Post # 1
SO has finally admitted that he doesn’t feel ready for marriage. He’s 31 but says he doesn’t feel much older than when he was in high school. There has been some changes in his life over the past couple years, the kind of thing that happens as you grow up, such as moving to another city for work and making your own home, or losing family members and pets. He says he isn’t ready for these changes and still feels stressed about them, never mind considering marriage as well.
I asked what can make him “ready” and how long it might take, and he doesn’t know. We’re together for over 3 years, we live together like a married couple and we adopted 2 dogs. We take vacations with his family and his niece calls me her aunt. He was promoted in his job this spring. We have a mortgage agreement and we’re looking for the right apartment to buy. Some of our friends are getting married soon and others already married. We already live a mature adult life as a commited couple, so I don’t see why he’s afraid to make it formal by getting married. I feel like we’re already a little family and he just needs to put a ring on my finger to seal this deal. But he obviously feel like he’s on a train speeding toward middle age and he wants to hit the breaks because he isn’t ready to give up his youth yet.
I pointed out that we know people age 20 who are married with kids and are still young, so marraige doesn’t mean you’re old. I said our current life won’t change if we get married but he can lose me if we don’t. I said time passes the same if we’re married or not – marriage won’t make him old and avoiding it won’t make him young. He makes different excuses – he can’t afford a big ring, he can’t afford to do a big exciting proposal like in Vegas or something, I say I don’t care about that but he says I must do and he wants to wait so he can give me it. Some times if we had a fight or something he says I can’t be a good wife or mother, so that’s why he doesn’t marry me. But other times we don’t fight and he says he loves me and he is committed to us.
It’s very confusing for me and I believe he loves me but don’t know why this man of 31 doesn’t feel mature enough to be a husband, when he aleady lives like a husband anyway. I worry how long can I wait when I’m older than 30 and want babies, and I don’t know whether to wait or end it with him. Does anyone have any helpful words.
Post # 3
@Fiberoptic: I don’t really have any helpful words, unfortunately. I’m sorry you’re going through this, however it seems he made it very clear that he’s not ready for marriage and you have to respect that. Giving him an ultimatum/blackmailing him/trying to make him feel guilty may just make him resent you. You need to decide if you’re willing to stick it out with him until he’s ready, or if you’re going to walk away.
Post # 4
It sucks you guys aren’t on the same page but at least he is being honest which gives you a chance to decide if you want to continue your relationship or not. Good luck!
Post # 5
But then he tells me so casually in the bathroom last week, shall we get married and have a family? And I say if you propose, of course you know my answer will be yes. He said things like that before, and he talks about what kind of wedding he likes, and says what would we call our baby, and what it would be like when we’re old together. And he says he wants to look after me and be commited to us. But then he says he isn’t ready and gets angry if I mention again about getting married. It’s just confusing.
Post # 6
Why is that when they talk marriage and babies it’s endearing, and when we do, we’re crazy bitches on a mission? Not fair!
He’s given you his most honest answer. As much as he does like to envision a future with you, he’s not ready for it. I can’t tell if there’s enough hope to wait around.
Post # 7
I’d be very nervous that he’s said he thinks you’d be a bad wife or mother. He might not think of you as “the one” if he’s said that– even while fighting. Particularly if he’s said it more than once… To me at least that sounds like a truth let out that you can’t take back. Maybe he just said it out of anger and apologized profusely later but it would definitely give me reason to question him quite seriously on whether he believed it.
I could be wrong, but it sounds like he might be one of those guys who’s happy to live with you and enjoy a life together because it’s convenient but has no intention of ever having you as his wife.
I hope you take some time to think about whether marriage and then kids are important to you, or if you would be okay just staying unmarried with him. If it’s a marriage you need to be happy, it might be soon time for you to walk. (Does the mortgage agreement mean you’re already locked into it?)
Good luck OP. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you that either your bf mans up or you decide to do what will be best for you.
ETA: I’ve gone back and read your past posts. You should do the same. Read them as if you didn’t write them; what advice would you give now to someone who’d written all that?
Are you living or just existing? Are you happy or are you just settling because you’re feeling the ticking clock? It really sounds like the latter and that makes me feel sad for you. You sound as unhappy as you did a year ago. This guy you’re dating isn’t looking out for the best interests of your heart.
Life’s too damn short. You’re worth more than this relationship is giving you. Why not go for something wild and exciting instead of the same old same old unfulfilling with this nice, comfortable guy? I kind of hope you’ll dump him, travel and meet new people, have a baby on your own, and eventually meet a man who will wow you and woo you and communicate with you and propose when he’s known you a year. You don’t have to settle.
Post # 8
Sounds like he needs some time with a therapist to discuss the committement issues and fear he is having. The excuses he is coming up with are not really rational because, as you point out, you are living like a grown-up married couple. Also, the fact tht he uses your desire for marriage and motherhood to hurt you after a fight is not good. Hopefully it’s something he can overcome, but if not move on.
Post # 9
I agree with most of her post.
Really go back and read your old threads. Even in anger the truth always comes out. Hell, even in light conversations it does as you know very well.
My ex used to use my desire for marriage against me in fights or while trying to be humorous. I was too blinded by love and comfort after years of being in a long term relationship with this man to see that he had no intent of marrying me.
When a man says things like that about marriage I know now to take him at his word. you’re already living like a married couple to him he probably doesn’t see the point of sealing the deal.
You really have to decide if this is something you can continue to be in. He seems happy with the status quo
Post # 10
@Fiberoptic: I’m sorry your SO is treating you this way. It does sound like he is perfectly happy the way things are. I’m a huge proponent of not moving in with somone before you have a commitment of engagement, esp if one party already knows that they want to be married to the other. My therapist always said you move in when the ring is on the finger. Since it doesn’t seem like he’s moving in the direction you would like maybe you should put a hold on buying a place together and maybe think about taking a step back. If he’s super comfortable then there is no reason for him to change his behavior.
Post # 11
I’m sorry you are in this situation. You need to take time to think long and hard about whether you are willing to stay in a relationship that is not heading towards marriage. When a guy jumps from reason to reason, you have been together for a few years, you are in your thirties, and you are financially stable enough to have a mortgage – it usually means he has no intention of marrying you ever. It doesn’t mean you are defective. Please remember that. It’s not your fault.
Post # 12
@Fiberoptic: Sorry to hear this is happening. My SO used to be the same when it came to anything to do with the future (apart from baby names because I run a baby name website, and he can’t avoid that topic!). I pushed for a while, but it only made him upset.
What helped in my situation was giving him space, and just taking the relationship each day and sharing our love without stressing about the future. Within a year and a half, he started coming around and mentioning these things.
So it had to be on his terms. I had to stop pushing him in a direction he wasn’t ready to take, and let him learn to want those things too. Now he doesn’t stop mentioning them! Let me also mention that this was after our 4th anniversary that he started thinking about it.
Good luck xx
Post # 13
I’m sorry to say this but from reading your previous posts, this guy looks nowhere nearer a proposal than he was a year ago. In fact, I doubt very much that he’ll ever be ready. Quite why he refuses to commit I don’t know since he’s perfectly happy to buy an apartment with you but then he can’t afford to do this without your financial input can he? So it looks like he can make decisions about important things but only when they suit him. Your feelings seems to come rather lower down the list.
It occurs to me that he’s taking you for a very long ride but doesn’t actually have the courage to come clean about his intentions. If I were you I’d stop waiting for him and concentrate on forging a new life.