I have no problems with a woman saying that marriage is important to her. But I also have no problems with a man saying it is/isn’t important to him, too.
If you walk up to your SO and you say, “Look. I want to get married some day.” you’ve put him at a crossroads. If he says, “Sounds cool, lets do it when we’re ready.” That’s fine. If he says, “That’s not really in the cards for me.” That’s fine too. You already know his decision, and like you, he isn’t likely to change that decision.
Now, my disagreement starts here. If it is clear that engagement just isn’t his thing, turning to him and saying, “Well I know you don’t want to/are unwilling to get married, but if you don’t marry me, I’m leaving you.”
1: I think it is unfair for anyone to think they are important enough to change somebody’s decision about what they will or won’t do with their life. I don’t care if you’re the pope. If someone is against something, you shouldn’t force somebody to do it regardless.
2: Expecting somebody to change just because you might walk out of their life is emotional blackmail. You can call it an ultimatum, you can call it a choice, you can call it whatever you want, but at the heart of it, it is blackmail.
If this is the situation, it’s excruciatingly clear that you two are not on the same page. The mature, adult thing to do is to try to work it out. Can you live without marriage? Can he live with marriage? If the answer is still no, break up. It’s as simple as that. I don’t believe in then thousand years that most women on this site who have issued ultimatums would have gotten married if the roles had been reversed. If their SO’s had demanded things progress on another timeline, I’m sure we would have seen a lot more influxes of, “He’s rushing me/not respecting my wishes/pressuring me/controlling me/etc.” and that doesn’t follow all this “Gender Equality” crap I’ve been hearing about.
I can appreciate a relationship in which two people are adults and open about what they want in a relationship. I will never, ever fault somebody for that, even when the relationship doesn’t mesh or isn’t right for them.
I will also never, ever fault a woman who said, “I wanted marriage. He didn’t, so I left.” It’s mature, and handled well.
It’s the “Marry me now or I leave” that really grinds me.
Marriage should never “be a compromise.” I hear so much about the sanctity of marriage these days (Not necessarily from this site), that forcing it to be a “compromise” destroys that sanctity and obliterates what marriage should be.