon.
Maybe it’s just me who feels like this? It would mean so much to hear from you if you are in a similar situation.