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Don't Want to Get Married Again

dejavu2 posted 5/6/2019 20:26 PM

I've been dating a very kind, supportive, patient man for 1.5 years now. He lives an hour away so I have lots of space during the week to spend with my 8-year-old daughter, who I raise single-handedly. D-day and separation occurred nearly 3 years ago. Ex WH moved out-of-state within 3 months of Dday to be with OW, who was pregnant with their child. He's seen our daughter 1 weekend a month, on average, since we separated. We divorced last July.

My new man is very different from my ex in many ways. He is a good man with a great relationship with his parents and extended family. People genuinely like him and respect him. He is personable and generous and helpful. He is not selfish or cruel. He is confident.

My Ex, whom I dated for 5 years and was married to for 13 years, was not kind or helpful or personable. He could do nice and thoughtful things, but overall he was not a good man. He mocked me, lied to me, deceived me. He always put himself before everyone. He had no relationship with his family and few friends. Since the first time I caught him cheating 5 years into Our marriage, I didnt feel particularly safe And I knew he wasn't trustworthy. For many years I walked on eggshells constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Now that I am free from my Ex, I finally feel safe. I have a good job and a nice home, which can occasionally be overwhelming. I enjoy having a weekend boyfriend- someone to hang out with, laugh with, bounce ideas off of, and do fun activities with. We enjoy doing many of the same things- walking our dogs, hiking, camping, eating out, etc. He is good with my daughter, although lately she's been expressing some jealousy. The major problem is that he wants to get married and I just....don't. I like having my time alone with my daughter during the week, which typically involves extra curricular activities, homework, dog walking, dinner prep, bedtime routine, and then an hour of "me" time reading or watching tv before bed. I don't want another man in my space- another person to care for, clean up after, and entertain after daughter goes to bed and I just want to veg before bed.

So....what do I do? Boyfriend is in his mid-40s but has never been married so he doesn't know how miserable it can be. I've told him my negative view of marriage and that I know of few that are happy. I told him that I believe marriage destroys most otherwise happy relationships. I've told him that I felt trapped for a good portion of my marriage and humiliated when I found out about the affairs. Still....he keeps mentioning marriage and when we will move in together.

Do you think I should break up with him? I care about him and love him. He says that I'm his one in a million and he wants to share his life with me, but I'm not sure that I ever want to marry again. Also, I am afraid of moving in together because of my daughter. What sort of message does that send an 8-year-old? Will she feel uncomfortable in her own home? I don't want to be alone and I enjoy the time we spend together, but how do I reconcile his desire to get married with my desire to keep the status quo? So confused. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

WhoTheBleep posted 5/6/2019 20:41 PM

Has he given you ultimatum? Perhaps he would like to marry, but would also be ok with the current arrangement if it means keeping you in his life.

I like having my time alone with my daughter during the week, which typically involves extra curricular activities, homework, dog walking, dinner prep, bedtime routine, and then an hour of "me" time reading or watching tv before bed. I don't want another man in my space- another person to care for, clean up after, and entertain after daughter goes to bed and I just want to veg before bed.

So much this.

After my kids are in bed, that's my quiet "me" time. I do see another household member as another job for me to take care of and entertain. Cooking, picking up their stuff, etc. Ugh no. I get it.

Have you talked to him about what your boundaries are?

ETA:My great aunt has had a boyfriend for decades. She was widowed and never remarried. Her daughter is grown and on her own. The gent has always wanted to marry her, but she refuses. He is still her boyfriend and loves her. And she has her house. And he has his. She likes her space and won't share it. It is possible to make this work.

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 8:44 PM, May 6th (Monday)]

BearlyBreathing posted 5/6/2019 22:05 PM

Dejavu2,

If you are not ready to M, then you are not ready. But look at little deeper on the why: If you think all men are going to trap you in an M, then explore that a bit, maybe in IC. YOu might just need more time. You might need to work through why M scares you as being confining. And it might be that you donít ever want to M again, and then it will be up to him to decide. (But you should, as you are now, be upfront on what you are willing to do and that you will not M.)

Families mergeó so your daughter will adjust although it wonít magically be perfect. Does she like him? If he sees you more (living w you or marrying), perhaps sheíll enjoy having a ďstep-dadĒ type figure around to do stuff with her.

Just an observationó you wrote a really nice description of your new BF. The word love did not appear even once. Is this you being modest and non-gushy on a forum, or is he just a nice safe choice and not YOUR one-in-a-million?

