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Unsure what to do

Genuine girl

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Really desperate for some advice please. I’ve been with my partner for three years. He was separated at the time, and had an amicable divorce October last year. 6 months prior to that he asked what the next step was for us as we were already living together, have decided we don’t want children and had our first holiday. He shocked me but surprised me by mentioning marriage and said it was something he absolutely wanted.....fast forward to years and nothing has happened and I don’t believe he wants to now. I’ve tried to talk to him and his response is dismissive or ‘I’ve not thought about it anymore’ I don’t know what to do? I get upset but I feel angry that he sort of put it in my head and now doesn’t seem keen

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Did he mention marriage before you moved in together? How important is it to you? Do you have any recourse other than moving out? Is he stringing you along, surely he know it's what you want, no?

he asked what the next step was for us as we were already living together. I get upset but I feel angry that he sort of put it in my head and now doesn’t seem keen
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No we moved in together after a year then 6 months later had our first holiday and that’s when he mentioned marriage. I didn’t think he’d be that keen but I feel and thought we are/were solid and committed. After a year I asked him again and his reply simply was ‘I’ve not thought about it anymore’ which really upset me. I’m not a needy girl but he brought this upto me and of course two years down the line I’ve fallen more in love etc but I just don’t know what to do. I shouldn’t need to keep asking as I feel it’s obvious but I just don’t understand what has changed?

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Both of you haven't evolved in the same way. He was recovering from his divorce. My husband and I married after his divorce from his ex-wife (we were already dating). You cannot force anyone to do something they don't want to do. Either accept each other the way things are and find a deeper meaning of what love means or you can go your separate ways. Letting that resentment build isn't healthy. I've been down that road. Life is way too short to be grumpy.


You might want to reflect on your relationship and figure out whether it's dismissive attitude actually that's a complete turn off or whether it's the idea of marriage that is not a priority for him. I tend to think of dismissiveness as one of the great downfalls of relationships/marriages. It's where one person believes something is important and another does not (and not showing as much respect). If you do not feel heard in the relationship or feel valued, this is not a healthy place for you.

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Thanks Rose. I think it’s because he’s led me to believe it’s something he wanted and now he doesn’t, so I’m left thinking ‘why’ and ‘what did I do’ and I’m sort or resenting him now so further down the line it will be worse. Do I tell him that’s the reason for leaving the relationship or just say we aren’t what I thought we were?

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Thanks Rose. I think it’s because he’s led me to believe it’s something he wanted and now he doesn’t, so I’m left thinking ‘why’ and ‘what did I do’ and I’m sort or resenting him now so further down the line it will be worse. Do I tell him that’s the reason for leaving the relationship or just say we aren’t what I thought we were?


I am not a fan of rash decisions made over the span of a few days or even a few weeks. It sounds like you returned from a holiday together recently and are still reeling from the shock.


It takes me awhile but when I leave, I leave for good and it doesn't take me long to recover from a break up. I would strongly suggest you give this some time to settle and think this over. Take the time to reflect on the good and bad of the relationship and weigh all of it. Think about your partner as a person as a whole and I do not suggest breaking up based on this one reason alone. If you do decide, after enough deliberation, that this is it, you will know exactly what to say when the time comes.


That you are asking what to say in a break up suggests to me that you have not thought this through. Think over it. Don't look for a quick answer or short cuts. You are doing a disservice to yourself. Take the time to reflect and work through this on your own. You'll never grow up if you keep looking for short cuts or if you do on/off relationships (breaking up and getting back together for example).

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I agree with Sarah. I can't help but feel that something else is behind the feeling of being "led on" and "lied to" here. Very extreme language, resentment-tinged. I'm sure he meant it when he brought it up—which, of course, was not a proposal but an expression of something he was feeling, right then. It's a thing people in relationships do, in ways big and small. They say "I'd love to go to Paris with you some day," which they mean, though it is not a promise of Paris trip or the creation of a new rule that the relationship can only deepen if you two go to Paris.


