My boyfriend does not understand what the point of marriage is

posted 2 years ago in Waiting
Post # 151
Member
3058 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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missinthecity :  good advice. Have you told your friend that you all think she’s just wasting her time? I hope I would…

Post # 152
Hostess
4584 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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mrstodd2bee :  I have 🙁  I’ve encouraged her numerous times to discuss their future and be clear about what she wants, but she continues to say that he’ll “do it on his own” because “that’s how it’s done” and when I tell her it’s normal and advisable to have adult conversations about the future of the relationship, she tells me she knows he’s all in because he agreed to them moving in together.  

Post # 154
Hostess
4584 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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mrstodd2bee :  Very.  It’s why I always advise other OPs to take an active role in discussing their future.  As shitty as it is to not have your desire for marriage reciprocated, I’d rather know as soon as possible and make an informed decision.  

Post # 155
Member
10196 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

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dnm998 :  

Based on what you posted, Bee, you, along with a good chunk of the Hive completely misunderstand ultimatums.

The purpose of an ultimatum is to take care of *yourself*.  If you have been in the same job for many years, continually being passed over for a promotion or raise, you can stay and fume.  You can stomp out.  Or you can give your employer the courtesy of an ultimatum.  You like the place and you’d love to stay, but, under the current circumstances, it’s just not possible.  You’ll be leaving at the end of the month.  AND YOU MEAN IT.

The goal of an ultimatum is NEVER to make *someone else* act.  That’s just manipulation and it’s despicable. Honey, I love you, but I have given you all the time I have to give.  I just don’t have any more.  I’ll be out June 1st.

Note that it’s *not*:  I’ll be out June 1st, UNLESS YOU PROPOSE.

Post # 156
Member
3058 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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sassy411 :  this a 1000%.

Post # 157
Member
1409 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

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dnm998 :  Are you the beneficiary/Payable-on-Death on his bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance etc.? Forget about the wills and power of attorney stuff for now because I’m just trying to make it simple for you. If you are not and he’s not willing to make you the beneficiary, then…well that speaks volumes about how much of a permanent figure he views you to be in his life. 

He can save it with all the “it’s all the saaaaaame” bull crap.  What exactly is the “same”?  That you’d stay and give him free sex, companionship, and sense of security from being in a long-term relationship? Sure that part is exactly the same until you grow a backbone but literally NOTHING else is the same unless you jump through a lot of hoops to do the workarounds (wills, power of attorney etc.).

He will say oh but muh commitment to you is the same!  Well if it’s really the same, then sign the goddamn piece of paper then, because WTF difference does it make, right? Hypocrite.

 

Post # 158
Member
15 posts
Newbee

Hello, this post resonated with me because I was in a similar situation. I have not read all the replies to this post, but I am just posting my own experience. I was married once before for 6 years. This matters because it helped me understand the importance of marriage. For my first marriage, this was not an issue because my ex husband did not drag his feet about getting married. After 6 years of marriage, I got spousal support for three years and child support. At first, I was reluctant to accept the spousal support as I felt guilty to have someone supporting me after we were divorced. However, a friend of mine asked me had I not decided not to go to law school because my first husband and I jointly agreed that I should be in a profession with less stress and more time to dedicate to our future family? That joint decision affected my earning potential and the course of my professional life and that I should not be ashamed to receive spousal support. My point is that a couple makes joint decisions that affect them jointly and individually. Had we not been married, I would have been left to adjust to a new life that had been affected by our joint decision by myself.

Ok, so after two years of being single, I began dating again. I found a wonderful man and after a while together, we spoke about marriage. He said he did not believe in marriage and didn’t see the point. I let him know that I would not be comfortable dating him forever and that eventually I wanted to be married to any partner I was serious with. This became a source of contention, but I maintained my position, but I was also patient. I did let him know that if at any point, he felt that marraige was 100% out of the question for him, to please let me know. I explained to him that he himself took other relationships more seriously if the couple was married as opposed to dating and I just wanted that same respect for our relationship. I explained that it was personally important to me that my partner see me as worth marrying. My previous experience was not so much on my mind as this feeling, but again I do think it was/is worth noting the point of joint decisions. 

About a year and a half ago (4.5 years into dating), he said he had come around to marriage and that although he still didn’t think it was an important thing, he acknowledged that it was important to me.

We are coming up on our 6 year dating anniversay and he just bought an engagement ring. He hasn’t officially proposed, but I am happy that we are taking steps. I guess I’m sharing to say that there is hope. Every couple’s journey is different and I hope things work out for you. I think that for me, being patient, but staying true to what is important to me helped. 

Post # 159
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee

 

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saturnian :  How is it a poor decision to move in without discussing marriage when marriage was not on her mind at the time? It doesn’t look like she has been open with her boyfriend about how strongly she wants marriage, which is a mistake, but moving in is not the issue here.