You sound kind and compassionateó Iím sure youíll be honest and gentle. And that you will continue to keep your daughterís needs in mind. Congrats on having a new relationship and for standing up for your own concerns and boundaries. Just be sure you arenít blaming him for xWH problems and that you are considering his proposal for that right reasons.

Good luck!!

Phoenix1 posted 5/6/2019 22:32 PM

I have a similar situation. SO lives an hour away so he is more a part-time BF. My kids are grown and gone though.

When SO and I met, I was very clear on our first date that I was not looking for M. Rather, I wanted to enjoy company with someone I was compatible with. I wanted to make sure he clearly understood where I was coming from. He was in agreement as we had both gotten out of long term marriages (his was not infidelity related). At that time, I had no interest in M at all. In fact, I was empathetically in the "never again" anti-marriage camp.

Well, fast forward 5.5 years. We are still together as we are incredibly compatible (some similarities to Xhole, but in the more important aspects nothing like him). Still doing the part-time thing. He has brought up marriage here and there, but nothing serious. I think he was testing the waters. But that got me thinking about my own position and I find that I've softened to a definite "maybe."

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not ready to jump into matrimony any time soon, but I am not so hardcore against the idea like I was before. I like my alone time. Sometimes we go weeks and even months in between seeing each other (we are both busy and travel, not always together), and that suits me just fine. We do at least check in via text every day (neither is a big phone talker). In other words, while it may not be everyone's ideal situation, it works for us. At least right now.

The key takeaway is that we are both on the same page and in complete agreement. I don't think you need to jump to breaking up with such a fab guy, but you DO need to have an honest talk about what you both want/need out of this to see if you can find common ground you can both live with. Maybe you can, maybe you can't. And either way is okay! It's totally fine if you never want to remarry! Just be honest with your guy about those needs.

dejavu2 posted 5/6/2019 23:04 PM

Thank you for the replies. Barely breathing in answer to your questions, part of it is that I am not a gushy person and part is that I am confused by the relationship and marriage in general. My parents divorced when I was little and both remarried. They stayed married, but neither was happy. Both my sisters were unhappy in their marriages and many of my friends are unhappily married as well- but stay together.

Growing up I didnít have a great relationship with my Dad, who clearly preferred my sister, or my stepfather, who teased me and put me down a lot. When I grew up, I gravitated towards men who were a mixture of my Dad and Stepdad. The two men I loved most started out treating me well but along the way switched to treating me horribly. And it seemed the less affection I got, the more desperate I became to win their affection. This left me feeling pretty bad about them and me. I put up with more than I should have,
particularly from my ex-husband, until finally I realized that my self-respect was at risk and I wasnít being a good role model for my daughter.

So now Iíve decided that I want better for myself and my daughter. I want a man who treats me great, loves me and keeps me safe. I donít feel the kind of love for boyfriend that I felt in those two prior relationships, but I feel safe and more at peace and happier. Perhaps my relationships with my dads growing up have permanently perverted my sense of love.
Perhaps I canít feel deep love unless
Itís accompanied by fear and rejection and desperation.

Well anyway I recognize that what I want and whatís good for me is boyfriend and the respect and care that he provides me. Deep, all encompassing love is not something that I want or need, especially if it is accompanied with all the negativity that has permeated my most significant prior relationships with men.

Adlham posted 5/6/2019 23:05 PM

How would you feel about something like a handfasting?

It's not official in the eyes of the law, but you commit to one another. Some do for a year and a day, but there are no rules.

I have a friend who is dead set against marriage, she's been seeing this guy for a while, long distance. This last year, he decided to move here to go to school, panicked at living together because he was afraid she would get fed up and kick him out. So she did her own little commitment ceremony with him and pledged her own timeline and it's gone pretty well.

She gets annoyed with him, but she's nearly 50 and never married, so it was to be expected. But because she did that ceremony, she feels a lot stronger about working through things rather than if they were just dating.

I guess somewhat of a compromise?

Also, I got married when my daughter was 6. My husband asked her first if it would be ok with her. But I will say, she has no memory of me being with her dad as we split up when she was an infant. And then he abandoned her, so that wasn't an issue like it can be for some kids.

Honestly, the only reason we made it official is because we're from different countries. Were that not an issue, I don't know that I would have gotten married. I don't need a piece of paper to feel committed.

Just a few different ideas and experiences. Ultimately, do what you feel is right for you and don't let anyone pressure you to do otherwise.

BrokenheartedUK posted 5/7/2019 07:08 AM

I've been seeing someone for a year and a half although we broke up for a few months. I actually broke it off because he wanted to work towards marriage and I knew that I didn't want that. When we negotiated terms to get back together, he took it off the table completely and the relief of that was huge. He lives in an apartment a mile down the road, he travels for work and I'm happy in my house with my routines. He's definitely my "person" though and I love having that stability and continuity.

