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?
Well, you could wait until your eggs run out, I suppose.
I would say if he is in his early 40's, he is very unlikely to change his mind now.
So, the choice is yours. Do you stay with him and not have marriage or kids, or leave him and meet someone who is of the same mindset as yourself.
If you want children you have to get rid of him and find someone who wants the same thing. I've seen it happen so many times where a woman has left it too late and her partner has then left her for someone younger to have children with.
It is a stark choice.
Him and no wedding ring or children.
Someone else, (who you haven't met yet but is kind, fit, faithful, hot, keen on marriage and kids and kind,) and a wedding ring and children.
I once made the mistake of deciding that living with my ex with no wedding ring was better than not having him at all. I was lying to myself.
Now I'm married, a bunch of kids, happy.
You could be too.
Maybe he is telling the truth. He wants to be with you forever, but he doesn't want kids and he doesn't want to get married.
Do you mind my asking how old you are?
but if you really want children, and he really doesn't, that seems like a deal breaker to me.
Yes, I don't disbelieve he wants to be with you "forever"
But it seems like he is prepared to feed you a bunch of bullshit to enable that.
How old are you?
If you're in your thirties you don't have the time for this guy to waste your time.
Sorry to be brutal but that's the reality.
If you want children then you need to dump this guy and find someone else.
If you think you can live without them and settle for just him, then you need to make up your mind to do that.
But remember that if you choose the latter course, you could end up resenting him veto-ing your fertility.
So if you do choose that, you need to have made a positive decision tht you will not have children.
If you're not prepared to make that decision, you need to stop wasting your time. Sorry, but it runs out quickly, you don't know if you're going to be one of those women who has difficulty getting pregnant after the age of 35, or whether you get pregnant at the drop of a hat when you're 48. If you want kids, you can't afford to take the chance that you'll be one of the former. This bloke has been honest and upfront with you and told you straight that he doesn't want marriage and kids and it sounds like you do. If that's the case, long-term you're incompatible, however great it all is now.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
The thing is, you're hearing 'I love you' as being about you, not about him. But what he's telling you is what he wants for his own happiness - he doesn't want to lose you. It's not about you, it's about him.
Arguably, if he really loved you, wouldn't he want you to have the thing which you want most deeply? If he couldn't give that to you, wouldn't he put your needs and wishes before his own?
Okay, that's a big ask - for anyone. We are selfish beings. But you are not having the same conversation.
Giving someone an ultimatum is not synonymous with blackmailing them. You have every right to want what you want - and so does he. He isn't being honest with you and you aren't with him - you keep giving him extensions to 'his' decision as if you're happy to wait. Why should he not therefore feel it is not (yet) a make-or-break situation for you?
You need to be honest. This is make or break for you. No more stalling for time - he puts his cards on the table and so do you. You may find when he knows you're serious that he's willing to compromise. Or you may not.
But both of you deserve to have what you most want. It may 'simply' be that your wants are not compatible with each other. Unfortunately when one of the wants is children there is no real way to compromise.
Stop being understanding - you aren't helping either of you despite what I'm sure is simply a desire to be nice about things. It's time for the big talk. Good luck.
Sit him down and tell him. Having kids and being married are deal breakers for you. If not having those are deal breakers for him then he needs to be honest.
If he can't commit to either pretty much immediately then he usn't the man for you. You may love him now but imagine how painful it will be as years go in and you see the sacrifices you've made. You will end up splitting up anyway. If he has kids or gets married without really wanting to you would still end up splitting up eventually.
So what do you want?
A. Clean break with chance of real happiness with someone who wants the same as you
B. stay and go without kids then break up later
C. Coerce him into kids and end up a single mum later
Sorry, but kids and marriage are deal breakers for most people. You have to both be honest about what you want
Nobody can help you decide what to do, obviously, but if you really want children then you should move on. He's not likely to change hi mind any time soon.
I've seen it happen and spent the best part of 10 years telling a colleague to marry the woman (or have kids, even move in) or let her go. He was not "sure" she was the one.
I have also seen people claim not to want to have children or get married and then meet the right person.
Just food for thought.
Thank you for you responses. JustFabulous You sum it up well. I was single for a long time before I met him and I worry about meeting someone 'right'.
