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He won't get married

(73 Posts)
alwaysmovinghouse Tue 13-Aug-13 14:35:29

My partner and I have been together several years, we own a house together and we have a baby DD who we both love dearly.

We both acknowledge that our relationship is good, we are happy together, we need each other and we compliment each other. We have little arguments, but never have huge rows. We are also good at giving each other space, and allowing each other time to fit in some hobbies/exercise around our daughter. We get out together a few times a month, and have a regular sex life.

BUT, my DP has made it very clear that he doesn't want to get married. He thinks his commitment is clear from all of the above, and doesn't see the point. In his mind it is a waste of money, that doesn't make any difference to our relationship. I understand what he is saying, but I'd really really like to get married. For me, it is the final show of commitment, it would be nice for our daughter to have married parents and it would complete me.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy and grateful for everything I have but I would like to get married. I'm not after a big expensive wedding and honeymoon, I just want to be married to the person I love. I don't go on about it to him as I think he'd get irritated in the end (he's said what he thinks!). Is this just something I need to forget about and get over? Am I being demanding? It's playing on my mind...grateful for your thoughts.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Aug-13 14:39:48

What I don't understand about men who do this is that often if the relationship breaks down they go on to marry the next person they go out with.

What would he have said if you'd refused to have a child with him unless you were married?

orangeandemons Tue 13-Aug-13 14:42:40

Why would it complete you. Aren't you complete withoutout it? Marriage is just a piece of paper.

Lweji Tue 13-Aug-13 14:42:42

Are you financially secure?
Living with a partner is not the same as being married.
It may make a difference if one of you dies or if you split.
How committed is he really?

alwaysmovinghouse Tue 13-Aug-13 14:43:15

Yeah, I have noticed this too Imperial.

I am worried that in reality he is not really 100% committed to me (he definitely had commitment issues with previous relationships before he met me - he was 30 when we met), but on the other hand I wonder if I am just being silly because lots of relationships are very successful without ever being married. We bought a house, and had a baby so these things must show commitment.

MadBusLady Tue 13-Aug-13 14:43:20

. If his objection really is cost does he fully understand how cheaply it could be done? As in pop into the registry office and then have family and friends to the pub. Would you be happy with that?

If it "doesn't make any difference" to him, but would to you, I can't see why his view should be the one that prevails.

Is he aware of the legal vulnerability of your position as things stand?

quoteunquote Tue 13-Aug-13 14:44:34

Would he be bothered if you married someone else?

Does he understand why it is important to you?

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 13-Aug-13 14:49:24

Marriage is not just a piece of paper.
OP if you look on the Citizens Advice Bureau website, you'll find a very good list comparing marriage and cohabitation in the eyes of the law.

Personally, I would only cohabit if I didn't want to be legally considered a couple.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 13-Aug-13 14:52:27

If it's any consolation my partner also disagrees with marriage believing it is just a piece of paper. We have been together for 23 years and have 2 children. When I tell him that I am far too old to have a boyfriend he tells me to just call him my husband, if it makes me feel better. Adding fuel to his fire is the fact that several friends of ours who were in very long term relationships got married and split up within a year .To be honest I've just accepted that's just the way things are, but if we split up and he married someone else I would be devastated.

noddyholder Tue 13-Aug-13 14:54:21

I have been with dp 23 years too. I said no when he asked me to get married It seemed pointless to me. I am financially solvent and independent and nothing would change for me if we split apart from emotionally. If it was a deal breaker you probably should have suggested it before the baby!

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Aug-13 14:55:45

Make sure you put everything in place legally so that you're not at a disadvantage financially if anything happened to him.

Are you a SAHM? Have you made career sacrifices to have a child?

Phineyj Tue 13-Aug-13 14:56:46

I think this attitude is mean. It's clearly not 'a bit of paper' to the OP and there could be significant problems if anything happened to the 'DP'

I think getting married in a register office with only a few peoplw who really matter to you (and your child) is quite romantic. For goodness sake, it costs a lot less than a holiday or new car. The £££ argument doesn't stack up unless you suspect your partner will turn into bridezilla.

Phineyj Tue 13-Aug-13 14:57:39


alwaysmovinghouse Tue 13-Aug-13 14:57:52

we are financially secure, yes. Not loaded, but we both work in professional jobs and have a reasonable income. We did have some savings but have spent them on a recent move.

Mad I would be happy with a registry office and a pub.
Gosh do you have a link to that list, or know where I could find it? I would like to see that.

