Post # 1
My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 1/2 years. During this time, I have had bouts of unemployment, plus going through some rough times in our relationship. So I understood when he didn’t want to get married at that time. However, during 2011 everything has been great. Our financial situation has been better than ever and our relationship has also been great. We talked about marriage and he said he wanted to get married and that he will buy a ring soon.
Well, yesterday we were supposed to go look at rings, but when it came down to it, it didn’t feel right to me. So I talked to him about it, and he said he see’s no purpose in getting married. We already live together so nothing will change. He said he is committed to me and that won’t change either. He said he will marry me just because that will make me happy. He has always told me that men do not get excited about getting married and he’s just like every other man out there, just doing it because the woman wants to. He did however say he would like for us to have rings as a way to show society that we are no longer available.
So now I don’t know what to think. I really don’t want to marry someone who is only marrying me because I want to. I imagine myself at the ceremony and I know I will be thinking that he’s only doing it because I’m making him.
So I was wondering if I could get the opinion of you all. He’s a great guy and I couldn’t imagine life without him, but being married is one of my dreams.
Post # 3
So he wants the relationship, the rings, and the home together but he doesn’t want to make it legal? I don’t really buy that whole “What’s the point of making it legal” thing. I wouldn’t want to go into home ownership or joint accounts with someone with no legal rights or protection. Plus, being married does make you more likely to stick it out when times get tough. It’s the ultimate commitment IMO apart from having children. Both people should definitely be on the same page with that going in. Otherwise it’s just the appearance of being married, without actually having to back it up. And if you get married because it’s what you want, I fear that will lead to resentment down the road from both of you.
And no, “most” men typically don’t feel this way. My husband was so excited when we got engaged he pretty much called everyone in is phone to share the news.
Post # 4
@amanda1266: It’s sad that he doesn’t feel excited about getting married, but it’s not how every man feels. I know that my fiance is really excited about being married (even if the wedding scares both of us) and I can promise you that my dad was the same.
Is there a particular reason why he doesn’t want to get married? He seems to want to have his cake and eat it with having rings but not getting married.
Post # 5
@SpecialSundae: He hasn’t really told me any reasons for why he doesn’t want to get married, other than he doesn’t see the point in it. I guess I need to talk to him more about it because he makes no sense
Post # 6
I agree with KatyElle. And living together and being committed are not the same as being married. The fact that getting married is one of your dreams and your boyfriend sees is as a necessary evil tells me you will probably have problems down the road if you do get married. For a commitment so huge, you guys definitely need to be on the same page.
Are you comfortable with being the Eternal Girlfriend? Or do you think, years down the road, you will resent him and hold a grudge for never getting married when it was something so important to you? I know what my answer would be.
And, to your boyfriend, not ALL men only get married because their girlfriends want to. My boyfriend can’t wait to make me his wife. He talks about it all the time. Same goes for many married and engaged men I know. Don’t let him make you think that his viewpoint is normal. It’s not.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hope you two can work it out. *hugs*
Post # 7
I don’t think marrying him when he’s in this state of mind is a good idea. For all the reasons you said, and also for the fact that he may resent you for it later. It would be terrible to be married and during a fight he says “But I only married you because you wanted me to”. You need to have a serious talk with him. You should also decide if you are prepared to walk away if he really doesn’t want to get married. Marriage isn’t the kind of thing to enter into lightly, on either partner’s part.
Post # 8
Whatever his reason for not wanting to get married is (and I don’t buy the thing about it being pointless), he needs to be completely open and honest with you about it. And you need to be completely open and honest with yourself and him if not getting married is a dealbreaker.
I consulted with my Darling Husband before I decided to call BS on the whole “men don’t get excited about getting married” thing. DH was excited about getting married, but didn’t get all giddy about the wedding planning like I did. He loved the actual wedding, and we both cried during our vows. And, no, he wouldn’t have married me just because it’s what I wanted. That sets up a bad scenario that doesn’t bode well for the future because it causes resentment.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
It’s confusing, but it’s good that you two have a dialogue going. I think you may need a few more conversations together to explore what does/does not matter to both pf you, what your future goals and plans are, etc. It sounds like he may have a different persepective on what marriage means, so explore that some more and see of you two can figure out why he is neutral on the idea.You are making progress, so try not to feel disappointed. Some times it takes a lot of talking and emotional exploration, but it’s worth it.
Post # 10
I imagine myself at the ceremony and I know I will be thinking that he’s only doing it because I’m making him.
