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.
What makes men decide to get married?(123 Posts)
Any men out there who can speak from experience? Or women whose husbands have explained it to them? What is the trigger between being in love and wanting/hoping it will last forever? I am fed up waiting, I am 100% sure he loves me and can't get enough of me, I make sure he knows I feel the same, we're in our thirties and it's been nearly 2 years.... What can I do to (subtly) tip him over the edge? And please don't say I should ask him, that may work for some people but not for us.
if asking him outright won't work, how will you manage any other burning issue
If you can't ask him, then he's doing the right thing by not proposing. Saying that actually communicating with your partner "doesn't work for you" means you are absolutely not ready to be married.
Do you mean you can't ask him to marry you, or that you don't want to discuss the issue with him?
If you're looking for subtle ways to cajole a man into popping the question, you're probably on the wrong discussion board.
I don't think 2 years is that long to be together before getting engaged/married. That said, if you're thinking you want kids soonish, then that is a conversation you need to have - establish where he seems himself in 5 years time. With you? With kids? Check your expectations are roughly the same, then worry about the marriage thing. Or just ask him.
Doesn't seem that long, in fact I'm not sure we were even having a conversation about where we wanted to be in five years time after two years of a relationship. Is there a big hurry?
I agree I wouldn't want to propose to my DP either
I felt the same as you, DP and I live together and very happy but no signs of a proposal so sat down and had a chat with DP, told him I want us to be together forever, told him marriage very important to me and not something I am prepared to wait years and years for. Also reminded him of my age (30s) and that if we do want a family time is limited. He assured me he feels the same and that he does see us getting married in the not too distant future etc.
I didn't put a deadline on him to propose or twist his arm, I was just honest about what I want. Because at the end of the day if he doesn't want the same things I need to know now!
I am neither a man nor married but I would suggest possibly the same things that make women decide to get married?
You don't need to ask him but you do need to be able to talk about major life decisions and plans for the future.
What makes you consider marriage?
I think AnaLou82 has the right idea.
If you are saying you do not want to propose to HIM then that's fine - as above.
If you are saying you don't want to / can't discuss the future , your needs and priorities then that's a big red flag. Which is it OP??
I don't think couples should get married if it's such a big deal in their relationship that the man does the proposing. It's unlikely to be an equal partnership but one that is based on outmoded sexual stereotypes.
Have been married to DH for 6 years but we'd been together for 1year 2months before we got married. I knew we were in love & I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I didn't give him ultimatum but I told him where I see myself (am not one of those people who would stay for over 6 years happily until he proposes or we break up) I wanted to have kids after being married & before I had reached a certain age. I did not ask him to marry me but I did tell him it was best to separate if he does not see himself with the same direction/vision I had for us. If the relationship is right it doesn't matter how many years you've been together. My sister & her husband were married within 3 months of meeting & they have been together happily for 11 years. You need to let your DP know what you want without being too forceful & be ready to evaluate your relationship & personal needs if he does not want the same things.
Our 25th Anniversary is this year so been a while since I asked her. We met at Uni / college so did not get married until all the courses were done and into first jobs.
For us it was just the right thing to do - plus PIL would not allow us to sleep together until married .
Do you go to other friends weddings - could you not bring up the subject then? What about children - is that something he wants / doesn't?
DH said that he decided to ask me to marry me when he felt reasonably confident that he'd get a positive response! It was quite a surprise when he did ask, we have never been that big about discussing the future, always quite content to muddle along as we've both got busy lives. He also had to get a few practical things into place (work, home, finances) and wanted to get all of that sorted first.
I don't think two years is really that long either, I'd been with DH for four years before he popped the question and hadn't really thought about it. My circle of friends have tended to co-habit rather than marry though, so it just wasn't on my radar. I did say to him though that I would never consider living with a man unless we were married (I have read too many horror stories about women left stranded after moving into their DP's home and not having any rights when the relationship breaks down). But I wasn't angling to get married at the time, in fact I preferred having my own place. It is something to consider if you aren't already living together.
Introduce the topic (if you are really hung up on the idea of him proposing). Have you discussed marriage at all? Some people have perfectly valid objections to the entire institution. Others feel that there is no need to rush into it - though I appreciate that a woman in her 30s who wants children needs to organise her priorities rather than hang around hoping indefinitely. So you should be able to say to him that you are starting to think about having children, and ask him how he feels about that? If you don't feel you can discuss the future with him at all, then you shouldn't marry him anyway.
I decided to propose because I was sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with DW and was sure she felt the same. We had both been brought up in families where marriage worked and so it was a natural progression.
I think I would have been a bit put off if my wife had tried to "tip me over the edge". I would have been happy if she'd proposed to me but I think I would have felt a bit pushed into it if she had been hinted or steering me down the line of proposing to her.
If you are thinking that the clock is ticking for other reasons (children etc) then have those discussions openly without discussing the subject of marriage. You'll soon find out what he thinks.
If you can't talk about your future together, you have no future together.
