Post # 1
I am hoping for some advice or perhaps just an ear for someone to listen to me and tell me I’m not bonkers!
situation: been with my partner for 14 years, got together quite young, have two beautiful children together and been living together for 11 years. I have always wanted to get married and always told my partner this, he has always said we are too young and to not rush and now I’m nearing 30 I feel more than ready to get engaged.
he doesn’t like a fuss and I said we can just go to a registry office and get married if he doesn’t want a big wedding, he said we can’t do that as it will let everyone down and look tight. I have even said let’s just get engaged and go from there but even that doesn’t seem an option.
These excuses have gone on for years and with a few different ones, I just feel we are going nowhere. My parents are separated and my father would never marry my mother, I have real insecurities over this happening to me even though my partner is completely different to my dad.
So I have ended up feeling very resentful that he won’t make me his fiancé, hate being called girlfriend and when you use the term partner people often think I’m in a same sex relationship!!!!
If I bring up the subject I get told I’m pushing him into something he doesn’t believe in, I’m nagging. I just want the same surname as my kids, I just want to feel like a complete family unit. I do everything in the house and for the kids and work full time, fully independent in my own right. I just don’t understand where I go from here. I can’t leave as what we have is lovely and I’m not prepared to break up a fully functioning home over a ring because we are committed in every other way, however I can’t stop this feeling of resentment building up inside. It rears it’s head every so often (especially when friends get engaged/weddings/ people ask when we are getting married/ birthdays/special events etc)
Any advice on what I can do to stop myself tormenting the situation? I know people will say find yourself, do stuff for you but how do you do that when everything you are is your family???
Any advice welcomed, please be kind! X
Post # 2
There are several contradictions here, both on your side and your boyfriend’s side.
– He says he does not want a fuss, but also feels that having a small official ceremony would be letting people down. He cannot have it both ways… which makes me think this is just an excuse to muddy the waters.
– You say that you have always wanted to be married and have major insecurities around being like your mother with your boyfriend refusing to marry you, and that you hate being called girlfriend. At the same time, you say you are not willing to break up what you have, which is lovely. Again, assuming that he never asks you marry him (which you cannot control), you also cannot have it both ways.
The truth is that while you are feeling this resentment and fear, and this massive desire to be married and have all the security and protection which marriage offers (which is perfectly reasonable, wonderful and understandable, by the way), you will never be truly happy with this relationship. Furthermore, your only power to change this situation is in a) your having a serious, clear and firm discussion with your boyfriend about your need to get married, and b) your willingness to walk away if he does not deliver.
I know it seems scary and unthinkable to walk away from this situation, but there are men out there who would love to marry you and with whom it won’t be this difficult. The good news is that you are young and time is on your side. Being strung along like this and having excuse after excuse thrown at you is not good for your self-esteem, and it’s not good for you and your children.
If you decide to stay permanently, you must do so with the understanding that he will probably never marry you.
Post # 3
I don’t think he will marry you. Sorry but if he was going to he would have by now.
I would change track on the conversation though. Being married provides you both with legal rights and responsibilities which are very important when children are factored in. I suggest you research your country’s rules around non married partners and what legal documents you need in place to give you some of those protections e.g. wills, joint ownership documents, expressions of wish etc. Present him with all of this and tell him that he needs to sign what he needs to sign to protect his family. If he does so willingly then you know really he just isn’t into marriage. If he still kicks up a fuss it is because he doesn’t want to marry you. (sorry but that is the truth)
Post # 4
You cannot force him to propose but you can change things as far as security is concerned. At least do your best to make sure that other things are in place.
Can I ask, have you both got wills that leave everything to each another if one of you dies? If not, make sure that you put them in place.
Is the house/flat (if you own it) in both your names? If not, then insist on this.
Do you have joint accounts? If not, then insist that the money is pooled.
Insist that he writes down something to let everyone know.that he considers you to be his next of kin. If he were to have an accident then you would be the one to make the medical decisions if he couldn’t.
