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House, baby ... wedding?

(150 Posts)
1nervousnellie Fri 29-Jul-11 16:57:26

I need a bit of advice from you lovely ladies. I have been with DP for 13 extremely happy years and we have a beautiful 3 month old baby son and a mortgage together. I've wanted to get married for the last 10 years (and have gone through phases where I have been very unhappy about this) but DP wasn't so keen. Since having our son I have felt more and more like we should get married for a couple of reasons - 1. We are more in love than ever, things have been amazing and I feel like I want to share that with our family and friends and 2. the whole legal side of things i.e. being each others next of kin etc. which seems pretty important now we have a kid (and plan to have more). We had been talking about having a naming ceremony (we are atheists) and I have been looking into the cost of that and also using a solicitor to get documents drawn up to give us the (near enough) same legal entitlements as married people get but I've had an idea about having a joint ceremony for welcoming the baby and getting married at the same time, followed by a big party also to say thanks to all those friends and family who have supported us over the years and especially since the baby arrived. I've no idea if his views on us getting married have changed since having the baby etc. because I am too nervous to ask him in case he says no and I am upset, which, added to my current state of exhaustion, would be very detrimental to my mental health!
I have been thinking about this for weeks now and was going to talk to him tonight about it but yesterday his good friend and his girlfriend got engaged (I can't stand them and we don't speak but that's another matter entirely!) and I feel like people might think we were jumping on that bandwagon. Maybe I'm just paranoid? So do you think I should still talk to him tonight or leave it for a few weeks? Or just wait and see if he decides to make the first move? I don't know how I would feel if he said he never wanted to marry me as it feels like marriage would be a commitment not just to me, but to our lovely wee family unit. Would love to hear your thoughts.

venusandmars Fri 29-Jul-11 17:17:42

Do you know what it is about marriage that makes your DP less than keen? It doesn't sound as though he is worried about commitment, but perhaps he is put of by the thought of a wedding, rather than the concept of marriage?

My dp and I were together for 13 years before we got married, and I know that he hated the thought of standing up in front of a big group of people and saying vows that he considered to be personal and private. We got married with just the 2 of us (and 2 witnesses of course). Some people hate that idea, but our family were OK with it, they were just happy that we were doing what we wanted to do and what we felt was right and honest for us.

I work in the wedding industry (I'm a celebrant) and when I see how much stress a wedding causes some people, I can understand why people are reluctant. I've also officiated at combined baby welcoming and wedding ceremonies, and I think that they can be particularly beautiful.

I'd suggest that you find out more about his reluctance to get married so that you can then think about ways in which both of your needs can be met, and that you don't get too attached to one particular dream (not suggesting that you are, just recommending that you avaoid it smile). Maybe a small private wedding ceremony, folllowed a week or so later by the baby welcoming and a lovely family party, would be an option?

1nervousnellie Fri 29-Jul-11 17:38:16

Thanks for replying and sharing your experience. I'm not sure what it is..we last spoke about it last year (before I was pregnant) and he wasn't keen and mumbled something about the issues with his friend and I not speaking and how it stressed him out etc. - I couldn't see how this was relevant so it just ended up in me crying and it not being spoken about again. I guess I was kinda hoping the pregnancy would spur him into action but to no avail.
I'm trying not to get attached to a particular idea about what could happen but it's hard - especially when my best friend is a wedding planner (she knows all about what I've been thinking about and thinks he would totally go for it).
I'll maybe have a casual chat with him over dinner without turning it into a big drama and let him mull the idea over. We are both very laid back and so would any wedding we planned - very low key with just good music and good food. Hmmm. Or maybe I'll be 50 by the time I pluck up the courage to talk to him (am 35 now!).

1nervousnellie Sat 30-Jul-11 10:44:42

So I brought it up over dinner, he sulked and said he would think about it. His attitude changed so abruptly (from happy and loving to nearly angry) so I ended up crying all night. He then said it would happen eventually (?? What, when we're 60?) and he would just have to come to terms with it. WTF? I must have totally misjudged the situation and realised that while my love for him has increased tenfold for him since having our son, he still feels the same about me, loves me but nothing much has changed. So I feel like a fool and that everything is ruined.

pickgo Sat 30-Jul-11 10:54:18

I'm sorry it didn't go well.

From your posts above it sounds as though a wedding would bring the stress he feels about you and his best friend not getting on to the fore. I know from your point of view the wedding is solely about the two of you and baby DC, but for him perhaps it would just seem, like a nightmare scenario where he is confronted with two people he loves hating each other? Obviously ignore if i'm way off the mark here.

