My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want to Get Married. How Can I Convince Him Otherwise?

I am new to this blog. I found it by searching my question. Here’s the thing, I have found the man I love, and I deeply know he loves me too. We have been together a little over a year. Since we started dating, we have talked about how we didn’t want to fool around and that we were both looking for something serious.

He had a past and so did I. He was in a serious relationship for 10+ years (on and off really, they broke up more times than I can count) I had been in a serious relationship for 4 years. So yeah, we were past the whole fooling around thing.

Maybe, 6 months into my relationship, we started talking about marriage and kids. I am telling you, we knew from very early on that we had found each other. Then, a couple of weeks ago, we had a conversation with his brother and “wife” (not legally married) about the legality of marriage and how they didn’t do it because of government payouts and stuff that makes no sense to me. But then HE decided to adopt this thought as if it were an option for us. NO IT IS NOT.

I want to be legally married and I want the religious marriage. We are both Catholics, so what do I do? How do I explain to him that being legally married has benefits? I am afraid he does not want to commit.

Yes, we have talked about the religious marriage. Catholic law states that the marriage must be both legal and religious. He now says that there are other ways. But not for me.

Ana

Ah, the logic vs. emotion argument!

I’ve been losing this one on the internet for 10 years now, so I may not be the best person to ask, but I’m going to give it a valiant effort. And I’m going to do it by pointing out that logic will not win this argument.

Sure, you have logic on your side.

Check out the National Marriage Project and read to your heart’s content about the virtues of holy matrimony.

Or you can comb through all my pieces on marriage to find statistics that make your case for you – married people are twice as likely to call themselves VERY happy, for instance.

But this isn’t going to move your boyfriend, any more than watching CNN will change the mind of a die-hard Trump supporter. Feelings are almost always stronger than facts.

Feelings are almost always stronger than facts.

Which is why you need to get to the bottom of your boyfriend’s feelings, explain your feelings, and have – pardon the expression – a “Come to Jesus” meeting about the consequences of this difference of opinion.

First, let’s establish something: your boyfriend is not “wrong” for not wanting to get married. He may or may not be the right man for you, but he’s not a bad person, he’s not foolish…he just has a different opinion. Which is fine if the opinion is that he doesn’t like tomatoes; it’s not fine if you want to get married and he doesn’t.

Your boyfriend is not “wrong” for not wanting to get married.

So, when you talk to him, your goal isn’t to “convince” him that he should want to get married. Your goal is twofold: to understand why he doesn’t want to get married (and potentially counter his emotional arguments with rational points) AND to explain to him that you do want to get married and how it feels when you hear he doesn’t.

The key here is to actively listen because his feelings are probably deep-seated. Without knowing all the facts, a guy who dated a woman for TEN years without getting married is in no rush to get married. He likes serial monogamy with an out, and he expects that to continue. So pay attention to his fears, validate his feelings, and show empathy for his beliefs, whether you agree with them or not.

Pay attention to his fears, validate his feelings, and show empathy for his beliefs, whether you agree with them or not.

And then, stiffen your spine, and lay out your side.

It doesn’t feel good when he says he never wants to get married.

It doesn’t make you feel safe, heard or understood.

It doesn’t give you confidence in your future.

It doesn’t illustrate much of a commitment to you.

It doesn’t lay out a path for you to start a Catholic family together.

Again, you are not attacking him; you are merely pointing out the consequences of his new anti-marriage stance. Still, none of this has any teeth if you are not willing to walk away from this relationship if you don’t get married. That’s the kicker.

If both of you feel stronger about your principles than you do about your partner, your relationship was not meant to be.

At the end of this conversation, your boyfriend will have to know: either he relents on his desire to remain single, or, in order to preserve his relationship with you, marriage is in his future.
This is really about who wants it more. And if both of you feel stronger about your principles than you do about your partner, your relationship was not meant to be.

Ultimately, you’re not going to win him over with a logical case for marriage; you MAY win him over with the emotional case that he will LOSE you if he doesn’t want to get married.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Gala

    The LR is religious and in that realm there can be no logic. Only faith and emotions.

