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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?

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 20:09:27

Did he actually say "as and when he is good and ready"?

Do you know what will constitute "being ready"? Anything from "he hasn't actually made his mind up" to "he's got something planned for your next holiday"

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 20:10:25

Have you got a mortgage together?

Do you know if he wants kids?

Branleuse Fri 13-Sep-13 20:11:06

er, i wouldnt. If you love him and want to marry him, why would you walk away ever? Not much of a basis for a marriage

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 20:11:34

why don't you propose to him?

AlannaPartridge Fri 13-Sep-13 20:12:27

I don't understand this, truly. (And I'm not getting at you because it's amazingly common). But haven't we moved on from the notion of "the man get's to choose when/if we get married"?

Propose to him. If he wants to marry you, he'll say yes. If he says that he ought to be the one doing the proposing then then he's stuck in the 1800s and you should consider whether you want to marry him at all.

Twinklestein Fri 13-Sep-13 20:13:01

It really depends if he is just waiting for the right moment to propose
un-prompted by you, or whether he really doesn't want to marry you.

Given your age, at 2 years it would ultimatum time for me.

If doesn't want to marry you then he needs to do the decent thing & let you find someone else while you can still have kids.

I know 2 guys, one of whom is my cousin, who wasted the childbearing years of their gfs before ending it, marrying & having kids with someone else. Don't let yourself be one of those women.

AlannaPartridge Fri 13-Sep-13 20:13:28

Sorry for my awful grammar blush

Treen44444 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:13:35

No time limit

night1971 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:14:18

Two years is plenty of time to know. Plus you have lived together for long enough.

All but one of the "long term living together" relationships I remember in my youth floundered with only one marriage. Men went on to marry others.

Was madly in love with some shit in my 30s waiting in vain for a ring. If I hadn't issued ultimatum, would still be waiting. We split up. He has never married. I now have lovely happy life and would issue ultimatum again -even earlier in fact! Looking back, I now feel used. He had everything he wanted and I didn't.

You know pretty soon if you are right for each other, I think. One of the best marriages I know was after 6 weeks, another 5 months.

You have every right to ask him and be certain of your future.

What difference do you think it will make to your relationship?

What difference does he think it will make to your relationship?

When we were getting married, someone told us that being married was like before you're married "but with better plates". If anyone is expecting a piece of paper to change the foundations of your relationship - as opposed to the public perception of your relationship - then they've missed the point.

If a wedding is a deal breaker, propose to him.

Fairenuff Fri 13-Sep-13 20:15:21

So if he never wants to get married, you will leave him? Hardly the love of your life then is he.

Lweji Fri 13-Sep-13 20:16:43

When have you had the conversation?

You may tell him that you think that after all this time he should know whether he wants to spend the rest of his life and have children with you or not, and that are not willing to wait forever for him to be ready.

Personally, after about 6 months I'd ask him for a definitive answer.

If he said he wants to get married, and he really means it, a proposal should be done soon. Or just not at all.
You could just plan the wedding.
After all you have proposed and, apparently, he has said yes.

Or he doesn't actually mean it.

Corygal Fri 13-Sep-13 20:19:09

Well, hmmmm. I sympathise with you. I know people who have blown their chances by hanging round with the wrong man, and also those who hung on for seven years and finally got a proposal.

The key to this - inasmuch as there is one - is to acknowledge that if DP is thinking of himself, then so must you. That means keep your options open as much as possible. I'm not suggesting affairs with other people, but I am urging you to keep going out in mixed groups, keep your own life as a person rather than half a couple very much alive, and don't do things like Xmas and big family occasions as a couple.

You could also try talking to him. No one is allowed to be asked about their 'intentions' a la Jane Austen these days, and it's a darn shame. But you can ask whether he a) believes in marriage b) wants children c) wants marriage for himself before he hits middle age.

And put your own needs foremost in this conversation. Explain that you want children before you need fertility treatment, that you don't want to end up in a partnership rather than a marriage, and that your children will be born to married parents (assuming that's what you want).

No man ever went off a woman he loved because she asked for something reasonable - bear this in mind if you need to be tough.

If he dickers, leave it a bit. Then think about booting him out for a while so he can make his mind up.

defineme Fri 13-Sep-13 20:19:32

I really don't understand. Most couples I know just decided to get married together. Why does he have to propose-you've already asked him?
Massive proposals seem to happen in films, I don't know anyone

'As and when I'm good and ready' makes him sound like a complete cock to be honest...does he like to be in charge/control?
Or is he just with you until something better comes along?

Why can't you just say what you've said here...to him?

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 20:21:31

you have agreed you are going to get married? in my world that's you engaged- you just need to set a date now.

all this bollocks about being 'officially' engaged when you knew long beforehand you were getting married does my head in. if you've agreed to get married you are engaged. don't even get me started on the 'proposal' having to come from the man. how do lesbians ever get round to it? wink

flowery Fri 13-Sep-13 20:22:11

"He said he wants to get married to me"

No need for a proposal then surely? You want to marry him, he's said he wants to marry you. Discussion should be therefore about when not if.

PTFO Fri 13-Sep-13 20:22:30

I waited 4 years, I knew after 1 year and starting waiting to be asked after 2. But I was only 21 when we met so time was on my side and I knew it would come but when he was ready. But it was about HIM being ready.

You cant make him. I would have a convo about the future and kids and concerned about your age re having a family. Its a very fair point. Is he serious or is he still not sure...make it clear he cant lead you on.

however the more you go on about it the more pressure he will feel and more likely back off...

I cant tell you what to do, only you know what your willing to do.

How would he feel if you got a job overseas, would he follow you, beg you to stay or let you go??

flowery Fri 13-Sep-13 20:22:52

X posts with youre

Fairenuff Fri 13-Sep-13 20:28:39

That's a good point. Technically you are already engaged. 'As and when I am ready' is a very quick backtrack. I don't think he want to marry you.

cantthinkofagoodone Fri 13-Sep-13 20:32:42

I would just be honest as you need to be on the same page. A lot of men don't think about things like it taking 6 months to plan a wedding so just say, DP, I want sprogs and to be married, pref to you before we have them so if you are wanting to get married and also have sprogs can we get engaged soonish?

