AIBU to give DP proposal ultimatum?

(172 Posts)
justhayley Mon 24-Jun-13 23:53:49

Horrible title but.... iv been with DP for 8 1/2 years I'm almost 30 and we have a 15 month old DS. DS wasn't planned (but very much wanted & loved) however ideally I didn't want children until I was married.
I really think DP should be proposing. We've spoken about marriage but when it comes to this subject we both seem pretty crap at communicating.
DP has never said he doesn't want to marry me but after this long and a baby I'm starting to wonder what the hell he's waiting for.
He's in he military and 2 years ago said once he finishes his training we would get engaged. His training finished a year ago and still I don't feel like he's even planning to ask me. In a way I feel like he lead me on a bit.

I don't want him to feel pressured to propose - I want him to do it because he wants to. Evertyime i decide to talk to him about ut i feel like im pressuring him and it makes me feel crap.
However In a way I feel like I also don't want to waste anymore time with someone who just may never ask.
Marriage is important to me, I'm the only person out of all my friends thy isn't marries or engaged and iv been with DP the longest.
His most recent excuse is Money. I'm not buying it. Yes we are not rolling in it and do not have enough cash for a big dream wedding and a
tiffany engagement ring, but we are not so hard up we couldn't pull something lovely
together without going into masses of debt or breaking the bank. I want a marriage not a wedding.

I'm feeling a bit torn should I consider leaving DP and eventually finding someone to be with that wants marriage, start putting some pressure and ultimatums on him, or just stay in what is actually a happy relationship, but risk never getting married & ending up resenting him for it.
What do you think?
Opinions please x

landrover Mon 24-Jun-13 23:56:38

theres only one thing for it, ask him xxxxxx

JaneFonda Mon 24-Jun-13 23:58:31

You say marriage is important to you, but in the same sentence you mention about your friends being married/engaged like it's a competition.

Why do you need pressure and ultimatums? Why do you need to consider leaving him? Why can't you just have a mature conversation about how you're feeling with him?

Marriage isn't the be all and end all, but it can offer security that is certainly useful now you have a child. Time to sit down with him and discuss it like adults, rather than throwing your toys out of the pram just because you're the last one left out of your friends.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Tue 25-Jun-13 00:01:54

Why do you have to do an ultimatum? Ask him about it and talk it through properly like adults. If you can't talk about marriage what hope do you have of actually doing it?

AudrinaAdare Tue 25-Jun-13 00:10:36

The OP has made her feelings known on this matter and has said that he is making excuses. It isn't a question of asking him imo. She has carried and given birth to their child. She has undertaken a lifelong commitment to this man, which statistically-speaking is likely to affect her life-chances in a negative way in terms of her earning-power and freedom. She shouldn't have to beg or wheedle for a lesser similar one from him!

I have been you once, OP. There are good men out there smile

jessjessjess Tue 25-Jun-13 00:13:55

It's understandable that marriage may be important to you, but would it matter this much if your friends hadn't already done it?

I don't think your DP has any reason to propose to you - you seem happy with the status quo. I don't believe in ultimatums. I think you need to do some straight talking.

lessonsintightropes Tue 25-Jun-13 00:19:13

I think it's complicated. Not all men want to marry - as they don't think it is really that important or don't believe in the religious or legal reasons for doing it, some men really want to and others can... prevaricate because of either some deep seated anxiety about commitment (that only wild horses or a lot of talking will drag out into the open) or because there's some essential laziness about the 'fuss' of a wedding. I'm sure there are other reasons too but a few straw polls of guys my age (mid thirties) suggest that most fall into one of these camps.

I'm not sure an ultimatum would help, necessarily - you may end up making him feel so pressured he ends the relationship which is clearly not what you want.

It might be more helpful to frame it realistically in terms of choices you are making as a couple and your long term future. If you really think you would in the long term leave if he does not propose then you should tell him, calmly, without holding it over him as an empty threat. OTOH if you are dissatisfied with the status quo but wouldn't actually leave then maybe having a discussion about how he could make you feel more secure without being married might help.

