Post # 1
I’m new here so forgive me if I don’t do this right. I don’t have a lot of family or friends that I can go to for advice and I have never posted in a site for advice so I’m kind of out on a limb here…
Okay so My SO and I have been together for 3 1/2 years. I was a single mom with an 8 year old daughter, never married and hadn’t dated in 8 years; he was twice divorced with 2 grown daughters and 2 teenage sons from his first marriage. His second marriage really messed him up, he was cheated on while he was in the Middle East for 9 months. We met a few months after his divorce although he had been seperated for over a year by that time. From the day we met we didn’t want to be apart and haven’t been.
When we first got together he expressed that he no longer believed in marriage and wouldn’t be going through it again. And I was okay with that…genuinely. I did not go into this thinking that I could change him. I fully did not expect to ever WANT to get married. I had actually become okay with the idea of spending my life alone before him. About a year into our relationship he expressed that he wasn’t sure if he was still against marriage or not. We’ve lived together for 3 years, my daughter calls him Daddy… my family loves him and his family loves me. I witnessed the birth of our first grandchild and held my “step-daughters” hand through labor. We’ve been though so much together. I don’t say this to be verbose but to give a context to my question. I want to get married. I didn’t expect to want it and I don’t know how to approach the subject when he said he’d never get married again. Should I be happy with a LTR? I love him and don’t want to spend my life without him but I also don’t want to only be the “girlfriend”. It isn’t the wedding I want. I’d be happy with a JOP wedding. I want marriage but feel like I’d be a hypocrite because I’d said I was okay with never being married. I don’t know what changed. And I don’t know what to do next. Advice please?
Post # 2
I suggest seeing if he felt like popping down to the courthouse for a close family elopement. A lot of the time what a twice divorced person doesnt want is the carnival that comes with a wedding. It can be too much, too expensive and they have been there done that. If what you want is a marriage, I see nothing wrong with talking to him about that. I think that he may be more receptive to that idea. Discuss it adult to adult. Don’t approach it weakly and be prepared for him to need some time to think about it. Offer him time. Plant a seed and ask him if you could talk about it again in a few days time when the idea has had time to fester. Good luck!
Post # 3
What happens if he gets really sick or in an accident and you aren’t able to visit him in the hospital whenever you want because you’re not married? What if something happens to you, then where would your daughter go? There are many benefits of marriage… and if your daughter’s father isn’t in her life, SHE also needs this, and you should consider him adopting her.
Post # 4
It sounds like you just need to talk to him and say that you two have grown close, and the more time you spend together, the more marriage seems like a good idea, especially with such a concrete position in each others’ lives – plus for the reasons listed above.
My SO and I said “I don’t know if I want any(more) kids” when we first started dating. While dating, I decided I wanted one, and he agreed… now I want 2 more! And he’s hesitant, but we’ll decide that later 😉 People change… it’s just what happens.
Post # 5
Her father is not in her life and hasn’t been since the day he found out I was pregnant.
SO has expressed that he would like to adopt her but when he found out we’d have to be married for that to happen (oklahoma law) he stopped talking about it. He put us in his will and he’s in mine also, but getting told that someone can’t talk to me about him when he’s away or out of the country drives me insane!
Post # 6
Make a deal with yourself to strike up a serious conversation with him about the practicalilties and benefits of marriage. Talk about it from your perspective but be open to why he is hesitant and ask him what you could do to alleviate his fears.
Post # 7
DarkWater: With all that you share together, it seems to me that the legal protections of marriage would benefit you. I would approach him about it. Talk about what his specifc concerns are regarding not wanting to get married, is he afraid of getting another divorce? does he want to avoid the pageantry? something else? Tell him how you feel and how your opinion of getting married has changed. Lay out the benefits of getting married; he can adopt your daughter, you’re protected should something happen to one of you, etc. You said that his opinion against marriage was already softening, so maybe he will be willing to try it again with you.
Edited to add: I think a lot of people who have gone through bad marriages tend to look at marriage itself as the bad guy, when most of the time it was the people involved, not the institution of marriage. For a couple who are meant for eachother, marriage itself is not going to ruin that. Perhaps he needs to realize that it is the people involved that make the marriage, not the instutition.