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WWYD? LT(not so)B or stick it out?

(43 Posts)
MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 09:15:14

DP and I have been together for nearly four years, living together for a year and a half. We are happy - he makes me laugh, he is kind, gentle, generous, amazing with DD, his children are delightful, my cats love him, he cooks, washed up after himself, gives me a lie-in every weekend and then wakes me up with breakfast in bed - and I'm having the BEST sex of my life.

So what's the problem? What more could I ask for?

Here it is - he doesn't want to get married. He says he loves me every day, and wants us to be together until we're so old we're taking turns on the Zimmer frame - but he won't marry me. He can't say why - it's not that he doesn't see a future with me, or that he's keeping his options open - but there is "something" that he is waiting for before popping the question, and he's not sure what that is or when it'll happen.

There have been lots of excuses over the years - ranging from "I need to sell my property first so I have the £ to buy you a ring" to "I want to wait till we're next in (my home country) so I can ask your Dad and Granny in person" but each time it doesn't happen.

Marriage IS important to me. It's not just the financial security, or the shiny ring, the piece of paper - I WANT to be joined to him forever, and wake up next to him every day. It hurts so much that he doesn't want me this way... we have talked about it over the years, and I've been patient, thinking he needed more time - but last night he admitted that he's not sure if he'll ever be ready. And I don't think I can live with that.

DD would be beyond devastated if she never saw her "brother" and "sister" again - so do I stick it out for her sake, knowing that we'll never get married and make myself be happy with that?

Or do I throw away the best relationship I've ever had, with a man who makes me so happy, (apart from the marriage thing) and try find someone who WILL want me that way?

(Before anyone asks, I have proposed to him and he said no, so that's not an option.)

I feel so sad...

despicableshe Mon 15-Dec-14 09:19:50

Have you talked about what it is he doesn't want? Is it actually marriage or the wedding thing?

MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 09:22:35

it's the marriage. I'm more keen on a registry office and pot luck supper reception anyway (2nd marriage for us both, so no need for the big pouffy dress) so it's not about the big wedding at all!

bakingtins Mon 15-Dec-14 09:30:14

Once bitten? If he's been married before and didn't get the happy ever after, you can see he'd be reluctant to do it again. If the relationship is otherwise good I'd stick it out and keep talking.

whattodoforthebest2 Mon 15-Dec-14 09:33:13

I actually think you'd be crazy to walk away from this relationship. Partners like that are not ten-a-penny and you could come to regret it. Can you explain why being married is so important to you, when you've both already been there and, for whatever, reason, it's not worked out? For me, once you've said the vows and things have later gone wrong (except in the case of death), I can't see the point in doing it again - the promise has lost its value, hasn't it?

CogitOIOIO Mon 15-Dec-14 09:38:02

How about a middle ground in the interim? Marriage IMHO is a contract that confers certain benefits on both parties in the areas of shared ownership, inheritance and kin status. I can see why someone might have a moral or emotional objection to marriage but if he is committed to you and the children then he should have no objection to formalising your relationship legally.... wills, shared ownership or any property, life insurance, next-of-kin/living will statements etc.

That way if you decide that his aversion to marriage is a 'LTB' matter, at least you and the DCs will be protected. If you stay with him, you have lost nothing. Best will in the world, marriage doesn't mean you are joined for ever.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Dec-14 09:43:00

Did you ever talk about the future in terms of marriage prior to you having your own child by him?. Or did you assume that once you had your own child and or a property together, marriage would follow on from that?.

Why is he exactly so averse to marriage?. You need to know exactly why this is because there are always reasons why. If he does not want marriage and you do then fundamentally you want different things from life. There may also be an element of him stringing you along here because he has made some really poor excuses as well.

I would sit him in front of a Solicitor for 30 minutes and get this person to explain to him the full legal implications of the two of you not being married because there are indeed many.

MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 09:46:50

His marriage ended after his XW got bored, and started looking for fun elsewhere. Mine ended because XH was a violent abuser - so I guess there could be a reason there. I still want my "happy ever after" whereas he thought he had his, and he was betrayed.

I guess what I am after is some sort of real commitment from him. It sounds so silly but I feel I've given up a lot to be with him - don't get me wrong, it's totally worth it - he is amazing - but I've sacrificed my lone parent benefits to have him move in, about 14K a year, which he is unable to replace as he doesn't earn enough so I am much worse off financially than I was before he moved in.

And also, I really wanted another child but he felt that 3 children between the two of us was enough, so after much discussion he had a vasectomy. A sensible decision, my head tells me - we couldn't afford any more kids! - but if I'd known marriage was never going to be an option, perhaps I would have made the decision to have a child with someone else.

Do you see what I mean? It's like I have given so much to be in this relationship, and yet he can't do this one thing that means so much to me... I know it's crazy, and that he is a real treasure... I am so confused.

kaymondo Mon 15-Dec-14 09:46:55

I know you've said you've talked about to, but does he realise that it could be a deal breaker for you? Or does he just think it's something that you'd like?

MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 09:47:53

DD isn't his, if that helps...

Quitelikely Mon 15-Dec-14 09:49:38

I don't believe for one minute you would give this man up even if he didn't marry you.

Don't force him into it. He's been there and done it. He has seen how quickly a marriage can go down hill and once the relationship is over then you have the added fact it isn't over until the assets are split and the divorce comes through. All very stressful.

CogitOIOIO Mon 15-Dec-14 09:50:02

Do you own a property? Do you have wills in each others favour? If one of you needed an operation in an emergency, could the other give consent?

