To want to get married?

(57 Posts)
QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 15:48:24

My DP and I have been together for just over 10yrs, he treats my DD as his own and we have 3 sons together. We have our ups and downs but as yet, no sign of us calling it a day and we are in the main happy together I think. In the early stages of our relationship, we talked about marriage, seemed a given that we would do it..along came the kids and it has been put on the back burner.

I am 35 this year and, half jokingly suggested we set a date..be married before I am 40. I am now half crying at the response..which was basically a massive fob off along the lines of 'well, something to think about, lots of money etc etc'. I responded with 'all I am saying is that we either want to get married or we don't, so if its the former then we can at least look at the feasibility of it'. I was not expecting the silence and cut off of conversation that followed.

My DP is a straightforward man, if he wanted to marry me then he would have said so. AIBU to be quietly devastated? Where does it leave me when my partner of a decade doesn't want to commit to being with me forever. I am so so sad.

conclusionjumper Fri 24-Jan-14 16:47:58

I think it's pretty easy to imagine that if you were having twins you might think that marriage was something you could put off till later thoughhmm

There was a very good programme about the importance of marriage for women on the R4 but there should be more about it. So many people still think they have rights as a common law wife when no such figure exists in law.

OP I hope your DP is just one of those put off by the fuss of the wedding and when you've hammered home the importance he'll be willing to agree to it. And have the wedding you want too - my DH wanted to go abroad to get it done but I couldn't imagine doing it without my friends and family.

2rebecca Fri 24-Jan-14 16:38:57

If I had accidentally found myself pregnant with a man who was excited to plan a future with me I would have made it clear that getting married before the babies was born for the legal protection of marriage was important to me. I find it odd that you didn't have that discussion or had it and decided not to bother.
I wouldn't marry someone just because I got pregnant but if we intended to stay together I see no reason not to get married when pregnant. Money would be tight often if unexpectedly pregnant but a basic wedding either church or registry office isn't expensive.

QueenofallIsee Fri 24-Jan-14 10:58:07

Thank you all for the constructive comments and help, I appreciate very much the folks that have dredged up articles and information for me to help.

For those that scorn children born to unwed couples as a poor decision on the part of the woman (many folks saying that they don't understand women who do that, as if it is entirely on the female)..I will accept that on the chin when you confirm that you did not have premarital sex either. For my situation, I fell pregnant unexpectedly with twin babies by a wonderful man who was excited to plan a future with me. We took precautions and still conceived. As he and I were in a committed relationship, of course we proceeded with the pregnancy. We focused on parenthood and loved it so much that we had another son quickly. I chose a man who is responsible, financial stable, generous with his time and attention, close to his lovely family who treat me as their own and a good example to our kids. I don't think I made a poor choice then and I don't think so now.

Actually come to think of it, you have reminded me neatly of why we are together. So maybe this weekend chat won't be a big thing after all

2rebecca Thu 23-Jan-14 15:14:22

I'd find out the costs and practicalities of a cheap registry office wedding and going home or to a pub or local restaurant later. I think committed couples don't get married often because big weddings are too much hassle and seem silly when you've been together for years. I wouldn't have children without marriage though and am amazed so many women do.

Chunderella Thu 23-Jan-14 15:06:14

Not half as confused as she is...

Either way, her utter failure to comprehend that correlation is not causation and her feeble attempts to discredit the importance of distinguishing between the two when challenged pervade much of her work. There is a great deal of the former in the article you linked to. It's a poor piece of work, and is not a good way for OP to make her case for marriage.

DontmindifIdo Thu 23-Jan-14 14:59:47

OP - If I was you, I'd sit him down, say that you know that after years together, it might seem a bit of a faff, but that as you are getting older, and have more assets, you really need to sort out the legal side if something happened to one of you. Say that you want to be marriage, and while you'd like a big wedding, you don't need it, it's the marriage bit that's important to you.

If he really doesn't want to get married, then you need to see a solicitor to make sure you are covered legally if something happened to one of you (perhaps use the example that you'd like it to be him, not your mum, who got to make the decision to switch off your lifesupport if it came to it, you'd like him not, your mum to make any decisions if it came to you needing care).

jumperooo Thu 23-Jan-14 14:59:46

You can get married at a registry office for about £100. It's the wedding party that costs more. We are getting married for the sake of our baby and to legally protect all three of us should anything happen. Otherwise we are not that fussed about marriage. I guess we don't feel it validates our feelings. But we gave a child together, so.We've booked the date. No guests, no party or anything. We do need to ask two people to come and be witnesses. I fully expect our friends to think its weird not to want the whole wedding experience, but we just dont. The wedding industry has a lot to answer for in my opinion. You need to talk to your dP and find out what his real feelings are. Money is a smokescreen.

thinks that people who point out the distinction are committing a logical fallacy.

I think you must be referring to her recent Mommy Wars article - which never mentioned fallacies, it spoke of 'tricks'. It sounds like you're confused.

Chunderella Thu 23-Jan-14 14:49:28

Well first of all, the fact that it's written by TAP. I haven't yet worked out whether she's a troll or a twat, but she's one of the two. She either doesn't understand or doesn't care about the difference between correlation and causation, and thinks that people who point out the distinction are committing a logical fallacy. Which is simply factually incorrect. Her credibility is zero.