1nervousnellie Sat 30-Jul-11 11:06:07

Thank you pickgo. I think that could be part of it but as you say, I feel that it's about our family and no-one else. Maybe becoming a mother has put things into perspective more for me (my family being the most important thing in my life) and not for him. I'm not sure how to deal with that to be honest. It's such a shame because 99% of the time things are brilliant - we have amazing family and friends and our life is great. I just can't get over this stumbling block that rears it's head from time to time. I don't think it's worth leaving him over but on the other hand I don't want to end up resenting him and becoming more and more unhappy. I'm probably extra sensitive at the minute due to the exhaustion of dealing with baby and hormone.

ImperialBlether Sat 30-Jul-11 11:09:09

I really hate it when men are like this. Why don't they bloody think about what they feel and then tell people honestly?

I know it's too late now, but I wouldn't have had a child with someone who refused to marry me. I would have needed that sign of commitment before making such a huge change to my life.

My ex was like that about refusing to get married - we were together a long time and he'd say he loved me (I believe he did) but that he didn't want to marry. It took me leaving him for him to realise what he was losing.

In a way they are placing both too little importance on marriage and too much. Do they really feel their lives would be that different, especially if they already have a child? And yet why refuse to marry a woman you're committed to, that you love, that you have a child by?

To be honest, if I asked a man to get married and he sulked, that would be the last time I'd ask him. I'd also be looking seriously at whether he's the right guy. Put it this way, his lack of commitment would make me feel less committed, too.

ImperialBlether Sat 30-Jul-11 11:10:43

And when he said, "It'll happen eventually", like he's some prize, you should have said "Well, we'll see. I may not be around."

1nervousnellie Sat 30-Jul-11 11:19:22

Well the baby was a bit of an accident. I wasn't sure I even wanted kids. Now I want loads (perhaps with someone else!). It could have gone either way but definately brought us closer together. I had a hard time dealing with the pregnancy for the first few months and he was great. He says he is 100% committed but he's obviously not. It would be hard to start again but I would be fine with the baby on my own as I have a strong support network. I'm awful confused. I think I have a lot of thinking to do.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Sat 30-Jul-11 11:20:22

Has he ever said why he isn't ready/doesn't want too, just so you can understand?

1nervousnellie Sat 30-Jul-11 11:25:30

Nope, just that he isn't fussed on it. If he even gave me proper reasons then I might be able to understand. He just can't seem to articulate it. I do know that he does love me..which makes it harder to understand why he doesn't want to make me happy. It wouldn't change anything day to day but it would mean so much to me. Arrgg..think I'll take baby out for the day and get my head showered.

ImperialBlether Sat 30-Jul-11 11:26:11

I can't see why he isn't falling over himself to marry you. Men are in a vulnerable position when they have a child. If you left him, what's to stop you moving abroad?

pjani Sat 30-Jul-11 11:27:40

Maybe he's got some kind of block or hang-up about marriage? What are his parents like? Are they divorced?

I'm in a similar position, but not as far in - nearly 5 years together and no kids. I would like to get married and he doesn't want to. I'm more keen on having a baby right now so that's what I'm working on - we're actually having relationship counselling about it.

I hopethink it's to do with his childhood or a feeling of inadequacy rather than a lack of commitment!

ImperialBlether Sat 30-Jul-11 11:27:55

If I were you I'd say, "I'm not going to mention marriage again. However, you should know that I wanted to commit to you, that I know you don't want to commit to me and that this has made a difference to the way I feel about you. I'd like more children in the future but would never have them with someone who wasn't committed. Work it out for yourself."

Meita Sat 30-Jul-11 12:09:57

I'm not convinced not wanting to marry (you or anyone else) has to mean he is not 100% committed. DP and I feel that getting married would not increase our commitment to each other at all. We may yet get married some day (have been together 10 years, have 11m DS) for reasons of legal stuff and as an opportunity to have a party, but we may just as well not.

Does he really know how you feel about marrying? Does he know how very sad you are about him not wanting to marry you, does he have any idea that you are even considering that it might, perhaps, be an issue over which you would leave him?

If he knows how you feel, and still chooses not to marry you AND not to explain why, then he is being inconsiderate. If marriage means little to him, and he knows it means lots to you, he should want to marry you for your sake. If he really does strongly not want to marry for some reason, he should be explaining it to you. Even if he has strong feelings against marriage (that might have nothing to do with not being 100% committed to you and your relationship), he is currently simply putting his feelings (against marriage) above yours (for marriage) without any discussion. That is inconsiderate. It needs to be put out there and discussed. You need to let him know that in your book, he is being inconsiderate and he is hurting your feelings, badly.

