A bad reason to get married or a jealous friend?

A bad reason to get married or a jealous friend?

Marziba Marziba
I've been plagued by guilt and the feeling that I'm a hypocrite, so I though I'd ask other people for their thoughts. I apologize for such a loooong story, but it's, well, complicated. And bugging me.

Right after her eighteenth birthday, my (at the time) best friend announced she would be marrying her then-boyfriend. I told her it just wasn't a smart thing to do for the reasons she was doing it... and because she was barely eighteen and he was twenty-one, and they had been dating just over a year and were repeatedly (and more often) having pregnancy scares. Their, well, HER reasoning: He was in the Army Reserves and might (tiny chance) get deployed to Iraq. If he did, she'd be left all alone during college and struggling to pay the bills by herself, without a job- unless she could collect his money and any benefits from the gov't. I told her that I wanted nothing to do with her and that I would not be attending her wedding because I didn't want to feel bad when they divorced. To be honest, I felt really bad for her fiance because he's a sweet guy who is way too naive for someone like her- if she said "Jump!" he'd ask how high. Well, they finally went through with it (I have good reason to believe it wasn't a legally binding ceremony, either- no priest or such) and I kind of feel like a jerk now...

Because back in May, my boyfriend and I became unofficially engaged, and only announced it this past month (to a LOT of negative reactions by his family). I feel bad because I'm two months shy of turning nineteen and my now-fiance is twenty three- we're both quite young.

There are, however, several defining differences between me and my friend though: I am much more psychologically stable and quite a bit more mature (I get mistaken for being a twenty something everywhere I go), and I actually have a career and a job. We, my boyfriend and I, decided that we'd like to do this not because we need each other or the other's money, but because we are very much in love.

We're planning on having a very, very private handfasting (basically, a pagan wedding) this October. Handfasting isn't recognized as a legally binding contract by the State of Utah, and we're not jumping through hoops to make it that way because we just don't want to, for personal reasons.

Should I feel bad about what I told her? Am I trying to live out a 'happy-little-family' fantasy by getting handfasted for something OTHER than money/a house/legal status? I'm not jealous; I have no reason to be jealous of her. Am I just being childish or selfish?

I feel as though I pushed away a good friend over something dumb, but yet I feel like I was telling her the truth... and then not telling myself? I have no intention of trying to ruin heir marriage, I just don't want to pick up her pieces anymore because she keeps making poor decisions. Advice?
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Ansley Ansley
You pushing away your friend wasn't the best thing you could have done for her at that point in her life. When the chips are down and friends are making bad decisions, that's when you step up and hold their hand throughout it all. Unfortunately, it's often extremely difficult to take back accusations, assumptions and criticisms when it comes to someone's relationship.

At the end of the day, everyone needs to make the best decision they possibly can for themselves. If she felt it was the best way to manage her life at the time, it's not your place to judge her. Just like it isn't your boyfriend's family's place to judge what you are doing. Your idea of marriage and her idea of marriage may not be the same and there's no reason to fault either of you for that. But, it might be a topic that should be considered off-limits.

Do what you will and if you decide to contact her, I hope she accepts you and forgives you with open arms.
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
I have to agree with Stormy (is that really a surprise? lol)Sometimes people can make silly mistakes and instead of leaving your friend, it was probably best to stick around, however begrudgingly as possible. You may have been telling her the truth, but it wasn't the best way to go about it.

I'm sure your probably irritated by your fiance's family, and feel that they have no right to tell you what you guys are doing is wrong; I think that's some good insight into how she probably felt when you told her off and left her.

if you are interested in being friends with her again, it would be best to apologize and keep your negative opinions to yourself. If everything somehow works out and *If* things fall apart, you may have to help her. After all, I'm pretty sure that's what friends are for, to be there through the good times and bad. I know I've screwed up a lot and I know that no matter what, my best friend is there to give me a hug and shoulder to cry on, no matter how stupid I've been.

also, as a random side note, you don't need a priest or religious whatever to make a legally binding wedding. That procedure is done at the court house. The part with the priest is actually just a ceremony.
P'Gell P'Gell
Originally posted by Ansley
You pushing away your friend wasn't the best thing you could have done for her at that point in her life. When the chips are down and friends are making bad decisions, that's when you step up and hold their hand throughout it all. ...
I agree with Stormy.

