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DP won't marry me....

(187 Posts)
LittleBows Tue 04-Sep-07 18:35:14

My dp and I have been together a number of years and are expecting our first. We have discussed getting married in the past and he assured me he definately wanted to when the time was right.

Six months ago we were having a barney about something else but the topic came up. He actually said he had been planning a proposal that very weekend, but I'd gone and "ruined" it by arguing. It's fair to say that since then I have been expecting a proposal, but no joy.

Last night I probed the topic further and eventually found the real reason why he hasn't ever asked me (even though everything is in the right place) and it turns out the bottom line is he is worried that if we get divorced I will take half of his assets. He has various assets to his name whereas I don't. He has never ever hinted at this before in all our conversations and I feel very misled as he's had endless opportunity to tell me. Like many men, he's awful as discussions and even worse at decision making. He ponders 5 mins over whether to have orange or apple juice grin.

I think he knows whilst although it may make sense to him to protect his stuff, it's hardly romantic for me to hear and also, what can I do about it? I can't suddenly produce assets to match his. Needless to say I was crying into the pillow last night. I felt terrible, such a failure and if only I too had a top-paying job and a flash car etc etc. sad I wondered if anyone else has encountered this and how the heck it can be resolved?!

NAB3 Tue 04-Sep-07 18:37:17

I have no idea but it sounds an awful situation to be in. Why does he think you will take half his things if you divorce? If you are having a child together and split he will have to support the child anyway.

NKF Tue 04-Sep-07 18:38:46

Hmmm. Sorry to hear it. Not nice at all. I hope it gets resolved. I'm sure other people will have more ideas. I'm sure there was some recent legislation (or at least proposed legislation) around this. Getting married might not make the difference he hopes for. Good luck anyway.

RubySlippers Tue 04-Sep-07 18:40:19

no-one gets married thinking they will get divorced though ...
it is quite a negative mindset that he has
perhaps his background is informing his feelings?

3littlefrogs Tue 04-Sep-07 18:40:52

Is he mature enough to be a husband and father??? I am shocked at his attitude TBH. I feel so sorry for you - don't know what to advise really. Just wanted offer sympathy and support I suppose.

AlwaysWatchingCastawayAt2am Tue 04-Sep-07 18:41:33

I kind of have similar experience to this. I suspect that if you do marry, and once you have the baby, his concerns will evaporate because he will realise that you are a team. However, you could offer to get a pre-nuptual agreement drawn up in the meantime. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but he might just be having irrational cold feet and this might help him past the hurdle. There's no shame in it if you both are happy with the outcome.

LilianGish Tue 04-Sep-07 18:45:22

You could point out to him that if he doesn't marry you he won't have any legal rights over his child - you say you don't have any assets, but you will have a major one soon. Sorry that sounds a bit tit for tat - just feel so furious on your behalf.

Rantmum Tue 04-Sep-07 18:47:02

Wow LittleBows, that is crappy! I think that that is the most pathetic excuse I have EVER heard! He doesn't mind having a baby with you but he is worried that you may leave him for his car/house/saving [insert relevant asset here]. shock

Of course marriage is a risk because relationships do break down, but he is taking a bigger risk that you will eventually lose patience with these sorts of control games (he must have known that marriage was important to you) and leave him WITHOUT his assets.

Whilst money is very important in life, I am always worried when they are valued above the important people in our lives. It sounds to me that your dp is very guilty of a very unsavoury type of materialism. Sorry to rant - I am just angry on your behalf because I think that your dp is a coward.

Hurlyburly Tue 04-Sep-07 18:48:16

Oh I am sorry sad

I have heard this argument from several men, one of them DH, and only one woman.

It's great when people can get together at University or whatever when both parties have effectively nothing, but life isn't like that.

My DH was older than me. By the time I met him he owned his own house. Before I moved in with him, I did establish once that he was anxious about his money. I believe that assets are NOT important. What is important is to be happy. He didn't buy that line.

The nastier line I used was that he was further advanced in his career because he was older, and that in fact, my career would ultimately prove more lucrative. In fact he was getting youth as well and I was getting the worse of the bargain ... But being as I believe in love and all that, I would put up with an older man ...

Men can be calculating creatures. The purely emotional argument doesn't always work. Get him to look at the non-cash side of the equation. In your case that might not be cash, or potential cash. But I bet there's love, attraction, suitability, looks etc etc

LittleBella Tue 04-Sep-07 18:49:00

Hmm, he doesn't sound ready for marriage tbh.

And therefore for fatherhood either.

These fears can become self-fulfilling prophecies.

LittleBows Tue 04-Sep-07 18:49:19

He has a happy close knit family - in fact I suspect they have had some influence in the way he thinks. They are very proud of their special boy and how well he's done - even though they appear to like me, perhaps they think he deserves someone more his financial equal. I tried to be reasonable about it last night and stay calm, so asked him why he felt the way he did and he said he heard about that kind of thing all the time in the news. He said he didn't think I was a money-grabber but if a split did happen why should he lose stuff he built up from before he met me.

