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Thread: HELP: How do I tactfully have the marriage conversation?

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    #1

    HELP: How do I tactfully have the marriage conversation?

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    I have been in a committed relationship with DB for just over a year. We have a great relationship but what makes our relationship difficult is the distance. He is stationed in Texas while I am in Arizona. I make time to drive the 6-7 hours to visit him at least once a month and his parents occasionally fly him to Arizona (because they live here as well). At this point in our relationship, I kind of feel like we've hit a road-block. In a normal relationship, this would be where we would talk about moving in together. Him being in the military and having a VERY conservative Christian family makes that a non option. My feelings are strong enough that I would consider finding a job in Texas and moving out there just to be closer to him (which I know doesn't make a whole lot of logical sense). He has gently brought up BAH when we were having a conversation with friends about houses for rent in their neighborhood and of course, when we started dating, we had discussed our long-term relationship goals. I should also mention that he had proposed to his ex (who accepted) and that relationship ended due to her being unfaithful while he was on deployment, so I am sure he is still a bit sensitive from that.

    I guess what it comes down to is that I am looking for suggestions on how to tactfully bring up the subject of marriage to see where he is at and navigate our future while keeping in mind his very conservative family as well as the burden of distance.
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    #2
    If it were me, I would not let his family influence my decision, not sure if that is good advice, but that is what I would do.
    My family is however, on the opposite side of the spectrum, and my dad encouraged living with our spouses before marriage so that we did not find ourselves married to someone that we didn't enjoy living with.
    So I would move down there and get a job and he could move in, and if worst case scenario, things didn't work out (because living with someone day in and day out is a little different in that they cannot hide flaws that they might be able to for visits) you would be able to move back home.

    This sounds more cynical than my intended tone....anywho

    I would just ask him what the plan for the next couple years is for your relationship, I don't think you should be unable to talk about these things with someone who you want to marry.
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    #3
    To me, if you are at the point in your relationship where you believe you are ready to get married, you shouldn't have to worry about how to ease in to a conversation like this. If you are that close, just put it out there. Tell him what you want. Ask him what he wants.

    Also, if you are prepared to move out there, assuming he has a while left on his orders, I would consider moving but not moving in with him, if he is against that. (If he's not against it but his family is and he's letting that unduly influence his decisions, I'd be concerned about his inability to set his own boundaries.) Find a job, get an apartment, and make the move. I can't imagine--and would strongly advice anyone I love against--getting engaged to someone I'd only known long distance for about a year. (This is assuming you haven't known each other for years before dating or something.) So go and be near him and live a more normal dating life with him, and see.

    But really, just talk to him, tell him what you want and are thinking, and see where is is at, and hopefully you can come up with a compromise that works fairly well for both of you.
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    #4
    How old are you? A year really isn't that long in the grand scheme of things, especially LDR.
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    #5
    "Hey honey, what are your goals for our relationship?" If you are ready to get married soon then you should be at the point where it isn't difficult to have conversations like this. Just ask.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicBlonde View Post
    I have been in a committed relationship with DB for just over a year. We have a great relationship but what makes our relationship difficult is the distance. He is stationed in Texas while I am in Arizona. I make time to drive the 6-7 hours to visit him at least once a month and his parents occasionally fly him to Arizona (because they live here as well). At this point in our relationship, I kind of feel like we've hit a road-block. In a normal relationship, this would be where we would talk about moving in together. Him being in the military and having a VERY conservative Christian family makes that a non option. My feelings are strong enough that I would consider finding a job in Texas and moving out there just to be closer to him (which I know doesn't make a whole lot of logical sense). He has gently brought up BAH when we were having a conversation with friends about houses for rent in their neighborhood and of course, when we started dating, we had discussed our long-term relationship goals. I should also mention that he had proposed to his ex (who accepted) and that relationship ended due to her being unfaithful while he was on deployment, so I am sure he is still a bit sensitive from that.

    I guess what it comes down to is that I am looking for suggestions on how to tactfully bring up the subject of marriage to see where he is at and navigate our future while keeping in mind his very conservative family as well as the burden of distance.
    Do you want to move in? get married? or both?

    Do you only want to do these things because it's been a year and you feel like you have to?
    I agree with Trish, a year isn't that long!


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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicBlonde View Post
    I have been in a committed relationship with DB for just over a year. We have a great relationship but what makes our relationship difficult is the distance. He is stationed in Texas while I am in Arizona. I make time to drive the 6-7 hours to visit him at least once a month and his parents occasionally fly him to Arizona (because they live here as well). At this point in our relationship, I kind of feel like we've hit a road-block. In a normal relationship, this would be where we would talk about moving in together. Him being in the military and having a VERY conservative Christian family makes that a non option. My feelings are strong enough that I would consider finding a job in Texas and moving out there just to be closer to him (which I know doesn't make a whole lot of logical sense). He has gently brought up BAH when we were having a conversation with friends about houses for rent in their neighborhood and of course, when we started dating, we had discussed our long-term relationship goals. I should also mention that he had proposed to his ex (who accepted) and that relationship ended due to her being unfaithful while he was on deployment, so I am sure he is still a bit sensitive from that.

