AIBU to call off the wedding?

(61 Posts)
Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:07:54

So, after 7 years together and 2 kids DP finally proposed last weekend.
Cue much excitement from me, I obviously wanted to discuss venues, dates etc. Now DP is refusing to set a date. I immediately said next September would be perfect, he keeps making jokes about waiting for a few years, won't discuss venues etc.

I don't want to turn in to a bridezilla but I have been waiting a long time for this and I am 37. I don't agree with long engagements. What's the point in agreeing to get married then waiting for years? I also know venues get booked up quickly so would need to start looking soon for next year.

So AIBU to say unless he actually agrees on a date and agrees to discuss venues then we may as well call it off?

Hassled Fri 21-Jun-13 11:12:58

I think you need a proper talk about it first. Why do you think he proposed if he didn't intend to go through with it - and why has it taken 7 years? I'm assuming he has issues with the concept of marriage - but you need to find out why, and what's actually going on in his head. You also need to think about what you'll do if he says he doesn't want to ever marry.

And you're right that he can't just say what you want to hear if he's then going to fanny about with long engagements as a stalling tactic. It's no way to treat the person you love.

Helltotheno Fri 21-Jun-13 11:13:07

You would not be unreasonable to do that, but actually if marriage is what you want, then I'd just call the whole relationship off. I guarantee, if you tell him to move out, that'll focus his mind. Just keep your own goal in mind. Marriage isn't important to everyone but if it's important to you, don't compromise.... although I'll qualify that by saying if you want the big gig and he doesn't, you need to compromise.
In this case, the issue is whether he wants marriage at all.

Also, make sure you're secure financially, with or without marriage, just in case this ends up a dealbreaker.

Dahlen Fri 21-Jun-13 11:13:07

Depends on what you're prepared for as his reaction. If he says ok then let's call it off, what will you feel/do?

WafflyVersatile Fri 21-Jun-13 11:15:10

Ask him what date he had in mind when he proposed?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 21-Jun-13 11:18:13


I don't see the point in long engagements either. If you're not ready to get married then just wait to get engaged!

If he really won't discuss anything then I'd think that he was hoping that a proposal would keep you quite for a while and he could continue stringing you along without any intention of making a solid commitment. It's very disrespectful of you and your feelings, and I wouldn't be putting up with it.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Fri 21-Jun-13 11:18:56

When you say he 'finally' proposed ... forgive me, but it sounds as if you have been expecting this for some time, and it's him who was dragging his heels?

I think fair enough, have the conversation about getting married, what you each expect of it, what it means to you, but don't expect him to be a mind-reader who should know your internal timetable (if you see what I mean).

I don't mean that harshly, I just think you could be on two very different pages here!

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:21:08

Thanks all, you are helping me get my thoughts straight.
We kind of did the kids thing first due to age and he did say we would always get married but never seemed in much of a hurry (he thinks it's religious!)

A bout of cancer (me) kind of focused our minds on other things for a few years too.

For me marriage is important, I have made that clear. I am working part time but did have a reasonably well paid career which I feel I sacrificed for his career. (He is away lots works long hours etc). With 2 young children I couldn't do the full time job thing too with no help.

I am prepared to walk away to be honest. I do need to find out why he wants to wait years (he says we need to save up). I am happy to have a cheap wedding...

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:23:47

Exactly clouds. I feel it was a 'shut her up' proposal which is massively disrespectful. What should be a happy time is being ruined and my anger levels are rising!

Tell him you're happy to have a cheap & cheerfull wedding if it means it's sooner.

And as a previous poster said, ask what date/month he had in mind when he proposed.

Hard to say, as we've not met the man but it's plausible that he thought it would keep you quiet.

You could always stress to him the financial/security benefits of marriage if you think it's a better approach.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:27:15

When everyone asks him he makes jokes about 2020! Then when I say next year he says 'let's compromise and meet halfway'.
He then said it takes ages to organise a wedding blah blah.
You are all right though, when he asked me I just immediately assumed it would be next year and haven't actually asked him when he was thing of!

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:27:41

Thinking of

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Jun-13 11:29:19

If you're prepared to walk away from your DP and split up your family over this, do you actually love him enough to marry him?

