Discussion in 'Community Board' started by luvmylittleboy2003, Jun 18, 2013.
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I think that living together before marriage is often quite a good thing. My experience was the exact opposite of so many posters here: living together made me realize just how well our lives worked together and how much I wanted to live with this person for the rest of my life. I wouldn't have gotten married without it. However, I didn't have any dependents, which made the situation easier for me.
If you think your boyfriend feels rushed and that things will change with time, give it time. Forcing a commitment is never a good idea: it's a big reason that divorce happens. However, you should also trust your gut, and if your gut is telling you things will never change, then you need to cut your losses.
Either way, this will be really tough on your son, who needs stability.
I would think that marriage wasn't really his priority. If it was mine, I probably wouldn't have moved in with him unless we were engaged or were already married.
You have to decide how important getting married is to you. One year isn't really that long and some people live happily never getting married. Only you can decide how you want to live your life.
Ok, so we talked a little last night and he said he doesn't put 'emphasizes' on marriage like I do!! He wants to make sure it's right this time and not jump into it. He wants to see how we handle problems together when they arise. What I think he may be referring to on this is 'the time we spend together, communication, etc', because we really don't have any other issues...I'm aware of!!! Basically, I'm saying we need to spend more time together and communicate, do the little things that matter, etc and he is fine with less time because he likes to have hobbies (not outside the home, things like working in the garage, etc), as far as the communication...well, you have to see each other more than a hr a night for that and I know it's in him to do 'the little things' because he did it in his last marriage (go see her at work once a week, little cards, notes, etc). I think there can be balance, we've talked about this before...it changes for a bit and goes right back. He said he has some ideas and we will talk more tonight. After typing and reading this....I think I'm seeing the bigger picture!!! Hmmmmm
Are you really only seeing each other about one hour a day?
That's not much of a relationship.
When you were dating and not living together, how much time did you spend together? Did he make more of an effort to spend time with you? Is the fact that you are right there under the same roof, making it easier for him to ignore the fact that he's not keeping you as a priority in his time?
In this paragraph, I think you are confusing some issues. You are talking about communication and problem solving then talk about him not doing the "little things."
Frankly you are always going to be problem solving as that is life. Things happen all the time. I would think your boyfriend thought enough of you to ask you into his home and life that he would know whom you are and how you act.
Communication isn't about quantity but about quality. I understand maybe an hour a night and I understand not having it for days at a time. If you have something to say, figure out what is best at your house to say it. Maybe write it in an email instead of waiting until home and chaos. Ask for a lunch date or a coffee break during the day.
Excuses are excuses but in all fairness, you moved in at 6 months knowing his feelings about marriage. I understand it is important to you but you can't shovel all the disappointment on his shoulders when he was upfront with you. Do you want to be married or can you live with your life now? How long are you willing to hold out? If he says in 2 years or 5 years? Figure out what you really want and why you want it and bring that conversation to the table not just that you want a ring on your finger.
Please don't compare how he is with you to how he was with his ex-wife. That right there can ruin your relationship as fast as anything. You are not his ex-wife. Think instead about the things you want and value and whether or not he is doing those things for you or has the same values. If not then you should seek out someone who will. He is who he is and you need to either accept him for who he is right now or move on.
As others have pointed out, I think his concerns about communication are very valid. And they have nothing to do with how much time you actually spend in the same room together on a typical day.
He flat out told you initially that he was not sure about marriage, yet you moved in with him anyway. I get the feeling that he did not mislead you, but you may have misled yourself into hearing what you wanted, or into believing that once you lived together it would e easy to change his mind.
He is telling you now that he is not ready yet. You are not listening to that and instead pushing for something else.
You "tried" to bring up the subject of marriage by talking about other couples-instead of directly talking about your concerns.
. . .
It really does sound like you struggle to communicate what you really want, and to do so in a timely (before you moved yourself and your son in with your boyfriend) and do so clearly.
And it sounds like you are looking at the "wrong" things in trying to "fix" such issues (thinking more time together at home, not having hobbies apart, etc will somehow help this, pushing for a commitment in spite of these issues as if that could fix it, etc).
Maybe it makes sense to slow down and figure out how to build a relationship that feels that long term and then do that, before you ask for a commitment.
Huh? Is this what "living together" means to you--the woman becomes the maid/nanny? Before marriage or after marriage, why would any woman do this--unless her partner were contributing equally in other ways, i.e. she is a sahp taking care of parenting and housekeeping and he works long hours outside of the home making the financial contribution?
I assume, though, you are referring to a situation in which the woman's contribution is more than the man's. Why in the world would that be okay in marriage but not outside of marriage? That is not okay ever in my world.
I get it, OP, I really do.
Last night DH, my girls (12 & 13) got into a discussion about boys and dating. They are still listening to us at this point, so we are trying to give them as much good advice as we can think of! DH told them that no matter how much you love someone, you can not change them. If they are kind and considerate and respectful, that is who they are. You can not make them someone they are not.
I think that advice rings true in this situaion. Your boyfriend has made it pretty clear that he is not interested in marriage. You are trying to change him. I think he is leading you along because he loves you and doesn't want to lose you, but the truth of the matter is that no matter how much you love one another, you can not change him into someone who wants to get married. Nor can he change you into someone who does not want to get married.
And really, do you want him to marry you when he does not want to get married? It has been a year and he keeps telling you the same thing. He is not going to change, and you can not love him enough to change him. Personally, if marriage was that important to me, I would cut my losses and move on.
