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He wants us to get married but to keep it secret!

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 March 2017) 12 Answers - (Newest, 29 July 2017)
A female United States age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Ok here is my story. My boyfriend of 7 months is asking me to marry him secretly in summer and not telling anyone because he wants to give his 14 years old child enough time to feel more comfortable. we want to buy a house as I don't want to move to his current house and he thinks is wiser to do it when we are legally married. He is planning the wedding in the fall. He is the one that is pushing it for a big wedding and honeymoon. We both have a great jobs and all set. I'm originally not from the US and don't know about the culture that much. What are the risks of getting married secretly? I don't see any problem with that but there might be some legal agendas here that I am not aware of. By the way I wasn't agreeing with spending lots of money on wedding but asked him if he is giving me a ring if we want to get married secretly and he said he planned to get a simple band for the actual wedding and not the ring as I always suggest that having a nice house is a priority. Just wanted to hear your opinion. Is it common that people don't get a ring and just a simple band ? Thanks

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A male reader, Riot2017 Mexico +, writes (29 July 2017):

Do you happen to earn more than him? If so, that could be a red flag.

If you earn more than him, and if before you guys marry he "looses" his job and never works during the marriage, he is entitled to alimony if you ever get a divorce.

If you can, ask advice of an attorney to know what legal implications could happen to you considering your immigration status and other variables you might not be considering.

It takes more than 7 months to really know a person. It makes no sense that he makes all that just to "protect" her 14 year old daughter. He needs to get his act right and be honest and upfront with her daughter. He is a grown up man after all and takes the decisions in his family.

For me it's a big red flag, specially him wanting to buy a house right away. The more financially sane and safe way for you specially to move forward, is to rent somewhere together (married or unmarried), and see if things work out for both of you. Living with a person for 6 months you can really get to know how that person really is, and what he is looking after.

For me, my gut feeling, and I could be completely wrong, is that he is after your cash. You see, women aren't the only ones that can be gold diggers. My sister has had two past relationships with male gold diggers, that really used her like a cash cow. You don't want to be some one else's cash cow, trust me.

People nowadays are very materialistic, and they don't care at all the person they are marrying with, all they want is some extra wallet to finance their ambitions. The side effects is that the loosing end of the relationship has to bear with the consequences of a bad relationship.

My advice: live with him before you marry him, and see his true colors, his true intentions. That's the only way you can really get to know someone.

As a side note. I come from a very toxic and abusive family, as well as my girlfriend. We have thought countless of ways for us to marry without inviting the most toxic relatives, without success. I'm recently toying with the idea of eloping or marrying in secret. I'm the bread winner of the relationship, so it's not like if I want to con her or anything. I truly love that girl, but she is very afraid of my crazy family. Marrying her will give her access to my health insurance package, and we can eventually buy a house together someday. If I suddenly die, she is entitled to my possessions and stuff, which is something I do want her keeping if I ever die.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 April 2017):

I actually think what he is proposing is sweet if a bit misguided. Sounds like he REALLY loves you and doesn't want to lose you.

As for rings, there is really no written standard. It's up to what YOU feel is right.

I think a smarter course of action would be for you to swear your love to him to appease him, for his daughter to start therapy, and for you two to marry when her therapist thinks it is okay.

Best of luck!

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (5 April 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntI don't think you should rush in to a marriage, plus he should wait until his daughter is more comfortable with you also.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (31 March 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntWaiting longer to marry isn't wasting your time together because you can still see each other and visit places. He's rushing it and it's worrying.

Please do put it off until you've been together for at least 18 months; you're still in the honeymoon phase and barely know each other. His daughter should not be lied to and the fact he's considering it is a very bad sign that he is not an honest man, even if he seems to be. No parent should lie to their child about something like this. You must tell him you will not marry him in secret.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2017):