Either way, he obviously doesn't want to get married.

But you do need to find out the reason why.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Fri 21-Jun-13 11:29:24

Oh, that sounds difficult, sorry to hear it. sad

Do you mind me asking - what do you expect to change with this marriage?

Is it what the marriage symbolises to you that matters (if so, does it matter that he obviously doesn't share this?). Do you think at some stage he'll get into the spirit of it and become more romantic, or is it purely the financial stability?

I'm just asking because it sounds as if you've been really hoping he'll suddenly change how he is, and he might not. I may be totally misreading this though, so forgive me if so.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:34:12

Thanks malenky. I think it's important to me mainly for financial security (?) and i just want that level of commitment. For me it symbolises that the person wants to be with you forever.

I din't know if he'll get into the spirit of it. It's all getting a bit tainted for me now anyway. I feel he has been forced in to it and is doing it to appease me.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Fri 21-Jun-13 11:38:34

I would be really fed up with someone who didn't get the financial security thing, TBH.

Eyesunderarock Fri 21-Jun-13 11:39:38

I think it's tainted for you now, if he doesn't want to marry within the year when you have other things sorted, it was the equivalent of a sweetie to stop you mithering.
So if you want to stay with him, I'd sort out the financial situation first.
You and your children ought to secure.
Then consider if I wanted to stay with him, after that grudging sop to your emotional needs.

ChaoticTranquility Fri 21-Jun-13 11:40:29

You could reverse that though Worra and say if he refuses to marry her even though he knows it's important to her then does he love her enough.

OP has he ever mentioned any objections to marriage as an institution? Is it marriage he doesn't want or a wedding? If the latter would you be prepared to do the registery office with two witnesses?

he did say we would always get married but never seemed in much of a hurry (he thinks it's religious!)

I'm not entirely clear what you mean by the last bit.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Jun-13 11:43:25

You could reverse that though Worra and say if he refuses to marry her even though he knows it's important to her then does he love her enough.

Yes but he wouldn't be splitting up the family.

There are 2 kids in all of this after all.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:45:48

Sorry. He thinks marriage is a piece of paper, a religious ceremony and he is not religious (neither am I).

Think he feels we don't need to get married but he would feel that way since he is the one with the high flying career and has made no sacrifices. He feels having children and a mortgage is enough of a commitment to show how he feels.

But yes it has all become tainted for me now...

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:49:19

True worra. That is why this is all so hard.

Do I need to accept we just won't get married or will I spend the rest of my life resenting him?

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Jun-13 11:53:39

I don't know OP sad

But you do need to make sure you're legally and financially secure.

Perhaps you could point out that it's much cheaper and quicker to have a 15 minute registry office ceremony, than to hire a solicitor to sort out all the legalities.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:56:42

Yes I think at this stage will focus on the financial security aspect. Will ask if he would just prefer a quickie registry office affair. If not, will speak to a solicior.

Can you make a will as watertight financially as a marriage does anyone know?

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 11:58:47

Or, in the case we spilt up can a solicitor draw up something similar to what you'd get as a wife?

Squigglypig Fri 21-Jun-13 12:00:07

This happened to a friend of mine, her BF did a big song + dance proposal then started really dragging his heels when they started to look at venues and actually said "Maybe we don't need to get married after all." twat They didn't have children and their relationship never recovered. She's now happily married to someone else.

Obviously having children means you can't walk away so easily but frankly I would have a proper shout at him as it's clearly important to you even if it's not to him and frankly you could be married within a month with a registry office do (not religious) and a knees-up in a pub with your friends.

ChaoticTranquility Fri 21-Jun-13 12:00:49

He may not be splitting up a family by walking away but his decision could end up being the deal breaker, if not straight away but by the erosion of the relationship over time.

Marriage doesn't need to be a religious commitment, it could be a civil ceremony.

So far he's shown a commitment to his children and to buying a house. Many children have separated parents, houses can be sold so I don't see them as automatically being a commitment to you or your relationship.

