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Father of my children does not want to marry me!

(651 Posts)
Jessil91 Fri 26-Apr-19 00:55:22

So my BF of almost ten years who I live with and have two lovely children with does not believe in marriage. This wasn’t made clear to me til a few a days ago when we were for talking about it ( I just kind of assumed we would get married at some point given circumstances). I’ve never been a massive marriage advocate per se but I can’t help but feel really depressed and down about it, like he doesn’t want me or take our relationship seriously. I know that may sound silly since we have children together but I can’t help how I feel. There’s this feeling of rejection, like the man I love doesn’t love me enough to marry me. I communicated this with him and he turned round and said that his not believing in marriage is not personal and that he felt a little offended because I seemed more bothered about marriage then just being with him. But that’s not the case, I just believe in marriage and what it stands for and I want to legalise our relationship. I must add that he’s a great Dad and we have a healthy relationship otherwise.

Am I being stupid??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated !!

GrimDamnFanjo Fri 26-Apr-19 00:58:42

Why doesn't he want to get married?

TapasForTwo Fri 26-Apr-19 01:00:58

I hope you aren't financially dependent on him.

NaomifromMilkshake Fri 26-Apr-19 01:03:22

Personally, having been taken for a mug in my early twenties by someone, I had the marriage conversation with DH very early on.

You know what they say about the word assume.

NaomifromMilkshake Fri 26-Apr-19 01:04:14

I am sorry you find yourself in this situation, but do not overreact, sit back, think and plan.

TheseThingsAreFunAndFunIsGood Fri 26-Apr-19 01:05:02

A little missing the point but I'm mildly astounded you've got 10 years behind you and it's only just come up! grin Had the subject of marriage seriously Never been broached, even theoretically? Unusual for his feelings to be a complete shock at this stage really..?

KC225 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:06:40

You say you have only discovered this within the last few days, had he led you to believe that you would marry?

goldenchicken Fri 26-Apr-19 01:06:51


Oh dear. I am sorry OP. Very often when a man says he does not believe in marriage, it's not true. He just doesn't want to be married to you.

Too late now, but I would never have had children with a man who didn't believe in marriage...'

I bet your kids have his surname right?

No suggestions sorry, as nothing will make him change. He has you where he wants you. He can escape and not owe you a thing if he wishes.

My condolences... sad flowers

Gratefulbeyond103 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:09:08

So you made an assumption given you had children? Why didnt this come up or you ask him before you went down this route?

Gettingthroughthedays Fri 26-Apr-19 01:10:19

You're not being silly at all. My partner did not want to get married (after a child together) because he said it wasn't important. But it was to me.

I hope I don't hurt you with saying this but my DP was making excuses because he wasn't happy. We eventually got back together and I told him in no uncertain terms if we weren't going towards marriage he was not moving back in. If you can commit to a child and a home you can commit to legalising it.

He actually gained some respect and we were engaged soon after. It was actually me who put the wedding off.

I don't think it necessarily means he doesn't respect/love you...I just think people become complacent. Only you know how much this means to you and if he refuses to listen you might need to rethink if this is the best thing for you.

steff13 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:14:31

Make sure you do everything possible to protect yourself financially.

BIWI Fri 26-Apr-19 01:17:33

If marriage is so important to you then a) why didn't you talk about this years ago? And b) why do you have children with him before the marriage? TBH I'm not surprised he's offended now!

But as other PP have said, it's now really important that you make sure you're protected financially, as it looks like you're not going to have the protection that marriage confers.

Bubs101 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:27:02

I have a friend who was with her ex for about 6 years and she had a child by him, she used to talk to me about she kept asking about marriage and he just said it didn't mean much to him and that it was just a piece of paper, and how their DC was more of a commitment. In the end, he left her, took the house, and because she was a SAHM she was left with nothing from the life the had both built. And to top it all off, she found out through a friend that he's engaged to his new partner and they've been together less than 2 years. My friend was devastated, to say the least, as she felt their whole relationship was a lie. Trust me when I say when a man says he doesn't want to marry, it means he doesn't want to marry you. I know it's harsh but its the reality of these situations.

viques Fri 26-Apr-19 01:27:22

How would he feel about a civil partnership which would give you and your children the same security?

