Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
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?
Personally I dont think "we'll see" is an appropriate expression in most circumstances.
What does it actually mean?
It means " I will consider it and let you know when I am good and ready. I am making no promises on the subject. Dont ask me again, as I dont want to commit myself any time soon".
It often also means "no, but I dont want to spell that out, as you might kick off"
'We'll see' probably means 'I've told you in no uncertain terms what my answer is on this but you keep trying to change that. I love you and I don't want to hurt you but I don't know what the hell else to say anymore'.
I'm finding this one hard because there is a big part of me that is almost repulsed by women who 'hint', harangue, push, get angry and desperate when their partners don't propose.
I've seen it with so many previously sensible, confident friends - becoming obsessed, thinking every holiday, every Valentine's, every Christmas they just might get that ring!!!
It is NOT a crime to not want to marry or have children. He is entitled to be in a longtime relationship, be committed, share a home with you and not want to marry you or have a child with you.
Of course that doesn't mean you have to accept that. But you have to accept that is how he feels. And leave him if you want two such different lives.
OP you are 29, not 39 (like many women in identical situations) so I think some on here are being overly harsh about him robbing you of your fertile years.
It is ultimately your choice to leave or not leave, have kids, not have kids.
It was the most important thing in the whole world to me to have children (didn't give a shit about marriage) so this was a dealbreaker for me. Would have walked away from dh if he hadn't wanted them.
Persuading your dp for months and years to change his mind is NOT the answer here and will either end in a split anyway (at at time when you are playing Russian Roulette with your fertility) or a baby or wedding that he doesn't really want.
Someone having an unstable background is reason not to have kids with them.
What a load of bollocks.
he was a bit coy about what my present would be....
He is keeping you hanging.... Grown ups don't do that. And how is it okay for you to be the sole earner but not him?
I think that this weekend, you should lay it on the table what you want (even though he already knows). You should tell him that you are giving him 2 weeks to decide if he wants the same thingor not, and that you want honesty from him. If he doesn't, you will have your answer. If he decides he does, watch his reaction carefully, ask him for an idea of timescale. Have a discussion about parenting - what you like, what you don't like - and see how he is when faced with some of the reality.
Ultimately, if he doesn't want what you want (and I have to say he sounds like a bit of a controlling type), then you know you need to move on. No point prolonging it, really.
If someone wants to have children then they know they want to have children. This man knows that he doesn't, and has made that quite clear. You either deal with that or you leave him - but there is no mileage in hanging around in case of an 'accident' or he finally changed his mind.
I agree with proudndscary.
No point in convincing or even asking again as a dealbreaker.
If anything, I might say that I'd like to try for children now and see his response, or ask him to get married. He'll say no, or fob you off again and you should go.
My brother asked a long time girlfriend to marry him and she said no. No matter the reasons.
But she was wrong for him and she didn't live him enough.
He is now married with someone who understands him, wants the same and they have two beautiful children.
It's hard to let go, but often is for the best.
I was in the same position, but we were still in our twenties. I forced the issue on getting married and threw a giant wobbly - we married, even though I didn't like my own approach and felt he didn't really want to. Then a few years later I pushed him into having children - we had two and he is a great father. For some reason he just wanted to keep on waiting for these things. Now, several decades down the line, he says that marriage and children are the best things that ever happened to him and he is glad I forced the issue - we are both happy. But, to my dismay, I see our DS holding out in the same way on his DP. I wonder why men do this! I really do. I think they feel they need to be in ultimate control of everything. I would advise you to give your DP a kindly but definite ultimatum now and then stick to it (he is a big boy now and should be able to hear why these things are important to you and be able to see that they will make you happy - after all he says he wants to stay with you). If you really want to stay with him, this approach might work. Bottom line - why should you wait for him to give you permission to have what you want? I'm afraid your relationship seems unequal, but maybe all relationships are.
Honey, he's not going to propose at Christmas/New Year. I do think allocating your holiday time in January for moving out is a good idea, but don't get your hopes up. Is there any way you can bring that holiday leave earlier and do it before Christmas or does it have to come out of 2013's holiday allowance?
I think you are best telling him you've been thinkking about it and you have accepted you want different things in life so are leaving. Don't give him ulimatiums, he'll just lie to keep you and try to work out ways to stall (we'll get married first then try for a baby once you've got X out of your way career wise/once your job's settled/once we've saved up a bit more etc).
If he really changes his mind, he'll ask you to take him back with a ring and a plan to start TTC that month. Walk away, at 29 you've got time to find someone else and start a family, but you will need time to get over him, by 30 you need to be "on task" of finding right might - you don't have 3-4 years to bob along with this bloke.
BTW - I'd always said I wanted DCs by 30 from my mid 20s (I was married at 28), DH did stall for a year on the understanding we were buying a house that need rebuilding, but he had shown enough commitment to both me (by getting married) and having DCs, he had made it clear to me that wanted DCs at some point that I believed that he wasn't just stalling for the sake of it
then we got drunk on my 30th and woke up with me pregnant and had to pull out of buying the huge reck house in a fabulous location and buy a small ready to move in house we could afford on just DH's wage
Any reasonable request for delay from your DP is going to grate and make you scared it will never happen, you can't trust him on these important life issues. That's not something you can cope with long term.
"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".
I think a male friend would have seen things far differently. Buying a house is for him anyway not in itself a further sign of commitment to your relationship as a whole. He probably saw such a purchase as good financial planning for himself. Apart from anything else it is his sole residence.
Your friends were indeed stunned but they do not know him as you do.