OP- Just to clarify I am a US citizen and have full time job as a finance director. So that's not a concern and the reason that I'm still not familiar with some aspects of the culture is because I spent my entire time studying and working and no social life because I didn't have time. He is very nice, kind and a lovely gentleman and treats me like a queen. I have no doubt about his qualities. I did the background check after our first meeting and he is clear. No financial issues as well. Also he is well known in his profession in the state so it's another assurance. His daughter went trough some emotional issues during his divorce. I have seen her many times but he wants me to be more around her and she get used to me be around in the house. I have met his friends and families and he has posted all our pictures on Facebook however I have not. He has told everybody from his side that we are getting married in the fall. He wants to do it in summer so we can get a mortgage for the new house and prepare everything to be ready so he is talking about the next 3 months which means we will be in the relationship for a year by then. I didn't promise anything and said let see, we will make a decision by then. I think he is afraid to lose me I had a feeling he will push it to be even earlier and I was right. I am a private person and I haven't told anyone beside my parents and siblings and no fb pictures until the time comes. He started very confident but I could see he is falling hopelessly in love after a short time and all his guards are down he keeps telling me I can hurt him easily as he is madly in love with me and admits about all his speedy moves that he had never been so sure and moved so fast with anyone in his entire life.I don't want him to make a mistake as well, his head should be clear after passing the honeymoon phase! Even though I see we are so good together and I do love him.He told me he is 47 and can't waste more time and just want to enjoy life with me. What do you think now? Could it be just the reason? Thank you

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 March 2017):

Honeypie agony auntOP, Spend a $15-20 on a background check on this guy pronto.

Secondly... No, a secret marriage sounds like a REALLY dodgy and shady thing to propose. Alarm bells should go off here.

You have only dated 7 months, so if he feels the 14-year-old isn't ready for him to remarry I think THAT is OK. But to HIDE a marriage FROM this teenager and the rest of his family & friends and "the World"? SHADY.

I have to say... WHERE is the fire?

I absolutely agree with the uncles and aunties - this doesn't sound like a good idea at all.

And I REALLY agree with Cindy - there IS a catch here, what it is, I can't say.

There is a BIG difference between an ELOPEMENT and a secret marriage. With an elopement the friends, family etc. usually know that the couple is engaged but the envelopment is to avoid the cost of a BIG expensive wedding.

As for rings... Well, My engagement ring was a "set" where there was a plain ring that fit into it which was used for the ceremony. But my husband just chose a plain gold band, which he later replaced with a tungsten band. So as far as the rings go, that is something you two will have to agree on.

I still say - DO a background check on him. ASAP.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (30 March 2017):

CindyCares agony aunt I don't know about the simple band vs. engagement ring- some people may choose to do without an official engagement ring , due to finances or whatever reason.

But, a secret marriage ? Why in the world ?! What for ?

His reasons make no sense, - I am afraid that there's something fishy going on here. I smell a big fat rat.

He does not want to " traumatize " his 14 y.o. kid... Oh really ? Why, does he think that the kid will take it better when he'll come to know that dad got married months ago behind his back, without bothering telling him anything ?..

And , where's the fire ? IF he thinks that his son needs a few more months to get comfortable with the idea of having a stepmom, - well, then why can't he just wait a few more months before actually getting married, ( and not just before telling the boy that there was a marriage ?) And of course spending these months in making sure you and the kid get well aquainted and he gets to know you better and hopefully forms a bond with you... or else, at least, wraps his head around the fact that, whether he likes it or not, you are here to stay , and to become dad's new wife ?...

Actually, what's the point of a secret marriage when one of the main points of getting married is to let family, friends, and society at large know that you have forged a very special bond with X person ?... If it has to stay secret, .. might as well not doing it altogether and delaying it to the time when you can go public. Also based on the pronciple of " owning your actions ", i.e. only doing things that you do not have to hide or lie about , and only doing things that you can be , if not positively proud ,at least comfortable with people knowing about you.

In conclusion, I have no idea what's the catch, but I feel there must be one. Be very , very careful, and do not get married unless you get a crystal clear picture of the situation , in a way that leaves no room whatsoever for doubts . And ... about buying a house together... hint : are you comfortable doing business ( and buying a house together is doing business ) with a person who's capable of such a shameless lie to his own son,about something so important ?!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2017):

Believing that someone is totally upfront and accepting strange nuances is the method trust-crimes are committed.

You have no certainty of anything.

You live abroad!

You dont see each other much, if at all.

Secret marriage is a no!

You could find yourself off the map in a deadend situation with no help anywhere.

If the guy was genuine you wouldnt have cause to conceal so much!

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (30 March 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntHe wants to hide his marriage from his teenager? That's terrible parenting and not at all considerate of her feelings, despite him trying to convince you it's for her to get comfortable slowly. Then what? She learns he lied and never trusts him again?

OP, this isn't a good idea in any culture. He shouldn't really be planning a wedding so quickly; you barely know each other.