M3lon Fri 26-Apr-19 01:27:27

Marriage is a somewhat random and more than a little misogynistic legal institution. Its okay to not want anything to do with it and it doesn't mean you aren't serious about a relationship.

Once civil partnerships are open to all, I think me and DH will likely divorce and get one....

Sculpin Fri 26-Apr-19 01:29:43

I would feel the same as you OP - marriage is important to me.

As others have said, the key thing at this point is to make sure you’re not financially dependent on him, as you’ll be vulnerable without the protection of marriage if you ever split up. Do you work full time? Don’t become a SAHM or go part time without getting married first.

goldenchicken Fri 26-Apr-19 01:30:07


Once civil partnerships are open to all, I think me and DH will likely divorce and get one.

Jesus wept......

Just when I thought I had read everything!

WhyTho Fri 26-Apr-19 01:30:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 26-Apr-19 01:35:03

Do you work? Do you own your home? What happens if the relationship breaks up?

RainbowMum11 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:37:02

Its more about protection if you have DC and (invariably) the woman gives up her career , or at least severely hampers her long term prospects by going part time - generally the man gets to keep his career, job prospects & pension while the woman gives it up, at least for awhile, to take up the Primary care giver role.
If you aren't married, the women takes a massive long term hit to not only her career potential but also for the rest of her life, into retirement.

Disappearedtothe80s Fri 26-Apr-19 01:37:51

I am not trying to be rude, but don't you have these conservations before children? Not 10 years down the line...

Look at the end of the day OP you can't drag him up the aisle. And if you have been together for 10 years is there any point?

That said, could you compromise on say a registry office wedding in a civil partnership? Instead of the full blown church service, fancy reception etc

I have never been a great believer in marriage, never pushed the subject but DH did propose after nearly seven years together and did accept for the sake of financial security as we were planning for a family. DH pressurised me into a church ceremony because of his over-religious parents which I regret big time.

Disappearedtothe80s Fri 26-Apr-19 01:38:46

Mean civil ceremony..

managedmis Fri 26-Apr-19 01:42:36

What everyone else said.

If you are financially reliant on him you need to change this.

GummyGoddess Fri 26-Apr-19 01:43:18

Well if it doesn't mean anything to him then a quick trip to the registry office won't be a huge problem since it means something to you.

Rachelle11 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:47:43

I'm too a little surprised that this discussion is being had after 2 kids and 10 years... I'm sure he's thrown by your reaction.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Fri 26-Apr-19 01:51:10

Had he implied you'd get married before? I was clear to DH that I wouldn't have children without being married as it was important to me, he understood that from the outset, I do realise it's not important to receive though and there's nothing wrong with that. If your DP has led you to believe that marriage was inevitable and has changed his stance, it would be the deceit that did it for me, I'd feel tricked. I just hope you've kept working, the house is in your name too and you're not reliant on him.

jimmyjammy001 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:52:50

Probably should of had the marriage talk a bit earlier on in the relationship, 10 years without discussing it is very long. I would imagine he probably does not want the hassle of a marriage and in todays society where more and more people are getting divorced the hassle that comes with it, but if you have got kids the right thing is marriage for the financial security that it brings should the worse happen.

Topseyt Fri 26-Apr-19 01:58:55

If you are financially dependent on him then I'm afraid you are very vulnerable here.

I hope you have your own means of financial support.

swingofthings Fri 26-Apr-19 05:29:30

You are both right. It is likely that he loves you very much and imagine himself with you forever but just don't believe you need to go through a marriage celebration to evidence it, so on this basis, it's understandable that he feels rejected that you feel the need to be married for protection.

You believe in marriage, think it's the ultimate proof of wanting long term commitmemt, and feel rejected and that he can't love you that much if he doesn't want that.

So neither of you is wrong, but sadly it is a matter had to find a compromise with. You need to talk it through really listening to each other without wanting to convince the other they should do what they want. Maybe without pressure and bit more time, both of you will agree to marriage or you'll find security within your relationship without marriage.

PregnantSea Fri 26-Apr-19 05:36:51

If this is so important to you then why didn't you have this conversation before having children together?

miracleon13th Fri 26-Apr-19 05:55:45

My now DH always commented how marriage "wasn't for him" - don't know why when his parents are still married and he doesn't have a prior bad experience with divorce - in the end I said I loved him enough to marry him - I didn't love him enough to stay with him and never be married.

