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boyfriend doesn't want kids or marriage

(43 Posts)
annajewel Mon 24-Mar-14 17:23:04

background info.

My guy and I have been together for 6 years. I moved to a tiny town 2 hours away from my friends and family, to live with him. We have lived here for 2 years now. We have a 3 bedroom house (renting) and 2 dogs(his). We are happy, no relationship is ever perfect and we very rarely argue.

I have known from the start that he did not want marriage or kids. (He has had a rough childhood, divorced parents, really abusive dad). It didn't really bother me, I figured we had time. I don't mind not getting married, being common law partner is pretty much the same thing nowdays. I eventually wanted kids, not then, not now but I realized I am not getting any younger and will want kids in a few years.

I am now 28 and he is 34. His family came over for the weekend and spent two nights. Don't know how the conversation came up, but he said that we were not common law partners, he was worried about that, had researched this extensively. And even though we have lived together for 2 years, we have to share assets (or something along that line) to be common-law.

I was quite surprised because I had assumed we would be common law. We moved to this town together, so everybody in town assumed from the start that we were married.

Anyways, now I am worried about this. Where are we going to be in another 2 years? I will have to bring this up with him. But it has also brought up the fact that I eventually want kids (which he doesn't want but he would be a fantastic dad and wont be like his father for sure. because that is one of the reason he is scared.)

I have come to the realization I cannot change his mind about the marriage and kids, I have known that from the start, but I guess I thought he might eventually change his mind. Anyways, I am now 28 and I wont be getting any younger. Just thinking about where to go from here and how important kids are to me?

JonSnowKnowsNothing Mon 24-Mar-14 17:27:01

I think you'd be right to talk about it, but be prepared for an answer you don't like. He's been honest from the start and IMO it would be really wrong to try and change his mind.
If he's adamant he doesn't want kids, you'll have to decide whether you are happy remaining childfree.

Viviennemary Mon 24-Mar-14 17:28:24

I have heard there is no such thing in law as common law wife or partner so I wouldn't worry too much about definitions at this time. If you want marriage and kids then move on and give yourself a chance to find somebody else. You certainly won't be the first person to do this. But of course you must decide how important this is to you before coming to a final decision. But don't leave it for years and then have regrets. Hope you find what you want.

FraterculaArctica Mon 24-Mar-14 17:33:49

If you are in the UK there is no such thing as common law partner. But if your boyfriend doesn't want marriage or kids, what aspect of this is 'worrying' him? What (legal) aspects are worrying you?

Re the kids - if he has definitely decided he doesn't want children - rather than unsure (and, crucially, willing to discuss in a specified timeframe) - and you think you maybe do... sadly, this isn't the right relationship for you. I left a long-term relationship at a similar age to you, for different reasons, it was difficult at the time but if you can be clear with yourself about what you want, that does make it a bit more manageable.

keely79 Mon 24-Mar-14 17:45:25

Sadly this isn't something you can compromise on - it's a bilateral choice - and what you don't want is to force him into having kids only to end up with him abdicating responsibility for children who he never wanted - it's not fair on him, you or your potential children.

If you know you want children and he doesn't, you have to leave, and leave soon enough to give you time and space to grieve this relationship before finding a new one - you don't want to be contending with a ticking biological clock.

It is also worrying that he has been checking to see whether you would be considered "common law" - and that he has researched this extensively because he was "worried" - that doesn't sound like someone who is truly in love with you and committed for the long haul. If he was, the question of what would happen when you split up would be of no concern.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 24-Mar-14 17:47:55

Common law has no status whatsoever in English law. Basically the law sees you now as two separate individuals; what is his is his and what is yours is yours in the event of separation.

Knowing what you knew about his not wanting children and marriage from the get go, why did you move to be with him and further isolate your own self from family and friends in the process?. Was he really worth it?. It may not have bothered you some years back but you cannot afford to ignore your own feelings now.

No, you can certainly not change his mind about marriage and children if he wants neither. If you want children and marriage you will need to be in a relationship with a man who actually wants these things. You cannot afford for him to change his mind because it is already made up on such matters. He has not changed his position one iota on that in the last 6 years.

expatinscotland Mon 24-Mar-14 17:48:45

You need to make plans to move on now. He was honest with you, there is no such thing as a common law partner. He doesn't want kids and you do.

Don't wait another two years.

annajewel Mon 24-Mar-14 17:49:40

I live in Canada and here we do have common law. I guess for me, its a conformation of our relationship, we are not just boyfriend and girlfriend, we are partners. I thought it has been that way for a while now. As for all that legal stuff that's not a issue, I have more things in our house then he does, what is his is his, and mine is mine. We haven't really invested in any big things together to have any issues all.

Yes a discussion will be in order, its going to be tough. cause love each other but it has been bothering me for a little bit now.

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 24-Mar-14 17:50:41

'Common law' means nothing. Cohabiting partners don't have the rights that married couples do. Sounds like you need to think about what you want quite seriously as it doesn't seem like you are likely to get it. There is no compromise, if you want children, the sooner you break it off, the sooner you can both look for a relationship with someone who wants the same things.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Mar-14 17:53:45

There's no such thing as common law partner if you're in the UK. Odd thing to say that he's done extensive research on shared assets. Does he have assets that he's worried about losing if you were married/divorced? Is he a selfish person more generally? Sadly, you're unlikely to get a definitive answer on whether you want DCs until the point comes where you can't have them.

magoria Mon 24-Mar-14 17:56:57

Well he has made it very clear that all you are is his girlfriend who he lives with. He doesn't consider or want you to be any more than that.

It is not wrong if you change and want children and/or marriage but equally it is not wrong for him to never change his mind.

