Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
In my shoes what would you do?(131 Posts)
In a relationship for 3.5 years. I've never been married before or had children. He was married and has 3 DC. Youngest is 8. I'm 36.
We get on so well, maybe 2 disagreements in the time we've been together. I'm happy, he's happy. We rent together but have the money to buy when we're ready. We've lived together for over a year and a half.
His ex is lovely, they get on well, we get on well, no issues with seeing the DC or maintenance. In fact she encourages me to come along to school things and angles for extra tickets for plays so I can come.
Here's the kicker. I want to be married. I would like a child of my own. DP knows this, we've discussed it quite a few times and he is supportive, understands I want a child and a marriage, but then nothing happens. I dont want to ask him, I know it's ridiculous but I would love the traditional wedding and engagement. He says it will happen. He doesn't like being pushed into things. And also I don't want to issue an ultimatum that he has to ask before x date. I don't want a forced engagement.
And now I have this fear creeping in that I'm getting older. What if it doesn't happen between us. Do I have time on my side to find someone else to love and marry and have a baby with. And the older his youngest gets the more I think he's not going to want to go through all the baby stuff again.
Thoughts, ramblings, any advice?
In your position I'd break up, because lovely though he may be if he wanted the same things as you he'd be happy to do something about it. If marriage and kids are a deal breaker you need to leave him and look for someone who wants the same.
At 36 you do not have time on your side to wait and see if he changes his mind.
Your thoughts are very, very valid.
You don't have to push him into anything, you just have to tell him you want to start a family within two years (whatever) that's all you have to do. Then if it doesn't happen, you can leave and obtain your dreams elsewhere.
But i could leave and then not meet anybody else.
When I bring it up he's happy to talk about it and says yes I want those things too. But again nothing. I'm beginning to dread every holiday/anniversary because I know my friends and parents are expecting me to say I'm engaged and it just doesn't happen.
Don't wait too long for him. I have had a few friends in this situation and it hasn't ended happily.
You need to give him an ultimatum, hard as it my sound. Don't be the one to lose out x
It sounds as if he has a nice life from his point-of-view ie you, 3 children who are becoming more and more independent, a pleasant ex. A baby could knock all that off kilter. How old is he? Very few 40+ year olds who already have three growing children, actively want more. He might agree to it if it's a deal breaker but he sounds happy to coast for now, whilst you're not pushing it.
Ask him. Don't minimise your hopes of marriage and kids because you are waiting for a proposal. If you ask him, you will get an answer. Whatever that answer is will determine what you should do longterm.
I'd have a frank conversation with him. You can say that you're not trying to push him into anything, but this is what you want, does he want that too, because you need to think about the time frame given your age. Then you can see where you stand and make a decision from there.
He's 35. Exactly a year younger than me. I'd feel like I was forcing his hand if I asked him I suppose? I don't know it just doesn't feel right.
Your resentment about this will eat away at the relationship anyway.
Better to end it now and give yourself the best chance of finding someone on same page as you.
You never know, your current partner may come round if you leave. He may not. But either way you will end up with a guy who wants to marry you. It just may not be this guy.
About 4 mths ago we had a very frank discussion and he reiterated again that he does want to marry me, he does want a baby with me but "one day". I don't think he understands fertility! His ex was early 20s when they had kids and fell at the drop of a hat. I think he thinks if he says yes to a baby we'll have one in 9 mths time
Hmmm tough one. I think ultimatums only work if you are prepared to go through with them. But even if you were prepared, like you said, what's the appeal of a forced engagement?
As for time. It's very hard to know. I think of myself, I tried for a baby at 32 but I didn't actually have a baby until 20 months later because I had two miscarriages. I was glad I hadn't left it until my late 30's to try because I'd have been in even more of a panic with if I thought time was against me. However I know (as I'm sure we all do) women who have had children in their late 30's and early 40's with relative ease. In fact my sil just had her first baby at 39, she got pregnant first try. Problem is, you don't know what 'camp' you might fall into until you start trying.
Because of my own experience I lean towards not leaving things too late (if possible). I would say that if you really want a baby that maybe you need to focus on that and just tell you dp that you would like to start trying for a family. If he agrees then hopefully an engagement and wedding will follow. What I mean is, you may have to sacrifice the order you do things if a baby is really something you know you want.
