Why does he keep making excuses to put off marriage?

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 4 years and are very serious. We get along great and make a great team. I'm 22, he is 29. We have discussed the topic of marriage at length many times and both of us usually end up in tears or angry. I've heard every excuse possible. The original plan was to wait til I finished college, but as my academic career became extended, I don't want to wait anymore. I've ehard excuses like: "the economy is in horrible shape and who knows if we'll even have jobs", and "your sister's marriage failed, so I'm spooked and don't want to rush into it", and "i don't have the money for a ring" and "i just want to make the perfect proposal and wedding day, let me give that to you when I'm financially able". The thing is I don't even care about an engagement ring, he gave me a diamond a year into the relationship and that's good enough for me. I don't want a big wedding. I'm fine with even going to the courthouse. it doesn't matter I'll take it however I can get it. He convinced me to get a place with him about a month ago insisting that it was a step toward marriage and a "trial period". He thinks that if we get married I will get fat and/or turn into a mega- biatch and try to run his life. As it is right now he does as he pleases within reason. I've tried and tried to breach the marriage subject and come to a compromise, but seem to get nowhere. Marriage is extreemly important to me on both a moral and social level, and am not willing to just "shack up" together for the rest of my life and don't want to be one of those girls that shows up with an ultimatum. will he ever propose and tie the knot? will he ever give in or is it in my best interests to move on?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • He can pull out all the excuses in the book, but that's just what they are - excuses. Bottom line, he doesn't want to get married to you now. Whatever his reasons are, you need to make some choices, because this constant arguing will wear this relationship down.

    You can stay with him and have faith that he will do you right.

    The trust in this relationship goes both ways you know. He could feel that you are questioning his devotion to you by demanding that you make it legal. He could want you to trust him to do what he says he's going to do, and when you talk about marriage - your desire to do it now - he could be hearing that you don't believe it would ever happen. That you think he could be lying to you. I understand that those aren't your true reasons (I hope!), but it could come across that way and make him feel betrayed by your lack of confidence in keeping his word. This is a tug of war that can ruin the best relationships.

    You can leave him and toss away a four year relationship.

    Only he knows what his true intentions are. But you would be the next closest person to know. If you feel his feelings aren't ever going to change, and you will never get what you want - leave. What else can you do but stay and tear each other down bit by bit? Might as well get it over with in one swift swoop. No reason to stay if you don't think he'll ever propose, you will only be wasting more time.

    If you can force a proposal from him - how would that make you feel? That you had to coerce your boyfriend into proposing instead of him deciding on his own? I completely understand you desires and willingness to get it done - but I don't understand why you are so dissmisive of his feelings. Marriage should be about the both of you, and you are making this about you. There is no compromise here - you're either married or not. I'm not bashing you I promise, I understand how much this can hurt - I've been there as well. I know you are trying to relate to him and what he's going through, but I think your own feelings are getting in the way. So you can stay and accept him doing it when he wants to, or you can go because you aren't getting what you want - there is no middle ground on this. If you continue to try and get a proposal out of him, your relationship will fail eventually.

    I think he will marry you, I really do, because I have faith in love.

    Good luck.

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    • I agree that by bugging him about it he hears that I don't believe him, and that he wants me to trust him, and in most instances I do, but I trusted him to propose in the last year and he hasnt. I really want him to do it on his own, but sometimes I find it hard to maintain hope. As far my feelings getting in the way, I think its the opposite, I think I've put aside my own happiness for too long to make him happy, and he expects me to do the same here, but this is something I feel strongly about

What Guys Said 4

  • What does he think marriage means?

    Being financially stable makes sense for not wanting to have kids right now. If that what he thinks being married means, then it is a valid concern. However, the counter would be what would happen if you got pregnant? (Assuming that you are having sex.) If you wanted to keep it, what would he do?

    He's saying he's afraid that the marriage will fail. Why? Does that mean he is thinking that the relationship will fail? Because that's what he's saying.

    Marriage means a commitment that you will be there for each other through the hard times. Is he willing to do that or not?

