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Marriage - I need to understand why I feel like this so that I can explain it.

(201 Posts)
feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 00:23:10

I want to get married. Dp doesn't.

I've read lots of threads that start like this but I'm stuck and upset because for some reason I have changed my mind about marriage and I'm not sure why.

I've always firmly believed that marriage wasn't important. That its how you feel about someone that is important but since I had ds 3 years ago I have wanted us to get married.

Dp says I'm unfair because we agreed that we felt the same way about marriage when we got together and I guess he is right -I'm trying to move the goal posts and that's not fair. But I can't help feeling like this and it's causing rows. It is the only thing we row about.

My reasons for wanting to get married are:
Commitment (even though we own our home and have ds together. I still just want the commitment and can't really explain why)
Surname - I stupidly agreed to ds having dps surname and I hate having to say 'I'm xx xx, yy yy's mum'
Financial - dp and I both have teachers pensions but, if anything happens to one of us I guess it just disappears - I don't think the other can claim it
Partner - I don't like using the word partner and like boyfriend / girlfriend even less - we're in our 30's and 40's

Dp's reasons for not getting married:
He doesn't want to.

I know there's no compromise. I've come to bed upset after seeing 2 wedding announcements on the dreaded facebook and fancied a rant and a little cry

ticktactoegivemeago Sat 03-Jan-15 00:31:03

Do you think it's the whole wedding thing he doesn't want to do? Could a big day be putting him off?

dirtybadger Sat 03-Jan-15 00:38:36

Is the problem a wedding or marriage?

I don't want to be anybodys wife or have a wedding, as such, but if someone wanted the legal aspects covered (finances etc) I would consider turning up somewhere in my jeans to get the formalities done with. Cheaper and easier than going through a solicitor it organise it all, I imagine.

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 00:39:09

Possibly - he won't talk about it, which is a massive part of the problem. I don't want a big wedding - I just want to be married to the man I love.
I brought it up on NYE after we'd both had a few drinks which was stupid really. He very crossly said 'well we'll just get married then if that's what you want'

That's not what I want though - I want him to be on board, not do it to shut me up. The marriage failure rate is bad enough without one person going into it for the wrong reasons.

Fairenuff Sat 03-Jan-15 00:41:07

I think his reasons outweigh yours, tbh. He shouldn't marry if he doesn't want to.

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 00:42:13

See I do want to be his wife. I hate saying 'my partner' or ds' s dad or 'my OH' or whatever. I find all those things embarrassing - not because they're wrong or anything but because none of them are terms I want to use.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 03-Jan-15 00:43:08

Well I do see his point - he's always felt the same way and you've changed your mind. That said, I understand why you have - it is frightening when you realise how little financial security you have as an unmarried partner.

To take your points:
Surname - why don't you start using dps surname, change your own name by deed poll if need be.
Financial - get wills. You need to do this anyway. Just get it done.
Partner - suck it up I'm afraid. It's just a word.

The only thing I don't have an answer is commitment - either he is committed or he isn't. I do think its a tiny bit unfair to raise the bar on that down the line though.

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 00:44:12

That's his view too fair but I'm struggling with how resentful I feel. It's totally out of character for me. It's been causing rows for 3 years.

Fairenuff Sat 03-Jan-15 00:46:23

He has no reason to marry. He already has everything he wants/needs. Maybe you should move out and see how he feels about it then?

I don't think you should give an ultimatum, I just think that he might not realise what he has until it's gone. Drastic I know but if you've been arguing about it for three years, maybe something drastic is needed?

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 00:47:05

Lonny - we do need to get wills sorted. It's on the list of stuff to do.

I don't want to just change my surname. I can't really explain why but it seems a bit pointless. I'd still be Miss xx and I think I'd feel a bit silly.

liger Sat 03-Jan-15 00:50:11

Have a look at this. Particularly Janice and Alexander's story. It was shown on the BBC recently you might still find it on iPlayer.

Things change when you have a child. Life becomes more practical and less philosophical. I completely understand why you would change your stance and your DP should be mature enough to understand that too.

Newrule Sat 03-Jan-15 00:53:45

You should feel sorry for feeling this way. This is how you feel and you have expressed it to him. He is not on the same page and you have to accept that.

