Post # 1
I’ve been reading the great advice written here for a few weeks now. I was wondering if I might ask your opinions on my situation.
I’ve been going out with A for 7 years now, and i’ve kind of wanted to get married for a few years. But a few years ago, he said he wanted to live together first. We bought a house together this January. Since June this year I’ve been totally obsessed with wedding-related stuff, and in July I accidentally left a wedding webpage open, which he saw. He told me then that he never wants to get married. Well, that was a bit of a blow, as you might imagine. Since then, we’ve had a few discussions, and he’s sort of said that he might. But nothing’s happening. I keep trying to bring it up and he’s just really vague, seems annoyed, and ends the conversation asap.
The problem is that I don’t know if his reticence is a sign that he doesn’t really love me/isn’t happy in the relationship. The thought keeps popping into my head and it’s making me really moody and miserable and it’s turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m getting more and more unhappy, and can’t cope with this for much longer.
I don’t want to issue him with an ultimatum because i’m scared that that’ll just push him over the edge and he’ll leave me. Either that, or he’ll feel pressured to marry me when he doesn’t want to.
What do I do? I’d be so grateful for some advice.
Post # 3
First, welcome, Jen! I hope you find the support you need; I know I have.
I think what you’re trying to do with A is clear the air…understand what’s behind his reticence without seeming pushy, right? Now, this may be a convoluted way to go about it, but…have you seen <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>He’s just not that into you the movie? No, no, I’m <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>NOT saying that A is not into you, I’m trying to suggest using the movie as an opener to your rather touchy conversation. See if he’s open to watching it with you; ask him to do it as a favor.
Then, at the end of the movie, ask him to identify which male character in the movie he most feels like in your relationship (and there’s a character for practically every stage of the relationship). Then share which female character you feel most like in the relationship (I have an inkling that it will be Jennifer Anniston’s character, Beth, as she’s been hiding her desire to get married from her long time boyfriend, Neil). After you’ve shared, let him know that you’re not trying to push him into marriage; you’d just like to know why he feels the way he does & that you’d like to see if your futures lie on the same path. Then your conversation can morph into being about what you both want in life and how you each picture getting what you want. Once you both are clear about your futures, maybe the conversation can morph into how you guys see your relationship fitting in. Then it’s not about pushing him into marriage, it’s about discussing each of your plans in life. (To clarify, I suggest the movie to get establish a common ground for understanding each of your feelings – so that emotionally charged descriptions don’t get out of hand…you can feel free to skip the movie).
Sorry that was so long…I guess what I’m suggesting is for you two to have a discussion NOT based on marriage, but based on life & where you each see your relationship fitting in. I hope that helps…keep us updated!
Post # 4
I agree that you need to have a real honest conversation. Does he not want to get married ever? Does he not want to get married now? Does he not want to get married to x? or (I’m sorry to ask) Does he not want to get married to you?
You deserve an answer and he can’t expect you to wait forever for it. Maybe couples counseling?
Post # 5
Welcome to weddingbee, Jen!
What worries me from reading this is that he wanted you to move in but didn’t want to marry you. He wants all the convenience of a wife without the commitment…must be nice for him, huh?
At this point what I would do is sit down with him and just have that serious conversation! Figure out where each of you see your lives going, what you think about marriage and why, your expectations and top goals. Make sure you know your priorities, and make them clear to him. And listen to him so you can figure out what issue he has with marriage. A little communication will absolutely make things easier to deal with. You don’t need to issue an ultimatum to send the message.
Also…it’s one of my pet peeves to see women make themselves miserable trying to please men. If you dare let him do that, I’ll be sending you a smack over the head in the mail. 😛 To thine own self be true!
Post # 6
Thank you all for your intelligent and insightful advice. I think discussing where our lives are going more generally would be a really good way forward so he doesn’t feel so pressured.
@ ms.pascua: I’ll go and rent it out tomorrow!
@ minutiae: I agree. I always thought of myself as a feminist, and all of a sudden I feel like I’m in a Jane Austen novel! Hopefully I can get to the point where he’s ready to discuss things in the open.
Post # 7
Hi Jen– welcome to weddingbee!
I think Minutae’s advice is great, I’ll just add a little to it.
I worry about the fact that you have been together for 7 years but don’t have any real idea of where the relationship is going. That should be something that is concrete and decided upon by this point in the relationship. You also don’t mention how old you are. If you have been together 7 years and are now 34, then that is quite different from being together 7 years and you’re now 22. Many men are really adverse to talking about marriage before a certain age.
However, I can’t imagine my boyfriend getting mad at me for looking at a wedding website! It would be crushing to find out we were not on the same page at all. He loves me and wants to be with me forever. We aren’t engaged but we are definitely very serious about our commitment to eventually marry each other.
I hate to say this, but the fact that you two live together, own a home together and have been dating for many years doesn’t bode well for his unwillingness to discuss marriage. You can’t change a man, nor should you try. You deserve someone who will be thrilled and honored to marry you, not someone you have to coerce into having a discussion about it.
I think it may be time for you to move on to a man who has the same goals as you.
Post # 8
Welcome to the Hive!
I completely agree with much of what has been said. Seven years is totally long enough for a couple to know where they are. I think you need to determine if his unwillingness to get married stems from something else that is completely unrelated to you (past relationships, family history, etc.), his own jaded-ness about relationships (which may be related to the first item), or if it something to do with you. I’m not implying that this is your specific situation, but I have a friend who was in the exact same situation, and for years her SO told her he didn’t want to get married. She finally realized that she couldn’t go along with it anymore, broke it off with him, and is now happily with someone to whom she intends to marry (and that was made clear by both people from the beginning). It might be a tough decision for you, but I think you need to get him to open up to you about it. I would definitely avoid an ultimatum until you’ve had a real coversation with him. If he shuts down, ask why. Let him know that relationships are about openness and dialogue, and if he can’t share with you what he’s thinking and feeling, you can’t get to the next level. In the end, you do need to do what’s best for you. There’s no reason you should be miserable!!! Keep us posted!