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How soon did you get engaged and then married?

RobS

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Just curious from other Orthodox here what your timeline was from relationship to engagement then marriage. My observation of other Orthodox has been when two Orthodox people fall in love they move rather fast to become married. Not sure if that's the stereotype.

Also what kind of preparation was done before the engagement and then before marriage? Counseling, etc.
 

WPM

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I don’t know . you’re either married or not married. pretty simple
 

Dominika

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Most of the Orthodox couples I know - probably 1-2 years while being in relationship 2-3 years. However, some of them had known each other longer.

But e.g my priest had been 5 years in realtionship with his matushka until they got married.
 

Lepanto

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We probably do not count, as I am a schismatic Roman  :p, but my wife is Orthodox.
We had been knowing each other for five years, were "in a relationship" probably one year and engaged for half a year before we married.
 

Agabus

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I was not Orthodox at the time, but from engagement to marriage was six weeks. We had known each other for approximately two years when we became engaged and been in some form of romantic relationship for approximately half of that.

My thoughts on this are fairly simple. Assuming you've reached the point where you've decided to be married, there's not a lot of reason to drag it out if your house is in order. The longer the engagement, the greater the chances are someone is going to have lean in on the line that first babies are always born early.  :police:

I recommend some kind of counseling just to make sure some basic understandings are there. I understand a number of couples think they've communicated clearly their intentions for the future only to have their eyes opened when a neutral third party starts asking questions. It didn't end the wedding, it just greased a wheel that would have squeaked later had no one sought specific clarity.
 

Arachne

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We met online in the summer of 2004 (he says June, I say July; no one kept track at first) and in person in October 2005. We each flew back and forth for a couple of visits over 2006 and I moved in in April 2007. I received the visible engagement token in February 2008 (a bit of an afterthought, as the proposal had been made and accepted long before) and we were finally wed in June 2008. Lots of hoops, I know.
 

biro

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My Mom and Dad met when Mom was ten and Dad was fourteen.

Don't look at me like that, it was a stickball game. Future Dad was the pitcher. Future Mom was up to bat. She knocked that ball over 100 feet.

They didn't start to date until they were in their late twenties, and they didn't get married until 1969, when Mom was 28 and Dad was 31 (going on 32).

They're still married.

They're also still Roman Catholic.
 

Ainnir

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It was a little under two years from meeting to marrying, and it's been 13 years married as of last month.  Year-long engagement, most of which was semi-long distance.  Different cities in the same state.  Orthodoxy didn't enter the scene until 2012, though.
 

scamandrius

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My wife and I had known each other for six years, then dated for two years before I asked her to marry me.  We engaged in February, married in late July.  We didn't have nor want a big wedding so it was pretty much the service and a small get-together following thus removing a lot of the planning that goes into these things (we were in our mid 30s when we married). We did go through some counseling with our priest in that time.  So, five months.  Was that too soon, in your estimation?
 

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We dated for one year before getting engaged, then got married 5 months later. Now married for 36 years.
 

RobS

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Arachne said:
We met online in the summer of 2004 (he says June, I say July; no one kept track at first) and in person in October 2005. We each flew back and forth for a couple of visits over 2006 and I moved in in April 2007. I received the visible engagement token in February 2008 (a bit of an afterthought, as the proposal had been made and accepted long before) and we were finally wed in June 2008. Lots of hoops, I know.
Interesting, were you both in the same country? How did you both keep a relationship going over those years with only seeing each other a few times?
 

RobS

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scamandrius said:
My wife and I had known each other for six years, then dated for two years before I asked her to marry me.  We engaged in February, married in late July.  We didn't have nor want a big wedding so it was pretty much the service and a small get-together following thus removing a lot of the planning that goes into these things (we were in our mid 30s when we married). We did go through some counseling with our priest in that time.  So, five months.  Was that too soon, in your estimation?
I don't think that is too soon. Getting to know someone over a year or two seems normal.
 