HRHLadyG Fri 13-Sep-13 20:40:36

He doesn't really have a reason to propose when you're already living with him. Men don't like to feel pressured but he may need to feel that he could lose you. Don't mention marriage anymore, be bright and busy....more socialising without him....all done very nicely! I'd set myself a mental deadline... 6 months and in the meantime get on with enjoying my life.
Its not wise to keep your life on hold if marriage and babies are what you want.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 13-Sep-13 20:44:40

He said he wants to get married to me but will propose "as and when he is good and ready".

He's a controlling, sexist twerp.

Move on.

PTFO Fri 13-Sep-13 20:51:16

I like what HRHLady said. I also agree that when they realise that they may lose you the panic sets in and they start to think.

Marriage is important if you are planning to have DC from a legal viewpoint. Marriage is a legal matter above all. If you are not yet anxious about starting a family, you could perhaps wait a bit longer but a man who has told you that he will propose when he's 'ready' is, as JYP says, controlling and sexist. He doesn't particularly want to marry you, and considers you a 'will do for now' partner, for one thing - he's still hoping Angelina Jolie will suddenly stroll down the road or something. Also, because he knows you would like to get married, he can now hold The Proposal over your head like a dog treat indefinitely. He wants you to do something, or put up with something? He will hint that he's about to propose. He wants to punish you for something or get you to scurry round frantically trying to placate him? He will say that he was just about to propose, but you 'spoiled it' by disagreeing with him over something, burning dinner or talking to a friend instead of him at a social event.
You'd be happier without him.

Faithless12 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:56:07

I agree with HRH but I would set that deadline and then leave if it doesn't materialise. Seriously wish I'd done the same myself and stuck to it.

Corygal Fri 13-Sep-13 21:01:34

I'm seconding the others who say if he thinks he might lose you it might spur him on. Caveat - if you ultimatum, you have to mean it. Real caveat - you seriously should mean it if you know what's good for you. You're only 30, miles of time to get someone else.

Why does he get to decide when you get married? Fuck that, and fuck waiting for a proposal. If I were you I would tell him where you are at, ie you want to be married within (eg) 2 years and have a baby within x years aft the wedding etc etc. he can get on board or not. And if he doesn't - he's not for you.

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 21:11:11

as usual SGB speaks sense. snort at Angelina jolie grin

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 21:13:31

sod all this playing games shite to 'spur him on' tell him straight you want to sit down tomorrow evening and set a date, discuss venues, budget, etc. up to you what you do if he wont but I know what i'd be doing.

Pachacuti Fri 13-Sep-13 21:23:38

Do you definitely want children? More than one? Does he definitely want children? More than one? Do you definitely want to be married before you have children? Does he? You need to know the answers to those questions before you can work out your own personal deadline timeframe.

As a rough ready-reckoner, suppose that hypothetically you do definitely want to have children with someone , and that you want to have at least two children. Fertility declines quite rapidy after 37 (yes, you could be lucky and have a whole string of babies in your forties, but equally you could not and it's a risky thing to plan on doing). So say you have babies at 35 and 37; you'd need to conceive the first baby at 34, more or less. Even setting aside the risk of fertility issues and the extra delays that would build in, it's quite normal to take six months to conceive. So you'd potentially be looking at starting to ttc when you had just turned 34. If you definitely want to be married first, and you want a wedding that will take some planning rather than a quick register office job, you'd probably be looking for a definite commitment to marriage (proposal or just decision between the two of you that you were engaged and planning to get married in the near future) not long after your 33rd birthday. Now bear in mind that if he doesn't actually want to marry you/have children and you decide that ultimately your happiness means that you have to leave him and find someone else who does then you'd need to allow some time for actually meeting said Other Man and getting to the point of commitment... potentially if you're just "early 30s" you don't have as much time to play around with as you might imagine.

DISCLAIMER -- that's just a worked-out example for the purposes of illustration. You're the only one who knows how strongly you want children/how many you want/how you want them spaced/how much of a risk you're prepared to run with your fertility/whether you want to be married before children or not/etc., etc. so I am very definitely NOT saying that the numbers that fall out of the paragraph above are those you should adopt.

TBH if you actually said "let's get married" and he responded "I'll propose when I'm good and ready" he sounds like something of a sexist arse. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt if you're sure he isn't an arse, but it's not a good impression.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 13-Sep-13 21:33:33

If it doesnt matter to him then he should be happy to get on with getting married. If it does matter to him then he is saying that he isnt sure that he wants to marry you yet.

I asked DH, at the time it mattered more to me than to him. At the time he felt that the mortgage for the house we were buying was the bigger commitment.

If I had waited for him I would still be waiting now 22 years later!

DH is not the sort of person to feel that his masculinity has been challenged by me having done the asking.

Twattergy Fri 13-Sep-13 22:01:44

I'm going to stand up for your dp as no one else is.perhaps he is quite traditional and wants to do things in a certain way, ie ask parents permission, buy a ring, plan the proposal himself. For many men, my dh included this is how they want to start married life. Now he knows for definite it is what you want a proposal could happen. Only you can judge how serious you believe his intentions are towards you. I personally don't think two years is that long.

mameulah Fri 13-Sep-13 22:08:30

When you are ready, if he has not proposed you simply say 'if you are not going to propose then you need to leave me.' If he doesn't like it then he can walk away from it. Why should you be the baddie? We went through this and I got the whole 'we need to be sure we are right for each other' etc etc. Basically, I woke up one Sunday morning and thought, this is it. Either you love me enough to make my dreams come true. Or not. If not then you need to let me go so I can find that person. And for me being married was a fundamental part of my dreams coming true. I also said that he wasn't going to put a silencer on me by saying that we couldn't speak about because of putting him under pressure. You are worth it. Men happily have their cake and eat it. As long as we let them.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 13-Sep-13 22:12:32

"perhaps he is quite traditional and wants to do things in a certain way, ie ask parents permission, buy a ring, plan the proposal himself."

or in other words, perhaps he is a sexist twat who thinks you shouldn't get an equal say in when you get married.

