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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » All Saints   » Is there such a thing as an anniversary when you aren't married? (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Is there such a thing as an anniversary when you aren't married?
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Eldest has been living together with "partner*" and says today it's the 10th anniversary this fall. I have been very quiet for the past few years, being polite, avoiding argument which hurts us both.

I don't know the date because there isn't one known to us. I learned today it is sometime in October. I try to be supportive and learned some time ago to never ask about marriage, other aspects of lifestyle, future plans, beliefs and related. But now I am asked to do this. I thought the couplehood of marriage involved others, but I am probably a hopeless romantic, too rigid, too traditional. What do parents do? It also creates tension between my wife and I (40 years together). It is one thing to love your adult children and another to be asked to declare something. It feels very sad. At the moment, it feels like I must bear the hurt and just be more quiet, but it is like living falsely in my feelings. I am going to go to the early quiet eucharist tomorrow. If I can't sleep perhaps will walk the 90 mins. Any reflection or guidance welcome.


*partner: this use of this word troubles me. I am told it shouldn't. I feel so many of my feelings are just wrong, but I feel them in true. What can you do?

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Yes, there is such a thing as an anniversary when a couple isn't married. Ask the date, so you'll know, and then call and wish them a happy anniversary on that date. There is no reason not to acknowledge this milestone, even if you don't like the format of the relationship.

Edited to add: it's not your relationship, it's theirs - so their feelings about it are more important than yours.

[ 24. September 2017, 03:52: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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Next March sees the seventh anniversary of my moving in to this apartment by myself. Or is this a wrong use of anniversary?

I can see you are hurting but what word would you use? I have two married sons and one who was in arelationship for many years which broke down three years ago. Surely those involved in such relationships should be partners, married or not married.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Lothlorien:
Next March sees the seventh anniversary of my moving in to this apartment by myself. Or is this a wrong use of anniversary?

That's a perfectly fine use of the word. You can use it to commemorate any date you choose (and whether it's a happy event or a sad one).

Before we were married, Mrs. C and I used to celebrate the anniversary of our first date. It didn't occur to us that anyone else should celebrate that, though, although we'd have mentioned in conversation that we were going out for an anniversary dinner or something.

I know couples who celebrate the anniversary of the first time they had sex. I'm pretty sure they're not expecting a card for that.

The question np seems to be asking here isn't whether an anniversary exists for an unmarried couple (because obviously the couple can celebrate whatever anniversary they want) but whether he should observe it in the socially accepted fashion as if it were a wedding anniversary.

In the case of np's child, it seems as though the couple have never really made a thing of their anniversary. His child mentioned in conversation that they'll have been together 10 years this fall, counting from whatever date they choose to start counting from. That's fine - that's the kind of thing one mentions in conversation.

np's child has never advertised an anniversary, nor given any indication that he or she wishes public acknowledgement of it. So in np's position, I don't send a card, nor try to ascertain a specific date, but I do offer congratulations when they mention the milestone in conversation.

And np, I'm afraid you really do have to keep biting your tongue on the subject of marriage.

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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I probably was not clear enough in my post. I really meant my question about anniversary of move to be rhetorical.

I agree with Learning Cniht that despite Np’s preferences, he needs to continue to be quiet. I have seen damage done to relationships when what are regarded as inappropriate comments are made

[ 24. September 2017, 07:01: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

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Boogie

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# 13538

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My son and partner have two anniversaries - one when they met and one when they moved in together.

We celebrate with them. Marriage may be more secure for them and possible children but we love them and totally respect their choices.

My other son and his wife don't bother celebrating anniversaries, they reckon it's just an opportunity for card manufacturers to cash in 🤣

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Nenya
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I am sorry for your distress and hope the service this morning was a comfort. I don't think it's helpful to label your feelings as "wrong" as they are what they are and it's important to acknowledge them; it might be helpful to talk to someone outside the situation about them.

Although there was no clear "start" to this for you, it's clearly a landmark for your child and his/her partner and it sounds as though you're being invited to share that landmark. Might you feel able to say something like, "Ten years is quite something. Shall we all go out for a meal to help you celebrate?"?

