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What makes men decide to get married?

(123 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Tue 22-Jan-13 17:37:57

Any men out there who can speak from experience? Or women whose husbands have explained it to them? What is the trigger between being in love and wanting/hoping it will last forever? I am fed up waiting, I am 100% sure he loves me and can't get enough of me, I make sure he knows I feel the same, we're in our thirties and it's been nearly 2 years.... What can I do to (subtly) tip him over the edge? And please don't say I should ask him, that may work for some people but not for us.

NutellaNutter Wed 23-Jan-13 13:50:02

I will get flamed for this, but OP you really need to read 'The Rules'!

hestonbloomingdale Wed 23-Jan-13 14:05:36

2 years isn't that long really. How long have you been living together? How much of your free time do you spend together? Is there a sport that he plays alot that takes a lot of his time up? and what stage are your mutual friends at?

OneMoreChap Wed 23-Jan-13 15:15:42

Why men marry?

Societal conditioning is a poor but common reason.
To protect any children & putative spouse in case of death or accident.

Why wouldn't a man get married?
Cynically, it gives a woman far greater claim on his assets and vice-versa. If he isn't absolutely sure, or your capital/earing potential is far lower than his... why risk it.

Because he doesn't - yet - want children. Marriage in certain classes (and amongst anyone with a desire to protect their children) is seen as a good precursor to procreation.

He doesn't believe in it. Fine, but the required protection requires a bit of lawyering up with wills & trusts and stuff.

fluffyraggies Wed 23-Jan-13 15:21:06

DH is interested in answering your question, OP, but has asked 'why is she so desperate to get married though?'


So, what would you say?

Lavenderhoney Wed 23-Jan-13 15:36:46

Op, if you have been together 2 years and haven't discussed the future, what have you been talking about!?
Men don't decide to get married - they decide to with their partner.
If after 2 years you still have no idea if he sees a future with you be careful about waiting for him whatever he says or playing house by living together with no plans ( doesn't have to be marriage but commitment and planning a future into old age)

Why are you so keen to be married? Does it matter to you that the man proposes and it's a romantic surprise? Life isn't really like the movies- it would be nice if it wassmile

JessieMcJessie Wed 23-Jan-13 16:29:46

Thanks for all the replies. To clarify, we have talked about children and he tells me he is not sure, but tending towards not wanting any. I am also on the fence, but am sure that I want to be with him. If he doesn't want kids then fine by me as long as he commits to me. I am 39 so he knows that children with me cannot be delayed a moment longer. What scares me is that he says this now then in 5 or 10 years changes his mind and leaves me for a younger woman. Hence I'd like to be married. The best I can get from him is "I'm very happy". We are just about to move in together- I had big plans to refuse to do so without being married but when he suggested living together I realised that I was not prepared to end it if he wasn't yet ready to marry, and if he needed to take it in stages then so be it. I just wish he was in a place where he wanted us to be married. I am financially secure (earn more than him) so won't be putting myself at risk in that sense. He is 5 years younger and I am his longest ever relationship.

InsertWittyUsername Wed 23-Jan-13 16:42:17

What scares me is that he says this now then in 5 or 10 years changes his mind and leaves me for a younger woman. Hence I'd like to be married.
What on earth makes you think that being married will afford you any protection from him leaving to find a younger woman to have children with? It won't and this is especially true if you manage, or even just want, to "(subtly) tip him over the edge".

Hence I'd like to be married.
So then do what a man is expected to do when they want to marry someone. You ask them. Like a grown-up person.

You are far from being alone in waiting for a man to ask you, angsting and complaining about it, refusing to ask yourself, but being willing to accept a non-spontaneous and non-genuine proposal obtained through game-playing and tactics - I find it baffling as I do unpleasant.

JessieMcJessie Wed 23-Jan-13 16:54:55

I never suggested game- playing - I was just genuinely interested in what others could tell me about what triggered them/their husbands to take the plunge. If I am somehow unwittingly putting up barriers, a bit of insight would help me understand how my behaviour might be deterring him from asking. That's all. No matter what any of you say, I am not going to be proposing to him- I know him well enough to know that he would find that emasculating, and I respect that.

fluffyraggies Wed 23-Jan-13 17:00:29

Insert has it spot on there really.

