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He doesn't want to marry me!

(88 Posts)
ineedaholeinone Wed 08-Jul-15 21:26:35

DP has been married before and so have I. We've been together very happily for 9 years. Our previous marriages were unhappy and until quite recently I didn't even think about us marrying.
However, recently I've changed my mind. He's kind, caring, generous and supportive in every way. He's the one and I'd like to marry him.
One night, after a lovely night out and some drinks I told him I'd like to marry. Actually I asked him to marry me. He shocked me by saying no.........he said we would at some point though! That was certainly just to appease me.
Well, I was really hurt ....and surprised. He's always been so loving.
We have a great life, a home together. I now want commitment. I've brought it up since and it's still no.
I'm hurt and feel our relationship has changed.
How do I handle this? I can't help thinking it's because he doesn't love me enough. He seldom says he loves me but, i suppose actions speak louder than words and he is very caring.
I'm hurt, my pride is wounded and it's saddened me.

HeyDuggee Wed 08-Jul-15 21:29:17

What's your financial set up? Do you each have kids from previous marriage you're financially responsible for? Kids together?

He may be just thinking practically, as divorces usually leave everyone worse off financially.

Sleepsoftly Wed 08-Jul-15 21:32:31

Change the way you feel about marriage.

I sent this message to you by email. You can send me a PM with your home address and I could send the same message to you in a letter with wet ink if you like. Let me know if you need that.

Spog Wed 08-Jul-15 21:45:59

oh boy (le sigh) i've seen this scenario countless times.

yes it sounds like the does not love you or think enough of you to marry you.

sorry to say it but this is most likely the truth.
what you do next is up to you.

nameschanger Wed 08-Jul-15 21:55:33

Or....could he want to propose to you and is saying no just to surprise you at a later date. I wouldn't let web strangers make you believe that your partner of 9 years doesn't love you

ineedaholeinone Wed 08-Jul-15 22:00:41

We are independently very comfortably off. Neither of us has children. The house is in joint names and we have willed everything to each other. So the financial situation is sorted. We're both older.
I'd love to change the way I feel about marriage but how?
I think i'm a little bit in shock. This sounds awful but for those 9 years I've felt that he needed me more. Now, I find that I'm the needy one. I'm not liking this feeling one bit.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 08-Jul-15 22:04:43

I suggest you put your hurt pride to one side and wait to explore why he doesn't want to marry you when you are not feeling 'rejected', so to speak.

As you've been together 'very happily' for 9 years it could simply be a case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Maybe he's once bitten, twice shy, and it could be that a prenup will allay any fears he has about losing out financially if he marries and divorces again.

Maybe he equates marriage with an 8-tier wedding cake and all the trimmings and could be persuaded to tie the knot in a simple registry office ceremony followed by an intimate lunch with close friends/relatives.

Do you have dc together as well as from your respective marriages?

Sleepsoftly Wed 08-Jul-15 22:09:54

You don't need anything. Yet that word has crept into your last post three times including your user name.

You don't need to get married. You don't need him. You don't need him to sign his house over to you.

You need oxygen, water, clothes, food, shelter otherwise you die. You have all of those things. What more do you need?

goddessofsmallthings Wed 08-Jul-15 22:12:21


In view of your circumstances I take the view that you've put the thought out and should sit back and wait to see if his thinking undergoes anything of a sea change in the next few months.

Alternatively, when you're feeling completely in control of your hurt pride, you could tell him how wounded you felt when he effectively told you that he doesn't love you enough to marry... although, of course, he didn't say that in so many words nor do I believe that's how he feels, but it may make him realise how his rejection of your proposal came across to you.

ineedaholeinone Wed 08-Jul-15 22:12:21

Neither of us has any children. I feel the "if it ain't broke" scenario may apply somewhat but hoped that he would want to please me. He knows that at our age I would not be wanting an elaborate wedding.
It has crossed my mind that he fears I might go after him for money if we split up. But surely this can't be it? We've both had very successful careers and are very comfortable. We were both well off before we met and our combined wealth/income is substantial.

MrSlant Wed 08-Jul-15 22:12:51

Being divorced (albeit this week so it's raw) there is no way in hell I would go through that again. I remember the innocence and promise I felt getting married and it seemed so perfect and right and I look at all the shit and pain and paperwork involved in getting a divorce and no way in hell could I ever imaging marrying again. No matter how much I loved someone.

