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Having those serious talks

(14 Posts)
ProbablyBeingNaive Tue 15-Sep-09 18:05:50

I've name-changed for this.

Basically, DP and I have been together for a while, and at the back of my mind, I've always kind of thought "this is it", but we've never really discussed marriage, living together, kids in a meaningful way.
Now, a couple of weeks ago we were (due to another person's lack of social graces) kind of forced to discuss the big "moving in together" question. I'm not particularly keen on the idea (for me, don't mind/judge if other people do) for a number of reasons:
1. I like having my own space and independence, and won't willingly give it up so easily
2. I know too many women who want more (marriage etc.), move in with the guy, and then that's it. He refuses to commit further, she harasses him and it goes downhill from there (he starts viewing her as a nag and so on). Also, a friend of my parents, lived with someone 30 odd years, she refused to marry him, he's now left her, married a much younger model and now they're having DCs
Now, most of DP's close friends are very settled and for three of his best friends:
- the first guy's GF is pregnant (they've been living together for years, own property together, but he refuses to marry her because he doesn't really want to, so the baby was a concessin)
- second guy has also lived with his GF for years, but she's now apparently "harassing" him all the time about getting married
- third guy has been with his GF for 6 months, they're moving in together, buying a property together, and getting some kind of special legal status (for tax reasons) which kind of treats them as a married couple (they're not based in the UK). Obviously, this is a HUGE deal.
Since DP heard all of this (particularly about 3rd guy) he's been all off with me and huffy.
I know we need to have "the" discussion, I know he would like to move in together, though I'm not too keen (it's not against him, it's a me thing). I would LOVE to marry him, but he says he wants to live together first to see if we can (which I personally think is a bit of a cop out: if I leave the lid off the toothpaste does this now mean we're through?) and I am concerned that, we'll move in together, and that will be it. No more commitment.

Sorry if this is a bit rambly, but I'm trying to sort out my own thoughts.
The final thing is, I never imagined that the decision to want to spend the rest of my life with someone and the possible proposal would come out because of DP's friends buying a house, or another really socially inept friend asking awkward questions. There are times I have doubts bout DP as well, and I don't think he realises that they way he acts some times makes me think "do I really want to spend the rest of my life with this man?"

mumblechum Tue 15-Sep-09 18:11:51

Hmm, I suppose the presumption is now that you try before you buy, and that's why virtually everyone lives together first.
My own experience is that I was first married at 21 and didn't live with ex. first. I don't honestly think it would have made any difference if we had, I was all keen on the whole white wedding malarky.

2nd time round we lived together for a few months then got married almost on the spur of the moment.

I do find it weird sometimes when people are getting married years after living together, having had kids together, bought houses jointly. Why bother doing it all that way round?

Sorry I know I haven't really answered your question, but basically I think you should follow your instinct and not allow yourself to be pressured just to conform with your peer group.

GypsyMoth Tue 15-Sep-09 18:14:34

our relationship is a bit different,but it works!!
dp and i have separate homes....we have one dc together,i have others here too from previous relationship. we've been together happily for over 5 years now....no marriage and no plans to either!

no living together.....just don't want that (me)think he will do one day though.

he was going to get a job locally,and then move in,but that was at beginning of the relationship,and we realise its a good arrangement this way for us. he comes over at weekends and some mid weeek nights after work,but he's based 50 miles away so sometimes its difficult. i LOVE the independence and really look forward to spending proper time with him,no arguing or bickering and no dirty washing!!

ProbablyBeingNaive Tue 15-Sep-09 18:17:57

Yes mumblechum: a friend's parents just got married after living together for 30 years! At least they didn't rush, I suppose.

That's the thing: I love my independence. If I do give it up, I want it to be for something I think is final (even though it may not be). I suppose I am also concerned after hearing about so many of DP's friends who are living with their GFs, and the way they talk about them. It seems more of a convenience than actually "this is the person I love and want to commit my life to". For one of them, they've been together for a while, with two DCs, but he doesn't seem to really like her. I would hate that.

