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My divorced boyfriend doesn't want to get married again

(113 Posts)
WishingandDreaming Fri 13-May-16 20:47:22

Apologies if this is long, but I'm hoping for advice/words of wisdom...

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years. On our first date we talked about a million things, but at one point the topic of marriage came up and we both said "I have no desire to get married again". We were both previously married to others (me for 14 years, him for 10) and both have children from those marriages. To be honest, I was 21 the first time and more in love with the idea of a wedding than the actual marriage, and really too immature to appreciate the finality of what I was doing. My boyfriend was also quite young and has told me that he never really wanted to get married the first time but his ex pressured him by proposing and saying either we get married or we break up. Of course the marriages didn't work out (for different reasons) and when we met in 2013 I had been separated for 3 years (divorce now finalized), and he had been separated for 2 years (they are still technically married).

Fast forward to now and we have purchased a home and moved in together with all of our children. Because his ex proposed and made him feel pressured, I have always been very careful not to pressure him for commitment in any way. I was ready to move in together after a year, but waited until he suggested it so that I knew HE was ready and not just doing it to make me happy.

He has stated a number of times over the last 3 years that "marriage is just a piece of paper" and that "couples can spend years together happy but once they get married it all falls apart". I have always believed in marriage, but when we had our first date I was being completely honest when I said I had no desire to get married again. Three years ago I didn't think anyone was worth the risk, but then I met HIM. This relationship is everything my first marriage wasn't. He's the perfect guy for me and we've talked openly about growing old together. But in all honesty I feel silly at my age (mid-40's) referring to him as my BOYFRIEND. Plus (and this may seem materialistic) without a wedding ring it's not obvious to the world-at-large that I am "taken". All of a sudden I want to marry him more than anything. Where the first time I just cared about the wedding, now all I care about is being his wife. My children share a last name with their father, and my boyfriend shares a name with his children, but I am the only person in our little family with my last name.

My question is.. how do I get what I want without making him feel like I'm pressuring him or god forbid, proposing to him myself? One time when the topic came up (we have mutual friends discussing marriage) and my boyfriend said "I don't understand why women care about this piece of paper so much! If you want to get married, we'll get married! if you want to be Mrs. XXX, then fine, we'll get married, I don't care that much". But I want to get married because HE wants it, not because he's he thinks he "has to" to make me happy. If we got married under those circumstances I think he will one day regret it and feel like I pushed him into it. We have a fabulous relationship all around and I was never happy with my ex-husband like this.

Should I just be happy with what I have and try to let it go? sad

JonSnowsBeardClippings Fri 13-May-16 20:57:29

I think you should reflect on what a lovely life you have and stop focussing on something that doesn't really matter

iminshock Fri 13-May-16 20:57:29

Yes. Let it go. He's made his feelings clear.
I share his viewpoint.

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Fri 13-May-16 20:58:34

Why is marriage going to make you happy though?

SummerIsComing234 Fri 13-May-16 21:06:38

Might be slightly random but if little things bother you like name and ring what about changing them without the actual marriage? I appreciate you may want the legal marriage. But if you are both committed and both agree you could change your name and wear a ring? You could make it a different ring to wedding one (and realistically a nicer one!).

Sorry know that's a bit off what you were asking but just thought it was worth suggesting smile

ravenmum Fri 13-May-16 21:09:26

You could call him your partner, and wear a plain band on your wedding ring finger...

Maybe just say that actually with him, you could imagine getting married after all, but would only do it if he really wanted it too, not as an obligation. Then accept what he says.

Bourdic Fri 13-May-16 21:12:14

I hope you've got all the house ownership sorted, wills, finances etc.Those are the real downsides of not being married

SummerIsComing234 Fri 13-May-16 21:15:40

Yes I hope you have a plan with finances too no matter how much you love someone protect yourself and your children.

HandyWoman Fri 13-May-16 21:17:38

It sounds to me like you want your 'happy ever after' but yet you already have it?

Surely it can only be what you want if he wants it too?

The 'how can I get what I want' question sounds to me like it comes from a maybe less-than-healthy place. Like you feel inadequate for not having the name/ring etc. Why is that do you think?

Minime85 Fri 13-May-16 21:18:04

Yes to you very last question. Sounds like you have a great thing going.

ABCAlwaysBeCunting Fri 13-May-16 21:18:34

He doesn't want get married. Let it go and enjoy what you have.

timelytess Fri 13-May-16 21:20:16

You want him to want something he's said he doesn't want. That's not going to make either of you happy.

