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to ask my DP why we arent engaged yet?

(184 Posts)
BumbleNova Mon 04-Jan-16 11:14:55

I dont know if I am being unreasonable or not. I probably am. We have been together 4 years, we have lived together for 3 1/2. I am sure we both want to spend the rest of our lives together, we have discussed it and we have agreed we want kids and (roughly) when we expect that to be.

So the issue is that "we" are buying a house together at the moment. well - I am buying the house (I earn a lot more than he does) with the understanding that it is intended to be our family home.

I am making a real and very hard earned commitment to our future. I have no problem that he isnt contributing financially, but I am unhappy that he isnt committing to me to the same degree? i.e that asking me to marry him should be his part of the deal?

we first looked at rings two years ago today. I honestly couldnt care less about a ring, I dont want a diamond. its what it symbolises. I feel very taken for granted.

how do I raise this in a non-accusatory way? I tried to raise it in a jokey way on holiday about a month ago and he got very defensive. I clearly tried the wrong tack. we got back from a few days just us in a very romantic place last night and I found myself crying silently in the kitchen when we got home. just sheer disappointment. help?!

goodnightdarthvader1 Mon 04-Jan-16 11:19:57

he got very defensive. I clearly tried the wrong tack.

I doubt you did. I don't think he wants to marry you right now.

You can speculate about this here all you want. But you need to have a straightforward conversation with him and ask him if he wants to marry you now, and if not, why not.

However, I would say that my (now) DH and I bought a house together. I was way more comfortable with that than I was with the idea of marrying him. About 2 years later, living in said purchased house, I proposed to him. So it doesn't mean it's off the cards forever.

If you really want it to be a "deal" of "I buy the house, he buys the ring", then you need to let him know, now, so you both know where you stand.

I'd also get this moved to Relationships, by the way.

WorraLiberty Mon 04-Jan-16 11:21:06

You don't need to be non-accusatory or jokey.

Just sit him down and speak to him about it.

If you need to choose your moment or think about the right/wrong 'tack', I'm sorry but it doesn't sound as though it's something he particularly wants right now.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 04-Jan-16 11:23:22

Don't buy your boyfriend half a house.

You are a single woman with no family commitments. If you can afford to buy yourself a house, then good for you.

There is no earthly reason why your life in lover should get tens of thousands of pounds of property gifted to him.

If you ever get married, the house will become a marital asset.

mumthemovie Mon 04-Jan-16 11:23:49

I would quietly put the house purchase on hold as something you will do together when you're married. Just say you think it's the sort of thing you envisaged doing when you were both in the same place, commitment-wise.

If you do go ahead and buy the house unmarried, I would get the lawyer to draw up and protect your deposit.

Thurlow Mon 04-Jan-16 11:24:11

You need to have a calm and sensible conversation about it, and ask him to explain clearly how he feels about marriage.

He may not want to get married. In which case you need to discuss your relationship, and whether he is willing to show his commitment to you in other ways because it is the marriage aspect he is not keen on, rather than the commitment. So if he is willing to say honestly that he doesn't want to be married but he does want to be together, and will enter into cohabitation agreements etc with you (if you want to) to show his commitment, you then need to decide whether that is enough for you.

However if marriage is important to you, then he needs to understand and appreciate this and make his mind up whether he can do that for you.

The problem is when neither of you have laid your cards on the table and so you're both just running around in the dark.

CakeFail Mon 04-Jan-16 11:26:25

Agree with bathtime. There is no way I would buy a bf half a house. I think the ring is a bit of a red herring.

honeysucklejasmine Mon 04-Jan-16 11:28:03

Agree that he stands to gain financially should you buy the house an later marry. I suppose his reluctance to get married suggests he isn't planning on ripping you off at least!

Sit down and have a frank conversation with him. Is it something he wants to do at all?

yorkshapudding Mon 04-Jan-16 11:31:41

Will the house be in both your names?
I agree with a previous poster who suggested putting this on hold until you're clearer on where you stand. The fact that you feel "taken for granted" in the relationship and are having to dance around the subject of marriage so carefully aren't great signs. If being married is something that's important to you then you may need to spell it out. Even if the conversation doesn't go the way you hope it will, it has to be better than years of quietly building frustration and resentment on your part.

BumbleNova Mon 04-Jan-16 11:35:57

Thanks for the input everyone. I'm a lawyer so the legal aspects / protecting myself financially I can do and will do. he knows he will have no financial or legal interest in the house - the mortgage will be in my name only so there would be nothing we could do anyway that the bank would accept.

however - I am taking his likes/dislikes into consideration - which I am now realising unless he commits to me is madness. I have booked some viewings this weekend. I am trying to work out where being sensible starts and stops.

I am 99% sure he does want to get married. we have discussed the type of ceremony we want, not in the abstract - what would be our wedding. we have discussed who we would invite. so frankly I am confused. he mentioned getting me a ring for my birthday - which has been and gone.

I know I need to talk to him about it, he works in another country during the week so I cant talk to him about it now, he is away until thursday. hence why I am trying to psych myself up.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 04-Jan-16 11:36:51

OP dont put his name on the house. In the meantime you need a serious conversation. Tell him you want to get engaged and you want to marry...and you want to know if HE does too because if not, then you don't know if you can be with him.