This particular article is quite vintage TAP in that it's an extremely selective rendering of the literature. A bibliography salad, some people call it. And some of its ingredients aren't even up to date! She has taken what is a very complex area of research, and dumbed it down to support her own preconceived notions. She 's very poor at understanding which issues might be down to social factors. And even when she does acknowledge the possibility of confounding factors (as she does here with DV in marriage and underreporting) she breezily claims that the particular piece of research controls for them, without acknowledging the views of those in the field who consider it to be impossible to adequately control for. This is why it wouldn't be a good idea to show this article to anyone whom you're trying to make a point to- it's very easy to pull to shreds.

So to get back on topic, if OP does want to make the argument that marriage is better for children, she's better focusing on their own individual situations and how it would benefit their DC. For example, the possibility of widowed parents pension, which they won't get if unmarried.

Chunderella What's wrong with the TAP article I linked to?

Davsmum Thu 23-Jan-14 14:21:01

You said you 'half jokingly suggested' ?

It doesn't sound like you were half joking - It is serious and obviously matters to you.
If your DH is a 'straight forward' man then I should think his response was more to do with cost and wondering how marriage would change anything?

You really do need to be clear about how you feel because men cannot guess!
Tell him you would like to get married. If he is vague,..ask him why and ask him also what has changed since he seemed keen in the past.

You do have to think about how you will feel about the future if he says he doesn't want to get married. Him saying no does not necessarily mean he does not love you - but its a question you need to ask if he does refuse!

Chunderella Thu 23-Jan-14 14:12:29

As a general rule, The Alpha Parent is best left out of sensible discussions...

Joysmum Thu 23-Jan-14 13:59:54

I think the most valid point made on this thread is to differentiate between whether he objects to the wedding, or the legal aspects of a marriage. There is a vast difference between objecting to a wedding day and the legal contract of a marriage.

OP show him this and tell him marriage is for the children's sake.

I forced Dh to marry me

How exactly? Does that mean your marriage is invalid as it was done via duress? ;)

Chunderella Thu 23-Jan-14 13:01:26

Just want to spell out at this point that it's impossible to get all the legal protections offered by marriage without getting married. It's been touched on earlier in the thread but not sure if it's been made entirely clear. There are some things, such as the IHT exemption for spouses, that you either get married and acquire or you do without.

OP I can't emphasise enough- it doesn't have to be marriage, but if it isn't a trip to the registry office it has to be a trip to the solicitor. I can give more information on the legal protections if you like, and I'm a solicitor, but that's no substitute for advice that's been properly tailored to your circumstances.

Some people do have valid ethical objections to marriage. That's fair enough (I know of two or three couples who have been together for 30/40 years without marrying; they're all left-wing hippy types who object to the institution of marriage; all are happy together and legally protected etc).

However that doesn'[t seem to be the case here. It could be that the man doesn't realise about the legal implications and/or is reluctant to go through the palaver of a wedding. But unfortunately it could also be that he still feels, at the back of his mind, even after 10 years and three children, that the OP 'will do for now' and he wants to keep his options that tiny bit open in case Keira Knightly or whoever suddenly finds herself single and in the same pub as him.

revealall Thu 23-Jan-14 06:51:56

I can't believe people think that having children means he's committed to you. Where's any evidence that that is true?

In fact men are more likely to see women and children as a "package" meaning if he leaves you he'll leave them as well. At least he'll be expected to provide for them (unlike he'll have to do for you)

BohemianGirl Thu 23-Jan-14 05:53:18

I did read a piece that said statistically, people who marry after cohabiting longer than two years are more likely to split up. This is because one party is pressurising the other party and it is generally a fix or cure for something that is wrong in the relationship.

10,000 posters will now come and give anecdotal evidence to the contrary. But I said statistically.

In the old days, he would have married you first but now you have a struggle on your hands to get him up the aisle

Again and again, I repeat my nans mantra "he wont buy the cow if he's getting the milk for free". I never understand women who plan families with a man who won't commit and marry them in the first place. It leaves the woman very vulnerable.

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 20:31:18

Thank you all for the constructive comments. Glares being shot in the direction of the person who essentially called me a fool for having children out of wedlock. ..by all means tell me how to undo that fact and get it 'right'.

I will be having the conversation at the weekend, will report back for anyone that is interested

conclusionjumper Wed 22-Jan-14 20:10:19

I think you are entitled to get married, particularly if you share assets. Why should you not have legal protection in life? Although clearly having children with someone is a commitment, it's not necessarily a commitment to the relationship.

Chunderella Wed 22-Jan-14 20:06:56

It will almost definitely be easier to get married than acquire the other legal protections with a solicitor, yes.

etoo Wed 22-Jan-14 19:59:05

You're entitled to want to get married, but you'll need a better argument than wanting "commitment" if you're to change his mind, if he's had 3 kids with you which is far more commitment and infinitely less reversible than a marriage could ever be.

FoxOff Wed 22-Jan-14 19:58:12

My granny says marriage is the price men pay for sex, and sex is the price women pay for marriage.

She's getting on a bit though and probably doesn't realise times have changed.

In the old days, he would have married you first but now you have a struggle on your hands to get him up the aisle.

Parkend Wed 22-Jan-14 19:52:09

Has this not come up before, 10 years and 3 kids is a long time?

As you have said it could just be a small affair. I would have thought it would be easier to get married than have a solicitor draw up documents to put you in the same legal position.

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