Post # 31
It sounds like he doesn’t see the value in marrying someone be that you or anyone else. This not wanting to share holidays together is a symptom of that. He basically confirmed that when you two broke up the first time over marriage timelines. Maybe he only sees marriage as having a purpose if there are kids involved. Who knows.
It sounds like you two would benefit greatly with pre marital counseling. During those sessions you two could voice your expectations of each other, define what you feel the role of a wife and husband is, how you see your marriage working etc. Get set up with that counseling and let that inform your decision to stay or go. But if you two see marriage in two different ways than you aren’t compatible and this isn’t going to work.
Post # 32
It seriously sounds like you are dating my ex. Unless you have swapped out “Province” for “State” in your OP to have some anonymity you probably aren’t talking about that guy.
This would be enough of a red flag for me to question my relationship with this person. Maybe it’s because I have dated someone like this, but the scheer fact that you will have to have a come to Jesus talk about compromise (with a 44 year old man) is enough for me. He shouldn’t need to be told that he should be considering the feelings, wants and needs of his partner. He shouldn’t assume he gets his way without even having a discussion. It’s just weird that he doesn’t know that already.
I realize I am making a judgement based on some pretty limited information here, but from what you’ve stated it makes me think he is executing a constructive dismissal of this relationship. My ex did this. He wants a girlfriend and not a wife or partner. A 44 year old man shouldn’t freak out when the woman he is dating is open about her expectations for marriage after 2 years. It seems like he got back together with you when there was nothing better out there for him. Now you are getting close to that 2 year mark and instead of telling you he has no interest in marrying you, he is starting to push back and act out. He doesn’t want to have to commit to you but he also doesn’t want to have to have an awkward conversation so he is going to go out of his way to demonstrate that he isn’t the ideal partner for you in the effort to get you to break up with him.
With my ex, he was all in from day one. I frequently had to tell him to slow down, we didn’t need to rush into anything. He wanted to move in right away, he named our future children and started talking about what our wedding would be like all within the first few months. Then around the 6 month mark I started to catch up to him and questioned making plans to move in together. Suddenly there were all kinds of reasons why he thought that wasn’t the best idea just yet. Then he started refusing to hang out with my friends because he didn’t like them and said I’d have more fun with him. He would pick random fights or just be super moody out of nowhere and then snap if I asked him if something was wrong. Around 9 months in he cried one day and told me he was a bad boyfriend and he wasn’t sure he would be ready for marriage when I wanted him to be. I told him I wasn’t in a rush for marriage and I wanted us to work. I told him not to worry about it right now. Then he started witholding sex. He refused to talk about it and just said he wansn’t feeling very sexual lately and would talk to his Doctor next time he saw her. Not long after that he skipped out on my brothers wedding early because he was tired. When I told him it was sort of embarassing to explain to all my family that he just left he got angry at me and said there was no point in arguing because he did nothing wrong. The final straw came when he told me he had decided he never wanted kids. When I questioned why he had changed his mind he claimed he never told me he wanted them in the first place. I ended things. Looking back… I think he had wanted to end things about 6 months before we got to that point and he just kept getting worse and worse to try and force my hand. I was constructively dismissed from that relationship.
Listen, you don’t want children so there is no biological rush for you to get married. You don’t need to settle for this man. What are you gaining from this relationship?
Post # 33
At 44 years old, he freaked out bc he didn’t know if he would be ready to marry in two years? Sounds like someone who wants to be a bachelor for life. I have male friends who always knew they wanted to be married. In their 30s they were willing to propose one year, even six months in, bc they understood that their goal was marriage and they aren’t getting any younger. I don’t think his goal is marriage
Post # 34
He’s not acting this way just because you two don’t have kids… it would be exactly the same if you did. You’d be in charge of handling the children and he’d do his thing while you do yours. It’s got nothing to do with not having kids. My ex husband was the same way. He only cared about his family and what they were up to. Never wanted to spend holidays with me and mine, EVEN THOUGH we could easily have seen both on the same day. Only his mattered. Only his family mattered and the things he cared about. That’s how it is for your boyfriend and he will never ever change, so don’t hold your breath. You haven’t been together long… You won’t get real partnership from him. I really do see this as a huge red flag.
Post # 35
That’s what I’m wondering. D.H. and I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with our respective families until we were married (dated 9 years). This worked for us. Now we split the holidays between the two and go together. For example, my family does a big trip every year that I LOVE going on, and isn’t D.H.’s favorite type of vacation. Before we were married, I went every year. Now that we’re married, we compromise and go every other year. I don’t see spending holidays apart as inherently a bad thing, but I agree with PP that OP’s S.O. seems uncompromising, and that is not a trait that I would want in a partner. Has he told you that he intends to do holidays apart after marriage, or is that an assumption you’re making since he does it that way now?
Post # 37
It’s not a bad thing *if* it’s what you want or you don’t mind it.
I personally don’t think it would bother me all that much. In fact, it’s what my ex-husband and I did do until we were married.
But in the OP’s case, she *does* mind. And I think for me the much bigger concern than simply who spends which holiday with whom is the fact that her SO is making a unilateral decision about it and decreeing that he has the right to do this.
There are certain things that I think are within an individual’s exclusive domain – the clothes they wear, how they wear their hair, their health, interests, politics, religion, etc.
But some things, like significant occasions and how large chunks of time are spent, affect the relationship, and so partners who make unilateral decisions about those things are either selfish or have poor relationship skills, in my opinion.
To me, it’s much less about whether or not this guy wants to spend every holiday with his own family than the fact that he wants his own way.
Post # 38
Oh I don’t disagree. Couples do lots of things that work for them and wouldn’t work for others. Some bees seemed to think it was a red flag on it’s face to not spend every holiday together when you’re dating, which I disagree with. In context, OP’s S.O. doesn’t sound like a good partner at all.