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What makes men decide to get married?(123 Posts)
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.
Really? Why would no proposal within 2 years mean he definitely didn't want to marry me, ever? Many happy marriages have happened after a proposal more than 2 years into the relationship, have they not?
To those who think I am deluded to think that our being married will stop him leaving me for a younger model down the line, of course I not that naive. Bit surely someone who has made a public commitment is a bit less likely to do so?
You're looking at this this the wrong way round.
Men aren't less likely to cheat because they've made some big public connutment - they make a big public commitment because they feel so strongly about the relationship. Ditto for women. With the massive caveat that some people just do jot want to get married to anyone ever.
Being married isn't going to keep you together if everything else falls apart. It sounds like you're prepared to make a trade off between children and marriage, and if he won't give the the former he owes you the latter. Sorry but this sounds doomed to me.
It feels to me that you are panicking a bit because you are 39.
He has no rush.
I have met a few men like this.
No marriage or children, until they met the one...
A proposal means nowt if it's not backed up by major plans and actions to be together for ever. Marriage would be a natural progression. If you are still waiting for the big talk or it's not part of your everyday relationship to discuss where you are going, plans etc in a normal relaxed manner then it's not really going to happen.
A public commitment means nothing if you are unhappy and would rather be alone or met someone else. The social convention nowadays is not to stay and be miserable, thank goodness. Divorce is not a dirty word.
Chubfuddler, I think we are agreeing actually. What I meant was, someone who feels strongly enough about a relationship to make a public commitment is less likely to up and leave than someone who never felt strongly enough to make that commitment. So when I say I'd like him to make it, I mean I'd like him to WANT to make it. I'm not entirely sure that it's all about doing my own sweet thing and accepting that I can't control how he feels about me. For example, say I told you I was always travelling for work so we didn't spend as much time together as we would like to. It would be a reasonable suggestion to make changes so we could spend more time together, giving him the opportunity to experience my irresistible charms more often and come to the conclusion that he wanted them in his life for good.
OP this doesn't sound great to me. I think the fact you are asking this question means your intuition is telling you he might not want the same things as you.
I think you should talk to him openly and honestly about how you feel. You will get your answer.
The number of men I've known say they aren't ready in relationships that go on and on for over 5 years in some cases, they then meet somebody else and marry her within the year and have babies.
Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and say look mate are we doing this or what ?
[Wince] Ooh, the red flags in this: 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 [and will have children with her]. 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.
Read this Jessie! Read what you, yourself, wrote. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME MEEEE.
And you red flags (as to how you are selling yourself short) are even worse: 'sure that I want to be with him. Fine by me no kids but I am running out of time. I am scared he will leave me for a younger woman. He says nothing of real commitment to me other than how happy I make him feel (at the moment). I am ignoring my gut telling me not to move in because he might need it in stages. So be it. I wish.... I earn more than he does.
Read what you wrote! Aren't you worth so much more than this very immature and taking younger man?
Please be careful that you aren't subverting a real desire to have children because it doesn't fit with his "plan". I think, at the age of 39 you need to come off the fence about this issue - try to visualise your life in 10 years time either with or without children and appraise what you really want.
If it is children then please don't waste any more time in this relationship trying to manipulate him with your "considerable charms" into marrying you and assuming that you can change his mind about kids.
If it is not children then I still think that 2 years down the line you can expect to at least have an idea if the relationship is heading towards marriage.
The sad truth is that he has years to change his mind about what he wants - and yes - I know people who have been in committed relationships both adamant that they don't want kids. Five years down the line the man decides that he would like a family after all and it is too late for the woman - so he has left her for a younger model and lived happily ever after. Remember at 34 a lot of his mates won't have kids yet - wait til he is approaching 40 and everyone else is starting families.
I would like to warn you that I know someone who lived with a man for years, and then when she started talking about marriage and children he said, I dont' want any children and I don't want to marry you. I know two people actually (but one was young enough to find s/one else).
She will now never have children because of someone else's selfishness, that she went along with.
Be your own best champion, Jessie. Stick up for yourself, no one else will. You earn more than he does?
Really, control? You don't know any men who are genuinely in love and want to make a permanent and public commitment to this person?