SpottedDickandCustard Fri 13-Sep-13 22:23:05

Please don't demean yourself by playing games to get him to marry you.

If he really wanted to get married then he would agree to it today. After knowing you 5 years, he knows you well enough to make that decision.

If marriage is a deal breaker for you I'd ask HIM to marry you. If he says "not yet" or "when I'm ready" then I'd move on.

Otherwise you could be waiting years!

ageofgrandillusion Fri 13-Sep-13 22:23:59

Is he the one OP? He actually doesnt sound like it for some reason.

HoldingBreathandCountingtoTen Fri 13-Sep-13 22:29:23

Twattergy I agree he is the kind of man who would want to go about things in the traditional way.

We both 'believe' in marriage and we both agree that we want to be married before having a family.

The good and ready comment - he is really not a sexist arse at all - he is someone who considers all decisions very carefully. I think he needs a bit of time and I respect that. The question is how much time do I give before I just conclude that he is not going to marry me / waiting for Angelina Jolie?!

Kundry Fri 13-Sep-13 22:32:35

My DH asked me when I wanted to get married. I said we should get on with it and the following day we started looking at venues and we were married 6 months later. He still doesn't know how this happened as he hadn't been intending to propose - indeed as a proposal it was rubbish as he proceeded to talk about the tax advantages to marriage, possibly the least romantic proposal in history hmm However he is very pleased as we both like being married grin

When your DP said he wanted to marry you, you should have taken that as a proposal and got planning. Instead he got a chance to back out of it.

If you really want to be married to him, start up another conversation and if he still says he wants to get married, don't wait for a proposal, move the conversation on to dates - if he still squirms then you need to pin him down as to why. He may never be 'ready' and you are worth more than wasting your fertile years while he decides whether or not he wants to grow up.

HoldingBreathandCountingtoTen Fri 13-Sep-13 22:36:26

I am not bothered about having a big wedding either and have told him that, so he doesn't need to worry about cost or organisation etc.

Pachacuti Fri 13-Sep-13 22:40:08

Does he actually understand that female fertility drops off so sharply? I've known a whole bunch of intelligent, well-educated men in their early-mid 30s who genuinely thought that women were pretty much fertile all the way up to the menopause (and, of course, some women are. But most will find their fertility dropping way, way off many years beforehand) and therefore couldn't understand why their DPs were pushing for commitment/children. In at least one case a couple of his friends who were doctors had to sit him down and almost literally draw him a diagram.

If he does want to get married to you and does want to have a family with you then he needs to give some serious thought to how much he can dick around before being good and ready.

Corygal Fri 13-Sep-13 22:42:09

FWIW, OP, no one I know who booted out a reluctant partner has regretted it.

I know 2 women who were left childless after hanging on for years, however, and they certainly regret that. They don't like the husbands much either, probably because the dilly-dallying originated from them.

I know 3 more women who were dangled for years then dumped at knocking 40.

The awful thing for you is that, like it or not, doing nothing is not an option. You're young but you need to keep it that way to meet someone new.

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 22:44:20

Yy pacha.

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 22:45:02

op only you can answer the question as to how long you should wait. others can only give you their own perspective- which they have done- you need to decide how long YOU are prepared to wait to be asked.

in your shoes I would just start planning and if he doesn't like that then take it as a very firm signal that you have crossed wires and need to have a discussion. in your shoes I would be telling him it was either being planned now or the relationship was off. but that's me.

sooperdooper Fri 13-Sep-13 22:47:22

I don't get all this waiting for him to propose business, it's a joint decision, he shouldn't get to be the one in control of it!!

You've discussed it already, so tell him straight that getting married is important to you, if he agrees then say right we'll set a date * whenever * and that's it, plan the wedding!

I don't agree with waiting for him, dropping hints, waiting until he's 'good and ready', proposals when you've already decided to get married are unnessesary

cece Fri 13-Sep-13 22:55:43

OP in a similar situation, many moons ago, I gave my now DH a deadline in my head of a certain date. I told myself if we weren't arranging a wedding by then that I would dump him and move on. Luckily, for DH, wink he managed to propose within 4 months of my deadline (that he knew nothing about...)

EsTutMirLeid Fri 13-Sep-13 22:55:43

My circumstances were different... We had been together since we were 18. Lived together from 23, bought a house together at 28. He asked me what I wanted for my 28th birthday and I told him outright. I wanted to get married and I wanted a proposal and a ring. He was a bit oh - I didn't know you wanted to get married. I said I did and that I wanted to be married by 30 and I wanted to have a child by the time I was 32. He said okay that's sounds great. Let's go pick a ring! So in answer to your question I waited 10 years and had to ask for my proposal.

Tell him exactly how you feel and exactly what you want. If he doesn't want it then you know what you have to do. If he wants it too but wants more time, give yourself a deadline for that proposal and then do what you've got to do. If he wants it too I hope you'll be very happy.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 13-Sep-13 22:59:07

Actually my DH proposed when in his head he felt ready to do it. No amount of discussions would have made it happen any quicker. He just one day decided he was going to buy a ring and propose. I've been married for almost three years. Bollocks to anyone that doesn't agree with it.

defineme Fri 13-Sep-13 23:03:57

Why, in your early 30s having been together some time and discussed kids and so on , would you wait-what on earth is he considering-other than he doesn't want to marry you?
How do people have relationships like this? How do you not talk to each other? You've obviously discussed lots of things, but you're not saying what you're saying here, so you're not telling the man you want to spend the rest of your life with how you actually feel about your future.

defineme Fri 13-Sep-13 23:10:44

Is that really true Es -surely you were waiting from the moment you told him-28th birthday and he immediately agreed? Or were you thinking about it from the age of 18 when you met and kept expecting him to ask?

pobble that really makes you sound like a surrendered wife...I hope you had more choice and mutual decision making than that account suggests.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 13-Sep-13 23:17:13

Surrendered wife?? That the funniest thing I think I've read. My DH would wet himself laughing if I told him that.

