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is she being unreasonable about marriage?

(188 Posts)
spillyobeans Tue 16-Jun-15 13:05:43

Dont fully know where i stand on this but:

Mutual friends of me and dh have been together for 8 years, they live together, share financial responcability etc and have no kids. She keeps saying she wants a ring/to be asked to be married etc where he is adament he doesnt want to but obviously wants to stay together.

I think she is getting quite down about it, but is she being unreasonable to keep pushing him?

Im married to dh and it was a nice thing we both wanted - didnt need, as personally for us nothing 'changed' but just something we wanted to do.

So whos if any is unreasonable? confused

MrsHathaway Tue 16-Jun-15 13:10:04

There is a thread running at the moment where he is resisting marriage and apparently screwing her over financially, and she will have not one leg to stand on. Same financial abuse within marriage and she would get every penny of her investment back in a split.

If marriage makes no difference then why is he resistant? If it makes a difference, what difference is he resisting?

I think she INBU. He may also NBU but we can't tell from this little information.

goodnessgraciousgouda Tue 16-Jun-15 13:11:25

Well they are both being unreasonable.

If he knows that she wants to get married, he wants to stay with her long term, and if they plan to have children in the future, then he is frankly being a dick. Well, being a dick if it's just because "i don't see the point", not if he has some sort of absolute disgust at the very concept of marriage.

Then again, your friend is also being unreasonable by being so bloody passive about this. If marriage is important to her, and her dp is saying it is not an option, then she should leave. It's a fundamental question of compatibility, and when both parties do have strong feelings about it, it will almost always lead to huge resentment on one side.

SquigglyLine Tue 16-Jun-15 13:13:37

Neither person is being unreasonable. She wants to get married, he doesn't. They are both entitled to their views. Why do you need to stand anywhere on the matter?

spillyobeans Tue 16-Jun-15 13:24:47

Squiggly - i dont need to stand anywhere, just me and dh were talking about it and thought it was quite a strange situation!

And not much more info to give as its really that straightforward? I think he just sees it as they live together and will eventually have children (he is actually more for kids than her) and marriage wont change anything. I think she wants marriage just for the 'fairytale' wedding/ring/day thing (as she does seem a bit materialistic - but i am speculating here)

But for example i have a family member who her and her partner have been together for around 20 years, have kids and arnt married and are happy, i guess i just find it strange that you can be with someone longterm and be happy but want different things?

whois Tue 16-Jun-15 13:30:55

If he wants children with her they should get married. Makes things much simpler to all have the same name and much more protection in case things all go wrong.

magoria Tue 16-Jun-15 13:32:23

So who takes the financial hit when she has kids? Who's pension loses out? Who's job is more likely to change?

What loss does he incur?

Marriage protects her massively if they have DC.

He wants his cake and to eat it with minimal future impact to himself.

I hope she leaves and finds marriage and kids with someone willing to offer her security.

eggyface Tue 16-Jun-15 13:32:49

if I was with someone and shared joint finances for, say, more than 5 years I'd need some legal partnership to secure both our futures fairly. Children or not. I'd say if you're over about 30 and in this situation you ABU to not want marriage because you are potentially putting you and your partner at risk of huge loss if either of you die suddenly or even split up. Wouldn't have said this when I was younger but we are sold a marriage fairytale, then later in life come to see its about protecting assets for old age/bad luck in future.

PterodactylTeaParty Tue 16-Jun-15 13:35:11

Out of interest, why do you think she's the unreasonable one but not him? I mean, if he really doesn't think it'll make a difference one way or the other, but she would strongly prefer one way over the other, why not go with that?

I don't think it's unreasonable to not want to get married. Also not unreasonable to want to get married. Getting unreasonable for both of them to keep having the same conversation over and over for eight years when it's not getting anywhere, though.

SquigglyLine Tue 16-Jun-15 13:38:56

I think that in a committed, 'forever' relationship, if one person isn't too bothered about marriage and the other is, then the unbothered one should go ahead with a marriage (though not necessarily a big wedding).

If one person has a principled/emotional deep-seated objection to marriage, then the other one may have to forego that commitment. But they should jointly work together to set up as much as possible of the legal, financial etc. bonds that marriage gives, in order to protect their children, and each other.

I also think that some men who 'don't see the point' of marriage, just don't see the point of commitment and responsibility, and would rather have the option of walking away from partner and kids, even if they don't plan on using it. Which is very selfish.

But I don't know your friends, so I don't know if they fall into any of these categories. I don't think it's odd that they have different views on marriage though, I think that's quite common. And I think it's good that it's coming to a head before they have DC, because I think it can lead to awful situations afterwards.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 16-Jun-15 13:42:30

Until being in a partnership offers the same legal and financial protection for the woman that marriage does, then marriage WILL change things... for the better, for her. Not for him, in that he won't be able to walk away with everything, as he would if they remain unmarried.

You CAN go to a solicitor and get legal paperwork drawn up that mirrors the protections that marriage offers - but it costs more, takes far more time and isn't as simple.

