Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Would appreciate some thoughts and opinions please(61 Posts)
Hi there, would love to get a few thoughts and viewpoints about my situation as I feel I'm at a bit of a stalemate and don't know how to progress.
So briefly, we are a couple in our mid to late 50s been together 8 years not married, lived together 6 years. I'm divorced he is widowed 16 years. We both have grown up children and grandchildren, all get on well together. So far so good.
I've become increasingly upset and hurt(irrationally maybe) that we don't really talk about our joint future, finances etc and sad that he doesn't want to marry me or for me to change my name. We have a lovely life together but I want more! He is a typical man in that he can't articulate emotional stuff.
I'm beginning to feel that "I'm not worth it" iykwim, although he regularly tells me he loves me dearly.
Am I being silly to be bothered by the not married bit?
I think you have to ask yourself why you want to be married. And then when you've done that and are sure it's what you want then you sit down with him and have 'The Talk'. It doesn't sound like you've really tried to sit down with him and talk about your feelings properly. Men tend to let things drift along as long as they think everyone's happy, IME anyway.
Hi baba, yes I have tried to talk but he changes the subject and just says, I've been married once, I don't want to do it again but I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you! I was ok with that for a long time, but feel I'm too old to be someone's girlfriend. I can't get past the feeling at the moment that I'm not good enough to be his wife somehow.
We do have some joint finances but it all seems very unsatisfactory and I just feel in limbo. Think I'm rambling a bit here but maybe you get the general picture
If he won't talk to you, would he read a letter? Perhaps you should tell him exactly how you feel, but put it in writing. He is probably blissfully unaware of of the fact you feel somehow not good enough to be his wife. Write it all down, every last bit, and leave him to read it. He sounds like he's the sort of man who is perfectly happy with your current arrangement - and doesn't realise that it is making you feel unworthy.
Thanks mamaggie, yes I've thought about writing it down but know that he may read it and still not actually do anything about it. He is a happy go lucky, laid back placid man who doesn't look beyond today. He physically squirms if I want to "talk" .
A part of me is anxious about starting the big "talk" in case it all goes pear shaped and ends up in tears(for me) I definitely want to spend the rest of my life with him but feel compromised over the marriage thing.
After a dismal marriage, Im so lucky to have found love later in life and am disappointed I suppose that I won't get the "happily married " status I hoped for. In fairness though I knew from the first dates about his feelings re marriage. Of course then it didnt particularly bother me and a small part of me assumed he would eventually feel the same as me anyway.
Just looking for suggestions really about how to put my feeling of disappointment behind me or just what other people think. Thanks for reading
Hello is it possible that in this modern world that he may feel that marriage is not important any longer. And he does not think that you both not having the same name has nothing in anyway with him not loving you or wanting to spending the rest of his days with you. And maybe he dos not know how much it does mean to you. Either way married or not you get to be with the man you love how blessed are you
Yes pink paws he doesn't know how much it means to me as I've kept a stiff upper lip! You are right, though, I'm lucky to be loved. Maybe this is a blip I will get over.
Why do you actually want to be married to a man who cannot articulate emotional stuff?
It never fails to surprise me that people who like talking about emotions and feelings want to stay in relationships with people who don't - and vice versa to an extent, although the ones who don't like talking nearly always have more power in the relationship. This is because clamming up is a control method.
Instead of worrying about marriage, why don't you ask yourself a more fundamental question about your basic compatibility?
I wonder if he made long ago promises to his children or late wife about re-marrying. I only ponder this as it's the sort of the thing that may be said in an emotional moment and now he feels held to it? Perhaps?
Or maybe in some ways he feels it would be unfaithful to his late wife? I'd guess it's different to lose someone than to split up.
It's hard not knowing the circumstances but sounds like it could be talked over.
Why do you want to get married? Is there another way he could show the commitment to you/for you?
Hold on charbon they sound very well suited you do by the way creamteaplease no men i know like to talk about their feelings thats just men for you . I think he just has got how important married is to her. He will come round they all do in the end .
Charon, ultimately I suppose my love for him will override my desire to be his wife. You made an interesting comment about the c,aiming up being control. I hadn't looked at it like that , I think I agree with you. I do think we are very compatible in so many other areas of our lives together though. Eg we both are close to and supportive of our adult children, have similar interests, holidays etc, have similar morals about life, etc.
Pamelat, that's a possibility re a promise made to dying wife. I might tentively ask, but feel it would be intrusive on memories?
This might be a terrible thing to say, but I was like this with my second husband and we ended up divorced.
I am now dating a man and want to marry him one day. There is something about the 'in sickness and in health' that we both want to lay claim to.
