Need Perspective/advice on Proposal ultimatum

posted 6 months ago in Proposals
Post # 31
1198 posts
Bumble bee

Also sharing this story because I feel it happens to be relevant: a good friend of mine was dating someone for over a year and their S/O made it clear marriage was not on the horizon (for all those “it’s just a piece of paper” reasons).  After arguing about this for a while, they broke things off and my friend moved across the country.  However they kept in touch and over the course of a year, rekindled their relationship long-distance and eventually my friend moved back and in with the S/O.  Today the S/O had a medical emergency and was taken to the ER. My friend, not being a spouse/next of kin, was not allowed into the room nor were they given any medical updates by the hospital staff.  Mr “Just a Piece of Paper” was so relieved when he was moved to a recovery room and my friend was allowed to come and visit him. Turns out that little piece of paper would have been the difference between him sitting alone in an emergency room terrified all day vs having his closest loved one next to him (instead of worrying in the general waiting room).

I’m not saying get married so that you don’t end up alone in the ER but this is one of a myriad of ways that little piece of paper is important. 

Post # 32
1483 posts
Bumble bee

Don’t have any more kids until you figure this out. Have one last frank conversation with him and tell him you absolutely want to be married for this living situation to continue. If he balks at it again, pack up your kid and leave. Seriously. Men like him are too comfortable and too selfish to see beyond what is in front of them, and so long as you’re playing the “wife” without the actual title, expect it to continue indefinitely bc he has no reason to change. 

Post # 34
27 posts

His reasons for not being ready for marriage are all BS.  If it wasn’t those reasons, it would be a number of other things. I know this hurts to think about, but I think he just doesn’t want to get married to you, not because of all those reasons, but because he just doesn’t think you’re “the one”. I’ve been there but without a child and the relationship wasn’t as long as yours so I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to think about a life without him because clearly you love this man but please really consider what you want out of life.

You deserve to be with someone who will make you feel loved and secure in your relationship, who will not only agree to marry you but WILL BE THRILLED TO MAKE YOU HIS WIFE! Sorry for the caps but I can relate and now I get to feel that way, and it’s an amazing feeling and you deserve to feel it too.

With my ex I was absolutely right to be worried about why he wouldn’t commit to me, because after I ended things he admitted to me he wasn’t as in love with me as I was with him. He also admitted he would have been very happy to keep dating for longer, he was happy with me he just knew I wasn’t “the one” so he wanted to keep the status quo and he didn’t say this outright but it was clear he meant until he met someone else. I’m sorry to say in my personal experience “he’s just not that into you” is very real. If a man truly wants you, he will make sure you know. He will pursue you. He will marry you.

Post # 35
3814 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

writerbabe1990 :  Your update about him not being ready to be married but wanting to get married down the road doesn’t make any sense to me bee.  Usually I’m quite defensive when people are told to leave after dating for a long time when they met young since that was the situation I was in (dating at 18, married at 27) but this is different. 

What more could he have to figure out?  You’ve lived together for many years, he’s seen how you parent, you have a child together.  Worrying about money makes no sense, because if he handles money poorly now when you live together and have a child, it will effect you both whether you’re married or not.  At this point in your relationship, it is just a piece of paper, and if I were you, I’d be pretty concerned that he isn’t willing to just give you that legal security.  His excuses are bs.  

Post # 36
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Please don’t listen to the bees on here telling you to stay in an unhappy relationship because you have a kid or that if you’re so intent on marriage it just means that you’re desperate for marriage with any man and don’t care about this one.  It’s ok to want marriage.  It’s ok to not want to be someone’s gf forever.  It’s ok to want that commitment.  I love my husband but I wouldn’t have stayed in a relationship  as his gf indefinitely.   Sometimes you can love someone but just want different things.  Don’t be guilted into staying in a relationship that no longer meets your needs.  

Post # 37
94 posts
Worker bee

browneyedgirl24 :  I do think it’s extreme to issue an ultimatum and then leave the father of your child if you have an otherwise happy home. 

I suggested sitting down with a therapist because expressing her desire for a proposal hasn’t gotten her anywhere. Perhaps a therapist could help him identify why he’s reluctant or unwilling to commit and marry her. It’s better to resolve the core issue and then both reach the same conclusion (to get married) rather than force his hand by leaving if he doesn’t pop the question.

If he’s given an opportunity to resolve his anxieties regarding marriage, he can change his mind on the subject and develop a desire to be married. If not even therapy can help them get on the same page, then OP could leave knowing she did what she could to keep her child’s family intact.

Post # 38
298 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

missyjz :  I agree. If OP’s partner has told her his family doesn’t usually get married, I think she needs to view it as a different tradition. Some people believe in God, some people don’t. Some people believe in marriage, some people don’t. He’s just one of those people.

OP, I think you should give him a chance and shift your perspective. Would you choose a partner who has different religious or political beliefs? This is just another belief. Traditions have the value that society puts on them. His family doesn’t follow society’s tradition of marriage. That counter-culture IS his tradition. He was raised with a different perspective of marriage than you were. It doesnt mean either of you are right or wrong, it just means you have to compromise.

Post # 39
755 posts
Busy bee

I have a male friend who doesn’t believe in legal marriage either. He and his SO have a child together too. He and his SO had a non-legal ceremony committing themselves to one another. They both wear rings. Is this a compromise you and your boyfriend would consider? 

Post # 40
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016 - Temecula, California

That is really tough. You guys have been together for a long time, however a lot of guys (maybe most guys?) aren’t ready to get engaged until they are 30, mentally ready, or financially ready (not defending him). Women are more emotional and think about the time in the relationship, future goals, etc.  Guys think of their current living situation, financial situation, how are they going to care for a family etc. 