Once you have done all this then there is something else to change. You say that you do everything for the kids and in the home (even though you work full time). This has to stop. He needs to pull his weight. You need to insist that he takes on equal responsibility for the children and the housework. If necessary, book a few days away with friends or family, leaving him with the kids and the chores so that he gets an idea of how difficult life would be without you.
Tell him that you want some diamond jewellery for Christmas and point out something expensive. Make sure that he spends a good proportion of his available cash on you.
In short, make sure that you are a wife legally, practically and emotionally – in everything but name.
If he is doing all this already then that’s great.
If he won’t do any of this then you need to seriously reconsider the relationship because you deserve better.
Post # 5
Thank you all so much, for making me realise it isn’t me being bonkers and that I do deserve better.
you are probably right, he isn’t going to marry me and I understand that I need to accept that however it’s also right that I deserve more security too.
No we don’t have wills so that is something I need to bring up. We have just recently had a joint account, after much resistance from him but we both put in a set amount to cover bills and then the rest of our money is our own. The tenancy is in both our names, something I insisted on as I understand it gives me more rights if this all goes pear shaped after so long.
The next of kin bit bothers me too so that is something I need to bring up. Wow lots to discuss, it would be much easier to just go and get married 🙈 jokes.
I think I want more commitment and maybe that’s it, marriage isn’t the answer but other legality’s may be.
Diamonds for Christmas would be nice however I’m not holding out for much. He doesn’t do Christmas or birthdays and is a Scrooge in that sense. I am not painting a great picture of him am I!?! He is lovely really but like me and everyone else has his faults!
I need to put a timeline in my head for all this to happen, just to give me sanity and not to have the mickey taken out of me for longer. Do you think 6 months is reasonable? Too long??
Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. X
Post # 6
Bee, you have clotheslined yourself. Your current situation is intolerable for you, and understandably so. Yet, you preemptively shoot down the only option you have to get things to change.
If you are not willing to walk away, you will be a perpetual girlfriend. That much is blindingly clear. Fourteen years is absurd. Though, I get how the time can slip away from you.
Right now, your bf has all of the power in your relationship. You’re dying for marriage and he’s refusing to give it to you. And, Bee, don’t play games with yourself. There are no quasi married states in which you will be happy. When you want marriage, substitutions don’t work.
He doesn’t really sound all that lovely. He has strung you along for 14 years. He allows you to work full time and do all of the hard work involved in raising two children. What a peach.
You have two choices, Bee. You can give your bf what he wants—the status quo until such time that he feels ready to settle down. At that time, he will go out and find his Dream Girl.
Or, you can take control of your own life back and walk away with dignity. You would be modeling an excellent message for your children—don’t settle. Have enough self respect to hold out for what you really want. You’re worth it.
And, as to he more pragmatic side of things. Your bf should have a hefty amount of life insurance to protect you and his kids. At his young age, it should be very inexpensive. You may also want to see if any disability insurance is available as well.
Post # 7
14yearslater : Again not sure where you are, but it might be worth pointing out that if anything happens to you he might not automatically become the children’s next of kin. That might go to your family and that could be along with guardianship.
A friend of mine found that out when she consulted a lawyer about her lack of will. Even though her partner was listed on both children’s birth certificates, it wasn’t automatic that he would retain guardianship if she died. The court could decide that it is in the children’s best interest to make their mother’s relative’s guardians.
Post # 8
I personally don’t think that marriage is the definition of committment, I know plenty of very long-term, devoted, loyal couples who are truly partners in every way. It might be that he feels that way too. Having children together arguably entwines you more than marriage and in addition the fact that your relationship has stood the test of time thus far.
That said, if you have personal reasons that marriage itself is an important specific for you, then you must speak to him. I don’t think that he is necessarily averse – you aren’t yet 30 and often when you have been together many years in a happy and committed relationship, I sometimes think the urgency to get married can almost fall by the wayside. He may already feel he has shown you his committment by virtue of your time together, your family, home and entwined lives.
Please don’t jump to any rash decisions and speak to him first.
Post # 9
I think you need to have a come to Jesus meeting with him with a game plan that you have already established and are willing to enforce before it happens.