Believe me, I have a say in everything.

Kundry Fri 13-Sep-13 23:21:20

Pachacuti makes an excellent point about male knowledge of female biology. He may think 'early thirties, I have loads of time' while you can here your biological clock ticking.

My DH had not a clue - he knew the menopause existed but thought it happened to women aged 60-70.

olgaga Fri 13-Sep-13 23:21:42

I'd give him 6 months then move on. I'd never have a child without the financial and legal protection that marriage brings.

He's a arrogant entitled bastard btw. You deserve better.

flowery Fri 13-Sep-13 23:38:42

"The good and ready comment - he is really not a sexist arse at all - he is someone who considers all decisions very carefully."

But he's already said he wants to marry you. What decision is left to consider so carefully? confused

Really sounds as though he's putting you in your place tbh and emphasising that it's his decision and not to be initiated by you.

Fairenuff Fri 13-Sep-13 23:39:38

I was 29 when we had 'the talk'. We got married six weeks later. Once the decision is made, just crack on I say.

springydafty Fri 13-Sep-13 23:41:09

but will propose "as and when he is good and ready"

ugh. What a catch hmm

as a pp said, this isn't the 1880s. He sounds horrible doesn't sound very nice. What makes him think it's his job to bring you to heel? Does his 'traditional' viewpoint necessitate you learn to be obedient and wait for the master's decision?

Ugh.

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 23:41:49

"As and when I'm good and ready" is very different to "I'm not sure I'm ready yet" -one is "I need more time", the other is "I'll do it in my own time"

EsTutMirLeid Fri 13-Sep-13 23:54:41

I see what you mean defineme...

No I wasn't 'waiting 10 years' in fact I didn't have to 'wait' at all because we talked and I got the proposal I wanted and we are happily married with a beautiful 3 year old.

Just talk to him again op.

Lavenderhoney Sat 14-Sep-13 04:58:10

I wouldn't be happy with " when I'm good and ready" your feelings haven't come into it.

You know each other well, live together so to my mind what is he waiting for? It seems the commitment to having a mortgage together and living together without seeing anyone else is enough for him.

Personally I would have a nice chat along the lines of " well, if you feel you need to wait another 3-5 years keeping me hoping every weekend you will propose depresses me and I would like to know what we our plans are for the future and dc, as fertility declines on average at 35 but who knows mine could be younger"

Its your life, you need a say in important decisions. My dad used to say " what are your intentions?" And I must say toe curling though it was, it sorted the wheat from the chaff. I used to say it too, after the 6 month marksmile

Did you talk about it when you moved in together?

Lazyjaney Sat 14-Sep-13 06:16:28

Given your age, and the conversations to date, I think you need to get a decision or leave asap. You won't be the first or last woman to wait until you can't have kids, only to see the love of your life bugger off and start a family within the year with someone else.

I was in your situation op. I pressed him for a date when he would decide for sure. he did so well within his timescale and had spent the intervening time secretly visiting my parents and buying a ring.

mn isn't going to like my "sexist pig" of a dh but I've never been happier and love our largely equal relationship and 2 dcs.

(married at 30 just, now 33 so we didn't hang around. once we decided to get hitched we were married in 6 months.)

Fairylea Sat 14-Sep-13 07:00:58

I'd move on. He doesn't sound as bothered by the same things as you. I don't think this is even necessarily about marriage but about the bigger picture.

Dh and I were desperate to get married. It was important to both of us. He talked to my older dd from apprevious relationship about it and swore her to secrecy ! He wanted to make sure she was happy too. When he proposed he took me to the bench where we sat in our very first date and pulled out a beautiful ring he'd spent the whole day a week before choosing. It was worth 3 months of his salary. He'd saved hard.

We are very happy. smile

In contrast to my ex who was much like your dp.. I proposed to my ex. We got married but his heart was never really into it all. Or the relationship. He walked outon me 2 years later.

Fairylea Sat 14-Sep-13 07:02:29

By the way I'm not saying I'm happy because it was an expensive ring! Just the fact he'd worked so hard to save and do everything "right" and traditionally. That's what we both wanted.

Loopytiles Sat 14-Sep-13 07:16:20

If you want DC (especially if more than one) and want to be married (legal protection for you and DC) it's important to establish whether this is a realistic prospect with your current P.If it's not, then the longer you spend with him, the more time you're not out there focusing on your own life and looking for someone else!

I know a few men who didn't initially get the fertility thing, but did when it was explained to them clearly! Also a couple of women who wasted a long time with men who had no intention of marriage/DC, and the women have no DC as a result (the men do, with other, younger women).

ChasedByBees Sat 14-Sep-13 07:18:10

^ "The good and ready comment - he is really not a sexist arse at all - he is someone who considers all decisions very carefully." ^

But he's already said he wants to marry you. What decision is left to consider so carefully?

Really sounds as though he's putting you in your place tbh and emphasising that it's his decision and not to be initiated by you.

^ ^ this. I don't get the good and ready comment, it does sound arrogant. You've effectively already proposed, he says he wants to marry you... But then he also doesn't because he'll propose (I.e. tell you when you can progress with your relationship) when he's ready. What is he waiting for? I wouldn't have been able to rest with that explanation.

