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In my day things were done in order.

(93 Posts)
granzilla Mon 29-Aug-11 21:11:47

You courted, you went steady, you got engaged then you may have had sex (if you had somewhere to do it )Then you got married.Eventually you had babies.Was there anything wrong with this? or am I just remembering stuff through rose tinted glasses ? I'm not that old infact it's my 58th. birthday tomorrow .

Notsogrand Mon 29-Aug-11 21:18:13

I'm 64 and I think quite a few of us did would have done things in a different order if we'd had the chance. wink

Annobel Mon 29-Aug-11 22:17:52

I'm with you there, notso. grin What do you mean, 'if'?

Jacey Mon 29-Aug-11 22:57:51

Happy Birthday for Tuesday granzilla wine or two smile

harrigran Mon 29-Aug-11 23:01:25

I agree granzilla, that is the order in which my relationship progressed. I felt it was right then and I still do. I had qualifications to get before I could settle down and have children. I married three months after I became an SRN.

granzilla Mon 29-Aug-11 23:18:59

Me too Harrigran.

Joan Mon 29-Aug-11 23:24:30

My only feeling is that you should be established in a supportive, preferably formalised, relationship before having children.

The whole going out together for ages and pretending to the older generation that you are not having sex - or worse, actually not havng sex, was unhealthy, imho.

Granny23 Tue 30-Aug-11 00:29:46

There were 5 girls, all friends, in my street. 3 were pregnant when they got married, 2 were not. 2 of the pregnant ones were later divorced. The other three of us are approaching our Golden Weddings. If I extrapolate to all my contemporaries, this was pretty average. I am older than the OP and the 'Pill' was brand new then and only available to married couples, usually after they had had one child and wanted to space out their family.

Life as a newly wed, in your late teens/early twenties, in a one bed flat or living with parents, and in many cases with a baby on the way, was pretty hard going. Some couples grew together, some grew apart.

Myself, I was lucky - four years of fun filled, childfree, married freedom, 2 jobs each, saved like mad and waited until we were allocated a council house before we started our family.

I think, Granzilla, that you were also one of the lucky ones. Life was not so rose tinted for everyone.

Baggy Tue 30-Aug-11 02:13:53

Happy Birthday, granzilla.

'Rules', especially ones that keep changing, are made to be broken. wink

Notsogrand Tue 30-Aug-11 08:35:37

Happy Birthday granzilla. smile

JessM Tue 30-Aug-11 08:48:26

I got married because i was pregnant. There was still pressure to do this in the 1970s. It was still very rare to have a baby out of wedlock and not give it up for adoption and the family planning clinics still expected you to be engaged or married if you used their services.
My mother, her mother, and her mother (my great grandmother) were also pregnant when they got married. So maybe glasses are a little rose tinted.
Society has changed a huge amount in this area.

susiecb Tue 30-Aug-11 09:58:00

I made a false start (see other thread) then got married beacuse my parents harried until I did then had a baby beacuse my mother wanted grandchildren. Thankfully I woke up ditvhed the alcoholic she thought was a wonderful husband and found someone she didnt like. We have been married for 33 years now so yah boo sucks Mother!!
I dont know that there is an order any more. I see people having enormous expensive white weddings in church when they never usually go to church, have a designer house and a designer baby and they still get divorced. If I had my time again it would be a batchelor career girl for me and no children.

Jacey Tue 30-Aug-11 10:30:16

My grandmother was also pregnant when she married ...lived in the country ... yes 'walked out' in a steady relationship ...but had to prove ones fertility before marriage ...that was the norm then.

So I don't think it was quite as 'cut and dried' as it was for you granzilla... if it had been, Dr. Barnado homes wouldn't have been so common through the first half of the 20th century.

elderflower1 Tue 30-Aug-11 10:39:59

Happy birthday granzilla.

Yes we did do it in that order but the problems came with the sex. No pill, no abortion, and many women did get pregnant despite being careful. The choice was either a quick marriage (if boyfriend was willing) or in many cases adoption. In last nights programme on BBC3 (Jamelia and shame about single mums) it was reported that apx half a million children were placed for adoption during the fifties and sixties. In many cases the young woman did not have a choice. Thank goodness todays young women do not have to go through that and are able to bring up their children as single parents. No they were not the good old days.

For the record I was pregnant when I got married and have been happily married for 42 years. Guess I have been lucky.

JessM Tue 30-Aug-11 10:43:37

It's a lottery marriage, isn't it. Does anyone else think young Dave C (the PM)is barking up the wrong tree when he pushes the idea that if more people got married they would be more likely to stay together and make a good job of parenting? Doesn't seem exactly evidence-based does it?

elderflower1 Tue 30-Aug-11 11:20:42

Agree JessM People change circumstances change. I'm sure that newly weds are planning to stay together but sometimes it does not work out. Others commit to live together and have a family without marriage and they stay together. Good parenting can come in many forms, two parents, one parent, grandparents etc. If the government feels it needs to intervene in parenting it should be in the form of supporting the parents of our future generation rather than cutting schemes like SureStart.

ameliaanne Tue 30-Aug-11 11:38:44

Possibly with rose-tinted glasses Granzilla. I married at 21 - a very naiive girl who had never lived on her own. It's what a large number of us did then I think. That's just how it often was. I went from one controlling relationship (my parents) to another and didn't really grow up until 27 years later when I finally found the courage to separate from my husband who was an alcoholic.