I also said I wasn't going to have children with him without being married - I wanted him to marry me for me - not because I'm the mother of his children.

I would have had the conversation with him before having children. You say you believe in marriage and what it's stands for so if it was that important to you then I would have thought twice about having children with him or at the very least insisted on giving them your surname to give him some incentive! See how he would feel not having the same name as his DC

Smelborp Fri 26-Apr-19 06:03:20

Do you have financial protections in place OP? You might be wise to speak with a solicitor about your options for protection and make sure you concentrate on your earning potential too.

malificent7 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:09:20

Not every man or woman believes in marrying ...full stop. It dodnt necessarily mean he is not committed butbin tjis day and age with many marriages failing and the expense of a marriage being a religious union , perhaps he genuinely dosnt believe in it..

Bluntness100 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:11:15

What does he mean he doesn't "believe in marriage". It's a real thing, not imaginary.

Has he explained why he doesn't wish to get married? Does he understand the lack of security impacts it has on you? Does he not care?

Eliza9919 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:23:41

My DP said he didn't believe in marriage. I told him it was very important to me to be married before children and have the same name etc. I had my implant removed and a month later he proposed. I'm now pg so we are bringing everything forward and getting married in the summer. It was always the plan to do that if I got pg before the wedding. I said it's not negotiable for me to not be married before any baby arrives.

OrdinaryGirl Fri 26-Apr-19 06:24:35

I'm so sorry you're in this position OP. There isn't anything to be gained by quizzing you on why and how you got into this situation as it sounds as though you're now painfully aware of the various issues and probably need a hand-hold rather than berating. thanks

In short, there's everything in it for your partner legally, financially and administratively to keep things as they are. Not wanting to marry you isn't some noble, intellectual, ideological principle on his part - not when there's such a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Time to take stock, accept the reality of his decision and make some decisions of your own. As other posters have said, your top priority should be your financial security in the event of his death or the breakdown of the relationship. At present you're very exposed, and that needs changing for your sake and for your children.

Lots of wise advice on MN on how to go about doing that. Wishing you all the best as you move forward.

SometimesIGetNervous Fri 26-Apr-19 06:29:58

You decided to talk about this after 10 years and two children?

You’re potentially in a very vulnerable position (You don’t say what your set up is) there’s no such thing as common law in the uk.

Aethelthryth Fri 26-Apr-19 06:37:35

Why on earth did you not discuss this before you had children? Even if you are not financially dependent it makes sense to check that both parents are committed to trying to create a permanently stable environment. Men who "don't believe in marriage" are just keeping their options open

HBStowe Fri 26-Apr-19 06:38:11

I don’t think you are being stupid, but I am surprised that in ten years this never came up! It’s usually something a couple would talk about earlier in a relationship. And I can kind of see why, after 10 years, he assumed you were on the same page as him.

If marriage is really important to you you can try and make your case to him. Explain that not being married has implications if one of you dies, and that if you are financially dependent on him you are vulnerable. Try and see if it’s marriage that bothers him or just the wedding - if so, he might be happier about it if you have a very low-key wedding?

Ultimately though you can’t force him to change his mind, and his reasons for refusal might be upsetting (e.g. if he doesn’t feel committed enough or he wants to protect assets). But the only way through this is a really soul searching talk.

missbonita Fri 26-Apr-19 06:40:10

Who owns your house?

endofthelinefinally Fri 26-Apr-19 06:46:17

Has he at least got life insurance and a will in place? Have you?
Who are your respective next of kin?

Moonbea Fri 26-Apr-19 06:48:51

My boyfriend doesn't believe in marriage either, he's not religious and he believes that marriage is such a big religious union he doesn't want to be apart of something like that.

That is his choice it doesn't mean he doesn't love me, he does very much.

We are waiting for civil partnerships to become legalised at the end of this year for heterosexual couples and then we will have civil ceremony next year.

I have changed my surname to his name so I have the same surname as our two kids. (my surname ensures lots of bullying so we went with his which you can't say anything nasty about) With a civil ceremony you have to change your surname by deed poll it doesn't happen automatically like it does with marriage, so we have that done already.

