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Proposal in long-term relationship ....

(96 Posts)
Lilalilo Mon 08-Feb-21 13:47:55

My question is does it happen?
I am 35 and my partner is 44. We have been together nearly 10 years. I feel I have compromised a lot. We have done things on his timeframe but I'm starting to get worried that we'll never be engaged or married.
When we got together it was a very slow burn and I was willing to take it slowly. Although I wouldn't hear from him for a week at a time.
After about a year we talked about moving in. I moved out of my house share but left in limbo as it took another year to finally move in together. And now for the past 8years that's what we've done.
In that time many of my friends have met their partners, got married, had kids.
We rent the same house we initially moved In to.
What should I do? I have always accepted his timeframe and have never pushed it, which is probably my down fall.
Do couples get married after such a long time?
I suppose there is a part of me where I feel envious of friends who have married in that time and seem to have a much more grown up relationship.
I also don't feel great about myself, I always felt he could do better and never wanted to rock the boat. He never compliments me but because I've put up with it I can't start complaining now.
I always raise the question of marriage and say when is it going to happen and they'll always be a jokey response as though I'm being silly for asking.
Thanks for reading

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DinosaurDiana Mon 08-Feb-21 13:52:52

Do you have or want kids ?

Lilalilo Mon 08-Feb-21 13:54:42

I don't know. I know that if my partner wanted them I'd say yes to having them but I don't feel I'd want to consider it before marriage.

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DinosaurDiana Mon 08-Feb-21 13:56:24

So you’ve been together 10 years and you haven’t had that conversation ?
You need to sit down and have a calm discussion about how you both see the future.

ReggaePerrin Mon 08-Feb-21 14:05:34

I also don't feel great about myself, I always felt he could do better and never wanted to rock the boat.

In the nicest possible way, has it ever occurred to you you could do better? Everything seems to be on his terms. You feel you've compromised a lot. He left you hanging for a year after agreeing to move in together. You don't want to rock the boat - does that mean you're walking on eggshells?

You don't feel great about yourself - I'm not surprised. He's not doing anything to make you feel great about yourself, from what you say.

Yes, people can get married after 40 years of living together but if it's not a good relationship already it would be a mistake, IMHO.

I don't mean to be harsh, OP, I just don't think getting married will solve any of those issues flowers

EarthSight Mon 08-Feb-21 14:13:58

He was 35 then when you met. That is definitely old enough to know what he wants. If he wanted to marry you, he would have done it by now. He's quite happy to plod along without marriage and without kids. For goodness sake - he's 44!!! If he doesn't want them now and is not proactive about then he never will. I think the same could have been said about him years ago.

Mutual enthusiasm is really important for raising children. Without it, you are more likely to have to deal with absolutely everything, all the mental load that comes with children, whilst he'll make sure he sticks to the fun stuff like taking them to theme parks and telling them bedtime stories.

Lilalilo Mon 08-Feb-21 14:21:29

Yes, it's just difficult to hear. I feel I am to blame because I've never asserted what I want and let him decide on our future.
We have spoken about getting engaged for so long now.
I've had counselling but gave that up. I just don't want to be on my own after being with someone for 10 years.
I do love him so much but not sure why he doesn't want to marry me.

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Aquamarine1029 Mon 08-Feb-21 14:22:51

Your partner has absolutely no intentions of marrying you. He's 44 and you've been together for a decade, he would know by now. I'm afraid you've been sleepwalking through your own life. If you want more than this, you need to first admit you will never get it from him. At your age, I would be moving on and quickly.

Jobsharenightmare Mon 08-Feb-21 14:28:09

It is better to be alone than with someone who is making you feel unwanted OP.

I think you can do better. Don't let fear be the only reason to stay. Loving someone isn't a good enough reason to sacrifice marriage and children for them. Imagine at 39 he leaves you for someone else...