Everyone thinks they are "much more mature" than other people their age. I have kids your age, and I know when they claim maturity, they usually are being far from mature. If one is mature, one doesn't have to say anything. People know it.

If they had a license from the state, and someone qualified to perform the wedding performed the ceremony, then their wedding was legal. A "priest" isn't necessary. You can get married at City Hall, or in your back yard or by a judge or anyone else vested with the powers to legalize a marriage.

In most states
Priests or ministers of any denomination, and judges, or other designated officials, i.e., mayor or governor may perform weddings.

Ordained ministers, judges, retired judges, and public officials whose powers include solemnization of marriages.

Members of the clergy (including a minister, priest, bishop, rabbi, and imam), a judge, a magistrate, a clerk of the circuit court, or a clerk or clerk-treasurer of a city or town

One of the benefits of a legal marriage is the tax benefits and the fact that if it breaks up, there are legal protections for both parties. Without a legal contract, lots of bad things happen with people break up, concerning property, maintenance or alimony, and G*d help you if there are kids involved with no legal marriage, the aftermath will be much more complicated.

In essence (if you want the truth) you are doing the exact same thing she was doing, to an outsider. One has no idea what is going on in an other relationship, and "maturity" is a really subjective things. Eighteen is young "mature" or not. I married the man I was dating at 18, but I was older and we both dated other people to hedge our bets. There is SO much living to do in one's late teens and early 20s, I would persuade my own daughters (two of whom are a bit older than you) to wait.

Do you owe your friend an apology? Do you want the truth? Yes, of course you do. You are doing the exact same thing she did, but calling "I'm more mature, so it's OK." It makes no difference, 18 is still 18, and it's still young. A "marriage" that isn't legal and which has with NO legal protection for you is a train wreck waiting to happen.

This is the same things I'd tell my own daughters. Either wait or make it LEGAL so you won't end up with his debts (or worse, supporting him) and nowhere to live and no belongings if things go South.

Good luck.
Nora Nora
P'Gell said it better than I could any day!

I "skipped" my best friends wedding for stupid reasons (one being my own sister got married the day before 400 miles away...not a stupid reason, but I was back in town that evening...with my 1 year old nephew in tow), I regret it every time I need a close friend! Since then, she and I have been more like acquaintances (she likes to hold on to grudges until anyone she deems has offended her has groveled enough for her).

My, oh so humble, opinion of the hand-fasting...that's all well and good, but "legally" speaking, you two are still technically dating and all of the advantages to being married are not at your disposal. One thing to consider is the possibility of children, I know in Oregon that an unmarried woman's child is automatically given her last name (and names are harder to change than one might expect), her fiance at the time of her first child's birth had to go through a large stack of paperwork that he had to read and sign, basically saying "yes, that's my kid". Insurance benefits are only given to spouses, not an issue if you have your own coverage, but family rates are sure cheaper! My boyfriend and I are lucky enough that he works for a company that offers "domestic partnership" coverage (I am on the plan because he signed paperwork saying I am his partner in life), but that is a very rare thing! As far as property goes, if we were to ever split...the house is in his name, as are both vehicles. I would be homeless and have no transportation to leave as well!

If you really do not want an "outsider" at your ceremony, you can always ask a friend or family member to become "ordained" online! My brother in law (boy friend's brother) and his best friend both were ordained online so that they could officiate each others weddings (one weekend apart). It is a simple "answer these questions" type form where you put in your name and such. Then, you just get the paperwork from the courthouse (prior to the event) and make everything legal without having to pay a complete stranger to tell you that you are now married.

On the other hand...I can see the "not wanting to make it legally binding" as an easy way out if you are unsure that you really want to spend the rest (or a good chunk of it) of your life with this guy.

Okay, I have rambled enough! Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
Kkay Kkay
My best friend has made many stupid decisions in her life. (And if she's reading this, you know it's true, bb.) Never have I set down an ultimatum that she had to do what I thought was best for her in a situation or risk my friendship.

Two reasons. The first is because she is a person, a unit in and of herself, and her decisions are her own. Her life is not mine to live; it's not for me to tell her what to do and not to do.

The second is because she is just that- my best friend. She has made bad choices. So have I. Part of being friends is being there for each other when the chips fall, even if you've told the other person that they're basically playing Jenga with their life.
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