OK, I'll try to give you what I think based on the limited information here from a guy's perspective.
First, a year is not very long. There is nothing abnormal at all about dating someone for a year and not knowing with 100% certainty that you do or don't want to marry them. Personally I wouldn't even live with someone I dated under a year so not knowing if you want to get married is not really a big deal.
Everything he said in your last update makes complete sense. He was married once and wants to see how the relationship progresses before he commits to marriage again. He is being very responsible and not just telling you what you want to hear to shut you up. He is telling you why he wants to let the relationship develop more before deciding what his end game is.
Some people want to be in a relationship for a longer time and see how the dynamic develops before they decide it is the one. I imagine this is even more true if you've been there, done that already. One of my friends dated his wife for almost a decade before he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
Give it time, don't push him too hard too fast (and yes at one year marriage for many is too hard too fast), and just go with the flow. As long as he is honest with you and tells you one way or the other when he knows for sure what he wants marriage wise just enjoy what you have at the moment. I wish more people would live in the moment when it comes to relationships. No need to force the next step before both parties feel it is time.
Amen. Very well said.
One thing that I dont understand is when people say "move on, move out". First, its only been a year. Secondly, then what? You leave him cause you dont have a ring on your finger? Whats next? you date someone else, give him a one year deadline, then dump him as well? How many men will a woman go thru before she finds the guy that will propose after 6 months? So it truly doesnt matter who you marry, as long as you marry someone? Anyone?
A guy's view, yes... but a young, single, never been married guy if I remember correctly. Without children. Not to minimize your perspective but it's a completely different situation.
When you're dating in your 40's and you have kids it's a whole different ballgame. For so many reasons. No one needs to date for years and years to know what they want but especially a middle aged someone who has been there and done that. They know the spiel. They either want it (with you) or they don't. Is it possible that they would change their mind years down the road? Sure but probably not likely. Whether it's worth the risk is obviously a matter of personal opinion. How would the OP feel if another 5, even 10 yrs went by and nothing had changed? Me? I wouldn't waste my time..epecially if I knew that was what I wanted. And there were children involved. It's not about forcing someone else to do something they aren't really ready to do. It's about not settling for less than you really want.
I'm actually with those who don't understand the whole 'test drive' theory. Marriage, more than anything else, is about a willingness to make that commitment...through thick and thin. IMO after having dated a year/lived together for 6 mos, wanting more time to 'see if it will work' is a red flag that someone really isn't so sure they are all that committed to do what it takes to make the relationship work long term. And when the OP knows she wants to get married? And would like to start making plans sooner than later? That's just doesn't sound like a recipe for success.
I'm 35 but you are correct, no kids yet and not married yet.
I don't think the age or that fact that there are kids should speed up the time frame of a relationship. If anything it should slow it down. I really don't think a year is a very long time in any relationship. Not if you are 20, 30, or 40. Not if you have kids or you don't. Not if you have already been married or not.
I also don't think it is abnormal at all to be dating someone for a year, living with them for half of a year, and not know with certainty that you want to marry them. I really don't get the rush to make a decision before you are ready. It sounds from what was posted here that the OP's boyfriend is neither sure he wants to get married again or sure he doesn't. I think giving him some more time to figure it out without bringing it up isn't really that much to ask.
I would never live with a person I was not engaged to and had a wedding date set.
In your 40s and dating for a year is long enough. He is not going to marry you. He is getting exactly what he wants from you and not giving you what you want from him.
Yep. Moving in together is not a step towards marriage. It's avoidance of marriage.
Moving in together before marriage is never a great choice, and I've heard so many women say just what you're saying: I moved in with him, and I thought we'd live together a while, then get married. BUT that so often doesn't happen. If he wanted to be married, he'd have taken that path instead of the living together path.
I see that as a really smart thing that he wants to see how a big problem would be handled with you. I also see that you have some communication issues and have a hard time expressing how you really feel maybe to not rock the boat.
The fact that you stated that things change for a little bit than go back to the way they were is really saying that you already have conflicts and are trying to change him. Im not trying to sound mean but we all have issues we would like to change about our partner/spouse but the fact is its not going to happen.
Im glad to see that he says he has some ideas and wants to talk about it more, negotiation is key instead of trying to change someone. Make sure you say what you want and dont beat around the bush (not the marriage but ie spending more time together) He does need his own space and personal time, I keep pushing my DH to find a hobby or something for himself to enjoy.
I agreed with you. I was not surprised by a proposal. We discussed it and then got the ring. I made it clear I was a partner in the marriage. We do all the house chores.
I would never move in with a man if I had a minor child at home. My responsibility is to that child. I would only bring the child into the relationship when it was going tote next level and then only enter the next level if the child and new person hit it off.
That is an inaccurate blanket statement. I would never even consider marrying anyone whom I haven't lived with first. Full Stop. It is not even in the realm of possibility for me.
I have three weddings I'm going to this year. In all three cases they lived together before getting engaged. In my group of friends I can't think of any off the top of my head that didn't live together before being engaged.
My point in telling her to move on was not about the time frame at all. A year isn't very long. I'm on marriage #2 and both times did not get married until after 2 1/2 years of dating. My point was that in her last post it seems like she has certain expectations of him based on what he did with his ex-wife. If she can't accept him for who he is right now or she isn't getting from him what she needs/wants then she should move on. If she can accept him for who he is and accept him for his faults/short-comings then by all means stay.
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