I would sit down over dinner (everyone is happy when they are eating right?) and have a calm discussion.  Tell him that it is really important to you to get married. Ask what is important to him.  Ask him what he is happy about in your relationship, what he is unhappy about and maybe wants to work on. Maybe there will be some key things to discuss to make your relationship stronger. Find your compromise.  Don’t just nag him and tell him you want to get married over and over. That will go nowhere.  Trust me it sounds like he is fully aware of what you want. 

I agree with PP and wouldn’t want someone to propose who didn’t want to. What does that get you exactly?  More sorrow down the road for sure. If in your discussion you find out that marriage is not in his plan then leave as soon as possible. It will make it hurt less. 

I remember when I first started dating my husband I told him that if he doesn’t know if I’m the one for him in a year to do me a favor and dump me because I won’t be a forever girlfriend.  Lol. He laughed but then he proposed in 9 months. Sometimes you have to make your expectations known.  Good luck bee!

Post # 41
62 posts
Worker bee

This may be an unpopular opinion (I’ll be honest, I didn’t read every single response) but is a wedding worth breaking up your family for? And I said wedding on purpose because you’re living day to day married life already: school (for you), work (for him?), kids, family things. After your wedding day, you go back to life as you know it. 


So, it sounds like you want the title of being married (and I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m in the same camp) but you have someone who wants to be with you (presumably) so you’re breaking up your family to find someone who wants to get married?


Outside of the marriage issue, how is he as a partner? Is he loving? Is he what you’d want in a husband (I am assuming yes because you want to marry him)? Is he a good father? Again assuming yes because you want to have more kids with him. I get that you want to get married, make it official, have a day to show your love to your family and friends – I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND. I guess my point is just you are wanting to marry him, so outside of just having a wedding what is missing? 


I am not saying he’s the perfect guy, and if he isn’t right for you long term than absolutely reconsider your options and do what’s best for you. But what I am saying is that if he did propose (which you want), you’d likely say yes and if he wanted more kids, you’d also likely want more children with him. So if you’re dedicated and so is he, you love your children, you generally enjoy life together and make each other happy is the only thing that’s missing a wedding? There is not right or wrong answer, just some food for thought from me 🙂 


ETA: do you own a home together? Does he want more children (if you have talked about it)? Maybe he doesn’t want to do the wedding thing but he’s dedicated to you as his partner. I myself am in the marriage camp BUT if I ever was to be with a person who was adamantly against getting legally married (for whatever reasons that we’d chat about) then I’d have to think: is one day/a wedding worth walking away from every other thing we have in our life together? I’m going to be with him every day before and after this wedding, and being married won’t (hopefully!! lol) change our daily life so if he’s so against it am I ok with him being my committed common-law partner? Marriage doesn’t make a relationship automatically better. Some of the happiest, most well-adjusted and communicative partnerships I’ve seen (from my friends) are those who are not legally married. 

Post # 42
859 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Nope.  He’s the one breaking up a happy home by not doing what it would take to maintain one. 

As a grown man, he knows you can’t keep a woman in girlfriend status forever if she wants to be a wife one day.  

You aren’t to blame for having values that don’t include being a live-in baby mama forever. If this man dropped unconscious in the street one day, his parents could decide whether you could visit him in the hospital. Not you. If you lost your job, you wouldn’t qualify for his health insurance.  Living with him, loving him, sharing your home and a child with him won’t mean a thing unless you’re in a location that allows for domestic partnership or common law marriage (and from your post, it doesn’t appear that you’ve entered into a legal partnership).

People who don’t “believe” in legal marriage can believe anything they like.  There are laws in every jurisdiction this post can be read that outline the rights and responsibility of spouses. He doesn’t want to enter into that arrangement with you.   He likes you as a baby maker and life-sharer.  I believe you can do better than that. 

Maybe he didn’t break up a happy home.  He’s refusing to build one, which is just as bad.

Post # 43
734 posts
Busy bee

writerbabe1990 : Children don’t just “happen”; even with a failure of birth control, you still chose to have the child and inextricably link yourself to this guy.

acorsaut :  It seems like OP’s boyfriend thinks a wedding (or the lack of) or just some paperwork is worth breaking up a family. That is how much he values it and the OP.

ispeakingifs :  I’ve never quite understood this anti-marriage argument. When we first started dating, my spouse didn’t value marriage in the same way I did: but he valued me and my beliefs. There are things worth holding your ground on; I don’t think it’s unreasonable for marriage to be one of them.

Post # 44
896 posts
Busy bee

No. The only thing that is missing is NOT a wedding. OP wants the LEGAL BENEFITS of marriage. She even said in her last post that if something were to happen to him she would have no say.

Dont trivialize marriage and confuse it with “wanting a wedding.” OP wants the legal security of marriage, and for good reason. It is completely valid to want that and to consider leaving someone who will not provide that for her after she birthed his child acorsaut :  

Post # 45
896 posts
Busy bee

I don’t agree with this. You say she’s forcing his hand by leaving. How?? By accepting that he won’t marry her and moving on? Yet you say they should go to therapy so he can “change his mind”? How is that not trying to force his hand? 

One doesn’t suddenly just develop a desire to get married when they have clearly shown they’re not interested.

I think counseling can be helpful or maybe for OP individually or maybe for her to go and realize they just don’t want the same things.

If he doesn’t want marriage that’s fair enough but he needs to be honest with her and she shouldn’t ever try to change his mind  semperfi :  

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