Having "The Talk"?

posted 2 years ago in Waiting
Post # 2
4042 posts
Honey bee

Veleyna:  Ok, the reality is that you two have been together long enough, are old enough and have a child together, so you should be able to have an honest, direct conversation with him about this. He needs to buck up and actually talk about it. While he doesn’t need to propose soon, he should be honest about a timeline and his thoughts.

My concern is that if he won’t talk about it, he is either really far from being ready or is not interested in being married to you. If he is not ready, he still needs to tell you. If he doesn’t want to marry you, then you need to know as well. Either response, you will have to decide how to deal with it. 

There is no magical or special way to do this. Just sit him down and say, “I need to have a serious, honest conversation with you. I need your thoughts and an answer on where you stand regarding our relationship and marriage.” If he won’t talk with you, then you should probably consider whether or not you are happy with the relatiionship as it stands or if you are willing to walk away.

Post # 3
878 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Veleyna:  you have to ask direct questions. Do you wanna marry me someday can mean do you wanna marry me 10 years from now. Due to school and family issues I had a specific time I hoped to get married. It was a reasonable time in our relationship as well. I told him my reasoning and he agreed with me. I told him that with that, and with me being a busy med student, I wanted a long engagement (1.5 years+) and we agree to get engaged by this August. We discussed things with actual dates, not vague maybes. 

Post # 4
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I suggest having a dinner out. Get a babysitter, go to your favorite restaurant, have a few drinks. When you’re waiting for entrees, tell him that you have had something on your mind for quite a while that you would like to share with him. Then tell him more or less everything you told us – how you love him and want you and your child to be officially family with him, recognized socially and legally. There are a lot of good, solid, health insurance/mutual assets/parental rights/legal security related reasons to want to get married to the father or your children, so don’t let yourself feel like the desperate GF who is forcing a timeline on your BF because she is sick of being jealous of her engaged friends. 

Ask him how he feels about marriage, is there anything holding him back, if no, when does he see himself deciding to get married.

I think it is important for you to have a few set goals for the convo – for example, to let him know you want to be legally married and officially recognized as family, and to find out in more detail what his feelings are about getting married, and a general timeline of when he’d like to see this happen. But if I were you, I would make a strong effort not to sell yourself as the easy breezy cheapy bride. If you try to influence him, you might get BS responses about his real feelings and timeline.

Last, you sound like a smart person with a legit desire and reason to get married. We all hope we just get asked exactly when we want it, but it doesn’t turn out like that for a lot of us. There’s no shame in waiting, and nothing wrong with ‘being the girl who has a timeline’. There is nothing wrong with having life goals.

Post # 6
878 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Veleyna:  There is a big difference between a timeline and an ultamatum. I won’t leave if SO doesn’t propose by August. I adore him. I will spend my life with him. Ill be upset and we will have a serious talk but I will NEVER leave. 

A timeline is an agreedup arangement 2 people make together. I would have been happy getting engaged much earlier but he wasnt quite comfortable with that. We found an arangement that works for both of us, with engagement soon and marriage in 2016 when I have a school break. 

You have to be prepared for compromise. You want to get married now? He prefers to wait a 3 years? Maybe you both could agree on 2. 

Its important to you. And if he loves you he WILL listen to you. He may not agree with you but he WILL LISTEN. you arent asking for a ring right now you are asking to plan a future. 

Post # 7
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Veleyna:  I would tell him to pick a date and time within the next week to have the marriage conversation.  If he can’t decide then tell him that you want to have the conversation on such and such date at such and such time and do it.  Do not give him the option of blowing you off anymore.

I would start the conversation by laying out how amazing your life together already is and then segue into how that supports your wanting and needing to be married.  Do a little research and present the benefits of being married over just living together.  I’m talking about lowered insurance (mine just dropped by $120 a year after we got married!), property rights (not having to argue over money with inlaws in the event of your partner’s death is an important consideration), and tax benefits in some situations (we received a huge tax return the year we got married.)  Additionally, as your son gets older he will notice you’re not married and he will likely ask uncomfortable questions about why you love each other, live together, and have a child but you aren’t married like his friends’ parents.  Tell him why it’s important to you and that fear of divorce is not a sufficient reason to not get married.