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

I know couples who celebrate the anniversary of the first time they had sex.

What a friend refers to as their Bonkiversary.

I do have a wedding anniversary - sometime in August, but I couldn't tell you when exactly. I do however remember the date we first met, because that is the one that matters to me.

Can np not just allow his son to have his own private emotional history? Why should he have to put on a public show?

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Piglet
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NP, it seems to me that if Eldest and his/her partner are marking their anniversary and would like you and Mrs. NP to celebrate it with them, even if it's really only in the interest of family harmony, you probably should.

These days a relationship that lasts 10 years (whether sanctioned by Church and/or State or not) probably is something to celebrate.

eta: apologies to Nenya for cross-post - I said more-or-less the same as you did. [Hot and Hormonal]

[ 24. September 2017, 15:11: Message edited by: Piglet ]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Good support and advice for I am thankful. Emotionally a bit better after church. With some more pondering: Is a 'partner' an inlaw in such a situation? Should we try again to get a couple photograph (akin to wedding photo); perhaps should simply give up trying to force my yearning dreams - this was very poorly received when last asked for.

Think also mustn't listen when they discuss attending their friends' weddings (2 upcoming), and even if it is taunting or testing and not reinforce anything. There's got to be something else that isn't about me and us which is the thought I woke with.

From this morning, Jonah: 'you are concerned for the bush for which you did not labour and which you did not grow'. (Somewhere in Jonah 3:10-4:11). Which is absolutely true.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

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Partner is definitely an in-law after 10 years. Or as my late father-in-law used to say, "my favourite daughter-out-law."

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Good support and advice for I am thankful. Emotionally a bit better after church. With some more pondering: Is a 'partner' an inlaw in such a situation?

I'd think that by the time a couple set up home together, partner had become a de-facto in-law. Certainly after a decade, partner appears to be a fixture in your family.

It sounds like your eldest and partner have feelings about marriage that also translate to not wanting the formal couply photo or other things that look like the trappings of marriage. You, on the other hand, want a photo on the mantelpiece. Perhaps you could suggest at some point (and completely without any marriage references or comments about the absence of the wedding photo) a family portrait session where you all have your photo taken together. Do a big group shot and some individual couple shots. That might look less threatening than a request for a non-wedding photo, and achieve the picture you want.

(My rule for social invitations is to treat people who have set up home together akin to married couples - ie. they always rate an invitation, whereas the boy- or girlfriend du jour might not.)

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Piglet
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
... a family portrait session ... and some individual couple shots ...

My brother and his girlfriend have been together for over 20 years, and I always refer to her as my sister-in-law.

When my siblings and I had a family portrait session done to mark our parents' golden wedding, it included a "couple shot" of them (as well as one of all of us, with partners and my sister's children), which has been on display on my parents' piano ever since.

[ 24. September 2017, 22:05: Message edited by: Piglet ]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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The partner of the unmarried son always used to introduce me as her MIL and I would call her DIL.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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We have some things to work on from these comments. I like "out law" but feel must cautious what I say because of getting accused of "judging", which I have managed to avoid for several years. I can hear in my fantasy that I may be told that outlaw implies second best.

(In real life, different than these boards, I seldom offer opinion and avoid conflicts.)

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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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Try to keep this in mind: Eldest loves you, communicates with you, keeps you in the loop of things that are important. Partner probably supports these things. So you are one lucky SOB.

Two years ago my nephew got married to a charming but headstrong woman who helped him cut the apron strings- with a vengeance. My brother and sil and my nephew and his wife came to California for my niece's wedding. We all attended the wedding with smiles on our faces. Family wedding pictures were taken. But unbeknownst to me my brother and spouse and my nephew and spouse were not speaking. I did not discover this for two months. My brother told me that my nephew said he needed "space". No calls, no visits wanted. And as far as I know this is still where things are at.

There are worse situations than ten good years without official sanction. I understand that you feelings are your feeling and they hurt. But I think that it has been kind and unselfish of you to suck it up and let Eldest have his/her version of life and love.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
We have some things to work on from these comments. I like "out law" but feel must cautious what I say because of getting accused of "judging", which I have managed to avoid for several years. I can hear in my fantasy that I may be told that outlaw implies second best.