My youngest daughter is a junior in high school, we're in the process of touring colleges, and the end of that time of my life is in sight. I do envision having him over more often, cooking meals for him and seeing him more when she goes. But I still can't imagine living with someone. I would love to be "engaged" and never marry. We'll see.

Don't apologize for your feeling and beliefs but do keep an open mind. You may find in a couple of years time that you'd welcome that domestic arrangement.

wildbananas posted 5/7/2019 10:06 AM

SO and I have been together 6 years this summer. We don't live together but live a few houses apart. Honestly, that's about as close as I want to get to cohabitating, much less remarrying. The idea of either makes me twitch, and it has nothing to do with him personally. I too finally feel safe, settled and secure and there's no way I want to disrupt that. I'm also a huge introvert and need downtime to recharge.

I think it's fine to not want to remarry or live with someone, especially with small kids. But I do think you two need to talk about this and make sure you're on the same page. If he wants marriage/living together and you don't, that's a pretty big incompatibility and it will cause resentment, especially if he keeps bringing it up (I know this from experience).

My biggest advice is don't do either of those things unless YOU want to and are ready (and think it's good for your DD).

EvenKeel posted 5/7/2019 10:49 AM

Still....he keeps mentioning marriage and when we will move in together.
How is this phrase? IE "Someday....if we get married...." in a dreamy/planning way? Or do you mean he is ignoring your position and pressing for a timeline?

When I was newly dating, this was a conversation I had very early on. I made it known that I had no desire to get M again (not then....nor maybe ever) nor would I be cohabitating while I had children at home.

So if the newbie was looking for more, I would wish him well on his search. It was not fair to either one of us to continue.

I also let them know I had no issues at all being in an exclusive long-term relationship. It wasn't about wanting to date around AT ALL. It was about having my space.

Many of us decided not to intertwine out SOs with our children. There is nothing wrong with that.

Did you make this clear from the get-go? If so, what was his stance then? And has it changed the further along you got?

My previous SO (now deceased) made it clear that he would prefer more with me but had no issues with waiting "however long that took" for me to get to that place (if ever). I told him to move along but he was insistent that he would wait however long it took with no pressure. He never mentioned marriage or living together (even though I knew he would go to the courthouse immediately if I ever changed my mind). lol.

So - I think this all comes down to your guy's position and if you feel he is pressuring you (directly or indirectly). How does he feel about you being his GF if you never ever want to live together (or more). Is that ok? Or will it bred resentment in him, etc?


Furious1 posted 5/8/2019 07:41 AM

Dejavu2, put on the brakes. The only obligation that you have is to live your life in the way that makes you happy. You state that you enjoy your space and don't want someone else to entertain, take care of, clean up after, etc. Well, that's good enough for me. What you want wins and what he wants is irrelevant. This is you life and you owe it to yourself to live it how you want to live it. If this guy is okay with that, then great. But since he is not okay with that and is clearly pressuring you put his wants above your own, I would say that it is not a match.

How I would handle it is to decide if you want to break up or not. If defending your right to not marry this guy or not move in with this guy or even to not put what he wants above your own wants becomes a major point of contention, then perhaps you would be better off breaking up. Otherwise, you might just state to him that you are not interested in getting married or in living together. If he is okay with continuing a relationship with you while respecting your right to say no and your right to live your life in a way that makes you happy, then great. If not, then you might suggest that he move on.

F1

PieceByPeace posted 5/8/2019 14:23 PM

It's OK to not be ready for marriage yet. You have been through so much and are understandably cautious. I think you just have to be honest with him. Let him know you enjoy his companionship and would like to continue your relationship but you are not ready for marriage. At that point he can choose to stay or go. I hope he stays, but I would totally understand if he feels he needs to move on because he wants more than what you can give. I think the two of you are more than capable of being mature about this. You both sound like mature adults who don't want or need drama. I hope things work out!!

northeasternarea posted 5/9/2019 14:33 PM

Donít move in together with a young child. And donít let yourself be pressured into marriage.

CatsEye posted 5/18/2019 13:34 PM

If you don't want to get married again, you shouldn't get married again.

If you are unsure whether you want to get married again, you shouldn't get married again.

If you are unsure whether you want to marry this man, you shouldn't marry this man.

There is nothing wrong with remaining single.

My big concern is that you have expressed your reservations about the idea of remarriage, and he seems to be blowing past them and putting pressure on you. If so, I would tiptoe quietly out of the door of that relationship.

Best of luck.

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