He wants a family, without a ring. – 4 years

posted 1 year ago in Waiting
Post # 31
1440 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

Tell him that if he doesn’t want marriage then he needs to get legal protection documents drawn up. Papers that are about equal to a marriage contract in the eyes of the law. Wills,POA,division of assets in the event of breakup etc… see what he has to say about that. If he’s all for it then by all means proceed if you are so inclined. IF NOT, then you leave his butt and move on to someone who wants the same things you do. Best of luck bee! Hope you get everything you truly want out of life 🙂

Post # 32
30 posts

The only thing I want to ask is…”If you’re not married and you’re worried about not sharing your children’s name, why not give them your own?”  If my boyfriend and I got pregnant, they’d 100% get my last name. If he wanted to marry me, later on we could change my and my kid’s last name if I decide that’s what I wanted. BUT, regardless of what my boyfriend thought, if he didn’t want to marry me, those kids would for sure get my name. I’d be the child’s mother and carrying them for 9 months and raising them, technically, as a single mom. Why don’t you think you have a say in this?

Post # 33
1663 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

therobinsparkles :  When there are two people disagreeing between whether to get married first or to have children first, then yes there does need to be a reason to pick one.  For the OP, I see plenty of reasons to pick getting married first, and none for having kids first.  

Of course heaps of people choose to have kids in Defacto relationship (and some choose to raise children alone for that matter) and that’s fine, but that’s not what the OP wants.  I’m responding to her specific situation, not those of the general publics. 

daisy123 :  Why go to all the hassle of doing that paperwork when you are (hypothetically) going to get married down the track anyway?  It means you’ll be doing it twice.  So why not just get married?  I don’t understand questioning OP’s desire to get married before starting a family – it’s a perfectly legitimate request.  Others can make different decisions in their lives and relationships and that’s completely okay too. 

I just think it’s ridiculous that a guy will want the committment of planning and children with someone, but is unable to commit to the LESSER committment of getting married, without good reason.  I’ve known guys like this and the relationship has never turned out well.  

Post # 34
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

STinyDove22 :  Right?  Bet he balks at the idea of his kids not having his name!

Post # 35
3013 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’ve not read all responses but wanted to share some legal realities of not being married before kids in the UK. Present him with these to show him the point.

it is perfectly ok to insist on marriage first.

1) your child is legally classed as illegitimate – if you marry later you need to re register the birth to legitimise the child

2) he needs to be present when you register the child if he wants his name on the certificate. If he isn’t on the certificate he will have a hard time proving parental rights should he need it

3) he’s not your next of kin so cannot make medical decisions for you if required

4) if anything happens to you he does not automatically become the child’s next of kin or guardian. It could go directly to your family

5) if you’re married he is the legal father and should you break up it will be easier for him to get legal visitation of his child

6) in the uk there is no such thing as common law marriage. If you’re not married you’re not anything. If one of you dies you pay inheritance tax (if you’re married you don’t) if you break up there is no legal entitlement to anything

7) there is no legal reason while a child can’t have your surname and not his – if he wants kids first I’d say that in that case they have mum’s surname not dad’s. 

There are some things you can do that will give you some legal protections (wills etc) and you can research these and present him with all the paper work he’d need to do to give just a fraction of the protection marriage does – or he could go and sign one piece of paper and get it all.

Post # 36
440 posts
Helper bee

binks :  

If we’re going to be married before we have kids we’re running out of time. 


No, you are not running out of time because you are not having his babies without a marriage first. Your wants and needs are just as important as his, he wants kids? Great, time to put a ring on it then dude.

And honestly, if I absolutely had to have a child before marriage, kid won’t be getting dad’s last name till we get a marriage certificate. And I mean really…you’re on the hook for child support for 18 years, you have a mortgage together, a marriage is easier to negotiate your way out of than either of those two things.

He doesn’t want to marry you, he wants to have his cake and eat it and then be able to leave it if a prettier cake comes along.

Post # 37
690 posts
Busy bee

youngbrokebride :  I’m not questioning her desire to be married before children. I’m just pointing out that not everyone needs marriage before they start a family, and that’s ok. The bee’s do a great job of vilifying men who don’t want to get married. Fair enough if the guy is a jerk and is stringing his partner along, but that doesn’t sound like the OP’s situation. 

And you don’t have to do “all that paperwork” twice. If you do everything I mentioned once, the only document left to add is the marriage license. 


Post # 38
11115 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

binks :  

. . . he doesn’t think we can afford to get married that until we found realistic numbers he didn’t want us to be engaged 

 . .

There’s a bit of logic missing here.  He can’t afford a wedding, but a child, this he can afford?

Perhaps no one ever mentioned it before, but, kids are extremely expensive.  Eighteen years of feeding, clothing, educating, medicatingg, transporting, and amusing,  really adds up. The eighteen year thing was an effort also wildly optimistic.

He makes no sense.  He told you, ok, let’s get married. By the very next day, he was already backing out, claiming poverty.  Shortly thereafter, he spills the truth, ie, that he doesn’t want to get married. For some reason, he feels the call to reproduce, but not make his child’s mommy happy.

You are not his brood mare.

I’m all for compromise, but not on this.