Your moving in together was not predicated on you two getting married, and much of your romantic bond seems to have flourished because you weren't particularly marriage-minded. You kind of assumed that might not be something he wanted, were fine with that. That was your truth. It sounds like his mentioning of it maybe triggered something in you you didn't know was there, woke something up in you, changed your truth. Personal truths can change, just like his has, with the rub being that maybe your personal truths are no longer lining up as they once did.


If being married is now a life goal, he is maybe not your man. If marriage is now needed to allow you two to continue to explore and deepen your bond, then he is maybe not your man. But to make marriage vs not marriage a verdict on him, with the former meaning he is a man of his word and the latter meaning he is liar who led you on—well, I don't think that story serves either of you or would really make for the foundation of a fruitful marriage.


Give it all some real thought, as Rose suggested. Is he aware of your feelings right now—not directly about marriage, but the anger and confusion you are are feeling? I just get the sense that that, at least in part, is what you are craving for him to see and acknowledge, at least right now, than craving for him to propose and keep a promise he never quite made.

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Bluecastle, maybe I’ve taken it all literally? I don’t know? He shuts down when I’ve brought the subject up before in a mature way and talking not arguing but I got to upset. I’m a big girl, i can handle the truths, what I can’t handle is the not being truthful


Well, this might be what's bothering you: the way he meets, in your mind, maturity with immaturity, at least when it comes to this topic. Understandable. Watching adults "shut down" sucks. And it really sucks when they shut down at the exact moment you want them to open up, turn on. It's destabilizing.


Still, I'd advise you to try to be a little less "literal" in interpreting all this through some lens of truthfulness. Sounds to me like this is a big value of yours that predated him—and a great value—and part of what you're feeling right now is that that value is not being seen, respected, as if he is treating you like a "little girl" rather than the "big girl" you know yourself to be.


He's being, best I can see, as honest as he can be. He was honest when he mentioned marriage as something that had crossed his mind. When you asked about it he was honest in saying it had not crossed his mind much, of late. He is not "holding back" some deeper truth that the big girl can handle. His truth is just a little blurry, frustratingly so. You've been dreaming of the Paris trip in technicolor. He's back to looking forward to watching Black Mirror with you and checking out that new sushi restaurant this weekend.


I would try, best you can, to turn to yourself for some answers right now rather than trying to extract them from him. Take a deep breath, or a dozen, and try to isolate what marriage means to you right now—for your life, for your life with him. Is it truly something you need, or not? Can even that question exist for a bit without an answer? In asking yourself all that you may find the comfort that he can't provide, right now, which will make whatever choice you make a more surefooted one instead of a reactionary one.


The reactionary part of you is being triggered by a kind of bite: the bite of feeling "lied" to. I think that's got you a bit dizzy, has taken on a shape in your mind that isn't serving anyone. Then there is the question of the bite of marriage vs no marriage, or no marriage for a good bit. Is it your heart that is bitten, or your ego? I don't mean ego in the Kardashian sense, but in the part of ourselves that can get very attached to stories at the expense of our actual truth.


We get fixated on the idea that we need to go to Paris, or else—or else things aren't serious, or else it's a sham, or else he's a liar—and in the process we forget what Paris actually is, out in the world and in our hearts. How badly, really, do we need to eat oysters by the Seine? Is Black Mirror and sushi actually what we want, or enough for now?


I have no answers to those questions—and neither, perhaps, do you. Give yourself a minute to ask them. With some clearer answers you may find you can communicate about it all with him in a way where the discussion does not shut down.

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Your story is as old as time. I agree with: "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" Saying. It's so true.


You've made his options, choices and life too easy for him. You're too available.


Never waste your youth on a man who is not willing to seriously commit to you otherwise you'll be used up just like millions of women and when he grows tired of you, you'll be discarded like yesterday's trash.


Be smart.

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I don't think he strung you along or lied to you. When he talked about marriage, he probably meant it, but something changed his mind. You volunteered to move in with him without a commitment, and so there's no use in trying to pin this all on him.


If this living situation is not to your liking, you need to leave it.


I so agree with this. Saying he lied is likely not the case. Odds are he did want to marry you at one time and now he doesnt. That doesnt mean he lied. Either you want to live with him or you dont. Is being married that big of a deal to you? If it is, then you need to move on.

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