Have you spoken to him about having a civil ceremony in the future?

cakecakecheese Fri 26-Apr-19 06:49:12

Practicality wise people assume common law marriage is a thing but it isn't so insist that he prepares a will and has life insurance if he hasn't already so you and your children are protected in the event of his death.

I'm surprised that you're surprised tbh as if you're not engaged after 10 years if it's never been broached then my assumption would have been it wasn't something either of you were bothered about but clearly you are so I agree with this advice:

If marriage is really important to you you can try and make your case to him. Explain that not being married has implications if one of you dies, and that if you are financially dependent on him you are vulnerable. Try and see if it’s marriage that bothers him or just the wedding - if so, he might be happier about it if you have a very low-key wedding?

Candleglow7475 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:50:51

This is exactly why this conversation needs to happen before you have children. If you don’t work or work PT and are financially dependent on him, you need to get yourself back into FT work. Who’s name is the house in?

SnuggyBuggy Fri 26-Apr-19 06:54:00

I would get some financial advice and educate yourself on the non-existence of common law marriage

KanielOutis Fri 26-Apr-19 06:55:06

Is he acting offended so that you drop the matter and don't talk about it again? Marriage is so much more than a piece of paper. And it is important. I wouldn't marry someone who didn't want it, but I wouldn't stay with them either.

MoreSlidingDoors Fri 26-Apr-19 06:56:20

marriage being a religious union


Danglingmod Fri 26-Apr-19 06:56:21

A marriage is nothing to do with religion unless you have it in a church etc.

A heterosexual couple can already have a civil ceremony and be married (different from a civil partnership). In fact you are explicitly not allowed to say or play anything religious if you get married at a registry office.

endofthelinefinally Fri 26-Apr-19 06:58:17

Moonbea, you can get married in a registry office with no religious associaion whatsoever.

Becles Fri 26-Apr-19 06:58:20

It's done now and no point thinking about ifs.

What you need to is take stock. Do you work? Think about how the finances are split - Are you paying the day to day bills and is he paying the rent or mortgage? Are you both paying towards childcare costs? Do you have roughly the same proportion of money for personal spends after the essentials are sorted? Can you start regularly trimming down costs and start putting aside a small cushion in a bank account, even 50 here and there soon adds up.

Separate the financial implications from the emotional ones, then think about if on reflection you are happy to stay as you are but with a buffer in case and decisions with some self preservation in mind. You could decide marriage is the deal breaker - what happens next and how? Marriage at any cost or what...

IStillMissBlockbuster Fri 26-Apr-19 07:00:21

Tbh it's not a great sign that rather than reassure you that of course he lives you and is committed to you, he turned it back on you saying he was offended, trying to make you feel bad and essentially change the subject.

ememem84 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:00:34

I was just going to say that dh and I had a civil marriage ceremony as neither of us is religious. I changed my name without having to deed poll.

londonrach Fri 26-Apr-19 07:06:34

Heard this so many times then guy leaves and marries someone else within a year or so. Agree with the mntters saying hes not into marrying you not anti marriage. Keeping his options open. Surprised its taken ten years to come up. Yes some people dont want to get married but both parties have to want that. Marriage gives you protection if you had had children. Op id be careful and get yourself some protection here. Im sure you been fine but if youve children you need to make sure they ok and yourself in case you split up.

ScreamScreamIceCream Fri 26-Apr-19 07:06:58

OP if a partner says they don't want to marry it means they don't want to marry you in particular as he has been given the bonuses of being married without the legal framework.

Make sure you are financially independent so get a job or work to get a better one if you have one, ensure you have a pension and make sure any housing has your name on it. If he refuses to allow your name to be on the housing you need to plan on how you will be able to house yourself within 2 years as the children can live with any parent.

Personally as the higher earner it is not in my interests to have a legal union e.g. marry or have a civil partnership (when they come in) with my partner. Likewise one of my female neighbours, who can inherit her home of her mother, is the same. However we would be CFs as we both have children and our partners would be homeless.

MoreSlidingDoors Fri 26-Apr-19 07:11:48

I have changed my surname to his name so I have the same surname as our two kids. (my surname ensures lots of bullying so we went with his which you can't say anything nasty about)

But you didn’t take the opportunity to change it the minute you were old enough? Interesting.

With a civil ceremony you have to change your surname by deed poll it doesn't happen automatically like it does with marriage, so we have that done already.

