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 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.

IHatePopUpTents Wed 22-Jan-14 15:53:28

I think you have to consider that to some people men they don't see the point in marriage.. It doesn't mean he doesn't want to spent the rest of his life with you, it may just mean he doesn't want to spend £££££ telling it to the world!

It might be worth discussing it with him with this in mind?

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 15:55:20

I suppose you might be right - it is just that originally, he was dead keen to marry and it seemed to be just circumstances that stopped us. It feels like he loves me less now (drama queen anyone)

TwoJackRussellsandababy Wed 22-Jan-14 15:56:37

I think you might need to sit down with him and explain how you feel.

Weddings can be as expensive as you want to make them after all it doesn't need to be very costly and if he is very practical, the tax implications of not being married are not good!

Poledra Wed 22-Jan-14 15:59:03

Do you mean you want to be married or do you want a big wedding? Because he might be concerned about the cost of a big wedding but be OK with marriage. Some people (my best friend included) hate the idea of being the centre of attention all day, and all the hoo-ha surrounding a big wedding.

I'm not knocking big weddings, BTW - I had one and enjoyed every minute, but just trying to see if that's what the issue is for your DP.

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 15:59:23

You are right of course, we need to talk about it. I hate the idea of marriage becoming something to row over or worse, that he feels pressured into it. I blithely assumed he would say 'of course we will get married dear'..the awkward silence was excruciating

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 15:59:51

I just want to be married, happy with a small do.

I personally think he made more of a commitment to you when he had 3 children with you.

yummystepford Wed 22-Jan-14 16:03:38

Make sure you let him know that it's not about the wedding, it's hard to explain to a man why that piece of paper is important to us! I mostly just want to be able to call him my husband and have his name, I do not and will not have a wedding, the idea to me is horrible, I am hoping we can elope before the baby is born lol

CaptainTripps Wed 22-Jan-14 16:03:52

I feel sad for you. I don't get this whole 'oh lots of blokes don't want to commit/don't see the point' bollocks.

It's having all the cake and eating it on his part.

But then, as Judge Judy would cruelly say, 'you picked him...'

I hope you can talk him round, Queen.

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 16:05:27

I agree Betty.

I suppose I thought why wouldn't we get married, we have 3 lovely kids and home and a life that we enjoy. Now a little dark voice has crept in...he loves me less than he did before the children, he will probably leave you when they are older etc etc. I know to some people marriage is unimportant - in fact it would be my 2nd marriage (I was married to DD's Dad). If we never did for practical reasons I would probably be OK with it. It was that silence and lack of reassurance that has done it I think.

He may well think that it's not very relevant as you live together and have several DC. He quite probably thinks that you and he are 'common-law husband and wife.' He is wrong on this, and I would suggest having the discussion from this angle. Are you legally protected if he should drop dead? Do you have a mortgage? Does he have relatives who would push you aside to get at his assets if he died?

You can simply book an appointment with a registrar, drag a couple of tramps off the street to be witnesses, say the words and sign the book and you will be married, so you could offer that as an option.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 22-Jan-14 16:05:55

do you want a marriage or a wedding.

The legal part is £115 in my local registery office if done mon-thur. that's for the notice and simple ceremony.

A wedding can be as cheap or as expensive as the couple wants.

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 16:06:51

Thank you Yummy and Captain for your support - I know to some its a small thing. I even thought it was to me..until I considered he may refuse.

He doesn't love you any less, he is just settled, complacent even, probably thinks its a load of hassle and if it ain't broke why fix it. Maybe just have a serious chat with him, point out its not a massive wedding you want but just that bit of paper.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Wed 22-Jan-14 16:08:33

Maybe he felt that it was a sign that you were unhappy with your relationship as it stands. You need to talk to him and explain exactly how you do feel. Some people change their minds about things like this, some people worry that they are going to trapped and there are statistics (you can prove anything with statistics) that lots of long term relationships flounder after marrying. He may be worried that you are trying to fix cracks that he doesn't know about or change the dynamics of a relationship that he sees as perfect as it is. You won't know unless you talk to him.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 22-Jan-14 16:11:06

show him this website, a marriage is a lot more than just a piece of paper.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 22-Jan-14 16:11:19
QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 16:11:55