I think girls these days know more about life than I ever did and maybe if I had lived with my future husband prior to marrying, I would not have gone on to marry him, who knows? However it wasn't the accepted way of doing things. Having said all that, I have three wonderful grown-up children and I shall always be grateful to him for that. And I'm also a fully-fledged grown-up now!

P.S. I do think that young people leap into bed a little too quickly these days...... But as you can tell, I am no expert in the right way to do things!

ameliaanne Tue 30-Aug-11 11:41:58

P.P.S. Sorry. An extra i in naive. Just noticed.

granzilla Tue 30-Aug-11 13:07:09

Thanks to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday.Also thanks for posts about 'rose tinted glasses'. I guess that I struck lucky first time with Grandadzilla (43 years together and married for 36).Life is a bit of a lottery sometimes I agree.I was lucky as a teenager to have had a very broad minded mum who arranged doctor's appointments to get me 'on the pill ' when she realised that me and DH were more than good friends.Several of my peer group got married earlier than they would have had they not been pregnant.It was the done thing in our proud, working class community.Some marriages lasted and some didn't.Anyway,off for a birthday lunch with DH,DD,and DS.DGS at nursery.

Annobel Tue 30-Aug-11 16:58:12

Happy birthday Granzilla and congratulations on a long and happy marriage.
I was shy and naive until I got 4000 miles away from my mother! I had a ball in Kenya in the latter half of my 20s, great job and great social life. I got married there at 29. The night before the wedding, my poor innocent mother tried to tell me about sex... I didn't know where to look, could have told her a thing or two, given that I had to clear a lot of the fiancé's stuff out of my bungalow before the parents turned up for the big event!
OK, so it all ended in tears after 16 years, but there were some good times and I do have two wonderful DSs and their families, so it wasn't all bad...not really!

jackyann Tue 30-Aug-11 17:13:47

Happy Birthday Granzilla!

I think a lot of what we saw depended on where we lived, what our families were like and so on.
Strange you should post this when only yesterday I was talking to family members about:
1. the lady along the street who "helped" "girls in trouble"
2. the casting of ours school's production of 12th Night, as the first 2 Festes (all girls' school) got pregnant.
3. my great-aunt, who was supposedly born when her mother was 52, and whose last words to me were "I did love your gran, me duck, she were like a mother to me"
4. Our great-uncle, who married the mother of his children, the day before their son's wedding.

Aren't we a mixed bunch??????

Libradi Tue 30-Aug-11 19:34:53

Happy birthday granzilla.

I agree with Joan 'The whole going out together for ages and pretending to the older generation that you are not having sex - or worse, actually not havng sex, was unhealthy, imho.' It reminds me when we bought our house 33 years ago, my DH moved in 6 months before we were married to do the house up. I still lived at home with my parents and I still had to be home by 10pm or dad would be on the doorstep waiting. He actually got worst as soon as we bought the house so anything we wanted to do had to be done before 10pmgrin

Notsogrand Tue 30-Aug-11 20:49:43

Made me smile Libraldi with your memories of 10pm curfew. I had to be in by 10pm right up until the last few days before I married. Five minutes late and I was grounded for a night.
On the first day of our honeymoon (self catering at Jaywick Sands, 1965) I refused to set foot outside the bungalow until 10pm. (We managed to occupy ourselves indoors smile) On the stroke of 10pm I ran outside, wondering what on earth would happen to me. Nothing, obviously. Sent my Dad a postcard the following day to say I had survived being out after 10pm. grin
I'd quite like to be 18 again for a few weeks. wink

harrigran Tue 30-Aug-11 21:29:56

Happy Birthday granzilla
I lived at home and family planning and the pill was not available to me in 1967 when I got married. There has never been an unmarried mother in my family.

em Tue 30-Aug-11 21:43:10

Elderflower's post has just prompted me to post something which may not be too popular. It's about the whole adoption business and how difficult it was to be an unmarried mum 20/30/40 years ago. The topic of adoption has cropped up on other threads and I've been reading between the lines and have reached the conclusion that in most minds the mums who gave up babies for adoption were almost victims. Where does that leave me? In the 70's I adopted my 2 daughters and of course they changed my life for the better. But the general feeling, including in those tv programmes which have dealt with the subject, is that adoptive parents aren't 'real' parents and all the sympathy goes to those mums who had their babies 'taken away'. I've met the birth-mum of one of my daughters and she doesn't feel that way. We've agreed that we both did the best we could at the time and neither of us has any regrets. I don't in any way underestimate the desperation of a young mum who found herself in this position, but please don't see us adoptive mums as the 'baddies' in this, standing by to grab a baby! When I see the awful situations some babies face today- neglect, inadequacy, cruelty - I think there is still a place for adoption. (Maybe this is not the best place for this and perhaps we need a thread about adoption so we can discuss all the different aspects?)