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To want to get married first?

(87 Posts)
MadInfoScientist Wed 07-Aug-13 10:17:55

I know, it's an old chestnut, but it's keeping me awake at night!
DP and I have been together 5 years, living together for 3 years, engaged for just over 18 months. We are both 34; he was married once before (briefly), I've never been married.

Lately, DP has been feeling 'broody' (?), and wants to start trying for a baby starting now. I am not comfortable with this; though I am not really a traditional sort, I do want DP to make the committment to us as a couple first, and not just because we have a child together. DP is not at all marriage shy, he is just really keen on being a dad, which is lovely, but I guess I don't understand why we can't just have a nice, small wedding ceremony that's about us first, then start trying?! It's not as if I am dying for a huge wedding...the registry office with close friends and family will suit me just fine.

I know that some people view marriage as 'just a piece of paper', but still, it's important to me. I like the idea of saying our vows to each other in front of our closest friends and family, and commemorating that committment to each other. Anyway...he is lovely, and he's not pressuring me in a nasty way, but I feel like I'm letting him down. Am I being unreasonable??

HollyBerryBush Wed 07-Aug-13 10:20:45

No one buys the cow when they get the milk for free.

If you want the security of marriage then ask for it. If its only a bit of paper I never see why people complain about having it grin

angelos02 Wed 07-Aug-13 10:20:57

YANBU. The 'just a piece of paper' is bollocks.

Leeds2 Wed 07-Aug-13 10:21:02

Have you told him that you want to get married? What was his response?

Nagoo Wed 07-Aug-13 10:22:07

Have you told him that you'd like to be married first? What does he say to you?

I don't think you are letting him down at all!

therumoursaretrue Wed 07-Aug-13 10:22:21

Have you said all this to your DP? If you just want a small intimate wedding it could be planned in a matter of months and if DP is not wedding shy what is stopping you?

You could be married in a few months and be trying for a baby by Christmas.

peteypiranha Wed 07-Aug-13 10:22:28

I wouldnt ever have a child without being married first personally.

VinegarDrinker Wed 07-Aug-13 10:22:40

You're engaged? So presumably there is a wedding planned at some point? When?

badguider Wed 07-Aug-13 10:22:54

who is saying you can't have a nice small wedding ceremony before you start ttc..? have you said this is what you want?

if you are just keeping quiet waiting for a surprise proposal then yabvu but if you've said what you want and he says no then there's something weird going on there...

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Wed 07-Aug-13 10:23:07

I think I see both sides. Not that you are unreasonable at all to want to be married - it's good legal protection, and you are engaged so presumably he wants to do it. But also, he's probably right that if you do want kids you both ought to crack on fairly soon.

I think you need to work out what his sticking point is. When you say you want him to 'make the committment' I slightly worry, because ideally, getting married ought to be because he already has made that committment.

OTOH he might have other worries, like how long you think it'll take to get married, and might be seeing it as you having cold feet about a baby, so you may just be miscommunicating with each other.

What does he actually say about the wedding, and what would your time-frame be if you were to go ahead and get married?

meditrina Wed 07-Aug-13 10:23:34

Marriage might be "just a piece of paper", but like many other signed legal documents, it does make a difference.

If he doesn't want to marry, is it a deal-breaker for you?

noddyholder Wed 07-Aug-13 10:25:11

No one buys the cow when they get the milk for free? Awful thing to say

MadInfoScientist Wed 07-Aug-13 10:25:43

Oh, thank you!! His response, the last time we talked, was that we could start trying for a baby, and plan the wedding...I think he thinks that wedding planning is going to take ages, meaning he'll have to wait longer for a baby. I suspect it's our ages, as well...I think maybe he's nervous that we're 34 now, and it we leave it much longer, our fertility is compromised. Ok. Time for another discussion, I think...

runningforthebusinheels Wed 07-Aug-13 10:25:48

YANBU. Perfectly acceptable to state that you will not be having dc with him until you're married, and that you require that level of commitment first.

