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(194 Posts)
doireallyneedaname Tue 27-Oct-20 15:44:30

My partner & I have been together for 5 years. In the beginning I was open about my wishes to eventually marry & have children.

Through out the entirety of our relationship I have watched so many of both his own friends and mine get engaged and I used to get upset about it. Initially he had said it would happen but he was hardly going to talk to me about it. Then slowly it changed ti “I want to save enough money to do something great, you said in the beginning you’d always wanted a great gesture”, to “there’s a lack of trust from you and I want to fix that before we get married” to now “you know Im not fussed for marriage, it doesn’t mean anything.”

His parents never married and have lived very happily so he doesn’t get it. My parents did marry and I come from a family who see it as a big deal, as do I. It just means something to me and i guess it’s the fairytale I’d always dreamed of.

He says having a baby together should prove his commitment. It’s not really about that, although now I’m starting to wonder how committed he really is. I will always explain that if it’s not a huge deal to him but he’s not against it per se, but it’s a big deal to me, why wouldn’t he just do it for me?

My issue is that I don’t talk about it anymore but I also don’t expect a proposal anytime soon, if ever.

Anyone been in a similar situation?

OP’s posts: |
Sharww Tue 27-Oct-20 18:07:35

Bottom line: he doesn’t want to marry you. If he did, you’d be married already or have a date set after five years together.

I wouldn’t have a baby with a man who didn’t think I was good enough to marry, it’s a vulnerable time for a woman and you would be better served for you and your future child to have the security of marriage. So scrap the ‘compromise baby’ idea. Doesn’t sound like he even wants one, more that he’s willing to have one reluctantly to shut you up about marriage and get someone to carry his child out of the deal too (a child he will probably walk out on or not put effort in with and leave you to raise, but hey at least he’s passed on his genes and can brag about being a father or tick it off his life list).

If marriage and kids are important to you you need to end this relationship and have a bit of time to yourself then start dating with marriage and kids in mind, and be upfront about it, tell dates you’re looking to marry and have kids within the next couple years and that you’re not interested in anything serious or exclusive unless that’s something the two of you both want in your futures. And be willing to walk if it’s two years and no engagement (in your twenties) or one (in your thirties).

No idea how old you are but this is seriously important if you’re older than mid twenties as you’re at risk of throwing your fertile best years away on a guy who isn’t worthy, meaning that by the time you split and meet someone else and don’t rush you will be quite a bit older and may find it harder to have a family.

I sound mercenary but it’s the truth. You either choose that this man is worth giving up your dreams of marriage and a family (with the full understanding that he could easily dump you later down the line when it’s too late to meet someone else and have a child) or you end it and go find someone who wants what you do. Personally I don’t believe any man or partner is worth giving up on the chance to have a child but some might feel differently.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to ultimatum him into a wedding as the last thing you need is to be married to a reluctant husband who only did it under duress. Screw that, it’s an honour to marry a wonderful person and you should feel your partner feels that way too. And be wary of the ring that arrives after you walk away as it’s borne out of fear and often laziness and not an indicator he actually deeply wants to marry you.

You should have been here asking this at least a year ago but you know what they say... the best time was in the past, the next best time is now. Go get your future and start advocating for yourself!

EarthSight Tue 27-Oct-20 18:28:13

I'm not religious nor am I convinced that getting married is fantastic, but a good counter argument to his is -

If you don't think marriage isn't a huge deal.....then why not do it then? Why not set a date to have a mini ceremony in a month's time in a registery office? I'm sure he won't object to this....after all, it's not a big deal, eh? It's just a piece of paper! This argument works for lots of things. Some people get enraged at certain things, dismiss certain changes, and roll their eyes and say 'God, why does it even matter??!!''.....well it does matter, because they wouldn't be so enraged otherwise! They are just unwilling or unable to articulate why. Same here. I don't think have a legal registry office ceremony is that if you organised everything (shitty, I know).....then he would show up because it's just another day out for him.......right? I think we all know he wouldn't.