    On the other hand, in the realm of legal marriage, there can be. Marriage is a legal contract that has well defined legal, fiscal and monetary consequences. For some couples, it may be beneficial to enter into such contract. For others, it may not be. The LR’s boyfriend’s brother and his common law wife clearly made a logical choice to not get legally married for financial reasons.  So, discussing the pros and cons of actually getting legally married is a good idea, and if the LR can make a logical argument as to why they would benefit from signing the marriage license, I am sure her BF would listen… but the “I just want to” is not a rational argument. It is a valid need, and it may be a deal breaker, it’s just not a rational argument.

    Perhaps, a situation where they get married in church but not legally in the city hall could be a reasonable compromise?

  2. 2
    Malika

    If marriage is a ‘must’ for you, then i agree with Evan. He needs to know why it’s important to you and as difficult as it would be to you, you need to be able to walk away if it’s a definite no for him.

    He has every right to not want this set-up, and i can understand his gun-shy approach seeing the divorce rates nowadays. Yet if he’s catholic and wants children with you, he must know this alternative set-up is not ideal for you. I shouldn’t think it will come as any surprise when you explain why you want to commit in a more traditional sense.

    As for the chances of him changing his mind. It depends on how rooted he is in the conviction that this is what he wants. I have dated men who tried to convince me that poliamory would be fantastic, and that i could change my mind about not wanting children. They were very clear and rational points, but i still walked away as no amount of rational discussion was going to change my mind. Compatibility is a must for both parties, and unfortunately romantic love is not enough to unroot deeply held wishes.

  3. 3
    Clare

    I am glad that Evan pointed out that no amount of logic will win Ana’s boyfriend over to her side. If his reasons for not wanting to get married are emotional, the logic will not make one damn bit of difference. And if they are logical, even then he is quite likely to believe that his reasons for not wanting to get married are better than her reasons for wanting to get married.

     

    I am also glad that Evan pointed out that a man who dates a woman for ten years and doesn’t marry her is in no rush to get married. I would be willing to bet that the reason for the multiple break ups with the previous woman were over his unwillingness to commit or some variation on that theme. Some men simply don’t want to get married or commit to something long-term. There are many such men. I have a friend like that. He simply likes his freedom and his own space and doing what he likes too much. He doesn’t see enough in it for him. He’s also very closed-off emotionally and I think he is afraid of being that emotionally intimate with someone. It would not matter how wonderful the woman who came along, she would stand zero chance of getting him to propose to her.

    What worries me is that the tone of the OP’s letter seems to suggest that she can convince him to want what she wants by the sheer force of her wanting it and by the power of their love. And this is simply not the case. They might have a great relationship, but that is unlikely to weigh very heavily in the argument if he has already told her that he doesn’t see marriage in their future. I just don’t think the OP wants to listen to him. She wants what she wants. But she can take comfort in the fact that if she has found someone with whom she has this great of a connection, she can find another man with whom she has an equally great connection who does want to get married.

    1. 3.1
      denise

      Clare,

      In your last paragraph you use the letters OP a couple of times. I have seen the “OP” many times in the comment section but don’t know what it stands for or what it means.I be most appreciative if you could tell me what the letters OP mean?  Thank you!

  4. 4
    Shaukat

    married people are twice as likely to call themselves VERY happy, for instance

    I’m sorry, but where is the controlled study indicating that the legal marriage contract is responsible for this state of mind as opposed to simply two people who are in love spending their time together? I’ve been reading long enough to know that all the stats on marriage and happiness simply highlight the common statistical error of conflating correlation with causation.

    Also, lol at the notion that the OP is the one acting out of logic and not emotion when her entire rationale for wanting marriage is grounded in a set of irrational religious beliefs.

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      There isn’t a controlled study, Shaukat. It would be close to impossible to do one. But there IS a study that married people are twice as likely to call themselves very happy than single people, which isn’t about the magical properties of marriage, but the magical properties of lifetime, unconditional love. And since, most people who desire lifetime, unconditional love CHOOSE to get married, I think we can assume there’s a fair correlation. In other words, I agree that 2 people who live together as an unmarried couple for 40 years are just as happy as married people, but since there are, proportionately, so few of them, why not use our common sense to draw the conclusion that love makes happy people even happier?