The other thing that concerns me is that after the pregnancy scare I asked him about children first. He refused to answer and said he didn't know. This went backwards and forwards until I finally said I didn't care what he was going to say (thought it would be negative by that point!) but I just wanted an answer and I didn't believe you could get to his age without having a single thought about it. Cutting a long story short he lied and said he wanted children to make me happy. I was really happy - for about thirty seconds until I realised he was lying to make me shut up I worry that if I say I am leaving he will say we should get married. How am I to know it's for real? Even if he genuinely meant it and I had 'magically' made him realise that he wanted children/marriage I would always suspect I had blackmailed him into it.
I think, personally, you should stop equating marriage with kids. Work out which one you want. If it's kids, and he doesn't want them and you do, move on. Marriage, well, you can hang on as long as you like if it's just marriage.
Leaving him because he doesn't want the same things as you is not blackmail. I wouldn't give the ultimatum - he's already told you what he does not want. You need to rent a place of your own, pack your things and move out. Then set about taking some time to readjust. Then take steps to meet other people and hope that you find a new life partner who wants the things you want. All of these are perfectly possible, but taking the first step of accepting that this isn't the right relationship for you and moving out will be the hardest one: much harder than finding someone who wants marriage and children.
The longer you wait, the harder you will make all of the steps that you need to take.
Sorry it took me a while to type and I x-posted, especially with AnyFucker's second post which chimes with my last paragraph.
I really need to think some more. It's getting to the point that occasionally I lose sleep over it, which is pushing me closer and closer to just leaving. But I keep putting it off. I can't put it off forever though.
And you can't live like that.
I would start building a new life for myself.
The one honest response he has given me is that he wouldn't have children without getting married so, for us, they are inseparable (even if they weren't for me personally - which they are).
My post was relating to your blackmailing comment.
I would calmly tell him you want marrieg and children and you would like it to be with him but if he doesn't want that then you will make plans for a future without him. Then do it.
But tbh I think I would cut my losses and go. No one ever wants to think they had to bully their partner into marrying them.
I am (sort of) building a new life as my commute became crazy in the last couple of months so, since we aren't paying rent on our house, I rent out a cheap room for a few nights a week in the city I transferred to. That is what I mean by crossroads: in January/Feb time I need to make another decision about where I am transferred to next and I can request a move home or stay put or move anywhere in the UK that has an opening.
Lay it on the line. If he says no, you need to walk, painful as it is.
My best friend did the same 10 years ago. She's now married to a great guy with two gorgeous kids. It killed her at the time, but she's so glad she did.
Tribpot outs it better than I ever could, so what she said!
Come on, tell us how old you are
OP, can I tell you the somewhat salutary tale of a v close friend of mine:
She met her DP over 10 years ago. At the time they were late 20s/mid 30s respectively. Her DP loves kids, has lots of nephews, nieces and godchildren he dotes on, he's known my DC since they were babies and is great with them. She always wanted children and marriage
They had a discussion after about 3 years. He said he wasn't ready and asked her to give him more time.
Another few years after that, they had the discussion again. He said he still wasn't sure about kids, possibly he never would be. But that he loved her and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
My friend decided that she would rather be with him forever and forego the chance of a family, than split up and take her chances meeting someone else. She loved him more than the possibility of children.
Last year, pretty much out of the blue, he ended their relationship.
So she neither has him nor the chance of children.
I wish tbh for her sake she had ended it when they had their second conversation. Honestly, don't leave it too late.
I was where you are 5 years ago. It had become a bit of a joke with all our friends that whenever we went anywhere, even just meeting for coffee... "ooh he might propose". I was desperate for it, I wanted to get married and have babies.
Then I started giving him deadlines and letting them slip, until I started to hate him for making me so pathetic. He wasn't even the perfect man, far from it infact.
I dumped him. THEN he decided that he wanted to get married and have babies because he thought he was going to lose me forever. He was right. I stayed strong and told him it was over.
It was scary, but I had a great time. Seeing my friends, working hard to progress my career. None of my friends were sorry we'd finished, turns out they all hated him anyway!
Then I met DP and we are planning to get married and we have a beautiful little boy.
I'm going to be straight with you.
Dump him. He might tell you he's changed his mind about wanting a family etc but it's too late.