Lilalilo Mon 08-Feb-21 14:53:42

Thanks everyone flowers
My friend got married on their tenth year of being together. Maybe I'm holding on to that.
I do not want to have to give an ultimatum, probably because I know him and he'd just put his head in the sand and nothing would change.
What I don't understand is why wouldn't someone want to marry after being together 10 years? We're pretty much married anyway.
We don't even share a house together but we could it's just that nothing seems to be right for us/him.
I suppose I don't understand why he is so against commitment yet on the surface it must seem we're so committed because of being together for 10 years confused

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Chimeraforce Mon 08-Feb-21 14:55:56

He doesn't want to marry you. Men do what they like usually, don't they?
If he wanted to be married he would be.
I'm 26 years in with a kid. Honestly, if you can, move on.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 08-Feb-21 15:03:53

You aren't married and don't share a home because he doesn't want any kind of permanent or legal commitment. It's as plain as the nose on your face, op. I'm sorry. He has been stringing you along for a decade. Stop allowing this.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 08-Feb-21 15:07:14

You state that you're pretty much married anyway. What does that even mean here, it means bugger all frankly. In the eyes of the law you aren't married and would be treated as two separate individuals unrelated to each other.

He will never marry you and if he wanted to he would have done so by now. He is quite happy as he is and you're merely followed in his wake this past decade. You have not spoken up or demanded anything of him, no wonder he's happy.

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?. Where did your lack of self worth here really start?. This man BTW has taken full advantage of you here and in turn you have really sleepwalked through your life to date. Nothing will change here unless you decide you want change and better for your own self.

Ponderinglife123 Mon 08-Feb-21 15:23:06

this thread is soo sad OP and i dnt mean that in a patronising way but ur OH is selfish to the core why wouldnt he marry you if its something youve made obvious to him that you want badly. Its nothing to do with you not being good enough i suspect this is all part of a bigger picture of him liking the feeling of keeping you guessing..am i enough? Does he really love me? Id sit him down and ask him again if he jokes tell him firmly im being serious do you ever see us getting married his body language will tell you everything you need to know. Ask him is it the money? the fear of being in the spotlight on the day? These are things that worry both men and women. Its hard to let go of someone you love but dont look back and regret not doing something you really want OP x

HighSpecWhistle Mon 08-Feb-21 15:29:05

We've been together 14 years. Engaged for 4. Plan to marry later this year or next (just a registry office).

Yes, lots of long-term couples decide to marry when the time is right for various reasons. For us, it's all about making sure we both have rights.

For others it may be about romance or other legalities.

viixie Mon 08-Feb-21 15:29:30

I agree with @Aquamarine1029, have the chat and move in if he doesn't want the same as you. Otherwise, you will soon find yourself alone, unmarried and without any children and it'll be too late to do any of those things. Find someone who wants what you want, don't waste any more time, you only live once.

HollowTalk Mon 08-Feb-21 15:37:10

If you want children and a marriage, I think you have to accept you're not going to get it with this man. He's been an adult for nearly 30 years. He does what he wants and he's not suggesting marriage to you.

If you invested your life savings into an account that gave you no interest and which lost value over the years, would you think that was a good investment?

Ohalrightthen Mon 08-Feb-21 15:42:03

Why don't you ask him to marry you and see what he says?

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 08-Feb-21 15:43:59

Have you heard of the sunk costs fallacy? If not please look it up. You’re throwing good time after bad at the moment and you won’t get what you want either by waiting or from him.

He’s in his mid 40s. He’s happy with the status quo. He also doesn’t even respect you enough to be honest and chooses to mock you and your dreams by joking or suggesting you’re being stupid. That’s not love or commitment OP.

No one here can know why he won’t marry you but you know in your heart that he won’t so if it’s a deal breaker you need to walk away.

If you’re considering being a mum I’d think seriously about that too. At 35 you’ve got time but not loads of it.

youvegottenminuteslynn Mon 08-Feb-21 15:47:18

AnneLovesGilbert

Have you heard of the sunk costs fallacy? If not please look it up. You’re throwing good time after bad at the moment and you won’t get what you want either by waiting or from him.

He’s in his mid 40s. He’s happy with the status quo. He also doesn’t even respect you enough to be honest and chooses to mock you and your dreams by joking or suggesting you’re being stupid. That’s not love or commitment OP.

No one here can know why he won’t marry you but you know in your heart that he won’t so if it’s a deal breaker you need to walk away.