      1. 4.1.1
        Shaukat

        Evan, I absolutely agree with everything you said. People in fulfilling relationships are, in general, happier than their single counterparts. I think there was also showed that married men have longer life expectancies than single men, which makes sense as well.

        I’m not at all anti-marriage, but I also don’t see any problem with two people living together without the legal title-I know a few happy couples like that. I just don’t see how the OP is the one coming from a place of logic here–her letter plainly states that her Catholic background has shaped her views on the necessity of marriage.

        1. Stacy

          @Shaukat,

          There is no comparison. Marriage has benefits that you just don’t get when you are single (over another person).  For instance, if I die, I can roll my ira to his own, there are legal decision making benefits (such as next of kin), you can have control over what will happen to your spouse’s body if he ever dies, inheritance benefits, health insurance benefits, not to mention the other emotional benefits.

          In other words, it is truly the ultimate commitment which you cannot replicate if you two are just living together – sorry, it just isn’t.  Someone who is married cant just leave in the same way, etc.  And let’s not forget how this benefits children if you are having them (of course, I am referring to a good marriage).

          So yeah, there is nothing wrong with the OP’s boyfriend feeling how he feels as well. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be married. But the fact that both of them are not on the same page is concerning.

        2. Shaukat

          Stacy, I agree with most of your points, but those benefits are all based on state/legal constructs. I was referring to the intangible benefits of happiness and satisfaction, which aren’t derived from the legal document. But you’re right, marriage offers certain material advantages which can’t be replicated by simply living together (I don’t think the OP is concerned with those btw), which is one reason why gays fought so hard for the right to marriage.

          However, I’d take issue with your point that marriage is beneficial because one person ‘just can’t leave in the same way.’ I don’t see how it’s a selling point of the institution that it makes it difficult for one person who is unhappy in the relationship to walk away. That thought process encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the current divorce and alimony laws.

        3. Gala

          Stacy:

          In other words, it is truly the ultimate commitment which you cannot replicate if you two are just living together

          You can replicate pretty much all of these benefits through a will and healthcare proxy. Marriage is nothing more than a prepackaged legal contract that encapsulates a variety of legal situations with one piece of paper.

          Legal marriage vs. cohabitation is like a premade salad vs. a “build your own” salad bar. With the latter, you can make pretty much the same salad, but say skip an ingredient or two which you’re not so fond of 🙂 With that… congrats on your engagement!

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Shaukat

          I think there was also showed that married men have longer life expectancies than single men, which makes sense as well

          I believe the keyword here is happily married men.   A man in a unhappy marriage usually has a shorter life expectancy than single man due to chronic stress.  Scroll down to the “Marital strife and divorce” and “Explanations” sections of the following article:

          https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/marriage-and-mens-health

          My marriage sent my stress hormones into overdrive.  My endocrinologist could not believe the difference in blood chemistry after my ex and I split up.  It was like reviewing the lab results for a completely different man.  One thing with which I do not agree with the article is that single men exercise less than married men.  Married men of my age exercise less, not more than they their single peers.  Why? Because they are not in the dating market.  I exercise at least five days a week.  The same thing holds for single women my age who are in the dating market.  No one I know smokes, so I have no data on that causation.   I will agree that single men my age tend to drink more than married men because they socialize more than married men.  Married men tend to not have a social life without their wives (i.e., a man’s social network tends to go the way of the dodo bird after he marries).   A single man cannot afford to rely on a woman for his social life.  He has to create one of his own.  However, I am talking about men within my peer age group, most of whom have been married and raised a family.

    2. 4.2
      Skaramouche

      @shaukat

      It’s not the legal marriage contract that causes the happiness…it’s the feelings that inspire the signing of the contract.  These days, there are more and more people who are committed to each other, intend to stay together, have considered the legal implications of marriage and have decided that it’s not for them.  Nevertheless, they remain in the minority.  Most people who want to commit, commit by getting married.  That’s what you’re supposed to take out of the study.  So the question is not really “does getting married mean more happiness?”, it’s “does being happily committed to a partner for a lifetime mean more happiness?”