You're thirty six, You NEED to force his hand. You need to know NOW if that baby is going to happen or if he's just stringing you along
Please just ask him to marry you. If he wants to marry you, you're not forcing his hand. If he doesn't want to marry you then so be it.
The proposal means nothing in the great scheme of things. It's the marriage that counts.
So you'll keep schtum, waiting for him to suggest marriage and babies, while inside you are panicking that none of these things will happen? I would want to know, one way or the other. It sounds like he's comfortable with how things are now.
I agree with the others. You should not have to tell him you want children and marriage, it is a normal expectation. He is hesitating to give you what you want, and that is what you should consider. To me it says he puts his own needs before yours. He has children already. At 36, you have a couple of years left before fertility gets tricky. I don't think forcing your man into a corner of give me a ring or else would be a happy outcome in the long-run as you would never know if he proposed because he wanted to, or because you wanted him to. He might propose and drag out an engagement for years. You could propose to him if you want to force the issue - it is 2017! However, if he says no then start to consider where you want to be 5 years from now. You have a choice of staying with him long-term possibly without marriage and children, or leaving and finding someone else, or leaving and perhaps never finding someone else...but you will have left because you don't feel this situation and relationship is right for you. You have to do what your gut-instinct tells you is right for you now, however heart-wrenching that decision might be.
Do you have any friends that can have a frank discussion with him if you are too reluctant to do that yourself?
Would you consider a baby before marriage?
It depends whether you love him and want him and step children as things stand or how much you want a child of your own with someone else who may or may not want the same. If the need for the latter is greater than your feelings for the former you have your answer. I know people who have settled for no children to keep their partner and lived to regret this as they got older. I met my partner at 32 we got married at 35 but it took ages for me to conceive I had my first at 38 and my second at 39. Some people do conceive later but it does get harder to conceive the older you are. I am shattered with my two so I think ideally you wouldn't want to leave things as late as I did.
I can understand it does seem wrong to pressurise or push for this but maybe leave and see if it brings him to his senses. But this could also backfire.
I would steel yourself and tell him you want to break up as you want to start a family and since he doesn't seem to want that in the way you do, you need to look for someone who does. Any time limit will lead to him continuing to be non-committal right up to deadline day. Tell him deadline day has arrived.
I think it's quite telling that despite having the money to buy a property together, you are still renting together after 3.5 years.
Your dp does seem to have big commitment issues. Maybe as a result of his previous relationship?? although it does sound like they parted on good terms.
I think you need to put all your cards on the table and give him that ultimatum!
Just tell him what you've told us. Don't say 'I want marriage and kids' but say something more like 'I am 36. My fertility is already declining. I want a baby and I want to be married and these things need to happen soon or they never will. I don't need a big proposal, just an agreement, a date and a plan. If you don't want it let's both move on.'
I honestly think this stuff needs to be frank - if you can't be completely honest with a partner there's no point.
As an outsider, I think unfortunately you probably need to break up with him. He knows how you feel because you've told him clearly on several occasions. He is a grown man and presumably he understands the birds and the bees, so he knows that fertility declines with age. If he genuinely wanted more children with you then he would be feeling that ticking biological clock too. His lack of urgency suggests that's not the case. However, I know that's easy for us to say when we are not in a relationship with him and don't have all the emotions that go along with that.
Your other option (besides just resigning yourself to no marriage and no babies) is to have a very frank, cards on the table discussion with him. You need to tell him that every month he doesn't commit to starting a family with you is another month closer to that not being an option for you at all. So if he doesn't want children, or isn't likely to be ready whilst you are still able to conceive, then he needs to do the decent thing and let you know so that you still have time to move on. You need to spell out to him how cruel it is to waste your fertile years stringing you along when in reality he knows it may never happen.
I suppose it's an ultimatum, but not in the foot-stamping princess tantrum sense. It's more a simple case of decisions and consequences. He can decide that he doesn't want more children, but that doesn't change your feelings so it will naturally spell the end of the relationship.
I would think about what I really wanted out of life. Is it a romantic proposal? Or is it to be married and have a child with this man? Or to be married and have a child with someone? If it was the latter I'd forgo the former and ask him if he wants to get married this year. If he doesn't, I'd say goodbye. At 36 you don't have years to wait for "one day".
Good luck, whatever you decide.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.