In 2, 3, 4, 5 years time, you'll be wonderfully happy in your great job, with a lovely man, maybe even married with a baby or two! It can happen.
Don't waste anymore time on him. I only wish I'd come to my senses sooner.
Thanks tribpott. You do speak a lot of calm, measured sense, as always.
I'm 29. So I have time to have children but I have seen enough people jump into relationships (and read enough on here - there's a reason I normally have the Relationships board hidden!) to know that realistically it a) takes time to find someone, b) takes time to build a relationship and enjoy time as a couple - even now I am not proposing having children now with DP but just a commitment to having them in the next few years, c) the whole career-family balance - I don't want to be left tits-up and without financial support because I've sacrificed my career for children, particularly the way the CSA/social safety-nets are going at the moment. I can't bank on anyone but myself being able to dig me out.
Marriage and kids are deal breakers for you. I very much doubt if you will persuade him otherwise so don't waste any more time. You will meet someone else equally fabulous who will be everything you want and will want to marry you and have children with you.
I was in your position and hung around for far far too long. Sadly, the writing was on the wall. I just couldn't see it. Don't make the same mistake I did.
hatesponge I can predict the next instalment of your friend's sad tale
he will have children with someone else
You don't need to rush into a relationship but you do need to move on (if that's what you decide to do) NOW!
ICanTuck It has become a joke with our friends now Not the ones who know about his reluctance, but others in our group because he's so fucking enthusiastic with their (many - we are one of only two childless couples in ten couples) children. It's got to the point that I hate the jokes, I hate the knowing glances or the occasional raised eyebrow if I refuse a glass of wine. It's only really begun making me cross in the last month or so but it doesn't spell anything good. I have been churning this post around in my head since October - I was worried I was going to get a pasting on here so I held off as long as I could!
OP you really really ought to read this Mariella Frostrup problem page from the Observer, from a couple of months ago. A woman with exactly your dilemma, only she's 43 and at the end of her fertility having been strung along for years by a man who said he didn't want kids, then agreed to think about it if she stayed, then did the hurt puppy routine etc. The views are pretty balanced and the woman does respond in the comments section. It's instructive.
I am sorry that it has worked out this way for you ... but if he doesn't want children he doesn't want children. Is he bu?
AF that prospect seriously worried me. However he is still best mates with my friend (I think she still hopes he will change his mind about the split) and they meet up several times a week...he was seeing someone else however she was late 40s with teen children
who he complained about as they took up too much of her time.
I wouldn't put it past him having an epiphany in the next few years as he gets closer to 50 though, and doing the whole marriage and kids bit. Hopefully my friend will be happy with someone else by then.
You're not blackmailing him, you're simply asking if you have the same priorities and aspirations as you.
He may love you, but he is not being fair on you if he really doesn't want a family and you do. If he wanted what was best for you, he would be willing to let you go and find what you want with someone else.
I would have thought by his age he would have decided if he wants kids or not, so whether he means to or not, he is stringing you along.
Either decide to leave or maybe have one last 'deadline' for this discussion - but if that passes you really have to do something.
If it helps I was with a guy for 4 years and he made it clear he was in no rush to get married or have kids, despite me apparently being the love of his life. I left him as I didn't want this uncertainty and wanted kids sooner rather than later. He met a girl, was engaged within a year and married within two.
I also met someone a few months after we split, within 3 months I was pg (totally unplanned, I didn't plan to have kids outside of marriage either!) and within a year of us meeting we had dd! Dd is now 2, we are still together, but no ring as yet!
Moral: you never know what's around the corner.
OP, at 29 I had split from my partner (lived together for two years) and was establishing a separate, single life. At 30 I met my now-DH, at 35 we married and had DS.
You know in your own heart that he doesn't want children. You just have to decide how much you do (and keep hatesponge's salutary tale in mind ...)
Just to reiterate everyone - you are not blackmailing him. You are telling him what your priorities are. It's up to him to decide whether he is willing to compromise. If he isn't, it's up to you to decide if you are. It's not a power game. You are equally entitled to want what you want - both of you.
Well, you've told him what you really want. Twice. If he really wants you and to spend the rest of his life with you, he'd have been honest with you already. He neednt even have to say yes or no, but approached this crucial subject in all relationships in a serious and thoughtful manner instead of keeping mum about it.