I can imagine a situation (no idea if anything to it): Say he feels strongly for whatever reason that he does not want to marry you. He knows you (more or less secretly) do want to marry. He knows/thinks that if he came straight out and said that he would never marry, explaining his reason, you would be upset and would perhaps leave him. He is scared about this because he really, really wants to be with you... so he keeps putting it off, hoping you'll come round to the idea that marriage is not so important. Not realising that this is making you more and more upset and that actually the lack of open discussion is threatening to ruin your relationship.

Is not getting married a dealbreaker for you? If so, you need to let him know. Perhaps marriage is a dealbreaker for him - you should find out, confront him about it directly. If he told you he really, really wants to be with you forever, but if you insist on getting married, that is the one thing that would force the relationship to end - would you still want to get married i.e. would that mean that you'd want to leave him?

In short, I think the cards need to be put on the table. Yours and his. Then you can both consider the next steps and how much the relationship means to you. Just going on as is seems to be slowly eroding the fundaments of your relationship, which is a pity and not necessary.

1nervousnellie Sat 30-Jul-11 17:37:21

Hello - sorry, was out all day. Had a long walk and think.

His parents have been together for 40 years and most of our friends are happily married so there are no issues there. He is perfectly aware of how awful it makes me feel and how desperately sad I am every time I think about. I do think that he thinks I would never leave him and he knows I would never move anywhere else with baby as I am such a homebird. Meita, I think I do need to let him know that it is a dealbreaker for me but I don't want it to look like I am using the baby as part of it because obviously if we split up he wouldn't see his son every day. I do think we need to talk properly but he gets defensive and I get upset. He's being nice to me today and I am being very curt with him..I hate myself for doing this but I can hardly look at him. He did say he needed time to think about it so I should just behave normally while I sort things out in my own head but it's very hard. I just feel that some of the days over the past few weeks have been the best in my life and now everything is ruined :-(

ImperialBlether Sat 30-Jul-11 17:44:24

I think you are right to be upset, OP. What you shouldn't do is bring this up with him again unless it's going to be "Goodbye to you as you won't marry me."

There would be nothing good about getting married because he's got a bullet to his head. That would be the worst case scenario, wouldn't it, marrying a reluctant man?

He's so stupid, isn't he?

1nervousnellie Sat 30-Jul-11 18:23:08

Yeah, I'm not mentioning it again. He needs to grow a set and take the initiative. Otherwise I think that I might just leave once I work out a plan of where to go etc. Life would be better on my own or with someone who treated me with the respect I deserve and who thinks about my happiness. I feel like going into the kitchen and punching him in the face for his stupidity but I shall restrain myself...

motherinferior Sat 30-Jul-11 18:29:05

Honestly, some of us just don't want to get married. My (male) partner would rather like to marry me; has proposed and proffered ring and everything. I just cannot face it. And if he said it was a dealbreaker, I honestly do not know what I would do.

QuintessentialShadow Sat 30-Jul-11 18:33:37

If he does not want to marry you, you need to talk to him about wills. If he, or you, were to die, you would not have access to eachothers bank accounts, and you would not necessarily inherit eachother. There are lots of other things to think about, but I do think you need to educate yourself, and him about the drawbacks of just cobabiting VS marriage, now that you have a child together.

But, if you have been together this long, and the child was a surprise, I would not hold my breath, not with this man....

TheOriginalFAB Sat 30-Jul-11 18:35:50

OMG you have gone so fast to leaving him because he won't marry you.

Do you want him or do you want a husband?

ImperialBlether Sat 30-Jul-11 18:41:28

It's not always like that, Fab. Sometimes when someone refuses to marry you, you see it as a refusal to commit.

As usual on Mumsnet, it's never just about the opening thread!

TheOriginalFAB Sat 30-Jul-11 18:50:54

I read the thread, I posted my thoughts.

I'm sorry but I think that is a huge over reaction. You're effectively going to blackmail him into doing something or else take his child away!?

Being married doesn't make you anymore committed to someone, he loves you and you child and you say in every other way he is great so is this really a big deal?

It sound like you want to get married to show others and not really about the of you.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but if the boot was on the other foot I'm sure people would be backing you not to do it!

QuintessentialShadow Sat 30-Jul-11 18:52:43

How old are you? It occurs to me that you both sound a bit immature in your reactions.

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