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Friend sees citizenship as red flag in big rush to get married

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

In big rush to get married, is citizenship an issue?

Dallas: My roommate has been dating a guy since January and plans to marry him in December. It has only been a few months since they met and they are already engaged! They are still in the stage where they are all over each other and can't get enough of each other.

My friends and I are concerned the two of them are moving way too fast. He is a really nice guy from what I've seen. Also, he isn't an American citizen, but she told me he will get citizenship in a couple of years, for reasons unrelated to their getting married.

I have voiced my concerns lightheartedly, as I don't want to attack her, but she just laughs and brushes my comments off.

I am worried they will get married before the "honeymoon" phase wears off and, once it does, will wish they hadn't rushed. I have been with my boyfriend for two years, and I'm enjoying our time together before we make a lifelong commitment and settle down.

What should I do (if anything)? Is this not my business? We have been friends for 15 years.

Carolyn: This is so not your business.

A friend of 15 years can say, "I'm your friend and I love you, so I'll ask only once: What's the big hurry?" If she answers without getting defensive, then say, "Okay, I'll be supportive and shut up." Then drop it.

If she is defensive, be on the lookout for other bad signs — but speak up only if/when you witness something troubling.

Nobody wants friends to suffer. But unless you see other signs of danger besides their being in a big hurry, you and your friends are crossing boundaries into your roommate's business. It's not your place to guide her to love everlasting, or even to prevent all emotional lumps.

There's a difference between waking up and thinking, "I wish I hadn't rushed," and thinking, "I wish my friends had told me my boyfriend scared them." The latter is what friends are about; the former is just growing up.

Va.: Re: Dallas: So the boyfriend isn't an American citizen? And they're rushing toward marriage? I've got alarm bells going off. He may be a nice guy, but not citizen + marrying citizen can = a nasty plan to get citizenship.

Carolyn: Obviously that's a concern. But it's clear the roommate knows, has asked her boyfriend about it, and is satisfied with his answer. Unless the friends have grounds to challenge that satisfaction, they have to let her form her own opinions.

D.C.: Re: Dallas. I was engaged to a noncitizen. We were together for over four years and loved each other very much. What ruined it? Having people constantly question our relationship because of his citizenship status. As he said when we ended our relationship, "No one will ever believe I would marry you just for you."

So shut up. Questioning people's citizenship motives is just cruel.

Carolyn: Actually, any "S/he's just using you" message implies "You aren't the real draw" — and that's a message to convey only with great thought and care.

Friend sees citizenship as red flag in big rush to get married 08/06/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2010 12:41pm]
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