If you’re considering being a mum I’d think seriously about that too. At 35 you’ve got time but not loads of it.


All of this.

Sometimes love isn't enough.

We tell teenagers that if you can't have a conversation with someone about sex, you shouldn't be having sex with them.

I think as adults that if you can't have an open, calm stress free conversation with someone about getting married, you shouldn't be getting married to them.

As PP said, you have some time but a. not loads and b. why spend it with someone who doesn't want what you want and isn't excited to get married when you know you want to? The longer you stay, the harder the sunk costs fallacy effect will be.

Jobsharenightmare Mon 08-Feb-21 16:13:38

But you're not pretty much married anyway.

You're just like people causally dating in the eyes of the law. There are some people who just don't want the commitment that comes with marriage. I think he wants to be able to leave if he pleases, not that he's unhappy but that he isn't prepared to commit at all.

Dery Mon 08-Feb-21 17:42:20

This may be completely wrong, but your partner aged 34 may have partly chosen you aged 25 because he anticipated women closer to him in age would be wanting to settle down and he wanted to avoid being required to commit. It's unimpressive, to say the least, that in 10 years together, your relationship appears to have made very little progress beyond what suits him. He's probably very happy as things are and sees no reason to raise marriage. And he's perhaps not particularly interested in having children.

But as PP have said, if you want marriage and children, OP, you need to stop acting like a passenger in your own life and address this with him sharpish and move on if he's unwilling to commit.

Remember, most men's fertility window is much bigger than most women's fertility window. There are exceptions, but a woman's fertility typically starts to wane significantly in her late 30s whereas most men can comfortably father children well into their 40s and 50s and even beyond.

I think your biggest risk here is that you miss the opportunity to have children only to have him move on to someone else younger and have a family with her. You probably know women that has happened to. I certainly do.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is your one shot. And you need to live your life. Not his. Particularly if having children is important to you, you need to take control of the situation and find out whether he shares this life plan or whether you need to look elsewhere.

ReggaePerrin Mon 08-Feb-21 18:16:26

We don't even share a house together

You said in your first post that you did move in together a year after making the decision. Whose property are you living in?

it's just that nothing seems to be right for us/him.

Is that him making all the decisions again? Manipulating you into accepting what he wants?

Why are you so keen to marry this man?

belle40 Mon 08-Feb-21 18:34:04

Sorry OP. I posted on another similar thread recently. I wasted my entire 30's with a man like this. He was younger than me but still very much an adult! He strung me along for many years and like you, I was scared of being on my own and felt that if I just waited...he would come round. He was so excited when numerous other friend got married and started a family. He was eventually told by one of his friends that I was on the precipice of leaving him. Several conversations with him lead no where. He then proposed and I accepted. This is my biggest regret in life. We were divorced 20 months later. He told me that he never wanted to marry me after 3 months. He is now married to someone else. Had no difficulty committing to her very quickly. I know it is so difficult to hear and it feels so big, but don't be me. I was 3 months from being 40 when he left.

In my experience, someone who wants to get married will propose. I think you probably know deep down that he is not interested in this with you. I'm sorry if I sound harsh but you only get one life. I would leave him and find someone who wants what you want. Good Luck.

Lilalilo Mon 08-Feb-21 19:06:33

belle40 I'm so sorry to hear this.
I suppose my partner is very stuck in his ways and not willing to commit any further sad. But like you say he could just walk away at any point.
We rent a house, the same house ever been renting for 7 or so years.
In this time several friends have met and married their partners, one friend got engaged after 6 months and married within 12 months!
I actually don't know anyone who isn't married. But deep.down I'm not prepared to leave or be on my own. I can't imagine starting again or how I'd even manage to meet someone.
I've always consoled myself that it's about the amount of time together and not grand gestures.
I also worry that long term relationships when they finally get married don't perhaps last and that would be us, in name married but again maybe he wouldn't actually be altogether committed. There is also an element that I do worry he'll meet someone else and just settled down and marry them ...all the things I wanted.
I realise that we've never had a great romance, I don't know what I mean by that but it's always plodded along.
Sorry to rant x

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