- Gender and Relationships
Is He Going to Marry Her? Read the Signs Correctly
I enjoy reading your hubs as I think you give really balanced advice, so this is why I'm writing to you. My boyfriend and I have been together 6 years. We purchased a house and moved in together three months ago. I've expressed to him a few times during the course of our relationship how I'd like to get married. He's told me how he thinks marriage is just a piece of paper, but if marriage is what I want then he's okay with being married. However, we’ll go to weddings and he’ll make comments like “I want this at my wedding” or “I don’t want to get married at a church.” I’m confused as to why he’ll make these statements if he truly believes marriage is just a piece of paper.
When we started to look for a house, I brought up the t opic of marriage again, since I wanted to make sure we’re on the same page. He gave me the same answer as he did last time. We discussed a timeline. I said how about this summer, and he said next summer.
A few months ago, I said to him in a jokingly tone "Guess I'm not getting my ring this year." He told me he's not financially ready to purchase a ring. We bought new carpeting, a refrigerator, water heater, furniture, and he also contributes to child support each month. He explained how he wanted to finish paying off the carpet, fridge, and his car by certain month. I commend him for doing this, but I don't find it necessary. His car does not HAVE to be finished paying off until next year. I suggested we put money into our joint account to help us save money for a wedding, even my ring. He replied with how we need to save money for our mortgage and other expenses next summer (we’re both teachers, so we do not get paid during the summer), and any extra money can be used for wedding expenses.
I truly love my boyfriend, and I think the relationship is great (even better in my eyes, since we’ve moved in together). A part of me thinks he’s content with just going about the relationship as it is and not getting married (especially since I bring up the topic of marriage, and he does not). Do you think he wants to get married, or is he just stringing me along? What should I do in this year if he says again that he’s still not financially ready? Thank you for your advice!!
I have said in many Hubs on and around this topic that actions speak louder than words. Sometimes those actions include the things he says outside of the specific conversation, and aside from answering your questions.
You said that he tells you he will get married if that's what you want, and that it isn't something he really believes in. I can see how you'd be thinking - Not a great answer, but it opens a door to getting married, it's just not the way I'd hoped that door would open. I wouldn't have interpreted it in that way, but I will come back to that.
His actions however speak much louder. Not saving, not putting money into the joint account, coming up with other things like paying off a car 6 months early - these are very clear signs that everything and anything comes before getting engaged, let alone getting married. His actions are saying no. No no no. Very clearly and loudly.
What's more disturbing about this is that his answers have that "final say" tone to them.
He's not acting like a partner at all. He's not saying for example: I am thinking next summer, you're thinking this summer, can we compromise and get engaged around December?
- Or - I'm concerned about money, can we talk about how we both feel about finances? Can we make a plan together as a team to pay debts, earn money, save and spend on a wedding?
- Or - Is there any way you'd be OK with a temporary ring with a CZ or something that we can replace with a real diamond in 2 years? That way we're both working toward the same goal.
He's not sharing what he thinks and feels in an effort to find a compromise or to work together. He's saying things in that final say tone. He's saying, what you want doesn't matter. He's saying, "No."
As if that weren't all bad enough, here is another big thing that I'm seeing here. He's made comments about "his" wedding. You said that he has made comments like, "I don't want to get married in a church," or "I want this at my wedding."
The fact that he's not saying "we" when he makes these comments is the loudest thing he could be saying to you. He's not asking you to participate in those conversations, is he. He isn't inviting communication. He isn't saying, "I don't want to get married in a church, do you? When we get married will you want to be married in a church?"
Maybe you've tried to jump in to those moments by offering how you feel and what you think and want. But that doesn't mean he was engaging you. I am even willing to speculate that if you have jumped onboard in his statements about his wedding, that he's been dismissive or opposing. If he says, "I don't want to get married in a church," and you add that you agree, you don't want that either, he's not engaging at that moment saying, "That's so great, we agree on that! That will be one thing that will be easy when we plan our wedding." I am guessing that even if you agree, he keeps speaking about "me" and "I" and only what he wants, with no inclusion of you, or that he drops the subject.
Ok, now, let me back up. I interpret what he initially said differently than you did. He said he doesn't believe in marriage but if it's something you want he'd go through with it. I don't see that the way you do as a possibility or compromise. I see it as his way of trying to make you be the bad guy. He's trying to get you relinquish your desire to marry, while still being able to say he was willing to go through with it.
Since he's making comments about "his" wedding, he's not someone that doesn't see marriage in his future. The question is, is he really not ready, or is it that he doesn't want to marry you.
The answer to that is revealed in his actions.
Even he wasn't ready to get married now, he's still making comments about "his" wedding. He's able to think about that future time.
However he's not showing you any action regarding working you into "his" wedding.
You did say you think he's content with things as they are, and would stay with things the way they are.
This is where the problem really is. So many guys are like that. They don't want to rock the boat, they will just go along with things as they are, and hope you will be the one that initiates the big change. That way they never have to be the bad guy. For some reason, they think the woman will get the hint. They think, when she gets unhappy enough, she'll go. And if she doesn't, so be it. But that doesn't change the very real fact that he told you straight that marrying you is not something he wants, it just may be something he's willing to endure. And it doesn't change the fact that he does nothing to create any kind of compromise, plan or future involving marrying you.
I can't tell from what you've shared, but I'm wondering if the way he is now is a change. You said you had conversations about your timeline and all prior to buying the house. You haven't shared your ages, but I'm wondering if he crossed into his Saturn Return after the house was purchased. It usually happens around the age of 28, and I have discussed it on many hubs. It could be that he thought he was OK on your timeline and agreed to things, and then after the purchase at some point, he came of age. He hit 27, 28, maybe 29. He saw the future in a new way, he lost his sense of what he thought he wanted. That's what happens. Everything changes.
If that isn't it, if he was past 29 when you two began these plans, then I have to wonder if those agreements and conversations really went the way you think they did. Was he really in agreement with your lifeplan, or was he saying things like he's saying now, but you heard what you wanted to hear.
In any case, the reality of your situation is that he's not making any plans, compromises, or indications towards marrying you. And he doesn't want to communicate honestly about that. Maybe he thinks putting it off will make it go away. Maybe he thinks eventually you'll get the hint. I don't know. But it's time you start thinking about what you want, and doing what you need to do to make that happen. good luck.