Post # 160
Member
1467 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

Haven’t read 11 pages to catch up but just wanted to say OP tell him if he doesn’t understand the point of marriage, then you don’t understand the point of dating him. 

Post # 161
Member
235 posts
Helper bee

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dnm998 :  the point of marriage is to create a firm boundary. The deal is sort of like “I’m never leaving. I know you’re going to be trouble, and I can be too. But we’re going to ceremoniously vow to stay together and actually fix our problems instead of running away or threatening to leave every time one of us does something wrong.” 

It also enmeshes you legally and financially. It’s almost a sort of voluntary commitment to a set of shackles that gives your life some purpose/responsibility.

If he doesn’t want that, and would rather have some “freedom”, one or both of you is likely to walk out on each other when the going gets tough. And I mean, it’s no bloody wonder – life can get really hard, and none of us like to face up to problems and actually fix them unless we have the threat of having to deal with the same problems and the same person for the next 50 years. 

 

Post # 162
Member
534 posts
Busy bee

I’ve read to page 5 and didn’t see my thoughts so I’m adding on (sorry if it’s a repeat) – if you decide to stay, just know this may set a precedent for the rest of your life/relationship. Want a house? If he doesn’t then he will dig his heels in and you probably won’t get the house. You want 3 kids and he doesn’t want any? If you’re lucky, you may squeeze one out of him but nothing more than that. He will always use the same logic “I don’t see the point, we’re fine now” etc. 

 

people go through changes in 3 ways:

1. They must adapt due to outside forces. An unfortunate example is death or job loss. 
2. They get bored and want to switch it up. An example is job jumping or even changing homes. 
3. They believe life can be a series of discomfort and they’re comfortable with change (aka being uncomfortable for a while)

It seems like in this situation he’s not much of a #3 type guy, so your only hope to get him to change is #1 or 2. Which you could be waiting an extremely long time for him to get bored enough to get married if you’re both already in a relationship that feels like a marriage. And #1 in this situation doesn’t really apply. 

I’m sorry this hasn’t been going smoothly for you. But take a minute to view your whole life with him and kind of gain perspective of this battle and how much you’re willing to fight. Hugs. 

Post # 163
Member
2066 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

OP is young and this is clearly a lesson that she needs to learn. The lessons like this that I learned when i was younger were hard but they have made me who I am today. No one could have talked me out of those choices I made back then, and OP can’t be talked out of hers either. 

I often get frustrated by the posts on these boards and im sure many of us want to reach through the screen and shake some sense into these women, but some things need to be learned by experience. There are many life lessons that I wouldn’t have taken as seriously if they hadn’t been painful. 

All of OP’s reactions to discussing normal adult topics with her boyfriend show just how much growing she has to do. I too at one point was uncomfortable talking to my boyfriend about where things were going for fear that talking about it would result in the relationship being over. I had to learn that any relationship that would be broken by a conversation wasn’t an actual relationship in the first place. I learned that the hard way. But because it was so painful I really took it to heart. 

 I think OP’s resistance to our advice shows this is something she needs to learn herself, first hand. And OP as long as you really stay on top of your birth control, this lesson doesn’t have to be a permanent one. Good luck

Post # 164
Member
949 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

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dnm998 :  Women can be happy in long term/forever relationships without marriage. I’ve met a few but they all had previous marriages that included children. Both couples had agreed they’d never get married.  However, one man, after 12 years dating, proposed and she was over the moon ecstatic. (She had traveled for a week with some friends without him and he realized he never wanted to be without her again and proposed as soon as she got home.)

Its perfectly fine for you to decide that you’d prefer to be with him rather than without him if marriage is a dealbreaker for him.  Neither of you wants children outside of marriage so I’m assuming by hooking your star to him you have decided you’re willing to give up children too?  

If motherhood is something you want, at minimum have a date, at least just in your head, of when you’re willing to give him up for your future children.  Just pick a day.

Post # 165
Member
861 posts
Busy bee

It’s valid to not value marriage. I know several couples who are in their 60s and have been together since their 20s, but just never got married. 
It’s also ok to want to get married. 

Letting your boyfriend know that getting married is a deal breaker for you is not an ultimatum. It’s just a bit of honesty.

When my husband and I moved in together, we did it because it was logical. We wanted to spend more time together and live in the same city, but it was silly for us to both rent and apartment when we would have spent the majority of our time together anyways. We were young (early 20s), and still in school, and not really thinking marriage was in the near future. Fast forward several years, we’ve been living together for years, we’re compatible, we’re not in school anymore, and I’d come to a point where I was interested in getting married, so I told him so. I just said, I’ve come to a point where I’d like to know if you’d like to get married, because I’ve realized that’s something I want. If you do, I’d like you to think about it, and let me know if/when you think that fits into our lives. We’re married now. 

You can do the same. It isn’t pushy, or controlling, or “giving ultimatums” to say “this is important to me and something I want (it’s YOUR life too!!), so I need to know what you think about it as it influences my decisions”

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