My fiance wants to reschedule our wedding (again)
December 1, 2014 6:38 PM   Subscribe

I need advice on a) what to do, and b) how to process my feelings. My fiance and I have been engaged for a year. Our original plan was to have a traditional wedding in June 2015. We decided that it was too much and we wanted to elope. 3 weeks ago, we set our "wedding date" for December 18th. Today my fiance told me that he felt depressed (he sometimes gets pretty bad seasonal depression) and stressed out, and that if we get married now, he's not going to enjoy it at all. He wants to reschedule again.

We definitely, definitely want to BE married. We've been dating for 2 years now, and have known since about the time we got together that we wanted this. We live together, generally get along really well and can process disagreements equitably most of the time. Our focus on the marriage itself was part of the impetus for calling off a big wedding that we both thought was kind of silly and just getting it done. My first thought was to fly to some cool place all by ourselves, get married, come back and have a small party with our families. However, at the time we first started talking about eloping, it was important to him that it be with our families.

Both sets of our parents, and a good portion of his extended family (but not my extended family), live near one city, which is about 5 hours drive from where we live. Although he was the one initially who wanted to still have family involved, now that we've been talking with people, I've realized that my parents really do want to actually see us get married (my dad told me how happy and excited he is to be there), and I don't want to yank that away. At this point I'm my parents's best hope for a wedding, and I just don't want to give them absolutely nothing.

We've already made plans with our parents and some of his family, and I've told my extended family, who are planning for us to come out to see a few of them in Florida and put us up. We already rescheduled once (from June) and if I reschedule again, I'm going to feel incredibly sheepish and embarrassed. That being said, if we reschedule, they'll get over it, but I think it makes us look childish and irresponsible in a small way.

My fiance told me that apart from feeling stressed and depressed, he also feels kind of that the whole wedding thing (even a tiny wedding like ours) is just a big show, and just done out of a sense of duty to our parents. So, I'm not even sure if rescheduling will have the desired effect, since it seems he just isn't into these emotional displays. This is totally fine with me (I don't like emotional displays either) but I just don't want to back out of two separate occasions to which we have invited our families.

He also told me that if I really want to go through with it, he'll come and do it to please me and because he does want to be married, but he feels it's just not going to be special at all for him and will just be an added stress. That sounds kind of terrible, but I don't think he really expects it to be an all encompassing, emotionally uplifting experience under the best circumstances. We both believe that for us, our relationship and our eventual marriage is the important part.

I just don't know what to do, or how to feel. I told him I definitely don't blame him at all for wanting to back out, and I'm not mad at him. I really want to support him and his depression/stress, but at this time, I just want to get through it and not have to reschedule things with our families again. I also feel that if he can take a few days off before the day to relax, that he might start to feel a bit better, and if we go down there to the city and get the process started, the momentum might carry him through feeling ok in what is just a few hours.

Am I being a terrible person for wanting to just go through with it anyway? Or should I just get over the embarrassment from family and reschedule for an as-of-yet undetermined date?
posted by permiechickie to Human Relations (64 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer:
My fiance told me that apart from feeling stressed and depressed, he also feels kind of that the whole wedding thing (even a tiny wedding like ours) is just a big show, and just done out of a sense of duty to our parents.
I actually agree with this point of view. Planning our wedding was quite stressful, even though it was a small wedding, and while I did end up enjoying my own wedding, I mostly went along because my partner wanted a proper wedding.
He also told me that if I really want to go through with it, he'll come and do it to please me and because he does want to be married, but he feels it's just not going to be special at all for him and will just be an added stress.
This, however, is the wrong attitude. People want to attend your wedding because they care about you. (For the most part, anyway.) Yes, it's stressful, and you'll end up forgetting to eat, and probably fall asleep exhausted. BUT the point is to let people celebrate with you. Be happy because others are happy for you.

Also, I think last minute wedding jitters are pretty normal. I'm not entirely sure I would've gone with the whole wedding thing if we hadn't already put down deposits and bought plane tickets. I knew I wanted to be married to my partner, but the actual ceremony and dinner and dancing part...? That was a performance and I definitely had anxiety. (And we also had to practice the ceremony and the dancing parts.)

I found out afterward, too, that planning and having a wedding is "one of those things" that married people bond over. If you never want to have a wedding, that's a totally okay thing. But having a wedding was definitely a fun challenge that stretched our planning, budgeting, and teamwork skills. It says a lot about how you work together. And anybody who's had a wedding has stories to tell about it.

I guess my point was that life should be fun and exciting and challenging, but not necessarily easy. And having a wedding is part of that.
posted by ethidda at 6:50 PM on December 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

When does he want to reschedule? Does he have a plan in mind or is this just general waffling? I think you're perfectly right to feel disappointed that he's trying to pull this very close to last-minute, and if I were you, I'd tell him, I am truly sorry you feel this way but given that you love me and want to marry me, I do not want to reschedule again, so buck up. Sometimes marriage involves sacrifice for the team; it's a shame if your wedding has to be part of that but it seems like there is room for his attitude to improve and I'd encourage him to work on it. On preview, I totally agree that part of this could be attributed to normal jitters that could be clouding his judgment.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:58 PM on December 1, 2014 [9 favorites]

I can see where he's coming from and I can see how you want to just go through with things. You say you both really wants to be married but it sounds like he's not 100% yet. I think getting married now would be a mistake and, just as he is willing to defer to you here, you certainly wouldn't want to pressure him into doing so. Yes, it's a pain and awkward telling people but right now I'm hearing that your social reputation as a couple is more important than his emotional well-being as a partner. (I know you don't really think this and are just being super honest here but this is how is sounds to me when I read it. I don't mean to be judgmental as I have read many posts of yours on Metafilter and think you're awesome.)

Maybe it's jitters, maybe it's the sign of something much deeper things on his part. It's not necessarily a bad omen for how he views the relationship but maybe it is. (It's annoying he wants to reschedule again but positive that he can honestly communicate that with you.) Perhaps you two will have a ceremony soon thereafter or maybe you'll break up. (I don't want to be negative but just realistic about the many possibilities.) Since you asked, I'd recommend postponing the wedding until further notice. You can decide on an ultimatum if you want but I think going through this right now could become a very big mistake. There's really no rush: people can meet, get married hours later, and enjoy a lifetime of happy matrimony. However, it is my understanding that generally the longer a couple waits, the happier they are in the long-run. (Yes, I know people can give many exceptions. ;-)

I wish you luck as this sounds really challenging and emotionally difficult for the both of you as well as logistically hard. I hope you two can have time to reflect alone and together and reach out to a neutral third party for in-person advice if desired.
posted by smorgasbord at 7:07 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had to read your question twice.

He's not ready to be married. It shouldn't be this complicated, y'know?

His excuse is pretty weak, and I would not feel comfortable committing to this guy or trusting him to follow through with marriage to me in the future.

I..... I don't think you should marry this guy. He isn't the right fit.
Hear me out....

Life is long. You need someone you can depend on by your side. Frankly, he seems kinda spoiled and ridiculous. Selfish? Soft?

I've been depressed. I've been married.

This whole thing is not right. It is not fair to you. To your families. Nope.

Seasonal depression? Really??

Getting married isn't this much drama and you should think hard here if he's maybe not holding something back.

Again... His excuse is so weak, I would not feel comfortable committing to this guy or trusting he'll follow through down the road.

I also don't think you should "force" him to follow through on your current wedding date. Please please look at his actions and not his words. He is not ready to marry anyone.

I'm sorry. Take care of yourself, first. You're the one who matters here.
posted by jbenben at 7:12 PM on December 1, 2014 [49 favorites]

I'm going to take you at your word that you both want to be married, and thus spend the rest of your lives together no matter what. That being said:

Your fiance needs to put on his big boy pants and just grin and bear it through this. You've already changed the date, you've got people arranging their holiday month plans in order to be able to be with you on your special day. So yeah, he's right, you need to do it out of a duty to your parents, but that is because you told your parents that this was going to happen.

It would be great if your wedding day could be (for both of you) the best day of your lives so far, but if you have a healthy marriage, there's no way that it will be the best day of your lives going forward. So really, if it sucks and is uncomfortable for him for one 24 hour period, it's not that big of a deal.

I'm only coming down so tough-love on this because this is a commitment that he wants to back out of less than 3 weeks in advance AND it's already a change from your previous plans. If you guys had originally planned to kinda-elope and he backed out, that would be one thing.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:14 PM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to clarify, we're not considering not being married or breaking up. It's not on the table. At the very least we would have a civil marriage by ourselves. Part of the issue with "getting married" is that we already both *feel* like we're married, so "wedding" part seems a bit extraneous. I feel that way myself, but I'm willing to do a wedding for my parents. Also, we're both kind of neurotic introverts that are happiest working on projects at home, so the wedding issue is weird for us and really brings both of us out of our comfort zone.
posted by permiechickie at 7:23 PM on December 1, 2014

I think any advice to force him is in every way wrong.

It's a really bad way to start off a lifelong partnership. Especially if you were planning on having children together at some point.

These are Big Things your partner should have tremendous enthusiasm towards. These are difficult life things, marriage and possibly starting a family together at some point, and sometimes that enthusiasm is what carries you through the tough times.

Let him back out. I think you are dodging a bullet.
posted by jbenben at 7:24 PM on December 1, 2014 [10 favorites]

Some questions to consider asking your fiance to help get at the heart of what's going on here, because I don't think he's being 100% forthright with you.

1. What's the deal with this mutually exclusive need to have family included in the wedding experience, but also not be giving in to supposed familial obligations?