If he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, you would have an answer or a conversation already.
Sorry [big hugs]
Catkins I have read that, thank you. I think her advice of having a discussion where marriage/children aren't the focus (so he is not automatically defensive in memory of previous arguments) is a good one.
Something fuelling the frustration for me is that he has a very unstable family background and his (living) parent was extremely emotionally abusive. They are vile to me - I have received support on here before under my usual NN - when it suits them and I think this has fed two attitudes, a) he doesn't want history repeating itself (this I am guessing at from small things he has said) and b) he just wants a peaceful life (parent harangues him all the time, even though we live a long drive away and rarely see them for this reason) so he consciously avoids anything he finds mentally/emotionally stressful. At the same time he is covering maternity leave, on top of his normal job, this year so is working 1.5 jobs, 6 or 7 days a week and I have begun to worry slightly about his health. This won't slow down until January so I feel like I can't raise the subject before then (indeed, he has asked me not to when I tried to raise it in October - #2 in my original post when I got upset and it came pouring out).
I think I will save this thread. You have given me so much calm, bolstering advice and the anecdotes, frankly, are a bit scary! I will give him Christmas (he was a bit coy about what my present would be... it will be the last chance for a romantic gesture) and ask him in January. We have arranged to take some time off over New Year and barricade ourselves in at home (rare holiday for me too) so then would be a good opportunity with a spare day or so for me to get my act together if it goes wrong and I need to move my things.
I can add yet another one. My cousin hung on for years for the proposal, then dumped the man. She now has glorious DD with someone else (at 40).
BF1 went ballistic from outrage, even tho, naturally, he was the one to say he didn't believe in marriage and kids. He did believe in hot-and-cold-running sexy girlfriend live-in gf tho...
Early 40s - no he won't change his mind.
Whose name did he put the house in? Both or his?
You are holding out for a xmas proposal ?
Have you learned nothing ?
I would echo the stories above and say that I've lost count of the number of times I've known someone who's stayed with a partner for 5, 10 years whilst they said they didn't want/feel 'ready' for marriage, then in every single case the man goes on to marry someone else within 2 years of the break up.
Children deserve to be wanted, entrust your future children to two parents who truly wants them, wholeheartedly; it will make you happier in the long run. Your BF is telling you in so many ways exactly what he wants, listen well to what he is saying, and also to what he is not saying to you....... Don't be afraid, and although you love him, you need to love yourself a little more. Be wise and strong, it is not fair to you or him or future children to start a family with a reluctant party. What child deserves a father who didn't really want them.
He doesn't want to marry you and have kids, you want to get married and have kids. That's fine. You just want different things from life, and they aren't compatible.
Probably not AnyFucker but at least the disappointment will spur me into actually doing something It takes me a very long while to make a decision but once I've made it, it's done.
Cory for various personal reasons (that are too specific to our situation) the house is in his name, but that's fine as I'm in no financial position to contribute, I am building my own savings and I never expected to own a property as I come from a family with very, very little money and he doesn't. TBH if were together for longer than the next two years we would need to move for my job (we have discussed and agreed to this - although I could get a transfer for the immediate year or two my company doesn't have senior posts in our area) and then we would be on a level pegging financially. He would like to give up work and have me be the sole earner which, if he either a) has the house, or b) uses house rent to pay our flat rent, I would have no problem with as what I'd save on rent I would put into a savings scheme. I did think all this through before we went ahead with it. To be perfectly honest I have no claim on his money at all - it's his inheritance.
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. I told him I wouldn't be that bloody stupid when I have nothing to my name
Don't wait until Christmas
You are setting yourself up for an almighty fall, and he knows you are hanging on.
Why is he the one deciding what your life should be, you are giving him too much power. You can't talk to him about life changing decisions because he's too busy with work. What bullshit. It's a handy excuse for him.
Finish with him, and enjoy your lovely Christmas with your family, your friends, maybe go on holiday. And what a great time to be meeting new people for a bit of fun if that's what you want!
Your Christmas will be miserable if you spend every minute waiting for him to propose. It's heartbreaking
What will you say when you open your Joni Mitchell cd Christmas morning?