You have to decide what is more important to you. Don't waste your fertile years hoping he will change his mind if you decide that is important.

MostWicked Mon 24-Mar-14 18:02:01

You already know the answer. He has made his position very clear from the start, you haven't. You have been waiting for him to change his mind.
You need to decide how important kids are to you. If you will end up resenting him for not wanting kids, then you should leave as soon as is reasonable. If your relationship with him is more important than your need for kids, then you have to face the fact that you will never be a mother and put your energy into other things.

There is no way of changing his mind.

struggling100 Mon 24-Mar-14 18:03:00

The fact that he's done loads of research (and done it correctly - he is right about there being no such thing as common law spouses) tells you everything you need to know. He is desperate to escape financial entanglement with you. It's not just about marriage - [i]he doesn't want any shared commitment with you that would tie him down in the longer term[/i] and is 'worried' about that prospect.

If you want children and a relationship that involves sharing more than a bed and some good times (and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that!), you need to finish this relationship so that you can start another one with someone who wants the same.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, OP, I don't mean it to. I just hate the idea of you wasting your time with a guy like this when you're worth so much more.

YellowDahlias Mon 24-Mar-14 18:12:01

Canada does have common law relationships, unlike the UK. A Canadian citizen can even sponsor their common law spouse and bring them to Canada. However the arrangements do differ from province to province.

OP- if he's gone to the trouble of researching whether you're common law or not, take that as a big, big warning signal. If you want things he doesn't, don't hang about waiting for him to change. Have the talk and if you don't like what you hear, then you can decide what you want more.

AuntieStella Mon 24-Mar-14 18:16:13

He's always said he wants neither marriage nor children, and will not acknowledge you as a common law partner either.

If you want these things, then he is not the partner for you.

itwillgetbettersoon Mon 24-Mar-14 18:21:57

I dated a man from 21 to 28. He didn't want marriage or children so I left him as I wanted marriage. He is now 49 and has never married or had children. I don't believe you can change someone's mind over something so important. Move in now. I went on to meet someone and we married and had two children. Unfortunately he is now my ex because he needed a OW too but that is a different post!

MyNameIsKenAdams Mon 24-Mar-14 18:27:15

But if he has told you he doesnt want kids, and you know you do, then, really, where was this ever going to go?

SolidGoldBrass Mon 24-Mar-14 18:49:13

He has told you, right from the beginning, that he doesn't want to marry you or have children. He's been honest. Have you? Fair enough if you originally didn't want to marry or breed either.
You're not wrong for having changed your mind: some people do. But it would be wrong to put pressure on him to change his because you've changed yours. There is nothing wrong with wanting to avoid marriage and parenthood. You are not entitled to deeper commitment from this particular man, just because that's what you want. It sounds like your best option is to let him go amicably and find someone else to have children with.

Nomama Mon 24-Mar-14 18:54:21

Well, he hasn't lied to you and he isn't prevaricating. He has set out his stall and you moved in knowing all of that.

Any misunderstandings were on your part.... so....

You need to have one of those conversations, calmly. Tell him what you feel and ask him how that makes him feel. Give him time, tell him you aren't going all bunny boiler on him. Tell him that you may have made a mistake, may have made assumptions and need to talk it through.

Keep the kids thing separate from the finance thing. Explain that you thought there was a common law status and need to discuss it, to understand what it means to the two of you and your relationship.

Tell him you may have to return to the subject as you get your head round the new, to you, information.

Listen carefully to his responses... some may not be negotiable in the slightest, others may be. You need to be open to hearing what he is saying.

Then mull it over for a while..... Good luck

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Mon 24-Mar-14 20:51:54

I think you need to work out if your happy stuck firmly in the girlfriend camp, because that is how he sees you, I dont think you'll change his mind.

Even if he did agree to kids to appease you, not fair on the kids is it.

Dahlen Mon 24-Mar-14 21:42:09

I think you should cut and run.

To be fair to him, it sounds as though he's not in any way strung you along, implyling that he might change his mind further down the line. In fact it sounds as though he's been very honest about his intentions.

You know how he feels. Now you have to work out how you feel. The question you need to ask yourself is how you'd feel in 20 years time, if you have no children and your relationship hasn't worked out. Would you be sad but ok with it because "better to have loved and lost" or would you feel like you made the ultimate sacrifice for something that never really existed?

Stockhausen Mon 24-Mar-14 21:51:36

He told you at the start how he felt, but you thought you could change his mind. You can't. Find someone who wants the same things as you.

Mrswellyboot Mon 24-Mar-14 21:56:17

He hasn't done anything wrong but he doesn't want marriage and kids? I'd cut my stick too (and did.. Six months later met my dh)

annajewel Tue 25-Mar-14 01:50:55

Its true, I have been doing a lot of thinking today. I attempted to bring up the subject after supper, and he got annoyed/ mad. I was very calmly asking him why he was soo worried. and he said he said that he is not ready to be common law, that sometimes we are not doing so great, and he doesn't want to be common law because it almost the same as being married. he didn't want to talk and pretty much shot me down. But I did get his reasonings why he doesn't want to get married or have kids, and he said is because of his parents divorce, all that drama and pain from his childhood. I know he had a very abusive dad, both to all his kids and his mother. but I am thinking I wont be happy in a few years with just a girlfriend title, with no option for kids later in life. Will try to talk to him again and tell him how I am feeling about this subject (calmly) and tell him I need time to think it through. A weekend in my home city might be in order.

annajewel Tue 25-Mar-14 01:54:55

I am not going to try to change his mind, I haven't ever tried and I knew what I was getting into when we moved in together. I just think I wont be happy when my chances of having a baby are gone because I am too old.

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