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He's going to propose

ShadowEdge

Active Member
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286
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28
I accidentally found the ring and I'm afraid he's going to propose on our anniversary that's coming up. I don't want to get married. It's never been a life goal. I'll never do it. I don't want tied to one person forever or until one of us cheats and gets caught. I'm a little annoyed because he knows how I feel about it and it's like he's trying to force the issue. I also don't want to break up, but marriage is off the table. How can I head this off without letting him know that I know?
 
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There's no sense in beating round the bush. You should flat out tell the bloke before he goes down on one knee in a very public setting during your anniversary date. Talk about pressure. If you feel comfortable now, imagine how you'll feel then. Good luck!
 

ShadowEdge

Active Member
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@Gareth The Great, I don't know what to say though. I don't know how to bring it up. Can you help? We're watching a movie and my mouth is so dry and my heart is pounding. I wish the problem would just go away.
 

WAYNE

Well-Known Member
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Put a movie on with a wedding. And just say thank fuck I'll never do that shit. (we can still swear here right?)
 
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Sorry for not replying sooner, ShadowEdge. I was at the pub till late and when I woke I had a massive headache. I wouldn't worry about being nice, blokes don't typically think like that. Just be straight with him. You found the ring. You don't want to get married. Not to him or anyone else and it won't change in the future. Let him know you still want to date/live together/or whatever your arrangement is. He'll probably be a bit shocked, but he'll get over it. You aren't rejecting him, you're rejecting marriage. Loads of couples don't get married. Seriously, it's like ripping a bandage off. Just be straight with him.
Put a movie on with a wedding. And just say thank fuck I'll never do that shit. (we can still swear here right?)
That'll do it. And it's very concise.

Well, no on second thought he might think you want to elope instead.
 

KaliR

New Member
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Holy smokes Wayne! That made me laugh very loudly. I had people looking at me, that's how loud I was.

Seriously though, maybe he bought the ring for someone else! If he knows your feelings on marriage! Good luck!
 

ShadowEdge

Active Member
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Well, I finally told him. I figured Sunday evening was a good time since we'll be at work all day tomorrow. Now it feels so awkward. I'm not the marrying kind and I thought he wasn't either. I hate drama.

@WAYNE I've said that very thing at least a dozen times. Turns out he thought I just hadn't met the right guy yet.

Seriously though, maybe he bought the ring for someone else! If he knows your feelings on marriage! Good luck!
I wasn't being cocky. I knew the ring was meant for me. The box had my name on it.
 

WAYNE

Well-Known Member
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Well, I finally told him. I figured Sunday evening was a good time since we'll be at work all day tomorrow. Now it feels so awkward. I'm not the marrying kind and I thought he wasn't either. I hate drama.

@WAYNE I've said that very thing at least a dozen times. Turns out he thought I just hadn't met the right guy yet.


I wasn't being cocky. I knew the ring was meant for me. The box had my name on it.

Why not meet them halfway? Say yes, wear the ring but never set a date (yes you both need to agree to that. failing that be harsh, save the drama and heartache. Be straight, some paper or you. pick one.
 

Ogmore

Active Member
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Why not meet them halfway? Say yes, wear the ring but never set a date.
I know some blokes who have done that. Felt pressured by family, so they bought a ring, proposed, and just never set a date or planned much of the wedding. It eventually fizzled out. Seems like an awfully expensive way to handle things though.
 

WAYNE

Well-Known Member
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I know some blokes who have done that. Felt pressured by family, so they bought a ring, proposed, and just never set a date or planned much of the wedding. It eventually fizzled out. Seems like an awfully expensive way to handle things though.
Half the time the "wife" just wants a ring.
 

Zack T

Active Member
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872
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Have you ever looked into polyamory? Your thoughts about not wanting to be tied to 1 person forever or being concerned it'll eventually lead to cheating make me pause for a minute and think that perhaps a traditional monogamous relationship isn't what's best for you.

That's not to say Poly is necessarily the right answer either, just a thought you might like to research a little bit and see how the idea of it feels to you. But to put that as succinctly as possible, polyamory is the practice of having multiple ongoing romantic relationships at the same time, doing so in an honest and open way. A lot of folks work it out so that they have 1 primary partner they live with (whether that's just a long term relationship they have no plans on ending or an actual spouse they've married), and have 1 or 2 others that usually don't live with them. Poly is not typically about short flings, but it does allow that kind of flexibility that maybe you're only with someone for awhile before your lives change to a point where it no longer works out to be together (Maybe they move, for example). It also allows you to experience different people, different relationships, without sacrificing the one(s) you already have.

