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To be upset dp doesn't want to marry me

(503 Posts)
bellabella10 Tue 18-Feb-14 08:38:26

As background we've been together for 5 years and have an 18 month old together. When we first moved in together about a year into the relationship we would talk, possibly jokingly, about getting married and having kids at some point in the future. Our baby was a surprise although we love him so much.

Whenever i have brought up the subject in the past two years (not often) he just changes the topic. Last week i approached it head on (I want to change my name anyway so we all have the same surname --old school--) he said he doesn't want to get married and doesn't know why. I will change my name by deed poll i suppose but it still upsets me.

I didn't even want a big do (although i get a tiny bit jealous when i see my friends getting married) and would be happy going to the registry office with only a few close friends and family.I have a feeling is because he had family abroad but they do come over and we could have a small ceremony in both countries.

winklewoman Tue 18-Feb-14 08:48:10

Do you own a house, bellabella? If so he could be thinking of his financial position should you split up. If you do not share ownership you would have no automatic claim on it.

BarbarianMum Tue 18-Feb-14 08:50:40

YANBU to be upset, I know I would be.

Your priority now is to ensure you are financially protected. Think about what would happen if you split up and your dp wanted to pay nothing but the minimum child maintenance for your ds (or nothing at all). Where would you live, how would you eat - that sort of thing. Whose name is your home/tenancy in, your car in, your savings in?

What if he (dp) dies? Does he have life insurance and who is the beneficiary?

Pleae don't spend your time getting misty-eyed about the loss of a wedding dress. Have a good, hard unsentimental look at your security, and that of your son.

Marriage can be very romantic and a sign of love and lifelong commitment but you can have these without marriage. What it also is is a legal agreement that entitles both partners to a share of the assets if things go wrong. This is the bit its harder to replicate.

bochead Tue 18-Feb-14 08:54:18

Is it being married to you he objects to?

Or is it the thought of a great big expensive fussy ceremony?

If it's the expense and fuss then tell him that marriage can be done for £100 if you buy an argos ring and just sign the paperwork at the registry office.

You'd then be married and covered by the legal protections re property & child custody in the event of each others deaths etc.

If he objects to being married at all then you need to have a long hard think about whether his objection is about being married to YOU. If he wants to remain free in case something better comes along then you'll know where you stand and what to do about it.

Some people object on ideological grounds to the institution of marriage but are fully committed to their relationships. If this is the case then don't change your name, accept it, but protect yourself. Sit him down with a solicitor and sort out your wills, property rights, guardianship over your child etc, etc & it'll cost more than £100. It's only fair to know where both you and your child stand as regards his commitment to you.

Wantsunshine Tue 18-Feb-14 08:56:11

That's really unfair of him if he knew that is what you wanted. Also being the mother if his child what would hold him back?
I don't get why you would change you surname to his without getting married though. I am guessing that you gave your child his surname in the hope of getting married. Can you change your child's name to yours or give him/her both of your names?

tomverlaine Tue 18-Feb-14 08:57:00

I am a bit like this in reverse (DP wants to get married)- the thing for me is that the status quo is fine and I can't see a reason to get married - its never been something that has bothered me.
Maybe thats it with him. why do you want to get married?

TwittyMcTwitterson Tue 18-Feb-14 09:01:24

I'm in similar position. 7 years together this month. 2.5yr old DD.

I tell myself a life together, house, children are a bigger commitment and DD has a pretentious double barrelled surname as if he won't give me his last name I'm certainly not gonna take it.

I cry at weddings, it's a 50:50 split of being happy for the bride and sad I'll never have that. Possible 25:75 in the selfish way.

I tell myself I'm a strong independent woman who doesn't want marriage anyway so we are both fine with it hmm

DPs mum has been married twice since we've been together and divorced three times total. His dad just going through his second divorce. His gran 3 x divorce. His experience of marriage is pessimistic at best. I tell him to take a chance on me.

I'm just telling you my experience to see if you relate and let you see how other ppl deal with it.

He loves you. He wants you. It's only a bit of paper and a nice day out. wink

meditrina Tue 18-Feb-14 09:12:54

It's most definitely not "only a piece of paper"

Read the posts above about the legal differences, work out which protections you want/need and replicate them as far as is possible without marriage.

Once the hard-nosed legal aspects are dealt with, then examine the emotional significance.

And bear in mind you might find deal breakers in either of those areas.

TwittyMcTwitterson Tue 18-Feb-14 09:16:32

If a person was absolutely opposed to marriage you could set up the legal differences and sort them. It depends where you're looking from.

I think...

Supercosy Tue 18-Feb-14 09:20:37

I would find that hard too even as a gay person before civil partnership s were possible I'd have wanted my dp to want to make that sort of commitment. Having said that I don't think it would be a deal breaker for me if my relationship was otherwise good.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 18-Feb-14 09:21:11

You are both entitled to your own wants and wishes, he shouldnt have to get married just to please another if its not what he wants and you are just as entitled to leave if being married to somenody is more important than your current relationship.

Joysmum Tue 18-Feb-14 09:26:32

I can understand why you are upset and personally (as well as ensuring I was financially protected) I would be saying it wasn't good enough for him to not know why. I would expect him to tease the threads of why so he can explain it. It can't be doing your relationship any favours for him not to be able to explain it.

I don't think everybody has to get married, but a relationship needs to have open and honest dialogue and yours is lacking in that aspect.

oranges Tue 18-Feb-14 09:27:27

Do you work? Who owns the house? And why doesn't the baby have your surname?