OP these are my thoughts. What you choose to do is only a decision that you can make.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 12:04:18

Am definitey going to have a proper shout at him. It's just sad there doesn't seem to be any possible happy outcome. (unless I somehow get over the marriage thing I guess). Maybe he'll go for the registry office option.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 21-Jun-13 12:05:06

I would be having a small, registry office do with your two children and immediate family only. Only takes as long to sort out as availability at the registry office and the legalities require.

Then have a big celebratory party in 2020 (or "meet half way"...)

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 12:06:50

That's how I feel chaotic. This is affecting my feelings towards him.

I think I will focus on getting the financial security side sorted but after that I am not sure where we go with our relationship.

WeleaseWodger Fri 21-Jun-13 12:09:24

You need to sit him down and discuss marriage as a financial security for you and the kids.

keep the emotional/religious reasons for wanting to marry out of it and pin him down to financials. If he's not willing to marry because its a silly paper / religious ceremony, then he should have no issues committing financially. Call him on it.

Have very specific points worked out on what financial commitment you want from him (be it placed on house deed, named in his will, financial provision for children) and think in terms of what financial rights you'd have if you divorced. As a partner, you have no rights. If both of you are willing to sign away your properties/assets to each other so that it would (financially) be the same as being married, then it may just be that to him a marriage is just a piece of paper.

Also think about what you want as financial compensation for sacrificing your earning potential due to the kids (do you want to retrain and have him contribute, do you want to go back to work, etc).

I suspect that he may not be that keen at making what's his yours and what's yours his. In which case either he'll realise marriage is more than just a piece of paper and change his mind, or he won't and you will see his real reason for not wanting to marry and can go from there.

LifeofPo Fri 21-Jun-13 12:13:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 12:15:01

That's a really good idea welease. I think previously I didn't want it to be so unromantic and for it to come down to financial security but I think now, that is what it boils down to.

WeleaseWodger Fri 21-Jun-13 12:55:34

With two kids, it really becomes about being financially responsible for them, providing and protecting them, doesn't it? Hopefully he will realise this isn't about an overpriced wedding day to appease you, but doing whats best for his family.

Please also look up stuff about one of you falling ill/dying as there may also be lots of complications there too if you're not married. Even more so if either of your parents are still living, etc.

mistlethrush Fri 21-Jun-13 13:00:18

Why don't you ring up the registry office and see if they've got any dates available for his next quiet day when he can take a morning or afternoon up?

Ashoething Fri 21-Jun-13 13:12:21

My dh and I were together for 7 years before we got wed. We had friends who hadn't even been together for as long as us who got hitched before us! It was only when I gave him an ultimatum that he even agreed to get engaged after 4 years!

We were actually on the verge of splitting up-instigated by me after a very difficult period-that dh insisted that he really did want to marry me and he booked the registry office that day! We have been married for 11 years.

I understand that being married isn't important to some people but it was to me and it obviously it to you so you really need to have a proper conversation with your dp.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 21-Jun-13 13:26:52

Agree that if he's not prepared to give you the one thing that would ensure your financial security in the event of a split, then he is not the man for you.

It might be that he is completely unaware of just how vulnerable you are (in case of a split), but once you lay it all out for him, if he is still not actively willing to get married then you know he is the kind of man who is willing to take advantage of all the sacrifices you've made and who doesn't really care about what happens to you in a worst case scenario.

I would be looking at options on how to revive my own career and earning potential asap.

I think he's actually suckered you into having dc and giving up your career under false pretences - seemingly he never had any intention of actually marrying you, despite what he said. I would be feeling really hurt and angry and it would sour the whole relationship for me, because when it comes down to it, he doesn't have your back.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 21-Jun-13 13:29:28

^ what Karma said. Show him that post if he refuses to set a date in the near future.

Fairyegg Fri 21-Jun-13 13:30:22

I don' t think your dps reaction is uncommon, most men just aren't that into weddings. Have you actually discussed what he wants, type Of venue, number of people, how much he expects it to cost etc? He probably doesn't realise how quickly venues etc can get booked, but equally maybe you have panicked him by being super excited and buying wedding mags, talking about it a lot etc? Or maybe he really does want a big expensive wedding but wants to spend the next 7 years saving for it? Until you actually talk to him your not going to know. Regardless, planning a wedding is all about compromise. I worry over the fact you say your prepared to leave him over this. Doesn't make for a great start IMO.

