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Would appreciate some thoughts and opinions please(61 Posts)
Hi there, would love to get a few thoughts and viewpoints about my situation as I feel I'm at a bit of a stalemate and don't know how to progress.
So briefly, we are a couple in our mid to late 50s been together 8 years not married, lived together 6 years. I'm divorced he is widowed 16 years. We both have grown up children and grandchildren, all get on well together. So far so good.
I've become increasingly upset and hurt(irrationally maybe) that we don't really talk about our joint future, finances etc and sad that he doesn't want to marry me or for me to change my name. We have a lovely life together but I want more! He is a typical man in that he can't articulate emotional stuff.
I'm beginning to feel that "I'm not worth it" iykwim, although he regularly tells me he loves me dearly.
Am I being silly to be bothered by the not married bit?
Thank you all so much, your comments are all welcome as its really making me think. Of course I have real life friends to talk to but they are all a little biased as they can see how well we get on and generally have a very happy life together.
Re children. All are adults, not being supported by us and the marriage word has never been discussed. They are all happy to see us together.
Re houses. We own one each in our own names. We live in mine. Neither of us have much cash to split so gold digger is not a concern to either of us.
Charbonn, your companion versus romantic partner is I think a good observation and partly true although we do have a very good sex life for our ages!!! And he does tell me he loves me, glad he met me, wants to be with me for ever etc etc, although in a very I romantic way iykwim! I def don't think " he will do" more that he is the love of my life.
Re finances, thank you for the comments, all give me plenty to think about. We have relatively similar incomes, have our own accounts and a joint household expenses account.
Making a will is important I know, I have to do one even if he is not interested. However that alone makes me feel a bit ... I'm doing all the sorting out to make sure he and my children are ok, but what about me, doesn't he care enough to make provision for me?
As for the ring or lack of it being a deal breaker, I don't know. Probably in the long run not.
A lot to think about, thanks for helping.
Lots more useful comments, thank you.
Re children, all adult and independent, happy to see us together, marriage never mentioned so don't know what they think
Re houses, own one each in our own names, we live in mine.
Re finances, similar income, own accounts and a joint account for expenses, household bills etc.
Wills, yes I know it's important to make one. I'm going to do mine soon. But feel I'm doing all the work to make him and of course my children secure but his lack of interest in doing one leaves me insecure and vulnerable.
Carbon, companion versus romantic partner is an interesting comment as occasionally I feel the forest rather than the latter, although he does tell me he loves me and we have a good sex life for our ages !!!!
As for ring being a deal breaker, mum not sure but probably ultimately not. Lots for me to mull over thanks for your comments
Charbon, former, not forest!
Oh dear two similar posts, re typed as I thought I'd lost the first!
As long as all the legals are done so that you are both protected, I wouldn't be bothered about being married.
If I'm honest, I only got married because I wanted children and knew being married gave me legal protection.
At your ages, marriage wouldn't even be on my radar if it were me.
I think the age thing here is a bit irrelevant, apart from what I've said about it being more difficult to sustain a relationship when you're spending a lot of time with someone whose personality is so different.
Good sex is achievable at any age, but fundamentally this sounds as though you have romantic ideals about him being the 'love of your life' and he thinks this relationship is 'good enough'.
I don't think you can change him, but you can protect yourself a bit more financially and emotionally. Make sure your own assets and finances are protected and be a bit more realistic about this relationship. He might tick some of your important boxes but he evidently doesn't tick all of them and it is possible to find someone who is better suited to your personality. On the other hand, if you've got people in your life who can meet your emotional and conversation needs, you might decide that it's okay to settle for less because what he does bring to the party makes you happy enough for now.
So protecting yourself emotionally might require you to downshift him from being the 'love of your life' and recognising that you aren't his, but that you can have a good relationship despite that.
Do you need him to make provision for you? Are you going to make provision for him?
Based on your circumstsnces, there is a case for keeping your respective finances separate even in death so avoid disruption to the first families.
Charbon, I like your phrase about bringing enough to the party! He def brings a lot to the party we have a lot of fun together and he tells me I'm the .love of his life. Apart from his late wife who he was apparently very happy with, he has had no other girlfriend.
When I see what I've written here I realise I'm lucky to be comfortable with someone. It's just that niggling thing I can't get rid off at the moment about why am I not important enough for him to make me feel more secure in a legal and public sort of way.
He might tell you that your the love of his life, but do you feel as though you are? Does he act like you are?
More importantly perhaps, do you need to be?
I should explain that I'm a little cynical about romantic reverie associated with partners being 'the one', 'the soulmate' or 'the love of my life' despite my own very rewarding partnership of over 30 years. My partner and I have been lucky, but in my view this sort of reverie often gets in the way of logic where really big decisions are concerned, such as pooling finances/houses and being formally and legally committed to a partnership.
I'd prefer it if women had the default that their singlehood and hard-earned assets are only ever worth giving up for a man who ticks all their important boxes and it sounds to me as though your partner is being less romantic but more logical about this?
Maybe it's enough to just have a nice relationship and see how it goes rather than making any formal ties to one another? I sense this might be his thinking.
Charbon, sensible comments again thanks . On a day to day basis he ticks most of my boxes and its just the big overall picture and the future that still concerns me.
I know that if I was 30 years younger it would def be a no go as it would be tricky to be planning for a family etc with him! Goodness knows how it worked with his late wife. But it obviously did as they very happy together from all accounts.
