Advanced search

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.

*Is long term cohabitation just commitment phobia?*

(113 Posts)
Wonderpet Mon 16-Mar-09 11:38:34

How many women kid themselves that they are ok with 'living together' when secretly, they view marriage a sign of commitment, but they don't feel they can ask their man to marry them? Or am I the only one that thinks this way?

plantsitter Mon 16-Mar-09 11:40:36

Are you married?

DP and I will know each other for the rest of our lives now DD is here. Much bigger commitment than a day in a church, a disco and a fancy frock imo.

fryalot Mon 16-Mar-09 11:44:46

I've been married.

dp has been married.

We've both had our day in church (well, his was in a registry office, but ykwim)

Our children are a much bigger commitment than an actual marriage certificate.

Sometimes I wish we were married, but generally when I get fed up of people calling our children by my name (which is the name of my ex husband as I never reverted back to my maiden name) or when I realise the toaster's broken again and if we had a wedding we'd get loads as presents wink

paolosgirl Mon 16-Mar-09 11:45:09

A marriage is not a day in a church, a disco or a fancy frock - it's a heck of a lot more than that. A child means you are commited to the child, not necessarily to each other.

rubyslippers Mon 16-Mar-09 11:46:46

a marriage is not a day in church - that is a wedding

some people don't look beyond that though

MrsSeanBean Mon 16-Mar-09 11:51:15

Everyone's circumstances are different, but to answer the OP, yes I think the same. Besides it should be the man doing the asking! [old fashioned emoticon]

plantsitter Mon 16-Mar-09 11:52:03

OK I was being flippant. But I have made a private, life-long commitment to DP. I don't see why this shows commitment phobia. Marriage is great for some people, just not for me. Doesn't mean I am incapable of committing to anyone or anything.

seeker Mon 16-Mar-09 11:53:21


My "unmarried" relationship has outlived all - and I mean all - the relationships of our contemporaries. My brother has been married 3 times in the time dp and I have been together. No. Living together is NOT some sort of sub-marriage for women who can't get men to marry them. That is insulting to both women and men. It is an active choice taken by 2 adults who see no reason to make a public display of their relationship and have no religious beliefs that make marriage essential for them.

MrsSeanBean Mon 16-Mar-09 11:53:52

If you have children with a partner, that is a commitment in itself. But if you are living together without DC it's slightly different.

phdlife Mon 16-Mar-09 11:54:20

Dh and I lived together for 6.5 years before I finally told him I was ready to get married. He'd been making noises for years, but I wasn't up for it - not that I was commitment-phobic, just that I couldn't get my head around that kind of responsibility. Then one day I woke up and it clicked. We married a few months later and it's still going nicely with 1 and a bit dc's, but I couldn't have even considered them before I was well and truly ready, iyswim.

<<waves at Squonky>>

paolosgirl Mon 16-Mar-09 11:55:05

I have a friend who has been with her DP for 7 years, they have 2 children together and own a house together. They got engaged, then bought a house then had a child, but somewhere along the lines 'forgot' to get married.

She would like to get married now, he says they can't afford it (because to them a wedding means a big expensive affair), and she's miffed because he would happily spend £15K on a car.

Wonderpet Mon 16-Mar-09 11:56:01

My friend lived withher boyfried for seven years. She insisted that she didn't want marriage. They split up and then two years later they got back together when he proposed?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lal123 Mon 16-Mar-09 11:58:09

I've been with DP for 16 years now - own our house, 1 dd and another on the way. I don't think that our not being married says anything about our committment to each other. Getting married wouldn't prove he (or I) was more committed - and I don't need that sort of proof anyway??

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 16-Mar-09 11:59:12

Message withdrawn

MrsSeanBean Mon 16-Mar-09 11:59:45

>>She would like to get married now, he says they can't afford it << A civil marriage costs about £100, not beyond most people's reach if they really want to do it. You can wear jeans and trainers, in and out in 10 mins (the registry office that is wink )

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paolosgirl Mon 16-Mar-09 12:02:26

I completely agree, MrsSB. For whatever reason, they feel that a wedding should be a big affair, and if you're not going to spend a lot then it's not worth doing. I'm afraid I don't share that sentiment at all.

dustbuster Mon 16-Mar-09 12:02:28

I think the legal benefits of marriage are overstated, to be honest. OK, there are some e.g. widow's allowance, but not too many that cannot be got by e.g. putting a house in joint names.

MrsSeanBean Mon 16-Mar-09 12:04:38

I would never have lived with a man who was not prepared to marry me. If he didnt want marriage - fine - his choice - off he went to find someone like minded.
If neither party wants to get marriage that's their prerogative.
But IMO it's not good for self esteem to be with someone who doesn't want to get married when you do/ ie. who is not as committed to the relationship as you presumably are.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paolosgirl Mon 16-Mar-09 12:05:20

You might want to read this, Dustbuster

dustbuster Mon 16-Mar-09 12:05:52

Well yes indeed themildmanneredjanitor, because the divorce rate in this country is incredibly low. grin

paolosgirl Mon 16-Mar-09 12:06:53

More people who live together split up than those who are married!

plantsitter Mon 16-Mar-09 12:07:22

Actually I don't feel especially strongly that I don't believe in marriage, I just find it grossly insulting that people feel free to tell me I'm a commitment-phobe because I choose not to do it.

I think SOME people don't believe in marriage because it is rooted in patriarchal tradition, where women are bought, sold and given away like property.

Not saying I feel like that, mind.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now