RobS

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Agabus said:
I recommend some kind of counseling just to make sure some basic understandings are there. I understand a number of couples think they've communicated clearly their intentions for the future only to have their eyes opened when a neutral third party starts asking questions. It didn't end the wedding, it just greased a wheel that would have squeaked later had no one sought specific clarity.
Basic understandings, like what?
 

scamandrius

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RobS said:
scamandrius said:
My wife and I had known each other for six years, then dated for two years before I asked her to marry me.  We engaged in February, married in late July.  We didn't have nor want a big wedding so it was pretty much the service and a small get-together following thus removing a lot of the planning that goes into these things (we were in our mid 30s when we married). We did go through some counseling with our priest in that time.  So, five months.  Was that too soon, in your estimation?
I don't think that is too soon. Getting to know someone over a year or two seems normal.
Read it again. I knew her for seven years before we got married. 
 

Agabus

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RobS said:
Agabus said:
I recommend some kind of counseling just to make sure some basic understandings are there. I understand a number of couples think they've communicated clearly their intentions for the future only to have their eyes opened when a neutral third party starts asking questions. It didn't end the wedding, it just greased a wheel that would have squeaked later had no one sought specific clarity.
Basic understandings, like what?
Pre-existing debt — do you think it's shared, or individual? Will you have joint or individual bank accounts? For what would you accrue shared debt? Who will do what in the household? Is one of you a slob and the other neat? What are your individual goals for the future, and could they ever conflict? Will your individual goals conflict with your shared goals? Would you be willing to give up a goal to allow the spouse to pursue one? How important is sex to each person? How many children do you want? What parenting style do you envision having? What role will the extended family play in your lives? In your case, since you both live away from family, how will you prioritize seeing them? Etc.

Again, you would assume all of these would have been discussed between couples, but a lot of people miss it in the pre-nuptial bliss. If nothing else, at least you guys already have the religion question nailed down.
 

Arachne

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RobS said:
Arachne said:
We met online in the summer of 2004 (he says June, I say July; no one kept track at first) and in person in October 2005. We each flew back and forth for a couple of visits over 2006 and I moved in in April 2007. I received the visible engagement token in February 2008 (a bit of an afterthought, as the proposal had been made and accepted long before) and we were finally wed in June 2008. Lots of hoops, I know.
Interesting, were you both in the same country? How did you both keep a relationship going over those years with only seeing each other a few times?
No, there were some 1500 miles between my home in Greece and his in the UK, and visits had to be carefully planned, timed and budgeted for. Plans on either side didn't always align, which accounts for the long stretch between moving in together and the actual wedding. While we were apart, we relied entirely on technology. Long hours on messenger every night, ping-ponging emails when I was working evenings, phone calls when we had surplus credit. We watched videos together (each on our own side), bought each other Christmas and birthday presents, and practised patience. It all worked out in the end.
 

Lepanto

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Agabus said:
RobS said:
Agabus said:
I recommend some kind of counseling just to make sure some basic understandings are there. I understand a number of couples think they've communicated clearly their intentions for the future only to have their eyes opened when a neutral third party starts asking questions. It didn't end the wedding, it just greased a wheel that would have squeaked later had no one sought specific clarity.
Basic understandings, like what?
Pre-existing debt — do you think it's shared, or individual? Will you have joint or individual bank accounts? For what would you accrue shared debt? Who will do what in the household? Is one of you a slob and the other neat? What are your individual goals for the future, and could they ever conflict? Will your individual goals conflict with your shared goals? Would you be willing to give up a goal to allow the spouse to pursue one? How important is sex to each person? How many children do you want? What parenting style do you envision having? What role will the extended family play in your lives? In your case, since you both live away from family, how will you prioritize seeing them? Etc.

Again, you would assume all of these would have been discussed between couples, but a lot of people miss it in the pre-nuptial bliss. If nothing else, at least you guys already have the religion question nailed down.
+1000
Could not agree more.
 