It doesn’t happen automatically anyway. Everybody has the legal right to use any name they like, so long as it isn’t for fraudulent reasons, at any time.

The female name change on marriage is a hideously sexist practice and I can’t believe so many women do it so unthinkingly when they marry.

There is no difference in rights conferred by a civil ceremony to a religious one. Why would there be?

Downthecanal Fri 26-Apr-19 07:12:32

I don’t think it’s him keeping his options open. I was with Dh 8 years before he finally got round to asking me.

What I’d be concerned about is if your financially dependant on him. If he really doesn’t want to get married you need to be in a place where if he chooses to leave one day it won’t be catastrophic to your finances. Do you own your house? Are you on the mortgage? Do you have your own money coming in?

MoreSlidingDoors Fri 26-Apr-19 07:14:25

I was with Dh 8 years before he finally got round to asking me.

Amazingly, you don’t need a penis to initiate the process. Shocking, right?

reluctantbrit Fri 26-Apr-19 07:14:31

There is nothing wrong with not being married but it is a lot more complicated to ensure both partners are protected.

Seek advise about your legal position, who owns the house if you have one? Do you have wills? You are not next of kin so you need medical power of attorney in case one of you get seriously ill.

Do you have savings in joined names? Are you working and can survive on your salary alone?

I have friends who didn’t believe in marriage and just went to the register office, signed the documents and carried on living like before. It just meant the register fee saved them tons of legal fees to the lawyers to cover everything which is otherwise covered by the law for married couples.

Hahaha88 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:17:23

What utter BS some of the replies are here. Of course it doesn't mean he doesn't want to marry YOU op, it means he doesn't want to marry at all. And suggesting he doesn't love or value you because he doesn't want to marry is harsh. I have zero interest in being married. But I love my dp completely and utterly. I fully respect him and our relationship and want to spend the rest of my life with him, and no one else. Being married or not will make zero difference to that.
However, my dp does want to get married. He wants to be married more than I don't. So, I will marry him. Because relationships are about compromise. I'm surprised you haven't had this conversation much sooner, but now you have I think you need to bring it up again and be open and honest about the way you feel. Perhaps when he understands how it means to you he might change his mind. But perhaps not. And that's something you have to accept ❤️

ChipSandwich Fri 26-Apr-19 07:23:03

My boyfriend doesn't believe in marriage either, he's not religious and he believes that marriage is such a big religious union he doesn't want to be apart of something like that
A register office wedding is nothing to do with religion.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Fri 26-Apr-19 07:23:16

He is right not to do it if he doesn't want too. Plenty don't and that's fine. ten years later and children and no sign of marriage was surely an indication he didn't want it.

As long as you are both protecting yourself financially that's the main thing now.

MsChookandtheelvesofFahFah Fri 26-Apr-19 07:25:55

Moreslidingdoors don't you know that only women have awful, unpronounceable surnames, they don't like their dad, it means more to their partner, it didn't matter to them. That's the MN script. And, horror! Of COURSE you have to wait for the man to propose, anyone would think that men and women are equal reading your posts.

Shoxfordian Fri 26-Apr-19 07:28:42

I'm surprised you've not had this conversation in the last decade op! Why do you want to marry now when you didn't seem bothered for the last ten years?

lostelephant Fri 26-Apr-19 07:33:27

There’s this feeling of rejection, like the man I love doesn’t love me enough to marry me.

He's already said the reason is because he doesn't believe in marriage, why are you making this mean anything about yourself?

Kennehora Fri 26-Apr-19 07:42:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TerryWogansWilly Fri 26-Apr-19 07:45:14

So my BF of almost ten years who I live with and have two lovely children with does not believe in marriage. This wasn’t made clear to me til a few a days ago when we were for talking about it

It was made clear by the fact that you have been together 10 years, not had a proper discussion about it and that you are not now married. I'm sorry.

MoreSlidingDoors Fri 26-Apr-19 07:48:15

I don’t believe in marriage either. DH does. 15 years ago we had a civil ceremony after realising it was the most straightforward way to ensure legal protection for both of us.

No names changed. I’m not a Mrs. Nothing changed financially.

Had civil partnerships been available, we’d have done that.

justarandomtricycle Fri 26-Apr-19 07:49:09

I think people are being very uncharitable here. Of course there are men who shy away from the marriage contract because it is basically a solidification of responsibility for them.