I'm pretty sure he'd be bothered if I married someone else! If we were to break up and he married someone else I would be distraught, I can't imagine that scenario.

So, how do I present this to him so that he thinks it is a good idea?! He is of the 'just a piece of paper' view. He doesn't say it doesn't make any difference to him, he says it doesn't make any difference to our relationship, nothing would change.

alwaysmovinghouse Tue 13-Aug-13 15:00:59

Our DD was a surprise. We were both surprised, and both very happy once over the initial shock as we had talked about children in our near future.

I am not a SAHM. I went back to work 5 days a week when my DD was 7 months old and will be doing 4 from September.

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 13-Aug-13 15:05:42

Link to CAB comparison here:

MerylStrop Tue 13-Aug-13 15:06:10

I never wanted to get married, but DH did, very much, the romantic fool.
I was persuaded partly by wanting to make him happy, partly by the practicalities around shared finances, shared property and having children together. I found the whole "celebration of our commitment" thing pretty excruciating, but we thought we might as well have a party. I don't wear a ring, didn't change my name (or wear white) and it has made no difference at all to our relationship.

If it is "just a piece of paper" he can bloody well get over his squeamishness and provide you with the security and commitment you want. But only you can decide if it is a dealbreaker in your relationship.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Aug-13 15:06:19

The reason I asked about you being a SAHM is that if you did split up later you could claim money for your daughter and you could split the house, but you couldn't claim anything if his career had rocketed at your expense.

I never understand why, if it's just a piece of paper, they're not happy to go and sign it.

The fact it doesn't make any difference to him doesn't mean it doesn't make any difference to you. And the fact is that most people will consider a boyfriend as less committed than a husband.

If either of you died, would the other get the widow's/widower's pension?

DontmindifIdo Tue 13-Aug-13 15:06:31

Buying a house together is a commitment to the mortgage provider, having a child means you have responsibilities towards that child. Neither of these things are actually a commitment to you.

If his objection is cost, but not the legal sides of things, is he happy to draw up wills etc? Because that could set you back almost the cost of a registary office wedding...

Look, marriage is not a piece of paper, unless you think your house deeds are just a piece of paper- marriage is a legal contract, it confers rights and responsibilities to both parties. He might not see the point now because everything is going well, but the point of being married is not for the good times, but for the bad. I want my DH to be the one who makes the 'life machine switch off' decision, not my mum or my DCs. I want DH to inherit what I have. I want to know that DH can't just walk away and leave me screwed financially, so I'm prepared to go part time or give up work altogether knowing that he can't just leave me in the lurch. Have you spelt it out to him that without putting his emotional commitment on a legal basis then you aren't prepared to go parttime/giveup work once your mat leave is over, and mean it - you are in a v shit position if he ends your relationship as an unmarried woman if you've given up your career.

The only way you being married or unmarried won't make any difference to you, is if you both live to an old age, you die first, you never split up, neither of you ever is ill enough to need a next of kin to make decisions, and your estates on death are below the inheritance tax threshold. Even if he thinks these things will happen, he should still be prepared to marry you for peace of mind - do a registary office job now and then save up for the big do.

If he means it when he says he loves you, he'll want you legally protected should things go wrong. The easiest way to do that is marriage, or he can look at drawing up every other agreement if he really doesn't want to be married to you.

AuntieStella Tue 13-Aug-13 15:08:00

CAB on the differences.

I have loads of pieces of paper which make a difference: like contracts and a Will, and an enduring power of Attourney.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Aug-13 15:08:36

That's the thing, isn't it? If he loves you, he will want to protect you when things go wrong.

Faezy Tue 13-Aug-13 15:12:49

Has anyone read the article in today's Daily Mail about exactly this?

Faezy Tue 13-Aug-13 15:14:22

Has anyone read the article in today's Daily Mail about exactly this?

waxymaxy Tue 13-Aug-13 15:15:32

He thinks that marriage is a waste of time and you think that marriage is something that 'completes' you, that's a pretty big difference in ideology.

If it's playing on your mind to this extent then it could well undermine the relationship over time

I personally feel the same as your dp about marriage - my parents and almost all their friends/siblings marriages broke down often quite unpleasantly so I didn't feel that being married was any protection against that. I think that is what people mean when they say the 'piece of paper' thing - a piece of paper can't make you complete, it can't protect you from fundamental differences that arise or from infidelity.

Cohabitation may not mean the same in legal terms but there's no reason why the emotional commitment should be any less.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Aug-13 15:18:51

Here it is.

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