Post # 1
Okay so lately I have had the wedding bug, and I want my SO and I to get engaged. We have been together for 6 years and we moved in together this past October. I talked to him last night about getting engaged and he said he is very scared to get married or to be a father. He didnt have a very good example of marriage as a child. His parents divorced when he was about 8 years old and told me about the time he saw his dad packing his bags. When his mother got remarried she married a very abusive man and it effected him dearly. His father was never much of one and I think thats what his fear is about having children as well.
I did not have a good example of marriage either and it effected me very much, it has even transfered over to my adult years, but I try to see the bright side of things. My parents had a horrible marriage but I decided to learn from the mistakes I saw them make. I tell him to try to that as well. I say we are not our parents, we are different people and we cant let their marriages effect what ours would be like. He lives on what ifs. What if it doesnt work out? Well i tell him, we dont know that. Life is all about risks, I cant promise you we will stay together forever, but I can promise I will do anything I can to work at our marriage if there is any sort of trouble with it.
I just feel really hurt by this. I moved 2 hours away from the city I am from to be with him. I left my friends and family and even though 2 hours might not be far for some it is for me. I don’t know anyone here (besides his mother) and I get very lonely. I am having trouble finding a job (this is a small town) and I dont drive so I cant commute to other places in the surronding towns for work. I tell him i want to be with him forver and he says why cant you be with me forever without being married. And to be honest I dont know how to respond to it. Being married and having a family is just something I want to experiance. He also gets very angrey sometimes when i bring up marriage and walks away. I have told him to go to therapy and that I would go with him but he doesnt believe in it and says it wont do anything. I just dont know what to do anymore. I dont know if any of you can give me with a solution but I needed to vent and get his out of my system. I just feel torn. He is a very good partner, and I dont want to leave him.
I also want to mention his mother and I are really close. I am thinking of talking to her about it and maybe asking her to talk to him since the reason he is scared of marriage is because of what he grew up seeing. I am sure he would be upset if she brought it up though and then blame me because I am the only person who knows of his reasons for not wanting marriage. I just feel lost. Any advice?
Post # 3
@AquamarineQueen: How old are you two? Is it possible he feels too young? I only say that because sometimes men do not feel ready for marriage until much later than women do.
From what I have read, you seem to be very level headed and calm about this. So it doesn’t seem like you are coming on too strong. It may just be he is either not ready or unfortunately may never be ready. While I understand he had a bad example of marriage growing up, I don’t think that would explain it all. There may be some other deep seated issues going on that he is not being honest about.
While it will be a tough decision, you may have to decide whether or not marriage is truly important to you. Talking to his mom may help, but pressuring him to marry won’t. If he doesn’t want to get married, are you ok with still being with him?
In my experience, it doesn’t usually bode well when two people have different expectations/desires about getting married. If someone wants marriage and the other doesn’t, then it’s unfair for either to pressure the other one. Sorry you are going through this OP, best of luck though.
Post # 4
@bmo88: Im going to be 25 in a couple weeks, he just turned 27. I hear what you are saying. I would never want to presure him. The thing is he goes back and forth. Before I moved in with him I told him I want to get married one day and he agreed. He has been yes then no, yes then no. It’s very confusing for me. Maybe I would be able to oversee the marriage if he wants to have children someday, but like I said he is a little bit scared of that as well. Everytime I bring it up he says the same thing, Im just to scared, so I don’t know if there is something deeper.
I told him I am scared we are going to have one of those situations you always hear about. The women wants marriage the man doesnt and then when they break up you har about the man getting married to someone else within a couple years. I told him maybe Im not the one for him and he just doesnt know it, and he assured me that isnt it. That he wouldnt be living with me if he thought that way. Its jsut very confusing how back and forth he is with it.
Post # 5
Have you thought about pre-marital counseling? I just finished a 4-week session with my fiance and it addressed a lot of the same concerns that your boyfriend has brought up – examples of marriage from our parents, our fears, how to deal with conflict and disagreement, etc. I feel MUCH better about getting married now.
Would he be willing to give it a try?
If not, I would seriously think about moving out. By moving in you’re essentially giving him the wife experience without the legal and emotional protection of marriage. He has no incentive to move toward marriage if he’s already getting everything he wants.
Post # 6
Did you two talk about this before you moved to be with him?
ETA: Oops, just saw your other reply. I would feel really hurt that he showed an interest in marriage when we talked about moving in together and then changed his mind after I completely uprooted my life for him. That’s not fair at all. Would you still have moved to him if he had been honest about how he feels about marriage?
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2010 - Christmas Tree Farm
You two are pretty young, right? You two have been together for a good amount of time, but it sounds like he’s just not ready. At this point, it’s up to you to decide whether this is a deal breaker for you. If it is, then you have to decide how long you’re willing to wait to see if he will change his mind. You absolutely don’t want to try to force him into marrying you or having kids with you, but you also need to look out for yourself and what you want out of your life. He may be happy to spend the rest of his life with you without marriage and without kids, but you don’t have to accept having to live that life with him if it’s not what you want.
Post # 8
@Moraz: I have thought about counselling and have mentioned it but he just isnt into it. I am going to try and again and let him know if he wants to keep me he should do counselling with me because I feel so torn on what to do.
We did talk about it and he said he wanted the same thing as well. But like I said in my other response he goes back and forth, yes then no, yes then no.
ETA: No I probably wouldnt of moved in if he didnt want the same thing.
I was thinking of waiting to see if things dont change by the time we make a full year of living together then I would force myself to leave. But I am conflicted apart of me says I want the experiance of marriage and kids and the other part says if he is so great to me and I love him then why should I leave jsut because of it?
Im very torn .
