Make Marla your wife.
I’m writing this, knowing it might poke or sting or upset you, but also knowing we’ll still be family at the end of the day, no matter what.
You need to make Marla part of our family, too.
(This post is sort of a piggy-back on Part #1, in which I told my children that “hubby” isn’t short for “boyfriend.” I’m tired of seeing young girls, playing house and living out their fantasies with a boy who clearly isn’t going to do the right thing and commit to her.)
Too many Baby Daddies are stringing along these girls with no self-esteem, by making promises and taking “family” vacations and pictures–and basically doing/saying whatever works to keep the cow milking.
Thankfully, Marla doesn’t refer to you as her hubby on Facebook. (That’s one of the things we like about her.) She’s easy to make laugh. She comes from a stable place, so she’s level-headed. And she has been honest about her intentions to marry you, as soon as you get the courage to take that step.
We’re waiting for you.
The whole family loves Marla. In fact, they love her so much, that if you ever gave her a “married ring” as a way to compromise on commitment, we would punch you in the throat.
You know you’d hear from us! Both of your sisters, your mother, your father, your aunts… All of us would tell you it’s ridiculous to try and go “halfsies” with something like marriage. We would NEVER let you get away with something like this:
First: there is no such thing as “pretty much married.”
Second: thirteen years?!
Tim, I think you agree that a 13-year engagement is not an “engagement.” Not really.
Likewise, a 3-4 year “dating relationship” isn’t really “dating.”
The point of dating is supposed to be finding a life partner…not spending decades waiting and seeing if you both just happen to stick around.
When you spend years telling a girl you love her, without making her an official part of your family, then you’re not really loving her. You’re using her to meet your current needs, while refusing to commit to her future.
You’re taking the love and support you want now, while withholding the integrity and sacrifice it takes to promise to take care of her forever.
Guys who try to hold back parts of themselves are cowards.
I have no patience for guys who put on a big show about how they take care of their woman, while still trying to keep an exit door open.
Honestly, it’s not the “piece of paper.”
And it’s certainly not the Welfare or Social Security benefits…
To me, it isn’t even the “ordained minister” which magically makes a marriage legitimate and official.
To me, it’s that last part about the dude being a chicken which matters the most. That’s what it comes down to.
Is the guy willing to close all of his exits, because that’s best for his girlfriend (and their kids)? Is he going to stick his neck out and make a personal sacrifice, as an example of the sacrificing he will have to do many, many more times as they grow old?
Or is he a chicken?
Look, I know you want to be sure you’re making the right choice. I know you’ve said you’re afraid of disappointing Marla down the road–and I appreciate that you see marriage as something serious enough not to rush in. (There are people your age, already working on their second or third marriages, and I don’t think that solves the commitment problem, either. So thanks for respecting marriage enough to be cautious.)
However, as your sister, I’m going to give it to you straight: you’re not doing right by Marla until you make her your wife. Commit to her. Bring her into the family, so she can say blunt and uncomfortable things (just like this) to any one of us and have the security of knowing she’ll still be a member of the group.
Don’t make Marla the “Girl With the Sort-Of Marriage Ring” or the “Girl With the 13-Year Engagement.” I know you can love her better than that. 🙂
Make your commitment official, because it’s the right thing to do.
I love you, little bro!