I think a large chunk stems from fear around the time of the pregnancy scare because I'd been unemployed for a few months and not had any success. He supported us both (I didn't claim JSA) and towards the end he really seemed to worry that I would 'live off him' forever - in fact he said that when we had the very first argument when he told me he didn't believe in marriage. That tied with the SAHM comment made me cross - I told him that he had no faith in my ability to get on. In the last few months, since my transfer, he has been very much more enthusiastic about my long-term ambitions (now I am no longer temporary - my first contract earlier in the year was) and more supportive. He enjoys that I enjoy work and he admitted that he wasn't fair in his previous assessment. But all these things paint a rather negative and unflattering picture of our relationship (on both sides) to be perfectly honest.
I really feel for you if you love him, BUT you've got to love yourself and put yourself first.
My DH and I both wanted children, but we have gone on to lose three in pretty awful circumstances (late in pg etc etc).
The thing is we are still together because it is something we both wanted and decided on. I doubt very much that we could have stayed together through the s**t if one had been pushing for it more than the other.
I'm also now nearly 40, so the prospect of getting PG is getting harder.
Please, please do something now. It is not necessarily the case that you are automatically going to be able to conceive easily- 10% of couples have issues.
You have enough time now to find someone else, be with them long enough to see if they are the right person and then start a family, even if that isn't an instant thing.
I didn't know the problems we would have in TTC, and really really wish we had started 5 years earlier than we did.
I wish someone had suggested to me that it might not be straightforward and to give ourselves time to sort a problem out, if we find we had one. I feel a bit of a mug now.....please learn from my stupidity.
TBF, the unstable family background is another reason to run a mile, unless he has done some proper counselling around it. I'm guessing he hasn't if they are vile to you.
I'm going to scare you a bit here. I had my first DC at 29, the age you are now. I fell pregnant immediately. 6 months before that I'd had a miscarriage and fell pregnant immediately for that too.
2nd DC I had at 32. It took me 5 months. The length of time, whilst not forever, was a shock after the last two pregnancies.
At the age of 35 we decided to try for number 3. It never happened. We've had various interventions over the years but no baby. At 45, it's not going to.
I'm lucky. I have two lovely teenagers. But if I'd waited even less than 5 years from the point you are at now, I wouldn't have children at all.
Don't hang on in there waiting, only to find yourself childless and without him anyway in 5 or 10 years time. Get an answer, once and for all. A 40 year old man doesn't need all this time to decide (and his fertility will be lower at 40 than it was at 20, despite what men like to think).
If you can't see happiness without children and the answer is not yes now you need to get out. You'll find someone else.
Unhappy childhood and vague resentment about possibility of having to support you for a while while looking after children.
This is sounding much worse than in the OP.
Everything in that financial discussion is entirely fucked up.
It is him planning not to be "stuck" with you.
I am sorry but I think you are on a loser here.
(and with one too...)
He hasn't had counselling. I suggested it (I have had MH issues and depression in the past - one reason why I found it very difficult to cope with his negative attitude towards the end of my unemployment) as I have found it useful before and I don't have anything like his background. I became convinced he needed it after Parent 2 said (as Parent 1 was on their deathbed - this was the bereavement in my OP), "You need to leave the hospice. [Parent 1] is only still alive, suffering, because you are here." Parent 1 doted on DP, was in a coma at the time and I really doubt knew he was there. Nevertheless DP left the hospice and called me, broken. I will never, ever like Parent 2. Ever. I think they are fucking vile. Neither of my parents would do that to me in a million years.
But DP has gone through many years of aggro, of being silent, of standing up to Parent 2. He has concluded it's best to nod, smile and hope for an 'easy life' and that it all 'goes away'.
I also want to say thank you to those of you who are sharing stories, especially those who are sharing painful memories. I am sorry for your losses and I am taking what you are saying on board.
Sounds like his role model for parenthood has convinced him that being a parent is the worst possible outcome for him. You are flogging a dead horse here.
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?
Red flags all over the place.
first up, he should be honest if he's in a relationship with you. All this putting you off business is incredibly selfish.
second, if he is already worried about being 'stuck' being the sole earner then can you imagine the pressures on you if you do have a baby?
third, but he'd be perfectly happy not to work while you did? Only without children?