2. Why does he think weddings aren't important, but won't elope?

3. Has this situation happened before (aka has he been engaged before and did he get stressed about it then as well?)

4. Is this about getting married, or is he stressed out about something else and using this as a convenient excuse?

5. Does his family know that he's not into the wedding stuff but they don't respect that and is that what this is really about?

He's talking out of both sides of his mouth here, and this is the time to call him on it. Seasonal depression isn't an excuse for wanting to ditch something he supposedly really wants. If it's that bad, he's gotta be figuring that out with a doctor and a therapist so he's not missing out on things he wants to do. And if the seasonal depression is just coincidental or exacerbating feelings that he's having even when he's not depressed, he should be talking about that with you, too. Regardless, something's missing here. Don't subvert your feeling, needs, and gut instinct just because he's saying he's depressed. I say that as someone who makes some pretty dumb decisions when I'm depressed and I am grateful that my family and friends are generally like, "NOPE" when I suddenly cancel big stuff I've committed to because it seems really scary or horrible.
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:48 PM on December 1, 2014 [12 favorites]

Best answer: First off... you sound like a very caring and supportive partner. But I'm a little concerned, reading your question, that you are accommodating to the point of being a doormat.

Wedding prep is usually stressful. He is not that special a snowflake. He's being pretty ridiculous in fact; and selfish.

That being true, I'm not sure whether the right thing is to tell him that you need him to buck up and stop being a baby; or whether the right thing is to tell him that his attitude is making you question whether you can depend on him to be able to shoulder life's stresses and scheduling difficulties... i.e. whether to marry him at all. I know you said breaking up with him wasn't on the table; but honestly, if this is how he handles something -joyful- like a wedding, how is he going to deal with the genuinely hard stuff when it comes?

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this at all, when what you want to do is have a nice family wedding to the man you love. It's a totally reasonable thing to want.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:51 PM on December 1, 2014 [35 favorites]

The timing may not be great for this but I think treating a wedding as something that can be easily postponed is a bad idea. You've already made plans with your family--I think it is perfectly reasonably to just stick with the date you have. Maybe he would enjoy it more at a different time, maybe not. Perhaps you could schedule a honeymoon for later on when he might be feeling better so that can be the special just the two of you time he can look forward to, and this is the small with family celebration part that he can either enjoy or just suffer through.
posted by pie_seven at 7:59 PM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I really don't think you have any choice but to cancel. Because...

These are Big Things your partner should have tremendous enthusiasm towards.

jbenben, I generally respect your advice, but what you are saying-without-intending-to is that she should break up with him because of his mental illness, transient/seasonal though it may be. Depression saps enthusiam. It might be best for both of you to make appropriate therapy for his depression the #1 priority right now.

Paradoxically, joyful events like weddings can make depression much worse. "Here I am, a total loser, and I'm getting married and it's all going to end badly anyway and why am I even bothering with this" is one very plausible internal monologue. Plus the fear of not living up to expectations... it can be paralyzing.

From what you've said, permiechickie, it sounds like he absolutely does not want to go through with this. Whether that means marriage in general or this wedding in particular I don't know. But have you explored what exactly is stressing him out about this? That may give you avenues for the two of you to find adaptive solutions that work for both of you, because with the inconsistencies--duty is bad but he wanted family there, weddings are a big headache but eloping nope, etc--it seems like there are some deeper issues going on here that would probably benefit from more light being shone on them.

Yes, you're going to have to deal with some embarrassment and some rhubarb from the peanut galleries on both sides of the family, but only you can decide which is more important: temporary embarrassment or stress/depression and potential resentment on his part. (Which is not to minimize potential resentment on yours, but it may help to think in terms of how you'd respond if he wanted to cancel because he has a broken leg and can't be having all the walking and standing.)

So.. yeah. From my vantage point it looks like dealing with his depression and anxiety and really teasing out where his specific concerns are may be the most productive avenue. Maybe he feels pressured (not necessarily by you; family, society, self), maybe there's something else, maybe it's just cold feet. Only way to find out is to really drill down and build back up from there. Best of luck.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:59 PM on December 1, 2014 [8 favorites]

Best answer: I feel like people aren't reading your question carefully enough. It sounds to me like you both want to be married, but you're not excited by the idea of the wedding. And you want to make your families happy, because it sounds like their expectations are reasonable.

If that's right I'd say yeah, talk again with your boyfriend and try to find out if he's serious that he'd go through with the wedding despite not being super-excited about it. If he is, that's what I'd do.

The truth is, weddings are stressful and annoying for many people, especially introverts. If it's a small thing you can do for your families, and they will enjoy it then, why not. It's the marriage part that actually matters, and I believe you when you say you've got that part sorted out.
posted by Susan PG at 8:04 PM on December 1, 2014 [6 favorites]

Best answer: The most charitable reading of this is that he's a socially anxious guy (introverted does not describe this dread of large gatherings, introverts can enjoy other people, they just need a nap afterwards) for whom being the centre of attention followed by a large family gathering is his idea of hell. And that's a valid issue. However, the reason that families and friends are invited to weddings is to show that they want to support your relationship and want to celebrate with them. If you postpone the wedding again or uninvite them, you run the significant risk of losing that support. You're going to be the daughter with the odd husband who can't get his act together. They will worry about your relationship and it will take them a long time to fully trust him again. They may stop trying to like him. They may stop including him in things.

You might be OK with that. You might be in a "us against the world" relationship. But it doesn't sound like it. If he truly wants to be married to you, then I would go through with the December date. You've already issued invites. People have made plans. Talk through with him how you can make it the least painful for him. Minimise the length of the ceremony and reception. Take a week off afterwards. Send him to the doctor for some help with his depression.

But I would also think about the wisdom of marrying someone who is this inept at handling family and society. I realise that sounds harsh, but I wouldn't want to marry someone who isn't able to participate in my world.
posted by kjs4 at 8:09 PM on December 1, 2014 [28 favorites]

permiechickie: "My fiance told me that apart from feeling stressed and depressed, he also feels kind of that the whole wedding thing (even a tiny wedding like ours) is just a big show, and just done out of a sense of duty to our parents. "

Yes. It is. Which is why he needs to man up and do it. It's important to you guys that you be married, not how it happens. It's important to your families that they get to see you do it. That doesn't seem unreasonable.

Also the fact that people are already planning on being there in two weeks and have made travel plans -- unless he wants to end the relationship, he really, really can't back out. I mean obviously it is better to embarrassingly call off a wedding if you have doubts than to go through a divorce a year later. But he just doesn't like ceremonies? Suck it up, buttercup. (w/r/t the seasonal depression, if it's so serious he can't go to his own wedding, I sincerely hope you guys are on the phone with a doctor like right this instant.)

Weddings are kind-of a pain in the ass even if you DO like ceremonies and stuff. I feel his pain. A lot of people don't actually enjoy their weddings that much because they're such a PITA. But you really don't do it for you; you do it for your family and friends who want to celebrate your bureaucratic milestone. And I don't know what you're supposed to be feeling, but I can tell you that if it were me, I'd be super-mad, so you're nicer and more understanding about this than I would be!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:37 PM on December 1, 2014 [10 favorites]

Best answer: I think your fiance should go through with the wedding, for the reasons pie_seven stated above. I think you should have a conversation with him where you tell him this: that he should do this not for your sake but for the sake of both your families, and because it's a commitment he's made that he ought to fulfill. But I don't think you should force him - that's not your job, and in fact, it's not within your power.

This line -if I reschedule again, I'm going to feel incredibly sheepish and embarrassed- bothers me a little; it sounds (from the little you've provided us here; I don't mean to mindread) that your fiance might be asking you to do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to dealing with the logistical fallout of his anxiety. Do you do a lot of that in your relationship - put in a lot of work help him keep up a good 'front' when he's struggling?

Question: if he decides to cancel, who will call all of your family members to let them know the event has been postponed? What excuse will be given? Will he call your parents and say, "Hey, I'm really sorry, I'm dealing with SAD and a bunch of stuff at work right now, so we're going to have to reschedule - but I still 100% love your daughter, so don't worry, the wedding is still on?" Or will you call your parents (and maybe even his!) and have to give an embarrassed excuse where you're trying to cover for him at the same time you're paddling hard below the surface to tamp down your own worries and convince them that everything is fine, just fine! Because that sounds incredibly exhausting and hard.

In other words, will your fiance take responsibility for the consequences of his anxiety, or will he put that on you? If it's the first - if he's open and honest and ready to deal with the fallout, I don't think rescheduling is the end of the world. But if he's putting you in a position where you're basically asked to either force him into getting married or else scramble to deal with a lot of negative consequences, then that's really cruddy of him and you guys need to work it out.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:50 PM on December 1, 2014 [64 favorites]

It's fine not to like weddings. And I can see backing out the first time.

But a second...that's not really being thoughtful and mature. This is entering into "all that matters are my feelings, which sway in the wind, and not the impact giving into my feelings has on others" territory.

This part here: He also told me that if I really want to go through with it, he'll come and do it to please me and because he does want to be married, but he feels it's just not going to be special at all for him and will just be an added stress is kind of mean. He could have said "you know, I'm feeling a bit nervous or down at this time of year, but I will be so glad in the end to be married to you."

Is he paying as much attention to your feelings as you are to his?

