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Is marriage and kids everything, is it too much to expect

(32 Posts)
Lifeisforlivingkatie Sun 29-Sep-13 22:28:08

We both in our late 30,s I am devorced with two kids, he has never been married. We have beet together just over two years. Although not officially living together He stays at mine a minimum of 4 nights a week and we go on family holidays with my kids, same for Christmas and weekends. He is well educated with a good job, I run my own business and earn more than he does. He brings food for us and does most of the cooking but we don't have any formal financial arrangements although he does save my business over 10k a year by doing our accounts.

He does not charge me for this. The problem is he says he does not want kids (I am fine with my two but would have thought he would want one of his own, particularly as he is good with mine) he does not want to get married because its outdated and people divorcee anyway. He knows how expensive my divorce was and how much maintenance I had to pay my ex husband. he does not want to move if full time because he is happy with the way things are. We don't argue and every part of our relationship is happy.

I am starting to feel frustrated with the lack of progress particularly when other couples announce moving in or buying homes together. If I ask why he won't move to the next step he says he is very happy with our relationship as is and he will always be there for me in sickness or anything else. Isn't his normal. He is not close to his family, he went to boarding school at 7 years old. What should I do?

claudedebussy Tue 01-Oct-13 07:14:44

also, just because we're all saying it sounds ok doesn't mean it has to be ok for you.

you need to really examine what you want and why you want it. maybe you do really want more commitment. maybe not.

only you can work out what's right for you.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 30-Sep-13 23:15:47

No I have not looked at it like that,he spends all weekends and in the week my youngest is in bed at 8pm, on his weekly sporting nights the kids would be in bed when he gets in anyway.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 30-Sep-13 22:03:15

Well put, all the way to the church I suppose (even though I don't go anymore)

I will do my best to accept his wish for now. I didn't really consider myself a conformist but it appears I am.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 30-Sep-13 20:34:58

"I suppose if I just assumed that someone who is so caring would want to go the whole way"

The whole way to what? confused

He says he sees himself with you through thick and thin, but just doesn't want to have children or move in with your family.

There is an oft-used quote on these boards. "When a person tells you who they are, listen to them."

This man is telling you in word and deed that he loves you and is committed to you. Listen to that and not to what other people are doing.

SleepyFish Mon 30-Sep-13 20:12:35

Sounds like my ideal relationship, honestly you don't have to conform to societal 'norms'. I think it sounds very healthy. Living with a partner full time isn't essential and brings extra pressures imo.
Don't worry what anyone else thinks if it works for you.
And if he's saving you 10k a year then he's probably paying his fair share but if you'd rather rearrange that fair enough.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 30-Sep-13 20:10:25

Thank Claudebussy,

I think I am giving into social pressure, much as I won't admit it. Maybe I am also slightly insecure I that without the full shebang then our relationship is not as committed...

TwoStepsBeyond Mon 30-Sep-13 20:04:14

I'm in a very similar position, only a year in and he has DCs of his own too, which is one of the reasons we won't have any more DCs and won't get married.

It does feel like there is a limitation on our relationship, but he has mentioned that he might be up for it once the DCs are all grown up, as we would be free to move and there wouldn't be the same issues around jealousy (if he lived with us all the time and his DCs only half the time they might struggle and he would feel guilty.)

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting the 'stability' of marriage, but to be fair, it's easy enough to get divorced and I tend to agree that it's not always the most romantic of gestures. Being happy, having some time and space and having the commitment you have to each other (with his regular calls and helping you with your business) are so much more important than a piece of paper.

Soundofthecrowd Mon 30-Sep-13 20:00:51

I agree with the people who say that this sounds like quite a good arrangement. (But you have to be happy with it of course.) Has it also occurred to you that while I'm sure he gets on with your kids he may not want to live with children that are not his own full time and may value the space away from them? I have a (woman) friend who has no kids and lives with her DP who has 2 kids. She is a great step mum to them but has said that she wouldn't like to live with them full time. (They spend the majority of the time with their mum.)

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 30-Sep-13 19:47:18

Thank Claudebussy,

I think I am giving into social pressure, much as I won't admit it. Maybe I am also slightly insecure I that without the full shebang then our relationship is not as committed...

claudedebussy Mon 30-Sep-13 19:39:58

think about what you REALLY want:

are you after what everyone else is expecting of you? hence the 'everyone else is getting married and moving in comment'? are you feeling social pressure?

or do you actually want to have another child with this man?

do you want to live together and lose those couple of evenings you get to yourself?

there are disadvantages to living together too. laundry, lack of space, daily grind impacting on your relationship more...

sounds to me like a pretty good setup actually. and he sounds like a really good bloke.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 30-Sep-13 19:22:08

I mean I assumed that when someone truly liked and cared for someone the moving marriage and possible kids was an inevitable next step.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 30-Sep-13 18:56:42

Thank so much people, you really have made me consider this issue from various perspectives here is a summary of my thoughts.

I think I expect marriage and kids because that's what I people in love should do.

Whilst I miss him on the two nights he stays at his ( these nights are the nights he competes in a local tennis team and home after 10 pm and phones me before he sleeps) I actually enjoy because I can work and meet up with girlfriends or do my face mask and work.

Yes I do feel he is 100 percent committed to us even though he does not live here officially. In more than two years there is not a day he has not been in contact with me. He always asks about my work kids etc.

I suppose if I just assumed that someone who is so caring would want to go the whole way.. Shallow I suppose?

