Discussing marriage with reluctant boyfriend
April 14, 2008 12:48 PM Subscribe
Classic relationship cliche: I’d really like to marry my long term boyfriend. He says he wants to marry me … but he won’t actually propose.
posted by anonymous to human relations (35 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have been with my boyfriend for about five years, we've been living together for over four years. I'm in my mid-late twenties, he's in his early forties. His first marriage ended in divorce, for what that’s worth. We have always planned to get married and have children.
We have a wonderful relationship, the best. I love him, I love living with him, I love our life together. We are both fully committed to each other and our relationship, and we have significant joint financial, social, and professional projects. We have great sex! I would say that we are effectively married from a lifestyle standpoint. I’m having a hard time articulating why getting married is so important to me, especially in light of all these commitments, but it is. I think part of it is the public commitment, part is the security (and not just financial), and part is that it’s important to me to be married before we have children, which we have discussed doing in a year or two.
I guess I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to double his ability/intention to actually get married. If he has some reason why it’s important for him to wait (and I guess he obviously does…) then I want to hear about it. He’s a little dismissive when I try to bring up my concerns, I think it makes him uncomfortable to discuss it. Or he’ll try to satisfy me with something like “Duh. Of course we’re going to get married.” and expect that to be all the explanation I’ll ever need. I feel like I don’t even know exactly where he stands. His official position is that he wants to marry me, but if he felt that way, wouldn’t he propose?
I brought it up a few months ago and I guess I really did pick a fight about it. It was bad timing for a variety of reasons, and I know that. I told him I’d leave it alone for a month, and I have. It’s actually been about four months since I’ve said a word about the whole thing. I kept thinking that he would initiate a discussion--or propose!--but he hasn’t.
I would prefer to get engaged more or less now. I’m open to waiting if he needs to, but I need some reassurance, a plan, something. What do I do? And yeah, talk to him, OK. But he doesn’t really want to discuss it. And I don’t know how to approach the issue constructively (and without tears, blah).
To address a couple of financial concerns that weddings can bring: I’m not hung up on a big engagement ring, or any ring at all. He knows that. We’re also both on the same page about wanting a small party/wedding. We’re financially comfortable, independently and even more so together, so I don’t think there are any issues there.
One other thing: I think we’re both expecting that he will propose to me. I don’t want to propose to him, and I don’t think he’d like that either.