Do you have a good relationship with your mom and does she live nearby? ‘Mom i’m going to put my foot down in my life now and get what i want. Would you be willing to put up the kids and I while I enforce my ultimatum?’ OR if you have enough money aside, get an apartment lined up.
Your partner will not react or do what you want without some serious repurcussions. It has been 11 years for f*cks sake! The man’s brain is hard wired for idiocracy and feeding his self perpetuating ego. Stop sugar coating it and saying he’s a nice guy! He’s a nice guy because he put two babies in you and puts a roof over your head? Two babies that you care for and a house that YOU maintain for ‘free’?
F*CK THAT, Bee. It’s time to grab your life by the balls. Enough is enough. We only have one ilfe to live and you deserve to get what you want in life.
And what you want is stability, a ring, a serious commitment and marriage.
‘I want to have a serious chat with you. I am prepared to make other arrangements if you don’t take me seriously. 11 years is enough. I have heard your side and I am not willing to compromise. I am giving you 1 week to decide if you want to marry or not. If you don’t want to get married, the kids and i are moving into an apartment and you can see them on weekends since we’re not married, I legally do not owe you anything’.
If that doesn’t wake him the f*ck up? Good. Because you deserve to get what you want. We have a saying here, ‘why buy the cow if the milk is free?’ He’s got the cow, the milk, and the whole farm! Now, take it back!
Good luck Bee!
Post # 10
OP, wake up! This man is not lovely. Lovely men do not balk at something like a joint checking account for expenses. Lovely men are not Scrooges with birthdays and holidays. And finally, lovely men do not watch their girlfriends grow more and more depressed over the lack of commitment and do nothing, year after year after year.
Simply put, you have 2 choices. First choice: Stay where you are and grow progressively more depressed and unhappy. To do this, you need to make peace with the realization that while he’s comfortable with you, he won’t marry you because he’s deliberately leaving the door open in case someone he deems worthy of marriage comes along. (This happens more often than you think).
Second choice: Leave. It’s scary, but the potential payoff is huge.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Post # 11
14yearslater : “…have two beautiful children together…” “I have always wanted to get married and always told my partner this, he has always said we are too young…”
So, he thinks that you’re too young to marry, but “old” enough to have kids… Interesting…
Post # 12
He doesn’t want a full, legal commitment to you. He protested even a joint account. You’ve ben together for a long time, you’ve given him children, and he wants the ability to bail. However, since you’re not willing to leave, you really have no recourse. He doesn’t want to marry you, and you’re already living with him, have given him children, and are not going to leave. He has no reason to marry you.
Post # 13
14yearslater : Based off the joint account situation, I don’t think he wants to be legally committed to you at all. Gives him a nice, easy out when Ms. Perfect comes along that he’ll leave you for. Okay, that’s harsh, and may not entirely happen, but it’s a common occurrence in stories on here. A man that won’t commit to marriage or anything else (besides kids apparently) will leave a bee once someone better comes along, no matter how many years they’ve been together. This may not be the case for you, but it’s a warning that it could, at the very least.
Thankfully, you have the means to support yourself and your kids! So you can have a direct talk with your boyfriend, saying he either marries you, signs the legal protection documents a previous person mentioned, or you’re leaving to find someone who will commit to you.
As a child who was raised by a single mom of 3, I can assure you that a strong, independent woman who stands up for what she wants, is far more inspiring and a much better role model that one who clings to relationship that isn’t going anywhere and who begs for marriage for years before giving up that dream entirely.
Post # 14
This is really sad but this guy has no intention of marrying you and will probably end up dumping you for some other broad at some point. You are still young. And you have a full time job so you can be independent. Get out of this sad relationship and find a man who deserves you and will commit to you.
Post # 15
Unfortunately, it sounds like he isn’t going to marry you. But I bet he sure as hell enjoys the perks of having a live in “wife” . I would stop doing all wifely duties for him and just focus on your kids. Don’t do his laundry, forget making his favorite meals, don’t do him any favors, don’t run any errands for him. Treat him like the boyfriend he is. If he protests, tell him what’s up.