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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 !!

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...

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