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He doesn't believe in marriage

(15 Posts)
Yesnodilemma Wed 22-Mar-17 00:49:24

I've been in a relationship for almost 8 years. We've talked previously about getting married and he knows it's important to me and has said before that he'd marry me but doesn't want the fuss of a big wedding, that's fine with me I'm not a fan of big weddings either but I made it clear I do want to be married and I see marriage as something bigger than just a wedding day but the wedding is the public declaration of commitment and I think that is something lovely that should be celebrated.
We've been long distance for the past few years due to work and are at a point where we can move to be together again however this is likely to be a country where marriage is a legal requirement for couples to live together.
He's now saying he doesn't believe in marriage at all, that he loves me and he's happy with me and he doesn't want to marry anyone. He would get married for the purpose of paperwork for this country but doesn't see it as important at all otherwise.
I'm now feeling unsure about whether it's the right decision to go ahead and plan to be together. I'm not sure simply completing a contract is the right premise for a long term committed marriage especially if he doesn't acknowledge it as more than a piece of paper.
I love him very much and would otherwise feel confident that he is someone I'd consider to be a lifelong partner but I'm concerned that this difference in values could create a wedge as well as feeling somewhat unsettled and maybe a little resentful that I've been carrying on with him expecting that it will lead to marriage with him implying that when clearly he's had other thoughts this whole time.

I don't know whether to move and hope that everything will be ok - we'll be married according to the paperwork but there'll be no wedding of any kind and I think I would regret that later.
Or do I leave now and hope I meet someone who does believe in marriage.

I'm 30 and otherwise happy in life just totally thrown by recent conversations.

highinthesky Wed 22-Mar-17 00:54:28

You can't force anyone to marry you and it sounds to me like this guys not for budging: even if you find yourself married to fulfil a legal requirement, the relationship will fall a long way short of your ideal.

He's strung you along thus far. Cut your losses: be smart and walk away.

HarmlessChap Wed 22-Mar-17 01:05:31

He's kind of right though; the existence or lack thereof of a marriage certificate is not what makes a relationship work, it is the people and many marriages fail.

He's being honest with you, you need to be the same. I would tell him that while you acknowledge and understand his views you feel differently, that you see marriage as a more significant commitment and that some kind of ceremony is important to you.

I hope it works out for you.

Cricrichan Wed 22-Mar-17 01:11:11

He's being honest with you and doesn't see the importance of marriage but since you do, is willing to marry you. The relationship won't change much and marriage is more about protecting (usually) the woman than the man. If you move to the country to be with him, will you work? Will it mean any sacrifices from you?

EBearhug Wed 22-Mar-17 01:24:04

The paperwork is also important, though - even in this country, it gives you rights that just living together doesn't, certainly not without a lot of separate and therefore more expensive legal agreements.

What rights would you have if you marry and move to this other country? Would you be able to leave him I'd you couldn't make it work? Would you be allowed to work? Would you be able to come back home? (Always have a running-away fund was my mother's advice, and that would be even more true if you're outside your home country.) What would be the position if you had children and broke up? Would you have any parental rights? Would you be able to being them home with you?

Obviously you don't want any of that to happen, but you're not totally sure this is the right thing, so you need to consider all possible factors - prepare for the worst, hope for the best, especially if you have doubts.

How much time have you actually spent with him? I have had LDRs, and it means you get far less exposure to annoying habits and so on to be able to tell if they're an amusing foible or intolerable. In the end, only you can take the call on the differing values and a wedding and whether it's a deal-breaker.

Imi22sleeping Wed 22-Mar-17 07:37:37

I always thought marriage was the be all and end all but ive been married five years and i hate it i wish we hadnt bothered my husband married me cos i thought it was important before having kids in fqct my child ia the only good thig about my marriage

highinthesky Wed 22-Mar-17 07:57:47

^^ Is the problem with marriage or you DH (i.e. marrying the wrong person) though?

It's really important to be on the same page about what marriage actually means to you before signing on the dotted line.

Pagwatch Wed 22-Mar-17 08:01:40

Being married can be very, very important from a legal point of view.

ShatnersWig Wed 22-Mar-17 08:08:23

Highinthesky I'm not sure he has strung her along at all, to be fair. He said originally he would marry her but he didn't want a big wedding. He didn't say he wouldn't marry her. But clearly, this indicated from the outset that marriage was obviously not something he felt was a big deal or an essential to him. The OP accepted this and has carried on a relationship with him knowing this, and a relationship where they have been long distance for years. The OP has pressed the question and he's really just repeated his stance, that he doesn't want to get married but that he would marry her. He's not said he won't marry her. Now, admittedly, she wants it because she sees it as a declaration of lurve; he because it's a necessity where they may be going to live. Outcome still the same as it was years ago - I'm not fussed but I will do it if necessary.

Now, they may not be compatible actually, with such a disparity in their take on marriage, but frankly the OP should have realised that or thought about it many years ago, not now.

expatinscotland Wed 22-Mar-17 08:12:01

I get his point. Got to the Registry Office and get it done. If this isn't enough for you, you need to move on. Married is married regardless of whether it's a big wedding or going to the Registry Office in your lunch hour.

extend Wed 22-Mar-17 08:13:09

So he sees marriage in a totally different light to you... it is possible to find someone who adores you and can't wait to marry you!

category12 Wed 22-Mar-17 08:17:40

If you need to be married to go to this country together safely, you absolutely must. Or rethink going at all (I would rethink tbh, as I don't see the attraction of going somewhere like that, but anyway).

If he's happy enough to get married for practical reasons, then there is no reason he couldn't also go along with having a small but to your taste wedding to make you happy. If he won't, then he's a bit of a dick.

I would have a good think about it all.

SandyY2K Wed 22-Mar-17 12:45:12

I see where you're coming from. I wouldn't want to marry a man who only saw it as a piece of paper.

The values, vows and commitment are meaningful to me and it sounds like you feel marriage is more than a piece of paper.

Don't sacrifice your core values and principles by getting married and when it means nothing to him.

Yesnodilemma Sun 26-Mar-17 00:56:26

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

We've just had a week together so managed a long conversation about it all. Planning for a small wedding in the summer, both happy. Then onto new country and new adventures.

category12 Sun 26-Mar-17 11:58:09

That's nice to hear.

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