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DP keeps fobbing me off. I have tried to be understanding but am getting fed up. It's a thin line to being unreasonable!(114 Posts)
Have NC for obvious reasons.
Been together three years. I tried to vaguely see what his opinions were on both marriage and children and he gave me vaguely positive answers, a few winks and smiles and 'We'll see's/"That sounds nice". He suffered a close family bereavement around the time I was gearing up to ask (marriage has always been important to me, children have become important as my friends have started to have them and I've had more contact with them) so I held back for six months. The vaguely positive answers continued until the beginning of this year when I had a pregnancy scare. It was negative but made me ask outright for the first time. We had already been living together for a year at that point and he, of his own volition, will happily talk about how much he loves me and how we will be together when we are old.
I was gutted - literally felt like I had been punched, I was surprised at how strongly I reacted emotionally as I'm not like that normally - to find out the answer to both was no. He doesn't want children and he 'doesn't see the point' in marriage.
I could talk about this for a while but I think the salient remaining points are:
1. He is early forties so may be unlikely to change his mind
2. He keeps asking for more time (since February) but I am getting fed up with giving it. I don't like ultimatums but lost my temper over something stupid a month ago and it came pouring out and I said I couldn't wait forever. He cried and said, above all, that he wants us to be together.
3. I am a little younger but it takes time to build new relationships and I am a personal/professional crossroads at the moment where making a clean break would be easier (hence outburst that happened in #2)
4. I confided in two close female friends (mutual - I needed perspective from someone who knew him and they are absolutely trustworthy and wonderful) who were shocked that he doesn't want either. One said that him buying a house (earlier this year, using the inheritance from the bereavement two years ago) for us to live in was a good sign that he was committed as previously he has only rented. Both were otherwise stumped as they also thought (from his actions/words - he loves their children, absolutely dotes on them) he would be a marrying/fatherly type.
5. I love him. I feel absolutely fucking torn. It's eating me up inside that I want to wake up to him every morning for the rest of my life. I love so many, many things about him and I want to raise children with him but, so help me God, if he says "We'll see..." about any attempt of mine to raise the conversation (about once a month since I arrived at this crossroads, hence my 'unreasonable' in the thread title... I think I am being U to start raising it this frequently), I will break something. If I don't mention it again then we just drift on until it really will be too late for me to have children and that would definitely destroy our relationship.
How long do I wait? I think you're all going to tell me not to. But how do I square that with a) him saying he wants us to be together forever and b) not liking the idea of blackmailing someone via an ultimatum?
Thanks tribpott. You do speak a lot of calm, measured sense, as always.
I'm 29. So I have time to have children but I have seen enough people jump into relationships (and read enough on here - there's a reason I normally have the Relationships board hidden!) to know that realistically it a) takes time to find someone, b) takes time to build a relationship and enjoy time as a couple - even now I am not proposing having children now with DP but just a commitment to having them in the next few years, c) the whole career-family balance - I don't want to be left tits-up and without financial support because I've sacrificed my career for children, particularly the way the CSA/social safety-nets are going at the moment. I can't bank on anyone but myself being able to dig me out.
Marriage and kids are deal breakers for you. I very much doubt if you will persuade him otherwise so don't waste any more time. You will meet someone else equally fabulous who will be everything you want and will want to marry you and have children with you.
I was in your position and hung around for far far too long. Sadly, the writing was on the wall. I just couldn't see it. Don't make the same mistake I did.
hatesponge I can predict the next instalment of your friend's sad tale
he will have children with someone else
You don't need to rush into a relationship but you do need to move on (if that's what you decide to do) NOW!
ICanTuck It has become a joke with our friends now Not the ones who know about his reluctance, but others in our group because he's so fucking enthusiastic with their (many - we are one of only two childless couples in ten couples) children. It's got to the point that I hate the jokes, I hate the knowing glances or the occasional raised eyebrow if I refuse a glass of wine. It's only really begun making me cross in the last month or so but it doesn't spell anything good. I have been churning this post around in my head since October - I was worried I was going to get a pasting on here so I held off as long as I could!
OP you really really ought to read this Mariella Frostrup problem page from the Observer, from a couple of months ago. A woman with exactly your dilemma, only she's 43 and at the end of her fertility having been strung along for years by a man who said he didn't want kids, then agreed to think about it if she stayed, then did the hurt puppy routine etc. The views are pretty balanced and the woman does respond in the comments section. It's instructive.
