“I want marriage, he doesn’t!” That’s not the ideal situation to find yourself in, is it? Being in love with a man who has an aversion to marriage, when it’s the only thing you truly want, puts the two of you on opposite ends of a very big divide. This situation is obviously ripe with problems and unless you can find a compromise that works for you both, you may end up having to part ways. It all depends on how committed to the idea of marriage you are, and how dead set against it he is.
When a woman wants to get married she’s generally quite vocal about it with the man she envisions as her future husband. Why wouldn’t we want to talk about it? If we feel we’ve found the man who is destined to be our mate, it fills our heart with an undeniable sense of joy and gratitude. We slowly start planning all the details of the special day in our minds. We think about who we want to be there to witness our vows and what the dress will look like. Some of us even go so far as to plan the menu, choosing just the right entree and dessert. It’s hard not to get caught up in those thoughts if a wedding has been something you’ve dreamt of since you were a teenager. All of that imaginary planning and anticipation can come crashing down if the man you picture standing at the altar as your future husband decides that marriage isn’t in his future.
Before you do anything, you must decide if the wedding and the title of his wife is really worth risking the entire relationship. It may feel that it’s a stance you won’t or can’t change but if you’re faced with the choice of being alone because he refused to marry you or being with him in a committed relationship that doesn’t include marriage, you really need to weigh those two options. Do you honestly believe you could be happy without the guy you love? That’s a question you need to seriously ask yourself before you decide to leave the relationship because he won’t propose.
Finding a compromise may seem impossible in this situation but it’s not really all that hard. What many women have proposed to their marriage reluctant partner is an extended engagement. It gives you the security of knowing that he wants you all to himself yet at the same time he doesn’t feel a wedding planner is breathing down his neck. Yes, the wedding may be far in the future, or it may never come but at least you are bound to one another in a very tangible way and you have the ring to prove that he really does love you.
Another compromise is to make an agreement that you will treat each other, emotionally and legally, as partners. That means that from this day forward you are his common law wife and you reap all the benefits that come with that position. You two live together, you work together towards a mutual future and you draw up legal documents that protect each others’ interests in the event that something happens to one of you. You start referring to him as your “husband” and he views you as his “wife” for all intent and purposes.
Proposing the common law approach to a man who just doesn’t see the value in marriage is going to garner one of two responses. Either he’ll recoil at the idea because it feels too close to marriage to him or he’ll embrace it because it’s fulfilling at least some of your fundamental needs.
If he does indeed balk at the idea of you two living your lives as unofficial spouses, consider his true commitment to you. If he loved you as much as he professes, he’ll want to find a compromise that makes you both happy. When a man only looks for his own needs and wants to be met, that’s a deeper problem that really needs to be addressed before the relationship can move forward.