What to you would be a good compromise or second best option that would meet the needs you mentioned above with regards to surname, pensions, etc?

BaffledSomeMore Sat 03-Jan-15 00:59:11

Is it the formal declaration that you are the woman he loves that is the issue? You have all the practical demonstrations but there's an indefinable need to be 'the one'?
Can you sell it as just a formality? To sort the legal stuff?
If nothing else it makes things easier for you and dc if he dies in an accident.

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 01:00:01

I should feel sorry? Sorry for me or to dp?
I've already said that I know that there's no fair compromise.

Liger - thank you, I'll chase up that programme tomorrow.

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 01:02:22

I think so baffled its just some weird 'need' since we had ds. I never thought I'd be at all interested.

Most of our friends and family are married and I feel like I'm not good enough to marry.

Newrule Sat 03-Jan-15 01:05:28

Sorry, I meant you shouldn't feel sorry for feeling this way.

Bonsoir Sat 03-Jan-15 01:05:48

You don't need to justify why you want to get married and your DP doesn't need to justify why he doesn't. If you feel very strongly about it you probably need to leave him: carrying on like this is not healthy and your resentment/disappointment will kill your relationship anyway.

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 01:13:04

Bonsoir - the resentment is crushing. The row on NYE started because the hosts of the party we were at had a twee wall thing with 'The Smith Family' on it or something. I don't even like personalised shit.

But leaving him? I love him... that's why I want to marry him.

Bonsoir Sat 03-Jan-15 01:41:53

You may love him but he isn't reciprocating by trying to make you happy by getting married.

GingerbreadPudding Sat 03-Jan-15 06:07:09

Your teacher pension - if you name him as your death grant nominee then he gets a chunky payout should you die and vice versa.

I think it would only be fair of him to explain why he doesn't want to get married - it's obviously not the commitment thing, so I would have thought it would be worth resolving 3 years of resentment and argument by working out exactly what he's got against it! (for him as well as you).

Refusal to speak about it and "I don't want to" is just stubborn and unhelpful - so perhaps he could be a bit more open.

However; you could still just change your name and move to using Ms. Or not. Plenty of married women still keep their maiden names now, it's not that unusual - and I know quite a few who refer to their partners as their husband regardless of marital status. But I get the feeling these fairly trivial points are just overt manifestations of a need you have to feel more bonded to your DP - so perhaps you could discuss other types of "marriage" as well as the traditional kinds (although some of them aren't recognised as legal so to be truly covered, you'd still need to do the legal civil ceremony).

Good luck - I hope you can work something out with him.

Windywinston Sat 03-Jan-15 06:55:23

Re the pension, you can nominate each other as beneficiary of the lump sum, but you wouldn't get the (valuable) spouse's pension. You might qualify for a dependant's pension, but it's not automatic and you'd probably need to prove some level of financial dependency. Phone the pension administrators and ask them what would happen.

Change your son's name to your name by deed poll. If your partner isn't bothered about you not having his surname, he shouldn't mind if his son doesn't.

Tell him to pay for legal advice to make sure you can replicate the financial protections afforded by marriage. Make sure this happens. It will be costly.

He knows that should one of you die the other would never be classed as next of kin, no matter how long you've lived together or how many children you have, unless you marry or make wills. Your current situation is precarious in the extreme.

He has no reason to change his mind and you can't marry a man who doesn't want to marry you. I think asking for it for commitment reasons is odd, as you have a child and home together, but financially and practically, it just makes sense.

Windywinston Sat 03-Jan-15 07:01:50

Oh and I might be wrong but I think as it stands your partner (sorry) doesn't have parental responsibility for your child. This means he would not be permitted to make medical decisions for him and might not automatically get custody in the event of your death. Many people are blissfully unaware of their status as an unmarried couple. There is no such thing as a common law spouse in UK law.

imjustahead Sat 03-Jan-15 07:13:51

windy the law changed in 2003 for unmarried fathers if they were present at the registration they have parental responsibility.

nozzz Sat 03-Jan-15 07:34:22

He could be more open regarding his reasons not to get married, but alas he does not need to be - he had every right to remain unmarried, as the OP has every right to wish to be.

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