My suggestions are:

a) if you still want to be married to this guy, who doesn't sound particularly apt to show up for life's big events, just say "wow, honey, those are big feelings. By the way, we should pick up some pretzels."

b) I would not "process" feelings so much as pay attention to them. That feeling of kind of icky disappointment that he has Some Big Issue that is preventing him from participating in the rituals of life is probably not a one-off. This is how it will be for funerals, other people's weddings, pregnancy, etc. Other emotional displays.
posted by warriorqueen at 8:52 PM on December 1, 2014 [10 favorites]

I was thinking exactly what Pretentious Illiterate wrote. Also the mopey "I'll do it if you make me, but I refuse to enjoy it" thing would be a red flag for me. I wouldn't even pull that crap about having to go a dinner party, I can't imagine saying it over my own wedding.
posted by Dynex at 8:55 PM on December 1, 2014 [18 favorites]

Best answer: Wait. Your fiancé has said that he doesn't think your wedding is going to special to him, even though marriage is important to him? That is a warning bell right there.

Your story sounds to me like you are very accommodating about his depression, and that's a wonderful thing. HOWEVER, depression may be a reason to be anxious about the wedding, but not the reason to back out altogether.

What are you going to do when both of you have planned a big holiday, and he wants to back out? What if you have to attend a large funeral for a relative and he doesn't feel like it? How about if you are pregnant, and a few months in, he decides he's not ready to be a father?

There are a few issues here:

1. He's not ready to be YOUR husband - and personally, this wouldn't be good enough for me. I want the man who is my husband to be over the moon excited about being married to me.

2. He's not ready to be A husband. When you commit your lives to each other, it's literally about that - committing your lives. If one can't even commit a date, or accommodate ones family, then one can't be ready to commit their life to another.

3. He is telling you something, but you are not listening. When someone says that marriage is important to them, I fully expect then that we will go through with the wedding. The wedding is the PROCESS to this outcome.

4. You are not listening to yourself. You say above that you both already "feel" married. If so, why is the ceremony of marriage so important to you? I suspect you are minimising how you feel about marriage to better accommodate his. What would happen if you turned around and told him JUST how important this is to you?

5. His mental health does not precede yours. I see this a lot in relationships where 1 partner has some kind of ongoing health issues - often, the other partner spends a lot of their time and energy trying to manage life circumstances to ensure the ailing one feels 100% okay. Sometimes, life is not adjustable. Sometimes, expectations and duties come first. Is this one of those times where you think he should fulfil his obligations to you and both your families? Because I can assure you that as a married couple, you will have to come across these situations many times.

Ask yourself a couple of questions:
- If something were to happen to either of your parents in the next year, rendering them unable to witness your wedding, would you regret rescheduling it?
- Is this wedding something YOU'RE excited about? Have you told him this?

I wouldn't force him to go through with it. I can think of nothing worse than having my family witness my fiancé barely feel passionate about marrying me, in addition to my sure mortification that what's one of the milestones in our relationship, feels like an obligation.

I also wouldn't necessarily break up with him - but you can be sure this would be one of his last strikes, mental health issues or not.
posted by shazzam! at 8:57 PM on December 1, 2014 [15 favorites]

Best answer: The crux of it, to my mind, is this: Weddings are stressful and annoying and public and a bit of a dog and pony show. They are those things because you're making a demand upon society: From now on, you want everyone you know and will meet to realize that this relationship is the most important relationship in either of your lives, and to accord that relationship the respect and deference that status deserves, and to be able to obtain all the rights and privileges that go along with that status. To mark such changes in public status we have public ceremonies, and they're stressful and silly and heartwarming and symbolic and you often have to wear a goofy looking hat. Them's the breaks, you know? There's never going to be some other spring which will come along in which having a wedding will not have these aspects, and if you want the good parts --- seeing the looks on your parent's faces as they witness you make this transition --- you have to suck it up and deal with the shitty parts, the arguing about napkin rings or table placements or what have you. I mean, don't get me wrong, there's lots of ways to have a low-key wedding and try and de-stressify the whole thing as much as possible, but at the end of the day there will always be the officiant and the vows and the witnesses and the two of you standing in front of everybody and saying the words. No way out but through.

So...from that side of things, if you are both certain that you want to be married, the simplest course would be to go through with the wedding that you're already having in two weeks.

On the other hand....that only really holds if you are in fact both certain that you want to be married. You say you want that, you say the fiancé says he wants that, you keep adding more detail to this question to bolster this assertion.....actual action on the ground: he's trying to put off the wedding for the second time, with a different excuse, after a year long engagement. In general, it's the wiser course in life to believe in what people do, and not what they say. People lie a lot, quite often to themselves. "I feel like I might not enjoy this day as much as I might ideally like to" seems to me like pretty thin gruel on which to reverse course on a pretty major life event two weeks before it's set to occur, especially if the result of that event is something you are quite looking forward to.

Another rule of thumb I've found myself is that when anyone describes a situation as "it's basically like we've already [done important thing]" it is not at all like actually doing the important thing, and that having to actually do the thing is part of what makes it important. I mean, at the end of the day, I don't know you or yor dude, here, maybe my take is all wrong. But to me it reads like you're trying to talk yourself into believing a lot of what you're saying, here.
posted by Diablevert at 8:58 PM on December 1, 2014 [18 favorites]

It sounds to me like he's got the jitters and he's talking all kinds of shit because he's afraid to proceed with the plan. And to quote a movie I enjoyed recently: "it's alright to be scared. Remember, there is no courage without fear."

To be blunt: you need to put your foot down and make him go through with it. Canceling a second time? Unless someone is hospitalized, NFW. It may end up as an argument. Oh well - you wouldn't be the first couple to argue over wedding plans. The vast majority pull themselves together and go through with it.

In short, no, you're not a terrible person. You need to help your fiancé get past his moment of doubt and fear. It's all part of the job description for "bride".

Oh, and ignore all of the advice about how you shouldn't marry this guy. I mean, maybe you shouldn't, or maybe you should, but nobody on askme is qualified to make that call based on your short query.

Hang in there! Send me a pic from the honeymoon :)
posted by doctor tough love at 9:13 PM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Years ago, I was a combination of you and your fiance. I was ambivalent about weddings-as-performance but I thought family should be there, I gave no thought to maximizing joy out of the day. I ordered some day dress online and called it good, even though it didn't fit that well. (I think I recently commented on AskMefi harping on how important and easy it is to have jeans tailored.) I also said it was like we were married already. I was depressed, not severely so, but not really fully living my own life, you know?

I would have saved my ex-husband and I a lot of trouble and heartache had I just not gone through with it.

Years later, after quality treatment, career reboot, and a fortified friend group (see, I need downtime to putter around by myself, but I also need my friends and activities), I eventually got married again to someone completely different. We have a wonderful daughter and another one on the way. We had a wedding with friends and relatives and it was a joyous celebration. It was a little bit of a pain in the ass, but mostly it was joyous. I believe everyone and their partners should marry when they are both very happy about it.

Metafilter can't answer this one for you, not really.

My heart goes out to you. This is a tough situation to be in.
posted by stowaway at 9:15 PM on December 1, 2014 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: I appreciate all the thought that has gone into these answers. I'm really grateful to have AskMetafilter as a resource.

I'm still shocked at how many people think that this is a huge red flag that we shouldn't get married at all and should break up, BUT I am going to consider that, even as I myself feel that I could never be with any other person, warts, depression and all. I really hope it's not the case here, but I also recognize that sometimes the person inside the relationship isn't the best judge of it.

Another rule of thumb I've found myself is that when anyone describes a situation as "it's basically like we've already [done important thing]" it is not at all like actually doing the important thing, and that having to actually do the thing is part of what makes it important.
Point well taken, Diablevert.

and this:

5. His mental health does not precede yours. I see this a lot in relationships where 1 partner has some kind of ongoing health issues - often, the other partner spends a lot of their time and energy trying to manage life circumstances to ensure the ailing one feels 100% okay. Sometimes, life is not adjustable. Sometimes, expectations and duties come first. Is this one of those times where you think he should fulfil his obligations to you and both your families? Because I can assure you that as a married couple, you will have to come across these situations many times.
May describe my relationship more than I had realized.

We talked a lot about it tonight, and basically what came out is that he does care more about the ceremony of a wedding, and its meaning, and how he feels during the event, than we had initially discussed. He was never asking to call off getting married, but wanted to wait until he might be feeling better in the spring time, and when he might have his life more into a way that he wants it, as he's currently looking for a new job. I kind of recognize that deciding to elope fast so as to not have a big wedding may not have been the right choice here, considering that our lives are still in flux.

He said that if we're going to have a ceremony with anybody there but us, he wants to be in a frame of mind where he can actually celebrate and not feel like he's putting on a face when internally he feels really down. He said he was picturing being at this family event where he's supposed to be happy and just not being able to do it well, and that he wanted it to be better. I don't operate from the perspective where the idea of us getting married is supposed to make him incredibly happy right here and now and stop him from feeling depressed at all, which is part of why I phrased it in the way that I did. But, if he's not in the right state of mind to go through with a wedding, maybe he's not yet in the right state of mind to be married. It's something to consider. We're going to keep talking about it and decide what to do.
posted by permiechickie at 9:33 PM on December 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

"He was never asking to call off getting married, but wanted to wait until he might be feeling better in the spring time, and when he might have his life more into a way that he wants it, as he's currently looking for a new job. I kind of recognize that deciding to elope fast so as to not have a big wedding may not have been the right choice here, considering that our lives are still in flux."
Here's the secret to being happy: Realize that "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

There is never going to be a perfect time. There is never a time when everything is already taken care of. There is never going to be a time when everybody's in just the perfect mood. If there is, the weather is going to be crappy. Or the caterers will mess up the date. (Or your chair and table rentals will be mysteriously cancelled.)