By not marrying you, he is actually acknowledging that it IS important - he's just not honest about the reasons why. After 5 years there must be a lingering doubt in the back of his mind about it, and I would want to know what that is, because it makes your relationship vulnerable. I'm actually not sure about the legalities of being married, but women here seem pretty convinced that as a mother you will have more rights if you are married, and he will have less freedom to do as he chooses. He probably knows that.......but it quite happy to let you have children and be vulnerable though!! THAT'S fine because it won' pt be him in that position. Hmmmm....interesting. I think you need to look out for your own interests as much as he's doing.

Not saying that men want to get married always for the right reasons. Some do it because they're possessive, and others do it because they are very impulsive, fall head over heels and want to marry the woman straight away without realising that he has an idealised view of her and marriage....not good. But, it does show energy, optimism, direction, certainty, focus, investment and trust.

StephenBelafonte Tue 27-Oct-20 18:37:05

Would he agree to a civil ceremony instead?

I'm not sure that having a baby is a bigger commitment than marriage - not for a man anyway. I hope you don't mind me asking but are most of the assets his?

goldenharvest Tue 27-Oct-20 18:41:11

End the relationship. If he is upset and asks you to marry him, then he is committed to you. If he accepts the break up then you've got your answer. Marriage gives a woman more rights than co habiting. cohabiting give a man everything he wants without committment.

LouisLitt Tue 27-Oct-20 18:41:37

I would cut my losses and stop wasting fertile years waiting for someone who clearly isn’t ready to commit.

Dontbeme Tue 27-Oct-20 18:46:54

He says having a baby together should prove his commitment

Being blunt having a baby will just show he had unprotected sex with you, not commitment. Why would he want a baby with you but fail to legally protected you or the baby through marriage? Marriage is not the dress, cake, suit or knees up, it is primarily a legal contract to protect you both in worst case scenario, without it you are vulnerable and will be without any options if he gets suddenly ill or dies unexpectedly. No pension, widow benefits, legal protection, no next of kin in cases of serious illness.

Ask any of the posters on here what their life was like when an unmarried partner suddenly died and they were sidelined by partners family and left with nothing for them or DC. Do not rely on anyone's kindness to protect you, they will nearly always disappoint.

happytoday73 Tue 27-Oct-20 18:57:29

I agree with previous posters counter argument... If its important to you but they see it as nothing/just a piece of paper then it shouldn't bother them to marry you and make you happy because it's meaningless/just a piece of paper.

category12 Tue 27-Oct-20 19:14:30

Having a baby together is a commitment to the child, not each other. (And even then, a fair amount of guys fuck off out of their children's lives).

If not marriage, why not a civil partnership?

There are good legal reasons to marry/have a civil partnership - .

If you are planning on reducing your hours or becoming a sahm, you'd be very foolish to do that unmarried. Is he prepared to do 50% of childcare, take off time when the child is ill or for school holidays, do pick-ups and drop-offs, etc - or is it your work, your career prospects and pension that he expects to be impacted, alone? Unless he is actually planning and committed to taking the hit himself as well, you'd be daft to get pregnant without marriage.

And if you do want marriage as a dealbreaker kind of issue, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you go ahead and have dc with him first.

courtrai Tue 27-Oct-20 19:16:24

I had 2 children with a man who really didn't want them (I did and happily accepted the lions share of responsibility). I then heavily hinted until he gave in and proposed. We are now divorced. He has no contact with our eldest and is an adequate parent to our second child. He pays no maintenance despite CMS involvement. I wouldn't swap my children for the world but I'd give the world to give them a better father

Hesfamousforit Tue 27-Oct-20 19:17:45

I don't think you should expect him to marry you because you want to be married. Not being married is as big a deal to some as being married....
I have never seen seen the point in marriage. I would be pissed off if I was being pressured in to it when I had already made my feelings on the subject clear. You have to respect his choice and maybe that means you are not as compatible as you thought.