Thank you all. I will have to speak to him - I am a bit scared about that to be honest! Totally ridiculous to feel like that..I am just worried I have opened a drawer that I can't close now and his response may rock us further. That might sound a bit alarmist I know

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 16:12:17

Thank you forty I will have a look

Chunderella Wed 22-Jan-14 16:58:32

Yanbu, as it was understood in the early days that you would marry. He's the one who has unilaterally moved the goalposts. You don't mention whether you have wills, next of kin provisions etc, but if you don't then in your position I'd give him an ultimatum. It absolutely has to be either marriage or a trip to the solicitor to find out whether any of the legal protections offered by marriage are relevant to you and, if so, to put them into place. One of the two.

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 17:08:37

Thank you Chunderella (cool name btw). I am going to brave it and see how we go. I think if nothing else, he needs to know how sad it has made me.

TeacupDrama Wed 22-Jan-14 17:15:21

say you want marriage not a wedding as such if he agreed to marry just the 2 of you at registry office would that be enough for you or do you also want some sort of small wedding?

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 17:17:35

Well I suppose ideally I would like a wedding that included our friends and family, however if that was a deal breaker for DP or not what he wanted I don't have to have it! We lead a very social life and have a long standing circle of people that share many of our special moments with us, it wouldn't occur to me not to invite them unless it was to be JUST US or not at all. The vows are what matter, not the wedding itself

conclusionjumper Wed 22-Jan-14 17:17:45

I think he needs to know how important it is to you. He might just be thinking, jeez, what it is with women and weddings, etc. sounds expensive, let's see if this goes away, etc..

However, SGB is completely right, you are not married and you don't have the legal protection of marriage.

I forced Dh to marry me and he is now very happy, as I tell him every day grin good luck.

QueenofallIsee Wed 22-Jan-14 17:21:01

I am distracted from my sadness by conclusionjumpers forcing of her DH.....are we talking bound, gagged and the vows said BeetleJuice style (please say so, that would be AWESOME)

FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 22-Jan-14 17:25:48

how did you Force your DH.

conclusionjumper Wed 22-Jan-14 17:33:06

Maybe not quite that dramatic, Queen but he really didn't want a wedding. He said he was prepared to go to see a lawyer to have docs drawn up to put me in the exact same position as being married, but did not want to be all conventional and get married (like he was che guevara riding across the plains or something confused). Anyway I whipped up a nice wedding in a couple of weeks with a reception at our house and in the end he trotted to the registry office like a total puppy with me in the morning, stopping only at Argos to buy a ring grin

Damnautocorrect Wed 22-Jan-14 17:33:41

Gosh second thread like this I've read today.
I can sympathise to an extent, lots of wedding talk at the beginning 6 years on nothing. If it's what's important to you than you need to explain it to him.

Things have changed for me I've decided I don't want to marry into his family so would say no should he ask. But it still doesn't stop me being sad at no beautiful dress or engagement ring.

CaptainTripps Wed 22-Jan-14 18:25:39

Call me old fashioned but he saw fit and was happy to have 3 sons with you. Wonder why is he balking at the whole marriage thing. Does he not see you as marriage material? (rhetorical question).

You deserve that nice ring and fancy dress. Hope you can have The Chat with him.

Preciousbane Wed 22-Jan-14 19:27:58

I married far too young and it was a really bad one. I was amazed when I agreed to marry DH as I had vowed I would never marry again. He had never been married and it meant so much to him I agreed. In all these threads and there have been many it is usually the man who is reluctant. I always like to break the mould!

Tell him you want a marriage, its not about the wedding. Tell him how it makes you feel, DH did to me and it worked.

Tell him you would like to go down with your four dc to the registry office and two witnesses. No fuss or expense.

Ownteethandhair Wed 22-Jan-14 19:34:07

I know I am old fart but in my day people got married THEN had the kids. Don't know why any woman would have 3 kids with a man who could marry her but chooses not to.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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

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.

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)

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.

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.

I forced Dh to marry me

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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