Being married isn't glue that keeps you together. Being married is for as long as love lasts between you. IMO.

Ragwort Wed 23-Jan-13 17:01:57

If you are moving in together are you discussing legal issues - will/who owns what share of the house/life insurance etc etc? If I were you I would make sure everything is sorted legally.

To be brutally honest it sounds as though he doesn't particularly value marriage, clearly for him it is nothing special.

Only you can decide if you are happy with that decision.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 23-Jan-13 17:04:36

He either doesn't want to get married, or he doesn't want to marry you. He's already said he doesn't think he wants children. TBH this sounds like a man who considers you a 'will do for now' partner, but he wants to keep his options open for the day Beyonce declares herself single and knocks on his door. Sorry.

usualsuspect Wed 23-Jan-13 17:05:31

Do women really still wait for men to propose?

How very 1950s.

Can't you just discuss getting married?

InsertWittyUsername Wed 23-Jan-13 17:09:03

If I am somehow unwittingly putting up barriers, a bit of insight would help me understand how my behaviour might be deterring him from asking.
OK, well seeing as though you asked ... In my experience (of being married and being with people who wanted to marry me) and observations of others, I think it is pretty unmistakable when a man wants to marry a woman and not much will deters him if that's the way he feels.

JessieMcJessie Wed 23-Jan-13 17:20:22

We're renting so no big legal issues to worry about - we are both expats working outside the UK and I own a property in London. I can see from the snapshot of our situation that I have described here how it might seem that he is only in it for the short term, but I'd bet a lot of money that's not his thinking. I think he is just not ready after only 2 years- others up thread have confirmed it's not all that long really. That's why I wondered how others crossed the line to "ready".

Ragwort Wed 23-Jan-13 17:24:24

I think if marriage is that important to you then why move in with your boyfriend? Agree with what SGB say. If you are renting together it sounds as though you are just going to be housemates who share a bed - is that what you want?

ArtVandelay Wed 23-Jan-13 19:10:31

We got married more or less for legal reasons. We are expats and had plans that would be potentially explosive in the event of not being covered legally in the case of a split. Romantic eh! It is both of our first marriages but DH has 2 DCs from a previous relationship. Funnily enough the SDCs said they were pleased we got married - they seem to associate marriage with security even though their mum has been with her DP for years unmarried. DH and I are very in favour of marriage when DCs and property are involved, not so much for 'the big day' and romance (sorry romance fans smile )

qumquat Wed 23-Jan-13 19:13:33

I can understand you not wanting to propose as such, op, but why can't you discuss marriage and get his concrete views on it? If you can't discuss marriage and when/if it will happen, then I agree with others this is a massive red flag for the relationship.

Hanging around waiting for him to 'tip over the edge' renders you absolutely powerless over your own future. That's a lot to give up for the chance of a brief romantic moment.

fluffyraggies Wed 23-Jan-13 19:24:08

Just been over your posts OP and i can't tell - have you actually discussed marriage directly with him at any point? Just in conversation. This should tell you 99% of what you need to know about how he feels, and how likely you are to be receiving a proposal anytime soon.

DH and i discussed marriage in general, our feelings towards it as a concept, if you like, and what we observed about other peoples relationships; married or not, way before our relationship was old enough to even think about marriage for us.

With DH and I, since you've asked for examples, - I've been married before, but was always open about the fact that i was not anti-marriage at all, just because i'd got a failed one under my belt. DH was adamant from 'day 1', him he would never marry!

He is younger than me, i have 3DCs, he has none. I love him more than the idea of marriage. After 2 years 'going out' we moved in together. I think he had been viewing marriage as some sort of 'man trap' through his twenties, and early 30s. I had no expectations from him, he knew that. I never thought he'd propose. I guess he kind of mellowed, felt settled and happy. Three years after we moved in together he suddenly proposed! I've never quizzed him too hard about what changed in him.

His proposal was a lovely surprise. Not entirely out of the blue however - a month before he had casually asked me one evening: 'would you say yes, do you think, if i asked you to marry me'. shockhmmgrin

QueenofWhatever Wed 23-Jan-13 19:27:39

Why doesn't he want to get married? As SGB said: either he's not into marriage or he's not into marrying you.

