Confession: I read DWIL (Drama with In-Laws) Nation on Babycenter whenever I need to feel . . . um . . . better? about myself. I don't know the right word. But that particular message board sucks me in with all the delicious drama and just the bitch-eating-crackers-ness of it. It makes me realize that 90% of daughters-in-law are straight up crazy bitches (you don't want the child's GRANDMOTHER to hold him or buy him gifts?!?) and I've already starting praying that none of my boys end up with someone like so many of these posters. It also makes me realize that yes, there are some certified crazy parents-in-law out there. And it makes me grateful that we only have one small issue with our in-laws.
The pressure to get married.
If I'm being completely honest, even this isn't a HUGE issue. However, we're seeing Mark's family next week and I know the subject will come at least once or twice. We were both raised in conservative Christian families and they are coming at the marriage issue from a "make an honest (wo)man out of her/ him" angle. Cady and I were discussing marriage pressure a few weeks ago and she asked, "are your families Baptist?" Ha! Yes!
For the record, we do plan to get married. Someday. Eventually. But there are a lot of factors that go into us not getting hitched right now. For starters, I want to be completely finished with school. There's also a superficial reason in that I don't know if I want to have a wedding wedding or just run off to Vegas (I'm afraid the kids would smother us in our sleep if we did anything without them.) Do I want to be a 40-year-old bride or am I okay with eloping?
There's also the if it ain't broke don't fix it angle. We're both happier than we've ever been. We're committed, we're crazy in love. We live together, we bought a house together, we're raising our children together. We don't feel like we have to add the titles of "husband" and "wife" for our relationship to be stable and committed.
Another thing, if you've already been through a divorce then there's a bit of once bitten, twice shy. Mark and I both had marriages that ended badly and divorce is something that neither of us are ever okay going through again. I think this is really hard for people who have never been through a divorce or bad marriage to understand. "But you guys love each other! You're committed!" Yes. But. Divorce makes you so gun shy.
Then . . . the kids. All five kids in our household have been through some major life changes in the past few years. At this point, we're still adjusting to all living together under the same roof. Even though it's been years, there are still lingering emotions amongst the kids from our respective divorces. These kids dealt with a lot. Another big life change - marriage - just doesn't feel like it would be fair to them. Though a few of them are the firsts to say, "why don't you guys just get married already?!?"
So. That's where we are. Happy. In love. Committed. Prepared to do this life together for the long haul. Just without the bling for now!