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I want to get married but don't know how to broach it...

(46 Posts)
MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 14:25:34

I am 31, I have had a few serious relationships but the man I have been with for a year and a half I think is my best match, we are compatible human beings.
I have never been interested in marriage before and have spent some time thinking about what it means to me (as I believe this to be a very personal thing)
I wont go into my reasons but my conclusion is that he is the man I want to marry.
The thing is, he has never brought it up and I'm interested to know his views on it but don't want to scare him away/ put him under pressure by talking about it.
I would like an out of the blue proposal but until he knows my views on it he wont be sure.
I'm inclined to just be with him for a few more years and just wait, but it feels a bit of an elephant in the room.
Any advice/sharing of experiences greatly appreciated, thanks.

If you want to be engaged/married then why not ask him?

ithaka Thu 17-Oct-13 14:38:49

I think if you have found the person you can spend the rest of life with, that is the person you can discuss your feelings, dreams and hopes with. It sounds like you are not there yet.

When I decided I wanted to get married, I told my partner & he agreed. So we got married. It was that simple.

OK, so I didn't get the big out of the blue proposal - I got the man I can speak openly to. Probably why we are still going strong 20 years later...

Val007 Thu 17-Oct-13 14:46:56

Seriously, why would you consider him 'compatible' then?
You have now reached the age where you can't afford to beat around the bush. For starters, inform potential husbands of your martiage plans before you waste 1.5 yrs of your life.

Yougotbale Thu 17-Oct-13 14:49:24

Why not discuss it in general, get his overall views of marriage as a concept.

A year and a half is fairly soon for marriage, how long have you actually lived together?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Oct-13 14:50:42

At some point you have to have the courage of your convictions and ask. Risk that rejection knowing tha, if he turns you down, he wouldn't be the right man anyway. Say nothing hoping for the big romantic proposal and the danger is you end up like Miss Haversham.... hmm

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 14:51:42

I wouldn't want to ask him because I want to be sure that it's his wish as much as it is mine.
I think there's more romance in being asked (for me)
We do communicate well and I know what you're saying about telling people right off but it's not so important to me that I wouldn't be with him if he never wanted to get married. But it's just something I want.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Oct-13 14:53:46

FFS... you don't find out anyone's wishes by crossing your fingers and waiting around hoping. This is real life, not a Hollywood rom-com. If marriage is something you want be clear about it. Life is much simpler that way.

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 14:55:53

Yes you're right, I'll try an broach it by getting his general view on it as an idea rather than him and I.
I am jumping the gun a bit anyway, it being so early in our RL, I'm just interested for the future..

What if he is sat there thinking I want to ask but I want to be sure it is her wish as much as it is mine? Limbo.

Just have a general conversation about marriage and let him know it's not something you are against if you don't feel able to ask him. Although I think if you can't talk openly and honestly about basic things like marriage then maybe it's not the right time.

I asked my DP. He said he had wanted to ask me but he remembered me saying that I didn't believe in marriage. He changed that (he said yes by the way)


HairyGrotter Thu 17-Oct-13 14:59:43

Cricky, all sounds a bit clinical.

Just ask if he has any views on marriage, 1.5 years at 31 is more than enough time to know what you want in the future, however, if you don't feel comfortable to discuss things then I'd say there isn't much going for the relationship confused

ithaka Thu 17-Oct-13 15:00:02

I don't think a year and a half is especially soon in a relationship, personally. However, as you still haven't reached the stage you can take openly with him, it is obviously too early for you.

I agree with the poster that said this is real life, not a rom com. Who cares if you ask him? The 'big proposal' is just Hollywood baloney with a slightly misogynistic twist that prevents women exercising agency over their own futures. In my opinion.

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 15:01:40

That's what I'm thing Fractured, I was there with his daughter the other day and she said.. "daddy you're going to marry each other" and he said; "well that wouldn't be such a bad thing", I took this to mean he isn't completely closed to the idea (realising how silly it sounds now I write it down). Does take balls to be upfront though..

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Oct-13 15:02:52

Faint balls never won fair lady....

MotherofBear Thu 17-Oct-13 15:05:46

You could always mention that conversation to him and say it made you wonder what he really thought about marriage.

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 15:09:00

I suppose what I really want is to talk about it, not just say yes or no but to see what it would mean to him/us, how he views it etc without the pressure of when..

