AIBU to feel a bit hurt and disappointed at what DP said?(166 Posts)
DP and I have been together for 2.5 years. We’re pretty serious (or at least I think we are!) He’s amazing, kind, caring, supportive etc etc.
I’ve never been in a rush to marry or have children (I’m not even sure I want children, still very undecided) I’ve always thought in an ‘ideal world’ I’d like to be married by the time I’m 31 and IF I do have children, have a child by the time I’m 33-34. I appreciate though that you cannot put a time on these things and they’ll happen when they happen.
Anyway, I’m 29 now and he’s 31 so we’re not exactly young. Over the past few months, so many friends have got married and engaged and I honestly don’t know why but I’ve become quite consumed by the thought of marriage.
Something in me seems to have changed and although I’m still very undecided about children, I really do think now that I would like to be married, to be someone’s ‘one’ and wife etc.
Anyway, last night another one of our friends announced on FB that they were engaged, we both saw it at the same time as were both scrolling on ipads and he said ‘oh, so and so have just got engaged, that’s nice.’ Anyway, we got talking about it all and I can’t remember how it came about but he turned and said ‘I don’t really believe in marriage, don’t actually want to get married unless I’m going to have children as otherwise I just don’t see the point. I’d only get married to have children.’
Now whilst I see his POV, I felt really hurt. I said that, regardless of children I would want to get married, he kept saying ‘Why, what’s the point?’
I feel today like something has changed. I love him to bits and I know the feeling is mutual but I DO want to get married, I don’t want to be someone’s ‘girlfriend’ forever. I want the man that I’m committed to, to show his commitment and love for me by marrying me. If that’s shallow and vain then so be it.
I discussed it with my friend earlier and she shared the same view as me and she said ‘Where’s the romance? If he ever proposed now, you’d know it’d only be because he wants to get you pregnant, not because you’re the love of his life/ girl of his dreams and he wants to show the world etc.’
I can’t help feeling like she’s right. There’s been numerous times throughout our relationship where although I know he loves me, I’ve never really felt ‘special’ or loved any more than any of his exes for instance. I don’t know, maybe I’m being a bit of a princess. I need to sit him down and have a talk about where this relationship is going.
I know he’s with me and doesn’t have to be, but we find each other attractive and get on well, sex life is good so I guess he’s comfortable and so why not stick with me, but if he doesn’t ever want to marry me just for ME, without the absolute promise of children then I don’t know if that’s enough for me and whether it’s just going to compound the view in my mind that actually, I’m not really all that special to him.
Don’t get me wrong, I realise, traditionally that marriage is entwined with starting a family and that’s been its primary purpose. However, I know plenty of married couples who don’t have children and a lot of those are through choice. They don’t have children but they still love each other enough to want to make that commitment?
AIBU to feel a bit hurt or should I just suck it up and accept that unless I tell him I definitely want to start a family that he’ll probably never propose?
Well did you explain your reasons to him? And if you did, did he listen to them and consider them, or did he refuse to listen and poo poo them?
I think you need to have this conversation with him - I am personally not at all bothered or interested by marriage and would only do so to secure a relationship where children were concerned but if my partner felt differently I'd respect that.
But he would need to tell me first!
I think it is possibly time to think about finding someone who wants the same things as you.
I would find that a hugely offensive attitude to take. Did he explain WHY having children made the magical difference to him?
What if you agreed to get married and try for kids, then it turned out one of you couldn't have children? Or would he refuse to get married UNTIL there were children?
It seems like a ridiculous power play.
I don't think either of you are being unreasonable, just obviously place different levels of importance on marriage.
I am engaged but actually, after almost six years since he proposed, it looks like we will never go through with getting married. Was excited at first but when faced with the faff of organising a wedding I just freaked out. Maybe he finds the idea of a wedding similarly stressful?
It's tough one to reconcile. I wouldn't assume that you are not important enough, rather that he just doesn't need to be married in order to feel that your relationship is permanent and special. Maybe talk to him again and explain why marriage is important to you.
Maybe you need to explain to him that marriage is a legal contract that would allow you both to be more secure I life and be each others next of kin etc. If you don't want the same things best to start looking for someone who does. Maybe you need to decided if you want children or not first
I waa not bothered about marriage, but DP cared deeply.
So we got married.
If he does not care about being married or not, why not DO it to please the person he lovrs more than anyone? ....
I adore my DP to pieces but I am not bothered about marriage. It would change nothing for me. The only reason I'd do it is if we had kids as it would make things easier legally. If he asked me I'd say yes, but I really wouldn't care if he never proposed. I am sure your DP is the same and it's no reflection on his feelings for you.
You do need to have a serious conversation with him but you also need to think about your own future. You want to be married, and he equates being married only worthy of having children. What if you got married and somehow couldn't have kids, then would he disregard you as a wife. That's jumping ahead but just something to think about.
Marriage to me is very important, and my dh as well. However this was a discussion we had early on.
I think tbh it could be time to sit down and discuss our future anyway. When we’d been together 18 months I sort of sat down with him and said ‘I know you really want children, you know I’m not really that bothered, do we need to have a talk about how compatible we are long term … where do you see this relationship going?’ And he said ‘I love you, I’m just living my life with you. I hope one day you’ll change your mind re children.’
I haven’t really broached it since as there’s been so much going on and I’ve kinda been pushing things to the back of my mind but this weekend I’ve thought a lot about it all.
In all honesty, I probably could have a child, but ONLY really for him and to please him. He has already said he would be more than willing to do the majority of child care etc as he has a job that means he’s often at home anyway. So if push came to shove and it was lose him or have a child, maybe I could do it. However, it’s me making all the sacrifices. He would make an absolutely wonderful dad, there’s no denying that, he adores children and is great with them, however I also want him to be an amazing husband too.
