When we announced that we were moving in together to our friends and family we were met with some mixed reactions, while some fellow divorcees embraced our choice others raised an eyebrow. If we were going to be living like a married couple why not do the deed?
Then there was the issue of the kids. Telling the them we were becoming a family and moving came with hesitation. We were excited for this new chapter in our lives, but we knew that it wouldn't elicit the same response from the kids. The three teenagers had hesitation as you can imagine having been through one new family and two divorces. Since the oldest was married, middle child had only recently moved in with my hubby and the youngest lived with his mother full time they really didn't know me or what our relationship was like.
For the younger three kids, the youngest was only two and happy to be spending more time with her Daddy. And the two other kids, well they had both been the "IT" kids of our attention. Mine because she was my only child and his because the older kids didn't live close(an hour away) and the youngest was a baby and had never spent the night at hubby's place until I came along. So there was some territorial issues for both of them.
Living as a family without a ring for one year was the best choice we could make at the time for us as a couple and as a family. A marriage can never be successful unless you both want it and it took some time for us to figure out we both wanted it. I know for our situation it meant when we actually got engaged and our subsequent marriage, the kids had already gotten used to our new family reality so some of them were excited when we announced "We"re Getting Married!".