I am sorry that it has worked out this way for you ... but if he doesn't want children he doesn't want children. Is he bu?
AF that prospect seriously worried me. However he is still best mates with my friend (I think she still hopes he will change his mind about the split) and they meet up several times a week...he was seeing someone else however she was late 40s with teen children
who he complained about as they took up too much of her time.
I wouldn't put it past him having an epiphany in the next few years as he gets closer to 50 though, and doing the whole marriage and kids bit. Hopefully my friend will be happy with someone else by then.
You're not blackmailing him, you're simply asking if you have the same priorities and aspirations as you.
He may love you, but he is not being fair on you if he really doesn't want a family and you do. If he wanted what was best for you, he would be willing to let you go and find what you want with someone else.
I would have thought by his age he would have decided if he wants kids or not, so whether he means to or not, he is stringing you along.
Either decide to leave or maybe have one last 'deadline' for this discussion - but if that passes you really have to do something.
If it helps I was with a guy for 4 years and he made it clear he was in no rush to get married or have kids, despite me apparently being the love of his life. I left him as I didn't want this uncertainty and wanted kids sooner rather than later. He met a girl, was engaged within a year and married within two.
I also met someone a few months after we split, within 3 months I was pg (totally unplanned, I didn't plan to have kids outside of marriage either!) and within a year of us meeting we had dd! Dd is now 2, we are still together, but no ring as yet!
Moral: you never know what's around the corner.
OP, at 29 I had split from my partner (lived together for two years) and was establishing a separate, single life. At 30 I met my now-DH, at 35 we married and had DS.
You know in your own heart that he doesn't want children. You just have to decide how much you do (and keep hatesponge's salutary tale in mind ...)
Just to reiterate everyone - you are not blackmailing him. You are telling him what your priorities are. It's up to him to decide whether he is willing to compromise. If he isn't, it's up to you to decide if you are. It's not a power game. You are equally entitled to want what you want - both of you.
Well, you've told him what you really want. Twice. If he really wants you and to spend the rest of his life with you, he'd have been honest with you already. He neednt even have to say yes or no, but approached this crucial subject in all relationships in a serious and thoughtful manner instead of keeping mum about it.
If he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, you would have an answer or a conversation already.
Sorry [big hugs]
Catkins I have read that, thank you. I think her advice of having a discussion where marriage/children aren't the focus (so he is not automatically defensive in memory of previous arguments) is a good one.
Something fuelling the frustration for me is that he has a very unstable family background and his (living) parent was extremely emotionally abusive. They are vile to me - I have received support on here before under my usual NN - when it suits them and I think this has fed two attitudes, a) he doesn't want history repeating itself (this I am guessing at from small things he has said) and b) he just wants a peaceful life (parent harangues him all the time, even though we live a long drive away and rarely see them for this reason) so he consciously avoids anything he finds mentally/emotionally stressful. At the same time he is covering maternity leave, on top of his normal job, this year so is working 1.5 jobs, 6 or 7 days a week and I have begun to worry slightly about his health. This won't slow down until January so I feel like I can't raise the subject before then (indeed, he has asked me not to when I tried to raise it in October - #2 in my original post when I got upset and it came pouring out).
I think I will save this thread. You have given me so much calm, bolstering advice and the anecdotes, frankly, are a bit scary! I will give him Christmas (he was a bit coy about what my present would be... it will be the last chance for a romantic gesture) and ask him in January. We have arranged to take some time off over New Year and barricade ourselves in at home (rare holiday for me too) so then would be a good opportunity with a spare day or so for me to get my act together if it goes wrong and I need to move my things.
I can add yet another one. My cousin hung on for years for the proposal, then dumped the man. She now has glorious DD with someone else (at 40).
BF1 went ballistic from outrage, even tho, naturally, he was the one to say he didn't believe in marriage and kids. He did believe in hot-and-cold-running sexy girlfriend live-in gf tho...
Early 40s - no he won't change his mind.
Whose name did he put the house in? Both or his?
You are holding out for a xmas proposal ?
Have you learned nothing ?
I would echo the stories above and say that I've lost count of the number of times I've known someone who's stayed with a partner for 5, 10 years whilst they said they didn't want/feel 'ready' for marriage, then in every single case the man goes on to marry someone else within 2 years of the break up.
Children deserve to be wanted, entrust your future children to two parents who truly wants them, wholeheartedly; it will make you happier in the long run. Your BF is telling you in so many ways exactly what he wants, listen well to what he is saying, and also to what he is not saying to you....... Don't be afraid, and although you love him, you need to love yourself a little more. Be wise and strong, it is not fair to you or him or future children to start a family with a reluctant party. What child deserves a father who didn't really want them.