We had our wedding while doing a major remodel (tearing out walls), moving, planning an overseas trip, and renting out the house we were living in. We started planning when he was unemployed and recovering from overworking at the job that he left. And then we came back and my (new) husband had a bone graft (surgery). We managed. That's just kind of how it is.

If you (or your partner) are not the kind of person who is okay with enjoying the good parts of life (celebrations, weddings, small victories) while things are also going wrong in your life, then you're probably just not going to enjoy life.
posted by ethidda at 9:49 PM on December 1, 2014 [13 favorites]

"... but honestly, if this is how he handles something -joyful- like a wedding, how is he going to deal with the genuinely hard stuff when it comes?"

I can't nth Fingersandtoes enough on this, and it was exactly what I was getting at.

OP, I think you're right that both of your families will be concerned if they even hear your boyfriend ever suggested this. It's red flag territory, and I'm trying to parse why your boyfriend wants to put you guys through so much drama and discomfort?

Adults show up for stuff like this, and with a good attitude to boot(!) because the end result is what they desire (in this case: Marriage.) Adults in this situation realizing that rescheduling a second time will cause too many difficulties and questions, will work through their own difficulties in mature ways.

Plus, language along the lines of, "I'll do it if you want, but I'll be miserable the whole time" is a childish thing to say about attending your partner's company picnic or family gathering. Saying that about your own wedding to your intended spouse is DEFCON 1 Levels of Pain. It's anathema to say about your own nuptials.

Neither seasonal depression, anxiety, nor introversion excuses the sentiment or the way it was expressed. It's left the OP in a No-Win situation.

Additionally, I'm also dubious when I hear the phrase "already feels like we're married."

I think the OP should enjoy "feeling already married" for as long as that seems reasonable to her. I strongly suspect when she really wants to get married, she'll have to find someone else. This guy simply isn't ready.

Unless he does some serious self-work, this is as good as this guy gets. I would not want to embark on other important commitments with this person because he is unable to deal responsibly. Something wounded in him will always need to come first - and that sucks.

You can date that for a while. You can live with that for a while. You can not successfully spend a lifetime with that unless you are happy to give up stability and never ever coming first. Having children with someone like that also means you are deciding for your as-of-yet unborn children that Daddy's feels come before them and their needs, because that's how it will be when the time comes.

This is the guy who tells you he doesn't want to take that job out of state after you've already quit your own job and sold the house. This is the guy who halfway through your pregnancy tells you he doesn't want to be a father.

This guy is not ready to get married.

As an adult who has had similar feelings, who has been depressed, who has lived through a lot of challenges, as someone who has been divorced and remarried, I see this pattern of wanting to reschedule wedding plans is a pretty bad omen. And like I said, it creates an immediate No-Win situation for the OP to parse.

Here's another idea....

I think it is obvious the boyfriend needs treatment if he's experiencing seasonal depression.

Instead of rescheduling the wedding, call it off for the time being. OP, you state you enjoy living together "just like you're already married." Great! Stick with that for now.

Take anything official off the table, tell your families the timing isn't right. Don't let them ask you questions or bug you about this.

Revisit this issue next year. In the meantime, don't set a date. Just take the issue off of the table entirely.

OP, IDK if you're still reading this. I hope so.

You probably think I'm being harsh on your guy, but I'm not.

Life throws curve balls at you, and right now, this guy isn't someone you can safely weather the storm with. Right now, he is the storm.

Respectfully and with experience, I offer up that this is not how you want to start a marriage.

Don't get married now. See how you feel next year, after he's had treatment.
posted by jbenben at 10:06 PM on December 1, 2014 [24 favorites]

You have been living together for two years and you already feel married, right? Just elope. Have a quick civil ceremony so that if one of you gets hit by a car the other one has the legal right to see you in the hospital. You can have a party with friends in family in the spring or maybe celebrating your first kiss or something.

The main 'red flag' that I see here is that he is not honoring his commitment to the wedding date. Marriage is all about commitment. Your explanations make sense to me, I'm also an introvert, but, at the same time, I did spend time with a weak man who wouldn't tell me how he truly felt about anything and ended up lying about everything, giving excuses, and being abusive, so, I'm a bit skittish when it comes to excuses. If you were my daughter or friend, I would tell you to move out until you are legally married. Then, when the wedding day happens, it will truly be special.
posted by myselfasme at 10:23 PM on December 1, 2014

My view - its a flag. What colour it is depends on you (if you ask me its super giant red one but this is your relationship, not mine). There's no time when your life is complete, you've done all the improving you can and then its time to get married. Its just... you want to get married... so you do what is necessary to make that happen. And its tough and its hard and you often have to suck it up and swallow your pride and do whats best for the outcome you both want, even if its not what you want to do in that moment.

Which is all great practice for when something really tough, that can't be postponed, comes your way. Which it will and you'll both go through times where you have to fight your mood, ego, pride and selfish desires for the best of the marriage.
posted by Admira at 10:26 PM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's good that you are continuing to hash this out rather than just fish or cut bait. Given your update, I think this might be a blessing from the universe for you. Either he figures his stuff out by the third date, or he's not the one. Why? Because I think this is how he really handles life stress, and perpetually postponing and avoiding things is not a functional way of living or solving problems. So, he's gotta live up to his assertion here. Does he have the wherewithal to see this through? Is he committed to getting the help he needs to deal with depression and self esteem issues? Or is he only in a space where he avoids the stuff he thinks he can't face or enjoy?

I understand wanting to be in the right mental space to really enjoy something as big and as special as your wedding, but this sounds more... Systemic. So... Postpone the wedding. Let him show you what he's really made of. You can't forfeit everything just because he's depressed. He's gotta face some of the things he thinks he's not ready for in order to be a life partner. If he doesn't want to, he's not right for you. Sending you both good thoughts. This is a win-win either way.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:27 PM on December 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

Thanks so much for the follow-up. I'm really impressed how open you are to everyone's feedback, especially the harder critiques!

I can totally see how your partner losing his job has contributed to his hesitation: the fear and worry that come with being unemployed is so real and big. I'm not saying it's a reason not to get married (not at all!) but rather something I feel compassion with him for right now. It may be "selfish" of him to want to reschedule the wedding but also responsible of him to not want to be or at least feel dependent on you (even if that's what marriage is all about, blahblah.)
posted by smorgasbord at 10:29 PM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Soooooo.... hm. My husband and I got married after living together for five years. We knew we wanted to be married two weeks after we started dating, but we knew we weren't ready to be married until we both wanted to get married at the same time. Sometimes I would say, "I think I'm ready" and he would say he wasn't. Or he would say, "I think I'm ready to get married" and I'd say I wasn't. We knew the right time was when one of us said, "I think I'm ready" and the other one said, "Me too!"

This is not Standard Operating Process on the Green, but we were really young when we met and knew deep down that we weren't fully developed into the people we needed to be, in order to be good spouses to one another. And for me, there is a difference between living together and feeling married and actually being married. It just feels more permanent. That isn't the case for everyone, but it is for me, and there is a huge difference between the two.

And. My husband and I were both working really stressful jobs, and he was having issues with his chronic depression, and we had a low key courthouse 5 minute ceremony with just the immediate family, and a kegger in the backyard afterwards for family and friends. And he was still excited, and still wanted to go through with it, and was nervous and anxious but still wanted more than anything to get married. He helped with the planning and told me how excited he was (and nervous, and anxious, and all sorts of other things). I'm not saying it means that your fiance doesn't want to marry you. I am saying that if you were a friend of mine telling me this, I'd be a bit worried for you.

Marriage isn't just for the social sanction, although that is a HUGE part of it. It also gives you all sorts of legal protections and statuses that you don't get, or at least don't get as easily, when you're long term partners. And this might sound terrible, but there have been times where the only thing that kept me here was the fact that I was married. I've been that upset, that hurt, that angry, that scared (after a health scare of his) where realistically, in my heart of hearts, I can tell you that the only thing that kept me here was the fact that I promised in front of everyone that I wouldn't leave*. And maybe this makes me sound sort of terrible, but ... it's my lived experience. And certainly, being married has provided me with a lot of joy and happiness and security and a warm sense of comfort and belonging, so it's not all bad. And I know for me, I wouldn't feel that secure as just a long term partner. There was definitely more security for me after we got married, even though we'd been living together for five years already.

So I got way off track, but basically, it's a lot to think about and you're in a bind with this one. Therapy is always a stock answer, but you might want to look into some pre-marital counseling. I really wish we had done it, many of our friends did and found it useful. It might have saved us some issues later on, and might help you and your fiance work through what's going on here.

*This is not to criticize people who get divorced, nor is it meant to say that once you get married, if your spouse is horribly abusive you shouldn't leave. Divorce is ok when needed and if someone's in an abusive situation and ready to leave, I support them! What I'm saying is, when it's 3AM and we're in a rough patch and I'm thinking about what an asshole he is because I'm mad as hell, I don't start packing. YMMV. I am maybe not the best example of How to Relationship Like an Adult.
posted by RogueTech at 10:33 PM on December 1, 2014 [11 favorites]

From your description, he seems awfully immature to be getting married; add me to those who see a red flag here.

Yes, depression is a serious illness. But, unfortunately, some people do use their depression to manipulate others. Setting and then backing out of two wedding dates because you aren't "feeling it" is childish even if you are clinically depressed.