      If OP’s boyfriend is ready to commit to her, is ready to spend his life with her  and is ready to give her everything he would if he was married to her, I see no problem.  I doubt that’s the case though.  He only decided that he didn’t want to be married after listening to his brother and his partner.  That doesn’t tell me it’s a decision he made after having put hours of thought into it.  From that angle, OP is the logical one.  She knows she wants to commit, she wants children, she’s religious and therefore, the logical path is marriage.  Without more information, the boyfriend’s decision seems to be based in emotion: they’re doing it, it sounds cool, there are some nebulous “government benefits” so I want to do it too.  I’m not denying that there *may* be some tax and other benefits to not being married.  I’m just saying that it doesn’t sound well researched on the boyfriend’s part.

      To re-cap, it’s possible to be fully committed for a lifetime without being married.  People who do that are still in the minority at this time.  From what I see, most people who choose not to get married do so because 1) they don’t want to commit or 2) they’ve been burned by past marriages and will never “risk it all again” or 3) don’t want to be tied down or…. it goes on and on and on.  None of those things say “commitment” to me.

      1. 4.2.1
        CSI

        <i>It’s not the legal marriage contract that causes the happiness…it’s the feelings that inspire the signing of the contract.</i>

        But another question is, does getting married cause some permanent in how both partners view each other? Will it permanently deepen their attraction towards each other, or will the feelings ebb away after the honeymoon to where they would be the same as if they had never married?

        And if a women really has been longing for marriage her whole life, then is it possible then once that goal has been achieved, the reality is bound to seem disappointing, no matter how great her husband is?

  5. 5
    Stacy

    Well, I just got engaged Saturday. But, there was never any convincing. A man should be falling over himself to propose to you. Why on earth would you want to convince a man to get married? While I understand that finding a man you love is no easy feat, this is one of those things that would be a dealbreaker for me. I would of course give him the opportunity to change his mind if we have one deep conversation about it. But if he feels the same way after, I would be leaving the situation immediately.

    1. 5.1
      Marika

      Congratulations on your engagement, Stacy 😊

      1. 5.1.1
        Stacy

        Why, thank you Marika.:)  Keep the faith. It sounds cliché but there are still great men out there!

        1. Malika

          Congratulations! I am sure you are over the moon, and good luck with all the wedding arrangements further down the road.

          Do you feel that reading Evan’s products and blog help you toward relationship happiness? If so, what of Evan’s wisdom helped you along? I am always interested in hearing how people applied their Evan knowledge in real life.

    2. 5.2
      Henriette

      Woo-hooooo, Stacy!  Truly happy for you.  Hope you’ll continue to comment here even after you’re officially a Mrs.  I wish you and your fiancé a lifetime of happiness.  xo

      1. 5.2.1
        Stacy

        AWwww…thank you Henriette for the well wishes. I certainly will keep being part of this lovely community.

    3. 5.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Congratulations and much happiness to you on your engagement.

      1. 5.3.1
        Stacy

        Thank you…following in your footsteps.:)

    4. 5.4
      Adrian

      Heyyy! Stacy

      CONGRATULATIONS!!!

      I had to come back to tell you how happy I am for you (^_^).

  6. 6
    Nissa

    It sounds like the letter writer has been hearing what she wants to hear. He probably did say that he wanted ‘something serious’ – in his mind, meaning serial monogamy. At that point, she probably started talking about marriage and kids, and he just kept his mouth shut. After all, it probably worked in his 10 year relationship for several years, so why change now?

    My best guess is that her boyfriend cares for her, but has no interest at all in getting married or having kids. Since she does, her best bet is to dump this guy, and find a guy who talks about marriage being right for HIM.

  7. 7
    ezamused

    There are a ton of downsides for guys in getting divorce too. The sex gets bad, the wife lets herself go and divorce is horrible for men. These are not always true but they often are.

    If the risk of financial ruin scares him I wonder if she would be willing to sign a prenup?

    1. 7.1
      Chris

      It is probably his fear of divorce which is the main factor here. The idea of her divorcing him might seem inconceivable to her now, but facts suggest there is a good probability she will wind up divorcing him regardless. He is right to be concerned. Prenuptial agreements are better than nothing, but still a weak protection.