It kind of makes me think that if you're concerned about cheating, perhaps you've had a lot of unhappy examples of marriage and long term relationships in your life. Maybe you need to think a bit more about what you want for the long term - If you don't want to be attached to any single person forever, perhaps you should start off by telling them that. As I understand it, the vast majority of people out there are dating with the intent of finding a forever-person. The way you said it, it sounds like you don't exactly have an end-date in mind but that you also aren't wanting to assign a sense of permanence to the relationship either.

Maybe that's a commitment issue, maybe that's a personality trait, but regardless of what it is, it's probably gonna be a good idea for you and anyone you get involved with to know what to expect - that anything with you has an expiration date because you say you don't want to be tied down forever. Saying you don't want to get married is NOT the same thing as saying you don't want to be tied down. Maybe you don't want to actually have an expiration date, but you think adding a wedding ring to the mix will change the dynamic and make you feel trapped. If that's all it is, then hey that's fine just don't get married. Just don't get so stuck on the idea that marriage is bad and ruins things that you let it ruin what you have. I mean, if you're really happy with the guy otherwise and have been for a long time, maybe you should try and objectively evaluate what you think might change if you did get married, why, and also TALK TO HIM about it and see what he thinks. Even if it is a difference of opinion, it can help you both understand each other better.
 

ShadowEdge

Active Member
Messages
286
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@WAYNE I briefly thought about doing that just to avoid the uncomfortable talk. What's very odd is that I'm pretty devoted to Catholicism while he's a dedicated atheist. How on earth did he see that playing out if we were to get married? He sees me leave for Mass, he sees me pray regularly, he knows I actively participate. I obviously don't judge anyone who believes differently, but marriage is serious business. So, I thought about saying yes, then bringing up his conversion because I want to get married in the church and of course we'd have to attend couples counseling beforehand with the priest.

Are you married by chance? Twice? Your username seems familiar, but I might be confusing you with another poster.
Have you ever looked into polyamory? . . . I mean, if you're really happy with the guy otherwise and have been for a long time, maybe you should try and objectively evaluate what you think might change if you did get married, why, and also TALK TO HIM about it and see what he thinks. Even if it is a difference of opinion, it can help you both understand each other better.
No, but dude, every time you post I admire your open honesty more and more. Are you that frank in real life? It's hard to find someone who will tell you truth rather than what they think you want to hear. I think it's super sweet that you're still supportive of marriage even though you've been through a divorce. Do you think you'd like to get married again down the road?

I've cheated before but I'm not into sharing, so no to polyamory. I know what would change if I got married. We'd be legally linked, and other than that marriage bonds create obligations that I don't want. I absolutely support anyone who chooses to get married and can see how it works great for some couples. That's actually one of the reasons he thought I'd go for it - I've been an enthusiastic bridesmaid several times. He wasn't aware of the social obligations that are placed on women in this context, plus no one wants to seem like an unsupportive friend or family member. He understood once I explained it to him though. I really hate talking about the relationship. It just makes me cringe and squirm and I'm an immature avoider when it comes to that.

Truthfully, I don't think he thought about it too deeply. We're in our mid-thirties, so maybe he feels pressured to run to the altar. We live in the South and that's kind of the culture. After several days of awkwardness things have gone back to normal, so I'm happy to leave it be.
 

Zack T

Active Member
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What obligations are you referring to? I didn't know you were Catholic though, so that adds a good bit of context here and gives a bit more reason for you to be feeling like you do. Religion, especially Christianity and Catholicism, puts a lot of emphasis on the dutiful woman/wife. BUT if he's an athiest, then he likely wouldn't be feeling the same way about those obligations you think would be enacted.

Changing your last name, for example. I can't say how he feels about it, but I personally think it's unnecessary and if you don't wanna do it, then don't. I told my ex wife NOT to change her name to mine, because I felt her maiden name was a lot prettier (Quintanilla compared to Teachnor). She still did, but only because she wanted to.

Is it perhaps that you feel you'd be expected to have children? Maybe become a stay at home mom or wife? I'm struggling to come up with more examples, and that's probably because I'm a man and therefor don't have the same personal viewpoint and experience that you do about this. But I am genuinely curious what you think would be expected of you, and whether those expectations/obligations are things that have actually been talked about or if they're what you assume.

I've cheated before too, although that's not what led me to polyamory. Cheating and polyamory are not the same thing, after all. Cheating is breaking of trust, whereas in polyamory you go into that already knowing that there's not the same type of exclusiveness that there is in monogamy, so it's a very different situation. In fact, I'd say that actually hurt me moving forward because of all the guilt I had about it for a very long time. Still not proud of it, never will be, but I think after 5 years I've finally put it behind me.