On the other hand we are on how many generations of broken families being common now? People running lies back and forth in an adversarial way, kids caught in the middle, made to say things they don't believe to be true, made to choose between their parents, seeing their parents settle down with other people while still married but separated, abuse in the home, someone deciding they've changed so fuck everyone else etc?

Some people are genuinely worried about stamping a psychological black mark on their happy home, and those people can take years to soften. DH took longer than the 10 years in the OP and we are now happily married.

Barbie222 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:53:50

It's wise advice to make sure you're earning enough to keep yourself if you should need to.

I think I would probably make plans to live separately in your position if you can.

Singlenotsingle Fri 26-Apr-19 07:54:17

Where are you OP? People are talking to you here.

TatianaLarina Fri 26-Apr-19 07:55:20

Not another one.

What’s your financial situation OP? Who owns what? Have you taken time out of work for the children etc?

Humpy84 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:59:58

Start hitting the gym and investing in yourself, your wardrobe, everything. Invest in your career, independence etc. He needs reminding that you’re a catch and can walk if you want to and have other options.

Piglet89 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:00:04

@ordinarygirl great post.

Drogosnextwife Fri 26-Apr-19 08:01:46

I have been with my DP 7 years, we got engaged about 4 years ago but I decided last year that actually I don't really want to get married. I love him very much and i don't want us to split, I just don't really want to have a legal tie to someone and have the cost of divorce if we did split. I don't rely on DP financially though, if I had to, I could pay all bills myself and all assets are in my name. Do you have your own income?

ItsAllGone19 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:03:33

My husband and I were together for a decade with two children unmarried.

It was something I wasn't keen on. I have a decently paid job and a final salary pension. For me it was literally just a piece of paper and meant nothing more.

It took a brush with mortality to change my mind. We have children to consider and if something happens to one of us we wanted no extra hurdles to jump to get access to what should rightfully go to the surviving spouse and children.

Your boyfriend really needs to sit down and address the what ifs of not getting married. Things like...
Next of kin
Death in service/pension payouts
How your children will be housed/cared for if one of you passes away
What happens if you do break up, how will assets be split

For me the last question was the only one that didn't bother me. I was in the more powerful financial position and he isn't a stay at home dad. All the others did in a massive way though and that's what made me agree to that little piece of paper that officially recognises our relationship.

Our wedding was small with only parents and our children in attendance. The wedding wasn't important. The marriage is.

NameChangeNugget Fri 26-Apr-19 08:03:56

If I had my time again, I wouldn’t get married. It’s antiquated.

His reasons for not wanting to marry are as valid as yours for wanting to.

Assuming anything is a schoolgirl error sadly

dottiedodah Fri 26-Apr-19 08:05:24

If you are happy and he is a good dad to your children it may not be too much to worry about.However in the long term, there are many problems regarding money/property.If you were to break up or he died God forbid. You may find your financial position would not be clear as it would if you were married .Perhaps you could point this out to him and see what he says .At the end of the day you cant force someone to marry you though ,and you dont want this issue to cloud an otherwise happy relationship

SometimesIGetNervous Fri 26-Apr-19 08:13:37

he believes that marriage is such a big religious union he doesn't want to be apart of something like that.

Is your bf winding you up or something? Or have you never looked up marriage? I had a civil ceremony, they contain no religious content whatsoever. You aren’t allowed any. And name changing doesn’t happen automatically, you can keep your maiden name if you choose. It’s up to you.

Are you sure your bf isn’t making up a load of crap that you’re believing?

ChilliMum Fri 26-Apr-19 08:15:24

I am like your partner, I think that marraige is antiquated and we really should have other options that reflect the world we live in. However as it stands those options are currently quite limited.

When I had my children we were not married, we both had good incomes, career prospects and jointly owned our house with mirror wills.

But things changed, my Oh got a great job offer that meant moving countries. I was happy to support him as it was the best thing for us as a family.

However, we are now no longer in an equal situation and being married protects my interests in our partnership.

It might sound cold but I don't need a piece of paper to prove we love each other but I do need that contract to protect me and my family.

Our marraige was a simple registry office, no fuss, we don't even wear wedding rings. The biggest difference is we check the box marked married on forms. Otherwise I don't really think about it at all.