RobS

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Agabus said:
RobS said:
Agabus said:
I recommend some kind of counseling just to make sure some basic understandings are there. I understand a number of couples think they've communicated clearly their intentions for the future only to have their eyes opened when a neutral third party starts asking questions. It didn't end the wedding, it just greased a wheel that would have squeaked later had no one sought specific clarity.
Basic understandings, like what?
Pre-existing debt — do you think it's shared, or individual? Will you have joint or individual bank accounts? For what would you accrue shared debt? Who will do what in the household? Is one of you a slob and the other neat? What are your individual goals for the future, and could they ever conflict? Will your individual goals conflict with your shared goals? Would you be willing to give up a goal to allow the spouse to pursue one? How important is sex to each person? How many children do you want? What parenting style do you envision having? What role will the extended family play in your lives? In your case, since you both live away from family, how will you prioritize seeing them? Etc.

Again, you would assume all of these would have been discussed between couples, but a lot of people miss it in the pre-nuptial bliss. If nothing else, at least you guys already have the religion question nailed down.
What if those individual goals change and then become a conflict? I've seen this happen that wasn't originally planned when they got married. It seems unfair to the other spouse who wasn't suspecting such a change (it was a career one).
 

Agabus

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RobS said:
Agabus said:
RobS said:
Agabus said:
I recommend some kind of counseling just to make sure some basic understandings are there. I understand a number of couples think they've communicated clearly their intentions for the future only to have their eyes opened when a neutral third party starts asking questions. It didn't end the wedding, it just greased a wheel that would have squeaked later had no one sought specific clarity.
Basic understandings, like what?
Pre-existing debt — do you think it's shared, or individual? Will you have joint or individual bank accounts? For what would you accrue shared debt? Who will do what in the household? Is one of you a slob and the other neat? What are your individual goals for the future, and could they ever conflict? Will your individual goals conflict with your shared goals? Would you be willing to give up a goal to allow the spouse to pursue one? How important is sex to each person? How many children do you want? What parenting style do you envision having? What role will the extended family play in your lives? In your case, since you both live away from family, how will you prioritize seeing them? Etc.

Again, you would assume all of these would have been discussed between couples, but a lot of people miss it in the pre-nuptial bliss. If nothing else, at least you guys already have the religion question nailed down.
What if those individual goals change and then become a conflict? I've seen this happen that wasn't originally planned when they got married. It seems unfair to the other spouse who wasn't suspecting such a change (it was a career one).
I don't think it's fair to try to divine the future 20 miles down the road, but if you can see a roadblock at the first corner, you  try to think of an alternate route.

As to changing goals: there's a reason marriage is sometimes called a white martyrdom. Sometimes you have to die to self. If it's a healthy marriage, the dying isn't too lopsided. And if you're not a jerk, you don't suddenly spring a career change without a healthy dozen conversations in advance.
 

RobS

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It is interesting to me, Agabus, the first questions you pointed out involved money. I wonder if that was intentional because you knew the #1 cause of divorce is financial problems (and as a stressor exacerbates existing problems). I'm sure there is a correlation between the rise in divorces the past 30 years and stagnant wages.
 

Agabus

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RobS said:
It is interesting to me, Agabus, the first questions you pointed out involved money. I wonder if that was intentional because you knew the #1 cause of divorce is financial problems (and as a stressor exacerbates existing problems). I'm sure there is a correlation between the rise in divorces the past 30 years and stagnant wages.
And predatory credit.

Funny enough, money has never been an issue in my marriage (probably because for the first seven or eight years, we didn't have any). But the two most recent divorces (and a domestic split for a non-married couple) that I've heard of had to do with financial disagreements.
 

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We were engaged after three years, and had been under counsel from our priest for a few months when it happened, which was about a month before we were baptised. We married a year later.
 
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