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Not engaged after 8 years

(52 Posts)
katy78 Thu 06-Dec-18 21:16:57

Hi all, I really want to get married but am finding it hard to get a straight answer from my partner. We got together when I was 22 and him 25 and I am now 29 (30 in March) and he is 32 (33 in April). It’s been sort of easy for me to explain away to myself why we aren’t engaged yet.
The first year we worked together then the year after I went back to Uni to do my masters. The year after that when I finished he went to Uni for 3 years to retrain. After that we worked for a year while still living at home. Then in 2016 we relocated and moved in together for the first time while I started my PhD. In January 2018 we moved into our own home with a mortgage and have been renovating that, which has been a bit of a money pit and that takes us to today.

My partner used to say he wouldn’t think about marrying me until we live together. Now he says he just isn’t ready and doesn’t know when he will be and that I should respect that. He says we can’t afford it, which is true at the moment but I don’t see why we can’t get engaged and plan for a wedding for 2021. He hates to discuss it and is only very vague with me. Refuses to discuss timelines. Says he just thinks it is a complete waste of money.

It’s getting to the point now where it is eating away at me. I’ve hit breaking point tonight and I am sleeping in the spare room and sort of insinuated our relationship is done. He seemed to just accept this and said well if that’s what you want, I’m happy with the way things are but if you aren’t...

category12 Thu 06-Dec-18 21:23:58

Well, he's been pretty clear - at base, he doesn't want to get married and if you don't like it, you can lump it.

So is it a dealbreaker for you?

(As a side point, marriage doesn't have to be expensive - is it the wedding you want or the marriage?)

Rainbowqueeen Thu 06-Dec-18 21:25:28

Honestly, I'd move on.

If you want different things you are incompatible.

The alternative is that he just doesn't want to marry you and is stringing you along because he'd rather be in a relationship than on his own.

Either way, it doesn't look good fro you. best to call it a day now and find someone who does want the things you want.

Sorry OP, it must hurt

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 06-Dec-18 21:31:03

I posted a thread like this maybe four years ago!m? It'd been nearly nine years and I'd had the same comments from my partner.

Everyone told me he was making excuses; he didn't want to marry me, if I wanted marriage I needed to leave, he was pulling me along. I was absolutely sure they were wrong. I loved him and thought he was lovely and every now and again you'd hear about late bloomers and men who propose after ten years and I wanted to stay. I thought we'd find a way through it and we'd be the exception.

We weren't. He would never have married me. Looking back now, it wasn't perfect and I loved the history and the idea of us that I had far more than I loved him. At the time; I was utterly in love and infatuated.

I'm with a much nicer man now. He's as keen as I am to get married; two years in. He's planning our future together and suggesting things and it's totally different to how it was with my ex. New man is serious about me too.

I can't say anything to make you see this; nothing would have made me. But I regret those nine years so much now. I wasted so much time thinking I was happy and I'd never meet anyone better; and it was nothing compared to now.

Thanksandnext Thu 06-Dec-18 21:32:47

I can’t see how any of the things you were doing in each year would have affected you getting engaged. I think you are right to question your whole relationship.

LizzieBennettDarcy Thu 06-Dec-18 21:35:40

He's not going to ask.

Question is, can you live with that?

Thejezebel Thu 06-Dec-18 21:39:05

It is a waste of money to him as it's a financial commitment to you. He doesn't want to.
As the PP said - can you live with that?

Fstar Thu 06-Dec-18 21:40:03

Honestly i agree there are better things to spend money on, esp if you are spending on your property. I have been with partner 17 years and have no notion to marry, but thats me. I suppose it depends why you want to marry, what are your end goals and why do you need a timeline on it

Kittenrush Thu 06-Dec-18 21:42:12

I had a friend (he’s not a friend anymore) who strung a girl along for 7 years with absolutely no intention of marrying her. He was waiting for her to break up with him because he knew marriage as a dealbreaker for her and he was too cowardly and happy to have a stable home where he could bumble along doing very little etc. He always knew he wasn’t ever going to give her what he wanted and it was awful watching her wait. Eventually she flipped out and he left her but stating that it was because she’d flipped out about it so she blamed herself. It was genuinely awful.

Topsyloulou Thu 06-Dec-18 21:43:49

We've been together 12 years & have 2 DC. We fell in love & moved in together very quickly. Everyone expected us to be getting engaged within 6 months & married in a year. We're now among the last of our friendship groups to not be married.

We've discussed marriage and we know that it is something we will do at some point, there is always something else to spend the money on, first it was holidays, then a house & then children & now a doer upper of a house & children.

Our DS (4) has been asking why we aren't married & why I have a different name so that might spur us on a bit but we're in no rush.

Have you asked him outright if he wants to get married? Why do you feel a need to be married? How is your relationship other than the marriage point?

Kittenrush Thu 06-Dec-18 21:44:40

It’s absolutely okay to want marriage and a wedding in whichever way you want to do things. If he’s not fighting for you when you’ve said things are over he sounds a lot like he’s not that bothered.

YahBasic Thu 06-Dec-18 21:45:44

DH and I got engaged after 7 years together & were similar ages. There was no proposal, we just decided to get married.

What put DH off for the longest time was this level of expectation that both he and other people had put on him to propose and make it so special - without realising that him just saying the words is special.

LanaorAna2 Thu 06-Dec-18 21:46:22

Some people genuinely don't believe in marriage. But not many. And they're honest about it.

After as long as you've hung on, I'd be feeling the same as you are. He's not that into you but he's mighty keen on someone who pays half the rent and bills.

OP, you won't believe me, but you've dodged a bullet. Someone who can string along someone else for years really isn't a prize.