If Eldest and partner are as prickly about marriage as you imply, I'd certainly avoid "out-law". I think you're right that that might be seen as a dig.

I'm a little curious as to why you need a label at all - what are the contexts in which simply referring to Partner by name don't work for you?

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
... perhaps should simply give up trying to force my yearning dreams ...

They have their own dreams for their own lives.

I'm sure it was a big disappointment to my parents that two of their three children never married (or even shacked up). As pretty much everyone in their generation got married, it probably never occurred to them that their children's lives could be so different. But as one of those kids, I have to say that one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me was not to try to tell me how to live once I was an adult. Once they realized I would never marry, they accepted it. (My mother went so far as to give me good kitchen wares for my birthday and Christmas for several years, the kinds of things I might have received as wedding presents; she said even though I wasn't getting married I'd still need good kitchen stuff.) I have never had to defend my choices or otherwise deal with criticism of them.

I am really, really different from my parents. I would have been miserable doing the things they probably imagined I'd do, and I'm sure a lot of my choices didn't really make sense to them. But they recognized that their chance to form me ended once I became an adult. And they knew me well enough to know that trying to tell me what to do wouldn't go down well! They never tried to make me feel bad about my adult life and how I live it, and I very much appreciate that.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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I'm sure, from the moment the midwife said 'It's a girl', my mother saw me coming down an aisle in a frilly white frock. Probably the more so since her own wedding had been an austere and frill-less wartime one.

But she never mentioned marriage - other than remarking from time to time 'Lucky/Heaven help* the man that gets you'. For all the decades of co-habitation, my bidey-in was considered another son.

For someone of her background, she was remarkably tolerant. As long as I was happy, that was the main thing.

*depending

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Gee D
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# 13815

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NP, perhaps you could tell us what is causing all this anguish. OK,we all get a bit of a shock when we realise that our off-spring are no longer virgin, but that's quickly got over. But these days, not marrying is pretty common even for a period as long as a decade or more living together. Just what is it that is gnawing away at you?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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It is stuff like this: Family history, continuity and the sins the father and mother experienced. Refugee. Being a small surviving leaf on an outward branch where we are the only leaf, all others plucked off in wartime. Which I didn't know how strongly I felt until I realized completely how unquestioned my unconscious/semiconscious assumptions were, that I did too good a job of not passing along. That letting go causes grief.

Maybe you'd have to be me, with my family and personal history to comprehend(?)

"Teach your children well, their father's hell will slowly go by." (CSNY, 1970) link - youtube

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keibat
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A lot of pain here, amongst the joy.
My own offsprung are all now legally hitched (and horros! my daughters-in-law have all taken the patriarchal name, whereas my daughter robustly never did no such thing, with the ironic result that all the offsprungs' offsprung ashare their Grandad's surname ... :-)

But back in the cohabiting periods, varying from a few to quite a lot of years, I would teasingly talk about my daughters- / sons-in-common-law. Fortunately it seemed to be taken in good humour, or at least tolerated (as yet another example of the old man's excruciating sense of humour).

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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Piglet
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# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
... I may be told that outlaw implies second best ...

"Out-laws" was the term used by a friend of ours for his fiancée's parents before they became his in-laws.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Gee D
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# 13815

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Does not the fact that they are celebrating an anniversary show a real depth of commitment, the same depth that others show by marriage, and the same public showing of it?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Gee D
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# 13815

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To continue what I was going to say before the phone rang. What you seem to be expressing has nothing to do with marriage vs non-married-commitment but rather a feeling that your son has grown up and is now his own person rather than your son simpliciter. He is making his own life. That is causing you much more and much deeper grief than is usually the case. Rejoice and be glad that you and your wife were able to achieve that task.

[ 25. September 2017, 22:08: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Does not the fact that they are celebrating an anniversary show a real depth of commitment, the same depth that others show by marriage, and the same public showing of it?

From np's OP:
quote:
it's the 10th anniversary this fall. [..]