    I guess what it comes down to is that I am looking for suggestions on how to tactfully bring up the subject of marriage to see where he is at and navigate our future while keeping in mind his very conservative family as well as the burden of distance.
    I don't think you need a segue to say how you're feeling...if you are wanting to have a conversation about moving in, have it! Earlier in our relationship I didn't bother to say how I was feeling to DB about something because I thought I knew how he felt and thought "why bother" have the conversation and get my feelings shot down. When it came out DB was like, ALWAYS tell me what you're feeling/thinking. Even if you think you know how I feel I want to know what you're feeling because things change and the last thing I want is you growing to resent me for not being on board with something I didn't even know you wanted! Everything's on the table if it's important to you, so always talk to me.

    That was huge to hear from him and I needed to know I could talk to him about anything...any time (a little harder now that he's deployed lol but we still try to communicate about most things)

    The one thing I will say that caught my eye is you mentioned "normal" there's no set timeline where by this time you have to move in, by this time you have to get married, by this time you must have 2 kids...every relationship is different so try not to feel pressure to conform to something that may not suit you...if you are happy and he is happy that's really all that matters. If the situation isn't allowing for you to be happy then figure out what you need and figure out if he's on the same page...or like others have said you could move to TX and get a place of your own and just be closer until you are ready to move in/get married...but my biggest sugestion would be don't try to rush/force something, some of the best things take time and are worth waiting for
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    #8
    Not that I feel age has an awful lot to do with where I feel my relationship is headed, I am 28. While I agree that a year isn't that long, my frustration goes beyond that. The distance makes it difficult to grow a relationship like one would traditionally. I signed up for that, I know. However, I do feel like living together is something I want for us. I would be happy with that whether we are married or not. What complicates that is the expectations of his conservative family.

    To give you a little insight, his father is Elder of their church, his grandfather is Elder of a different church. DB is expected to be a good god-fearing Christian. On family trips, we are not allowed to stay in our own hotel room. When he got back from deployment and wanted to go on a cruise, his parents found out that he and I had gone together and shared a room - this disappointed his parents immensely. When he is in town, he will occasionally stay the night at my place, but it is not something his parents know. While I was not raised in a very religious household, I try to understand that there are things expected out of him that would potentially cause his family to disown him. He love his family, and I love him, so I am trying to be as understanding as possible.

    With that said, clearly his parents would NOT be okay with us living together "in sin". So my options are limited.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by AMP1984 View Post
    I don't think you need a segue to say how you're feeling...if you are wanting to have a conversation about moving in, have it! Earlier in our relationship I didn't bother to say how I was feeling to DB about something because I thought I knew how he felt and thought "why bother" have the conversation and get my feelings shot down. When it came out DB was like, ALWAYS tell me what you're feeling/thinking. Even if you think you know how I feel I want to know what you're feeling because things change and the last thing I want is you growing to resent me for not being on board with something I didn't even know you wanted! Everything's on the table if it's important to you, so always talk to me.

    That was huge to hear from him and I needed to know I could talk to him about anything...any time (a little harder now that he's deployed lol but we still try to communicate about most things)

    The one thing I will say that caught my eye is you mentioned "normal" there's no set timeline where by this time you have to move in, by this time you have to get married, by this time you must have 2 kids...every relationship is different so try not to feel pressure to conform to something that may not suit you...if you are happy and he is happy that's really all that matters. If the situation isn't allowing for you to be happy then figure out what you need and figure out if he's on the same page...or like others have said you could move to TX and get a place of your own and just be closer until you are ready to move in/get married...but my biggest sugestion would be don't try to rush/force something, some of the best things take time and are worth waiting for
    Thank you for this! I agree that there is no set timeframe, but what I meant to say is that is what I would like at this point in our relationship. I will be driving out to see DB this weekend and will be having a conversation with him about it regardless. I suppose I am just trying to talk through my feelings right now. I tend to over think things especially when I am planning a discussion.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicBlonde View Post
    Not that I feel age has an awful lot to do with where I feel my relationship is headed, I am 28. While I agree that a year isn't that long, my frustration goes beyond that. The distance makes it difficult to grow a relationship like one would traditionally. I signed up for that, I know. However, I do feel like living together is something I want for us. I would be happy with that whether we are married or not. What complicates that is the expectations of his conservative family.

    To give you a little insight, his father is Elder of their church, his grandfather is Elder of a different church. DB is expected to be a good god-fearing Christian. On family trips, we are not allowed to stay in our own hotel room. When he got back from deployment and wanted to go on a cruise, his parents found out that he and I had gone together and shared a room - this disappointed his parents immensely. When he is in town, he will occasionally stay the night at my place, but it is not something his parents know. While I was not raised in a very religious household, I try to understand that there are things expected out of him that would potentially cause his family to disown him. He love his family, and I love him, so I am trying to be as understanding as possible.

    With that said, clearly his parents would NOT be okay with us living together "in sin". So my options are limited.
    I’m not sure what your best course of action is then, unless you can afford to move yourself out there and get an apartment separate from him.

    Btw, regarding the age question, she asked because every couple months here we get some 18 year old asking if she should marry her boyfriend and it basically always comes down to distance. At 28 you’re in a way better position to make drastic life choices.

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s that weird at 28 years old after dating for a year to have some kind of discussion about general timeframes. Ask him where he thinks this is going/if he wants to live together/how to handle his parents/when he wants to get married.
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