Pachacuti Thu 17-Oct-13 15:09:01

Agree with MotherofBear -- you have an in to the conversation right there: "DSD's comment the other day got me thinking..."

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 15:10:48

Yeah true, ooh wish me luck we're going to a gig tonight..

CoffeeTea103 Thu 17-Oct-13 15:14:30

If this man is the one for you and you are in a good relationship you should be able to discuss these types of things. Also this waiting around to see where it goes, if it doesn't work out, then are you thinking of parting ways. If he is then one you wouldn't be thinking along those lines.

Floggingmolly Thu 17-Oct-13 15:19:28

Why do you want to get married? He's my best match, we're compatible human beings wouldn't do it for me hmm
Maybe it's not doing it for him either; but you won't find out till you ask...

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 15:20:01

I don't think that's the case, before we got together I had been with someone for three years with whom it did not work out, so I am very careful and try to move slowly so that we both feel we have had time and space to ensure it's what we both want, I don't think that correlates with him not being 'the one', I think it just means that to give us the best chance of being a strong unit that I don't always act on impulse.

Val007 Thu 17-Oct-13 15:24:22

1.5 years is early????

NorthEasterlyGale Thu 17-Oct-13 15:36:05

Must admit, I opted for the 'subtle as a brick' approach. Had known (now) DH for years as a friend when we got together. Pretty soon after we got together I just said to him 'you will ask me to marry you one day, won't you?'. He reassured me he would and we then just pootled along quite happily without any pressure on either of us and without speaking about it again for a few more years before he proposed.

Really had to pluck up my courage to say what I did as I'm not ususally the direct type, but it was important to me and I felt 'safe' enough to say it to him without fear that it would cause any damage to our relationship regardless of his reaction.

The thought of talking about it is probably a lot more scary that you'll find the actual experience - go on, get something said grin

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 15:38:14

Thanks NEG, I'll see when the right moment comes up, from this thread I have learnt that I need to say something.

Twinklestein Thu 17-Oct-13 15:40:50

You're both adults, of course you can to talk to him about it, you both need to know where this is going.

You have the right to ask, this is your life! (As Michael Aspel used to say...)

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Thu 17-Oct-13 15:47:19

To be honest I doubt that there are any proposals that come out of the blue (well, not that lead to a lasting relationship, anyway).
If you genuinely don't know where your boyfriend stands on matrimony then you you don't know him as well as you think you do - it's a pretty fundamental thing to know about.

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 15:47:24

lol good ole Aspel!
Thank you, I'll update when I've spoken about it (casually)

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Thu 17-Oct-13 15:53:23

DH found some doodles I'd done of what my signature would be if we got married, about 6 months into our relationship (Bored on a course at the time). I knew that he was a keeper when he thought it was sweet rather than creepy. You don't always need a massive great "serious talk" to guage someone's marriage barometer.

ps. I still sign my name that way 9 years later smile

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 17-Oct-13 16:00:53

I had discussed marriage albeit in a jokey way with both DP and H within a week. If you have a relationship which you fear could be rocked by mentioning marriage, then I would rather know sooner than later.

Fwiw, DP (of one year) initially said he didn't see the point of marriage and the logistics would be tricky with us both having DCs, but we talk about it happening at some point in the future and what it would mean to us both. He stopped me in the middle of a busy shopping street to look me in the eye and tell me that it wasn't out of the question in the future, just not practical for now, but that he couldn't see himself ever being without me. That's enough for me, but if marriage and kids are important to you, you can't leave it to chance, you need to be able to talk about it.

If the mere mention of it scared him I would question his commitment in general. Even if he doesn't necessarily agree with marriage on principle, it shouldn't scare him to talk about it if he loves you.

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 17-Oct-13 16:01:22

Should be DP and XH!

Dahlen Thu 17-Oct-13 16:05:57

OP have you had the chat about children? Your approaches to financial management? Approach to domestic chores (I'm gathering you don't live together from your posts). Have you had your first major disagreement?How did that go?

As you rightly say in your first post, compatibility matters. You don't have to agree on everything but you have to have enough similarities and be able to agree on how to handle the differences. Love, unfortunately, is not enough. To assess your compatibility, you really need to know each other.

If you can't answer yes to the questions asked in my first paragraph, I don't think you're really ready to get married.

If you just want to sound out his ideas generally, why not just say, "I was having a debate the other day about whether marriage is just a piece of paper. I think...... What do you think?"

