An entirely free intuitive advice column. Floral images courtesy and with the permission of Tway Huynh.
Dear Garden Oracle,
I am a few months from finishing my Master's Degree. My boyfriend proposed to me last spring, and I said yes. We agreed to wait until he and I had both finished or post graduate studies before getting married. There is no rush as we do not want children. My family has already accepted him as son-in-law, brother-in-law, and cousin. I have been told that I am essentially a plus one until we are legally married by his family. The expectation from them is that I will take his last name. He and I have agreed that I will retain my maiden name as it would be a huge hit to my career.
The lack of family support, along with the laundry list of expectations from them, not my fiance, has me feeling uneasy.
I waiver between wanting to be married and we don't need a legal commitment to be spiritually legitimate.
My fiance does want to be legally married. I don't want to let him down. I already feel like an outsider and get treated like one. Should I marry him or not? Will the family ever be supportive of us as a couple, especially if I retain my maiden name?
Dear Two Options,
Thank you for your email. I want to validate for you that you are right to question going into a marriage with this dissonance! Your intuition is telling you to stop and wait.
You and your fiance are the ones that are at the helm here. As long as you have the understanding that you will stand up for the relationship, including the choice to retain your birth name, you two will be just fine. Please don't put his family in the middle of your relationship, which is surely built on trust, unconditional love, support, and equality.
This is between you and he. If you and he stand together, with him saying that you come as a pair, and by rejecting you, they reject him, you will eventually have their support.
If you don't stand strong, they will steam roll over you in other areas.
This is the celebration and coming together of the beautiful trust and love that you and he have together.
Do what you two feel is best for you, and do not let anybody take away the joy and certainty that you feel with one another!
I do see a long and happy marriage, unconventional in many ways, but it works for the two of you. That is all that matters.
You have a phenomenal relationship and will have the marriage that people in his family will come to respect over time. This happens with firm understandings between you and your future husband. As long as these agreements are in place, you and he will be happily married for the rest of your lives.
I wanted to add, too, that I was being shown that you both love to travel. I do see a destination wedding for you with your two best friends as well. Start your married life with people that love and support you unconditionally.
You can always have a reception for his family, but something in keeping with your optimal timing.
Congratulations and great happiness to you both!
In Divine Love,