They do not have to live with him on a day to day basis.
As for him saying, "we'll see" about any attempts of yours to raise serious issues, he is just stonewalling you and that is just pure selfishness on his part.
You love him yes but I do not think he loves you as much.
I do not think he wants the same things from life as you do and hanging on now for any length of time to see if he does change his mind will only prolong your own agonies. I can see what he gets from the relationship; a nice - and younger - woman but what you get out of this relationship now is not that obvious anyway. You and he are fundamentally incompatible and the power/control balance in this relationship is overwhelmingly in his favour.
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.
Strikes me that this bit may be key. He thinks that you cannot return to work after having children. (FWIW many of us have managed that...) ANd therefore he will have to work for ever and not get his dream of early retirement.
I think you are basically incompatible in what you want from life. I agree with all who think you have to start to disengage emotionally now and start to try to mentally move on, and then actually move on.
I too have seen more than one woman hang on and hang on for a man in his 40s to actually commit and then lose their chance of having children.
OK, he is being a bit selfish by constantly saying 'We'll see', and this is probably because he considers you a 'will do for now' partner who he doesn't actually want to lose, but nor does he want to marry or breed with you. He may want to keep his options open, he may simply not want to marry&breed at all, ever.
However, he has told you this, clearly, and yet you keep on pushing him, bleating and hanging on hopefully. It's not going to work.
I know someone upthread insisted on a ring and kids, got her then-reluctant DP to obey and now everything's wonderful but that doesn't always happen. Sometimes a man who agrees to marry&breed because his partner keeps asking him to do so subsequently gives himself permission to bunk off all the domestic work, indulge in his own hobbies and maybe have sex with other women as well because 'You were the one who wanted marriage and kids'...
Mr Sort-of-Commited is full of shit, isn't he?
A couple of little twists there: he will only have children if he is married, and he doesn't want to get married.
A neat little move which traps you in a double-bind. Isn't this one of the issues that men say: He's just not that into you.
What you are saying is NOT blackmail. You are saying clearly how you would like to be valued, and he can choose not to value you that much.
Love Anyfucker's comment: you can wait until your eggs run out. Brilliant, AF!
My advice to you: leave.
It might shock him into respecting you and deciding you ARE that valuable, or you might leave yourself open to finding someone who really does.
Don't wait for xmas. After that it will be "wait and see what I've planned for Valentines/summer holiday/birthday etc etc" And even if he proposes that still doesn't solve the children/no children issue does it?
I think the OP also doesn't want to have children unless she's married - not sure that's just his wish. Frankly with this guy I think I would want some evidence that he was serious about the future before getting pregnant as well. (Although I take FauxFox's point that I'd want both things negotiated together, rather than separately).
I think he's full of shit too, and knows exactly what he's been doing. It feels like he would intend to kind of do the opposite of the old keeping the wifey financially dependent and controlling her that way!
FWIW re "We'll see"- It's absolutely fine not to be sure for a while whether you want kids or not, I ummed & ahhed for some time, but i did not airily say "We'll see" and keep DP hanging, we took the subject seriously and talked through my feelings about it all, and we set a deadline to talk again (as well as a deadline as to the latest we would hypothetically do it). I've oscillated from 'yes' to 'no' and now back to 'yes' again, but i've always been completely honest with DP and completely open as to how i feel and what my reasons for it are. I really don't think your DP has been so.
Op I'm sorry, but this man does not want to be with you forever.
If marriage was neither here nor there to him (ie it really is just a case of him not really seeing the point) then if he really wanted to be with you forever, he would marry you. Just because he could see how important it was to you. He would then have kids with you too.
I think it's time for you to accept that he does not want to marry or have kids with you. For gods sake cut your losses now. Waiting for a Christmas ring will be so soul destroying for you, and when it doesn't come you'll feel a fool. I honestly think it's time to just rip that plaster off, don't you?
Over and over again you see this situation. Man ums and ars about marriage and children. Woman becomes increasingly desperate. After many wasted years the couple finally split and within a year the man is engaged to someone else who is happily pregnant with his child. Woman finally realises that it was her - rather than marriage and children - the man wasn't really into.
Gather together the rest of your pride op, and leave him.
He really said, "He would like to give up work and have me be the sole earner"?
He owns the house and wants you to keep him?
He's not sure about getting married.
He's in his forties for crying out loud!
OP, please, please don't wait for a ring at Christmas! The worst thing that can happen is that you get a ring. He wants someone who he can sponge off. At the same time he's terrified someone will sponge off him.
Take this opportunity to leave him. You're at a fantastic point in your career and you have the choice to go and live somewhere else with your job. Take full advantage of it. Someone lovely will come along, don't worry.
"He wants someone who he can sponge off. At the same time he's terrified someone will sponge off him."
That really made me laugh. There are loads of people like that about.
There is a wonderful Jewish saying: To a thief, everyone is a thief.
That's a good saying, Abitwobblynow
Great saying. Reminds me of that George Bernard Shaw quote, who observed that a liar's biggest problem isn't not being believed, it's that he can't believe anyone else.
Another good 'un
It must be fucking awful to be a thief or a liar. How would you ever get any peace of mind ?
When I was a child
and asking to have an ice-cream or a pony "We'll see"
yup, scarlet, I am still waiting for my puppy
"Waiting why does he want to stop working at the age of 40 and have you, a woman to whom he hasn't made a lifetime commitment, pay the bills on his inherited house in which you have no stake?"
I just can't get my head around this at all.
Also, it sounds like you'd be wasting your life with him even if he did want to marry you and have children with you.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.