I don't know the date because there isn't one known to us. I learned today it is sometime in October.

That's not a public showing of anything - it's np's kid saying "Gee, Dad - partner and I will have been together a decade this fall. It doesn't seem that long." or something.

The thing that most demonstrates depth of commitment is the fact that they've been a couple for a decade - and I'm not sure that the degree to which np's child and other half choose to make a public spectacle of it has much to do with depth of commitment.

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Does not the fact that they are celebrating an anniversary show a real depth of commitment, the same depth that others show by marriage, and the same public showing of it?

Kids going steady in high schools have anniversaries (and monthiversaries and dear god). Not enough depth to wet your ankles. So, no.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Does not the fact that they are celebrating an anniversary show a real depth of commitment, the same depth that others show by marriage, and the same public showing of it?

Kids going steady in high schools have anniversaries (and monthiversaries and dear god). Not enough depth to wet your ankles. So, no.
Not quite sure what you're saying, MT, and it sounds a bit dismissive. Some of us weren't able to get married until recently, but we still celebrated anniversaries with depth and commitment (24 years and counting in my case).

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Does not the fact that they are celebrating an anniversary show a real depth of commitment, the same depth that others show by marriage, and the same public showing of it?

Kids going steady in high schools have anniversaries (and monthiversaries and dear god). Not enough depth to wet your ankles. So, no.
Not quite sure what you're saying, MT, and it sounds a bit dismissive. Some of us weren't able to get married until recently, but we still celebrated anniversaries with depth and commitment (24 years and counting in my case).
You have confused anniversaries PROVING commitment, and anniversaries EXPRESSING commitment. Gee D was saying that anniversaries were proof of depth. I showed a counterexample. Nothing I said implied that anniversaries without marriage could not possibly have depth of commitment. Methinks you complaineth too much here.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Gee D
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# 13815

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I agree with Arabella, and feel that MT's reply was a bit flippant. NP's son and partner have remembered a suitable date and confirm that as an important part of their relationship by calling it their anniversary. By doing so, they are saying that it's important to them in the same way as a wedding anniversary is for us. And talking of it makes it public, a public demonstration of the length of their relationship, their commitment to it and each other.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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mousethief

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# 953

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Sorry, I mistook this for Purgatory, where rationality is expected. I'll leave now.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Gee D
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# 13815

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And congratulations to you and your partner, Arabella. We notched up 40 years a few weeks ago. Luckily we have never had to hide ours as you must have been forced to at times. It's great that our joy in, and celebration of, these anniversaries shows clearly to all just how committed we are. It's not a "40 years, so what" affair.

Just wondering though if we had an easier time of it because ours was a marriage in a sense popularly recognised all that time, whereas you had to fight stigma and opposition for a long initial period. I think we did but how do you feel about it?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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simontoad
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# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
It is stuff like this: Family history, continuity and the sins the father and mother experienced. Refugee. Being a small surviving leaf on an outward branch where we are the only leaf, all others plucked off in wartime. Which I didn't know how strongly I felt until I realized completely how unquestioned my unconscious/semiconscious assumptions were, that I did too good a job of not passing along. That letting go causes grief.

Maybe you'd have to be me, with my family and personal history to comprehend(?)

"Teach your children well, their father's hell will slowly go by." (CSNY, 1970) link - youtube

I don't understand your experiences, but I don't need to.
[Axe murder]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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The public part is just occurring it seems. It seems I'm supposed to agree with the proposition: living together is identical to marriage. Which doesn't match with the nonpublic nature until the 10 year announcement to us.

Weirdly (given situation) discussed with some old friends at a Sunday afternoon funeral (a first, never been to a Sunday funeral). Insights suggested about some eternal truths. Which might comfort in eternity, seems to be more intellectual than spiritual and emotional.

Posts: 11180 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The public part is just occurring it seems. It seems I'm supposed to agree with the proposition: living together is identical to marriage.

