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So confused :((65 Posts)
Not so where to start but hoping you lovely ladies can talk some sense into me.
I'm hurting lots at the moment due to some serious crossed wires and I can't shake the feeling that I've been misled.
When I got together with my dp, 20 months ago I was very upfront about my desire for marriage and children. He shared these feelings.
Recently we have been looking into houses, a family home so to speak. This combined with other things has led me to believe a proposal was in the air.
*5 months in he told me he wanted to propose
*8 months in he admitted a proposal plan had been scuppered by an unexpected visit from my mother.
*1 year in he told me, unprompted, that it would most likely be within a year.
*at a romantic dinner we were discussing it and I mentioned the fact I would like to use a family ring I have inherited (a mother of pearl one) but it was a little in the small side. I suggested I could use it to help motivate a fitness campaign. He told me to tell him when it fitted.
*snuggled up in bed he told me "I want you to be my wife, in fact that's how I sometimes catch myself thinking of you"
I realise I am going on a bit so I'll get to the point. Last night he asked me whether or not I thought our wedding would be like a mutual friends. Two hours later we've finished planning our wedding; except for the date. I am feeling brave so say "all that's left is the date". Silence. Tumbleweed. Random question about what we are having for lunch tomorrow. I am floored but take a deep breath and go to bed.
Big chat tonight. He's not ready, not sure he believes in marriage as an institution but has offered to make a will and go to the solicitors to sign whatever it takes to become legally entwined and be next of kin.
I am so confused and can't stand to look him in the eye. He has been married before and I know this taints his view. He has said "I might wake up tomorrow and think it's a great idea". Equally he said if I asked him he would seriously consider it. I thought it was a case of when not if!
How on earth do I get over my disappointment? I'm also cross that he would say all he has said but not be sure now. I can't help but think something has changed.
qumquat - No it's not the same unless your relationship history also looks like this:
He made clear from the start that he wanted marriage and kids and you agreed that was what you wanted too. Then
*5 months in you told him he wanted to propose
*8 months in you admitted a proposal plan had been scuppered by an unexpected visit from his mother.
*1 year in you told him, unprompted, that it would most likely be within a year.
Please don't feed into this guy's sob story that he's just all weak and indecisive.
Thinky He's got a good line in metaphors going. Your mental flexibility is betraying you though. It is not the same train of thought at all. If you were dtd to conceive, it would mean that you had both agreed you were going to do it, that night. Then yes, if you had a wobble and wanted to put it off a bit more that would not necessarily indicate any insincerity about the decision you'd made.
He has not agreed to marry you. You have not agreed a date together. He is not having a last-minute wobble on the day and looking to put it off a little bit. It's not even remotely the same thought process. You're bending over backwards to be understanding and put yourself in his shoes. Usually that's a good thing but you're skipping right past the way he has treated you. Yes you gave him mixed messages about marriage as dealbreaker - but he was promising a proposal during all of that time anyway! And no you didn't need a ring, but did he know that at 8 months? Sounds to me like he found that out at 1 year. Has he made that solicitors' appointment?
And how on earth could 20 months be too soon for marriage for him if he was going to ask you at 5 months, 8 months, 1 year...
Don't waste the rest of your fertility on this waster.
You've said no wedding no kids.
He's not keen on wedding knows that means no kids.
OP, I'm with all the posters who say he's taking you for a ride. His behaviour is very cruel. And as for proposing...it's not bound by law, so in Normalville you either do it, or you don't. You propose, or you don't. Like Yoda says. So all this "oh, he wanted to propose" and "oh but my mother came to stay" and "the proposal will happen within a year" means jackshit, quite frankly. And you are excusing his behaviour...you were "shamed" by the email about marriage not being a dealbreaker (though you'd made your feelings about this clear from the start?)...he "gently" showed you (wtf. How on earth do you gently show someone an email as opposed to just...showing them??)
I am sorry you're in this position, but your flowery language is not hiding the fact that this guy is a complete player and is totally messing with your head. And please for the love of the Gods, don't fall pregnant by him.
And for the record, my husband proposed (properly) less than two weeks into our relationship. We've been married 17 years in June, so yes...you can be very sure of something in less than 20 months.
I subscribed to e-mails from Paige Parker and found her advice very helpful. Also, it doesn't do any harm to go away by yourself or some friends for a weekend or even a week- let him miss you. I won't say anything further as (and no offence meant) I haven't heard his side of the story.
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. Lots of you have given me plenty to think about. I am still thinking it all through.