Going along with this sort of behavior may seem supportive, but I don't think it will actually help your partner in the long term. Part of living with or moving past depression is learning how to do things even when you really aren't feeling them. Your husband is not the first to realize that weddings are a bit of a charade. But you know what? Many aspects of life involve managing one's self-presentation and preparing a face to meet the faces that you meet. Weddings, job interviews, Thanksgiving dinners, all involve some artifice. I don't think his depression entitles him to hurt you (however inadvertently) or inconvenience your family members.

I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest you break up with him over this, but I don't think you should get married until your partner gets a better handle on his depression and begins to follow a treatment plan. Only then will you be in a position to see how much of his behavior is due to his depression and how much is actually due to immaturity or selfishness.
posted by girl flaneur at 10:59 PM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

It sounds like he's deeply ashamed of his unemployment and wants to wait to stand with you until he can do it without anticipating judgement. Work is an important aspect of identity, having a job gives us face; lacking face is hard, maybe especially for men, maybe more so for a prospective groom who thinks others will be evaluating him for his ability to contribute to the household. Ach, I can just imagine the sorts of things he's telling himself :(

If that's the case, I think telling him to 'buck up' could backfire (in the sense that he more than likely won't enjoy the day, unless he gets intensive therapy or a job between now and then. Which will mean that you won't enjoy the day. And it's an important event, he may lock onto it and weave into whatever narrative is working in his depression).

You just set your date three weeks ago - no one's bought a flight, you'd be the ones travelling. I think you could find a publicly acceptable justification to put it off until he either has come to terms with things or found work. You could say you'd like to go with your original plans after all, you'd like more time. People get a little nutty about wedding planning, it wouldn't be a huge deal, necessarily.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:26 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I, too, wanted to add that via your updates, it is great to see you have a respectful open dialogue going.

I think I missed the point that he is currently job hunting, or maybe that came out later in the updates??

Men folk usually like to be employed when they marry, and being job hunting us a HUGE source of stress in this type of situation. I know this directly because one of my best friends almost sent his beloved off the deep when he wouldn't propose during a stretch of time he was freelance.

I gotta take back at least 80% of what I originally wrote if this turns out to be the main issue.

I will say this: It is really really hard to navigate an intimate relationship and contemplate marriage with someone who says "Yes" to make you happy, but really he means "No."

Personally, I was able to successfully mitigate this dynamic in my own marriage for a few years because I was practically psychic about it, and did the extra work of discerning true intent.

This was great. And then, we had our first child.

The 20% I don't take back from my previous answers is every time I alluded to how important it is to have a partner that speaks up for themselves honestly. So like, every time there is a Big Decision on the table. Commitment, moving house, children.

When he's wishy washy about what to watch on NetFlix? Not a problem!

When his truth comes out in the middle of Big Decision Already Implemented? Big Ass Problem. Huge.

He still needs to do his own serious self-work.

Don't get in the habit of doing his self-work for him. You are dangerously close to, or over the edge of, that particular boundary right here.

Please take this perspective to heart. Married Life gets very serious, very quickly. You deserve a partner that has their emotional internal workings self-organized. You can not meaningfully do this for another person - ever.

Everyone ultimately has to keep their own side of things organized, and communicate such.

Your families are still going to worry when you tell them about this plan change.

Be honest about the job hunting factor. Pray they drop any misgivings because you are both being honest. Put over the right way, you'll both gain more credibility in their eyes. If you lie or give polite excuses, people will sense the deception and worry 3x's more than need be.

Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 12:46 AM on December 2, 2014 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I think a lot of people are ignoring parts of what you've written - for instance, the fact that three weeks ago, your wedding was planned to be held seven months from now - and then it suddenly moved to six weeks away based on what seems to have been a joint decision? He is not he's trying to put off the wedding for the second time, with a different excuse, after a year long engagement. He has participated in moving the wedding forward by a long time, and perhaps didn't think that decision through well enough.

I also don't see you saying that he is currently unemployed - in fact, you suggest that he might "take a few days off before the day". Everyone is just reading something else into your mention that he is looking for a new job.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:42 AM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

This situation may or may not be a HUGE red flag, but it has meaning and you'd be well served to suss it out.

The idea that because of his seasonal depression he may not be happy at his own wedding is the waving banner. It's his WEDDING. I mean, think about it: someone who is forcing a happy face at their own wedding is not someone who wants to be married. No matter your job situation, your living situation, your ailing dog's health, whatever; it's not an extraordinary leap in logic to expect a person to be genuinely happy about getting hitched.

Personal anecdote story: I was engaged and I just kept putting off the wedding date. Thinking about planning the wedding stressed me out because I was busy at work, I couldn't figure out logistics, I couldn't even begin to consider caterers. I told my fiance that he was welcome to plan everything and I'd be up for it, but I really didn't want to do any of the planning because it was so stressful.

You can tell where this is going. I really didn't want to marry HIM. And at that time and in those moments, he and I had deep discussions about our commitment and of course I wanted to marry him, I told him. But I didn't and I couldn't at that time admit it to him because I had not yet admitted it to myself. And when it finally hit me, we had a damned unpleasant breakup.

This may not be your case at all, but often people who are not in the relationship can see something others can't.

I don't think your guy wants to get married.
posted by kinetic at 2:56 AM on December 2, 2014 [13 favorites]

You can do the courthouse wedding before the ceremonial one. I really enjoyed this because it took the jitters away from the ceremony and let us focus more on our friends and guests.
posted by cacao at 4:51 AM on December 2, 2014

Is he getting treatment for his depression? I don't see it mentioned. My personal philosophy, after too many years of heartbreaks from self-diagnosed "depressed" people, is that depression does not exist or excuse behaviour unless the person claiming depression is doing an extraordinary amount of informal self-help (exercise, medication, eating well, sleep hygiene and making good choices on a consistent basis), formal help (therapy, medication) and social help (building their our social supports and working hard to support you maintaing your own social supports instead of isolating you or embarrassing you).

My read is also that he doesn't want to marry you and have you for his wife. He is looking for a mother. You really, really don't want to be his mother. What you are doing now is being his mother.

You need to be clear on your expectations and consequences and follow through.

Personally, I wouldn't marry him; I would make plans for a separate, awesome life and flow through on those plans and have a definate timeline on how long he has to come back with his shit together before that door is closed. Enabling him, as you are, to hurt you repeatedly, to always prioritize his feelings, is not good for either of you and that pattern can only be broken by actually taking a break.

I'm sorry, this really sucks. I hope you find happiness in life.
posted by saucysault at 5:00 AM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: At the risk of thread-sitting I wanted to clarify - he's not unemployed, but is very unhappy at his current job (long hours, stress, hard to take time off) and has started looking for a new one. And about the scheduling, it's not that he's pushing it *back* further; we had moved the date 7 months forward when we decided we didn't want a large wedding. This was a joint decision, but was made in a bit of a rush, and I think that part we didn't talk through enough or consider how he's currently feeling. He's not in treatment for depression, and this is something I'm also realizing we need to work on, urgently.
posted by permiechickie at 5:06 AM on December 2, 2014

He said he was picturing being at this family event where he's supposed to be happy and just not being able to do it well, and that he wanted it to be better.

I shared this thread with my boyfriend this morning, with the comment, "I mean, don't take this the wrong way, but like, having a wedding is like switching your medication regimen. There's really no good time to do it." (Fortunately, he got what I meant and laughed - probably because he was in the position of having to reschedule his own wedding when he married his first wife due to his sister getting pregnant).

2 weeks away? I would just do it. This won't be the last time you get to have happy memories, or even happy married memories.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:39 AM on December 2, 2014

your fiance sounds selfish, immature, and manipulative. you don't schedule a wedding and then try to cancel it in such a weaselly way less than three weeks before the date. and the stuff about "it won't mean anything to him because he's depressed ..." -- wow -- that's classic passive aggressive , manipulative, spoiled bullshit from a guy too spineless to be your life partner. trust me, you do not want this guy as your husband.
posted by jayder at 6:11 AM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]

I think everyone else has covered all the other salient points pretty well, and you didn't ask this, but: regardless of whether you postpone or go through with it, find yourselves some good structured premarital counseling (I think we paid about $500 for a four-session course?) with a licensed professional and do it in, like, January. Either way, whether you suck it up and go through it this month and just get it over with or rethink things, I suspect that you will really get your money's worth out of having a mediated conversation with a disinterested professional about potentially difficult things. That $500 is by far the best money we spent in the whole wedding process and I would do it again in a heartbeat. You do not need to be having relationship troubles or be religious to benefit from it.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 6:13 AM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

If you're in love and if you've got your small wedding planned, your intended should be THRILLED that amidst his depression, his new job hunt and the feeling that you're already married that he can finally DO the ceremony and BE married to you.

I'll be honest, when Husbunny and I married, the actual wedding was the LAST thing either of us wanted to do, but like you two, we were the only hope that our parents had of actually having a wedding. So we did it.

Was it fun to plan? No. Was it stressful? Yes. Did Husbunny suffer from crippling social anxiety and depression? Yup. But so what? Were we happy to do it, for our friends and family.

At any time did Husbunny run any bullshit on me about his feelings or his desires? Nope. We knew that we were doing a wedding for others, and we were perfectly okay with it.

So, since you already feel married, and it's planned and people have arranged their schedules to accommodate your wedding, wouldn't it be best just to sack up and do it?

I submit that your fiance has other reasons for not wanting to marry, not in June and not in December. And that if he's not willing to go through with it on the 18th, that you need to seriously think about breaking up, because if it's not as important as he's claiming (and really it's just a damn party) then you can't depend on him for the really important shit in life.