Also, do you want to start your married life on a lie to his child? She's old enough to understand him getting married, but she needs time to get used to it *before* it happens, not after it's happened in secret. What he's proposing is bad parenting and that's a red flag. He's also planning to keep your marriage a secret from others or his daughter would find out, which is a huge red flag.

Do not marry this man without his daughter being fully aware and present. Tell him you can't marry him so soon. The fact he's rushing it is worrying - add that to him wanting to keep it a secret and you should seriously consider breaking up. What he's suggesting is a terrible idea - a secret marriage *and* when you haven't been together very long.

Please, OP, tell him you don't want to marry so soon and will not marry him secretly either. Take your time getting to know his daughter before you set a date to marry and don't do it secretly.

A good man will marry you honestly, not in secret. He will love you openly, not even suggest keeping it hidden from anyone. Do not allow a secret marriage or even a quick marriage, as it screams red flag - he shouldn't be rushing it.

Ask him why he wants to do it so quickly - "because I love you" isn't a good enough answer; love doesn't mean taking things too fast.

Ask him why he wants to hide it from everyone - "to let my daughter come round slowly" isn't a good enough answer; she's old enough to understand and be kept properly informed, not lied to. You'd have to be his wife secretly from everyone and he's using his daughter as an excuse.

Honest men don't lie like this.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (30 March 2017):

If you aren't an American citizen, a secret-marriage isn't at all possible or legal.

You will have to go through the usual immigration procedures in the United States, and in your country of origin. If you are here on a visa, marriage without filing the proper papers and going through the proper procedure will only cause you serious issues with the department of immigration.

You should be very suspicious of a man who wants to marry you in secret and after only knowing you for seven months. I think you have much more to be concerned about than a ring, or the cost of a wedding. Not once in your post do you mention anything about loving him or what kind of relationship you have.

Do you have established credit in this country? So how can you purchase a property with this man? Do you have a full-time job to qualify for credit?

How could you not know about American customs; unless you are very new to this country? So it is unlikely you have the documents necessary to remain in the country, let alone get married.

I think the actions of this man are highly suspicious! So much is left out of your post.

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada + , writes (30 March 2017):

BrownWolf agony aunt

"asking me to marry him secretly"

In what world is this normal? When a man truly loves a woman, and makes that decision to marry her, he wants the whole world to know...why? It is us marking what is now ours. This lady of mine is off the market.

Think for a second...How easy is it to get a man to marry you? But here comes a man who not only is pushing for it, but secretly too...ding ding ding ding

We would not care about kids. They would have to deal with it...IF...we really love you.

I see this as a man telling you exactly what you want to hear. You want to be married and settled. He knows this, and he is putting the idea in your head, so you will stick around, long enough for him to get what he really wants....SEX.

"wants to give his 14 years old child enough time to feel more comfortable."

More comfortable about what??? Hey...Your dad met a great woman and he loves her so much, and he want to marry her.....DONE.

The child does control the parent's any man who tells you do stuff behind is child's back and keep it secret...That man is hiding a much bigger secret of his own.

Question...If your future husband is starting off with lies and secrets...You still think this is the man for you??

The very fact that you are here asking about this means, your warning bells are screaming at you to get the hell away from this man.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (30 March 2017):

Aunty BimBim agony auntSecret marriage? Are you sure he isn't still married somewhere else? It all seems a bit dodgy to me.

Also you say HE is pushing for a big wedding and honeymoon, HE is wanting a wedding in the fall, however you also say he wants to marry in the summer, HE is wanting to keep the marriage secret ...

What do you want? I know sure as eggs that I would not be wanting to marry a man who is not prepared to be honest with his children and introduce me to them PRIOR to any engagement.

I also would not want to be buying ANYTHING, not a broom or a TV and especially not a house until I was 110% sure that he was an open and honest man, so far his wanting to get married in secret suggests he is anything but honest.

You have only been dating him for 7 months, that is not long enough for you both to become familiar with each other yet, the new bloom is still on the relationship, neither of you have had a chance to get to know each other properly.

Regardless of if you have a ring or a band I would not be rushing into anything with this man for at least another 18 months, that gives him plenty of time to introduce his son to you and the idea of his marrying again, it will also give any legalities that might arise time to appear and be dealt with.

A nice house is usually a priority, but please don't even move in with him yet, let alone marry.

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