I think I will take all your comments on board, and maybe gear myself up for another talk, maybe start with one thing such as the wills. I can only try. As one poster quite rightly said he is entitled to say no.
I think my biggest fear, buried at the back of my head, is that if I will lose the mainly lovely relationship we have by going on and on about something he regards trivial but I regard as more than trivial.
Does that make sense or am I rambling?
I'm a bit confused. You say you are pretty equal regarding finances but then say you want to get married & provision made for you for security. My DH and I have been married a long time and if anything ever happened to one of us then we would both expect the other to make proper provision for our DS, not give the home and money we have built up together over many decades to some new partner. At our age (bit younger then you) we won't be having children with someone else so any new partnership would be about friendship and love not money. In general I'm against pre-nups but in a situation like yours I certainly can see the point.
A relative of mine was with his partner for over four decades but when he dies everything will go to his DD from his marriage. Actually in the event his partner has died first but she always knew this was the arrangement so I think it was fair.
Just another quick thought - under the terms of my pension from work, were my DH to remarry or cohabit after my death he would lose the widows pension (and I think the same would apply to me with his pension) although if the subsequent marriage ended he would get the pension back (yes, it really is interesting what you learn if you read all the pension stuff!). Do you think your partner is in receipt of a widower's pension?
If you were not going to merge your finances, it is much more sensible not to get married, than to get married and have to make a number of financial arrangements (pre-nup, new wills (which under the law are voided upon marriage), pensions?) to disentangle what marriage under the law entwines.
I am not sure your partner would have the appetite for all of that just to put that ring around your finger, if he were not for it to begin with.
How far into the future does he see the both of you? Does he refer to you both growing old together and any plans in that direction (quite apart from marriage)?
Blue, he does say,when I ask, that he wants us to be together long term which I'm assuming means till we are old and grey.
Ladylapsang, re our finances I meant we are ok at the moment, but if he dies before me I would struggle as weary half each on expenses and as we are not married I would not be entitled to any support. If I died first he also has another property which brings in an income so is not dependent on my contribution.
Presumably your children will inherit from your ex husband as well as from you, whereas his children will only inherit from your partner (unless his late wife left her share of things directly to the children when she died) so is he not expecting that his property will go to his children when he dies? With regards to the finances, do you think you should inherit some of his property or do you just want to be named as his wife so you are entitled to a widow's pension?
Ex has no money( an ex bankrupt, no job, no private pension, rented property) late wife had no money.
I don't want any of his property, maybe a widows share of pension and just to be acknowledged really as a wife, next of kin etc.
Do I feel that I need more emotional security than financial? I think that's what I'm after really. I'm not after his property at all, I want his children to have his house, but if he doesn't sort out a will there are stepchildren from his late wife to add to the confusion.
It's a difficult situation. What would happen if you continue to live happily together and your partner (or you) gets dementia or is ill and need care? If your P has a property that he doesn't live in, presumably that would be an asset that would be taken into account in assessing what he is entitled to? Likewise, if you needed care, if you are living together as man and wife then I think any means testing would take into account his income as family income even if you weren't married.
Also, I think you are not each other's next of kin, in terms of decision making re: health. So, your respective children could be making decisions in the event you would not be able to - is this what you want?
I know it can be difficult to make a will in the most straightforward of circumstances - I'm doing one at the moment. But you two def. need to talk.
Yes the big talk is long over due although I'm anxious about about doing it which is ridiculous I know.
I do appreciate all the comments you have all made, thank you.
I really appreciated all your comments and having been mulling things over for the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately when I raised the subject of changing my name on my now expired passport there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm which has made my heart sink. Feeling sick at thought that I may have rocked the boat too much, but on the other hand cross that it's not something which can be openly discussed
Ask him who he wants to be his next of kin, making the decisions about his health should he become incapacitated. Ask him how he sees finances arranged upon his death, and/or upon your death. That may help identify why he is reluctant, or help him see that practicality of it. Are you approximately financially equal? That is sometimes a stumbling block, especially if he feels his wealth was created by his wife and him equally and therefore should pass to their children. Sorry if these topics are difficult to broach, they are very unromantic. At least if they are on the table, they can be addressed by wills etc.
I married a 57 year old age 53, it changes the commitment level not one jot but there is a legal change of status which I think is important as we get older and which we wanted clarified.
Getting easier, thanks for replying. We are fairly equal financially now, there was no money in his first marriage. He's just not interested in anything to do with wills, next of kin etc, burying his heading the sand is what he does best! Oh dear this is so tricky, basically I want us to be together on a more stable footing than we are now and he isn't at all bothered. His own children know what he's like re head in the sand. There is a lot of emotional baggage there though due to bereavement in their teens when their mum died.
Cream, sorry I see you said that earlier. Basically for me it wasn't about emotional security (I felt we had plenty of that without being married) but about how the outside world viewed us legally - pensions and next of kin etc. Also because I have a 10 year old to whom we wanted to demonstrate stability. YOu seem to have the financials thought through. You sound to me as if you feel undermined by his reluctance to marry, which I understand, it can be an enormous bugbear. Your DP sounds a bit too comfy with the status quo. Please make sure he understands how you feel - if the commitment truly is there anyway, it's a question of being a gentleman about it rather than anything else. But go gently with it. Good luck.
It feels like eggshells not gently! He is fully aware of how I feel but has the family reputation of being silently stubborn and quite self sufficient. Goodness knows how his wife persuaded him to get married back in the 70's.
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