Personally, the act of getting married for me was so deeply important on a number of levels - the act of commitment in front of friends and family, in my family church; my DH was initially quite reluctant (5 years together before we married) but I think understood how much it meant to me, so was prepared to do it. Once he had proposed he said it made an enormous difference for him too, and understood it smile. Only you can know the right approach with your DP but understand your frustration with him prevaricating. I do think it's worth talking seriously about though if only to ensure you and your DC are protected if you do split up. Does that make sense? Sorry if I've waffled.

justhayley Tue 25-Jun-13 00:22:52

Haha landrover you could be right!

I don't see marriage as a competition, I know my friends have nothing to do with anything it's just sometimes hard when everyone around you has what you want.

I have no clue why I find it hard having an proper convo about it. We are so open about everything else. I almost feel embarrassed and dint want to be like hey when are you going o ask me to marry you!
I actually get stuck with what to say without sounding pushy or desperate.

Ultimatum wise, it's not my way o forcing him to do it, it's more about me thinking if I want to be in a relationship that's not going to progress any further. It is a big thing for me and if we want different things I'm not sure we should be together? Although in the same sentence I can't imagine being with anyone else.

I know on a day to day basis marriage wouldn't change our family, and people can still cheat leave etc married or not, but I want that commitment and stability and feel like marriage would make us a 'proper family' unit. I also hate having a different name from my DS.

My parents now separated were together 17 years and were unmarried. I hated growing up with a different surname to my mum & always felt uncomfortable about it at school, I know this is my weird issue but don't want DS to feel like I didhmm

Hiphopopotamus Tue 25-Jun-13 00:37:20

A proposal is essentially a question from one person to another, asking 'will you marry me'. So ask him. And if he says no, you have your answer. If you are wanting to have an answer to the question, ask it!

MorganMummy Tue 25-Jun-13 03:16:38

I gave my husband an ultimatum/time limit to propose. I had made a lot of sacrifices and choices based on us being together and he never proposed when I thought he would. I felt I needed to know if he was actually taking things as seriously as me. To be fair I think he was already saving up for the ring when I broached the subject. Five years married now and I think he was just happy bumbling along, but I wanted to get on with house buying and possibly children which I much preferred to do after marriage.

I like to tell young, romantic people about the ultimatum to see their souls shiver.

It's a much harder situation for you with dc etc and I don't honestly know what I'd have done if DH hadn't agreed to propose.

My DH of 18 years never proposed. We lived together. Had lived overseas and had gotten engaged before moving as my dad was worried there was no commitment. Moved back to uk. Bought a house. Still no proposal/plans to actually marry. So i booked wedding. Told him he had a week to think about it. A week later I asked whether I should confirm wedding. He said no. I said 'I'll make you a cuppa'. He said ok then. Romance is not dead!

So you don't actually need him to propose. You need a conversation about marriage in general and a timescale. And about what sort of wedding you envisage. You have a child together which is a huge commitment anyway.

If he is worried about cost then come up with a realistic plan that won't cost afortune. My sis is about to get married in a registry office and then the following weekend have a BBQ/party at a hotel to celebrate. Bought her dress on line - it was made in china. Bought her dd a pretty dress from TK Maxx. No cars. No expensive invitations etc etc. It's costing about £3,000 in total. Mainly as her fiancé is one of 10 so his family is huge!

Thymeout Tue 25-Jun-13 05:35:40

So being the same as your friends is more important to you than your dc living with his father? You'd really break up the home to get your own way?

But what if he says No? You'll end up with no marriage and a child missing his daddy.

oinkment Tue 25-Jun-13 06:12:04

What do you think will be different when you're married OP?

PicardyThird Tue 25-Jun-13 06:28:24

If you want to get married, ask him. Don't wait around for him to 'propose'. Take things into your own hands, as you would with any other important, life-changing decision. Have a chat to him and say 'I would really like to get married soon. Shall we? And how about x date/month this/next year?'

I 'proposed' to dh. We were 22 and 24, had been together two years and it was entirely spontaneous. After a difficult phone call with my parents (who never got over me making my own decisions in life generally and wrt him specifically) I turned to him and said 'look, they're never going to accept us, we may as well get married now'. The wedding took place seven months later and we will have been married 13 years soon.

I think a lot of women do themselves an awful disservice by becoming so very passive in such an important question. Marriage was important to me too, and although we hadn't at all been planning it concretely when I came up with the idea, we both assumed we would get married one day. It seemed the right moment to me. Now seems the right moment to you. It's your right to communicate this and tbh I think it's his right not to have all the onus placed on him to get this moving.