I reiterate, the wedding itself is NOT important. It just isn't. The commitment IS important. If he can't commit to a fucking party, he can't commit to you.

It sucks, but people tell you who they are by how they act under stress. This man is telling you something very important. Don't ignore the message.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:34 AM on December 2, 2014 [17 favorites]

Instead of rescheduling the wedding, call it off for the time being.

I think this is a really good idea, in the short to medium term. Take the pressure off both of you and see what is really going on. There are so many questions that present themselves and it does sound like some counseling sessions would be useful.

There may be something about this wedding that bothers your fiance that is mainly about weddings, or issues he has with his family our yours, or something that is little or nothing to do with your relationship. As an anecdote, I married a guy who did a lot of flaking on plans we had made, and things involving my family were top of the list. I put all kinds of precautions in place to avoid embarrassing myself or inconveniencing my family with regard to this, but somehow I was blind to the fact that he didn't like my parents and felt badly treated by them from the get-go. If only he had told me how he felt! I was young, fresh out of college, and I knew my parents could be rough but I did not have the imagination to see how he was experiencing it. There may be something like that going on-- not that specific thing, but some reason why it's hard for him to do this, and why you need to change things. And putting everyone through third putative wedding date is going to challenge relationships. If one of my sisters was inviting me to a third wedding date, I'd be saying, "You know what? Go to city hall and I'll be waiting with a cake but I won't be holding my breath. Love you!"

So, anyway, call the thing off and find out what is really going on. Maybe have a watch of Four Weddings and a Funeral. Pretty awful movie in my opinion, and it hasn't aged well, but you might enjoy the punch line.
posted by BibiRose at 7:22 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

He's feeling stressed because there was only 5 weeks between setting date to wedding. OK, that's fair, but you both knew that going in and you both agreed to it. AND he wanted family there originally - how long ago was that? Yes, people are allowed to change their mind, but his actions are telling you he will flake on Important Things with regularity and after major plans have begun.

I also don't understand the mental gymnastics of "weddings aren't important, but I do want to get married, but not now because I won't enjoy it, but I don't care about weddings." ???

My fiance told me that apart from feeling stressed and depressed, he also feels kind of that the whole wedding thing (even a tiny wedding like ours) is just a big show, and just done out of a sense of duty to our parents.

Yep, I don't think this will go away. So honestly: are you really OK with just the two of you eloping? Do you want your family to be there? I'm reading this as you saying it'd be OK or you'd be willing to reschedule again, or to just elope, but is that what you WANT? Give yourself even 30 minutes to just think about : if this were my totally selfish, all about me, fantasy wedding, what do I want? You deserve at least some of that.

I think you need to talk about this more, and really get down to his real fears or concerns. If he's just stressed about getting all the details done, you can tackle that. If he's stressed about having an audience, well, I side with you in that you already invited everyone and sometimes you gotta stick to a plan, especially one you BOTH agreed on weeks ago. I hope it's mainly one of these reasons.

If he is , actually, telling you he will 100% not enjoy any part of your wedding (ouch) and will just be mouthing words, then yeah... call it off, who would want that to start their marriage?

If he's telling you that in fact, his seasonal depression is so bad that he 100% CAN'T muster enjoyment for any part of your wedding because it's winter, then he needs some major help with that.

Question: if he decides to cancel, who will call all of your family members to let them know the event has been postponed? What excuse will be given? Will he call your parents and say, "Hey, I'm really sorry, I'm dealing with SAD and a bunch of stuff at work right now, so we're going to have to reschedule - but I still 100% love your daughter, so don't worry, the wedding is still on?" Or will you call your parents (and maybe even his!) and have to give an embarrassed excuse where you're trying to cover for him at the same time you're paddling hard below the surface to tamp down your own worries and convince them that everything is fine, just fine! Because that sounds incredibly exhausting and hard.

Quoting for great justice. He needs to be able/willing to shoulder at LEAST half of the fallout from this. Otherwise, again, major things to think about if he is too depressed to handle his own mess or wants you to do it. And I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask him to notify everyone, since you're not the one canceling.

He also told me that if I really want to go through with it, he'll come and do it to please me and because he does want to be married, but he feels it's just not going to be special at all for him and will just be an added stress.

Weddings are stressful, even small ones. Roping in your families and keeping your dress clean and writing vows and all that yes, is stressful. But it's really not going to be special at all to look in your eyes and vow to be your life partner and have that actual moment of becoming married and kissing you for the first time as his wife? REALLY??
posted by nakedmolerats at 7:40 AM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]

He's not in treatment for depression, and this is something I'm also realizing we need to work on, urgently.

No, this is something he needs to work on. His depression is not your burden to lift. He must lift it himself. Sure, you can help, but he has to want it first.

He sounds like an avoider. His arguments don't make sense when you line them up logically unless you look at them through the lens of "he doesn't want to be married to you right now." Your June date has come and gone because the wedding was "too big" and now the December date may be off the table because of "seasonal depression" ... what's it going to be next Spring? Something will come up to fill his void of "I do not want to be married right now to you."

He may not be able to face it or say it or even voice it but his actions are pretty clear: he does not want to be married to you right now. I'm so sorry, but there it is, laid out clean. He can say he wants to get married until he is blue in the face but saying something doesn't make it true. No matter how much he wants it to be true or you want it to be true.

I think stepping back and reevaluating this relationship and its role in your life would be very beneficial for you right now. Do you have a therapist of your own? I got one when I was dating someone with a mental illness (not depression, but it could have been) and it really helped me learn to cope with living with and loving someone who put himself and his desire to avoid his mental illness and not get treatment first at all times. And therapy helped me find myself and the strength to close the door on that man, who I loved very dearly but was ultimately unhealthy for me.

I'm not saying "break up." I'm saying that maybe taking a huge step back - living apart, working on yourself, strengthening friendships and learning new hobbies and taking care of yourself - might really be the best path at this stage.

All the best to you as you figure this all out.
posted by sockermom at 7:54 AM on December 2, 2014 [10 favorites]

Also, this?

He also told me that if I really want to go through with it, he'll come and do it to please me and because he does want to be married, but he feels it's just not going to be special at all for him and will just be an added stress.

Is horseshit (excuse my French). So what, you're supposed to spend your wedding day worrying about him and whether or not he wants to be there? Christ on a cracker. What a horrible thing to feel on your wedding day: "My new spouse wishes he wasn't here."
posted by sockermom at 7:57 AM on December 2, 2014 [26 favorites]

To be honest, among all the things you've written, this stands out as the biggest red flag to me: "He also told me that if I really want to go through with it, he'll come and do it to please me and because he does want to be married, but he feels it's just not going to be special at all for him and will just be an added stress. "

That is just...mean. Like, that is a really mean and cruel thing to say to someone (and goes far beyond the simple fact of wishing to postpone the wedding). Even if it's 100% true, you do not need to share every thought that enters your head with your partner. I can't remember who it was that said this, but I always remember the line that "Love is a choice, not a feeling." You're not going to be madly in love and happy with your partner 100% of the time--that is not realistic. That also doesn't mean you go to them and say horrible mean things to them because you're going through stuff. Yes, he needs to get into therapy for his depression ASAP. But I would honestly be hesitant to stick around with someone who could say something like that to me and care so little for my feelings. Everyone has their priorities in a relationship, which is fine, but for me I need to know that I am emotionally safe and that my partner is always there to protect me and to care about how I'm doing and feeling. That's a very basic level of what I need before I would have even considered becoming engaged to my partner. It sounds like your partner doesn't care much about how this is impacting you, and to me that would be a huge deal. (As a contrast, he COULD have chosen to say: "My depression has gotten really bad lately. I think I need to enter treatment and really deal with this issue before I can fully commit to you. I am so sorry for putting you through this and I will be fully there for calling relatives and explaining the situation." He chose not to do that.)
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:10 AM on December 2, 2014 [21 favorites]

Oh, and if there's no wedding on the 18th, with a 100% happy groom, move out.

There are consequences to actions, and frankly, you NEED to get some distance from this to really sort out what's going on. Why fuss with being married if you're there doing all the wifey stuff anyway?

Also if he postpones, then it's on him to call and tell everyone why. So while you're packing up, he can get on the phone to your guest list and tell everyone that the wedding is off, and why that's so.

Give him back his ring. If you still want to work on the relationship, have him hold the ring for you, and he can give it to you when he's 100% sure.

Here's what I'd say. "Ben, I love you and I want to marry you. I'm not wild about the wedding, but we agreed to do it for our families and now that it's planned, frankly, I'm of a mind to do it and get it all out of the way. I don't want to be the one to call people to postpone it, and frankly, if that's happening, then I'm going to move out so that you can get through whatever it is that's preventing you from marrying me. I don't want to hear about how you're doing it at gunpoint to please me. That's an awful thing to say to me and if that's how you view it, it's no gift. I'll leave it to you to call our families, including my parents so that you can explain your state of mind, because I'm not going to cover for you. So this is your 'come to Jesus moment.' You either marry me on the 18th, with joy and love and we plan our lives together, or I'm through. It's going to suck if we break up, because I love you, but I'm not going to let you dance me around the room while you change plans, cancel dates and emotionally manipulate me with talk of depression. Depression is a diagnosed condition and people who want to deal with it see a doctor and try different therapies. I'm going to liquor store for some boxes. Let me know what you decide when I get back."

Sometimes people need a kick in the ass, and in this situation, it's either you or it's him.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:52 AM on December 2, 2014 [20 favorites]

Yes, he needs counseling. I believe that you need counseling too.

