Question for Betty.

My fiance' and I got engaged last April 2012, and since then, its been nonstop pressure from every angle about getting married.  We were under so much pressure by the family, that I got depressed, it messed up my relationship of 5.5 years and we ended up breaking up for a few weeks and then got back together.  After that, we decided to extend the wedding until "further notice".  Our relationship has blossomed more than ever since extending the wedding and we're so much closer now.  Now that summer is coming up, my parents and the rest of my family assume we are getting married this summer and the pressure is back on.  Me and my fiance' are doing fine under the pressure, but, I've told my parents and family to back off until we figure out a date.  They stop for a little and now they bring it up all the time again.  Every time I hear the word wedding, I want to scream.  They're not making it fun and I don't know how much more I can handle.  How can I brush off the anger at this point?  I've cried, begged, talked to them, and done everything I could to make them back off of my relationship.  After being depressed and breaking up, they still can't learn that they're doing it all over again to me.  What do I do?

Betty's Answer.

You are going through a hard situation with dealing with your family's wishes versus your wishes and your fiance's wishes. It may be beneficial at this time to set some boundaries with your family. You do not have to discuss your very private relationship with your fiance' with your family. You may want to get some help with setting boundaries with your family through counseling.

If you are an eligible UAA student, you may call the Student Health & Counseling Center to set up an intake appointment with one of the Mental Health Providers.  You may also refer to our website for further on-campus counseling options.

Having boundaries and privacy will be harder if you are living with your family, they may be able to more easily access your time and privacy than if you were living outside their household.  If you are financially dependent on your family, they may have a vested interest in seeing you married, out of the household, and on your own. An option is to look at other living situations, so you have some privacy.

For an interesting perspective on marriage you may want to read Knot Yet, the Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America, by Kay Hymowitz, Jason S. Carrol, W. Bradford Wilcox and Kellen Kaye.

This discussion reports that the average age for Americans getting married has reached a historic high of 27 for women and 29 for men. It  explores the advantages of delaying marriage:  a lower divorce rate, higher income for women and fewer and less intense arguments between spouses.  It also explores the disadvantages of delayed marriage.

I wish you well, and support your getting help for this problem.