Thursday, September 25, 2008

So I need your opinion...

Well, I don't know why I make definitive statements anymore. It's just funny how life doesn't ever really seem to go exactly as you planned. (I like it though... keeps me on my toes :))

Case in point... a few months ago while Sgt was home on R&R, we discussed what we would like to do should he get Green to Gold and come home. We both agreed at the time that we didn't want to live together before we got married, but that we did however want to live in the same city... and since he would be the one kind of in a more concrete situation, I would be the one to move.

Before I go any further, please know that I am VERY excited about moving to Tennessee. I can't wait. There's nowhere else I'd rather be than HOME... and my home is wherever he is. I'm also incredibly excited about our future together. Discussing and dreaming of our life in the years to come is one of my favorite things to do, and Sgt. is equally enthusiastic. I love him more than anything and there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. I am confident he feels exactly the same way.

We have, however been discussing getting our own place together for economic reasons. Realistically, we know that the majority of our time will be spent at one place or the other together, and it doesn't exactly make sense for us to pay rent on two places when we'll be at one the majority of the time. Also, it will allow us to save money and invest in a future for us, so that way we can do things like... pay for a wedding, buy a house...etc. I completely agree with this line of thinking. My original concerns for moving in together before we were married were the following:

1. What if, God forbid we decide we don't like each other and we break up. I am in a city I'm not familiar with, 1000 miles away from all of my friends and family (depending on when this would happen, seeing as I'm sure I'll make new friends in Tennessee) - that's not really a situation I'd like to find myself in.

Fear number one has been assuaged, seeing as, I am confident in us and in where we are heading. I know... I know... no one ever thinks it'll happen to them, but I can't see into the future, so all I have to go on is where we are now in our relationship, and based on that, the concern of me ending up in that situation is slim to none. And, of course, if that does end up happening, I'm a tough girl, and personable, and independent. It would be possible for me to build a life completely separate from him if it came to that.

2. I don't need a trial run to see if I want to marry him, and spend the rest of my life with him. I don't think moving in together should ever be looked at as a "test" or "let's just see how this goes" because it is most certainly NOT that for me. If I'm going to move in with someone I'm dating, it's because I am intending on living with them for the rest of my life... although I don't like dishes left after dinner overnight... it's not a deal breaker. I believe love should be bigger than that.

Fear number two is also not an issue anymore. I trust him, and I believe him when he says "this is not a trial run. You are the person I want in my future, no question." We have spent many many hours, discussing everything you could think to discuss before you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. We've done the "101 questions to ask before you get engaged." We've built an incredible foundation for whatever may come - and I am confident that his reason for asking me to move in with him is not because he wants to "test out" what kind of housemate I'd be.

3. I don't want to take away that time from our marriage. I don't want to move in together and then get married and go back to life exactly how it was before. I don't want to get married and feel "not married" because life remains the exact same. I don't want to cheat ourselves out of that time in our life as "Newlywed's".

Fear number three is where you guys come in. It's still something I'm a little concerned about. Now, I agree, moving in together isn't what makes a marriage work (or fall apart) - and deciding who's couch set gets to stay isn't what makes you "feel married" but... I guess my questions are these:

Did you live with your spouse prior to getting married, and how did that affect you both after you were married? Did you struggle with the "but life is the exact same" feelings?

For those of you who are girlfriends or fiance's and living with their significant other, do you struggle with that fear as well? If not, why not? How do imagine it will be different, or does that matter?

Sgt is very respectful of my concerns, and I know that he will go along with whatever I want. The thing is, I want to move in with him, the thought is exciting, but I also don't want to set us up for failure later on. We've already began looking at and been in contact with apartments in the city we'd like to live in, and we're going to look at a couple when I get there in a little over a week (!!! YAY!!!) - it's not so much the moving in together that I'm worried about... it's the getting married after living together (even though that would be the end result... as per the "no trial run" theory) and feeling disappointment in ourselves because we don't "move to that next step." - Maybe just getting married has a profound effect on your outlook on your relationship, and if that's the case, let me know! Never been married before so... I wouldn't know :).

Us moving in together makes sense. It allows more stability for me moving... and the opportunity to go ahead and do it. Financially it makes more sense for us both, and we would like to buy a house in the future. (Sgt is thinking within 6 months... my idea was, after we get married... move into our house - which we're also still talking about, nothing in the works yet so there's still a good amount of time to ask all the "what ifs") - It makes sense because being with the man I love, makes a LOT of sense... but am I setting us up for failure?

Any opinions, personal experiences, thoughts, you knew of a friend who..., whatever, would be greatly appreciated!!

8 comments:

Lindsay

Seriously, you just outlined my 3 EXACT concerns. You've heard my rants before, you know...

I agree, I'm so nervous that it won't feel "special" when we get married because we've already gotten to live together and do all the "fun" living together things.

You obviously know what we decided was best for us. But I worry about the same things you do.

I can't really offer advice, but I can say that if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

If circumstances were different. If I didn't have to move to be in the same city as him, I wouldn't have moved in before getting married. But while our situation isn't ideal, we make the best out of it. It works for us.

