He won't propose... says he is "Working on it"
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default He won't propose... says he is "Working on it"

OK, my bf and I have been together for several years. He has a history of crappy relationships and a beautiful child with his last disaster of a gf. We moved hundreds of miles from home to be closer to his child and to be able to have joint custody. Legal fees and cost of living here leave no extra funds for anything. We are quite serious, I belive. We have joint accounts, mutual friends, have openly discussed marriage to one another, are in the process of buying a house, and save things that belong to his child for when we have kids at his suggestion. I know people say "Oh we never fight", but we really don't. We have had two disagreements over me explaining that I want to be married if we are going to live this life and him telling me I am impatient and that I am not trusting him with handling this appropriately. We have similar values, similar stories, similar education levels, a good comprimise of shared and independent interests and have overcome extreme adversity to have stayed together through this custody battle and the spanish inquisition like interrogation that went with it. My problem is that marriage is important to me, not because I think it will change us, (because honestly I don't want it to): I like us. I just want it legal. My thought was if you want to buy a house with me, told a judge you are raising your child with me, tell everyone I am your better half, why is it not legal? He will sit and discuss where he wants to get married and who he wants to be involved, but has skipped the asking me part. His family is fairly religious and has asked repeatedly why we are not married, like it is something I am doing wrong. My family is not religious, but is equally concerned because they know it is important to me to have everything be above board before we buy a house or have kids. When I discussed a time frame with him he told me he is "Working on it" and will marry me when he "Can afford what I deserve". I do our bills. He will never be able to afford "What I deserve", lol. He knows I am not a Tiffany's kind of girl. He knows I am decisive and driven and not particularly fond of grey area and I feel that is what our relationship currently is. We are a bit of a sham. We have family photos and do family events and outings, but through it all is the outside judgement that there is something transitory about our relationship because we remain unmarried. I have no intention of nagging, but feel it would be dishonest to create a time frame in my head and not make him aware of it. I have plans and goals and ambitions. I have things I intend to accomplish in this life and if he is going to be my companion for the rest of this life should we not have similar time frames? Help! I am by nature a pusher. When I want something I persue it with single minded determination. I am really trying to be respectful and allow him the opportunity to handle this his way in his own time, but i may not survive. My father tells me patience builds character. I now have enough for my own comic strip at this point. Do I give a time frame? Call him out for being a waffler? Is "Working on it" writing on the wall for still deciding whether or not I am to be a fixture in his life and trying to buy time? Am I being impatient and controling expecting this to occur in my time frame? Does it make me a flake to just wait and give him the time to propose on his own schedule? Sorry this is so long, it is just that it is killing me to not know and not be able to develop a long term plan because I am not entirely sure of his intentions.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: He won't propose... says he is "Working on it"

Why are you moving forward with all these plans for things you do not want unless married, when you are NOT married? Why would you even discuss buying a house together if that's something you feel comes with marriage? You are sending the message that your words don't mean much--you say you won't do x, y, or z without marriage, but you ARE doing those things. He will not take your words seriously if you do not.

Think long and hard about this. Your position has pros and cons.

Con: he may let you walk away if you take a stand and refuse to move forward on the house, etc, without being married (which, if that is really how he feels about you, is actually a good thing, but you need to be ready for it!)

Pros: all the legal protection of marriage for your financial position. This works both ways, for him as well as for you. You are spending money that you may never recover on a house if you share it with him without marriage or some other form of legal protection. Purchases for the house, repairs, etc., and not just the price of the house or the mortgage payments--all of that will be hidden and murky if you don't clarify it in writing or get married, in which case it will be communal property, evenly divided (in most cases).

Honestly, if marriage is important to you, stop all forward movement until you are married. Just tell him--we get married at the courthouse tomorrow and then we can resume our plans. It would be unwise (in your position) to start planning a wedding unless you are willing to put everything else on hold while waiting to be actually married. If you mean what you say, then you should get married first, plan the house buying for after that. You need to decide if you want to stay with him without marriage, without buying a house, etc.

If you aren't sure of his intentions, then make sure, because otherwise you will be really unhappy if his intentions turn out to be something other than you thought. I don't trust a guy who says he will marry [you] someday. . . Total stall tactic for something he's clearly unwilling to do. Either he's ready or he's not. Again, you just need to be prepared for his answer, and unwilling to accept anything less than what you want, if he's strung you along this far. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: He won't propose... says he is "Working on it"

Somebody wrote in another thread "You know that marriage certificate you and your wife signed? Yah...well that was the no more oral for the rest of my life certificate", and when on to "just kidding", but one never tells such a joke if one is entirely kidding. Among a great many men there is the idea that "marriage wrecks your relationship". I've seen many cartoons on the theme of a bride saying "I've been dieting forever; now I'm going to have a big piece of cake." or similar.

I've gotten such messages for years. It took me some mental effort to ignore all of them. (And then, as it turned out, with my first marriage, the predictions of doom were right, and an awful lot of pain followed.) It took a really long time, and a couple years of living together, for me to take another crack at it.

If your bf gets such messages, he may see marriage as the end of a good relationship and the start of the part where you fight all the time. Why would he want that? And if he says he's working on it, he may really be working in the sense of "trying to get past the conventional wisdom that marriage wrecks everything".

And think about the situation with the ex-gf and the child: he must have really liked her at one time, and they had a successful relationship which turned sour. Once bitten, twice shy.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: He won't propose... says he is "Working on it"

I recommend that you tell him it's over unless you get married.

People respond to ultimatums.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: He won't propose... says he is "Working on it"

Uhm....i can ask you a similar question. Why do you care so much that you aren't married if things are going so well?
'He has a history of crappy relationships and a beautiful child with his last disaster of a gf.' This is why he might not be so sure about marriage. Don't take it personal at all...Maybe he feels like he's stuck, maybe he thinks you'll change if you get married and take him for granted. As a matter of fact did you ask him why?

If you've been together for several years and are happy together i don't even know why a piece of paper matters anyway. I've been with my 'husband' for 8 years almost. We consider ourselves married, though we aren't legally married. We share everything. Only thing that's missing is the paper. Why didn't we get it? Not sure really. He did ask, and i did say yes. When you feel married, going to make it legal just for the sake of a paper seems pretty pointless...so..yeah. If i were to worry about money and stuff now, then i wouldn't really have faith in the relationship would i?
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