Oh, I do try to be as open/honest in real life. It's perhaps a little more difficult when you're face to face with someone, but I've found that it's just the most effective way for me to communicate. It may be awkward at first and uncomfortable as hell, but the end result is often worth it.
 

WAYNE

Well-Known Member
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@WAYNE I briefly thought about doing that just to avoid the uncomfortable talk. What's very odd is that I'm pretty devoted to Catholicism while he's a dedicated atheist. How on earth did he see that playing out if we were to get married? He sees me leave for Mass, he sees me pray regularly, he knows I actively participate. I obviously don't judge anyone who believes differently, but marriage is serious business. So, I thought about saying yes, then bringing up his conversion because I want to get married in the church and of course we'd have to attend couples counseling beforehand with the priest.

Are you married by chance? Twice? Your username seems familiar, but I might be confusing you with another poster.

No, but dude, every time you post I admire your open honesty more and more. Are you that frank in real life? It's hard to find someone who will tell you truth rather than what they think you want to hear. I think it's super sweet that you're still supportive of marriage even though you've been through a divorce. Do you think you'd like to get married again down the road?

I've cheated before but I'm not into sharing, so no to polyamory. I know what would change if I got married. We'd be legally linked, and other than that marriage bonds create obligations that I don't want. I absolutely support anyone who chooses to get married and can see how it works great for some couples. That's actually one of the reasons he thought I'd go for it - I've been an enthusiastic bridesmaid several times. He wasn't aware of the social obligations that are placed on women in this context, plus no one wants to seem like an unsupportive friend or family member. He understood once I explained it to him though. I really hate talking about the relationship. It just makes me cringe and squirm and I'm an immature avoider when it comes to that.

Truthfully, I don't think he thought about it too deeply. We're in our mid-thirties, so maybe he feels pressured to run to the altar. We live in the South and that's kind of the culture. After several days of awkwardness things have gone back to normal, so I'm happy to leave it be.
Only married once. still am and that was before I first joined here
 

ShadowEdge

Active Member
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28
@WAYNE Ah, I mixed you up with another poster then. Sorry!

Is it perhaps that you feel you'd be expected to have children? Maybe become a stay at home mom or wife? I'm struggling to come up with more examples, and that's probably because I'm a man and therefor don't have the same personal viewpoint and experience that you do about this. But I am genuinely curious what you think would be expected of you, and whether those expectations/obligations are things that have actually been talked about or if they're what you assume.
No, I'm from a family of strong women. All had careers, no cooking, cleaning, or whatever. I can boil eggs sort of, but that's about it. I use my stove for storage. I've had a tubal ligation. I put my career first. No one bats an eye at any of that. I was talking about legal obligations and I don't want those strings. I'm happy. I like my freedom. I don't want to get married. Isn't that enough?

I've been taking in the comments though, and I realize I'm the oddball. I thought you all would think he's nuts for buying a ring for a woman who openly admits that marriage isn't for her. I hope he was able to return it. I haven't asked because if the answer is no I'll feel so guilty, even though I know I shouldn't and I don't want to open another relationship talk. Heck, I needed internet strangers to hold my hand just for me to bring it up at all - hence the thread. I had hoped to wiggle out of the whole thing without having to acknowledge it.
 

Zack T

Active Member
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872
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43
I don't mean to make it sound like I'm trying to convince you that marriage is the right answer, but my way of thinking is that we have to have a reason for it. Saying "I just don't want to!" is a simple explanation and valid. But that's such a big decision and I feel like your boyfriend or any others you see may want a more detailed reason than that. Simply saying "I don't wanna!" comes across like a parent saying "BECAUSE I SAID SO!" with no rhyme or reason. If you can't understand the "why", you won't be able to accept the decision very easily, if at all, because it won't make sense. Even if they don't agree, if you have more reason, it makes it a lot easier to live with.

My main point in this particular post is that it can be helpful to further explain/detail exactly why you don't want to get married. Not just "I want my freedom", but what exactly that means to you. Yes, "Freedom" makes some sense, but if your boyfriend already looks at you as though you currently do have freedom, saying something like that may be very confusing and even lead him to believe you don't want to be with him at all, or don't take the relationship very seriously.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with your desire to not have kids, not get married. I think my main issue is that I don't see the connection between getting married and not being free. Obviously it's gonna depend on who you spend your life with, you could find someone that sucks your free time or drags you down...but then again if they're that way, why would you want to be with them in the first place even before marriage?

Again, not trying to bash your choices, it's 100% ok for you to make those choices and live however you choose. I'm sorry if I sound real conflicted or confusing. I'm trying to walk a line between encouraging deeper reflection and communication about your reasonings, while also trying to make sure to reaffirm that you're not wrong for wanting to live your life how you want to, or come across like I'm trying to convince you to change your mind.
 
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