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> To Move In Or Not To Move In?, Bf doesn't think he wants remarriage
Offlineanya
post 01/16/12 02:24 PM
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Hi everyone --

I'm starting a new thread because of new information/circumstances; if I should tack this on to an existing thread, I'll do that.

I've been with my M for 1.75 years. He's been divorced for about a decade, mid-40s, has 2 teens who live with their mom. Their relationship was pretty volatile, I gather, but they keep it civil for the kids now. I'm late 30s, never married, no kids. I don't really want kids of my own but am happy to be with someone who has them.

I can fill in more info here, but the important thing at the moment is that the M asked if I would live with him, which was partly motivated by practical/financial reasons but not primarily/exclusively (he is looking to move out of his current place but also could rent in a male friend's house, etc., instead of living with me). We had had some discussions in the past in which I gathered that he had a somewhat negative view of marriage, but he would also say things like "well, it is good for tax purposes." He's pretty practical in general but has a romantic streak, too.

I haven't really been sure what I want in terms of marriage either -- I was engaged once at an early age but that was going to be a long engagement (we were still in college), and the M died suddenly in that case. Since then I've had a couple rel'ps that were serious but when they got to the crossroads, I realized I wasn't in love with the Ms in question in a way I'd want to be to move forward. So this M bringing up living together brought me to the point of having to investigate my feelings about all this in a more real way than I've had to in a while.

So, I talked to him last night about the marriage idea in a fairly M/V way, I think, by saying that we hadn't had occasion to check in about our individual hopes for our lives in terms of relationship goals, and that I had given some thought to it all and was thinking that I might want to have the experience of being married at some point in my life, and what did he want at this point?

He said it was hard for him to think about that because he's struggling to find his footing with his career, but that he didn't really want to remarry, or he didn't think he did. He said he thought living together was a pretty big commitment, and that he hadn't realized marriage was important to me. I said I hadn't had the occasion to think about it except in a musing kind of way for a long time, but that I agree that living together was a big deal -- I just didn't want to look back after x number of years and think, oh, I really wanted that for myself and have regrets about it.

The conversation was hard, but I stayed calm and by the end he was talking about reevaluating his feelings about remarriage. I repeated that although this living together question was the specific impetus for me to talk about this, I was more talking in a general vein about our own goals for our lives, whether with each other or not -- our general goals. I wasn't asking to marry him as such, more comparing notes about what we individually want. I wouldn't have been OK with even considering moving in without putting that out there at least.

Then I said I needed to go home and have some space to think, so I left -- I didn't leave in a huff but I was quite vulnerable and tired and didn't want to just hang out for the rest of the evening with him -- I needed space! (I didn't put it that way, but that is what I needed.) So it wasn't easy, but I guess it was unavoidable as a discussion -- it may be a make-or-break moment and I'm just trying to keep my hat on. I guess I have to decide whether that is the ultimate goal for me or whether I'd be happy with a committed situation that didn't have marriage as the goal -- he would also, obviously, have to decide whether he could compromise at all on this. I hate feeling like I'm "the woman having the marriage convo," but it needed to be talked about.

Any thoughts appreciated -- I am a bit sore and a little scared -- it's hard to be vulnerable like this -- but that's how it goes. Thanks.

A
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OfflineMeandering
post 01/16/12 04:21 PM
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Good job Anya good.gif

(((hugs)))

So glad to hear that you realized you guys needed to have this convo and you did!!!! I think your head is totally on straight here.

As for it being make or break in the relationship... there is a 3rd option smile.gif The 3rd option is that while it may not be the right time for M to consider marriage in his future, he CAN still live with his male friend and you guys CAN still continue to date....unless and until that is no longer working. And M can have more time to think about all of this while you are continuing to date, and one would hope if he brought up moving in together again he will also say that he is open to remarrying and would like to make this commitment first with marriage a future goal.

However, I completely understand if M says he really doesn't see himself getting married again, you may not want to continue dating him.

On pins and needles right there with you! Keep the faith wub.gif


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OfflineMBfromBoston
post 01/16/12 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (anya @ 01/16/12 01:24 PM) *
I hate feeling like I'm "the woman having the marriage convo," but it needed to be talked about.

I agree. It sounds like you handled yourself really well.

At this point I don't think you need to worry about your M's thoughts at all. You just need to get clear about whether marriage is a goal of yours or not, or what your long term r'ship goals are. Then you can start to think about whether what your M wants fits in with what you want.

While moving in together is "a big deal" it shouldn't be done unless it's going to lead you in the direction you want. For some people it's a stepping stone on the road to marriage. For some people living together and sharing their lives is the actual goal. And some people wouldn't consider living together unless engagement has either happened or is forthcoming.

Once you are clear about what is important to you you can then have an "updated" conversation with your M. "M, I've realized that I do want marriage at some point in my life. Unfortunately I can't commit to living with you if that's not going to be an option at some point." OR "M, I've realized that I want to be engaged before I live with someone." OR "M, I'm not sure if I want marriage in my life. I would be happy to live together and just see where life takes us."
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Offlineanya
post 01/16/12 04:39 PM
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Thanks ladies! I talked to a c o a c h and got some clarity for myself. She said she thought he might be a bit confused after our talk but that it was good to lay the groundwork and we need to be able to have difficult conversations. I did end up leaving his house and feeling a bit sad going home, but I was overwhelmed and needed a little space.

I think I'd be OK with living together to see if we are compatible that way and revisiting the bigger issues down the line. I'm not 100% clear about my feelings on marriage, ultimately -- I think it's important to me but so is he, and I don't know that I want to make that a big sticking point. I'm not in a position to get married right at this moment, and I also think a lot of his issues with it come in part from legal/financial aspects of his divorce.

Ugh! This is hard. I texted him a little while ago but haven't heard back yet. I hope he's not freaked out.

Thanks so much for being there! I am taking in all your ideas and suggestions. good.gif
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