BuffayTheVampireLayer Tue 27-Oct-20 19:18:13

A baby is no commitment at all confused. Sorry OP but he doesn't want to marry you. If he did then he would.

Farle29 Tue 27-Oct-20 19:21:33

Happened to a friend of mine. Her DP always said it was just a piece of paper and she went along with it. 3 kids later, he met someone else and married her within 18 months. The shock of the break up was bad enough for her but the fact that he got married broke her. She was in a bad way but had to keep a brave face for their kids. The point is if he wants to marry you, he will. He was keeping his options open, looking for something better.

Puppylover99 Tue 27-Oct-20 19:23:06

Id leave & find someone who wants the same as you rather than waste your time waiting for him to change his mind!
I been in same position and now seeing my younger sisters marry, it hurts.

StartingGridGo Tue 27-Oct-20 19:25:55

Too late, you've had a baby with him, there's no way he's marrying you now.

I hope you gave the baby your surname but I doubt you did.

RantyAnty Tue 27-Oct-20 19:41:56

Many have been in your situation and for the most part, it doesn't end well.

It's been 5 years and you have a DC with him.

You can book the registry and then see if he'll go. You'll have your answer.

You can leave him and make yourself available to find someone who is interested in marriage with you.

melisande99 Tue 27-Oct-20 19:45:23

I don't think they do have a child yet. Or do you, OP?

StartingGridGo Tue 27-Oct-20 19:48:49

I'll bet my next mortgage payment that she's already had a baby with him.

FinallyHere Tue 27-Oct-20 19:52:48

* He says having a baby together should prove his commitment*

Sorry, this makes no sense at all.

Having a baby makes you very vulnerable. Marriage is designed to provide significant protections for you as the financially more vulnerable partner.

How would having a baby without those protections prove anything other than is not being straight with you. Maybe unconsciously, maybe consciously he is not being fair.

I'd give him one chance to repent and ask you or Fumo him. Whatever you do, do not have a child with him while unmarried.

anniversarywoes Tue 27-Oct-20 20:04:15

But if his parents never married I can totally understand his viewpoint!
My best friend has never married her long term partner, they've been together for 30 years and her grown up ds has no intention of marrying.

Hesfamousforit Tue 27-Oct-20 20:06:38

Sorry re reading this post it was unfair of him to say it was on the cards when in fact it wasn't.

Dery Tue 27-Oct-20 20:17:44

I agree with PP: if marriage is important to you and he’s not bothered, then why not marry? But his ongoing excuses show that he does not want to marry you. Being unmarried may have worked out fine for his parents but it does bring risks - particularly if you become an SAHM (it’s unclear from your OP if you’ve already had children). DH and I got married because without that we weren’t each other’s next of kin, even though we had children together (did that first because we were older when we met). It also has significant inheritance tax implications.

You’ve given him 5 years and he’s coming up with excuses not to marry. That’s his right but it may be time to cut your losses and move on.

doireallyneedaname Tue 27-Oct-20 20:27:09

Thanks for the replies, I’ll read them now - just wantsd to quickly clarify that we do already have a baby together, which was fairly planned.

OP’s posts: |
TheDaydreamBelievers Tue 27-Oct-20 20:30:41

I would say it's okay for you to want marriage and its okay for him not to. It's clearly important to you both in opposite directions. It wouldn't be okay to threaten him or wail until he proposes, but it's okay to say sorry, this relationship isnt going to work for me, I need a marriage to feel like my relationship is committed and to legally protect me. Like others, I'm not sure I'd have a child with someone who said they wouldn't do something this important to me just because they weren't bothered

TheDaydreamBelievers Tue 27-Oct-20 20:31:42

Sorry @doireallyneedaname cross posted! I agree with others that he does care in a way, otherwise he would just get married! Is he willing to articulate why he is so keen NOT to?

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