carolyn hax

Carolyn Hax: They disagree on importance of marriage

 

Dear Carolyn: I’ve been with a wonderful man for two years. We’ve discussed at length spending the rest of our lives together, including our thoughts on money, raising kids, our careers, and working to fix problems that arise in our relationship instead of quitting.

He has told me that actually getting married is not important to him and that our commitment is the same regardless. I greatly value marriage as a sacrament, and he said he was fine with getting married. This was a few months ago.

Last week he took me engagement-ring shopping, and told me a few days later that he was scared because it was hitting home, and he isn’t sure he is “cut out” for marriage.I love this man, and I believe he will be a great husband and father. Is there a way I can help him reach that conclusion? He is averse to counseling in general, although I haven’t suggested it yet for this issue.

Maybe Hearing Bells?

Interesting how you’ve put yourselves in different versions of the same position: The (well-meaning) lies you’ve told yourselves are both coming due.

His is that the commitment is the same whether you’re married or not. If the two were truly the same, then formalizing the commitment with marriage vows wouldn’t be an issue.

Yours is that you’ve decided “beyond a doubt” that you want to be with him. If that were true, then skipping formal marriage vows wouldn’t be an issue.

Both of you need to decide which you believe in more — each other, or your opinions of marriage.

There are ways to “help him reach that conclusion” you so badly want, but please avoid that route. Instead, I urge you to concentrate on reconciling your own contradictions. Consider taking time apart to do that. Not only will that allow you to measure each other’s presence through absence, but it also will remove the temptation to look to each other for answers.

If that brings you together, great, but still consider a pre-marriage class.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Tigerman</span>. Nick Harkaway. Knopf. 352 pages. $26.95.

    Fiction

    ‘The Sergeant’ finds a bold alter ego in Nick Harkaway’s ‘Tigerman’

    A British civil servant on an island destined for destruction finds a bold alter ego in this comic masterpiece.

  •  
Diver Frank Notte gets ready to go over the side of the St. Nicholas VII and demonstrate old-fashioned sponge harvesting on the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs.

    Tarpon Springs

    Dive into Greek culture on the Florida coast? Opa!

    First we saw a few bubbles. Then so many that the water seemed to boil. Next appeared a bulbous brass helmet, big as a beach ball, trailing a long rubber hose. A human hand clasped the side of the wooden boat. A minute later, the diver had climbed back aboard the St. Nicholas VII. Clad in traditional early-20th-century diving getup, he appeared to have stepped directly from a Jules Verne novel.

  •  
Gena Barr, outreach coordinator for the University of Miami Health System's Division of Adolescent Medicine, demonstrates how she conducts a urine sample test that determines the presence of STDs. Barr, 39, has been working at the UM clinic since 2004. “I just wanted to help people in the community," she said, adding added that the clinic, located at the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center which primarily serves domestic abuse victims, gave her the opportunity.

    Healthcare

    STDs are on the rise in Miami-Dade

    Cases of chlamydia and syphilis have almost doubled in the last seven years, causing concern and speculation about the increase.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category