She INBU if she's trying to protect herself, HIBU if he's trying to avoid that protection.

NotYouNaanBread Tue 16-Jun-15 13:47:41

Marriage doesn't change anything? Was the gay marriage campaign just for a laugh then? Marriage changes a LOT especially if she is going to be financially dependent on him whiles she has these mythical children that he expects to pop out of her unwed vagina down the line.

"Marriage doesn't change anything" is code for "I'm keeping my options open".

Either he proposes, she proposes (she is being very unreasonable not to propose out straight and be done with it, incidentally - if we can vote, we can propose, IMO), or she leaves. She is not being fair on herself to stay when he is very clearly saying he doesn't want to commit.

prorsum Tue 16-Jun-15 13:50:11

Totally, totally agree with ThumbWitchesAbroadd OP, your friend needs to at least ensure she has the protections of a wife.

SquigglyLine Tue 16-Jun-15 13:51:19

children that he expects to pop out of her unwed vagina

I wish you could nominate posts for Classics as well as threads. I'd nominate that one.

Hygge Tue 16-Jun-15 13:52:28

Probably neither is unreasonable.

They want different things, but both are reasonable things to want.

What will be unreasonable is if one of them pretends to go along with what the other wants. For example if he says he will marry her "one day" when he has no intention of ever doing so, or she is agreeing she wants children but silently adds "but only if you marry me" to her agreement.

What they do need to do now is talk, seriously, about whether they can carry on as they are, or compromise in some way, or split up.

Because if they have incompatible lifetime goals then they need to recognise that before they have children.

She is the one most likely to face the impact of being unmarried if they have children and spilt up having never been married. But her pushing him will do no good.

She needs to think about if this is her deal breaker, and then she needs to tell him so. And he needs to do the same. Not to offer an ultimatum, but to know in their own minds if the relationship has a future or not.

TommySlimfigure Tue 16-Jun-15 13:53:17

I think the only power women have in these situations is to walk away.

I know in a perfect world marriage wouldn't be necessary, in a world where there was free childcare and women earned as much as men and women weren't discriminated against for being mothers when men aren't even asked at an interview if they're a fahter. ykwim?

so, instead of waiting for him to ask, consider if it's worth sharing your life and having children with a man who seems to be reluctant to commit. If he's worth it, ask him to marry you. If he says no then walk away

Eigg Tue 16-Jun-15 14:02:00

Perhaps she wants to have children? Being married would put her in much better legal position.

If this is a line in the sand for her then your male friend should consider carefully.

A friend of mine was in this position, wanted to get married before having children, he would only say 'some day'.

She left him and still he thought they'd get back together and get married 'someday'.

She met someone else, they fell head over heels in love and within a few years were married with a baby.

Ten years later they have 3 children and are extremely happy but I do wonder about her ex, and how he fells now about his decision.

NotYouNaanBread Tue 16-Jun-15 14:11:00

Thank you very much, SquigglyLine smile

lotsofcheese Tue 16-Jun-15 14:16:12

How old are the couple? At 25, there's no need to rush, but at 35 I'd be pushing for marriage if I wanted children.

spillyobeans Tue 16-Jun-15 15:43:11

Well they are friends, so i obviously dont know the ins and outs of every minute detail of their finances and pensions hmm. But they are both self employed so realistically both financially independent and if they have kids could either take time off or adopt whatever role they wanted (they earn a decent amount so its not like either would be in a great deal of financial strain if either wanted to take a year off or whatever).

Tbh knowing what their like - i actually dont think he wants the option of walking away/staying clear or responsibility - i genuinely think he just doesnt see the point.

And 'marriage doesnt change anything, was the gay marriage vote for nothing then?' - oh come off it thats not what this conversation is even about. I said, in passing to the main point that for me, me and dh getting married didnt change anything. (I can see how for some people it means more security etc especially with kids, but im not arguing either way on that point)

spillyobeans Tue 16-Jun-15 15:53:05

The couple are mid 20s

Shetland Tue 16-Jun-15 16:05:15

You and DH getting married might not have changed anything but that's only true as long as you don't have children and you stay together.

And even with no children, the death of one of you can bring real problems to the surviving partner if you're not married.

spillyobeans Tue 16-Jun-15 16:09:47

Well we are about to have children, and (death aside as i see how financially that would be harder, although not impossible.) I dont think anything will change for us, our day to day life/ partner dynamic is the same as its always been?

I know its different for every couple, but i dont think mine and dhs lives have changed at all being married, compared to being partners/boyfriend girlfriend who live together?

spillyobeans Tue 16-Jun-15 16:12:22

If you were to have kids with someone and you split up how would the outcome be different if you were married/just partners?

Not trying to be awkward here - just dont see your point?

Duckdeamon Tue 16-Jun-15 16:16:50

You sound very naive about the impact of DC on people's work and earnings. Being self employed often makes it harder to earn money after DC, and it's almost always the woman whose job situation worsens. I

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