I'm puzzled by your mentioning of the £14k lone parent benefits. Do you work? Is the family on a low income?

MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 09:50:19

I'm not sure if he realises it's a dealbreaker - he knows how much it hurts me, he says he hates to make me feel this way, but says he is not ready.

CatCushion Mon 15-Dec-14 09:52:16

Are you sure he is not already married? I know a couple like this...turned out he was not divorced from previous wife the GF didn't know about.
Do either of you have debts?
Was he brought up a Catholic?
What happens when you both retire, and pensions are divvied out?

Agree that joint bank accounts, house ownership,

MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 09:52:45

Re the benefits - DD was 15mo when we met, I was on income support for a couple of years until DP moved in, now I'm starting up my own business so am working part time.

Needadognow Mon 15-Dec-14 09:54:16

I have to say I would feel the same as you. Whether it's the first, second or 100th time down the aisle those vows only loose meaning when you fall out of love with someone. When you meet someone who changes your life - all of a sudden those vows take on a whole new meaning and you believe in the institution of marriage again! (Speaking from experience!).

I certainly wouldn't walk away from the relationship but I would stress how important marriage is to me. Why not suggest running away to Gretna green and doing it quickly and quietly!!

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 15-Dec-14 09:54:26

You have given up a lot to be with him, yes. Why did you?! It sounds like you've known for ages that he wasn't going to propose. So you can't really blame him or get resentful now. smile You chose to live with him without a ring - which, if you want a ring, is the very worst thing you could do. Sorry.

Is he over his XW? Completely?

nobutreally Mon 15-Dec-14 09:57:01

Agree with others that you'd be mad to walk away from a good relationship over this, although I can totally get where you are both coming from - you're just going to have to work out what would work for you both.

Maybe you could think about what it is about the commitment that you do want - is it public affirmation/confirmation (if the wedding was totally your secret, between the two of you only, would it 'count' for you); the knowledge that he is overtly making a commitment? And then, think if there are alternatives that would be nearly as good for you as a marriage (a handfasting ceremony? A big 'rest of our life' party? A truely special bit of jewellery that you can look at any time and know symbolises your commitment to each other? An appointment at a really good solicitor to sort wills smile?)

APlaceInTheWinter Mon 15-Dec-14 10:02:35

I think you should explain to him that his reluctance to get married is making you question the entire relationship.

It's obvious that you feel you've made sacrifices throughout the relationship both financially and emotionally. I think there's only so many sacrifices a relationship can bear before it sinks under the resentments. It would be better to leave before it descends into recriminations.

I don't think it was unreasonable for you to make sacrifices for a relationship that he had led you to believe would lead to marriage. Now, he's told you that it won't ever lead to marriage then you do need to rethink your position. A PP's suggestion about putting the equivalent legal safeguards in place is a good one but if this is about emotional commitment, and him meeting your needs rather than you sacrificing your needs to him again then the legal paperwork isn't going to make you feel better (although it's incredibly sensible to put it in place anyway).

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 15-Dec-14 10:03:20

Let's go right back to the beginning. How/where did you meet? Who approached whom the very very first time you spoke?

Is he fully divorced from XW?

Does she live nearby? Is she remarried/cohabiting?

MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 10:11:16

OK so back to the beginning -

We met online, about 4 mo after I'd kicked XH out and about the same after his XW made him move out. He approached me online first but it was definitely a 2 way street after that!

Yes. he's really divorced - his decree absolute came through in November 2013. I have filed it away so I know it's real!

She lives about 30 mins away, she is seeing someone long distance but they don't live together.

This whole thing came to a head last night because we need a bigger house - my tiny place is just too cramped with 5 people every 2nd weekend - but I said to him I don't feel comfortable buying a place without being married first. He then said that we wouldn't be getting a place at all for a while then and the whole convo started...

So as not to drip feed, if we DID get a bigger place I would be funding 80% of it, through an inheritance recently left to me by my grandfather, plus the sale of my house, which we currently live in. He would get a mortgage for the remaining 20%. So I really wanted some sort of assurance that he was committed before putting all this money into a property together!

CogitOIOIO Mon 15-Dec-14 10:18:09

If you're funding 80% of a shared property, you probably don't want to be married in advance of buying it. smile Not without having it properly drawn up as a joint purchase and your relative investments and share of the value documented and protected in case things go wrong.

MissSusanStoHelit Mon 15-Dec-14 10:21:01

Interesting Cogito - so it would be better to NOT be married if we're buying it together?? If we were, would it automatically be a 50/50 split or could we do a similar share agreement for the purchase?

RojaGato Mon 15-Dec-14 10:23:33

Maybe the conversation went in such a wrong direction because you are both looking at this under pressure- moving house etc. I know I've said things I didn't really mean in that situation, or said things in a way that made them sound firmer than they really were.

Sometimes speaking about it again the next day or a few days later when the pressure is off can put a new spin on things- you speak more gently to one another outside the pressure cooker.

I would definitely try to do that before you reach any decisions. But I would take what is said then very seriously.

APlaceInTheWinter Mon 15-Dec-14 10:24:54

Cogito is right about protecting your investment but you can protect your investment and still plan to get married iyswim

I think you're right Op to want some reassurance about the status of the relationship before purchasing a property together. Legal documents can safeguard what you invest but if you do split up you could still end up in a situation where you have to evict him, etc.

Who is pushing for a bigger house - you or him? In that context, I'm wondering if the marriage reluctance is related to the house-buying rather than the state of the relationship.

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