You need to take the emotion out and have a conversation with your dp about security and your children and what it means legally for you all. Can you find a compromise?

HowardSpring Fri 26-Apr-19 08:15:53

I was with exDP for thirty years. Not married, still amicable, 3DC. I don't believe in marriage, nor does he. It means nothign in terms of committment as it is so easy to get divorced.

Legally, financially you need to sort the money etc. We did by keeping finances separate, in our wills everything goes to the DC and we don't leave anytihng to each other, LPAs sort the "who makes life and death decisions" etc. These other arrangements mean we are both protected, the kids are protected and there was no fighting when the romantic/sexual relationship ended.

So OP if you are protected and have agreed the other stuff I wouldn't worry

MoreSlidingDoors Fri 26-Apr-19 08:18:41

You’re missing the inheritance tax benefits Howard

30yearoldpensioner Fri 26-Apr-19 08:18:47

I am in the situation. I have been with my DP for 11 years next month and have two beautiful DD's, a mortgage and all the other joint responsibilities that come with being a family. We just haven't got a marriage. DP has seen his parents have numerous marriages between them and his brother has a divorce under his belt also. My parents are still married but I wouldn't call it a happy union.
I would like to be married but I'm not sure I'd like it enough to cause an issue over it. At the moment I'm the only one of us to have a different surname and that's the main factor for me.
I totally get the issue u have that, thinking that he 'he wont marry you'. I don't really have any advice but just to say I get you!

crispysausagerolls Fri 26-Apr-19 08:18:47

The female name change on marriage is a hideously sexist practice and I can’t believe so many women do it so unthinkingly when they marry.

I didn’t do it unthinkingly, I have always wanted to have my husband’s name, I like the idea of it! And if that makes me like Nora from “A Doll’s House” then that’s fine by me - I’m extremely happily married.

OP, I don’t think this is a great situation but it’s difficult to have sympathy - if marriage was so important to you, presumably you would’ve had this discussion earlier on/even better before having children.

PerfectPeony2 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:19:35

Do some people really just not believe in marriage? Even if getting married would make their partner happy- surely if he loves you and it’s important then he’d do it. I’m not surprised you’re upset.

I think it’s so important to have these discussions early on though. It doesn’t have to be a big proposal (do many people really get engaged like that? Like a big surprise?). It’s a shame if he won’t change his mind- could you talk about it some more and what it means to you?

I always made it clear to DH that it’s what I wanted and would never have a baby if I wasn’t married. I’d tell my daughter to do the same if it’s what she wants. Financial and family security is really important.

SlappingJoffrey Fri 26-Apr-19 08:20:25

The decisions that led you to this point were not wise ones OP, but they're done now, so I think you need to focus on the future. Don't have any more children with him, and if you aren't already, work. Ideally full time. What is your housing situation, do you have wills? Does your partner understand the legal differences between being married and not?

Moonbea have you posted on here about your situation before by any chance? Do make sure you get a civil partnership once they become legal, don't delay. Apologies if you haven't and I'm thinking of someone else.

ThatssomebadhatHarry Fri 26-Apr-19 08:22:59

The female name change on marriage is a hideously sexist practice and I can’t believe so many women do it so unthinkingly when they marry

I would rather have my husbands name than my Dads.

AnyoneButAnton Fri 26-Apr-19 08:24:30

You don’t know that his reasons are valid namechange. He could be against marriage because he doesn’t want to make vows in church or spend eighteen months and twenty grand on a huge party. Both of those would be entirely invalid reasons.

Honeydukes92 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:25:15

This is not the first time this exact situation has played out on MN and it will not be the last.

IF marriage is important to you (if not that’s fine) but IF you want to get married, STOP having kids with men and assuming it’ll make them want to marry you!!

It honestly baffles me how backwards we all are towards marriage. Women being made to feel they can’t/shouldn’t bring it up or ask for it. Men being given all the control 🤔
It’s not the institution it used to be, where he was offering to ‘keep’ you for the rest of your life. If you have a job, drive a car, can legally vote 🙄 you better believe you can tell a man YOU want to get married!

I feel very sorry for women who have sacrificed a lot and given men several children, whilst playing the wife role, only to find out he won’t marry her.