Dozer Fri 13-May-16 21:21:13

What are your respective work and financial circumstances? IMO people who are anti marriage are often protecting their money.

WordGetsAround Fri 13-May-16 21:25:13

I completely understand why you'd want to get married. I would too. I think you can only explain fully, but once, how you feel about it all and then leave it to him. It sounds like he has been clear and consistent but your feelings matter and you should let him know how you feel.
Other than that I don't think there is anything else you can do. The problem in these situations is that it's not so much the wanting to get married, but wanting the other person to want to marry you. And there's not a lot you can do about that.

IonaNE Fri 13-May-16 21:28:46

As someone else has suggested: have you got the papers re home ownership, finances, life insurance, wills etc sorted?

DirtyBlonde Fri 13-May-16 22:21:52

Marriage isn't only a piece of paper. It's a legal contract, and there are a number of differences between that and cohabitation.

If he's prepared to marry because it matters to you, that sounds OK to me.

Elizabethreallyismissing Fri 13-May-16 22:24:24

I'm going to go against the flow abit here! You say be is still technically married, is he not divorced yet? I wouldn't be happy with that at all! I think that's your first issue! Have they got a legal separation?

Elizabethreallyismissing Fri 13-May-16 22:29:45

And no way would I be changing my name & wearing a wedding ring if I wasn't married! Especially if he was still married to someone else!

Becoolio Fri 13-May-16 22:32:22

Let him get divorced first! Why is he stalling?

Cabrinha Fri 13-May-16 23:41:12

You say the first time, you cared about the wedding.
And that this time you care about being his wife.
Yet the two things you're highlighting are sharing his name and have a sparkly ring to show you're married... Which, sorry, sounds about as shallow as marrying for a wedding.
There are lots of good reasons to get married - a ring and a name aren't among them.
You need to work out what you actually want.

And he needs to sort out that he is still married. Not "technically married" but married.

I am divorced and remarrying because (among other things) if I end up in a flipping coma, I want the man that I love to make decisions about me - not some disliked "ex" husband that I was still "technically" (= actually) married to!!

Ouriana Sat 14-May-16 02:14:56

Id be more worried about the fact you have bought a house with him and he is still married to someone else, is all the financial side of that sorted? When they divorce can his wife out any kind of claim against your home?

With regards to marriage I think you need to sit him down and have a proper chat. Marriage isnt just about big dresses and rings and you have both been married, you both know that. But being able to describe someone as husband or wofe and having that kind of commitment is special.
Tell him how you feel, pelroperly then give him some space to think a while and get divorced then you can try talking again and really ask and listen to how he feels.

sykadelic Sat 14-May-16 03:39:23

I agree with the PP who mentioned buying a house with a married man was very risky because she could have a claim on his share of the home.

Also, as he's married she's his next of kin in the event of his death. You have no rights to his kids who are currently sharing their life with your kids just one day, poof gone.

There are far more things to consider here than his marriage to you, the most important being he is still married and you're "technically" (if you're into technicalities), "the other woman".

goddessofsmallthings Sat 14-May-16 03:44:44

It seems he's gone from having "no desire to get married again" to "If you want to get married, we'll get married! if you want to be Mrs. XXX, then fine, we'll get married, I don't care that much", but these are words with no meaning whatsoever as he is married to another woman and is in no position to marry anyone else.

I share the concern of earlier posters in hoping your financial position, and by default that of your dc, is bombproof as you've bought a house with a man who is yet to divorce with all of the monetary ramifications that may entail.

I also hope that your partner is in good health as, in the event of his death, your adulterous relationship will count for nothing as far as the law is concerned. You won't be able to claim those state benefits that are paid to widows, and you won't be able to organise his funeral or attend it without the consent of his wife/legal next of kin.

In the grand scheme of things, it could be that getting another ring on your finger should be way down on your 'to do' list.

Kiwiinkits Sat 14-May-16 03:45:57

If you don't have wills, paperwork etc sorted then if he died tomorrow his ex would get his entire estate. When he divorces, his children get his estate. You get nada in either scenario. And you'll have absolutely no say on what happens to him if he ends up in hospital in a coma, like a pp said.

Kiwiinkits Sat 14-May-16 03:49:21

One leg in is the same as one leg out. If he won't marry you, he's got one leg out. Not that great to be with someone who is kind of indifferent, is it.

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