OhCobblers Fri 21-Jun-13 13:31:40

As hard as it probably is to hear, I agree with every word karmabeliever just said.
How disappointing for you OP after all this time. You do need to have a sit down and a very thorough conversation to get this sorted in your own head once and for all. I believe you've waited long enough. Good luck.

Fairyegg Fri 21-Jun-13 13:38:19

I presume your name is on the house deeds, he has sorted his pension out so that it will be paid to you In the event of his death (realise Not every pension scheme allows this without marriage but lots do), his life insurance is set so it will leave house to you Mortage free and you have made wills? If not why not? Or perhaps that's a separate thread altogether.

runes Fri 21-Jun-13 13:44:45

He doesn't have to be into weddings, but he should be into making the op happy. I think it's sad that the op got all excited only to have him wreck it with his shitty attitude. Why bother proposing lf he can't commit to some real plans, unless, as some other posters have suggested, he was being disingenuous and had no intention of actually following the proposal with a wedding. I think he's a twat if he doesn't realise the effect his attitude will have on their relationship. The op already feels things are tainted sad.

raisah Fri 21-Jun-13 13:44:50

It doesnt take ages to organise a weddinf; my bil did it in 6 weeks. How would he react if yiu suggested a registry office and a small reception at a hall/hotel or restaurant withour the mad OTT trimmings. It seems to me that you just want to get married to be his official wife s whereas he seems to be overwhelmed by the cost of it all. Thats probably why he is so reluctant to set a date.

Sallyingforth Fri 21-Jun-13 13:48:17

It sounds to me like the proposal was a spur-of-the-moment thing and he is now regretting it. Was he drunk feeling merry at the time?

ParadiseChick Fri 21-Jun-13 13:55:51

Don't have a proper for at him. Try talking?

spillows Fri 21-Jun-13 16:07:00

Take heart, Delatron I literally forced DP to marry me. I made him agree to it, then frogmarched him to get the ring, organised the whole wedding without any contribution (it took me 1 month). He just paid for stuff. Then he started to get a little keener about the details, and spent the whole day with a big grin on his face. Loved it. Loves being married grin.

He was most fearful of the formality of the ceremony, thought he'd look stupid etc. Actually the register office was the bit he enjoyed best.

I don't think you can judge the whole health of the relationship on this. Lots of men don't like weddings and shy away from them.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 17:29:35

Thanks all. We are going to talk this weekend but he says he is willing to set a date for next year now. I said I didn't want a long engagement and why doesn't he wait till he is ready to marry me before asking? I think a good old chat about what we both want and when will be a good thing.

He wasn't actually drunk when he proposed and said he had been thinking about it for a while. I think the things that are putting him off are the cost and maybe the organising of it.

What you all (thank you) have made me realise is how financially vulnerable I am so if a date is not set for next year for whatever reason then I will be seeing a solicitor quick smart.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 17:31:50

Yes my name is on the house deeds. I doubt it about the pension. I also told him a while ago that if he died then any money from the house would not necessarily go to me or the boys but the government would get most of it. He seemed shocked by that.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 21-Jun-13 17:32:49

I know someone who got married in her lunch break!

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 17:47:44

Ha! I like that idea!

LaQueen Fri 21-Jun-13 17:59:08

Oh dear...I very strongly suspect he's fobbing you off...he's held off this long, about getting engaged, but has probably judged that he finally needs to make some gesture, to keep you quiet happy.

So, he's bitten the bullet and proposed...hoping that will pour oil on troubled waters for a goodly while.

It's happened with a couple of friends we know. Very long term engaged, with no wedding in sight. I really, really don't see the point? Being engaged isn't a state, in and of itself. You are engaged to be married.

And, if there isn't a marriage/wedding anywhere on the horizon, then the engagement is completely meaningless.

LaQueen Fri 21-Jun-13 18:01:07

I managed to organise a big, white wedding in less than 5 months. I can be done, no sweat.

And, OP if your DP really genuinely isn't that bothered about marriage, but truly loves you and knows it would make you really happy...then he should be happy to marry you, anyway.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 18:09:44

Agree completely LaQueen. Unless a date is set I won't consider myself engaged. Have made it very clear I don't do long enagagements.