      There are probably other ways he could protect his assets and minimize drama in the event of divorce though, if he does marry her. This may seem unromantic, but as others have pointed out marriage is fundamentally a legal contract and needs to be approached with a cool head.

    2. 7.2
      KC

      There are a ton of downsides for women in getting married too. The sex gets bad too, the husband lets himself go too, and divorce is horrible for women… too.

      I’m not making fun of you Ezamused. However, I wish to point out that when two people get married, they both take risks. The risk of being hurt and disappointed goes both ways.

      Marriage is not a trap for men, it can be a trap for both…

      1. 7.2.1
        Stacy

        @KC

        *standing ovation*

        And in this day and age, women are bringing in just as much money and sometimes more.

        Let me keep it all the way real…one of the reasons lots of men complain is because of the prospect of child support after divorce (because it’s not like most men have to  pay alimony especially with what the average salary is). HOWEVER, MOST MEN do NOT want to have their kids 50% of the time.  As long as you’re not abusive or there is some really significant reason, most judges are all for 50/50 custody. But men still want their ‘freedom’. But you cant have both. You cant  expect to only want to see your kid every other weekend and not expect to pay proportionately more (if you can afford it) for said kid(s). Just sayin’

        @Shaukat

        I am not selling marriage by saying that if someone is unhappy, they can’t just leave. What I am saying is, because the investment is way greater than just living together, it encourages people to work harder on the union. Because ultimately, you can leave any situation.  Marriage just makes the process a bit more complex.  But, that is a GOOD thing, and especially if you have kids.

         

        1. Jeremy

          What does child support have to do with being married, Stacy?  Congratulations on your engagement, BTW.  Wishing you and your fiancee a lifetime of happiness in the future.

        2. ezamuzed

          @Stacy the child support isn’t that bad. Although it would be far fairer if they gave residential credit to the non-custodial parent. It is the ailmony and the division of assets that is the killer. My ex got 60% of the assets plus the majority of my paycheck for years.  And she never put a career on hold to have kids. Marriages in California and a few other states that last 10 years result in a lifetime of alimony. This to people who are perfectly capable of holding a job.

          Yes women are often bringing in more money. But with only 3% of the people receiving alimony being male, financially going through a divorce is likely to be far worse for a man.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmajohnson/2014/11/20/why-do-so-few-men-get-alimony/#2fda0eae54b9

      2. 7.2.2
        ezamuzed

        @KC clearly the LR doesn’t feel like marriage is a trap and the LRs boyfriend might fear it is. Perhaps she can get him to agree to marriage if she will legally address the financial fear.

        1. sylvana

          Realistically, only women who do not want to have children are in a position to legally address the financial fear.

          Sadly, there are severe medical consequences to a woman who goes through pregnancy and child birth. Often with lifelong consequences. If a woman is willing to take on those risks (because she wants to have children), she still needs to have some form of security. Lucky women will only have minor issues for the rest of their lives, such as the permanently widened pelvis bones, and minor restriction of movement in the pelvis supportive muscles due to tearing (these are guaranteed in every case). In worse cases, permanent separation of stomach muscles, severe incontinence (bowels and bladder), bad scarring in personal areas, etc. Not to mention remaining diabetes and other remaining illnesses.

          We like to make it out to be magical, but childbirth is a rather gory affair. Women have just recently begun to speak out about their permanent issues. A lot of it was swept under the rug as the “price to pay”.

          Then there are the financial consequences. Impact on career not only due to pregnancy/recovery, but years of raising children. Even if she works, she is the more likely partner to miss work/have to arrange her schedule around the children. Which cuts greatly into her career choices. Unless the man is willing to take on most of those responsibilities, and sacrifice his career due to it. Or you hire a nanny to handle it all. If she takes times off from work to raise the children, her work market compatibility diminishes greatly with each passing year.

          The consequences she deals with have always been balanced by the husband’s role of provider – for the children as well as her. She pays the physical price, he pays the price by providing. As much as we have equal rights today (in societies where this applies), until men can start paying the physical price, they need to keep being the providers.

          Sure, some women make it all work. But those are the exceptions, not the rule.

