Not married — bridge thoughts?


Howdy,

I sure could use your help with bridge thoughts in the following situation:

Unintentional Model
C: I am 41 years old. My boyfriend of 4 years and I are not married. Awkwardness in social situations, including when a few weeks ago, my boyfriend’s mother introduced me to some new people at a party, commenting, “I don’t know what to call her, they’re not married, they’re together, I don’t know what to call her.”
T: “My credibility as an adult depends on whether I’m married.”
F: Panicked. Humiliated.
A: Give off an un-confident vibe because I’m so self-conscious whenever this subject comes up.
R: Give off an un-confident vibe because I’m so self-conscious whenever this subject comes up. Avoid the topic. Feel awkward when the topic comes up.

Attempt at Intentional Model
C: I am 41 years old. My boyfriend of 4 years and I are not married. His mother comments on that [etc.].
T: I already have everything I want and need from my relationship and life, independent of the institution of marriage.
F: Complete. Whole. Confident.
A: I give off a confident vibe because my feelings about the topic are completely neutral.
R: No awkwardness when it is brought up. It’s a non-issue.

I really, really want to believe that “I already have everything I want and need from my relationship and life, independent of the institution of marriage,” and I do have some evidence of that. I do have quite a bit of I want and need already. My boyfriend is very loving and committed to me. I can’t feel appreciation for that sometimes because my self-consciousness about being unmarried overshadows it. I did do several other models on other unintentional thoughts surrounding this topic, but the above models are representative, so I’m just posting one.

Ugh…help!