Will have the chat this weekend and report back!

DontmindifIdo Fri 21-Jun-13 18:15:11

oh dear lord, is this just an elaborate ruse to get you to say you'll do all the work for the wedding and will be happy with a much smaller budget than if he'd shown he was actually interested in getting married.

Strong talking too, does he want to get married, yes or no? If no, what the fuck was he doing messing with you by asking? If yes, then it will need to be organised and paid for, you expect to get married sooner rather htan later and does he want to talk budget and what sort of day he'd want, or does he just want to leave it to you?

thequeenmary Fri 21-Jun-13 18:15:30

If I was being very cynical, I might think that he isn't moving quickly with the marriage thing because he has no incentive to do so. You already live together and have children. He doesn't feel there's a risk of losing you. If he marries you, he will be much more financially vulnerable in the event of you splitting up. It's good that your name is on the deeds. I hope I'm just being cynical and he's not just trying to protect himself financially, but I have heard blokes at work saying there's no need for them to marry their partners because as it is they have all of the benefits and none of the liability.

Hope your chat goes well.

LaQueen Fri 21-Jun-13 18:24:09

Del I lived with DH (then DP) for nearly 10 years, but no DCs. All that time, he was very vague about us getting married. It was so frustrating, because when we first met he was more keen than me to get engaged, but then he changed. I pushed and probed, and we argued, but he wouldn't propose.

In the end, I turned 30 and thought enough is enough. Had one last heart2heart with DP, who yet again infered he wasn't bothered about marriage now, if ever...

So, it broke my heart, but I packed my bags and left him. Within 2 months he realised he'd made a huge mistake. Showered me with flowers, romantic weekends away, swore he'd love me for always and forever, and he proposed. Twice smile

I turned him down flat. Both times shock I wasn't that easy. I made him wait, and prove he meant every word he said. I finally accepted his third proposal, and we got married 5 months later. Been very happily married for 11 years now, with 2 DDs smile

I took a huge gamble. And I walked away from our 10 year relationship assuming I'd never see him again. But staying with him, in such uncertain circumstances, feeling that he didn't value my hopes and dreams, was just untenable for me.

Delatron Fri 21-Jun-13 18:37:06

Ah LaQueen, I'm glad that story had a happy ending. It's hard, in a way I should have said marriage before kids but then if I had done that I think I would have ended up being unable to have any kids due to the subsequent chemo I had so I can't regret that.

I was prepared to walk away if the proposal wasn't forthcoming. Now I need to see if he actually meant it.

Timetoask Fri 21-Jun-13 18:42:33

We were engaged for 6 months. I don't see the point of long engagements either.

Dozer Fri 21-Jun-13 18:54:27

Yanbu. You can sort out the financial security straightaway at low cost through legal agreements.

ParadiseChick Fri 21-Jun-13 18:56:31

We had a long engagement, 4 years, as we were 19 when we got snagged, after a year together, and knew we wanted to finish study, buy a house etc before spending on a wedding. Throw in a baby and it took us 4 years to get round to the wedding.

josephinebruce Fri 21-Jun-13 19:03:42

Be careful that he doesn't end up resenting you because he feels you've forced him into marriage. Then you're looking at a divorce and that is not, my any means, cheap - and women can come off worse even when there's children.

Didactylos Fri 21-Jun-13 19:04:39

I just got married to DP recently after a long engagement - life and kids got in the road but initially he had dragged his heels a bit. When we finally had time and money to sit down and plan something it was a bit of an odd conversation, and we just couldnt plan anything - we had to really work out why we were getting married.

The difference to my mind is that after a long time and kids its not what the traditional ceremony is about eg romantic aspirational promising something new to each other, but more about a celebration of what you have already and a committment to the future. We were always going to be married for legal/citizenship reasons but I think we both really valued being forced into a few conversations about what we had and where we saw ourselves going. It was kind of odd to create a ceremony around 'weve enjoyed sauntering along in the same direction so far, and wed like you all to know its going to continue' but we did it in 8mths and had a great childfriendly rowdy multicultural party that was enjoyed by all

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