He doesn't want to marry you and have kids, you want to get married and have kids. That's fine. You just want different things from life, and they aren't compatible.
Probably not AnyFucker but at least the disappointment will spur me into actually doing something It takes me a very long while to make a decision but once I've made it, it's done.
Cory for various personal reasons (that are too specific to our situation) the house is in his name, but that's fine as I'm in no financial position to contribute, I am building my own savings and I never expected to own a property as I come from a family with very, very little money and he doesn't. TBH if were together for longer than the next two years we would need to move for my job (we have discussed and agreed to this - although I could get a transfer for the immediate year or two my company doesn't have senior posts in our area) and then we would be on a level pegging financially. He would like to give up work and have me be the sole earner which, if he either a) has the house, or b) uses house rent to pay our flat rent, I would have no problem with as what I'd save on rent I would put into a savings scheme. I did think all this through before we went ahead with it. To be perfectly honest I have no claim on his money at all - it's his inheritance.
I jokingly said he could be a SAHD one time (when he was in a good mood and joking about children) but he quickly became serious - he doesn't think I could return to work (emotionally) after having children and he would be 'stuck' forever as the sole earner. I told him I wouldn't be that bloody stupid when I have nothing to my name
Don't wait until Christmas
You are setting yourself up for an almighty fall, and he knows you are hanging on.
Why is he the one deciding what your life should be, you are giving him too much power. You can't talk to him about life changing decisions because he's too busy with work. What bullshit. It's a handy excuse for him.
Finish with him, and enjoy your lovely Christmas with your family, your friends, maybe go on holiday. And what a great time to be meeting new people for a bit of fun if that's what you want!
Your Christmas will be miserable if you spend every minute waiting for him to propose. It's heartbreaking
What will you say when you open your Joni Mitchell cd Christmas morning?
I think a large chunk stems from fear around the time of the pregnancy scare because I'd been unemployed for a few months and not had any success. He supported us both (I didn't claim JSA) and towards the end he really seemed to worry that I would 'live off him' forever - in fact he said that when we had the very first argument when he told me he didn't believe in marriage. That tied with the SAHM comment made me cross - I told him that he had no faith in my ability to get on. In the last few months, since my transfer, he has been very much more enthusiastic about my long-term ambitions (now I am no longer temporary - my first contract earlier in the year was) and more supportive. He enjoys that I enjoy work and he admitted that he wasn't fair in his previous assessment. But all these things paint a rather negative and unflattering picture of our relationship (on both sides) to be perfectly honest.
I really feel for you if you love him, BUT you've got to love yourself and put yourself first.
My DH and I both wanted children, but we have gone on to lose three in pretty awful circumstances (late in pg etc etc).
The thing is we are still together because it is something we both wanted and decided on. I doubt very much that we could have stayed together through the s**t if one had been pushing for it more than the other.
I'm also now nearly 40, so the prospect of getting PG is getting harder.
Please, please do something now. It is not necessarily the case that you are automatically going to be able to conceive easily- 10% of couples have issues.
You have enough time now to find someone else, be with them long enough to see if they are the right person and then start a family, even if that isn't an instant thing.
I didn't know the problems we would have in TTC, and really really wish we had started 5 years earlier than we did.
I wish someone had suggested to me that it might not be straightforward and to give ourselves time to sort a problem out, if we find we had one. I feel a bit of a mug now.....please learn from my stupidity.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'm going to scare you a bit here. I had my first DC at 29, the age you are now. I fell pregnant immediately. 6 months before that I'd had a miscarriage and fell pregnant immediately for that too.
2nd DC I had at 32. It took me 5 months. The length of time, whilst not forever, was a shock after the last two pregnancies.
At the age of 35 we decided to try for number 3. It never happened. We've had various interventions over the years but no baby. At 45, it's not going to.
I'm lucky. I have two lovely teenagers. But if I'd waited even less than 5 years from the point you are at now, I wouldn't have children at all.
Don't hang on in there waiting, only to find yourself childless and without him anyway in 5 or 10 years time. Get an answer, once and for all. A 40 year old man doesn't need all this time to decide (and his fertility will be lower at 40 than it was at 20, despite what men like to think).
If you can't see happiness without children and the answer is not yes now you need to get out. You'll find someone else.
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