Plus, if you ask a straight question, you'll get a straight answer. I really hope it's the one ylou want. smile

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 25-Jun-13 06:34:45

I agree with the others. If you want to be married, then tell him so and ask him if that is something he would like too.

scaevola Tue 25-Jun-13 06:35:39

Have you spoken about some of the "what ifs" - like "what if you get posted to Cyprus?"

LittlePeaPod Tue 25-Jun-13 06:47:39

Personally I wouldn't ever want to feel I forced or pressured someone into marrying or asking me to marry him. It should be done because its what both people want and not because one feels pressured into it. He doesn't sound ready to ask. Really sorry OP but if he really wanted to ask I think he would have by now. My DF made it clear from he start marriage and kids were out for him. Three years later he proposed unexpectedly and I am pregnant (planned). It's wonderful because I know he did it for no other reason than he really wants me to be his wife.

tumbletumble Tue 25-Jun-13 06:49:57

If marriage is really important to you then you need to do something about it - otherwise I can't see your DP ever proposing. So either ask him or make it clear he needs to ask you. I don't like the word ultimatum, but you need to say that if your long term plans are different then maybe it won't work out.

My friend who had been with her partner a similar length of time (but no DC) did this. Her partner still didn't propose. Two years later she was married to someone else. Not all men are terrified of marriage! I can see it's harder if you have DC - but in a way that makes it even more important for you to be married (financial security etc).

ITCouldBeWorse Tue 25-Jun-13 06:57:20

If he is in the military, then I am surprised at his lack of forethought.

I think you need to emphasise the practicalities and your needs. If he refuses, then you will have abetter idea of where you are as a priority, so I get your ultimatum thing. It is not a tantrum, more a 'I know where I stand'.

Good luck

I find the whole women waiting for a proposal thing weird, anachronistic and sexist.

My boyfriend and I had a conversation along the lines of "Do you think we should get married?" "Yes, let's do it next summer".

We have been married (happily) for fifteen years.

If you want to get married, talk to him about it. If he wants to get married too, then do it.

scaevola Tue 25-Jun-13 07:10:56

"DP has never said he doesn't want to marry me"

Has he ever said he does ?

mamateur Tue 25-Jun-13 07:14:26

Marriage is a feminist issue for women. You have little financial security without it, once you start making changes to your life to accommodate your baby, live in one or the other's house.

DH didn't want to get married and would never have spontaneously proposed. I just told him I wasn't going on without getting married (in our case there were tonnes of financial and family reasons why it was necessary). We had a discussion about it, I explained why it was so important to me, he grudgingly agreed so I organised a wedding and when the day came we walked down the hill to the register office. He loved the day and loves being married.

I had a thread on here about it at the time and there were lots of dire threats that if I forced him into it I would pay for it later, etc. but it hasn't been the case. He is very happy we did.

Marriage is the next step. Give up on the idea of a romantic proposal, get clear about your reasons for wanting it and discuss it like adults.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 25-Jun-13 07:15:51

Why not clear a bit of time one evening and start off the conversation:

'You know how important this is for me, do you want to marry me?'

Either way you will then know where you stand, as will he.

DH and I had a similar conversation, he thought about it, said 'yes' and we finished the washing up. We were married a couple of months later.

That was over 20 years ago.

livinginwonderland Tue 25-Jun-13 07:54:56

Ultimatums are stupid, you'll end up losing a good thing just because you're arguing over what is, essentially, a piece of paper.

DP and I discussed marriage (we're not engaged yet - give it a couple of years!) - and he was never keen after a messy divorce in the past. He knows I want to get married - because I told him! We discussed it and I never gave him an ultimatum - I just said it was something I wanted in the future and left it at that. A couple of months later, he just came out in conversation and said he wanted to marry me one day! smile I wouldn't have left him if he never wanted to get married, though.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 25-Jun-13 07:58:02

I know two women that have given their now DHs the ultimatum, and it has worked out well for them.

If you're going to do it though, you need to be sure that you really will leave him and look for marriage elsewhere if he doesn't come up with the goods. Otherwise it's pointless, and you will be left feeling worse than you do already.

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