I don't think agreeing with that proposition is necessary, if it helps. Your eldest and partner have a relationship, and it has lasted 10 years so far. That's a real thing, and you can celebrate it with them, and you don't need to think that setting up home together is the same as marriage in order to do so. Comparing their relationship to relationships other people have, or relationships they might have had, isn't really relevant - they have a relationship, you are happy that they have a relationship (for all you wish they'd marry), and they want, it seems, to celebrate a personal milestone with you. And you can celebrate with them without implying anything other than that you're happy for them.
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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
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Gee D, we've been profoundly lucky that apart from in the church (and my dad), we've been surrounded by an amazing local community. Our civil union guest list was mostly heterosexual and included colleagues, choir friends, our doctor, our pharmacists, and our students. My partner's work HR people found out that we got married and let the whole organisation know in the intranet personal section last week. Rosie was overwhelmed by all the warmth that ensued (she is well loved by many of her workmates anyway).

I know lots of other lesbian and gay people haven't been so fortunate but even in our new (more rural) town, we're enjoying making friends with everyone.

Maybe we're just super friendly or something! I do think being positive and expecting the best of people helps.

I was thinking more about the outlaw thing - my father in law, once he got his homophobia out of the way, was able to exercise his sense of humour about things with us. He could also have good talks with my mum. They were the witnesses at our civil union. It took about 2 years for him to come round and we kept on visiting them and involving them in our activities during that time, which wasn't always easy or pleasant. But then he went into hospital and we visited every day, and his challenges dropped away. The pain was worth the gain.

[ 26. September 2017, 06:38: Message edited by: Arabella Purity Winterbottom ]

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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Gee D
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That is all very good news indeed, and must have helped with the not-so-good events.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Boogie

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# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The public part is just occurring it seems. It seems I'm supposed to agree with the proposition: living together is identical to marriage.

I don't think agreeing with that proposition is necessary, if it helps. Your eldest and partner have a relationship, and it has lasted 10 years so far. That's a real thing, and you can celebrate it with them, and you don't need to think that setting up home together is the same as marriage in order to do so. Comparing their relationship to relationships other people have, or relationships they might have had, isn't really relevant - they have a relationship, you are happy that they have a relationship (for all you wish they'd marry), and they want, it seems, to celebrate a personal milestone with you. And you can celebrate with them without implying anything other than that you're happy for them.
Exactly

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Boogie

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# 13538

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My unmarried son still has our surname.

My married son took his wife's name so no longer does.

We have no problem with this - I wish it happened more often, women will seem less of a 'possession' if their husbands take their name.

Their reason was not so complicated- it was simple, she has only sisters so their family name would have died out.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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sharkshooter

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# 1589

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
...I have been very quiet for the past few years, being polite, avoiding argument which hurts us both.

... I feel so many of my feelings are just wrong, but I feel them in true. What can you do?

So, you have suppressed your feelings and beliefs in order not to offend your adult child. But, it seems you are hurting. You are the parent, and always will be. Your role of parent may change over time, but your feelings are no less significant to the parent/child relationship than his (hers?).

Perhaps expressing your sadness (or whatever exactly your feelings are) will help the two of you to develop a new relationship, one that does not hurt either of you. I'm surprised that no one has yet suggested that you should talk about your feelings instead of letting them burn inside you for 10 more years.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Perhaps, before you talk to your adult child, you should talk to a family therapist. He/she can help you sort out your feelings, and help you figure out how, or if, to talk to the adult child and the best way to go about it. A dispassionate observer can be helpful, when emotions are fuming up in your heart.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:

Perhaps expressing your sadness (or whatever exactly your feelings are) will help the two of you to develop a new relationship, one that does not hurt either of you. I'm surprised that no one has yet suggested that you should talk about your feelings instead of letting them burn inside you for 10 more years.

I'm not sure that np has the right to impose his personal hangups on his child. What is talking about it going to achieve? np's kid is not going to turn around and say "well, if it means that much to you, we'll get married, Dad," and nor should they. I think we'd be a bit worried about a couple who were marrying because their family expected it.