Sounds like a man who would be financially and emotionally abusive if you did have children. This might make you defensive and say no, no, not him, I love him. BUT I think there are serious red flags and I think the relationship would get worse not better with children involved.
You are young enough to move on, but you want to do it before you find yourself there for a few more years.
With luck you will find a new partner soon and have a lovely family in a few years.
You are 29, have a career that has opportunities for the future and this man is limiting you and your potential. You love him but he is not right for you and never will be.
Leave him, stand on your own two feet and build the life you really want.
I did it. I was in your position. I left him even though I loved him. A year later I met dh. 4 years later I had my first child. I have never regretted it even though it was painful at the time it changed my life for the better.
OP, I will apologise upfront because I can be very cynical, but I am concerned by the apparent pattern in some of your recent comments -
. the house is in his name
. when you were unemployed "he really seemed to worry that I would 'live off him' forever - in fact he said that when we had the very first argument when he told me he didn't believe in marriage." And of course whilst unmarried you have no legal financial claim on him, which you would have if you were to marry.
. your are on course to be earning substantially more in two years
. he has been very much more enthusiastic about your long-term ambitions since your transfer (and presumably the likelihood of your increased income)
. He would like to give up work and have you be the sole earner
. he was worried if you had children that he would be 'stuck' forever as the sole earner
Well, I can see another reason for him not wanting to marry and have children. Quite simply, it would upset his long-term financial planning, when he wants to be sitting at home in a house owned only by him and to which you will have no legal claim; with your earnings meeting his other living expenses.
He'd be happy to give up work for you to support him if you didn't have children
I missed that bit slightly
But he'd find it the other way round "saddled" with you.
So he doesn't mind saddling you.
So um, that means he thinks deep down, that he's really much more important than you.
OP he's sounding less and less of a catch, even without the clear message he's sent that he doesn't want kids.
He's not even stringing you along is he, he's told you he doesn't want kids.
The more you say about him, the more obvious it is that you need to move on from him.
This may sound very simplistic but knowing what I know now, having dc, I would not stick with a man who didn't want them. It's the hardest decision to make but when you have your children you will be terrified at how you could have even considered forgoing having them. There truly is nothing like it. The love you feel for him is NOTHING compared to the love you will feel for and receive from your children.
Sorry stuck not saddled
But same concept
Hang on, never in a million years would you people tell a WOMAN who buys a house with her inheritance to put it in joint names with a boyfriend who did not contribute financially to the purchase .
And you are all very quick to criticise an unemployed man who shows sign of living off their girlfriend.
In fact you have a special name for it.
Double standards? Much ?
He's told you how he feels and shown you what he thinks, you need to listen. He's waving big red flags, almost smacking you in the face with them, He's not settle down, parent and marriage material. At least you know now and not when you have hit menopause and it's too late.
Feckbox...do you think this man is a good future prospect for this woman ?
No I don't think he is a good prospect for one reason only.
She wants children
No need to over egg her case by saying it is a red flag he did not put her name on the house he bought with his money
I had read that as pointing out a vulnerability to the OP - that she had no stake in the property in which they live as an unmarried couple.
I didn't, personally
But if you look at the financial stuff Op has posted, and the big wide hints he has dropped about her working and him not (to pay back for her 3 months of unemployment which is nothing these days) while they live in a house she has no claim on (since he won't marry her) I think there are several red flags here
Op, don't have children with somebody who only agrees to it 'to keep you' and keep you happy. I have two wonderful DD, 2 years and 4 months. They are truly the centre of both mine and dp world. Dp and I have been together 6 years, lived together for 4. We are both in our 30s and really really wanted both our babies. However.....one thing we weren't prepared for is how the first year of our dd1s life was all about us learning to readjust our life together and relationship. Suddenly there's 3 of you, it is tough at times and you really have to work as a team. We had some awful rows- think we came the closest to splitting up that we ever have. My point is, if he gives you babies just to keep you I think it could lead to real resentment and bitterness. He could have children with you and then never truly engage in family life. You deserve to be with somebody who wants your children as much as you want theirs.
