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How long do I wait for DP to propose?

(145 Posts)
HoldingBreathandCountingtoTen Fri 13-Sep-13 20:06:22

Been with DP over 2 years, known each other for 5 years as friends. Lived together over a year and a half now. We are both early 30s. We are very happy.

I want to get married. To DP. I am just SO ready. I have told DP I want to marry him, said DP let's get married. He said he wants to get married to me but will propose "as and when he is good and ready". So he is not ready yet.

I don't want to twist his arm into anything, any proposal needs to be his own free choice. But how long should I wait? I don't want to waste my 30s child bearing years with a man who is never going to marry me. At what point would you draw that conclusion and walk away?

papierjam Mon 20-Jan-14 20:14:13

I was 32 when I met DP and I knew that was the one I wanted to marry from the word go - I'd never felt like that about anyone before.

He'd always said he wanted to get married to me "one day", but I don't think he'd given it much consideration as to when that would actually be. I knew that if marriage wasn't on the cards for us by the time I was 35 I'd start to feel restless as I do want kids.

Last October, when we'd been together 2 years and 3 months, I said to him: Wouldn't it be nice if we got engaged 1000 days to the day we met? To my relief he said yes, it would! That date take us to this May, so not only will he have had 7 months to get used to the idea, he'll also have 7 months to save up for my ring.

He's been putting money away each month so I know he's serious about it and it's made or relationship even stronger knowing for sure that we envisage the same future.

My DP, with all his good intentions, is such a "make plans tomorrow person", I think if I hadn't nudged him in the right direction I might still be waiting. Who knows, this approach might work for you OP?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 20-Jan-14 19:47:51

You can love someone but leave if they don't want to get married, what with there being other people in the world and all that hmm. Few of us only love one person in our life time.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 20-Jan-14 19:27:09

I asked DH the day we met for the first time if he wanted to ever get married and have children, I told him it didn't have to be to me grin. I knew after 2 months he was the one for me. We got engaged after 2 years 10 months and married 9 months later. Been together 18 years and married for 14.6.

muddylettuce Mon 20-Jan-14 19:26:26

He says he will propose when he's ready not he will get married when he's ready. He's probably trying to surprise you.

anatouskia Mon 20-Jan-14 18:29:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShowMeSaturn Mon 20-Jan-14 17:17:48

My current boyfriend is a self-confessed plodder about these things.
We've had a brief and very vague, almost alluded to, conversation on these topics, so that's enough for me to know me doesn't consider me wife or living together material, so I have my answer already.
I'm a plodder too with the big things in life, but if I wanted to marry someone I wouldn't plod about.

Pachacuti a few posts in from the start of this with their ready-reckoner seems a sensible template for your position. If you are ready practically, emotionally, romantically, legally, what's the point of waiting? If a man had told me he'd marry me 'one day' or 'when he was ready' but I was still waiting after a couple of years, I'd assume he didn't really mean it. As you want children with him, you needed to be proactive.

I have had three long term relationships and moved in with them relatively quickly.
First one age 23 but he was younger and about to leave home, so we decided to find a place together despite only having been dating about a year.
Second one I was age 26, again, he was younger and leaving home so we found a place together after about six months.
Third one, um, met on the Internet and he came and took me away literally, and I moved into his house the same day. )Don't even ask. That was the worst time of my life). Although he ended up just flitting between his house and mine whenever he felt like it so it was never officially 'living together'.

With all of them, we never had 'the talk' and consciously chose to take things a step further and live together, each time it was circumstantial. Which looking back was probably not the sensible way.

Now I have been dating someone about a year and half, but things are different this time as I have young children.
We don't live together and as he's previously lived with someone for 15 years I feel like because he's done that already, he probably wouldn't want to again. He has a cosy typical, bachelor lifestyle now that he never had opportunity for before. I'm happy for him that he has that, he works hard and deserves it. I'd feel guilty about suggesting a riotous family house with young kids is preferential to a comfy flat with all gadgets and freedom.

He's the first boyfriend that I've ever felt I wanted to marry. It's an intensely strong feeling, the same intensity I had when I met the chidren's father and knew within seconds I was going to have children with him. Almost like a premonition. I feel like asking him but there's so many variables plaŷing against the idea it puts me off. Not least my opening statement.

1)I don't have a job at present and I would need one first to help financially support us all.
2)Then we'd have to both move house with the cost and emotional extrication that incurs (him from his bachelor pad and myself and children from a small but familiar home).
3)Also, my young children are in habit of calling him Daddy lately (their father is totally absent) and I believe they deserve stability, so I think I wouldn't live with someone again unless I'm married first. I don't like the idea of 'try before you buy' co-habiting now I'm older. I feel mature enough to make a lifelong commitment.
4)I've never been proposed to before, not even drunkenly/jokingly, so I've always assumed I'm just not considered wife material, and if I proposed to someone, I'd always be unsure if they said yes just because I'd asked, not because they wanted to :/
5)I don't know what I'd do if I was rejected. I might feel so devastated I'd end the relationship completely.
6)The legal implications are plenty and worth intense consideration.
7)The idea of a big white wedding scares me. I'm a close family only service and over the pub for reception type. That might clash with his ideal.