It seems that all your suggested conversation will do is land a heap of guilt on np's kid for not meeting parental hopes/dreams, and that, IMO, is a pretty shitty thing to do to your child.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Not sure sharing my feelings at this point is at all wise. That's a road taken before which then I learned that it was my issue, felt that I was a Bad Man, and that I mustn't burden them. No be wanting to create that hurt again.

Reading the discussion I alternate between feeling I am a rigid bastard traditionalist (which annoys me greatly, a picture of self I dislike), that I am disturbed to even have it as an issue (it is my sin, should put aside my childish ways), and that I am justified in my hurt, but it's mine to bear. (My wife shares a measure of this, but it is more mine than her's.)

Posts: 11180 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Not sure sharing my feelings at this point is at all wise. That's a road taken before which then I learned that it was my issue, felt that I was a Bad Man, and that I mustn't burden them. No be wanting to create that hurt again.

Reading the discussion I alternate between feeling I am a rigid bastard traditionalist (which annoys me greatly, a picture of self I dislike), that I am disturbed to even have it as an issue (it is my sin, should put aside my childish ways), and that I am justified in my hurt, but it's mine to bear. (My wife shares a measure of this, but it is more mine than her's.)

I don't think you are justified in your hurt, it really isn't your relationship and it's entirely up to them how they relate, at least they're not 'swingers' lol.

But you are no bastard or bad man, your feelings are genuine whatever caused them. The fact that you are not a bastard is shown by how much you have worked at it not affecting them. But it is an issue for you, and you need to deal with it, for your own peace of mind imo.

Talking here, no doubt, helps a lot.

When I had a problem, talking here sorted me out completely - I've been able to 'let it go' like I never expected - all because I was brought to task and told, in no uncertain terms, that I had no control whatever and should not let it eat me up. It was their issue, not mine.

But, if here is not enough, about talking to a trusted friend?

[ 26. September 2017, 16:20: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12737 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Not sure sharing my feelings at this point is at all wise. That's a road taken before which then I learned that it was my issue, felt that I was a Bad Man, and that I mustn't burden them. No be wanting to create that hurt again.

Reading the discussion I alternate between feeling I am a rigid bastard traditionalist (which annoys me greatly, a picture of self I dislike), that I am disturbed to even have it as an issue (it is my sin, should put aside my childish ways), and that I am justified in my hurt, but it's mine to bear. (My wife shares a measure of this, but it is more mine than her's.)

I don't think you are justified in your hurt, it really isn't your relationship and it's entirely up to them how they relate, at least they're not 'swingers' lol.

But you are no bastard or bad man, your feelings are genuine whatever caused them. The fact that you are not a bastard is shown by how much you have worked at it not affecting them. But it is an issue for you, and you need to deal with it, for your own peace of mind imo.

Talking here, no doubt, helps a lot.

That is completely why I am doing it.

quote:

But, if here is not enough, about talking to a trusted friend?

It's been a lengthy time it has. I have discussed and digested with friends, clergy who I trust, and some professionals. It re-emerged with the 10 yr anniversary thing.

Have had some times of elation (is that the right word, a light directed where I had yet to look) when reading some of the responses to this thread.

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Leaf
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It looks a lot like grief to me. Coping with grief can take a long time, a lot of involvement, and can truly suck [Frown]

ISTM that you are grieving that something important is lost between you and your son. He doesn't share a value that you have, that you may not have even known was of so much importance to you.

Refocusing on other aspects of your relationship with your son might be a way to go.

You could consider this in terms of his own needs, in a descending hierarchy: "Is he breathing? Safe? Healthy? Happy? Self-supporting? Contributing to the world?" etc. right on down to this particular branch of thought: "Is he getting married? Is it in my religious tradition of choice? Will the wedding be in my preferred style?" Focusing on the answers to the higher-up questions may be better than focusing on this one.

You could refocus on what aspects of marriage you feel are necessary for a healthy relationship, and whether your son's relationship reflects those values. Love, respect, honesty, fidelity, mutual support, humour, courage, and endurance (or whatever other semi-Pauline list might be useful). Instead of grieving what he does not have from your POV, perhaps shift your focus to being glad of what he does.