This man sounds like far more trouble than he's worth. He's had a fucked-up childhood, but he seems to think that it's transformed into a Get Out OF Jail Free card, and that he can get out of doing anything he doesn't want to do by going a bit misty-eyed and reminding you of his traumatic past.
He probably doesn't want children at all and he certainly doesn't want them with you, so if you want children, you need to be making other plans.
Please do bear in mind that if you really want children then it's not, actually, compulsory to have a couple-relationship with a man to do so. And it's better, in the long run, if you want to be a mother more than anything, to have children as a single mother (either donor sperm or adoption, or perhaps a co-parent agreement with a male friend) than tie yourself to a horrible or just unsatisfactory man in order to have a child.
I can sympathise with your plight, OP - you love the man, and no doubt to some extent he loves you. But you don't want the same things. He's not going to wake up one morning and think 'you know what? I do want to have children with Waiting after all'. If that was going to happen it would have happened by now. So the only path open to you is to square your shoulders and leave him. I had to do this the other way round - I was in an otherwise lovely relationship with a man who wouldn't commit because (he said) his vision of his future included fatherhood - I've had my family & an earlyish menopause (he was mid 40's). But he wasn't about to end it because he was happy with the here & now - just keeping his options open. So I ended it - I was heartbroken but I couldn't stand this 'one foot in the door' relationship indefinitely. I think when adults meet 'the one', they commit. Your DP isn't, so it's up to you to find the one who will. Good luck!
Op I'm sorry but he's just not that into you.
If you love someone you don't think of them sponging off you if they've been made unemployed and need some support while they job hunt.
If you love someone you will discuss the future with the, even if it is painful.
You will be honest with them about the things you want in life.
You don't plan to retire 30 years early while they support you.
He likes having you around, but the moment you needed some help he saw you as a free loading encumbrance, not the woman he loved and supported.
I couldn't agree more with mammadiggingdeep. I have a 2 yo DD and these two years have been very hard, even with both of us on board and in agreement. Two friends are in counselling with their DH's and one marriage is on it's last legs. All relationships where both parents desperately wanted the children. It is hard to go through pregnancy, birth and early years. Find someone who wants to do this with you.
Thank you. I cried myself to sleep last night and now I'm shattered. Has the bonus of making me angry that this issue is probably going to affect my work today. I'll post a proper response this evening after work, just wanted to let you know that I had read your responses and thank you for taking the time to write them.
Quickly re: money. Sadly there will always be/would always have been an imbalance, partly due to age but also due to him being an only child of very comfortably-off parents. Although Parent 2 is awful they like to splash the cash - each time I've stayed there they've given me at least £100 cash to fritter. The first time they did it I sat there with my mouth open like this: Not really within the realms of my previous life experience!
Actually Feckbox; if it was my son who was living with a woman. That woman owned the house they lived in, but didn't want to get married, however she planned when he got a promotion to quit work; but there still wouldn't be kids involved or an alternative career for her.
Well I'd be giving similar advice to the advice her, but a bit more backed off (trying not to be a nightmare MIL). Even more so if he'd had a short period of unemployment and she'd resented supporting him through it.
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.
Twenty nine is a lovely age - everything is possible. Well, everything except having a lovely future with this selfish twat.
I would be very tempted to tell him I'd got a massive payrise, wait for him to leave his job and settle down by the fire in his cardigan, then dump the bastard.
He doesn't want to be a parent and in fact he's absolutely right because he shouldn't.
It's pretty clear to me that he's just not that into you, OP.
You have a convenient 'out' - your weekday pad. I think you ought to lay it on the line, no ultimatums. Simply, "DP, I do love you but it has become increasingly clear that we have different priorities in life. I want marriage and kids and you have told me in no uncertain terms that you do not. I respect your wants, but I also have to respect my own. That is why I am moving out before Christmas into my city pad. We need to go our separate ways."
I'd love to be 29 again, btw! A golden time of life.
"he has a very unstable family background and his (living) parent was extremely emotionally abusive. They are vile to me - "
RUUUUUUUN! Please please please believe me on this. You see, when life gets stressy, people revert to the FOO
tactics way of coping they developed from birth. And because it is unconscious they don't even know they are doing it.
When I met my MIL I should have run screaming into the night. Because I sure as hell am living her ways...
Ah OP - I could be talking to myself almost 20 years ago...