HorseyWoman Tue 04-Sep-07 18:50:43

But if you are having his baby and you separate then that child is entitled to SOME security. We have a couple of friends who aren't married but have been together about 15 years, and have 3 children, nearly 5, 3 and 2. They both decided they never wanted to get married because of the 'hassle' involved and the heartbreak if they split. But there would be heartbreak and division of assets where children are involved, anyway. Now the worst has happened (will not give details to you) and they are talking about marriage for the security of the children.

Even if marriage isn't necessary for the security of the children, these days (as our friends imply), an attitude where one partner accepts that they have some responsibility in the relationship, is.

HorseyWoman Tue 04-Sep-07 18:52:07

Yes, but things you build up before you meet becomes irrelevent when you marry or have a child. When you are in a relationship, sure you keep some of your own affairs/money/material things, but most stuff becomes 'ours', not 'yours and mine' anymore.

NAB3 Tue 04-Sep-07 18:52:58

Also, marriage will give you security if the worst happens and you are left a widow with a child. Sad and shocking but fact.

HorseyWoman Tue 04-Sep-07 18:53:15

And him saying he wasn't going to propose that weekend afterall, because you had argued, is emotional blackmail and a way of him not having to propose without any of the guilt.

HorseyWoman Tue 04-Sep-07 18:53:53

If he won't marry you at least make Wills, as the point made by Nab is very valid.

LittleBows Tue 04-Sep-07 18:54:46

I pointed out he wouldn't have the same legal rights over our child as if we were married and he was amazed and didn't believe me. Can you believe there was a point last night I was sympathising with his predicament. I pointed out that I am making a huge commitment to him with my body in having the baby, time out of career etc, primary care-taker of the child etc and that essentially he wasn't laying down the same commitment. He said that if we're married then split up, he would have to move back to his parents or rent a flat while I reside in his house, which he's "not having". I said if not married and split up, I would move back to my parents etc - but with a baby in tow!!! and how could that be fair?!

NAB3 Tue 04-Sep-07 18:55:22

Sounds to me that he doesn't see this as a life long relationship.

RubySlippers Tue 04-Sep-07 18:55:34

you both bring things to a relationship - itemisimg them to the last penny is not healthy (altho' i know lots of couples who have separate accounts)

mean with money, means being mean with other things as well

a good marriage is about sharing through the good and bad and weathering financial storms - what if he was to lose his job and you were suddenly the main breadwinner?

fishie Tue 04-Sep-07 18:56:00

well his attitude does stink rather. i do sympathise, i'm not married either and we've been together for 15 years. i have more assets and money than dp, but he is just scared of marriage. i am reluctant to push it because if he says an ultimate and final no (whcih he hasn't yet) it is rather a rejection of me and i that would be pretty bad for our relationship.

actually i wasn't bothered either till we had ds and now i think legally it is important. a number of mumsnetters have got married because once you have children there are all sorts of issues which are different if married.

HorseyWoman Tue 04-Sep-07 18:56:49

Yes, when you have a baby together, HIS house as he calls it, becomes both of your child's home. Therefore, the child has a right to reside in that house. And as the child's mother and primary caregiver, you'd have to live with the child.

LittleBella Tue 04-Sep-07 18:57:13

He doesn't sound at all like a partner to me.

He's not committed to you. Partners commit to each other. He's hedging his bets. Life as an impoverished lone parent is no picnic, I can tell you, but he's quite happy to contemplate that for you if he decides he doesn't like having a baby in his life.

Sorry to sound so negative, but he really sounds like he's hedging his bets. He'll let you take all the risks (because being a lone parent is a massive risk) while hanging on to his material assets (because maintenance levels are at poverty level anyway.

What kind of partner is that?

Hurlyburly Tue 04-Sep-07 18:57:33

He has a legitimate concern. If he breaks up with someone he is not married to, he would walk away with more of "his" assets than if it was a marriage. Pre-nuptual agreements are not (I am told) effective.

Sneering at him and saying he is not emotionally ready for either marriage or parenthood is not going to get the OP anywhere. It's not either listening to his position or addressing his concerns.

Be brave. Tell him you know that you haven't got much money. Tell him that the MAJORITY of marriages do not end in divorce. Tell him you love him. Tell him that you want to marry him. And tell him all the non-cash-assets argument too.

Hugs xx

HorseyWoman Tue 04-Sep-07 18:58:30

I could understand his attitude if he had come from a broken home, but it is like he is expecting you to split up. You'd think he would look to his parents and model his relationship on that. I come from a broken home but still have strong values and ideas about marriage and children.

I don't want to ask this, but was the baby planned? I am not asking if it is wanted as that is irrelevent, but was it planned?

LittleBows Tue 04-Sep-07 18:58:55

Meant got married not not married as it were (last post).

I was very upset about the faux proposal - that weekend I was bawling for ages, imagining how close I'd come then ruined it all for myself. After that things were good and I thought it was just a matter of time. However with last night's revelation, he could never have been intending to propose then. I said that to him and he blustered and blushed because he knows it was a very cheap shot to stop me in my tracks. I can't believe it. I was kicking myself for weeks for the silly argument that spoilt my big moment. How foolish...

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