I have a friend who went out with someone for two years. She wanted marriage and babies. He stalled for a bit and then said he didn't want either. They split up. Six months later, he married someone else. Five years later they are still happily married with three children. I think what he was trying to say was that he didn't want to get married and have babies with my friend. She was absolutely gutted when she found out - he called her and asked her to meet him for a drink. She thought he wanted to get back together - no, he wanted to tell her that he had met someone else and was marrying them.
I wish we had civil partnerships for heterosexual couples in UK, like they do in France. I'm sure they whole big thing of the wedding itself puts a lot of people off.
Agree MrsSchadenfreude - its such a shame that so many people (and I hate to say this but it does seem to be mostly women) get mixed up between the idea of marriage and a wedding.
It is perfectly possible to get married quietly, with very little expense, just two people wanting to make their comittment to each other, rather than a great big showy wedding - I did (twice ).
My dh doesn't fall into any of those categories either control.
We were together for 12 years before we married. We lived together in a committed relationship until we decided that we were too old to be referring to each other as 'boyfriend' and girlfriend'. We decided to marry and did it six weeks later in a beautiful civil ceremony with a small group of close family and friends. We got on a plane that night and flew off for a honeymoon in the sun.
A year later we had our daughter, and our son was born two years after that. They are now teenagers and we're still together.
We always had a five year plan. Where do you see yourself, how are you going to get there? We still do it now. If it doesn't work out, hey, plans change and you adapt and move forward, but at least you both know where you are ideally headed.
If you want it, you make it happen and that's what makes people propose.
I told my DH I wanted to get married and had to kinda guide him all the way but we have a lovely marriage and DS. I didn't get the surprise proposal like some people get but I knew where I stood.
Thanks to everyone for the replies, lots of food for thought. I am genuinely not bothered about having children so won't be leaving him to find a man who does. Control, I am glad that you don't think the idea of a bit of coaxing is completely abnormal!
Jayne, how long has you been together when you told him that?
I had to tell DH that if he couldn't bring himself to commit then it was over. At that stage he would have varied on bumbling indefinitely. So yes the issue was kind of forced. He then decided to go for it and says he was mightily relieved and happy to have made the decision and became something of an evangelist to other friends who were planning on faffing about indefinitely. We have been married for 14 years. Of course the next issue was children which he wanted and I thought I didn't. So I said well if it happens it happens - I was very late 30s. We have 2 DSs who are the best things ever to have happened to me...
If you are genuinely not bothered about children then I don't see what the big deal is.
I didn't propose for 7 years and even then I think it was more a case of making my dw happy by doing so. I was overly bothered by it.
I am not the type who needs big public commitment.
The fact we were not married for the first 7 years didn't make me any more committed. In the time I never cheated. 3 of my married friends did.
I asked my first wife to marry me, and even asked her father if it was OK, because I felt it was the right thing to do.
The only good thing(s) to come from that were my children.
My 2nd, current and last wife I married because I loved her, wanted to be with for good - and yes, a bit, because I knew it would please her. I've now been with her longer than the length of my first marriage and no signs of real problems.
One More Chap, thanks. How long had you been with your current wife before you realised you wanted to be with her forever?
Control, that is funny, and it just goes to show how society still expects a "proposal story" - sad that she felt the need to fake it though.
Maleview, for me the big deal about marriage is that I would always feel he was hedging his bets, making sure he had an easy exit, of we were not married. It's great that you treated an unmarried long term relationship as utterly solid commitment, bit how did you reassure your DP about that? Why not just get married?
I am not at all the type to insist on a big wedding (boyfriend knows this) though we'd need to have immediate family there or they'd be terribly upset. So it would be relatively easy to make the gesture.
DW was the OW in an affair I had before I left my wife.
About a year after our affair ended I left, and we got together a few months later.
She supported me through a messy, difficult divorce.
We lived together, and I knew then. The change between 2 partners was astonishing. One kind and supportive; one not
3 years later I asked her to marry me. I would have asked earlier but my divorce was delayed by XW, taking me to court for ancilliary relief. [Which ended with her having to pay me quite a lot of money, and her solicitors being ticked off by the judge]
Near 15 years later we're still together, still happy; and much to XWs irritation I probably see the kids (now adult) more than her.
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