Post # 39
11115 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

daisy123 :  

‘Paperwork’ could include the umpteen millions of pages worth of documents that the OP would have to have redone. I wasn’t in the mood for a name change right after we got married, I put it off as long as I could, which was when I had to get a drivers’ license in a new state. Dh was never perturbed by it.  He’s actually used my maiden name a few times.  He claims he gets better service.

Never again.  If something happens to Dh, I will remain single in perpetuity.

Just off the top of my head, in the US, we have social security and the department of motor vehicles.  Everything else flows outward from there.  Neither of those are difficult to navigate, just unbearably time consuming and tedious.

There will be forms at your job, and a dozen or so myriad places.

Not something anyone would want to do.  Twice.

Post # 40
1321 posts
Bumble bee

daisy123 :  I think you and a couple other posters are missing the point. You’re considering this only from the perspective of abstract principles. I agree–and I’m sure that MANY of the Bees posting here do too–that if two people DON’T want to get married, that’s cool. No biggy. There are some important legal ramifications (such as not being next of kin), but otherwise there’s nothing inherently wrong on principle with not getting married.

But when children are involved, we should probably stop worrying about the principle of the matter. In the first place, these two people DON’T happen to agree about marriage, which WILL inevitably cause practical problems for their relationship (whether or not the boyfriend here is rightly or wrongly villified). More importantly, children need and DESERVE legal protections from both of their parents, which won’t happen without marriage; I think Twizbe :  has set it out pretty clearly. 

The reason Bees are telling her not to compromise here isn’t on principle–it’s because it’s potentially dangerous for their child(ren).

Oh, and OP–if you do happen to give into your boyfriend’s hogwash on this point, please, for crying out loud, give the child YOUR last name. 

Post # 41
481 posts
Helper bee

You’ve seen that his brothers are perfectly happy to string along the women they have had children with and won’t marry.  Your boyfriend sees it too, and that is what he wants for himself, too.  You are not compatible!  Do not have children with him thinking it will make him marry you.  He won’t.

Post # 42
1663 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

daisy123 :  I agree with you that not everyone needs to be married before having children.  And as I previously stated, some people cant get married first for a bunch of reasons.  But OP didnt ask about everyone.  She asked about her situation.  She specifically wants to be married, and she wants to be married before having children.  Her SO has not provided any reason to not get married before children.  This is something that OP needs resolved and with the information shes provided, I dont think she should have to go without.  A compromise would maybe  be a registry office wedding or eloping but I dont think in this situation OP should have to completely forego her principles and desires when he cant even give her a reason.  

Post # 43
1493 posts
Bumble bee

daisy123 :  He is stringing her along though. If he had been honest since they first discussed marriage and said “I don’t think marriage is important and I don’t ever want to get married” then that is completely fair and no one can argue with that, as marriage isn’t for everyone. 

However, that’s not what happened. What happened was he states that he wants a kid ASAP, OP expressed that she wants to be married first, he agreed. Then OP starts the early stages of planning the wedding, he then says weddings are too expensive, we can’t afford it right now, let’s have the baby and later we will get married. OP refuses and shows him that weddings can be very cheap, he then declares that to him weddings are not important and he doesn’t see the point of them. Since then he has refused to discuss weddings with her. 

I think it’s clear that OP’s partner has never intended to marry her, but was happy for her to believe one day he would so that she would have his kid, it was only when she started planning the wedding that the excuses started, before that he never expressed a problem with marriage. This is exactly what happens when someone is stringing somebody along, everything is fine but when things start to become real that’s when the excuses start and after every solution another excuse pops up. 

Post # 44
197 posts
Blushing bee

There is nothing wrong with wanting marriage before kids, I feel the same. I don’t understand how getting married is more of a commitment than having a kid. A kid is forever, literally. You can break up/divorce someone and move on never to see them again. 

Don’t back down. Stick to your values and what you want. 

Post # 45
2976 posts
Sugar bee

Can I just check how your finances work.

1. Do you both put all your money into a joint account?

2. Do you have joint ownership of your house/flat?

3. Have you both got life insurance that will pay off the mortgage should one of you die?

4. Have you both made wills so that the other will benefit should one of you die?

5. Are you named executors of each other’s wills?

6. Do you both have documentation that enables you to be next of kin in case one of you has an accident and the other needs to make medical decisions?

These are very unromantic questions but I am wondering whether your SO is against marriage or against commitment. Perhaps answering these questions will enable you to find out.

You can’t force him to marry you. He cannot (except by an illegal act) force you to have children. So you have to decide what is best for you.

If he has objected to marriage on the grounds of cost and then, when you’ve found an affordable option, objected to marriage on the grounds of not seeing the point in it, then he is being dishonest and manipulative. I would suggest that this is incredibly problematic to your relationship. Your relationship should be both straightforward and truthful. Moving the goalposts on marriage is not a good sign. This making you feel unreasonable and now refusing to talk to you about marriage is an even worse sign.

I have to say at this point, what your family think – marriage before children – is neither here nor there. It is what you think that counts. If it is really important to you then I think that you need to stick to your guns.

If you do decide to stay, not get married and yet have children, please make sure that all the financial things are in place first. If he objects to any of them then you are placing yourself at financial risk. If he leaves you then you could be in great difficulty.

If he objects then it is likely that at best he is unable to share what he has, and at worst he has no firm intention of making any meaningful financial commitments to you or future children.

I think that other Bees have given you similar advice. Make sure that you listen to us.

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