           

           

  8. 8
    ezamused

    I meant “There are a ton of downsides for guys in getting married too.”

  9. 9
    Stacy

    @Jeremy

    Thank you! Someone brought up how marriage is a risk to men.   Imo, men consider child support and/or alimony two of the major risks. This is why I mentioned it.

    1. 9.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Stacy

      I agree with your assertion that alimony is considered to be a risk associated with marriage by many men, but a man does not have to marry to be liable for child support.  Any man who never wants to have to pay child support should undergo vasectomy or practice abstinence, problem solved!

      1. 9.1.1
        sylvana

        @ YAG

        thank you!

  10. 10
    Yet Another Guy

    The article linked below highlights and interesting observation with respect to age gap and longevity in marriages.  Men who marry younger women tend to live longer than men who marry same age and older partners whereas a woman who marry younger or older do not fare as well as women who marry same age partners.  In effect, what is good for women is bad for men and vice versa.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20170409214543/https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100512062631.htm

  11. 11
    Stacy

    @Malika

    Evan absolutely contributed to my growth as a relationship partner. But, so did all of you as well.:) And, thanks for your kind words.

    1. 11.1
      Adrian

      Hi Stacy,

      I have a question for you… Sorry but you know it wouldn’t be me without having a need to understand the female perspective on something (^_^)

      What can the Stacy “now” see that the Stacy before she got married the first time couldn’t see that lets you know that this is a good relationship that will last?

      Not the you that was in the middle of your first marriage and saw first hand all the signs that it was a bad one but the you that picked the guy in the first place-from the first date.

      The you now and the you then both dated (so vetted) your husbands before agreeing to date them, you both dated them for months (more vetting and seeing their “true” character) before agreeing to move in with them? If you did agree to live with one or both men you spent time with them daily (so again more seeing their “true” character, quality, and how your relationship will be with them long-term) before you agreed to marry them…

      I guess I am trying to ask if you tested and qualified both men before agreeing to marry them what is different this time? Because from your post I am sure that you were always a smart woman and you wouldn’t just agree to marry someone lacking in relationship quality even if you were young and yet your stories paint your ex husband as a man full of red flags…

      How did you miss them?

      How do you know you aren’t missing any now?

      How do you vet (test) a man now verses before?

      1. 11.1.1
        Stacy

        Hi Adrian,

        Thank you so much for your kind words!

        With my first husband, there was a lot of lust. I was very young just out of college and he fit the prototype of tall, dark, and handsome. He also ‘talked a good game’. In other words, I married my first husband based on potential (and lots of physical attraction) instead of basing the marriage on who he was at the time.  That potential never panned out.  This is why I always tell people, never marry potential. Make sure that the person you walk down the aisle  with is really the person you can fully accept and can live with based on who he is today. Also, I have learned from my first marriage the importance of believing someone’s actions over their words.

        The person I am with now has LOTS of integrity. His character is impeccable. He says what he means. I never have to question his actions. He is who he says he is. I trust him implicitly. There is zero anxiety. I feel 100% safe emotionally. And while he is not the hottest man I have ever dated (although I am attracted to him and he is the best sex I’ve ever had…sorry if tmi…lol), he is certainly the most caring, loving, respectful, faithful man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

        Marriage and love is always a bit of a crap shoot I think. But having as much information as you can and believing that information is important.  And while I do not have all the answers, in this I believe that this time around, I am certainly making the right choice.

        FYI…I did not live with my first husband neither am I planning to live with my current beau until after marriage. He lives 4 minutes away from me anyway.:)

  12. 12
    AAORK

    Reminds of a line from a Bill Burr skit: “Oh, is this the line to lose half my shit? .. Awesome! .. Oh the line is moving!”

  13. 13
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Call me a cynic, but the one true purpose of marriage as been degraded to the point of being meaningless – to me at least. All coming from good intentions of course.

    Yes, people in good marriages are happier than single people – to question this logic is ridiculous.  Also, it is ridiculous to make the leap, based on correlation, that marriages cause couple to become happier – what is the causation mechanism ? Also, the statistical methodology can be questioned. Asking people still in marriages if they are happy tend to elicit a positive response – since many of the unhappy marriages would have already come to an end and not counted in the marriage sample.