By the end of the conversation you should have established 1) whether he does actually want to get married to you; and 2) a reasonable timeline for getting engaged and getting married.

Post # 8
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I hate to be so blunt, but if he wanted to marry you, he would.  You need to ask him point blank why you’re not already married, and if he falters at all, that’s your answer.  

The fact that you already have a kid is what’s so baffling – he can commit to a life raising a child with you, but not to marrying you?  Your wants and needs are JUST as valid as his.  He doesn’t want to be married?  Well you do, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It just may not be to him, and I wouldn’t waste another second figuring that out.  

Life is short.  Don’t piss it away on someone who doesn’t want to marry you.  When the man who DOES want to comes along, nothing will get in his way.  The right man will be DYING to marry you as fast as he can.

Post # 9
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - 11/15/14-Vineyard

Veleyna:  I keep seeing you say you have a fear of talking to him and finding out or being brushed off. I’m assuming its because you might not want the real answer? Like there is a fear of being rejected? You are still young and with you being with him so long, I can understand if you haven’t had enough relationships to deal with rejection.

I truly suggest like others you find a time and place where he can’t dodge you. I like the dinner idea after you have ordered. Don’t ask questions that just give a yes or no answer. Start with telling him how you feel about him and that you want to get married soon and that you need to know where he stands and what timeline he was thinking. If he starts saying he doesn’t know. Ask him to tell you his thoughts and where he sees you in 1 year, 5 years, etc. you need to be prepared mentally, no getting upset if its not what you wanted to hear. Have a plan. If he says he doesn’t want to and it’s important to you, then you need to be ready to walk away. You DESERVE to be happy and be in a loving relationship with or without him. It’s clear it’s upsetting to you. Can you imagine in another year or two how you will feel? So.. My point is be ready to walk away. 

Don’t give him an ultimatum or a time line of actions for him to do. Tell him what YOU are going to do. Tell him that it’s been long enough, that you want to be engaged at least within the next year or you will have to think about what’s best for you and your child, and WILL move out and move on. Be adult. Be firm. Make it about what YOU want and need for you to be happy. Telling him you love him, love your family and want to just go to the courthouse and make it legal. You are hoping he feels the same but if he doesn’t then you need to know that to. If he does say its not what he wants, then you need to make plans right away to break it off and move forward. It will be hard at first, but it will be HARDER the more time passes. 

You can do this. My mom always says “if she’s good enough to have a kid with, then she’s good enough to marry!” 

Post # 11
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Does it take him a while to process things that you talk about (your feelings etc?) and does it seem like the pressure to answer questions and participate in the conversation causes him to get angry because it doesn’t give him the time to process and think?

If so, perhaps you need to write everything down. I know some people see wrighting letters as childish but in reality it gives people the time they need to process another person’s point of view, as well as the ability to reread the letter rather than trying to remember what was said. I suggest writing down everything you want him to know, giving it to him and saying that “In 2 days we are going to dinner, X is looking after toddler and we are going to have a discussion.” Don’t be with him when he reads it, that puts more pressure on him to reply straight away. 

It’s possible that friend and family told him about you deflecting marriage questions while pregnant, reported it back to him and he has taken that as YOU not wanting to get married. Perhaps he fears rejection just as you do?


Good luck! I hope you can have this conversation soon and that it is a productive one for bith of you. 

Post # 12
94 posts
Worker bee

There’s a lot of similar threads on this board asking how to have that conversation (including from me).

Unfortunately the answer is none of us know your SO and your relationship like you do. I also have a completely non-verbal SO. I know he loves me, but it’s a really hard thing for him to express verbally. And big life conversations are difficult because he finds them so awkward he just shuts down. 