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2010 - Christmas Tree Farm
@AquamarineQueen: If it’s a deal breaker, I think you should be honest with him about it. Like I said, you don’t want to pressure him into moving forward when he’s not ready to, but I think he deserves to know that you two aren’t on the same page, you aren’t happy with where things are heading, and marriage or kids are important enough to you that if he decides he never wants them you’ll have to move on.
He is great to you and he loves you, but if you don’t want the same things out of your life together, he may not be the right person for you to spend your life with.
Post # 10
@AquamarineQueen: That really, really sucks then. If you haven’t already I would have a long talk with him. Explain to him what you did here; reiterate the fact that you love him but know that you want marriage. Explain to him the whole moving deal. I’m sure it really hurts to know that he was saying “yes I want marriage too” before you moved to be with him and now he’s waffling back and forth; that’s not fair to you at all and he needs to be called out on that even if he didn’t mean to be so indecisive he should be made fully aware what a shit thing that is. I’ve had a past boyfriend lie to me to get me to move in with him because he wouldn’t have been able to afford that nice apartment without me. I’m by no means saying that’s what your guy is doing, but I know the hurt associated with that.
Good luck talking to him. I think maybe he didn’t really think about marriage to it’s full extent before, and now that it’s staring him in the face he’s getting nervous. If your talk goes well just give him a little space, but if nothing changes for a while you’ll have to decide what you want more out of life; him or a husband.
Post # 11
Honestly, I don’t recommend continuing to live with him.
I see no logic in living with someone, and doing most or all of the things that go hand-in-hand with living with someone, when they don’t even know if they want what you already know you want.
Living with him while he’s still figuring out what he wants to do is not helpful to you or him. He gets to live with you, and enjoys all the perks that come with that, and you’re in limbo, unsure if you’re wasting your time; unsure if he’ll decide if he does want marriage and children. He’s comfortable and, therefore, has little reason to actually make a decision.
I don’t think it was an accident or coincidence that he said “Yes” to marriage before you moved in, but afterward he’s unsure.
I think moving out is one of the best things you could do. This isn’t to pressure him into marriage, it’s to prevent the waste of your time. It’s also meant to make sure that he’s not in a situation where he doesn’t need to make a decision or work through issues because he already has what he wants.
Post # 12
@babytoes: I have talked about all that with him. And he said he is so happy I came to move in with him, and he knows its not fair, but he is just scared (thats all he says). I rememeber a couple months back us discussing it again and he said that if he were to marry me and it didnt work out he would be crushed and it would hurt him real bad. I just think he isnt confident that he can be a good husband/father because of how he says marriage when he was growing up.
He wants us to buy a house together one day and I told him that i couldnt do that without being married. No way will I share my finances with someone I am not married to. I am scared to bring u the marriage discussion because there are times where he gets so mad about it and he wont talk to me for the rest of the night. Ugh.
I want to thank you all so far for helping me out. I know ultimatly its my decision but I apperciate the advice.
Post # 13
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
He should really be in therapy. I know he isn’t into it, but the effects of absuse aren’t going to go away.
If he won’t discuss counseling and stops speaking to you when you try to discuss marriage, you have your work cut out for you. 🙁 It sounds like it’s going to come down to you deciding on whether you want to stay with this man unmarried, or NOT. Be totally honest with him, if it’s a deal breaker.
In the meantime, if at all possible, I really really recommend learning to drive. It will give you SO many more options in your life!
Post # 14
@AquamarineQueen: He gets mad at you for bringing it up? You’re scared to bring up the topic of marriage with someone you’ve been with for six years, and now live with?
You should never be scared to bring up marriage with someone you’re in a relationship with, much less someone you’re living with.
I’ve got to say, it sounds like you’re headed down a road you don’t want to be on. This guys behavior doesn’t bode well for a healthy, fulfilling relationship. It certainly doesn’t bode well for marriage.
I suggest thinking long and hard about whether this man is a suitable mate for you. From what you’ve written here, it doesn’t seem like he is.
Post # 15
@AquamarineQueen: Whatever you do, don’t bring his mother into it. The moment you do that, your relationship with him now becomes you, him, and her. If you two are adults, you handle it like adults. Ask him if he is comfortable with seeking counseling to discuss these issues.
If not, then you can’t force him to feel differently. If you know you want to get married someday and you are unsure if he feels the same way, well you have a decision to make. Don’t waste your time and energy.
Post # 16
@AquamarineQueen: What is he scared of?
If he’s scared of the marriage failing, well, nothing in life is guaranteed. You could also break up tomorrow but that didn’t scare him enough to avoid moving in with you.
If he’s scared of not being a good husband or father, he needs to consider why he feels that way. Having bad examples growing up isn’t a guarantee he will end up the same way. He has a *choice* of how he treats you as a partner and how he treats a child as a parent. Right now, he’s acting as if he has no choice over the person he becomes as a husband/parent.
If he’s scared generally of the idea of committing himself to you for life, that indicates to me that he’s not totally sure yet if he thinks you’re the woman he wants to be with for the rest of his life.
I think you need to drill down the reason WHY he’s scared and work from there. Some things he can work on (like fear of not being a good husband) and some he can’t (because he can’t force himself to want to marry you).
Aside from his ambiguous claim that he’s “scared,” I see some other red flags here. He’s 27 years old. He gets angry when you bring up marriage. He sometimes says he wants it and other times he says he doesn’t. You moved 2 hours to live with him and now suddenly he’s against getting married. Umm, I’m sorry, but he’s old enough to know if he wants to be a husband someday– *and* to know if he wants to be a husband TO YOU. A man who loves you, even one who isn’t ready to get married, isn’t going to get ANGRY when his partner of SIX YEARS brings up marriage. Especially when that partner just left her family and friends and moved 2 hours to be with him.