... he wants a girlfriend. He doesn't want a wife (or at least not you) and he doesn't want children (or at least not with you).
I had a partner like yours - I would even think he was your partner but mine would, I guess, be a confirmed bachelor of about 53 now! He professed undying love occasionally (on reflection mostly when I started getting a bit unsatisfied with the way the relationship was going). When I was about 32 (so a little older than you) I realised that he was perfectly happy with the status quo and had absolutely no intention of getting married to me or having children with me. Bugger. I loved him terribly but I knew I didn't want a life of being a perpetual girlfriend with no children. In my case the marriage wasn't that important but the children absolutely were.
I gritted my teeth and ended it. Convincingly, for I really did know that I wanted children more than I wanted to be the hand maiden to this perpetual teenager.
After breaking up I gave myself until I was 35 to find a new partner and decide what to do about children. At 35 with no partner in sight (or at least not permanent enough to want children with them) I made the
mad decision to be a single parent by choice. It was a long hard road but I brought home my (adopted) son 6 years ago now.
I have never regretted my decision. Once or twice when times were tough in the early days of being a single parent I can remember thinking "Thank god I'm not doing this with W as a co-parent!" so I guess I made the right decision!
I am with the "Leave the bastard" crowd. I had the same DP you have, OP. He was amazing, but didn't want what I wanted. After 6 years I finally had enough (there were other issues too!) and moved on. I am now married post 2 years and we are expecting our first child next month! My Dh is so much more wonderful than that twunt was I can't even tell you.
My motto: Don't postpone joy!
A man in love who wants to marry you and have children with you, will tell you that that's what he wants. And he has told you clearly that he doesn't want either of those things - it's up to you and accept that and decide what to do about it.
I was in a similar relationship many years ago, only in my case I was the one who was doing the fobbing off.
My fella was desperate to get married and have children, I had no intention of doing either with him but was happy to coast along as we were. Every time he mentioned getting engaged I would suggest waiting until Valentine's Day "to make it special" and then when that rolled around I would suggest we waited until our summer holiday...and then Christmas...
I didn't realise it at the time but what I was doing was waiting for something/ one better to come along. Eventually I plucked up the courage to finish it with him because in my heart I knew that it wasn't fair to either of us. He took it very badly but within six months had met someone else who he now has two children with.
I met someone else too. Within weeks I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. It wasn't a case of wanting to get married, I couldn't not marry him. We were engaged and planning our wedding within a year, happy ever after blah blah blah.
This man is not really a man. He is a 1950s housewife without parental ambition.
He has won a gold mine in you! He wants to own his home, he does not want you to be " a kept woman". He does not want to marry you, as that would give you legal share in his assets. He wants you to keep him. You work, so he can potter about, and be "retired". With no financial or parental responsibilities, he will allow you to live in his home, while you bring in the bacon and pay for life.
And you are YOUNG. You can pander to him until he is well into his 80S!
Wow. Just Wow.
tribport said: "Arguably, if he really loved you, wouldn't he want you to have the thing which you want most deeply? If he couldn't give that to you, wouldn't he put your needs and wishes before his own?"
Why does that not apply the other way round? If SHE really loved ME, she'd put my needs and wishes before her own and not have kids because the thing I want most deeply is just to spend the rest of my life with her and just her.
This should NEVER EVER be about one person 'giving in' or 'giving way' to the other. We're not talking about deciding on a car or a house. We're talking about creating life. If two people are not on the same page on this one, they should really part and find people who are on the same page.
There is no rule that anyone MUST be married or MUST have children. The OP and her DP (who I'm not overly impressed with) aren't compatible in what they want, even if they love each other.
The OP should leave and find someone who is compatible.
I also meant to add that it is important to talk about these sorts of things properly, not in some vague way. I wouldn't have moved in with someone unless I knew we were on the same page on the two big questions.
VoiceOfUnreason, I think we're actually agreeing. My comment was in the context of the OP hearing the word 'you' in the sentence 'I love you' with more emphasis than the 'I'.
The OP's DH has the perfect right not to want to have children or get married. He does, however, need to own that choice and not string the OP along, so that she can decide what she wants to do next. Equally, the OP needs to own her choice and not keep playing along with the delaying tactics.
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.