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My girlfriend and I have been dating around a year and three months and are currently living together. I am a student majoring in geology. My girlfriend’s Father is a pastor for the Seventh Day Adventist church. My girlfriend and I share the same religious beliefs (we both believe in god but do not attend church regularly). When we first told her father we would be living together he seemed confused as to why we just don’t get married (he sees unmarried couples living together as a sin), and told us we should get married. My girlfriend and I share the same idea, why rush marriage it is a life long/changing commitment. Recently we visited her parents. At one point her father took my aside and started asking all these questions about why I haven’t proposed, how is living together different than marriage, do I love her (yes), and similar questions. I told him I wanted to get my degree first, for stability, how I don’t want to rush into a commitment like marriage, and how my previous relationship lasted over three years and ended (which blew his mind as to why I didn’t marry her). Around the same time my girlfriends stepmother was asking her similar questions for example am I the one for her, do I think she is the one for me, and similar. My girlfriends father is now in his 3rd marriage (yes as a pastor). How do we say leave us alone to a pastor and his wife without offending them, because I am sure I could throw it back in his face considering he has been married three times, and she has been married twice. Oh yeah, they are attending marriage counseling. My parents on the other hand have the "whatever" attitude.
 

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Why not tell him that you take marriage verry serously. You have seen some of your friends fall in love get married then divorced. You do not want to do that yourself or do anything to hurt his daughter. You feel like it is better to take your time, get to know each other on a deep level and to make sure that when / if you do that it is going to last a life time. There is no reason to throw anything back in his face, just tell him that so many young people rush into marraige without realy knowing there spouce that is does not last like you want your to.
 

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It sounds as though you already gave him your reasons but they are not good enough for him? I personally think stability is a great one...so many young marriages end in divorce due to the financial strains when you first start out. You could always tell him you are still in the euphoric phase of new love and want to hold out until you are past the point of pure chemical attraction to be sure your love endures because you are only planning to get married once ;)
 

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I think you are on the right road here. You want to make sure the person you marry will be the person you stay married too. You also want to be able to take care of her, nothing wrong with that.

Chances are he may never understand until you do get married, which is okay because you don't need his blessing just for him to tolerate things.

I wouldn't push his buttons but I would tell him I promise when I ask your daughter for her hand I mean it for life. I haven't asked yet because I want to be able to know I can give her the world and not hurt her through divorce or because we might realize we are not compatable. Tell him that the more you get to know her the better off marriage looks for the two of you, since he has raised such a fine daughter.

draconis
 

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I understand your reasons for not wanting to get married. My wife and I were married very young and it was hard for the first couple of years.

I will say this though - the pastor has a point. I strongly believe that living with someone before marriage is a bad idea. Studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage are actually MORE likely to get divorced than those who did not.

Marriage is a covenant, and there should be something special, something held back from the relationship, until it's done under the sanctity of marriage.
 

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I think you are doing the right thing here. Do what is best for YOU and your girlfriend.

You are a Deist (person believes in god, no formal religion)

my wife and I dated 7 years before getting married, we met while in college, she was 19, I was 20. We went to schools in Different states, her in PA, I in NJ, we also wanted to FINISH college, before moving on with our lives, our Degree's came first.

We have now been married 11 years with three children, both with great jobs and we provide well for our children. We have a Very healthy marriage.

I would simply tell the pastor not involve himself in your personal relationship. Tell him to respect your choices and decisions.

Living down south now, I see this "rush to marriage" quite often especially at a young age. I simply do not understand what the rush is.
 

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I think I've got the best one of them all! Next time you visit them, take him aside and say the following:

Well... "Dad" (chuckle here) I'm glad you asked because I've given this a lot of thought. As you know, your daughter deserves the best, and I'm going to be the best husband you and her could ever wish for.

(let that sink in, then continue)

We also understand your concerns, and want to reassure you that we have the utmost respect for the sacred union of matrimony, and all the traditions associated with it.

(again pause here as he starts to see where this is going then drop this bomb)

As you probably know, a "barely decent" wedding costs around $15,000.

(watch his face change)

Your daughter and I have already discussed what we feel is reasonable, and are not sure that we'll be able to get the wedding to be that cheap.

(you have to have done your homework here)

We've narrowed it down to 3 venues (pick whatever you want here) the cheapest of which is about $8,000. We've also discussed caterers (name a few, and say "A has the best reputation but B specializes in the type of cuisine we want") Continue listing some ridiculous wedding expenses. Then start on the honeymoon. If you need inspiration, get a copy of Marie Claire, or check bridal sites.

You can also imply something about how if the wedding isn't "good enough" that you are afraid she'll divorce you and move back in with her parents.

After you knock him around a bit, hopefully he'll interrupt and say something like "maybe you guys should wait a little bit and make sure you are ready"
 

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Chop, I love your answer! Ethics can get really wiggly when money enters the equation:D.
Back to the question, you are both adults and are in charge of your own lives. It's hard to go up against parents, but if you don't now, you could have them around your neck for YEARS.
 

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I understand your reasons for not wanting to get married. My wife and I were married very young and it was hard for the first couple of years.

I will say this though - the pastor has a point. I strongly believe that living with someone before marriage is a bad idea. Studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage are actually MORE likely to get divorced than those who did not.

Marriage is a covenant, and there should be something special, something held back from the relationship, until it's done under the sanctity of marriage.
I absolutely agree. If you aren't sure you want to be married or rush into things, don't move in together. Keep your lives separate until you're committed to sharing your lives for good. You should never have to smell the morning breath of someone who isn't your spouse!
 

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I know full well what you are going through and really what it amounts to is don't let anyone tell you to rush into anything. My inlaws freaked out when they found out we were engaged...my husband's parents are Indian and wanted to arrange a marriage for him and his marrying a American was not something they wanted. They tried everything from bribing, threatening, tried to get him fired, etc. Once we got married (an American wedding) they still said we were living in sin and such. We waited a year until they were somewhat more reasonable before doing an Islamic wedding as well. His mom is much better his dad is still holding out for a divorce 6 years later. It was really hard dealing with their stuff and what it amounted to was that it was worth it. If you think your girlfriend is worth a few not so fun chats then just try to avoid them as much as you can and try not to let them get to you. Once you are ready to get married then do so and not just because someone else is.
 
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