It is also perfectly acceptable to have children without getting married first, imo, as long as that is what you want. But marriage does give a mother a certain amount of protection in law if she were to give up work to look after the dc, and the father, further down the road, left/died.

therumoursaretrue Wed 07-Aug-13 10:26:26

Agree noddy.

Runningchick123 Wed 07-Aug-13 10:26:26

Just be direct and tell him that you would love to start a family with him but only after you have tied the knot. Having a baby in wedlock brings more security for the child in case for whatever reason you split or anything happens health wise to either of you (sorry to be morbid, but these are the practical issues). There is also the issue of the whole family havng the same surname and also not having to prove parental responsibility for consenting to medical stuff for the child.
Plus having a child is a huge lifelong commitment so marriage (if its what you want) should be part of that commitment.
You can always suggest going abroad and tying the knot if he is put off the whole idea of a wedding rather than the actual marriage.

FriskyHenderson Wed 07-Aug-13 10:27:14

You can get married in two weeks. Planning a wedding might take longer.

VestaCurry Wed 07-Aug-13 10:27:19

Discuss with him asap. You are engaged. That means you plan to marry. Tell him you want to marry first, it's important to you to do so before having a family. All very straightforward , so just be straightforward about it.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Wed 07-Aug-13 10:27:42

Yes, time for another discussion.

I think you need to start putting a time frame to him - do you realistically think you could be married in three months? Six? It really doesn't need to take as long as that to plan a wedding if it's a small one, but lots of people take ages, so it would be normal for him to wonder.

I do think if you're prepared to get married soon, you're not being unreasonable at all to wait.

karinmaria Wed 07-Aug-13 10:29:27

Completely understand where you're coming from. My DH said he could imagine us having children and getting married later, but I didn't want that as I wanted us to have the same, united, name on any potential children's birth certificates. Traditional, me?!

As you've been engaged for 18 months I'm wondering why you haven't talked about when you'd like to get married TBH.

As suggested below, talk to him about how you're feeling. You can quite easily have a small wedding by Christmas and start TTC then! Good luck smile

plantsitter Wed 07-Aug-13 10:29:46

Having planned a (moderate sized) wedding with 2 small children in tow, I would ALWAYS advise gettng married before having children, unless you want a quick in-out job.

Otherwise it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks - if it is what YOU want, you should make it clear that you won't settle for less. You're entitled to ask for what you want.

MadInfoScientist Wed 07-Aug-13 10:31:00

LRDY- Good points...'make the committment' was badly worded...it should be more about making it legal, celebrating us, etc. But, that's sort of it...I think he's not as 'bothered' about the actual wedding and wants to crack on with baby making because he already feels committed. When we got engaged, it was ME who wasn't in a hurry to plan a wedding...not because of the committment thing, I was really excited to be planning a future...I'm just lazy! smile I never thought about the fact that I'm getting up there, and might need to think about babies! hmmm...maybe I was feeling too settled...

badguider Wed 07-Aug-13 10:31:47

Set a date in six months time... and if you don't mind the risk of not drinking on your wedding day start ttc in three to four months, if you do mind then start on your wedding night... either way you won't be 'wasting' too much time.

therumoursaretrue Wed 07-Aug-13 10:32:31

You def need a serious chat with him. I'm planning my wedding atm, we are planning it over 2 years as it suits us best financially, but it can be done so much more quickly. My cousin planned her wedding in 5 months and she had a big big wedding with over 200 guests.

There's every possibility to plan it in a short time and then try for a baby without losing out on much time.

At the end of the day it's the marriage that counts, the wedding itself doesn't need to be a big affair.

MadBusLady Wed 07-Aug-13 10:33:47

No such thing as "just a piece of paper". That's all wills, employment contracts etc are. Of course, families hope they will not fall out during bereavement and employers/employees hope to have a hassle-free relationship - but they still get the pieces of paper in place, just in case.

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