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 16:11:43

Yes he knows that I want children, we haven't talked about having our children because I've said, I want to think about that when Ive worked for a year after my degree. We both talk about our approaches to financial management yes, we live a few doors down from each other and stay at one of each of our houses each evening. I have been clear that I would want us to pay for a cleaner and he agrees. Yes we have had major disagreements and talk our way through them until we both feel okay.
I know that love is not enough which is why I'm taking time to lay the foundations, hence why I want to know his views on marriage because I want to see that we're heading in the same direction.
We are currently waiting for a house to come up in our village that we can move into.
Yes I will try to get a general feel for his attitude to marriage.

superzero Thu 17-Oct-13 16:18:09

You've mentioned a daughter.Was he married before?Does he want more children?Do you?
Talking about children was the start of us talking about marriage,given that he has one already there must be a few ways of opening that conversation.
I don't think talking about it will take the romance out of a proposal.
Another opportunity would be someone else's wedding.Are you invited to any together?Can't you talk about "if we got married would you do it like this...?"
At 31 I knew I really wanted children.If that is on your agenda you need to know where he stands on that,for me marriage was less important but the commitment need to be there.

MrsRBrand Thu 17-Oct-13 16:24:05

No he wasn't married before, when the mother of his dd fell pregnant, they tried but it didn't work so he lives close to them and they parent their dd but have not been together since she was a baby. (7 years ago)
I don't know if he wants more children to be honest, he knows I do and he wants us to be together forever so I assume he wants to. Another conversation to have.

Twinklestein Thu 17-Oct-13 17:03:18

Never assume anything on the subject of children. It's amazing how many people marry assuming one thing or another & turn out to wrong...

You need to be on the same page about kids before you consider marriage, so that's the conversation you need to have first...

BelaLugosisShed Thu 17-Oct-13 17:22:47

Do some people really not talk about their future plans when in an even vaguely serious relationship? shock
Why waste time with someone unless you know their plans match up with yours?
My DD wants marriage and children by the time she's 30, she's already had that conversation with her BF of 6 months, so he had the opportunity to voice his opinions and say what he wants for the future, if he didn't have the same plans as her, he could jog on - eminently sensible in my opinion.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 17-Oct-13 17:29:03

Ask him where he sees the relationship in 2 years.

That said a decent guy wouldn't be scared off by his girlfriend of 1.5 years asking about his feelings on carriage.

Leverette Thu 17-Oct-13 19:50:45

grin @ carriage

ChanelTunel Thu 17-Oct-13 21:07:47

You sound chilly-blooded OP,and like a divorce waiting to happen. Don't marry someone that you think you may be able to live with. Marry someone that you can't live without.

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 17-Oct-13 21:15:50

Chanel that might be a bit mean, but I know what you're saying, "we are compatible human beings" doesn't shout romance to me. Perhaps OP if you were really compatible you would feel more at ease and sure of his feelings for you, the fact that you haven't felt able to broach this with him in a year and a half could say more than any conversation.

JumpingJackSprat Thu 17-Oct-13 21:25:06

My dp and I had sorted out whether we wanted to be married and have children by our 6 th date. .. Just as a kind of "is this what you want from life" sorry of a way if he had said no I would have cut my losses and we discuss it every now and again to make sure we are still on the same page. Talk to him and lay it all out to see where he stands.

ChanelTunel Thu 17-Oct-13 21:27:12

I just don't understand how a person can be sizing a man up as marriage material,when they obviously don't even know him.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 17-Oct-13 21:29:56

I think if most people were interested in finding a "compatible human being! the "relationships" section of mumsnet would never have happened.

I think what a lot of people class as "romance" is the fake stuff that gets you at first before you know the other person properly. Being all doey eyed with someone doesn't help when you have to have to deal with the real stuff.

It doesn't mean you dont love a person with all your heart, it just means you listen to your head too.

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 17-Oct-13 22:44:39

But I suppose what I'm thinking is that you need head AND heart but it seems that this is all head without the heart. It seems very considered, which may be a very sensible way to approach marriage, but it doesn't feel very 'intimate'.

The closeness and intimacy you get when you're both head over heels for each other means that thinking and talking about the future is natural and easy.

MrsRBrand Fri 18-Oct-13 14:32:43

It's not all head without heart, it's just a wish to take it slow balanced with a need to know that we're heading in the same direction.
These are big decisions/ conversations and require courage IMHO

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