Genx77 Mon 04-Jan-16 11:37:15

You make it sound like a business deal. You're buying the house so his contribution should be proposing to you? I think you need to prepare yourself for the very real probability that he doesn't want to marry you, otherwise why hasn't he asked before now? Him getting defensive is a warning bell that you are choosing not to hear.
Why aren't you buying a house together? I'm a sahm, have been for 10 years. On paper I earn nothing but we have bought 3 houses in that time, together, jointly, as equals. Him earning less than you doesn't stop you buying a home together.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 04-Jan-16 11:38:55

X posts sorry.

Definitely psych yourself up. I had this with my DH...he was all blase about marriage and I basically told him one night "I want to marry within a year...we've been together for x amount of years and that's what I want now...if you don't, then I need to know now so I can make a decision."

He took it well...he had to think about it all...he hadn't really considered marriage before...never thought it was something I'd want.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 04-Jan-16 11:39:35

Either propose yourself (after all it is a leap year if you feel you need to excuse your decision), or say "You know the talks we've had about rings, the house, the kids, the future? Do you think we are engaged? If not, what are we waiting for?".

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 04-Jan-16 11:39:49

Gen where does OP make it look like a business deal? confused

Goingtobeawesome Mon 04-Jan-16 11:40:01

Ask him to marry you.

If he says anything other than yes I would be thinking of what I really want from life.

I asked my DH on our first date if he ever wanted to get married and have kids. Was fed up of boys who bought rings but never followed through with booking the wedding.

JohnLuther Mon 04-Jan-16 11:40:03

I have to agree with Genx77 here, something seems a bit off.

Genx77 Mon 04-Jan-16 11:42:32

Thehouseonthelane.....maybe it was the line; 'asking me to marry him should be his part of the deal'.....?!

Bluebird1234 Mon 04-Jan-16 11:43:04

I don't think it sounds like a business deal at all. Sensible to protect your assets if no commitment .

TeaFathers Mon 04-Jan-16 11:43:37

yeah it does sound like he doesn't want to marry you.
i wouldn't want to be with a man who cant commit to me.
i'd rather be single.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 04-Jan-16 11:44:37

Gen I see...well...even so, I don't think OP means it in a bad way. Just that she's showing commitment....and he isn't.

However...this is where tradition pisses me off...why can't she just ask him? All this leap year shit....women can ask men!

BathtimeFunkster Mon 04-Jan-16 11:44:44

I am trying to work out where being sensible starts and stops.

Being sensible starts with recognising that you are buying a house and that it hasn't got much to do with your current boyfriend.

It involves giving up the last-century "proposal" bullshit. Why are you, a financially independent, attractive, smart, professional woman sitting around passively waiting to see what he decides.

What do you want?

As the higher earner, marriage might not protect your interests. If you have children, how do you see that going in terms of childcare? Would you plan to reduce hours?

It involves a conversation about what you want from your life in terms of marriage and children and the approximate timescales you're looking at. Is he on board? Can you move forward together?

If not, it ends with binning him.

ThomasSofty Mon 04-Jan-16 11:46:23

Why on earth can't you ask him? Sounds like you think he isn't doing his share of the house purchase/getting married, so ask him yourself! Or decide together...just don't wait for him to ask because, for whatever reason, he might never ask. Sitting around and waiting for him to ask you is just making you unhappy.

EssentialHummus Mon 04-Jan-16 11:47:47

I can understand why you're feeling the way you are - this is a hugely sensitive, personal topic, so having a rational discussion is incredibly tough - but necessary.

I think you need to speak in a clear, non-jokey way: We've been together four years. We've spoken about marriage, and it looks like we both want it, but I am feeling incredibly frustrated and sad that you haven't proposed. Do you want to get married? What is your timeframe? When do you see us formalising things?

I was like this - same timeframe, same house issue, same career (!) OP are you me and from experience the jokey, by-the-by approach can only result in mixed signals. You're potentially planning a life together. You need to be able to have difficult conversations when necessary.

HowBadIsThisPlease Mon 04-Jan-16 11:49:41

Buy yourself a house if that's what you want to do. The marriage is irrelevant to that. You need a separate conversation about that and it is fine to have one. Getting defensive, changing the subject, etc - all ways of deflecting perfectly legitimate conversation - do not bode well. If you get married you will have 50 - 90 years worth of difficult / sensitive conversations ahead of you, so you don't want to start out with someone who likes to block them and control what you are and are not allowed to talk about.

This idea that men control whether marriage happens or not is based on the idea that they are the ones who have access to money and can therefore make the decision as to whether they are secure enough to set up house, start a family, provide for them for the rest of their lives - and it is his choice who with. This is the other way around for you. You are the one in a material position to be ready and / or willing to do all these things, he is not. So you get to offer marriage, he gets to agree or refuse.

I would say that he isn't the one for you. He sounds as if he has difficulties with communication and is a bit passive. It's fine to get together with someone who can't match your income but not if they're passive about you and the relationship and your contribution.

Ok I have very little info to go on, but from right here, right now, you sound like a catch, he doesn't. You sound organised, clever, hardworking, emotionally intelligent, loyal, honest, warm and kind. He sounds vague, lazy, passive, unable to analyse or communicate what he wants emotionally, and defensive about this lack. He will drive you mad.

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