*I readily admit that this advice may be worth what you're paying for it.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Grief is a good call Leaf. Hadn't considered it this way. I talk to my 90 year old father about the relationship. (He's the refugee, first from Germany in 1938, and second from Singapore/Hong Kong in January 1942. He and one cousin born in 1942 is all that is of the formerly very large family) I am partly channeling, I now think, some of his emotions about family continuity and nearly 75 years of his grief too as he organizes his affairs and alludes to his despair. Is it easier to be upset with the young with future before than think of the old and the future grief which is coming - this analysis is from messages between myself and a priest friend which Leaf's post about grief triggered me to cry about and then discuss.
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Anselmina
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# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The public part is just occurring it seems. It seems I'm supposed to agree with the proposition: living together is identical to marriage.

Does Eldest say that s/he thinks his/her living together relationship IS identical to marriage? If they don't think this, it's unlikely they're expecting you to. Or is s/he assuming, or hoping, that you'll simply give the same emotional validation and support to his/her relationship as you would to a marriage? Maybe that's more likely.

Though using the word 'simply' is, of course, underestimating how painful this is for you.

You can't help how you feel, only how you respond to the feelings. And it sounds like you're trying to see the good in what is hopefully a happy relationship for your Eldest. I guess if you keep prioritizing that, you'll be well guided.

As it happens, my mum would be ecstatic if I were in any kind of a committed, long-term relationship with someone who loved me. For her, my being single is a source of worry and pain because, as she sees it, there's no-one to look after me and I'm alone and possibly lonely. I deduce this from a single comment she once made a few years ago; and not made in the least way to make me feel uncomfortable. All my adult life she's always scrupulously avoided the 'when are you getting married/giving me grandkids' spiel. It's been a great blessing to me that, in the area of relationships, or rather the lack of them, she's never made me feel as if I've failed, or I'm missing out, or I've deprived her of something she was hoping for, even for my sake. I love and respect her for it more and more as the years pass.

She knows that her relief at my couple-hood would be based on what she would hope to be a happier and more companionable life for me; so she leaves it to me to be the final judge of my own chances of happiness. I almost wish I could just meet and settle with anyone, anyhow, just to make her happy. But she'd hate for me to live my life just to keep her happy. Especially since her happiness in this area would depend on mine!

Complicated or what?!

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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They are to be congratulated for their tenth year! On a rough count, half of my friends' marriages have not made it that far.

I share your grumpitude over the word partner, but no longer make jokes about bridge games and law firms, as the usage has become nigh-universal here. Almost all of my married friends co-habited for years before their wedding, and it has become too common for comment.

But you have an opportunity to give thanks and congratulate them for ten years of happiness. As a very Orthodox Jewish friend said of his grand-daughter's (very unconventional) situation, "either way it's a simcha." (gladness or joy)

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sabine
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# 3861

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From my point of view . . . .

We all have hopes and dreams for our loved ones, and often we want them to express our hopes and dreams in a way that is in sync with our cultural outlook. I think this is normal.

But I also think it is normal to have to work out how to love and support our loved ones when their behavior is not in keeping with our version of a cultural norm.

My own father went to his grave expressing disappointment about a choice I made, but he also managed to acknowledge my satisfaction in that choice. I suspect it was hard for him. And, as much as I had hoped he would see things my way, I know he had his own built-in definition of what was proper.

Perhaps it might be helpful to concentrate on the two actual people involved. Do they love each other and treat each other with respect? Are they pleasant to be around? Are they honorable individuals? Do they treat the rest of the family well? Have they found a way to join in family life and celebrations with the extended family?

I think the situation would be different if one person were breaking the law or being dishonest or treating the other person (and his/her family) with disrespect.

But if the two people have found happiness in a way that is slightly different than what was expected . . . .isn't that their right as adults? Don't we expect our children to grow and find their own way while developing their own take on the world?

It's also their right to use the words "anniversary" and "partner." Obviously, those words have a different meaning for different people.

Perhaps, changing the focus to the individuals and not to the words might help to make the situation more tolerable.

I don't think this is easy to figure out at a heart level, but it can happen.

Hoping you feel better about it all, NP.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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