Katisha Tue 18-Feb-14 09:30:57

If he doesnt want to get married I dont think you should be changing your name by deed poll. That sounds rather desperate and not a little controlling in a way. Perhaps he thinks you just want the name for appearances sake?

Anyway - you need to talk it through properly and not go trying to do it by the back door with the name changing.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 18-Feb-14 09:32:14

If a person was absolutely opposed to marriage you could set up the legal differences and sort them.

Not all of them.

Please make sure you do NOTHING that will jeopardise your financial position and earning power while you are with a man who won't marry you.

Don't cut your hours, don't (whatever you do) stop work, don't "support his career".

You are not his wife and he doesn't want you to be.

Legally and financially you are separate entities and you need to always bear that in mind when it comes to making decisions as a "family".

Your interests and his are not aligned.

Be aware of that at all times and make your decisions accordingly.

And, if you decide you don't want to stay with someone who would deny you important legal protection for no good reason, then leave him.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 18-Feb-14 09:33:17

And there is nothing "controlling" about changing your name to whatever the fuck you choose.


FFS some people call women "controlling" just because they don't obediently do what a man tells them.

Martorana Tue 18-Feb-14 09:33:26

Don't change your name. Why would you do that?

SooticaTheWitchesCat Tue 18-Feb-14 09:34:19

I think you need to find out why, he can't say he doesn't know.

Has he been married before?

Katisha Tue 18-Feb-14 09:38:02

Quite the opposit JoinYour Playfellows. If you knew me, you would know I am the last person to advise a woman to do what a man tells them.
If he doesnt want to marry then why on earth would she take his name -smacks of either lack of confidence in her own position as a woman, perhaps of worry about appearances if the children dont have her name (although who would point the finger at that these days I dont know) , or else of jolly well making sure that the man at least hands over some of the marriage deal, ie his name, even if he wont get married. Therefore , to be honest, possibly controlling.
Anyway - whatever the reasoning - I dont think OP should just change her name to that of a man who won't commit in the way she wants him to.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 18-Feb-14 09:38:15

he said he doesn't want to get married and doesn't know why. I will change my name by deed poll i suppose but it still upsets me

I wouldn't make that decision to someone not willing to commit. You will be left with his name for no reason. I don't know how to say this in a nice way but it comes off as kind of pathetic and a lot of people will see it that way. I am genuinely not trying to be hurtful but it;s worth knowing that and better form an internet stranger than a friend.

Yanbu about wanting to be married, it's a very good way of making yourself safe legally and especially if he is from another country.

Dh and I are from different countries and wherever we live.. we haven't got to worry about the legalities. He should have let you know before this that he wasn't going to get married. He's being a twunt.

falulahthecat Tue 18-Feb-14 09:39:40

The romantic in me wants to believe that he wants the proposal to be a big surprise and is doing that thing where he makes you think the opposite of what he really wants so it'll be extra surprising when he does propose.

He must have a reason? I don't favour marriage, in fact I think DP is more interested in it than I am, but it's because in my family experience marriage has counted for nothing in terms of love and respect and feels more like a way to please everyone else.
Yet because I know DP wants to get married (and there's another reason if we had kids we'd need to get married for them to inherit something) I know we will get married, just possibly on holiday alone together somewhere!

If he's just 'not bothered' then I don't see why he would be bothered if he was married or not? and therefore would not be 'against' marriage?

A lady down the road from me has been with her partner for 30 years, and has changed her name to his etc. But he still won't marry her! I think if anything now it's been so long he's just being stubborn about it.

I think this needs a (gentle) discussion on why his views seemed to have changed. And do take the advice of others re your finances etc. as well.

FiscalCliffRocksThisTown Tue 18-Feb-14 09:41:46

not a big deal to not get get married.

But then go to a solicitor and draw up who owns what, are you shared home owners?

I know a few women who thought they'd be entitled to half the assets. One's DP had paid the mortgage (house in his name) for 15 years, whilst she paid the bills (council tax, electricity etc.).

Fair enough, surely? or….

When they split, he owned the house outright, had a job and owed her nothing. All she had was a stack of paid bill and the kids to look after.

Just be financially savvy.

sebsmummy1 Tue 18-Feb-14 09:41:53

I'm afraid my immediate thought was he was protecting himself financially, my second thought would be that he was unsure of your relationship going the distance and so marriage is the last thing on his mind.

I am not married. My partner has a large inheritance coming his way in the future and I suspect he wants to protect it. It's very difficult to feel that angry about it as in his position, I would probably feel the same way. However what I would ABSOLUTELY not be doing is changing my bloody surname to his.

If you chose, like I did, to allow your child to take his surname then that was your choice at the time. I decided to have my surname as my sons middle name, so I felt as though he had a legacy from both of us. If we did get married in the future I suspect I would keep my own name or hyphenate it. Not sure.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 18-Feb-14 09:42:45

If a person was absolutely opposed to marriage you could set up the legal differences and sort them. It depends where you're looking from.

Yeah you can set them up, but what's to stop her partner going straight back to the solicitor and putting his mother as his next of kin for his house/ for his power of attorney for anything?

Right now OP, if your boy friend was to be hit by a car your parents would be able to decide who pulls the plug.

They could stop you being in the room if they wanted.

FiscalCliffRocksThisTown Tue 18-Feb-14 09:43:37

also, if he were to die before you, his assets (house? money) would go to his next of kin, i.e. his siblings. NOT your kids.

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