Marriage Fear

I will have been with my partner for five years this coming January. We have lived together for a year and a half. It has been a wonderful journey but our recent talk of marriage has me all stirred up.

I do not know why talk of marriage has me get anxious and uncomfortable. I have a headache as I write this.

We have an open (in name only) relationship. What I mean by that is this: we consider our relationship open but in reality, we are (for the most part) exclusive. I love being with my partner, touching him and holding him. We never seem to run out of things to discuss. But this talk of marriage has me in a knot.

I want to be married to my partner. I see us together for the rest of our lives, but marriage makes that official. Marriage, while conveying legal benefits that we need as we age, also makes the commitment permanent and legal. While I do not see us separating, marriage makes that all the much harder.

Even before we moved in together I put my partner in my will as a major beneficiary and on my IRA as a beneficiary. I shared with him the details of my finances for the first time this week. Since our economic situations are so different, I was concerned about the impact my financial situation would have on him. But it was time to share this since we are talking about marriage.

When I think of marriage I think of an exclusive relationship. I have all sorts of culturally approved notions of marriage. However, the idea of a traditional wedding fills me with a kind of dread.

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