Dahlen Mon 30-Sep-13 10:57:13

I agree that's it's largely irrelevant what other people think. While there is a cultural expectation surrounding monogamy and the married lifestyle that can be harmful to some, it remains a very powerful social norm. For those who have thought long and hard about it and rejected that lifestyle, great. But there is no shame in admitting you are influenced by it and that it's what you want personally. Wanting marriage and to live with someone you love doesn't make you some needy idealist. It's a rational and valid solution to finding someone you want to share your life with for the forseeable future. Just because it's not the only solution doesn't make it less valid.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion about marriage, but it is pretty vital to find someone with a similar opinion to your own if you're going to have a serious relationship with them. Otherwise it causes a lot of angst. Marriage tends to give the lower-earning/less wealthy partner a great deal more protection. In your case this isn't as significant because you earn more than your DP, although if you have assets and he doens't, you should consider how you would deal with those to protect your children's inheritance (if that's how you view it), for example. With regard to commitment, I don't think it makes much difference. You are either the sort of person who commits to another person and can be relied on to do that, or you aren't. I very much see marriage as a hard-nosed legal and economic contract rather than a declaration of love or commitment, neither of which require it. It may help you to view it in those terms.

Babies are another matter. To some extent I think it's fairly normal to have a rose-tinted "what if" approach to this when you have a newish relationship. But it tends to pass unless it's something you really, really want or subconsciously the baby represents something else in your life - signifying you're still young, new beginnings, another go at playing happy families and getting it right this time round, etc. Something to think about, perhaps.

Ultimately, if you've thought about this and still want that 'next step', then that's what you want. There's nothing wrong with what you want. Then you have to decide if you want it enough to make an ultimatum over it, or if you like the man and your current arrangement enough to let the idea of living together and marriage go.

MortifiedAdams Mon 30-Sep-13 10:09:20

Well, it sounds as though it works for you both, so dont worry about what others think.

You could pay someone 10k pa to do your accounts, and ask for board money but why bother?

Xollob Mon 30-Sep-13 10:04:16

I agree with Queenbitch - it is about what you want. If you want to be married, you want to be married. I would never have entered into a long term relationship without marriage because it was really important to me.

queenbitchapparently Mon 30-Sep-13 09:35:09

What everyone else is doing is bugger all to do with you.
The only people you need to worry about is you and your children.
What do you want?
If you want to get married and have more kids or even if you just want to get married.
I know I wouldn't want the half in half out relationship because I would want my children to be bonded with the man in my life if it was serious.
It would feel a bit like a lack of commitment to me.
You need to feel he is 100% in even if you are not living together.
Do you feel this?
I am all for acceptance in relationship but you do have to both be in the same place.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 30-Sep-13 09:23:00

Thank you very much, you really are helping me have a different perspective, I think you are right, I am seeing him not moving in with me as a statement of not being truly into me...

He has never lived with anyone and this is the best and longest long term relationship in his thirties. I suppose I don't understand why anyone would start a relationship with someone with kids and not want their own. Joan thanks for your point on the changes not changes our levels of happiness. I know a few people who live together/ married and have stressful relationships. Whilst we are happy.

Maybe I should find ways of accepting the situation. Are there any people out there with this sort of relationship?

joanofarchitrave Mon 30-Sep-13 05:11:10

I think that happiness is rare and there is absolutely no guarantee that any of the changes you are thinking about would increase your happiness or his.

Love him, appreciate him. Don't ignore your own sense of frustration, look into it and think about why you are feeling it, but don't let it rule your decisions when really it sounds as if you are living a very good life.

WantToMakeTheBestDecionForEver Mon 30-Sep-13 04:55:07

He effectively pays you 10k a year.

Are you sad because you feel his not wanting to move in is tantamount to not being that into you? Talk to him and listen to him, it may just be how you both work, or itmay be lack of ccommitment. Listen to what he says to you. I hope it's because this arrangement is perfect and makes you both happy.

BillyBanter Sun 29-Sep-13 23:53:47

Not really. What matters is what works for you. As long as you don't think he is taking advantage and it doesn't sound like he is.

A lot of people's decisions to move in together are partly motivated by the financial savings they'd make. You don't have this pressure.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Sun 29-Sep-13 23:49:40

A friends raised the issue of sharing bills because he is at mine at least 4 nights a week, I have keys to his but obviously I have to be home with the kids. I don't need his financial support.does my friend have a point.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Sun 29-Sep-13 23:38:35

Mmm, never thought of it like that, I married young and it seems that's all I know

AnandaTimeIn Sun 29-Sep-13 23:28:34

God, he sounds wonderful - you can pass him along to me any time - kidding!-

I am a single mother and thank god I am, (of course I would love a great relationship).

I have a difficult LDR anyway and it is basically over now.

Be thankful for what you have, if he is there for you - too many people just compromise.... cos they are desperate not to be alone

If he makes you happy, and the kids are happy, yea! Go for it.

If neither of these criteria work, move on. Life is too short anyway. And you will give a great example to your kids if you do. Whichever way.

Nacster Sun 29-Sep-13 23:24:41

My BF and I am on the same page with this.

I have 3 kids and he has none; both of us have been married. We are also both people who need the option of our own space. I like being a single parent, although it isn't always easy. He is part of our family, but not a step-father.

People often ask about the "moving on" thing. I'll admit that I sometimes think about having a child with him, but it isn't going to happen - I am done with all that, and he has never wanted kids.

As SGB says, some people are happy single, others married, anything goes as long as you can agree!

I don't really see the point of marriage anyway.

Earthworms Sun 29-Sep-13 23:19:35

I agree with chocolatespiders

For the same reasons

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