My dp proposed after 5 months together. If someone had told me I would have been in that situation I would have been horrified. However, I have been feeling that it's what I've wanted for a while (we're noth in our early 30s so have a lot experience to compare to).
I did ask him what made him propose as opposed to moving in together and his words were that he wanted to show he loved me and he wanted to marry me. He said he had had 'stirrings' and it hadn't crossed his mind before with anyone else so I suppose it was a way of setting apart the relationship from past relationships as well as making the 'grown=up' conversations more acceptable for want of a better word.
There are loads of issues I would want to discuss before agreeing to marriage. Obviously children is one of them but also the work/childcare/housework/free time balance, finances, where to live and how we would decide. What the 'deal breakers' would be, etc. Have you discussed any of these yet?
I think people are being a bit unfair to JessieJ. If she is 32 then baby wise she needs to get going.
I don't think it is at all unreasonable to want that level of commitment. Whereas the institution of marriage does not automatically guarantee eternal bliss, that doesn't undermine the concept of marriage which is two people saying to eachother 'I find you so important to me that I am prepared to enter into an exclusive commitment'. Whatever the progressives say, women AND men still want to get married.
But Jessie the red flags that people are bringing up are valid. Why can't you talk about this? What is with the silently wishing and hoping - where are YOU in all of this? Have you brought up the idea of children together, and what is his reaction? (if you definitely want to have children and his reaction is not good, DON"T deny it. You will be making a choice between taking the risk of finding someone who does want to have children with you, or choosing him and childlessness).
And the fact that he is into you and can't get enough of you is meaningless. That is sex, not love. So maybe you need to work out what love is, and whether you have it.
This is what I have found (we were also hugely 'into' eachother. Means nothing when the conflicts start and you have no communication):
A relationship is the space between two different, separate individuals who ARE going to clash. Because they are different. In this space you should be safe enough to say what you really think, want, feel (in a respectful way) and the other person care enough about you to hear you. Then they put what they want, think feel into that space, you hear them, and you negotiate for a mutually beneficial outcome. It is a rising spiral of growth and connection, each wanting the best for the other and each giving a bit to get it.
I have been married for over 20 years and I don't have it. Take great care JessieJ for what you wish for. Spend time thinking about what you want, and then when you are sure, speak clearly and non-manipulatively. He has the right to disagree with you if that is not what he wants, and you must accept his needs too. (walk away if they don't agree with yours. 20 years of frustration and hurt is behind that advice!)
Tbh - I think my Dh is the 'marrying kind' - we married young at his suggestion & he's treated it as a great adventure.
A lot of my friends dp have a view of marriage as a burden and limitation - and drag their feet. I can't really suggest what to say that can alter such deep 'programming' - other than having the 'goals, hopes, values' chat early & frequently - to avoid misunderstandings and wasted efforts.
If you can't discuss it with him and can't ask him yourself, I would suggest it's not time to get married.
Have you discussed the important future stuff like children, careers, running your household, money etc?
I'm in a similar situation to you in that DP and I are in our 30s (I'm 34 next month and he's just turned 33) and we've been together for almost 2 years.
I've known from the word go that he is THE ONE and I know the feeling is reciprocated. Therefore it has always felt natural to me to want to get married - to set this relationship apart from everything that has gone before.
However, while he as said that he definitely sees marriage as part of our future, I'm not expecting a proposal any time this year. First of all, before he met me, he had never even had a relationship lasting more than a few months, so even moving in together was an enormous deal to him (and that had nothing to do with him not being committed to me, it was just a huge lifestyle change to him) The last thing I want to do is push him at a pace he's not comfortable with and scare him off. Secondly, there's no way we can afford to get married at the moment and I'm not keen on a long engagement - I was engaged to my ex for 3.5 years, with the wedding date always being pushed back -it became a complete joke. With hindsight he know he was completely wrong for me - he may have wanted a wedding, security, etc. But did he love me even half as much as DP? No way.
I think whether or not you want kids plays a huge factor in how long you would be comfortable waiting to get married. DPs younger brother and younger sister both got engaged a year after meeting their partners, married after two years and now less than a year after that the brother has a son and the sister is TTC. On the other hand, DP's twin and his partner have been together for 10 years and are as committed as ever but have no intention of getting married and are resolute that they don't want kids. As for myself and DP, we're still on the fence about having kids (yes, I know I don't have much time left!) As much as I think I might look back and regret not being a mum, I have such an amazing life at the moment that I'm not sure I would want it to change!
You don't have to be married to have children you know; many people aren't. I know it is more stable to have the relevant paper work etc and you want proof of his commitment but if your biological clock is getting to you then mabe talk babies first. Many of my friend's dp proposed AFTER first baby was born. One lady I know had twins and another child before SHE proposed to her then husband.
However I would hate to propose to the man. I wouldn't have kids with someone who wasn't commited again (been there; done that). I think many people don't want the expense of the wedding.
Join the discussion
Please login first.