I don't have the answers to some of the questions posed. Those that I do have the answer too it seems pointless to post - lots of you seem pretty adamant that the only thing to do is walk away. Would it really change your advice if I explained that by gently I meant showing me it calmly, without shouting, whilst reassuring me that if I'd changed my mind or didn't remember that was ok but he wanted to show me something that I'd written that had helped formed his views on marriage? I don't think it would.
I wonder if you'd give him the same advice if it were him posting about me changing my mind. From saying it's not a deal breaker to leaving him over it? confused
I think that anyone is entitled to change their mind and it was twelve months ago, so he can't really hold you to that. But you do need to make a decision. Fo you want marriage, do you want kids, do you want him.
Which is more important?
My cousin was with a man from she 17 to 29 and every year she thought he would propose on birthdays or Christmas and he never did. He said it was because his parents divorced when he was 4. He woukdnt have s child outside of marriage. She wasted all this years hoping he would change. She then married a man who said he didn't want kids which she accepted but tried to change his mind. After ten years and In the year she turned 40 he said he would like a child. She has since had several miscarriages.
She has wasted her life on putting her own dreams aside for the bloke's and will probably never have a child now.
Don't let that be you. Seriously think about what YOU want and what is more important.
He is human and it's okay to be uncertain, change his mind, get cold feet. He has said he will commit with children, finances will etc, i don't understand all the vitriol towards the man. OP i waited 5 Years for a proposal spent 12k on a wedding then found out we were infertile. Fast forward a few years and IVF we are skint and have one child rather than the two we would have wanted. The marraige and big wedding don't seem important at all now and I wish we hadn't waited. If we ever split up I wouldn't marry again.
Fwiw I was just like you and would not consider children before Marriage, now i really don't know why. Your children and life you build will be the glue that binds you together not a piece of paper
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Look, within the period of the last year (if my understanding of the timeline is right) he was still saying things to you like "I'm going to propose within a year" and talking to you about your engagement ring. So his whole spiel about "I formed my views on marriage based on what you said in this email a year ago when you said it wasn't a dealbreaker" is misdirection. It clearly wasn't informing his views or he wouldn't still (and up to the other day's conversation, in fact) have been saying things like that.
But TBH it doesn't really matter what is or isn't going on in his head. Just please don't start moving your red lines for him. You started this thread shocked and confused. Trust yourself that your instincts were right. It doesn't have to mean that you walk away immediately, but it does mean he has to step up now that he knows your views as they stand. This is serious for you.
He sounds like a child to me. He's making up little fantasies and expects you to go along with them, until he makes up a new one. He seems to like a bit of drama.
I don't know of any men that gave a 'countdown' of when they were going to propose. They just did it. Because they were in love. This guy is wasting your time.
Good advice here, but can I be a bit devils advocate and look at another angle here?
I don't understand the whole proposal thing, never have. To me, it has no place in an equal relationship. Yet even today, women like OP and loads of others on here are convinced that the only way they can be in a Ltr is if the guy proposes marriage etc, in romcom style. Which leaves men in an unfair position if you ask me.
In a world without female expectation, how many men would do the whole proposal thing off their own back? Not many. Marriage itself seems to be something that women push for while men do it to comply.
This guy may well be confused too. He loves op, wants to be with her, and wants to tell her what she wants to hear. But his objective side can't see the need for or benefit of actually being married. So he's got himself tied in knots.
He may be a total gameplayer, what do I know. But I think that he's getting an unfair pasting here. Op, I don't have any advice really, only you know if you think that all this wedding talk aside, he truly wants to be with you long term. I guess you could call his bluff and suggest ttc, his reaction to that might be what you need to know.
I see what you're saying in general terms Morris. But actually, in this scenario, the OP invited the man to name the day after a long, lovely conversation of wedding planning - not unreasonable or high drama. She doesn't seem to be asking for abseiling or Milk Tray. If anything, it's him who's been ramping up proposal expectations.
Incidentally I am the least romcom person ever, but I wouldn't have kids without getting married either. Not now I've spent some time on the Relationships board! Pure pragmatic self-protection.
He's human, he's entitled to change his mind.
But he doesn't want to marry you. I would give him the boot temporarily to get some space for you to decide what you want. Don't continue the relationship under these circs - he's getting it all his own way, which is the wrong way for you.
Have you considered moving out (or asking him to move out, if it's your house), but continuing to see one another? At moment, he is having his cake and eating it. Maybe you are making it too easy for him? Have found like most men appreciate most the things they have had to work for. Also, having separate homes (and no stay/sleep overs) would make it easier for you to detach emotionally when considering the situation. Hopefully things will work out for you but if you decide to walk away, easier if you are already in your own place. Whatever you decide to do, trust your inner voice.
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