Please call off this wedding. He's telling you he doesn't want to do it. Don't marry someone who doesn't want to marry you (even if it's just for right now). Let the chips fall where they may, this is really important.

As others have said, it sounds like you are bending yourself (and your families) to suit his needs, and you are very considerate of him. It sounds like you are really in love with him, and he with you.

That all said, I have a strong feeling that you could find a better match elsewhere. I might be reading too much into this, but I was very much in love with a depressed person for a few years. We were so connected, and had really special and fun times together. HOWEVER--I wanted to marry and have kids and have a life where I spent energy on things outside of our relationship. His needs were such that he needed a lot of special accommodations to get through the day, and his depression was very difficult to control. Trips to visit family took place with him barely being able to talk, dinner out with friends got canceled b/c he wasn't up to it, etc. I would come home from a long day of work, and listen sympathetically to long shaggy-dog stories of his feelings of insecurity and unhappiness.

I have a lot of sympathy for people suffering from depression. I know it is very common. My own mother suffers from depression. THAT SAID. I am glad that we broke up and I found someone to love who has a steady, even temperament. Do I sometimes need to take care of him? Absolutely. But he is also there at least 1/2 the time to take care of me and our kids. And mostly, we have a lifestyle where mental health is not an issue at all. I know we are very lucky.

OK, said my piece. Good luck to you, whatever happens.
posted by tk at 8:56 AM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

Addendum to my earlier answer:

I recognize myself in your fiance. I have terrible avoidant, cowardly, weaselly tendencies. So trust me, I KNOW the type. His initially agreeing to it, then trying to cancel it as the date approaches, is classic nonsense you get from people like me and him. And as someone else pointed out in this thread, you said "we" (meaning you and he) need to work on his depression. That suggests to me that you are the practical, resourceful one in the relationship. (That's my ex-wife ...).

The "oh, I'm depressed, I guess I better work on that," is classic I'll-say-anything-to-get-out-of-this-impending-thing-that-I-dread behavior.

It will not get better on any timeline that makes sense to you. He is not motivated to change. He is motivated to get a reprieve from the wedding.

Let me propose a solution. I don't actually like this solution, but I think it would be a workable compromise that he ought to be okay with. Tell him "Okay, honey, we will just go to the courthouse and get married, with one witness [if a witness is required, or no witness if not], and we will invite everyone to come have dinner with us to celebrate." Then you will be married.

But I think it's a bad idea to go into the wedding with this guy. You and he are both in denial about who he is.
posted by jayder at 9:02 AM on December 2, 2014 [12 favorites]

My fiance told me that apart from feeling stressed and depressed, he also feels kind of that the whole wedding thing (even a tiny wedding like ours) is just a big show, and just done out of a sense of duty to our parents. So, I'm not even sure if rescheduling will have the desired effect, since it seems he just isn't into these emotional displays.

He does not want to marry you. We all know weddings are mostly for the family. My husband was perfectly willing to marry in a catholic church even though we are both atheists, just to please my parents. People do this sort of thing all the time because the important part is the marriage, not the wedding.

Separate the "wedding" from the "marriage". He is avoiding marriage by making it sound like his issue is the wedding, but in reality the issue is that he does not want to be married to you. Maybe he does not want to disappoint you or maybe he wants to want to be married and is also lying to himself, but the truth is he postponed once and now is coming up with pretty ridiculous excuses because an afternoon of discomfort and social niceties is not worth marriage to you.

If you truly do love him, don't marry him. Do it for you and for him. Take a break, tell him to figure it out, and make sure he recognizes that something there does not add up. He needs to do some introspection and figure out how he really feels, and he needs to stop playing with your feelings and your families'.

I know you start by saying you both want to be married, but what proof do you have? Regardless of what he has told you you are not married, and he is refusing this time, too. If the wedding really is the issue ask him to run to the city hall today and get married using two random strangers as witnesses. My bet is he won't want to do that either.

Do not force him because not only will you not be happy, but I think you know deep down that he is lying to himself and to you at some level, and it would not be the loving thing to do to marry a person who is not in the right state of mind.
posted by Tarumba at 9:10 AM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

I have quite bad depression that I work hard to keep in check. Medication, therapy, etc. In general I'm high functioning but major events (good or bad) tend to trigger me out. Planning my wedding last year just about did me in in terms of stress. I had enough other things going on and enough other stresses and responsibilities that something had to give, and apparently what gave was my emotional state. I was crying all the time over the stupidest inconsequential things, I wasn't sleeping, my performance at work tanked, and I had my doctor urging me to take a couple week stress leave from work because it had all gotten to be too much for me.

Never once did I consider rescheduling the wedding.

The one thing that kept me going was that at the end of all this I was going to be married to the best human being I have ever known, and damn won't that be awesome and so worth the stress. The wedding and getting married was my non-negotiable, so I managed all the OTHER things in my life that was causing me stress. I talked to my supervisor who knew about my depression and got my workload temporarily reduced. I asked for help from my fiance with my car. I scheduled regular massages to help relax me. I did all those things (and more) to keep my self together, but really the main thing that kept me even slightly functional was the promise of marrying him.

I know everyone is different, and everyone's depression manifests in different ways, and I am generally HUGELY sympathetic to anyone who suffers from any sort of mental or emotional disorder, but man... I am not buying what your fiance is saying. This all smacks of cowardice, not depression.

I really don't think he wants to get married. Using his depression really feels like a convenient excuse.

I also want to chime in and agree whole heartedly that his "I'll do it if I have to for you but I will not enjoy it" was a hugely bullshit assholey thing to say. I mean, jesus, what a big pile of manipulative crap. Basically he has made it out that should he ever go through with the wedding it was that he was doing a HUGE FAVOUR to you, that he was a brave little toaster putting himself through that for you, and basically no matter what happens now you're always going to worry whether he is miserable and doing this for you or if he actually does want to do it. Sorry, but that is a horrible thing to have said to you and bullshit like that throws way more alarm bells than the rest of it.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:21 AM on December 2, 2014 [17 favorites]

At the risk of thread-sitting I wanted to clarify... and then you justified all of his decisions.

Okay. This happens at AskMe. People ask a question and get a response that they don't want to hear. In your case, a lot of people are saying this guy doesn't want to get married. It appears you don't want to hear this, because you've jumped in and mentioned his depression, etc.

So then, what actually IS your question?

At the risk of complete internet overstepping, I think you asked because on some level, you're wondering if this guy wants to get married. I think, deep down, you question his commitment and the relationship.

Asking how do you contact people to tell them your changed wedding date is a red herring.

I think you and this guy need to talk. Not about setting a wedding date.

He's not in treatment for depression, and this is something I'm also realizing we need to work on, urgently.

Uh, no. He needs to work on his depression. Not you.
posted by kinetic at 9:34 AM on December 2, 2014 [7 favorites]

Uh, no. He needs to work on his depression. Not you.

This deserves repeating. It is so incredibly true, and I am saying this as an individual who struggles with depression. This is his to solve, not yours.

And just for clarity (because I am still totally annoyed by his "I'll do this for you but I won't enjoy it"), depression and SAD doesn't turn someone in to a manipulative bastard. Him saying that 100% HIM, not his depression. You need to be very clear about that in your own head because you are way off base if you think him getting treatment for his depression will make those kinds of manipulations go away. Depressed people can be assholes, same as everyone else.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:26 AM on December 2, 2014 [10 favorites]

Here's the secret to being happy: Realize that "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

True. AND... there is no way I would schedule a wedding in the winter. I get SAD, I have baggage around Holidays, and I hate hate hate winter (and I'm in the California Bay Area, which many people would rightly claim has no real winter.)

To the extent that I'm able, I plan my life so that I make no huge decisions from November 10 to Feb 1.

I do fine from day to day stuff, but big stuff feels like Just Too Much in the winter. Even thinking about a June wedding would feel like too much right now.

The difference is that now that I'm older I realize that this is just temporary and I'll be excited again in a little bit.

Also, when I'm around someone who is SO EXCITED about an event and talks endlessly about the minutia of the mechanics (aka micromanaging the unmanageable) it makes me completely hate the event. That's true even in summertime but it's really true in the winter.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:53 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think rescheduling back to June would be less embarrassing than rescheduling to some random date. Would that work for you?

That said, and generally speaking, it's important to start a marriage the way you mean for it to go on. The best marriages start from a place of teamwork and partnership, regardless of whether the wedding is big or small, who's invited, etc. It's about both people doing their best to make sure they and their partner are both as happy and comfortable as possible with the plans. Both of them. Your marriage isn't starting that way.

Being depressed is not your husband's fault. However, that said, being married to a depressed person is very, very hard. And your husband does not seem, from the limited information you've given here, to be trying to do everything he can to make sure his depression doesn't become your burden to carry. You will end up bearing the burden of the impossible task of trying to make your husband happy through so many life events, decisions, and circumstances. You are likely to feel like a failure when you can't make him happy. He is already starting to try and guilt trip you into bending over backwards to accommodate him. Is this really the he life you want for yourself? Are you absolutely sure?
posted by hazyjane at 11:38 AM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

I know this is risking becoming a pile-on. But I have been thinking about your question on and off all day so to add to what I said:

The wedding was stressful, sure. In the context of our was the easy part.

