What's Love Got To Do With It

02/01/2011 13:32

I am 23 soon this year. I have been in many life changing and lesson learning relationships and have been single for a while since. I have been slowly and unsuccessfully working on a degree in design and just found out last year that I have MS. I met an Army man Joel over this winter break through friends, we had a great time and I immediately found that he is the man that I would be happiest with and vice versa. He left back to Italy until May and then moves to Louisiana. We began joking about how wonderful we are and should get married. I began taking it in thought and then he actually asked. I said yes, then we began to plan for it in March of this year. I felt anxious and spoke to my parents about the eloping, and they said give it time. I am ready to start my new life with him. We have only been dating for two weeks. I have had a million pros and cons listed out, but the only one that I can’t stop focusing on is how wonderful of a man he is for me and how I want to be a wonderful wife for him. Knowing how hard the distance is I feel it’s all or nothing at times, especially when his career is with the Army Airborn. Our marriage could provide schooling for me, and medical benefits. I have been struggling with structuring my life and he could provide that for us both. I can work and go to school, and get my own career. Why not now? Why not go to Italy! I understand I should get to know him more, but from my point of view I know his weaknesses, his time of temper, his pitfalls, his past, and his family, and he knows mine. We believe that love can prevail if you promise it and stick through our struggles in life. Should I elope in May? -- Jen

 What Mary Says...  What Crystal Says...

Dear Jen:

I’m sorry to hear you have MS. That’s got to be difficult to deal with. I don’t think getting married after knowing someone for two weeks is the brightest idea. And … it sort of comes across like you only want to get married to take advantage of the benefits the military has to offer. It also sounds like you are looking to this man to provide you with structure and guidance. Why are you not able to do that for yourself? Perhaps what you should do is move to Italy with him and see how it goes just living together for two years. I’m sorry, but I can only see this marriage ending in divorce if you get hitched right now. You don’t even know him on a daily basis, he doesn’t know you. Will he want to push you around in a wheelchair when you are 70? Will you be able to deal with his temper when he throws the remote through the TV because he can’t get it to work? Marriage is a lot of hard work; it’s more than “we love each other and know each other’s past and family” – it’s also living with the best and worst of someone and accepting that unconditionally.
















Dear Jen:

I’m impressed since, ignoring the whole eloping thing, you seem very pragmatic. The prognosis for MS means a lot of very real difficulties down the road. Securing healthcare, tuition, and emotional support makes a LOT of sense. Of course, some people may think you’re running from your illness, plummeting into a relationship in an effort to escape the reality of your circumstances. But I don’t get that vibe. I could be wrong, but to me it feels like you’ve thought about this. It comes across like you’re fighting through your diagnosis – attempting to attain a more positive future. And if your man is ready and willing to walk that tough road with you, I can see why you’re smitten.  

That said, I’m still not comfortable with such a quick engagement. Why elope? Why not just move in together and cohabitate for a while? Your sentence structure is interesting, so maybe English is not your first language? If so, is it religious/cultural beliefs that are pushing you to marriage? But then, if that’s the case, I would assume that your religion and culture also dictates a proper courtship, no? It’s just…I can’t get on board with getting married after just a few short weeks of dating. I’m not saying you shouldn’t eventually, I just don’t know why you have to do it NOW.

I get where you’re headed, and I think I know why you’re trying to move there so fast. But you need to slow it down, just a tad. You need to make sure you two are compatible, especially if you’re going to be immersed together in a foreign country without the support of the people you know. No insurance or college tuition is worth the heartache of a bad marriage. Trust me. And waiting even just 6 months won’t make your situation worse, but it could be the best thing to ever happen to your future.                        




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