Why do you want to get married? Because you're scared he'll leave you in 5-10 years time for a woman he wants to and can have kids with.

Not a very attractive proposal for him, is it?

scottishmummy Wed 23-Jan-13 19:36:06

why can't you ask?are you scared he says no?
he doesnt want kids (he's told you) doesnt want to marry you,that's obvious.he evasive to you
you need to be clear you're with a man who doesn't want to marry you or have kids,is that ok

scottishmummy Wed 23-Jan-13 19:40:03

my dp and I had the big conversation early on eg children,working,marriage,nursery
from this we established our preferences,our values and that it was significant relationship
you two have had the big conversation,he's told you his preferences

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 23-Jan-13 19:49:34

I think you need to ask why marriage is important to you. I lived with someone for four years. I wanted to get married - we were expats and it would have made life easier. He didn't - I tried discussing it with him, he put his fingers in his ears and walked away. He claimed he was committed to me and the relationship, but his refusal to discuss marriage, or even the future, as in what would happen when our contracts finished where we were living and would we go elsewhere as a couple, made me think he wasn't.

So I continued to live with him (it was convenient; his flat was more central than mine) but carried on looking. I wasn't faithful. By this point I saw no reason to be, as there didn't seem to be any commitment on his part. And I finally finished it, at the point where we were barely speaking to each other, never mind having sex. And he was shocked. He genuinely didn't see this coming, and tried to win me back. It didn't work. I started seeing his best friend someone else. I didn't live with him - I wanted some space, so we were "dating" properly. We knew fairly early on (within weeks) that this was "real". He proposed within a few months, we married the following year and have now been married for twenty years.

I'm still in touch with my ex! We stayed friends. He married last year, at the age of 47 - she is much younger than him, and comes from a strict Catholic family. As she put it - they "had to" get married - her family would not have been happy with a baby out of wedlock. And she freely admits that had she not got pregnant, he would not have married her. He is really happy now - he adores his son, and wishes he had done all this years ago. confused

pettyprudence Wed 23-Jan-13 20:26:05

My now DH did not want to get married. We met quite young but we both knew that we had found "--one of-- the one". We took things slower as we were younger but we moved in together etc... and had many conversations about what we expected in the future.

At first my dh (who grew up with both his married parents) did not want marriage because he associated it with hotel weddings, tops hats and tails etc... and had not given any thought beyond that, to what marriage meant. I had never given any indication that I wanted a "wedding" confused

I grew up with my dm and ds-f (who were divorcees and never married each other but 25 years later they are still going strong) but had a clear idea of what marriage meant to me. Marriage means different things to different people. I explained my interpretation to dh and he was on board BUT I kept getting "in 10 years" and while I was in no rush, as each year went by, the "10 years" never reduced

So after a few years, I told him that if we weren't on the same page I would like us to go our separate ways so I could find someone who wanted the same as me. I honestly meant it. I wasn't trying to hold him to ransom or force his hand. We separated for a brief while and dh had a think and decided he was ready for marriage and children. I rejected his first proposal as I really didn't want it to be forced from him. We became officially engaged after a discussion one evening about our plans for the next 5 years. DH booked the ceremony and we had a very low key wedding, which is exactly what we both wanted, a couple of months later.

I made myself VERY clear to him what I expected from marriage, children, working, finances, home - everything!

Hmm reading that back it does come across as a bit conniving and dictator-ish on my part blush

dequoisagitil Wed 23-Jan-13 22:01:57

I'm not getting conniving or tin-pot dictator from that at all, petty - you just knew what you needed & wanted in life. That's a good thing.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 24-Jan-13 02:24:39

OP, you seem to be asking what you can do (in terms of bigger tits, better blowjobs, cooking more, doing cartwheels in lingerie) to make him want to marry you. The answer is: Fuck all. He doesn't want to marry you. Turning yourself inside out in an effort to become the Woman He Proposes To is a total waste of effort. And turning yourself into someone else just to get a man to marry you is a really bad idea, because you have just handed all the power in the relationship to him, and he might well misuse it.

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