However, irrespective of all that, I want him to marry me and WANT to marry me, because I’m his soul mate, the one etc, not because he views me as some sort of bloody broodmare!!! He’s also more than happy to attend other people weddings and exclaim what a lovely day it was after etc. I guess he arrogantly assumes all of those people will instantly be off making babies, so that makes the marriage alright then?!?!
I think you've answered your own question. He seems to view something that's so fundamental to you, so differently.
You have differing views to having children just like he does to marriage. You will both have to compromise but isnt that what relationships are all about?
I think you have a very romanticised view of marriage. Your boyfriend doesn't. You can't make him change his view but you can make what you want clear. In your position, I would tell him that you love him, but getting married is very important to you. You would like to have children in 3 or 4 years time so you need to know if you are wasting your time waiting for him. My best friend did exactly this with her now husband.He told her that she wasn't wasting her time, buy for them to work she needed to let him move in his own time. 8 months later, he woke her up in the middle of the night, whisked her off to Paris and proposed in front of the Effiel Tower. There is every chance your boyfriend wants to marry you, but wants a chance to surprise you. There is also every chance thst he means what he said. The two of you can only work if you are honest about how you feel and achieve a compromise. His proposal of marriage might be practical, but it doesn't mean that it is any less of a marriage. As someone who has been married for 5 years, I can tell you that it doesn't change the fundamental elements of your relationship. I feel like dh and I are more of a team, but I think that has developed more since becoming parents. Don't over think this. Talk to your dp.
I probably could have a child, but ONLY really for him and to please him. He has already said he would be more than willing to do the majority of child care etc as he has a job that means he’s often at home anyway. So if push came to shove and it was lose him or have a child, maybe I could do it.
I have to pick up on this. I know what i'm about to say it trotted out a lot on MN but i'm going to say it anyway:
If this were a man posting the above there would be howls of 'No, don't have a child to please your partner'. And IMO they would be right.
I think you need to wait longer until you and your DP are both on the same page re: kids and marriage, or leave and find someone more instantly compatible. You having a baby just to please him is equally as ingenuous (for want of a better word) as him getting married just to please you.
Do you really want a relationship where you would be having a baby to get married and him marrying you because you had a baby. That's not what a marriage or having children should be based on. It's also not a compromise.
I think his attitude to marriage is similar to yours on children - he's not that bothered, really.
So I don't see how you can criticise him for having that view without looking at how he feels about your indifferent approach to having children when that means a lot to him.
You don't sound compatible, if I'm honest.
I think to be honest you are at that 'make or break' point, and you and him need to sit down and have a serious chat. It sounds like you are not that enthused about having children at all, and that's not really an issue you can easily compromise on. You can't have a child 'just for him'. Children are an enormous physical, emotional and mental strain at times (although lovely) and unless you genuinely want one then that's just not something I think you can put yourself (or the child) through. As for marriage, to be fair to him I had similar views to your partner pre-marriage not because I didn't love my (now) DH but because I felt it was only a bit of paper at the end of the day and I didn't need all the expense and hassle of a wedding to prove that I loved him. However he felt strongly that he wanted us to be married and so I agreed. But we both agreed we wanted kids and so we were on the same track. I think I'd be anxious that you want such different things out of a relationship. At 29 and 31 you will have to make a decision on children realistically now or in the near future, so it's not a chat you can put off much longer I think.
He loves kids, and wants kids, and would want to be married to the mother of his kids. I'm wondering, playing devils advocate a bit here, is this just so that they would have his name?
Supposing you told him you were thinking that since he feels this way then that's fine and his choice and you respect his feelings, but this means that for you there is now no point in getting married to him. Even with kids together. What would his reaction to that be?
People have really different ideas of what marriage means. It isn't your concept of it or nothing.
Does he want the same things - permanence, you being the one and known by others to be so etc - but just not connect that with the idea of marriage particularly?
To many people marriage is just a bit of state-endorsed and/or religious formality, that doesn't affect how you feel, your intentions or the stability of your relationship.
He might need you to explain why going through a ceremony and having a party would change your feelings about him (or your perception of his feelings), if they don't alter his about you or yours.
What is the basis of his 'marriage for children' idea? It could easily be about ease of administration, a practical move, same names on passports, simpler inheritance etc, not suggesting he'd feel differently about you at all.
You need to listen to him talk about this.
Also totally agree that you cannot have a baby to please him. A baby changes your life massively for years, even if someone else is doing most of the childcare (and if he thinks he can work productively at home while caring for a baby, he's wrong. Being available for easy pick ups and drop offs, yes).
Though, it is likely your feelings about babies will change a lot when it is your baby. Not definite but very likely.
Without meaning to sound like a patronising arse, you are at an age where lots of people are getting married at the same time and I think that's probably a lot to do with why you're thinking about it a lot at the moment. I felt exactly the same around my late 20s, early 30s and then it slowed down and I stopped feeling so desperate about it (which is just as well as I wasn't with anyone )
Whether your OH is ultimately the one for you or whether you are on the same page about marriage and children is a separate question but try not to let your feelings be influenced by other people's lovely weddings. The loveliness of the wedding is sadly not always an indicator of the longevity of the relationship.
PS Don't have a baby you don't really want to make him happy. That's a terrible idea in all circumstances.
I think what he means is that he wants children and isn't prepared to marry someone who doesn't. It's a fair enough position I think. He is right not to want to get married unless he has the same life goals as the person he's marrying.
I wouldn't have married my dh if he had said he didn't know whether he wanted children. Either you both do or you both don't. I think you are being unreasonable to think that a man who does clearly want kids should get married without this being a joint aim.
You need to decide whether you want children. If you don't, you need to let him go.
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