Just do what feels right in your heart. If you do that, there are no regrets.

loquita

I wrote some ramblings about myself, which I deleted, because you are in a totally different place than me on this stuff.

So I'll just offer information that I've heard from others. There's an inexplicable change in your relationship after the marriage ceremony, regardless of whether you lived together beforehand or not. I think it's a lot like the change after you get engaged. Life does go on "just the same", but you view your relationship in a different light...

I go back and forth on the living together thing. I don't really see myself uprooting my career and home for LT unless he and I were engaged. And if we're engaged, hell, why not just elope and add that to the excitement of finally living in the same place? But that is me. :)

kd

We lived together before we got married, but I don't think we ever thought being married wasn't as special because of it.

I mean, I knew that he always left socks inside out and was not capable of unloading the dishwasher before we sealed the deal, but we have continued to learn new stuff about each other!

Because we are Catholic, getting married was a big deal. We take the Sacraments very seriously. Coming back to the same house after wedding did feel different--we had committed to growing, loving and raising a family together in front of "God and everybody."

It's a personal decision, though. Follow your heart!

d.a.r.

So, this will be TMI, sorry for that.

We moved in together about two months before our wedding. After a LOT of fighting about it before hand. We are both insanely traditional, and did NOT want to live together before we were married. But, he was supposed to deploy the month after the wedding. And I didn't want to have to move alone! Then, he ended up going to NTC the day we got back from our honeymoon instead. And I certainly didn't want to deal with that alone. Throw a wedding, finals, and Christmas on top of it and I knew we needed to move in together by the end of October to preserve my sanity. We ended up compromising and moving the first weekend of November. And we don't regret it one bit. We were worried about the same things, even though we were engaged, so the whole "trial period" thing didn't exactly apply. But, we were worried about things being exactly the same after the wedding as they were before. But, it wasn't. At all. And you read my blog enough to know that we are still sickeningly "newlyweds" haha.

The big difference for us, I think, was that we waited until our wedding night to have sex. So old fashioned :). But, it definitely made marriage different from living together before. I realize that not everyone makes this choice, and to be perfectly honest, I don't think it made THAT much of a difference for us.

But being married is so different. You are a unit. A team. More so than just seriously dating, no matter how serious you are.

I don't have a lot of good advice, but trust yourself and your relationship. Go with your heart, and your gut. :)

HRJ

Hey there I was just browsing blogs and came across yours. I moved in with my husband 7 months after we started dating. It was FUN, and exciting spending that time with your best friend buying stuff together.

It didnt take away from the marriage that happened a few years later because we had new plans, a bigger place, and planning a wedding,honeymoon, deciding about babies or no babies and how long to wait.

Your life will be so full of joys and of course there will be arguements about dishes and clothes on the floor. Eventually you will just laugh and pick them up and do them anyways hehe. Never let fear hold you back.

You will make the right decision just go with your heart.

Oh and Nice to meet you :)

Rebecca

You're concerns are exactly the same as mine. I wanted to move in with my boyfriend during this past summer because he was going to be in one place and have a house. We didn't know when we would have another opportunity to spend time together. In the end we decided not to, because my parents are very conservative Christians and probably would have disowned me. Not kidding. They probably would have stopped talking to me.
If it weren't for my parents, I would have done it. In a heartbeat. We don't see each other very much, and I can't afford a plane ticket very often. And he doesn't really get time off to visit me. I would love to see my boyfriend every day, but to me it's important to have my family in my life too.

KJ

All of those things you mentioned are the things Ranger Man and I go back and forth about- with the added funness of the fact that I want to be married and he really would rather not be.

For me, it boiled down to the fact that if I didn't move in with him, we would continue to only see each other three-four times per year and that was getting old. Really old. For me it has been worth the uncertainty, because the alternative is so disheartening.

Unlike Rebecca, I could care less about my family after this year so that's less of a concern, although they're not happy with me moving across the country to be all alone most of the time. The deciding factor for me was this: I am more happy with him. I am happy with him, and I know that he helps me live my life and achieve my goals. Marriage will be a great bonus (WHEN it happens), but it's not going to happen soon, and in the meantime, living on the other side of the country would have made me miserable. I want to be happy, and being happy means being with Ranger Man.

(army)Wife

Stonewall and I moved in together before we got married, but after we got engaged. I feel wholeheartedly that it was the right decision for us. Moving in together was hard. We are both very independant Type A people, so we each like things our ways, no questions. Getting used to living with one another produced quite a few arguments. Had we waited and moved in together immediately following marriage, I think it would have ruined the "newlywed" feeling. As it were, by the time we got married we had figured out our routine and how to live with one another and so we felt like newlyweds, not feuding roommates. Even though your life does keep moving right along after marriage, it does feel different. You have a whole new set of goals that you didn't have before marriage. For us it was buying a house and actively thinking about when we would start a family. Even though this was stuff we talked about before marriage, it wasn't something we put in our timeline because we knew we were not doing it before marriage.

I think that if you're going to live together before marriage, you need to go into it with the mindset that your next goal together is marriage, whether that be in 1 month or 5 years.