Long-term partner hesitates, any advices?

posted 1 year ago in Engagement
Post # 2
1757 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

vintageandlace :  oh, this is so sad. Sometimes people can have the best relationships but not be on the same page about marriage. And usually this does not change. If you want to be with this person one of you will have to compromise. It sounds like he isn’t going to be that person. 

My partner is very much anti marriage. I think secretly he has some very deep issues on the subject, issues he doesn’t want to explore. It has been painful for me, especially because I previously stayed in an eleven year relationship with someone also who never wanted to get married. I live in Germany and it is sort of, to some degree also a cutural phenomen. It is not a very “marrying” culture in comparison to say, the US. So it was hard to except this wonderful new relationship might also be one without marital bliss for me.

I was very clear from the beginning about my expectations of marriage. Still it was hard for my partner to take that step. In my case, we’ve worked it out, we are marrying (both first marriages) in about six weeks. But it was really hard on both of us. And I do honestly believe that my partner is showing a magnificent gesture of love to me by marrying though he doesn’t highly regard the instition and never wanted that for himself. The “marriage is a piece of paper”  line is obviously not real, because if it was only a piece of paper it wouldn’t be such a difficult step….He is doing it for me and for our relationship. Out of love for me and respect for my needs. I am keeping it low key and relaxed for the same reasons for him.

As for your situation: I really hear from you that this is basically a deal breaker. Also your partner knows this. I just can’t see you (from what you’ve written) being happy without marriage. I think you need to have an honest conversation -with yourself! Can you honestly be happy without marriage? Because I don’t think this person, despite all the love and care you have for each other, can offer you that, for whatever reasons he has. 

I wish you the best of luck!

Post # 3
2485 posts
Buzzing bee

1) You should have directly brought up the subject of marriage and negotiated that before you got back together. You already know that though.

2) You have two choices. You can decide to give up on the idea of marriage and just live out the rest of your days with this man as partners. (After all, marriage is no guarantee that he won’t leave. He could still walk out of a marriage 10 years in.) Or you can leave him now and HOPE you find someone else with whom you have the same chemistry, and that THIS guy does want marriage. 

3) You really can not move forward with this relationship hoping and pleading with him to get married. He has made his stance on that abundantly clear. And his stance and feelings on the matter are valid and deserve to be respected. You are only asking for heartbreak for the both of you if you continue down this path of trying to make him be someone he is not. 

Post # 4
4207 posts
Honey bee

This must be very frustrating. You’ve devoted a lot of time to this man, too much actually. But he’s telling you in no uncertain terms that he won’t marry you. It shouldn’t be this hard to get someone to commit himself to you, and proposing to him isn’t going to make him suddenly want to marry you. My advice is to leave, because if you stay you’re just going to grow more and more resentful with time. That’s no way to live.

Post # 5
12224 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

vintageandlace :  I’d tell him you think he owed it to you after all this time to either move forward or be  clear from the outset that marriage remains off the table. And that if this is how he feels you plan to go back to dating men who have no such hesitation.

Also, are you sure he’s not legally married to someone else? Just a thought since you started out online and long distance. 

Post # 6
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012 - Iowa

You need to decide if marriage is a deal breaker for you – same for him.

If you can be happy with him the ways things are, then marriage isn’t necessary.

If you absolutely need to be married, and he won’t budge, than end the relationship.

My sister was in a relationship for 16 YEARS before she finally ended it because, despite him leading her on, he was not going to propose (or make any forward progression with the relationship (house/kids) anytime soon. Its soo hard to end a relationship after that long, but you two need to be on the same page.

Post # 7
3060 posts
Sugar bee

vintageandlace :  oh man… i am sorry. This is a sucky situation.

But in all your talking when he first came back and confessed his love… did you guys talk about marriage? What was the outcome? I assume he was on board if you guys agreed to get back together. 


Post # 13
640 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I broke up with a guy who said marriage wasn’t important.  3 months later he contacted me again, 3 months after that I was engaged.  18 years, 2 kids later we are getting divorced. Because marriage is still not what he wants he was just afraid of being alone. Now he’s just less afraid of being alone and is willing to take his chances. We didn’t fight, there weren’t problems that I was aware of, it’s just not his ‘thing’. Now he dates women until they give up.  

My thoughts?  Your guy either doesn’t want to get married or he doesn’t want to get married to you.

Post # 14
924 posts
Busy bee

Supernurse :  ugggh is he at least upfront with them that he doesn’t want marriage?

Post # 15
3060 posts
Sugar bee

vintageandlace :  So what was it that made you decide to get back together? I can imagine you missed him and maybe at the time you didn’t see marriage as the end goal. You just wanted to be together again ? And that is fine, but if marriage is ultimately what you really want, there is always going to be this resentment building up.

At this point, you guys dont live together and it would be easy (relatively) to split again. Unfortunately i think you need to have the conversation and if he is pushing back/gets upset/doesnt want to talk about it then you have your answer. It would be really helpful to understand his view and why exactly he is so against it and see if this is something you can live with.

If he cant talk about it, everything he said that day goes out the window because at the end of the day, NOT marrying you and NOT discussing it is more important to him than being with you.

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