My DH had a partner of three years who wanted to get married, he said he didn’t believe in it. 🤔🙄

At the beginning of our relationship I basically said, if we’re not engaged within 2 years I’ll leave and there will be no chance of children before then.

MoreSlidingDoors Fri 26-Apr-19 08:26:14

I would rather have my husbands name than my Dads.

Thus perpetuating the myth that women never own their names. Only men. hmm

If you dislike a name that much, choose a new one and keep that. Why wait till marriage to take someone else’s?

TheWernethWife Fri 26-Apr-19 08:26:38

What's the difference between a civil partnership and a registry office wedding.

PerfectPeony2 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:27:48

*The female name change on marriage is a hideously sexist practice and I can’t believe so many women do it so unthinkingly when they marry*

I love my married name and being a family with the same name.

tiredybear Fri 26-Apr-19 08:33:56

I've been with my partner for 20 years and we ae not married. I assumed we would, we talked about it (early on in the relationship!) and he had very clear and logical reasons for not wanting to...he hates the whole institution of it, the fact it's based on such outdated and patriachal ideals etc. I wasnt desperate to get married, so we went with his decision. We have a great, very equal relationship, joint mortgage, joint bank account etc. Not getting married does not necessarily mean he is not serious about you!

MsChookandtheelvesofFahFah Fri 26-Apr-19 08:35:37

Lol at husband's name is his own! If yours is your dad's name then his is his dad's name. I feel like I've just been visiting the 19th century.

TanMateix Fri 26-Apr-19 08:36:30

Some people are perfectly happy not getting married, and that is fine.

Some feel shortchanged by that and that is fine as well.

If you are in one camp and you are in another one, it is a matter of deciding whether you can leave on the other’s camp or leave to keep exercising their beliefs.

Personally, I wouldn’t be happy if I had children, because if something happens to him or he leaves, your children have rights but you have NONE. It is not simply a piece of paper they are putting to the side.

Are you financially independent? If not, try to start working towards that independence because if he doesn’t want to commit to protect you and wants to keep his options open, you should also prepare to deal with the event of him turning his back on you, even if it seems unlikely or even impossible at this time.

Newmumma83 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:37:30

Sorry you are feeling this way, marriage isn’t a god or am imagined thing though it is a real thing ... so I would want something more specific about what it is about marriage.

My now husband after being together 10 years and agreeing to
Marriage and babies and house in future nearly left me over the fear of commitment.. disputes living together 10/11 years and being engaged for 4 years .... he worked through it and I just about didn’t murder him / leave him and after 18’months living apart and dating again ... he figured he was in love with me and could do it ... it threw me off I thought engagement was commitment🙄 he didn’t ... he saw the house and marriage as the big one

I had to work hard to get it out of him .... it worked out well in the end but we would have continued to flounder if I hadn’t forced him to tell me and he hasn’t been brave enough to admit it.

My friend had a similar conversation with her partner they agreed no children but she wants marriage and he doesn’t she has been hoping he changed his mind ... I don’t think he will and I know it makes her sad ☹️ You really need to get out of him his reasons without bringing your emotions into it and see if you can work on it or move on x x

MoreSlidingDoors Fri 26-Apr-19 08:38:55

I love my married name and being a family with the same name.

If course you do. And because you don’t own a penis you’ve been conditioned to think it’s the only way to achieve that.

SlappingJoffrey Fri 26-Apr-19 08:40:02

I would rather have my husbands name than my Dads.

Or you'd rather have your FILs name than your own. After all, if your name isn't yours because it was your dad's first, the same is true of your husband.

Also, how old are all these people who think marriage is a religious ceremony? We have had civil marriage in England and Wales for almost 200 years. The very clear majority of marriages conducted in the UK are non-religious.

justarandomtricycle Fri 26-Apr-19 08:40:55

There's such a condescending arrogance to "You've been conditioned".

Perhaps other people are awake and make their own decisions. It's a mad idea, I know.

Motoko Fri 26-Apr-19 08:42:58

@Jessil91 are you coming back to your thread? Did you actually want advice, or just have a rant? Because unless you can answer some questions, we can only give general advice, that may, or may not, apply to you.

Fatmum71 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:43:24

My parents aren’t Married for the same reason, my dad doesn’t believe in marriage. It hasn’t affected their relationship at all and have been together happily for 30 years

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