Summarily, if he's already said he'll get married but with the proviso of when he's good and ready, never mind nudging him along, just have a very direct conversation and tell him your worries, many expressed here regarding timescale of factoring in childbearing years remaining and so on. If there's nothing stopping either of you, what's stopping you?

GillyBillyWilly Sun 15-Sep-13 18:15:21

Hmm but I don't think saying to a guy "lets get married" is a real proposal. Well.. It depends how you say it I suppose....

Before DH and I got married, I'd say things like "let's get married!" And he would reply "we will!"... He didnt see it as a PROPOSAL... Just me stating I want to get married and he probably saw it as a hint for him to hurry up and propose!

Everyone's different but my DH probably would've said no even if I was proposing properly... hmm He always made it clear he wanted to propose to me.. He's very traditional I suppose.

OPs boyfriend might be the same... Maybe he wants to propose to her and is gearing up to do so when he thinks its a good time/the right time/when he has bought a nice ring. Who knows!

Pachacuti Sun 15-Sep-13 18:10:15

GillyBillyWilly, she did (she said "let's get married"). That's when he said that he'd propose to her "when he was good and ready" (not "yes" or "no" or "I need more time").

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sun 15-Sep-13 18:02:50

More like utterly devastated! ;-(

Nerfmother Sun 15-Sep-13 17:54:25

I think cut and paste the new thread from the web address when u are on it? Not being snarky by the way.
I don't know it's a bit soul destroying to feel like your oh doesn't want to marry you. Like a bit of the shine taken off.

GillyBillyWilly Sun 15-Sep-13 17:53:24

Sounds like he wants to get married to you too so just enjoy your time together... Live your lives and be happy.
One day when he's sure, he'll propose!

Maybe he's saving for a ring? Maybe he has a time and place in mind where he wants to do it?

If you can't wait then you should propose to him!

Needadviceandfast Sun 15-Sep-13 17:49:30

Thanks Nerf , not sure how to link to this thread though...

Nerfmother Sun 15-Sep-13 16:43:57

Need - it might be an idea to start your own thread and link to it? Otherwise ppl will get the two confused and the op, if she comes back, might end up with irrelevant advice?

Needadviceandfast Sun 15-Sep-13 15:18:47

PS. SGB I fear you are right to an extent on the depression front. Whilst the tendencies have always been there (childhood issues related plus possibly hereditary) I have never been as down as I have at some points during this relationship. Even in my marriage which was wrong from the word go.

Needadviceandfast Sun 15-Sep-13 15:17:00

Thanks everyone for honest opinions. I'm ok thanks KeepCool , just feeling a bit shell shocked (though not sure why, it's not like this was news to me particularly...just confirmed what I feared).

My gut feeling is to end it. There are many good things about him and our relationship but then there are also many bad things - things I have learnt to compromise on or simply accept. I know this is normal to an extent but I can't shake the feeling that we aren't right for each other. He's trying today to carry on as though nothing has happened. He asked me earlier why I'm so quiet... Really?!!

I don't know what my next move should be. He lives in my house and owns his own house which is empty so in theory it's simple?? I know that he will try and change my mind, tell me I'm being ott, make out that I'm desperate or needy or unstable.... I also dread the effect this will have on my children. They love him and he loves them. I'm the one who brought him into their lives (after leaving their Dad) and now I'm going to take him away again.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sun 15-Sep-13 13:37:23

Need - I hope you are okay?
I think SGB & AndTheBand are spot on.
It is an awful and very unhealthy situation for you to be in. I do know this because I was in the same situation for many years and it used to hang over me every single day.
I don't underestimate how difficult this must be for you, but I hope you find the strength to do the right thing, because things really WILL be better for you and your peace of mind.
Good luck x

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 15-Sep-13 13:22:16

Need, imho, your partner sounds immature in addition to being controlling, emotionally abusive, and just plain mean. He threw his tantrum because you stepped onto new territory with your discussion and he had not prepared the puppet strings for this scenario...so to the old stand by and use your mental health issue against you. angry

You will never be an equal partner with this man, don't you see that?

The "no niggle" rule is an impossible standard for you to keep because you are not the sole player in this dynamic. He can kick off at any time over nothing and continuously reset the nebulous time window back to start. He is very controlling. Imho, essentially being invisible in your own life would eventually make anyone depressed. I agree with SGB.