I feel like I wasn't really in the right relationship before, to be honest.
OP I think you should focus less on what you don't have (the piece of paper) and more on what you do have (his love, commitment etc). You risk spoiling what you do have if you keep obsessing about something you knew from the start that he didn't want.
There is a possibility he is not that into you. Depends on how much you are prepared to rock the boat to find out. Ultimatums are good when there is a ticking clock, which is not in your case. You can wait it out.
It is not just marriage though he is dragging his feet on, it is talking about your joint future together and blending your lives. I would be worried he does not seem to have a plausible reason to give to you.
I don't think there is a typical emotionally stunted man. He might be or he might think you won't like the answer so does not go there.
How does he react when the pair of you disagree over other issues? I am wondering if your longing to get married springs partly from a fear that he will leave you if you displease or disobey him, and you are trying to make it difficult for him to do so.
I would be looking at his degree of commitment to you in other areas...for example are you both in each other's wills, are you both equally secure financially and legally?
If this is just about marriage for him then he will be happy to ensure that you are both protected for the future...if he is not then you have an answer about why he does not want to marry.
but the only way to know is to gird your lioins and have a frank discussion...maybe if he is uncomfortable about "feelings" he may be able to engage better with practicalities initially, then you can tell him how you feel about marriage and commitment on the back of that, or later knowing how he has responded.
Blue shoes, I think your comment about blending lives rings true, I'm not sure I could honestly say our lives are completely blended. That worries me, but I think he feels we are well blended !
Solid gold, that doesn't usually happen as we are happy and agreeable on usual day to day issues.
Foolonthehill, yes, the wills! I have been suggesting we do them for some time now as our family situations are not straightforward. I feel vulnerable. You are right to point out that he should want me to feel protected for the future, that is one of my main disappointments as I have a feeling he gives the matter no thought at all.
You are allowed to make some demands of him...of course he is allowed to say no. BUT if you want commitment and he does not you will have to think what you are prepared to give up on...the relationship or the commitment, you can't make him commit or presume that he will come round to it in time.
If you need to be more secure in this relationship then you have to tell him, and you need to decide what is a deal breaker for you. Are you prepared to settle for this, or do you want more?
i wish you all the best for your future.
So tell me what the position is financially. You both have children and responsibilities to those children. How do you propose to leave money equally and fairly to each side? Because this has a lot to do with it
no men i know like to talk about their feelings thats just men for you
What utter tosh. Luckily, we know different men. I also know women who aren't keen on talking about emotions and feelings. The point is that especially in more mature relationships where couples are looking at spending more retirement time together, if one is a 'talker' and the other is not, it can cause a real problem.
This sounds like you want different things from the relationship OP. He sounds as though he wants a companion for various activities and you sound as though you want a romantic partner.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that 'he'll do' or settling for someone who is also thinking 'she'll do'.
Cutting to the chase.
1. Do you jointly own the property that you live in?
2. What happens to that property if one of you dies?
3. Who is supporting whom financially? Or do you both have a relatively equal source of income?
At the end of the day OP if someone doesn't want to they won't. It's up to you to decide whether this will erode what you have or not. Pressure when someone doesn't want to do something makes them back off. Would you leave him over this? do you feel that strongly about having a ring on your finger?
Or on the other hand do you feel he gets everything without having to make a commitment to you?
If the latter then move on. If the former then enjoy what you have.
I wouldn't mix up finances with your future together, as if you have dc from other marriages, if you were married you would have to have quite complex wills to ensure that both sets of dc get your share. Otherwise it all goes to one or the other and will be ( or not) doled out as they see fit.
So I would go to a solicitor and get your finances sorted so in the event of your death it is as you wish with regards to your dc. You can do that alone and should even if he doesn't do his dc.
If you married, then you have an addendum or something that he stays in the home until death and then when its sold money is shared according to contribution originally, then profit fairly between all dc. Plus any private pensions arrangement
That over with, you can discuss if you plan to grow old together and how that will work emotionally plus practically with pensions for example - do married women get less? I know my dm got less than my df, quite unfairly I thought.
What do all the dc think of you remarrying?
I agree with lavenderhoney. If what you want is commitment, ask him to marry you...
If you're worried about the future from a practical aspect - and that would bother me - then go the route of wills and other documentation, making your home jointly owned and that kind of thing. As it stands, if he were to die and you were not married, you would be potentially liable for inheritance tax plus you would not be regarded as his next of kin for any assets.
Just another thought what with being an old cynic and all... is there any suggestion that he thinks, if he married you, you'd dump him the following day and walk off with half his cash? I've met quite a few men that think every woman is a gold-digger...
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.