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Have you proposed to your partner and been turned down?

(35 Posts)
Showmehalcy Mon 13-Jul-15 21:16:39

I'm thinking of asking my partner of 3 years to marry me. Neither of us have ever been married before. We are mid forties. I have young children and he has none.

I've very recently asked if he'd consider moving in together and he's agreeable to that. Now I'm thinking, I bloody love him to bits, the kids love him, they've been calling him Daddy for years now, he loves them, why not go the whole hog?

I suspect he'd respond with something like 'in time' or 'that's for the future', but I'm going to be 50 in a few years, life is precious and that's been starkly illustrated to me in the past year for a couple of reasons, but I'm worried how I'd feel if he turned me down? Would it put me off the whole thing and not want to move in with him then?

He stays at weekends and we holiday together and so on, but he's only lived on his own for around 5 years as he went straight from his parents to live-in relationship, before he became single again for a couple of years prior to meeting me.

Do I just bite the bullet and ask? What is there to lose but crushing dignity and humiliation? blush Or are you only supposed to ask when you're absolutely sure someone will say yes??

Newbrummie Mon 13-Jul-15 21:21:54

Just leave it, if he wanted to get married he would ask you

OhEmGeee Mon 13-Jul-15 21:24:06

Have you discussed marriage? As that to me would be the first step.

pocketsaviour Mon 13-Jul-15 21:24:32

If I were you I'd wait til you move in together and give it a few months before taking the plunge.

Toffeelatteplease Mon 13-Jul-15 21:24:34

Depends on how you would feel if he did say no. Have you ever discussed it as an option?

Showmehalcy Mon 13-Jul-15 21:24:42

Newbrummie, I appreciate that if he wanted to get married he'd ask, but does that mean if I wanted to get married I can't ask, just because I'm a woman?

Showmehalcy Mon 13-Jul-15 21:26:42

He did ask me several months ago, but he'd just been through something traumatic so I didn't believe him. It wasn't a 'proper' proposal, he just asked in the middle of a conversation sort of thing whilst we were watching the tv.

Showmehalcy Mon 13-Jul-15 21:27:28

He's never mentioned it since, which reinforces my belief that he wasn't really serious.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 13-Jul-15 21:28:46

Have you discussed your individual feelings about marriage, not necessarily to each other, in the 3 years you've been together?

I would suggest you see how it goes after he's moved in before dropping to one knee. If you're still of the same mind a few hints may result in him proposing but, if not, 2016 is a leap year smile

Joysmum Mon 13-Jul-15 21:30:41

I wouldn't ask until you know you can live together successfully.

Yes then you just ask. If we want to be treated equally then we need to accept we are equally able ask men to marry us as they are to ask us.

SaltedCaramels Mon 13-Jul-15 21:32:56

I was in a similar situation although my DP had been divorced and was wary of getting married again. We moved in together and I 'jokingly' proposed on leap day. He said 'yes probably one day'. Waited a bit more and then had a chat where I was very clear that I wanted to get married, it was important to me, etc. He listened and re-iterated his fears - but 9 months later proposed.

I am so glad I waited for him to be ready and take the initiative himself. But equally glad I'd been honest about my feelings so he knew it was important to me.

All that to say, just talk to each other about it but don't propose as such until you are pretty sure how he feels about it. And if moving in together is a big step for him, give him a bit of time to settle into that first.

Sickoffrozen Mon 13-Jul-15 21:34:26

At this age it doesn't need to be all hearts and flowers.

Personally I would wait to be asked but if you can't then just have a chat along the lines of "do you know when you mentioned marriage a few months ago, were you serious?" If he says no then that's not a no to "will you marry me".

Is your ex not on the scene cos I'm not sure why your kids call him daddy. How old are they?

ethelb Mon 13-Jul-15 21:36:33

Op, im quite a bit younger than you and sort of proposed to DH, ie said this autumn would be a good time to get married wouldnt it? He said yes. Then a few days later swore we werent engaged. I had a melt down a few months later. Had a thread in here where I was told to ltb. Then eventually he proposed six months after the original chat. We got married a couple months later but the 'official' engagement felt a bit weird to me for a while. Everything's fine now but having my autonomy over deciding when i was going to get married taken out of my hands stung.
I dont know what to suggest but thats my piece. Good luck.
I felt the suggestion that i should have to sit around waiting for a proposal as a professional business owner at 27 was pretty ridiculous. I dont know how I would have felt at 50 odd. Must be crap.

OhBigHairyBollocks Mon 13-Jul-15 21:39:04

I asked Dh to marry me. He said yes smile

TRexingInAsda Mon 13-Jul-15 21:44:29

You don't have to make a big scene out of it, just out of the blue. Why don't you start to have a conversation with him about it, along the lines of "do you want to marry me?" then if he says no, you can say oh, just wondering, if that'll make you feel better about it! At least you'll know, and bringing up the subject doesn't mean you've made an arse of yourself.

catkind Mon 13-Jul-15 21:49:19

Oh do ask!
If he's asked you before, whatever the situation, and you've said no - he will probably be cautious about asking again. I don't think not mentioning it again means he didn't mean it. If you asked and were turned down, would you ask again? I'd say ask outright rather than edge round it just because I like a bit of romance. But if it's a not yet or even a no, you can still discuss how you both feel about the idea. And it's only evens after all, nothing embarrassing about that.
Then I wouldn't want to marry someone who had silly sexist ideas about him having to ask because he's a man.

catkind Mon 13-Jul-15 21:50:24

And keep us posted if you do smile

venusandmars Mon 13-Jul-15 22:10:20

Oh FFS - where does all the 'if he wanted to get married, he'd ask' come from?

