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I know there was a thread about this not very long ago at all but well...sorry, here is another. Obvs I have name-changed.
I suppose I want to hear other peoples opinions really on whether you would end a 10 year relationship, one which is mostly good, because he doesn't want to get married. We have both been married before. We both have children but have no children together and will not be having children together. Being married is something that really matters to me. I don't want a frilly dress or a big party, I just want to be married. Registry office and a pub meal will do me. I want to make an outward commitment, I want to know that he feels the same blah blah. I also want to be legally protected if something goes wrong. Maybe because we don't have children together I don't need the legal protection marriage can offer, I don't know. We have talked about it a lot over the years and his response is always, 'it's just a piece of paper' or 'I like knowing that we are together because we want to be, not because we have to be'.
Sometimes it bothers me so much that it is the first thing that pops in my head when I wake up. I'm aware that must make me sound quite ridiculous. Sometimes I tell myself, I must be mad thinking of ending a normal happy 10 year relationship just because he won't get married.
Don't really know what I am rambling about tbh. Bit and also with it all. Opinions gratefully received.
I totally get what you mean, I am exactly the same. If marriage is just a piece of paper why is he so scared of it, and if being married means you have to stay together how come he's not still with his wife? Personally, I would and did end a relationship over this. It hurt, but I wasn't prepared to accept anything less than he had offered his ex wife.
We've been happily married for ten years now and he often says he regrets not marrying me sooner.
It's not just a piece of paper. And marriage doesn't keep people together. So, something else is going on here. His responses are glib. Have you spelled it out to him? Does he know how much it bothers you? Or do you want him to want it as much as you do? If he went along with it to keep the peace, would that be okay?
Do you live together? Did he go through a painful first divorce?
His reasons for not getting married are bullshit.
Perhaps he is worried that marriage would give you a claim to property that he would prefer was reserved for his children?
Thanks for the replies.
nfk - I have spelt it out I think. I haven't said "marry me or we split up" because I feel then that he wouldn't really wanted to have married me, he just did it because he didn't want to split up IYSWIM . He does know how much it bothers me but I find myself shutting up about it because it usually ends up with me getting upset. <pathetic>
Although just to confuse myself even further, I now find myself wondering why I want to be married to a man who clearly doesn't want to be married to me! Who doesn't think enough of me to not have me going through life as 'just' his bloody girlfriend.
MexicanHat - yes we live together. His divorce wasn't anymore painful than mine. He didn't have a particularly happy marriage but then, again, neither did I.
JoinyourPlayfellows - he has no property/money, neither of us do, that isn't the reason.
I think it's perfectly valid to say you're staying with your partner out of choice, not because you signed a contract that said you would.
My partner frequently grumbles that I won't marry him. I'm afraid that if he forced me (and I would see this as force) to marry him, I would probably go ahead but I would resent him quite a lot. And we have two children.
Clearly it matters a lot to you - and so it should matter a lot to him as well.
It is a becoming a deal-breaker to you and therefore it needs to be resolved no matter how painful it might be.
If he says no, never. Then you have to decide whether or not you can continue on that basis and your decision is the right one for you, regardless of what anyone else says.
I would never get married again (so I say now!) but I completely understand why it matters so much.
"I think it's perfectly valid to say you're staying with your partner out of choice, not because you signed a contract that said you would."
I think that's a really weird thing to say.
It implies that people who are married only stay together because they signed a contract, and not out of choice.
Plenty of unmarried people in couples are still there because they are totally stuck and unable to leave.
In some cases the fact that they are not married is a factor in their inability to leave.
I was a bit about getting married but I wanted to have children and my partner said it was a deal breaker for him, marriage before babies. And now I'm married, I love it. There is no way it's "just a piece if paper". For me, it's the foundation everything else is built on. I never expected to feel the way that I do about it... If its important to you to be married then I don't think that will go away... And I don't think you are wrong for wanting it... There's not much in the way of a compromise to be had, you either are or you aren't so I think you need to keep talking about it and see what room there is for one of you to change your minds. If there is none then I don't think you're unreasonable to consider leaving.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply.
I really don't think it is going to go away for me. I have tried to squash the feelings away for the last 10 years and if anything they are just getting stronger. One last talk and I need to know either way if its a, no it won't ever happen or...not .
It's so difficult. I could end this relationship and still end up alone and unmarried!
motherinferior - I see what you are saying completely. If I felt pushed or guilted into marriage by a man then I think I would run for the hills. I suppose that is what I am doing to him really, which makes me wholly unacceptable
I also think his reasons for not marrying you are bs. If it is just a "piece of paper" then why is he so bothered about not marrying you?. A Solicitor would soon rubbish that notion of his as well.
BTW if he dropped dead tomorrow you would be really up the creek without a paddle even if you state there is no property and or money involved (what is your status re the property you reside in, are you on the mortgage for instance?).
The law regards you as two separate individuals not related to each other. If he died you would not be able to order a headstone for him, open Letters of Administration nor claims any Widows Allowance from the government (around £80 a week currently). As well as emotional grief you could well end up in financial hardship. You would be completely at the mercies of his children. You could end up with nothing.
Well, it's how you feel. But not wanting to get married is equally valid, IMO.
It's not 'just a piece of paper'. It carries a whole load of baggage. Baggage some of us don't want.
Atilla - see I didn't know ANY of that. The house we live in now is rented, in my sole name, so on that basis, I would be OK, but I had no idea about any of the things you mention in your final paragraph. How bloody stupid am I?
But what he's doing to you is also unacceptable NameChange - he is just ignoring the fact that this means so much to you. If he's committed to you, what's the problem with getting married - it can simply be a trip to the registry office with no fuss at all and not even a meal - I presume that is the really important thing that you want and anything else is just the trimmings? And if he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life with you, better to know now so that you can make provision accordingly.
But what's the problem with not getting married? It's always presented to those of us who don't want to marry as 'just a little thing'...it's not.
This is coming across as something very important to you which you should not ignore. Seeing a counsellor on your own might help you clarify in your own mind why it is so important and how you want to move forward.
For example you could decide on firmly but kindly separating or alternatively inviting your partner to engage in exploring deeply why you have apparently incompatible wishes.
I hope you do not choose to continue stuffing your feelings down and accepting what feels to you like a fundamental lack of respect.
"It's not 'just a piece of paper'. It carries a whole load of baggage. Baggage some of us don't want."
And some of us do want, or are prepared to overlook for the advantages we perceive to be offered by it.
It's OK not to want to get married.
But arguing that it is "just a piece of paper" is very silly.
I never even got a piece of paper.
mistlethrush - I have said to him on a number of occasions that it is about the marriage to me, not the wedding. I had a "big do" when I was married the first time and spent the actual marriage miserable and depressed. I would do it in my jeans and go to McDs after this time! Doesn't change his mind though.
BTW motherinferior I totally agree that being deliberately 'not married' can be a positive choice. One DP and I are currently making.
It sounds like it matters to you a lot and I would want to know why he isn't responding to that.
I can't be bothered with marriage because to me it is just a legal thing, not an emotionally meaningful thing. But if my DP was really keen then I would get married without hesitation - I don't see the point but if felt it had meaning I would do it.
I agree with the other posts that say there is a bigger thing that is stopping him. Not bothered should be not bothered either way. he is actively opposed and that means there must be a reason.
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