ProbablyBeingNaive Tue 15-Sep-09 18:24:12

Actually ILove, that would be the BEST idea, but I don't see DP coming around to it.

why do you think you would loose your independance by living together?.. surely you still do your own things you do now except you come home to share a bed?

you would have more time to spare as sharing the housework and chores.

duelingfanjo Tue 15-Sep-09 18:37:02

Have you ever talked about marriage and how he feels about it?

LilianGish Tue 15-Sep-09 18:40:22

DH and I didn't live together before we got married (despite being in our 30s). Much was to do with circumstances - he was living in France and I had a job in England. My thinking was I didn't want to give up my job and my independence just to move in together - I wanted a proper commitment from him first. Obviously being married is no guarantee that you'll stay together, but at least it demonstrates the intention to do that. I agree that moving in together "to see if we can" is a cop out. Living with anyone involves a huge amount of compromise with all its attendant bickering - for me the point of being married first is that you agree to find compromises otherwise it's too easy to say sorry I can't live with you leaving the lid off the toothpaste or whatever. Don't know if that is anyway helpful, but that's what I think!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 15-Sep-09 18:43:58

If he is being huffy with you because someone else is getting legal stuff to bind them together then he is acting like an idiot.

I would be considering my own thoughts on where I want my life to go and if he can make it better.

ProbablyBeingNaive Tue 15-Sep-09 20:19:54

To answer some questions (sorry about delay, been away from computer):
- I am the kind of person who really needs to have some time to myself, at least once a week, and loves having my own space. Sharing a room with someone else would make this very difficult, and you do have to take the other person's considerations more into account (basically, I kind of enjoy the selfish aspects of my current existence)
- We have kind of talked about marriage before, but this was only a couple of months into the relationship. He seems very pro, but with the caveat mentioned above. I was in a relationship previous to this where we talked about getting married from the third date, but ended up having to break up for reasons beyond our control. I was devastated (to put it mildly) and so tend to be quite cautious and at first did get a bit freaked out when he started mentioning it. Now I would be happier to discuss the idea.
- I agree Lilian. My DB and his wife didn't live together before they were married, and apparently the first year of marriage was absolute hell (both said they would hate to ever have to repeat it), but, they are now VERY happy, with one DC and a second on the way. I do wonder if they had been just living together in that first year, if they would have made it.

Another thing which I have been pondering and finally figured out why it upsets me, is with a lot of the GFs I've mentioned above, they are all apparently "harassing" their BFs to agree to marry them. I would hate to end up in a position where I have to try and convince the person I love to commit to me in that way, rather than both parties entering willingly (and happily) into it. For some of them as well, I get the feeling that they are hedging their bets so to speak, waiting for someone else to come along.

Yes FBG, I agree. He is acting like an idiot.

CarGirl Tue 15-Sep-09 20:26:14

If you want the committment of marriage then I'd insist on marriage before moving in together. Either he's committed to your relationship or he isn't, he needs to decide.

The first few years of living together are challenging - lots of compromise etc.

skihorse Tue 15-Sep-09 20:53:15

1) Stop comparing yourself to other people.

2) Do whatever you feel is right for you.

3) I read in a book called "The Bitch in the house" - a tale of a lady who met a man she loved, but chose NOT to change her lifestyle (i.e., move in with him) unless it was actually progression in her life - i.e., marriage. There's nothing wrong with that IMO, if you want marriage - you want marriage and I know you don't want to end up obsessed and whiny and wondering if he'll propose this Valentine's day and making a needy twat of yourself... so, spell it out for him. Men don't mindread.

terracehouse Tue 15-Sep-09 20:53:40

What's that expression about not buying the cow when you get the milk for free? grin

If you want marriage, I wouldn't move in together unless you've got engaged. I reckon men respect an old fashioned girl.

[old gimmer emoticon]

ProbablyBeingNaive Tue 15-Sep-09 21:04:50

Thanks ladies!

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