A young couple who have been together since they were 16 and 17 held off on getting married in order to pursue their respective career paths.
They technically got engaged in 2011, but circumstances forced them to live together before reaching their wedding goal of 2019.
Unfortunately, their living together outside of marriage did not settle well with their religious families.
Given the current pandemic crisis, it was unclear whether Redditor "Shot-Scientist" used the coronavirus as a reason that compelled the couple to delay their wedding date by another 18 months.
With the announcement of the new development, the Original Poster (OP) said the "family is furious" and was accused of being engaged for ten years so that they could "live in sin."
The OP began his post by outlining the wedding strategy he had planned with his fiancée.
"I was a grade above her. We knew we wanted to get married, but we both had goals that made a young marriage not an option."
"I wanted to become a doctor before getting married. My fiancée wanted to graduate college and have a career of her own."
"We secretly got engaged right after high school graduation and moved forward with our individual plans."
"After her freshman year in college, it became financially necessary to live together."
"Our families don't like couples living together outside of marriage, but an engaged couple gets a sort of exception, so we staged a new engagement for our families and we were able to live together in peace."
"I finished med school this past year, and we finally had a wedding planned in April which is now not possible. We've gotten full refunds and our vendors are very accommodating."
"The issue is a new date. We want to hold off until April 2022 because this is realistically going to last 18 months and we want more time to plan around societal/economic changes."
The OP said that postponing their wedding for that length of the time made their families "furious."
"They say that we just used being engaged as an excuse to 'live in sin' for a DECADE and that we have no intentions of ever getting married."
"My fiancée will be 29 by our new wedding date, which is an unusual age for first marriage in our families. We're getting a lot of criticism for not going to the courthouse, which isn't even possible right now and not what my fiancée wants."
The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for delaying their wedding date.
"[Not The A**hole] (NTA) It's your lives, and your marriage." – jfartster
"NTA- as jfartester stated it's your lives. If both of you are happy & have been together this long there's no need to rush something to please others."
"It's a new world today with everything going on & waiting a little longer while things get to somewhat normal stage is a brilliant ideal."
"Stay the course & do things that workout for the both of you. As far as being married living together as long as you two have is in fact common law marriage, so for all purpose you two are already married." – 20MLSE20
People did not see a problem with the arrangement.
"heck, cohabitation without marriage? who cares."
"There are so many bad things in the world to care about. Whether a couple that loves each other has a piece of paper is not one of them."
"Can't believe this is happening in the year of our lord 2020. ugh." – HyacinthFT
"Do people really think it's late? Pretty much everyone I know either got married right after high school or waited until they were in their 30's." – themapoe
"What's the usual age for second marriages in your families?" – Dszquphsbnt
"As long as your spouse-to-be is fine with this plan then get married whenever you want."
"Maybe you two should secretly elope. That would be romantic. The hell with everyone else." – martej
"Why are they so up in your business anyway?"
"Normal people are proud of their steady, high achieving kids in a long term relationship on the right track in life not bitching at them and judging them constantly." – NothappyJane
"NTA. 'How dare you plan out your life according to your thoughts and desires. Do what WE want!' Is what your family is saying." – numbersthen0987431
Redditors shared their success stories proving that 29 is not too late to get married.
"Ohhhhhhh f'k those guys."
"I had my nice, traditional wedding at 30. And it was small and lovely, and we now have 2 beautiful children (I had the last after 35. gasp!) and my very traditional (not immediate) family treated me like a leper for not being married at 22."
"You guys sound absolutely wonderful and responsible. NTA but you already knew that." – Jade_Echo
"My nice traditional wedding was when I was 38 and my husband 39 and we had been together and engaged for sixteen years when we got married." – Freyja2179
"My hugely religious grandma was 39 when she married. Just saying." – FallonKristerson
"I got married at 30 too and we had been together for 10 years and living together with a mortgage for 5 years."
"In Spain it's quite common but it's even more common not to get married anymore. I guess we're all sluts living in sin...." – Deathbyignorage
"Yeah, no. Younger generations are waiting longer. I'm 29 and was supposed to get married April 4. I'll be 30 by the time we hopefully get our second to at it."
"Anyone who says that's old can get the f'k out. My parents both had starter marriages that didn't work out in their early 20s. Then they got married when they were 28 and 31."
"They've been together almost 40 years (granted, not the best marriage, but not something to sneeze at)."
"Also, the more highly educated you are, the more likely you are to wait, too, I believe." – twir1s
"29 is super normal for millennials. I felt really young at 25! She'll enjoy whatever they're alluding to just fine."
"You two are thinking clearly, have a pattern of acting rationally, you do you boo. NTA." – dancingriss
Life is on hold for many people due to the pandemic.
As far as Redditors were concerned, weddings can wait.
"NTA. You had the wedding booked. A pandemic intervened. You rescheduled. I doubt this was a nefarious plan you hatched in high school." – MightyMary007
"Clearly they staged the pandemic so they could...push off their own wedding? I don't know." – dragoon0106
"This! You two have a plan & are well on your way to achieving it. Not your fault there is a WORLDWIDE pandemic. The families are being outrageous."
"NTA and 29 isn't that late. They need to get with the times." – clearlycupid
A religious scholar took issue with the families making an exception with the status of the couple's engagement in the first place.
"Where this gets weird is the 'exception' for engaged couples. No, there's no exception in any religious Western tradition with which I'm familiar."
"Essentially, the parents are saying 'we have religious values, but we disregard those values when it comes to engagement, divorce, and remarriage.'"
"I say this as religious scholar."
"If the family wants to hold to their values then good for them. They are free to disagree with OP's choices all they want, but to create a subjective ruling is AH territory."
"Anyway, NTA." – Maktesh
If they were already living together "in sin" for ten years, what's another 18 months?
God only knows.
If they need to extend again, this frame with a built in chalkboard, available here in two sizes and in vertical or horizontal orientation, allows the couple to customize the number of days until their wedding. The frame can be hung or set on a shelf with the built in hangers and stand.