Start looking around for someone who will marry you. Mean it.

category12 Thu 06-Dec-18 21:46:31

why do you need a timeline on it? OP needs a timeline because if it is a dealbreaker for her, then she needs to leave and take the opportunity to find someone else who wants marriage too, not hang around waiting for him to possibly change his mind. Which seems unlikely, given when pushed, he appears to choose ending the relationship over getting married.

furrysheep Thu 06-Dec-18 21:52:22

Does he ever want to get married? Do you want children, does he want children? I think these are the questions you need to be asking yourself and him.
He is asking,no wait telling you that you need to respect that he does not feel ready to get married yet and that he may never be. You do not need to accept this. If it is non negotiable for you then he needs to accept this and either you or him walk away.
My ex was like this and he put so many ifs and buts and 'one days' on getting married. I walked away, met someone else and he committed straight away. I think we were engaged after 18 months. I knew where I stood in the relationship and am much happier now that I am married.
I think for some people marriage is important. To me it signalled a commitment that I needed from the relationship. It wasn't 'just a piece of paper' to me. Some people are fine without it and some aren't. He is asking you to respect his needs which you have done for 8 years of this relationship. Is he respecting yours...? I would say not.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Thu 06-Dec-18 21:52:26

Ask him to marry you. Then you can decide what to do based on his answer, but at least you'll know.

Littlelambpeep Thu 06-Dec-18 21:52:36

I think even if you get married you always feel you pushed him into it and that's not good. Also if you want family you don't need to do that now but at the same time if you wait another few years and then wait to meet someone - it may not be as easy

KnightlyMyMan Thu 06-Dec-18 22:01:40

Oh OP 😞 I’m sorry this sounds very deflating.

Unfortunately, and I do see it quite often on here, but X years of being in a relationship doesn’t mean he owes you a marriage!

Women on here list how long they’ve been together, the children/pets they have, the holidays they’ve been on, the things they’ve sacrificed for DP and are understandably pissed off when they don’t have a ring.

I get it, I’d be annoyed too but just because you’ve spent years with someone or taken steps with them does not mean they’re obligated to marry you.

I’m a huge champion of asking for what you want. I asked my fiancé when we were going to get married. But don’t be the woman whining and complaining in the back ground whilst he says no and don’t beat him around the head with how ‘disappointed’ or ‘unhappy’ you are - he knows and he still doesn’t want to marry you.

LemonTT Thu 06-Dec-18 22:02:42

I think it is possible to be deeply in love with somebody and totally committed without having any desire to get married. By that I mean just not feeling any compulsion to marry. It's not an aversion just no inclination to do it with anybody really.

There is a lot of pressure to say its something you want to do to a loved one. Plus a societal expectation that it is an affirmation of love. This creates a minefield when trying to explain something which is essentially an absence of a want.

I would try to have an honest conversation with him to see what his real feelings are. But be mindful he doesn't seem bothered by the idea that it is a deal breaker for you. If it meant that much to someone I loved I would be willing to consider marriage. I wouldn't just shrug and say take it or leave it. Remember it matters to you for a whole load of emotional and practical reasons (having children).

SpoonBlender Thu 06-Dec-18 22:03:06

Twenty years together with DP, no intent to marry, no engagement. It's entirely unnecessary these days, though you do need to put a tiny amount of thought into wills and power-of-attorney type things.

Absolutely nothing compared to even a registry wedding.

Both atheist, don't like big parties, don't want to be contractually obliged to each other - we know what we're doing. We just see it as a waste of time, money and energy.

sue51 Thu 06-Dec-18 22:10:55

If he doesnt care enough after all these years, hes not going to change. Get your finances in order and move on.

LellyMcKelly Thu 06-Dec-18 22:24:45

Is the the idea of the big white wedding that’s putting him off? If you just wanted to be married it can be done in half an hour in the local registry office for less than £100. If he doesn’t want to be married, rather than he just doesn’t want a big floofy wedding, then you need to think about cutting your losses and finding someone who does want to be married to you.

OliviaStabler Thu 06-Dec-18 22:29:44

I'm sorry to be blunt but he doesn't want to marry you. I'd move on flowers

Bernina Thu 06-Dec-18 22:34:51

Why do you really want to get married? What difference will it make?

Sethis Thu 06-Dec-18 23:11:27

You need to be a little more specific.

Do you want marriage for the legal/financial side? If yes, have you suggested to him that you simply pop down to the registry with your parents as witnesses and sign the papers?

Do you want marriage for the special day, with all the guests and every trimming? If yes then it seems reasonable to do that from a stronger financial position than either of you being at uni/in training or halfway through a house renovation.

On the other hand you sleeping in a separate room over this, and him basically shrugging and saying "whatever" would indicate that either you haven't both talked about it enough, or that you have talked about it, and he simply isn't bothered.

You don't want to marry someone who isn't bothered. Really really not.

Realistically, biologically speaking, you have about another 7 years or less in which to have your children. If you're not going to have them with this man, you need to get the hell out, right now, and start looking for someone who's happy to father your kids, assuming you want kids. You have to assume that you're going to be single for a while (having just come out of an 8 yr relationship) and then you have to date, you have to develop a relationship, you have to get married, you have to live together... call it about 3 years, minimum, from starting a new relationship to having kids with the new man.

That puts you on a clock for possible further future relationships in which you need to find someone to have babies with. If you break up today, this is.

Of course if you don't want kids then that's absolutely fine, no problem, you can do whatever you want with no time pressure. But I still wouldn't particularly want to be in a relationship with someone who shrugs and doesn't care when discussing something that is this important to me. Seems to show that you're just there because it's better than being alone, rather than because he loves you.

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