Background in a nutshell – SO and I have been together about 6 years. He moved in with DD and me 2 yrs ago when I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. He is a great guy – treats me and my DD lovingly, is kind, funny, warm, caring. He talks with me (not at me) and tells me daily how much he loves me and how happy he is being with me. Based on his words and actions, I know he is committed to our relationship and expects us to be together the rest of our lives. He was truly a KISA in the best sense of the word. If you were to look up the definition of a great person in the dictionary, his picture would be there.
His was with his exwife for 30years before we met. I was with my WXH for 26.
That being said… In the beginning, he was eager to be married. Not only wasn’t I ready yet, but it wasn’t feasible at the time. Time passes. 2 or 3 years ago I raised the subject. He said “yes, he did see us getting married one day.” Patience is said to be a virtue, so I dropped it and waited. Fast forward to a couple of nights ago. The opportunity arose and I raised the subject of marriage.
The conversation that followed left me feeling hurt and stupid. Hurt because it didn’t go the way I wish it had, stupid because one would imagine that at my age, I would have left silly romantic ideas in the past. What I learned was I still had the dream of being married for love. Ouch.
SO said that he is fully committed to me, to us. He knows that we will get married “one day” but didn’t see it as a priority. In his words, things are going so well with us as they are, why do it? I asked him if he would wanted things to be difficult in order to want to marry and he said, no, no, no. He just thought that since things were going well it wasn’t a priority.
Then he went on to list the pros/cons of getting married. Would taxes be affected? Don’t know. He could be on my medical insurance, hmmm, that had the potential of being a check mark on the positive side for him. I don’t remember right now what the other considerations were. By the time he started detailing them I was (internally) very emotional and was spending most of my energy trying to maintain my composure, which I did.
I asked him what we were waiting for. We’re not getting any younger. I don’t want to get married on my death bed.
Now I’m hurt because I see he views marriage as a business proposition. My stupidly romantic idea of getting married because of “love” has taken a blow. I feel stupid and hurt. I am mature enough to understand that the things he raised do have importance, I had just hoped that this time around love would come first.
In my dreams, I had hoped he would (eventually?) ask me to marry him because HE wanted me to be his wife. Now I’m afraid that if he ever does propose, which may be years down the road if at all, it will be because he feels pressured (I don’t want that) or because it makes good business sense.
I feel like shit.
6 years ago, he was eager to be married to you wart's and all. I am not sure what his reaction was at the time you said no, but perhaps he has grown to understand that being happly with someone does not have to mean marriage.
I would sit and let him know what it means to you to be married, and let him know that you were hurt and that you just need to know where you are currently standing in the relationship.
I still doubt that he meant to hurt you.
He is a very kind person and I know he had no idea just how much it hurt me. I don't want to talk to him about it right now because I don't see what good would come from it in my emotional state.
When we talked about marriage so many years ago, I did not say no to him. My D wasn't finalized and it just wasn't possible to get remarried yet. Sadly, although I recall several of these conversations with him from that time period, he does not. I believe that he doesn't remember saying the things I remember him saying to me. If I were a sports scoreboard, he'd remember every detail. But I'm not.
Thank you for responding to my post. I know he didn't mean to hurt me. I just needed to get this out.
ETA - and yes, I did tell him what marriage means to me.
[This message edited by okaynow at 3:26 PM, April 10th (Wednesday)]
[This message edited by MyVoice at 3:54 PM, April 10th (Wednesday)]
At the end of the day, you want the person who loves you to be excited and motivated to be marrying you. I can totally see why that conversation would be deflating.
I'm so sorry - hopefully you can talk to him and he will understand your feelings. I do think it is just kind of a guy thing but still really important he knows how this conversation impacted you.
he views marriage as a business proposition. My stupidly romantic idea of getting married because of “love”
He is a great guy – treats me and my DD lovingly, is kind, funny, warm, caring. He talks with me (not at me) and tells me daily how much he loves me and how happy he is being with me. Based on his words and actions, I know he is committed to our relationship and expects us to be together the rest of our lives.
I don't want to talk to him about it right now because I don't see what good would come from it in my emotional state.
I know he had no idea just how much it hurt me.
Now let me think about any advice that will help you.
As for the issue, I have a bit of a different take...
What is it that marriage means to you? When you say that you want to marry for love, what does that look like? Do you see it as a next step emotionally? Will it cement something? Bring something to your relationship that is lacking? When you want your SO to get excited about marrying you, what is it that you want him to be excited about?
Honestly, it seems like your SO makes it clear every day that he is married to you in an emotional sense — committed to you and your daughter, in love, willing to go through the day to day, there in sickness and health. If that is the case (and has been the case for a while) I can totally see why he would see the rest as logistics and paperwork. The fact that you are his partner, his love and his friend is evident from everything you have written... he might not be excited about making that emotional commitment because, well, he has already made it! If he already views you in his mind and heart as his wife, marriage may not seem like a big deal.
I think it is fine to want to marry for love, but I think its important to articulate what that looks like after 6 years together, not just for him, but for you! It sounds like he doesn't feel anything is missing, but you obviously do, and that is very important. You shouldn't feel stupid for it at all - you are allowed to have wants/needs/dreams! But, in the meantime, I don't think romance is dead here.. I think he is just enacting it in a different way. :)
Infinity, your response made me cry. You are on target with everything you said. Thank you for the claarity. I will read it again when I get home.
Your SO sounds like a wonderful guy. Let me defend him a bit. I'm of the same opinion as him right now, too, that M is not a big priority in my life. I can see where your SO is coming from. I don't see being M as a symbol of commitment. Maybe I'm jaded. I'd rather be with someone who chooses to be with me rather than is with me because of a piece of paper.
That wasn't how I always viewed M. I used to think that M meant the other person was committed to the relationship and if they didn't want to marry you, they must not be committed and are unsure of the relationship.
I think your SO probably doesn't see that M means more to you than just a business proposal. Guys (in general) tend to be practical and logical; whereas woman more emotional. Logically, M may not make sense.
You need to explain to him that M, to you, is more than than the financial benefits. It means something internally to you. I think he's probably not looking at it that way.
I've felt both ways, so I really can see how a disconnect can happen.
[This message edited by HappilyUnMarried at 8:02 PM, April 10th (Wednesday)]