    However, the willingness to enter into a marriage does indicate a tendency by its participants to view the relationship seriously and for the long term. However there is one fatal flaw to marriage which renders the whole thing meaningless to me anyway.

    Historically, marriage was to protect the legal and inheritance rights of children born  into the marriage, as well as to provide some legal protection for their mother in an era where women had few rights. Now, marriage means responsibility by BOTH parties to ANY children born to ANY of the partners in the marriage – why would I enter into such an agreement ?

    If you are a man, you assume presumptive paternity which means you are automatically the father of any child born to your wife, and financially responsible for that child. Even if that child is not yours. If you wish to disavow that child, you simply cannot just walk away – you have to go through a complicated legal process to have your paternal rights and responsibilities removed. Sometimes it is not possible and you end up having to financially support a child who is not yours, against your will.

    If you are a woman, marriage does not protect your children against financial and inheritance claims by children born to your husband outside the marriage. I am not talking about step children you knew about when you married him. I’m talking about your husband having an affair and bringing children into the world from those affairs. His financial responsibility to those children are calculated based on household or joint income – so you are essentially subsiding the support of children who are not yours – most probably against your will.

    Even if you are a stay at home mom, you are maintaining a household for your husband, something your husband’s baby mamas are not doing – yet their children have the same legal, financial and inheritance rights as yours. Even if you are married to that man.

    Sure, this was done to protect ALL children and the state really doesn’t want to be on the hook for irresponsible breeding by its citizens. But if all this is possible, what benefits do marriage bring to your children, particularly where the woman is financially and personally independent ?

    Hey, but if you and your prospective partner subscribe to moral precepts which makes the above scenario improbable or impossible, then yeah, knock yourselves out with marriage.

     

     

     

    1. 13.1
      Mrs Happy

      Be grateful you’re not living in England in the 1800’s, during which, if your wife committed a crime, you her husband, and not her, were punished for it. She was not culpable. Really.  And there was hanging back then too.

  14. 14
    Amanda

    OP, you may be able to convince him, and then after that you may be able to convince him to have a child, but there’s a strong chance it will come back to bite you on the backside (speaking from experience – now divorced, one child, and *I* no longer want marriage). If you need to be married, you need to find a man who knows he wants that. Be honest with yourself. You’ve only really “found” each other if you aren’t permanently waiting for something more to happen.

  15. 15
    Mrs Happy

    Dear OP,

    years ago I read a relationship book which gave the following advice:

    1. You’re only allowed to list 3 must-haves when searching for a partner (e.g. must have a good income, must be nice, must be passably good looking, must be taller than me, must be smart, etc), and

    2. If marriage is your goal, it is sensible to make 1 of those 3, that the man must want to get married, i.e. desire to enter the married state with a woman (not necessarily you initially),  wanting to be married with all that entails.  If he doesn’t have this desire, and you want marriage, you are incompatible and you should not date him.

  16. 16
    loubelle

    i didnt want marriage when i first met my ex 5 years ago.ive never been a marriage sort of woman. its never appealed to me i thought we will be ok we are committed just being together, lol i was committed he wasnt, in all 3 long term relationships ive had. however after doing all the wife things for my exes and getting minimal in return i have decided they get nothing only snippets until they put a ring on it. if a man will commit he will not be afraid of marriage or committing TO YOU. it was always a case of why buy the cow. if a man will commit to marriage then its harder to walk away, if you dont marry then he can go easier anytime he chooses, yes that can happen in marriage but i feel it makes them try harder to make it work because its harder to go through a divorce and start the whole dating thing again. i will never be with a man now who will not marry me. ive realised my worth. shame they didnt. if you want to marry or commit and he wont after couple years at most of being together. leave them now. theres someone that will. i hope im not coming across as bitter, im being sensible. marriage is an emotional investment for a woman and im a for life girl if hes committed. a rareity these days. i know my worth now and aint no one coming near this one unless he has plans and desire to marry someday..and not 5 years away. if he doesnt know after 3 years, there aint nothing more he aint gonna find out about you. hes stringing you along with words and not actions. run for it.

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