Being told that if he knew he’d marry you already is not helpful. It’s a personality thing and sometimes that’s just a super difficult conversation to start even with someone you love and share a life with. It’s hard to put yourself out there even to someone who cares about you so much. Especially with all the messages we get about not pushing and nagging. 

A lot of men (and women) including my SO and it’s sound like yours too, would find a ‘I want to have an adult conversation about our life/marriage plans’ confronting and pushy no matter how it is phrased. It’s just how they are. 

Now I realise I haven’t been very helpful here, but I definitely understand where you’re coming from and how you’re feeling. At best I’d suggest acknowledging up front that it’s a conversation you know he’ll find uncomfortable and you don’t have an agenda going in, you just want 5/10/20 whatever minutes to discuss what you both want.

and anyone who tells you your relationship is unworthy because all ‘real adult relationships’ can talk about anything without hesitation should be taken with a grain of salt because that might be the case for some personality types, but others really struggle with it, and they should not be encouraged to doubt their relationship because of it! 


Post # 13
134 posts
Blushing bee

Wow…. We are in pretty similar situations!! My SO and I celebrated our 10 yr Anni this past February. We bought our house in 2009, had our first son in 2010 and our second in 2013.

I’ve never been pushy about marriage with him. My in-laws used to be. His brothers’ wives used to ask us/him all the time and we would just smile. He would “joke” that we had to hit the 10 yr mark before he would even ask (his older brother and one of his younger brothers also did the same with their SO so that’s the joke I guess). I think he kind of told his brothers I tell their wives to stop bringing it up though as they haven’t in a while and he used to complain that they did that to me. We would lightly discuss it in the past but never in depth and his answer was always jokingly after 10 yrs.

On my oldest son’s first Christmas he gve me a promise ring promising it would one day be an engagement ring and that’s really the most he’s said on his own. Lol that Christmas of course ppl saw it and asked if it was an engagement right (I’m also similar to you regarding not wanting or needing a big bling ring, I don’t like them at all and have even suggested family ring as engagement/wedding rings, however not sure that is doable or not). I would tell each as they asked no it’s a promise ring. Well in comes his youngest brother’s gf (thy had been together for maybe a cpl years at that point, SO and I were together for 7) demanding to see it and she, no word of a lie, starts YELLING at her bf who was in the basement that I had gotten a ring and where was hers?!? as she stomped away, I reminded her we have a baby been together 7 yrs and we have the house. I laughed at he. (As did pretty much everybody else and rolled our eyes. Anyways those two got married last year and have bad downs.

However I am also tired of putting Miss on forms as well as having a different last name than the rest of my family. I’ve mentioned this part to him a few times. His reply is to just change my name then. What he’s said to me is that us buying a house together and having kids is the biggest commitment we could do in his opinion. Perhaps that’s how your SO feels?

He knows I want to marry. We’ve never discussed when we will get engaged the only timeframe we’ve discussed is that we would likely be engaged for 1 1/2-2 yrs.

One day I asked him if he was serious that he plans on asking to be engaged now that we are past our 10-yr mark. I told him I wanted to start looking at dresses and ideas but I don’t want to waste my time doing any of that if he has no intentions of asking me. I’m not sure what I would do though if one day he told me he doesn’t want to be married.

You really need to talk with your SO about how you are feeling. It’s not fair to do that to yourself. He needs to know what you want and that you nee to have a non-confrontational discussion. Good luck if you talk to him!

Post # 14
4878 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

It’s crucial that you be able to talk with your partner about your feelings.  It sounds as if your SO refuses to validate yours, which I, personally would find very disturbing.

Be that as it may, I agree with the PPs–it’s time for The Talk all right.  If he deflects, shuts down or refuses to validate how you feel, I’m afraid his non answers will be giving you your answer.

At that point, you could try to get him into couples’ counseling with you to work on communication, if he’d be willing.  

I’m sorry you’re going through this.  I strongly believe that your SO should be your best friend & you don’t have to hold back your most important feelings from your best friend.


Post # 15
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I like the idea a PP had about having HIM choose when he wants to talk about it, with the caveat that it will be the one and only topic of conversation.

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