Here's a list of places we have shown up for each other: so many flavours of family dysfunctional events I cannot name them, birthday parties, work parties, neighbourhood parties, after a layoff, when a parent had a stroke that resulted in lasting brain damage, miscarriages, a messed-up labour, when our daughter had to be taken off life support, when our stove caught fire, when a relative was incarcerated, when another relative was abused, when my abuser died and I went to his funeral, when he needed knee surgery, PTSD flashbacks, cancer diagnoses, piano recitals (his), school playes (our kids'), labour three times, car failures, crappy jobs, financial snafus, vacations, 5km runs, dragon boat races...

you get the idea.

I worry that the story of your marriage will be "he showed up, when the stars aligned perfectly, I cajolled him, and I ignored the passive aggressive stuff."
posted by warriorqueen at 12:09 PM on December 2, 2014 [18 favorites]

I definitely think there are red flags here. The passive aggressive, "I'll do it if you make me but I won't enjoy it" being the biggest, brightest and most important. But also, his not seeking help for his depression while using it as a reason to back out of this huge commitment. And the dodgy, this one's too big, that one's too small, this one's too soon, excuses sound like he is scrambling to find an out for every new option. And also the lack of enthusiasm about getting married, big flag (though harder to recognize if you haven't done it before).

Frankly it reminds me of my first marriage, and my first husband. The good is that getting married caused my husband to FINALLY start understanding how he actually felt about being married(or committed)to me. The bad is that he communicated this by being a real dick as he tried to "express" this in his normal indirect, passive aggressive manner. Thankfully this was bad enough that it kicked me out of my "aren't all relationships all about compromise" and "I follow through on my commitments no matter what" funk. We parted amicably when we both realized that despite loving each other, and having been good friends, we were not good partners.

At the time of my first marriage I didn't know how to judge whether I was making the right decision marrying him. From the perspective of my second, I think the "if there is doubt, there can be no doubt" would have worked very well for me. With number two, I knew he wasn't perfect, that we weren't perfect, but I had no doubt that I wanted to be married to him stat, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and that was a wonderful thing. I don't know whether you have any doubt, but his actions certainly seem to be indicating that he does.

Good luck, I know that even just reading all these replies must suck something terrible (even if we're all wrong), but the more honest you can be with yourself now, the more quickly you'll be able to get to a place of happiness.
posted by pennypiper at 1:29 PM on December 2, 2014 [7 favorites]

I can't add much that everyone else hasn't said. I concur that he doesn't really want to marry you--I just don't think he knows he doesn't quite yet, and that's why he's waffling. Sorry, but you don't want to marry Mr. Waffle and have him keep doing this shit while you're married and then deal with divorcing him too.

If you told him tomorrow that you needed major surgery by oh, Saturday, and you needed to elope tomorrow in order to have health insurance, I would bet major money that instead of saying, "Let's do it," he'd waffle and whine and make up more excuses. If he's genuinely wedding-production phobic, he'd be fine with eloping now and then putting on the show. If he has SAD, he would know better than to schedule a wedding in winter (god, I'd hate a winter wedding). But....he's making weak excuses and giving you vague ideas of maybe rescheduling and I don't think he's going to go through with it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:10 PM on December 2, 2014

What worries me most is that the vast majority of what you've written here is about what you think he feels. Where are you? Where are your feelings? Why aren't you standing up for yourself? Why are you bending over backwards to accommodate his whims? You say you love him, and that's fine - but why would you want to marry someone who behaves this way?

Part of the issue with "getting married" is that we already both *feel* like we're married, so "wedding" part seems a bit extraneous.

If you feel like you're already married, and he's already behaving like this, then you're in store for a really shitty marriage. There is no nice or kind way to say this. It is not enough to "feel" married. "Marriage", in and of itself, is not a good thing. The question is, what kind of married do you want to be? Do you want to be codependently, dysfunctionally married to a guy who doesn't take responsibility for his own mental health and instead uses his irresponsibility to emotionally blackmail you?

I myself feel that I could never be with any other person, warts, depression and all

This is your problem right here. You shouldn't simply want to marry someone because they're the "only person" you think you could ever be with. You should want to marry someone because you could imagine yourself being perfectly happy alone or with a variety of other people, but you choose, enthusiastically, to be with this person. When you can't even imagine being with anyone else -- ever! -- then you're not actually choosing to be with the person you love. You're just sort of desperately clinging to the person in front of you because you can't even imagine happiness could come with anyone else. But you're wrong. It can.

I think you need to take a step back. Cancel the wedding - do NOT reschedule it. Do not give him an ultimatum. Do not worry about your family - they will survive. Above all: stop worrying about him and his feelings. Start worrying about *yourself*. Your relationship sounds co-dependent. Read about co-dependency if you haven't already. Perhaps go to a Codependents Anonymous meeting. Do something really nice for you and you alone: a bubble bath, a massage, a long walk, a work-out, a mani-pedi, if you're into that kinda thing. Make an appointment with a therapist, if you don't already have one.

In short, stop trying to save this disaster of a wedding and this codependent relationship and focus on rediscovering your self-worth.
posted by Gray Skies at 7:48 PM on December 2, 2014 [11 favorites]

He also told me that if I really want to go through with it, he'll come and do it to please me and because he does want to be married, but he feels it's just not going to be special at all for him and will just be an added stress.

This is a person who desperately wants to keep a back door open, without telling you he that he actually doesn't want to get married. So he is putting the burden of decision on you. And later, when his unhappiness continues or increases -- and it will, because he doesn't want to be married -- he can point to the sentence I quoted above, and tell you that he told you so and you ignored it.

That's cowardly and mean. It really doesn't matter why he doesn't want to get married. You shouldn't want to get married to someone who'd put that on you. It doesn't matter how many times he tells you he just wants to BE married, because if he really wanted to be married, he would want to do the thing that, you know, actually makes him married.

You need to get over the fact that he looks and sounds loving and sincere when he says this shit to you. It's the absolute, selfish, crappy opposite of loving, and it is absolutely not sincere.

When you're excited about a relationship, you don't miss the cracks and fault lines that can cause it to go south in the end. You see them; you just decide to ignore them, because you're happy enough right now. You convince yourself they're not that big a deal. This is one of those fault lines, and you should pay attention to it, because it is exactly that big a deal. You deserve to be with someone who respects you more than this.
posted by kythuen at 8:58 PM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]

Permiechickie, it is hard for any outsider to judge your situation, since we don't know you or your fiance. That being said, I feel you are not being honest to yourself here.

It seems you are asking these questions because you want validation on what you are actually going to do. I think you have already made up your mind, you are going to reschedule the wedding. This AskMeFi thread is about you trying to rationalise what might be the acceptable reasons for doing so.

Making decisions unconsciously (or semi-consciously) and then backwards rationalise them is a common human trend, you don't need to feel bad about it, but it sure helps being aware of it.

I suggest you try a different angle. For example, say to yourself: "I'm just making excuses". Repeat this thought in your head for a few days and see what comes up. Do you oppose this thought? In what way? Does your body become tense? Where in your body? Do you recognise any truth in it? Does it make you laugh? Etc. Be open and notice how you react.

You don't have much time, but ideally you would work with this thought for a while, and then try different ones:
- Do I want to have my heart broken now or later?
- He will want to reschedule again later.
- I lack the courage to do the right thing.
- He will eventually leave me.
- I am all alone.
- I am getting a divorce.

This isn't meant to make you doubt, it is meant to try a different set of assumptions and see what truth (if any) it uncovers. You might find out that what is really happening is that you're avoiding going against your family expectations. You might find out that living in a healthy relationship without getting married is perfectly fine for you. You might find out that you are afraid your boyfriend leaves you because you cannot bear being alone (or without him, which is actually the same thing).

The key is to accept your situation and to make an informed decision instead of relying in half-baked excuses. I think it is also necessary to consider how other people might suffer, presently and in the future.

A final disclaimer: I'm not a professional therapist of any sort. Again, I don't know you, and your circumstances are unique to you. What I have written here is the general way in which I myself would approach a similar situation.
posted by dfreire at 3:45 AM on December 3, 2014

God, I cannot believe the replies here. I feel like people are bringing to this thread all kinds of personal baggage about weddings and also about depression. (Which in truth is always the case at AskMe, at least for questions about weddings.)

OP, only you can know if your relationship is working. Only you can know how you feel about your partner wanting to postpone. There're a lot of attempts at mind-reading here, and also I think a lot of projection, but you are best placed to know what's right for you. Trust your gut.
posted by Susan PG at 11:34 AM on December 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

OP, only you can know if your relationship is working. Only you can know how you feel about your partner wanting to postpone.

Except she posted a question on an internet forum, so clearly she wants to know what others think?

I get tired of how on most human relations questions there is eventually a reply that says something on that line, Susan PG. Everyone on AskMefi knows that strangers on the internet do not have the particulars of a situation, but clearly the purpose of this whole exercise is to have the opinions of strangers and know new perspectives.

OP, nobody here is trying to control what you think or how you feel about things. We are telling you what this sounds like based on our own experiences (because that is all we have!), and maybe there will be something relevant you have not considered before. Then again maybe not. Most of us reply here because we want to put our own experiences/observations to some use and because new perspectives are useful even when they just reinforce our original views.
posted by Tarumba at 5:52 AM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]

Response by poster: Just as an update for anyone that finds this question later, we did get married at our scheduled time and place. We worked together on making it a good experience and working in down-time for the both of us. Our parents and siblings attended, and we all had a great time.

I really do feel different (in a good way) being married and we're both glad we didn't postpone. In the end I think it was a mixture of benign cold feet and stress. We're now going on two weeks of marriage, and for now it's going quite well.
posted by permiechickie at 10:31 AM on January 1, 2015 [12 favorites]

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