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Dear Gay Best Friend,
I’m 24 years old and my boyfriend of two years is 30 years old, but we have been knowing each other for four years.
I have a son from a previous relationship that he adores, and he has four children from a previous relationship that I adore. Everything is as good as it can possibly be and I couldn’t be happier. But, about a month and a half ago he brought up the topic of marriage and has been talking about it every since. Ironically, we have the same last name already (I know what you’re thinking, “Girl, you better check to make sure y’all not related,” which I did). People already assume we are married. He has been married once before and it ended ugly, so I feel that it was necessary to tell him that the topic makes me a little nervous because once I get married I don’t want to get a divorce. He said he understands because he doesn’t want to get married and divorced again, and he wants me to be the woman he grows old with.
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I have no problem with marrying him, but I want to know is it normal to feel nervous when it comes to the topic of marriage, or am I just over thinking the whole situation? Should I Or Shouldn’t I
Dear Ms. Should I Or Shouldn’t I,
Yes, girl, it’s just pre-marital jitters, and many people feel them. It’s a new step in a new direction. And, the thought of being married along with the amount of work and commitment it takes is hard work. So, a lot of people get nervous and scared. It can be pressures of having to be perfect, or not getting it wrong, and feeling like a failure if it doesn’t work. Many thoughts and scenarios are running through your mind of what can go wrong. Stop focusing on the negative, and start thinking of all the things that can go right!
And, I’m glad that you shared with your boyfriend how you actually feel. Some folks would have lied, and ignored the conversation, and eventually they would begin to push their mates away, or put up a wall and not communicate. So, kudos to you.
Now, to handle these premarital jitters, well, I suggest you speak with a marriage counselor, and definitely get premarital counseling from your pastor, or spiritual leader. The jitters, and nervousness you have can be dealt with, and you can have a professional help you get to the root of your concerns. There may be something there that you are not aware of, and talking about it will help you and your boyfriend.
I’m tending to waver on the side of two things: He’s been married before, and that scares you. He’s had experience in being married, and has an expectation. Also, you’re 24 years old, and he’s 30 years old. That’s a major age difference. You haven’t really lived through your 20s yet, and he has. So, that can play into some of the jitters.
Here’s a novel idea: You can sit down with your boyfriend and make a list of the pros and cons about marriage. Write down what you are looking forward to. What’s exciting about being married to each other, and more importantly, what and how do you define marriage. I get too many letters from married folks who didn’t get premarital counseling, and they didn’t talk with their mates about what marriage meant for them. They just marched their happy asses down the aisle, said “I do,” had a party, and BAM! It hits them weeks later after the hoopla has died down, and the issues arise. The problems smack them dead in the face. They realize they have nothing in common, they hate each other, talk badly to one another, and treat each other like dogs. And, it all could have been avoided if they had received some counseling. But, folks are too damn fast these days.
So, make the list, sit and talk with your boyfriend, and definitely get into some premarital counseling. If you feel in your heart he is the man for you, the man you can see yourself being with for the rest of your life, and you’re willing to make it work when times get hard, and you’re going to stick it out through sickness and in health, the good and the bad, then honey, marry that man. I now pronounce you ____________________________. LOL! Let me stop. Girl, work through your jitters and start preparing your wedding. Enjoy each day and moment as you prepare down this journey, and make it a memorable occasion. – Straight From Your Gay Best Friend
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