This is not 1920. it is 2015. You are 2 grown adult people. You love each other - yes? You have discussed, and are close to, moving in together - yes? So presumably you have talked about your relationship, where it is going, your expectations for the future, your joint plans for work, career, retirement, the management of family and elderly parents - yes?

[or maybe you've not talked about any of this, in which case - that's a good place to start]

So why not talk about marriage and your expectations and your plans, and then agree what you want to happen....

And I don't understand why when he asked you to marry him, you think that is not a 'proper' proposal. He asked you to marry him. That is a proposal (unless he was drunk, incapable etc). He'd been through something traumatic, and the most important thing to him was asking you to marry him... so what did you say? Did you reply? Does it not count as a 'proper' proposal unless he is on one knee and you are in Italy at sunset, and he has the perfect diamond in his pocket?

You are about to move in together. That is a major commitment for him, for you, for your dc. Never mind the niceties of who asks who etc. Just work out (together) what you commitment is, and then go for it.

On a personal basis, I was in a similar position to you (I had dc, he didn't). We were long term, committed, in love, best friends. I asked twice about marriage - my first proposal was the 'theory' "If we are going to do this [serious living together] then I want to know that we will get married" and then my second was "OK, now is the time - will we get married this year?" If he had said no, or if he had prevaricated, or delayed, or said he wanted to ask me (when the [mythical] time was right) - there would have been no way in which he would have been moving into my house, with my kids. Harsh, maybe? but love and marriage and commitment is about more than a romantic ideal - it is also about a very practical set of family arrangements.

OK, so that all sounds unromantic and logical and mundane? But my dh could tell you the exact spot in France (in the sunshine,, by a river) where the first proposal happened, and our second engagement was in idyllic frosty conditions which are imprinted on our memories - more deeply romantic to us than a 'down on one knee' proposal.

Showmehalcy Mon 13-Jul-15 22:25:37

Venus, he was just home from hospital after a major trauma. That night, he asked me, but in a conversational way. How can I take that seriously when someone had hours before suffered so much physically and emotionally, surely they're not in their right mind to ask such a thing?
And no, I don't need a big romantic gesture.

It just occurred to me that if he is agreeable to living together, instead of 'trialling' eachother with that, why not just go the whole hog?

Showmehalcy Mon 13-Jul-15 23:24:38

Has anyone ever proposed and then been turned down though?

FunnyNameHere Mon 13-Jul-15 23:28:25

If you'd rather get married than just live together, I wouldn't live together. It delays the proposal. There's no rush to move things forward when you live together. It's all the best bits of marriage without the legal obligation.

A few years ago, I'd have told you to hang on for a ring. But these days, at your age, with 3 DC, is marriage actually best for you? Marrying your DP will stop your children automatically inheriting your estate. It'll give your DP legal rights to money from your house. It'll make it harder to split up if living with your DC doesn't work out...

Aside from the romantic bit, why do you want to get married? It's really a very very serious decision, especially with DC, money and property to consider.

lemonstartree Tue 14-Jul-15 00:04:34

Yes, I have. Been turned down. We are still together but it hurts me. I am 50 and he a little older. Both married before. Both have kids.

purplemeggie Tue 14-Jul-15 00:09:52

I don't think you can write off his proposal as not meaning it just because he'd been through something traumatic - maybe that had made him realise how precious you are to him - and maybe the fact that you didn't say yes made him cautious about asking again.

I think you should ask him. (but it's easy to be brave for someone else).

BrowersBlues Tue 14-Jul-15 00:22:26

A friend of mine has asked her long term partner of over 25 years to marry her twice and he said no. He said he didn't need a marriage certificate. He earns substantially more than her. She gave up work to mind the children and when they both started school she took on low paid part-time work.

They house they live in is not in her name and he bought a business that is not in her name. I urged her to get legal advice which she did and was told if it broke down she would not be entitled to anything.

She then went to a counsellor because she began to develop feelings for someone else who lived thousands of miles away and was completely unavailable. Herself and the counsellor discussed why she wasn't married and the counsellor said he doesn't want to marry you because you will get his money. He is an arrogant prick anyway and my friend believes he won't marry her because she is not good enough.

It is a disaster waiting to happen.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 14-Jul-15 00:23:50

Don't do a big proposal. That's asking for trouble. I had to drop some heavy if you ask I would be amenable hints to DH before he felt able to risk it.
He has asked you and you dismissed it. Probably sensible of you but he may feel knocked back. I'd revisit that and ask how he felt about it then and now. It may lead to a mutual decision rather than a gesture but who cares how it happens. The marriage is the thing.

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