I had to explain to my DH that we wanted kids and so we needed to start trying when i was 33. My reasoning was if there were problems, I think fertility help is limited in some areas to women under 35 and you have to have been trying for a year before they'll consider investigating things. Also the fertility drops massively after 35. I don't think this is one where you can just wait indefinitely.

flowery Sat 14-Sep-13 07:20:54

Do you know what? If you've known someone 5 years, been in a relationship with them for two and living together for a year and a half and still don't know whether you want to be with them for the rest of your life, that surely means you don't, doesn't it? I mean, if you're not sure after all that time you never will be.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 14-Sep-13 07:38:39

How long ago was it that you said 'DP, let's get married' and he said 'When I'm good & ready'? Also, what was his body language/tone of voice when he said it?

You have told him what you want, I'd give it 6 months after that (or a bit longer if I thought he had something in mind - like Christmas/Birthday/Holiday) - then tell him that my time frame & his are clearly different for this and it's time to go our own ways as I have a life to be getting on with which includes marriage & children and he's seemingly not on board with that.

The reason I'd give it 6 months to allow him to propose in the 'Traditional Way' is because men are actually allowed to have held thoughts about how they'd like to do this as much as women are allowed to have held thoughts about their wedding day. Yes, it's a little bit old fashioned, but some of the nicest things in life are smile

Ememem84 Sat 14-Sep-13 07:45:25

My dh and I have been married for 2 years. He surprise proposed to me one evening about 3 years ago. He'd known it was what he wanted to do and secretly bought a ring and had apparently carried it about with him for a while. I had no idea. But he said he'd known for ages but needed it to be right.

SuperiorCat Sat 14-Sep-13 07:49:39

I find all these comments about traditional and old fashioned depressingly sexist. Women are not possessions whose parents have to be asked permission nor need to wear an engagement ring as a mark of ownership.

It is not romantic to wait for your life partner to have carte blanche over how and where and when major life decisions can take place. It is controlling.

hillian Sat 14-Sep-13 07:55:22

I was in a very similar situation and we are now married (12 years) with children.

However I was ready to get married a good 8 months before he was and that still rankles with each of us today.

First thing I did was have the conversation you've just had. Then I waited and a couple of perfect occasions for him to propose came and went. sad

It was obvious that it wasn't really at the forefront of his thoughts and I began to think I'd made a mistake. It was making me miserable thinking we would have to split up.
I was also fairly angry with him for being such an idiot.

Finally I privately decided that Id wait until Valentines Day and ask him but I knew that my respect for him would be diminished if I ended up having to do that.
In the end he asked me before Christmas and we married a few months later.
It still sometimes comes up though when we argue that I didn't trust him enough to be patient.

Offred Sat 14-Sep-13 08:02:36

Are you sure you understand marriage and want to enter into a marriage contract?

SGB's post is a good one.

This dynamic I agree is depressingly sexist and I think unlikely to form the basis of a marriage that ultimately makes any woman happy. When he is good and ready? You think he is traditional? Red flags...

cakeandcustard Sat 14-Sep-13 08:07:34

My DH took a long time to propose, it turns out he'd had an idea in his head of the perfect way and location and he wanted everything right (organised a holiday etc) before he did it. TBH I wasn't entirely bothered how he did it and got very frustrated with all the hanging around but it was quite romantic when he finally got round to it smile

Have you got the feeling that he's leading you on or do you think he's in it for the long haul? Can you not think about conceiving without being married (we did wink )I think its the kids issue that's more pressing than a wedding, if you talk to him seriously about this and he's dithering that would be more of a deal breaker for me.

You won't like me for saying this, but from what I have observed among my friends, the men who were in no hurry to get married were in no hurry because the partner they were with wasn't 'the one'. A fair few broke up with long term partners, and were married almost immediately to the next girlfriend.

My DH was a case in point. He was with his previous gf for 5 years. Eventually she left him because he wouldn't commit to marriage. He started dating me a few months later and proposed within 6 months. I'm nothing special, I was just his idea of 'the one'. His ex still hates my guts.

If I were you I'd move on. If you are the one he'll come running after you with a ring. Don't waste your life.

GrandstandingBlueTit Sat 14-Sep-13 08:30:56

The 'good and ready' comment is awful. And paints him in a really bad light.

Maybe my DH and I were overly star-struck or something (depressing, if that is the case), but we both knew straight away and were of the same mind at the same time. We were also friends before getting together and he joke proposed to me before we even got together.

You know what they say - listen to a person when they tell you about themselves. He's telling you about himself.

Don't you want to be with someone who really wants to be with you, and knows and openly admits they want to be with you?

Twattergy Sat 14-Sep-13 09:54:46

OP you say your partner takes time to make decisions and does so carefully. Everyone else says he's Taking the piss, however as someone with a similar type of partner, I don't think he is. we got engaged 2.5 years after meeting. He spent a lot of time planning his proposal (started looking at rings in new year, proposed in July) and caught me by surprise. If you both want to spend your lives together then fine, wait. If there is a niggle you have about his seriousness towards you, then discuss it now, don't let it make you unhappy.

Offred Sat 14-Sep-13 09:58:22

Ok twattergy but what a lot of people are trying to say is that it isn't a sign of an equal relationship if the marriage begins with the man making all the decisions and having all the power. It isn't about still being together or achieving a marriage, it is about having a relationship of equals which is most likely to result in long term happiness with each other. This is not a good way to begin.

Pachacuti Sat 14-Sep-13 10:05:37

Everyone else says he's Taking the piss

But that's not (or certainly not entirely) because he's taking his time over a decision. It's because the OP effectively proposed to him and he didn't say "Yes", didn't say "I need more time to be sure", didn't even say "I'd like to do it the traditional way and propose to you". He said "I'll propose to you when I'm good and ready." That's just rude and a crap way to respond to a proposal.

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 10:18:01

I think you should talk again. You should say that you don't want him to propose to you because you know your own mind and you know what you want and you'd rather just discuss it with him rather than hang around waiting.