You can’t “make” anyone do anything. Let’s just set aside this business of what he says. It’s not words but actions that count. If he actually meets you at the altar, then he DOES want to marry you.
Also, I’m not buying it when he says he doesn’t want to get married because there is no point. That is ludicrous and don’t for one minute let him lead you down that path. If there is no point for doing it, then there should be no problem with him taking that step, any more than there should be no problem with him choosing a piece of bubble gum. Of course there is a purpose for marriage, for crying out loud.
I think this is just a classic example of a slightly commitment phobic man who loves you a great deal but is indulging himself by talking out of both sides of his mouth. He’s distracting you away from the bottom line. The bottom line is that he loves you enough and wants you in his life enough that he is admittedly willing to go out of his comfort zone to commit to you, legally and publicly as your husband. Far from being worried about this, I think you should take it as a compliment. He really, really loves you or he wouldn’t be willing to marry you to keep you happy.
Post # 11
If he thinks all men aren’t excited about getting married, he can talk to my dad. My mom wanted a summer wedding, but my dad said, why wait? It doesn’t matter there’s so much snow! Let him know generalizations like that aren’t true, and these things are how he feels. Definitely don’t marry him because he will if you want it, but don’t give up if a marriage is something you truly want. For me, it’s non-negotiable.
Post # 12
I don’t think he’s giving you a straight answer here; I’m glad to read that you’ll talk further.
And even if marriage isn’t something he wants as badly as you do; he should still actively want to marry you because it’s important to you.
Post # 13
I think you need to talk to him further about why he doesn’t want to get married. It’s not true that nothing will change – go check out the gay/lesbian pages in google for a host of legal reasons people want to get married (everything from inheritance purposes to the right to visit in the hospital to rights for benefits) in addition to the many social or religious reasons. Maybe if you educate him about this, it will make a difference. I hate to say this, I really do, but this is the classic case of getting the milk for free – he’s got you living at home and he’s happy, but you want something different.
As PP noted, not all men feel this way. My Fiance is delighted to get married to me – he says every other day how lucky he is to get married to me and how happy it makes him. That said….yes, he has virtually zero interest in planning the actual wedding itself. But he does want to be married at the end of the day. (This helps me keep my wedding planning in check and focus on the important details!)
For me, I wouldn’t choose to have kids with someone with whom I’m not married to (accidents happen, but I wouldn’t plan this). Think hard about how you feel and what you want before you have the conversation. If you want to get married, ok, he’s agreed to that. If you want him to *want* to get married, it may be a long time before you truly believe him if he says that he does. And, it may just be that he hasn’t really thought about what marriage entails and when he sits down and thinks about it, he may realize he really does want to be married. Are his parents divorced? Any history of relationship issues?
Post # 14
He has always told me that men do not get excited about getting married and he’s just like every other man out there, just doing it because the woman wants to.
I don’t understand this. I’m not yet engaged, but I know that my SO gets almost as excited about our future wedding as I do. He talks openly about wanting his proposal to be very special to me and to us, and he is excited about making that formal and legal committment to one another.
I know that you can’t help what your SO thinks or feels, and he’s certainly entitled to his own opinion, but not all men get married because that’s what the woman wants to do. One of my good friends recently got engaged, and her Fiance told nearly ALL of his good friends and family that he was going to propose on their vacation. He was so excited about it!
I would definitely have a heart to heart talk with your SO. Let him know how important he is to you and how much marriage really means to you. Perhaps there is a way to compromise (i.e. legally getting married without the whole big wedding with friends and family, eloping, etc). I know someone whose now Darling Husband once refused to get married. After seeing how important it was to her to be married, he agreed to elope. . .It was difficult for her to not have any friends or family present (especially her mom), but it was the compromise that she made in order to legally be married.
If you really love eachother, care about eachother, and respect eachother, you will find a way to make this work!
Post # 15
@KatyElle: <– This. No need for me to say anything else.
Post # 16
Good to hear you guys will talk more about this. I can *kinda* understand because it’s not like things will change around the house, and you two are in a loving, committed relationship. BUT- getting married isn’t just about living under the same roof, like @KatyElle: said ” Plus, being married does make you more likely to stick it out when times get tough. It’s the ultimate commitment IMO apart from having children.” Marrage is a vow you make to each other, (and if religious, to God) that you will always be there for one another. Will you be happy knowing he made that vow just to make you happy?
My SO (FI, but no ring) has actually gotten teary at the thought of us getting married in the old church in his home town, and he had to convince me that we should make it offical. He could care less about the details of the wedding though. Hope you two get this resolved, and you get the answers you need!