As you already have dc and do not want any more , then settling for no marriage may be doable for some . But, I think you are putting up with a whole heck of alot more than just no marriage certificate here. Step away from this one.

davidtennantsmistress Sun 15-Sep-13 10:16:41

Ps, I'm over emotional and over analytical, dp wouldn't dream of saying get over it to me, the poor love weathers the storm till the next time.

davidtennantsmistress Sun 15-Sep-13 10:15:32

I don't nec agree with Sgb on the depression thing, however I have it on and off, dp has had it on and off as well, we still niggle, the thing I find is xh didn't understand it, he couldn't and decided to bugger off with some 'person' when I needed him most and it had hit severely, dp, and I recognise n each other the signs of when were feeling down, we both know its not easy living with a depressed persons however, that said neither one tries to control or vilify the others feelings behaviour or condition tem to get our way. That's not part of a loving equal relationship.

Need, lovely, your depression will go once you dump this man. 'Depression' in women is often simply a matter of living with an arsehole. I bet his idea of 'supporting' you is bullying and bullshit and blaming you for being ill. He has basically just told you that unless you are utterly obedient and never disagree with him, he will not marry you. He doesn't want to marry you, but he wants you scurrying round desperate to please him. Indefinitely.

Needadviceandfast Sun 15-Sep-13 09:47:14

Pobble... My depression has been an issue unfortunately. I've suffered on and off since my late teens and a bad marriage didn't help. But coming out of the other side of that I was so much better and built a life for me and the children. It was always there somewhere in the background but at some point after meeting DP it reared its ugly head in a big way and over the last couple of years I've had some of my worst, darkest times. He has supported me through it but at the same time doesn't understand my feelings - I'm over sensitive and over emotional apparently and need to get myself past it.

I don't expect marriage to change our relationship - I am who I am and he is who he is. But I want more commitment than we currently have for a whole host of reasons.

Needadviceandfast Sun 15-Sep-13 09:37:06

Apologies to the OP - I seem to have hijacked your thread, sorry. Maybe I should have started my own... Think I've caused confusion - I don't think the OP has updated with news of a talk, that was just me blush

The thing that upsets me the most is the way he reacted to what I said - and I don't mean in not agreeing with me. He got really defensive almost immediately and started sighing and huffing, as though the pressure is just all too much.

He says he feels rushed - well after 4 years I don't think that's true. He's happy to live in my house with me and my children and make promises of being together forever... But isn't ready for marriage.

I don't want to end it but if I don't, I'm settling for something that I don't feel happy with, I feel short changed, as though I'm waiting for him to eventually deem that I'm good enough. He doesn't understand how his attitudes affect my self esteem...

Thanks for all the replies. Helps to hear what others think.

BranchingOut Sun 15-Sep-13 09:24:30

We were a long term couple, met young, living together after university and flat sharing in our twenties. However, my DP was very keen to be financially stable before being married and was not ready yet - maybe fair enough for our age, but not really in the context of our relationship. I wanted to be married and by nine years in, in my mid-late twenties, I had got fed up of waiting. I began to withdraw a bit and was beginning to explore options for living by myself and applying for jobs further away. I never said so explicitly, but i expect that he could sense the sea-change in me. he proposed that summer and we had a big wedding the following year.

Getting married was amazing and was like a total fresh start for our relationship. So far so good.

However, nine years on and when DC was a toddler - he began expressing doubts about the relationship again. We have been through a rough spell and are working on our marriage. So who knows...

Honestly, although I don't regret the path I took, I would be wary of marrying someone who does not want to commit because there is always a chance that these feelings will only go under the surface and bob up again at a later date.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 15-Sep-13 09:17:54

If he has worries about the relationship that he thinks should be worked on before you get married then that's fair enough.

However he is putting the onus on you. All relationships have niggles/arguments/issues. Your marriage will have all these things. To say you want a period without is unrealistic and an unfair pressure on you. Are you not allowed to discuss anything then? Just be a doormat in this time? How long does this time period last for anyway?

Is your depression an issue? Do you think that everything will be fine when you're married? Everything will be the same. Marriage won't change your relationship, it won't cure it of any problems.

Your biggest issue seems to be your OH putting obstacles in the way of you getting married. If your relationship does have issues then you need to sort them together, not blame you for all of them and expect you to shut up whilst he thinks about it.

Marriage is about communication OP not put up and shut up.

ALittleStranger Sun 15-Sep-13 08:46:20

I have a history of depression and he says he's worried that I've built marriage up to be the be all and end all, and that after the wedding I'll realise it's not all great and sink into a deep depression

It sounds like he's the only one with unrealistic expectations of marriage, if he's demanding no niggles and perfection first.

And he should understand that you are effectively giving him an ultimatum.

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