If he is not ready to get married, fine, but you need to know that now. However, I am surprised that you would walk away from this relationship instead of thinking of other ways to protect your children financially, other than marriage.

You love him enough to want to marry him, but you would leave him if he doesn't? That doesn't sound like love to me. Nor does it sound like you respect his right to choose not to be married.

If this is typical of how you communicate, though, are you sure this relationship is going to last?

Pachacuti Sat 14-Sep-13 10:31:20

That ("respect his right to choose not to be married") would be fair enough, Fairenuff, except that the OP is pretty definite that he does want to be married, and does want to be married before having children. He just doesn't apparently want to marry the OP now, or even to commit to a timescale for marrying her, and hence he doesn't want to have children now, or even to commit to a timescale for having them (unless "when I'm good and ready" counts as a timescale).

He can still have children whenever he decides that he's "good and ready". The OP may not be able to. And she doesn't even have any indication of when that's going to be.

If this were an "I want to get married before having DCs but my DP doesn't believe in marriage" thread then the OP would be getting very different -- or at least far more wide-ranging -- advice, a lot of which would be focusing on his right to choose not to be married.

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 10:36:16

Yes, I agree that's what it sounds like on the face of it. However, I think he is stalling because he doesn't actually want to get married but didn't have the guts to say it outright.

If not, and this is just a control issue like others have said, then she shouldn't marry him anyway because he would be a sexist arse.

Either way, it doesn't look good. Imagine the marriage - the bins are overflowing dear, are you going to put them out? Yes dear. When I'm good and ready...

GrandstandingBlueTit Sat 14-Sep-13 10:41:07

^^ Well, quite.

Pachacuti Sat 14-Sep-13 10:42:15

Or even "The bins are overflowing, so I'll just put them out, OK?" / "No. I'm going to put the bins out, because it is Men's Work. But I'm only going to do it when I'm good and ready."

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sat 14-Sep-13 11:16:42

My view is that after 2 years (arguably 5 years) he should definitely know by now. He has knocked you back, and as it currently stands he has got the upper hand/control in this relationship regarding your future together. I would not let him keep you dangling - you should be in charge of your own destiny and not feel guilty or pushy about it.
Good luck.
Ps: Do not underestimate the 'good guys' they are very capable of wasting years & years of someone's life if that person suits their needs.

Twinklestein Sat 14-Sep-13 11:56:21

Exactly, Cool. The two guys I know who did this to their ex-partners (who then both had left it too late to be able to have kids) are nice guys. They went on to marry & have kids with really nice women. They just didn't consider the fertility of their exes. It was all about them agonising over the 'right' decision.

The OP is her early 30s, so she hasn't seen the pattern of this happening in other relationships yet. When her partner says he needs time to be 'good & ready' she doesn't see it for the common stalling tactic it may well be.

Two years together, five years as friends, if he doesn't know now, he never will & it's not right. She can give him another 6 months if she wants to, but it could just be a waste of time.

Personally I would lay out women's fertility stats (it's astonishing how many clever, well-educated men are totally clueless about basic female biology) and say he's got 6 months to decide. Thereafter she will need to move on to protect her ability to have children. And she needs to stick to it.

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 12:02:05

It seems like the OP has left the thread, though.

noddyholder Sat 14-Sep-13 12:04:47

Why does it have to be when he is good and ready. This is why I think proposing is bollocks Marriage is a joint decision a written legal contract about sharing responsibilities and assets. One person should never have that power. I think if you have suggested it he should have said yes or no

Pachacuti Sat 14-Sep-13 12:11:46

Well, she posted late Friday night. It seems a bit harsh to decide that she's "left the thread" because she's not come back on by Saturday lunchtime.

Lazyjaney Sat 14-Sep-13 12:52:43

What KeepCool And Twinklestein said above says it all really. I'd not give it 6 months though. New year, new life.

ALittleStranger Sat 14-Sep-13 17:32:44

Hopefully the OP is absent because she's having a serious chat with her DP.

But I hate to say it OP but I don't think this is going to end the way you want.

It is extremely common for couples who met in their mid/late 20s to drift on in this way before fizzling out and one or both going on to marry v. quickly. Look around you friendship group honestly and ask yourself if you don't recognise this. As you know he believes in marriage, but don't kid yourself that this means he believes in marriage with you.

You've been very upfront with him and there are two scenarios going on. Either he does want to marry you but is waiting for you to fuck up, or he doesn't actually want to marry you and is wondering if he's going to change his mind. Neither of those are very nice are they!?

It's been long enough for you both to know. Someone recently said to me that if you want to get married, and there's been no proposal after a year of living together and no sign of it happening then force the issue or move on. At first I thought it was ridiculous but now I'm a convert. You're not playing at adulthood anymore, what's holding you back?

People have suggested that maybe he's secretly planning his perfect proposal. That could be true, but ask yourself if you've honestly seen signs of that happening? Has this been discussed at all since the "when I'm good and ready" conversation? My guess is he actually thinks the matter is closed for as long as he can continue to put you off and isn't spending sly afternoons ring shopping.

RockinD Sat 14-Sep-13 18:10:43

DH and I went out for a year and then I moved into his house and rented mine out. I was very clear in my own mind that I would not sell my house unless or until DH and I were married. He talked about marriage very early on and I moved in on the basis that once I had done so, we would get married. Then it all went quiet.

I gave it six months and then had a conversation with him, asking why it had gone quiet and telling him that the plans we had (which required the equity from my house) were not going to happen. I didn't get emotional and when I'd said my bit, I moved on to talk about something else.

I was prepared to bale out of the best relationship I'd ever had, if I wasn't important enough to him to be his wife. It was as simple as that. I had previously been in a ten year relationship where I had expected marriage to follow and it didn't and I wasn't going to be in that situation again.

Three days later I thought I had my answer. He was behaving very strangely, very edgy, and I thought he was going to dump me. Instead, he proposed and we married six months later. Married 10 years now, but I would have left him if he hadn't been prepared to go that far.