So maybe that's it. I don't know, he was probably surprised and needs to get his head around the idea. Make space in his head where marriage is a good and positive thing not the memory of last time.

HeyDuggee Wed 08-Jul-15 22:15:17

The OP is talking about her feelings, and she is perfectly entitled to them. No need to tell her what she needs to live.

merlehaggard Wed 08-Jul-15 22:15:38

My brother in law loves his girl friend and is very happy with her. He is just very anti marriage. He thinks it changes things and is a big commitment. He was however happy to have 2 children with her. He is a lovely man and I know she would marry him but she lets things lie because she knows the way it is. I don't understand it but I don't think it means he loves her any less. However, if it was me I would definitely feel the same as you.

HeyDuggee Wed 08-Jul-15 22:16:15

Ah. But your wealth isn't combined. You own a house together, that's all.

ineedaholeinone Wed 08-Jul-15 22:16:34

Thank you so much for all your wise words. It helps. I haven't told friends. I'm certain they'd tell me to get a grip as they know how caring he is.

firesidechat Wed 08-Jul-15 22:17:00

Sleepsoftly I have to disagree with you. Some people do need marriage for both emotional and financial security. There is nothing wrong with the op wanting that. You can't go around telling people what they want or need.

Sleepsoftly Wed 08-Jul-15 22:19:17

Duggee, I was talking about you and me.

Sleepsoftly Wed 08-Jul-15 22:22:46

fireside, you need oxygen, water and food.

Epilepsyhelp Wed 08-Jul-15 22:23:22

sleepsoftly what are you on about? Just out of interest because it sounds cryptic

firesidechat Wed 08-Jul-15 22:24:38

NO you need much, much more than that to live. Oxygen, water, food are just existing.

firesidechat Wed 08-Jul-15 22:26:42

sleepsoftly what are you on about? Just out of interest because it sounds cryptic

Cryptic indeed. Usually means incomprehensible, rather than deep and meaningful.

SylvanianCaracal Wed 08-Jul-15 22:27:49

Could it be that he was in an unhappy marriage and he doesn't like the idea of being married again, that it could ruin a good relationship? I do agree with PPs that if it matters to you, it matters to you. But I'd be trying to get him to talk about why (in a kind and interested way, not making him feel bad IYSWIM). It's not very nice of him to just say no, but he might need help opening up about it an articulating why.

DP and I aren't married and one reason is because our parents had terrible marriages. I don't like the idea of being a "wife" because somewhere deep down inside, I think of a "wife" as disrespected and downtrodden (even though obviously I see that that isn't the case for many people).

firesidechat Wed 08-Jul-15 22:31:27

This stands out to me:

He shocked me by saying no.........he said we would at some point though! That was certainly just to appease me.

It's been said on many a thread and usually means never. They've been together 9 years. If he isn't ready now, then when? Wouldn't it be more fair and truthful to say never?

goddessofsmallthings Wed 08-Jul-15 22:32:53

Hmm... the mature couple who have everything and no ostensible reason to marry as their fianances/Wills have been sorted. That's a difficult one.

Maybe if you said that you want the inscription on your headstone to read his dear wife rather than having your ex's name or your maiden surname and that you hope he'd want his inscription to inform others that he was deeply loved by you? Don't tell me... you've organised burials in a woodland grove with no plaques grin

I'd be inclined to take "he said we would at some point though" as gospel and repeat it to him every 6 months or so with some helpful suggestion such as 'maybe we should do it before there's a need for wheelchair access or neither of us can remember how to say 'i do/sign our names'.

In your situation I'd be tempted to turn it in to a bit of an in-joke - good enough to make your lunch, not good enough for a wedding ring or some such, but only if I was able to say it without any tinge of bitterness or rancour.

As it is, you're sitting pretty and should be able to derive considerable comfort from knowing that, from the outside at least, you've not only got the best of both worlds, your situation is also the envy of many.

Heyho111 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:36:07

He may be thinking 'why fix what ain't broke'.
It's working very well how it is. Why rock it/jinx it. Whatever.
Psychologically he may be scarred from his previous relationship. Don't think it's because he doesn't love you enough. Maybe he loves you so much he doesn't want anything to change it.

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