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By Thomas Whitfield

The average length of a marriage nationally is 8.2 years, but for New York City alone, it’s 12.2 years. I wonder how much of that extra four years has to do with not wanting to give up the great apartment.

I’m getting married this summer, and my sister just told me that she isn’t bringing her kids, because her and her husband don’t think it’s “appropriate” for them. Part of me had been anticipating this from them, because they’re so religious, but I didn’t think they’d actually keep my niece and nephews away. They’ve all met my fiancé, and the kids love her. They also know we’re together, so I don’t see what the problem is. I’m considering just telling my sister to not come at all. I’m really hurt and very angry. – Female, Gay, 27

One of the pros of being queer is that you can pick who your family is; they don’t have to be the ones you were born into. You don’t have to just accept her bigoted views. If you tell your sister that you don’t want her there without the kids, it could potentially put a wedge between the two of you that can’t be undone. I don’t know if this is a single incident, or if there are other times where she’s told you she objects to your life, but tell her to knock it off or she’s not going to be a part of your life at all. Tell her how you feel, that it hurts your feelings and you want the kids there. Ultimately, they’re her kids, and you can’t force her to bring them. However, you can also be the best aunt ever and make sure they love you no matter what their mom says about you, which is great revenge!

I don’t live in NY, but I had to write you, because I can’t tell anyone around here or risk them seeing it. I love my boyfriend very much, but I don’t want to marry him. A month ago he made a huge, grand gesture—all of our friends and families were there, and he asked me. I couldn’t say no. I panicked. I said yes. Now we’re making plans, getting invitations ready, and I don’t know what to do. I’m freaking out, and there’s literally no one I can talk to. I’m afraid this is a huge mistake. – Male, Gay, age-?

Do not go through with this wedding. I know you’re afraid of hurting him or letting everyone down, but if you keep this inside it’s eventually going to come out and do much worse damage. This is not something you can just sit by and let play out. If you’re not ready to get married, that’s fine, tell him. If you never want to get married, tell him that too. You might lose him, but he deserves to be with someone who wants the same things as him. Good luck.

Sex/Love/Relationship advice? Send your questions to: ThomasTalksAbout@gmail.com Instagram: @ThomasWhitfield84

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