If your DP's timetable doesn't fit with yours OP, you may have to be decisive.

Needadviceandfast Sat 14-Sep-13 18:27:53

I'm in a similar position - together for over 4 years and living together for nearly 2. The difference for me is I already have children from a previous marriage and don't want to have any more, DP says he doesn't want kids of his own. My DP knows I want to get married - he knew this before he moved in with us and there have been several conversations about how he 'probably will want to one day' and 'isn't quite ready yet'. This is interspersed with comments like ''we can't afford it / I can't afford a ring' and 'let's wait til things are better between us' (no major issues, just usual couple stuff, what relationship is perfect?).

I can't imagine my life without him but similarly I want to get married, be part of a equal married partnership and provide a stable parentage for my children (their Dad hardly sees them and is useless). If he doesn't want the same then he isn't the man for me... But how long do I wait for him to be ready for this? I'm also early 30s.

OP I'd say that 2 years is still 'early' days, but you've been living together for nearly all that time so it has been serious for a long time. I'm in no position to advise but I feel inclined to agree with posters who say he sounds reluctant and not as keen as you to make the commitment of marriage.

Needadviceandfast Sat 14-Sep-13 18:30:29

Good post RockinD smile

PaperSeagull Sat 14-Sep-13 18:31:42

Why wait? I will never understand why some women are so content to accept a passive role in their own lives. Surely in an equal partnership the decision to get married should be arrived at by both parties. Why should one person wait around on tenterhooks for the other to make the choice "as and when he is good and ready"? You both want to get married, right? So what are you waiting for?

I've been married for more than a decade and we lived together for several years before that. We got married when we decided the time was right (and for various prosaic reasons that had nothing to do with our commitment to each other, which was already as strong as it could be). There was no proposal, no engagement ring, no asking for permission from my father (I can only imagine my father's bemusement had my DH taken it into his head to do such an odd thing). We didn't have a wedding either, just a legal ceremony. Personally, I wanted nothing to do with those trappings of a bygone age, which are at root reminders of the days when women were essentially chattel. There's nothing romantic at all about them to me. Obviously, other people feel differently. I just don't get it.

This sounds to me like an 'inertia relationship.' The OP says that they were friends before they became a couple; quite possibly they were the last two single people in their friendship group - or the last two who weren't repulsive or mad. Quite often people in their 20s and even early 30s start to date one another because they each find the other reasonably attractive and the other is available, and there's never anything negative enough going on to justify splitting up, so the relationship just bumbles along. However, one or even both partners is aware on some level that the other person is nice enough but not someone s//he really wants to spend the rest of his/her life with, and sometimes that means that, even though all their other friends are marrying and even starting families, there is at least one person in the couple thinking, but I don't want that, at least not with him/her. But splitting up would be an awful upheaval, unsettle the friendship group, lead to time spent being single (and if you are a fairly conventional sort of adult, the idea of being single is scary and upsetting and unthinkable). So people stall, and fob their partners off, and sooner or later one of them either gets some kind of excellent career opportunity miles away and can use that as an excuse to end the relationship, or one of them has an affair and that becomes the exit strategy.

Needadvice: Well in your case there isn't the same concern about declining fertility - you have DC and don't want any more. However, I think your partner is also one of those who is still expecting that at some point he will get a better offer. After four years, he's not going to marry you unless you force the issue, and I'm afraid that isn't a good idea either - a man who 'gives in' and marries a partner who wants to marry him will spend the rest of the marriage greeting any complaint or disagreement from his wife with 'Well, you were the one who wanted to get married.'

BigPawsBrown Sat 14-Sep-13 18:40:03

Just because the woman is ready and the man wants to wait until he is ready does not make the man controlling or sexist! Just not READY, which, after two years and the OP sounds like she wants babies as soon as they're married, is completely fair enough.

bouncysmiley Sat 14-Sep-13 18:44:15

Just talk to him. Tell him you want to have children with him and would like to be married first. Tell him the timescale that you have in mind and ask him if that fits in with his plans.

Offred Sat 14-Sep-13 18:44:38

No big paws what makes it sexist is saying he is ready but he wants to propose when he is "good and ready"...

He didnt say "I'm not ready for that".

topicsactiveimon Sat 14-Sep-13 18:48:10

You asked him. You said, DP I want to get married, let's get married.

He said, no.

So there's your answer. He turned you down.

Needadviceandfast Sat 14-Sep-13 18:56:14

SGB I fear you're right. And I don't want to force it for the very reasons you describe. A talk is needed in the near future.... confused

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sat 14-Sep-13 19:26:01

Topic - you are right, he turned her down.
Need - good luck, I hope it all works out for you.

SuperiorCat Sat 14-Sep-13 19:34:49

Excellent posts by PaperSeagull and SGB

I also left a relationship where marriage was dangled like a carrot in front if me but no commitment forthcoming. Just like you OP we discussed it and agreed we'd like to get married but he said he'd propose when he felt ready. He never did. I was with him 2 years, lived together (only renting thankfully), and no kids. I wasn't prepared to play the helpless maiden hanging on his every word, waiting for him to decree that NOW was the time we were engaged. So I left.

Phew, totally the right decision. Now I'm engaged to my DP, who asked me to marry him after we'd known each other 10 months. He is excited to make me his wife and I also can't wait. I love him.

ExP's dithering was lucky as it meant I came to the realisation things weren't right. I didn't want to be with someone who wasn't really keen to commit to me for life. That sort of power balance is not healthy OP. If he wants to be with you forever, what's holding him back? Are you sure you are completely right for each other?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 14-Sep-13 20:40:44

Imho, HolgingBreath, he does not want to marry you, sorry. You proposed, he did not say "yes", then it is a "no". The "yet" is because he likes his/this set up and does not want you to start seriously thinking of other options. What SolidGoldBrass said.

It may be old fashioned, but the saying "why buy the cow, if you are getting the milk for free" may be the case here. [It is a very old saying, and I am not calling anyone a cow!]

From his point of view, he is already getting everything that a marriage would give him, so why get married? I think the historical context was to not move in with your partner before marriage...the leverage being the comforts of marriage would not be there without actually being married.

You can not make him. Walk away, and then he will see the reality of "shit or get off the pot".

I also agree with the previous posters who said do things on your own, maintaining your individual identity, through activities, your family, and holiday celebrations.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sat 14-Sep-13 20:50:11

Sounds like you've got some grit DorothyBastard - good on you!

Needadviceandfast Sat 14-Sep-13 21:47:15

Ahh that went well. Just had a chat about it (strike while the iron's hot!). Apparently he's warming to the idea of marriage more and more, but wants us to have no niggles/arguments/issues for 'a prolonged spell' before properly considering it. 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 confused

He says I'm putting pressure on him and it sounds like an ultimatum... He got cross with me even though I stayed really calm, and he's stormed off upstairs.

Oh and the idea of organising a wedding sounds like his worst nightmare. We aren't even reading from the same book, let alone from the same page...

defineme Sat 14-Sep-13 21:59:58

So, in essence, he wants your relationship/you to be different before he'll consider it sad not looking good...

However, if you take him at face value then I would say that it's the commitment and security that the wedding contract brings that you need...no big do/no guests-just you and kids have a nice morning at reg and lunch? And your mental health will improve in a secure environment.

If he's taking what you see as 'small niggles' to be stuff that will affect marriage then I would suggest couples counselling to get you onto the same page?

Actually I think you need someone like anyfucker or sgb who know what they're taking about.

forehead Sat 14-Sep-13 22:11:44

Holding.. Your dp does NOT want to marry you , he is waiting for something 'better'to come along.Simple as
Don't waste your time

GrandstandingBlueTit Sat 14-Sep-13 22:21:10

...but wants us to have no niggles/arguments/issues for 'a prolonged spell' before properly considering it.

Right.

Before he'll 'even consider it'. So you have to achieve the impossible - no niggles or arguments - and only then will he 'even consider it'.

Talk about setting you up to fail.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sat 14-Sep-13 22:28:53

Oh Need what a load of utter codswallop :-(
It delay and dangle, then delay and dangle some more.
What do you think you are going to do?

springydafty Sat 14-Sep-13 23:45:49

oh Need, that's awful!

Maybe he's done you a favour: time to find another man. One who doesn't want you to change to be 'good enough'.

He wants you to walk on eggshells. He wants YOU to dance to his tune. Never question him.He wants you to never argue, always obey.
When you have managed to condition yourself to live like this to his satisfaction, only THEN can he consider if he will deign to marry you.

And you want to marry this twat because?????

He is such a catch? Not

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 15-Sep-13 00:10:20

Bit of advice...

...run like the wind.

He is being unfair & cruel. He's setting you up for a fall sad What he thinks a relationship should be like, isn't reality... he wants something out of a movie.

For whatever reason, you aren't his 'The One' sad

Lavenderhoney Sun 15-Sep-13 02:07:13

I fear you have jolted him out of his apathy and he is now arranging himself to leave and is buying himself some time plus ensuring you will be very nice to him, helping him warm to the idea of marriage - whilst he arranges it. Then he can say its not worked out and leave, with you thinking its all your fault for not being nice enough. Don't let him do this to you.

This is a lucky escape for you, really.

Telling you he wants everything to be perfect with no arguing, no niggles etc- what does he want, a relationship with a blow up doll? For a period of time decided by him!

How do you feel op? Hopefully you are smiling and nodding whilst organising your exit strategy over the coming two weeks. You must be pleased you talked about it to him and got things clear.

lotsofcheese Sun 15-Sep-13 07:47:09

Oh dear hmm Not quite the outcome you were hoping for. I'm sure his reactions are making you question whether you actually want to be with him?

I agree it's in your best interest to plan an exit strategy.

PractialJoke Sun 15-Sep-13 07:57:26

I agree, he has no intention of marrying you and the "no more niggles" is a way of making it your fault he won't marry you. I'm sorry.

Capitaltrixie Sun 15-Sep-13 08:02:31

Need, you really do need to go. There's been some excellent advice on here from pp's and reading your most recent post, felt I had to chip in; you're worth so much more than that!
I've had depression too, but you know what, when you're with the right person, you work through things (at the risk of sounding clichéd) as a team, together. 'Little niggles' are part of everyday life.
Meet someone who deserves you and who loves you for you; they will want to marry you not in their own time or (as a prev poster mentioned) not when they 'deem' the time is right but when you both feel it's time. That's a proper loving relationship with no control/power issues.

davidtennantsmistress Sun 15-Sep-13 08:06:32

All relationships and marriages have niggles god, if I didn't marry xh due to that we wouldn't have married and had ds!

Marriage = working out the kinks bumps and niggles no relationship is perfect and if someone says theirs is they're lying cos we all have moments.

Loopytiles Sun 15-Sep-13 08:30:45

More bad signs. He's put you on trial, got angry that you raised your wishes (talking about pressure etc implies that he should be in charge and you should hope amd wait nicely, whatever you want), used your depression as an excuse (also implying that if you want to be with him you must not get depressed!).

So he's worried that marriage is the romantic, unfealistic be all and end all for you, but thinks engagement should happen after a period of relationship perfection? [Confused]

What would happen if you mentioned timescales for DC? He'd probably hit the roof, run, or fob you off again and again.

In your shoes I would move out.

Loopytiles Sun 15-Sep-13 08:33:57

Yes, after "the trial" he will either admit that you're not "the one" (because of your so-called flaws) or say he had to end it because you pressuredhim for marriage and babies.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 17:49:30

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

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!

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.

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

More like utterly devastated! ;-(

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").

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!

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?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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