    I'm guessing no. Here's why. My bet is you two are already having sex. He has the freedom to do whatever he wants (except cheat on you I'm guessing...) is getting sex and has even brought up the idea of you moving in to be what? Someone to cook and clean while he's off galavanting?

    Face it, he's 29 and addicted to the single life style. He's getting what he wants, why should he change?

    And if you think the marriage subject is causing problem, wait until the subject of having kids comes up.

    He needs to grow up. While he's the older one in the relationship, it's almost like your ages are switched.

    You don't need to give an ultimatum, but let him know that he needs to man up and come up with an idea of where this relationship is going, and shacking up isn't it.

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    • We both agree kids are in the future but not for several years. if I were to get pregnant there is no question we'd keep it. As far as galavanting is concerned, there's none of that. we pretty much do everything together, but if he needs time alone, I understand. I may be doing the cooking, but he does most of the cleaning, we share. I don't know if this changes your opinion. Thanks for answering.

    • Sort of does. It's more that he fears the idea of marriage then being married.

      Ask him what being married would change and reassure him that things won't go wrong.

  • I'm going to play a little devil's advocate here because everything that he raises is a legitimate issue; The economy does suck and jobs are being lost, over 50% of marriages do fail, and being financially secure is a great goal. However, it is also a bit committment-phobic. If we wait for the perfect moment in life to do things, marriage included, it will never happen because life isn't perfect and full of unknowns.

    I do think that you guys have taken those first steps towards a larger committment and maybe you should be satisfied with that for the time being. What is marriage going to do for you that your existing relationship isn't?

    As well, it's you that isn't living up to the original plan. Perhaps he should be told that when you walk across that stage he better be waiting at the bottom of the steps with a ring and a proposal.

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    • I agree that steps toward a larger commitment are in play, but the reason that I want to be married so badly is because I feel it is the right thing to do. I don't expect magic fairy dust to float down and make life perfect when he says I do, but I feel like when you love someone you want to spend the rest of your life together, which to me means marriage. I was supposed to graduate this May, however I'll now be finished more than a year later. the prolongation of school wasnt part of the plan

  • If everything is so great then why the need to get married? Be happy with what you've got.

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  • He's playing you. You're allowing him to play you.

    After 4 years, it's obvious that he doesn't want marriage.

    No matter what, there will always be one more hurdle, one more change, one more step before he's ready to propose. Once the economy improves, he'll need a better job before marriage. Once he gets the job, he'll want to pay off the car loan before marriage. Once the car loan's paid, he'll need the promotion before marriage. Once he gets the promotion, he'll want to save up cash for the honeymoon vacation...

    You're not stupid. You've seen this same pattern for 4 years. But you elected to ignore it, and hoped that if you wished hard enough and worked hard enough, that he would change. But he won't change. This pattern will continue as long as you allow it to continue.

    But things haven't changed. And they won't change.

    The real question is, why have you tolerated this for 4 years when you want marriage? After a year without a proposal, it was obvious that you and him wanted different things.

    Just because you bought a ticket on the Titanic doesn't mean you have to go down with the ship. Escape on the next lifeboat.

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What Girls Said 11

  • Ok first of all..thinks you will get fat/bitchy...? What kind of response is that to someone he loves? Have you had any problems with him such as lying..cheating? I was with my ex husband for 6 years. Then when we tied the knot..it went downhill. Infact he never came home for our first wedding anniversary. And you are only 22..I got married when I was 18. Your still so young. Don't make the same mistakes I did. I loved him more than life and he did too..but apparently he wasn't as serious about me..even after 6 years. Don't rush into anything. My ex feels I rushed him into marraige..which is probably true because I felt the same way you do. But please don't rush it. The only "title" you should have right now is "in a relationship". Finish college..see where things lead to. Your only 22 and most woman don't even get married til their late 20's early 30's. He probably is committed to you..but is not ready for THAT type of committment. He's worried about how having a title on the relationship might control his life. Maybe he has committment issues? Do you two have any kids? Does he? They can also play a part in his decision. My advice is not to rush..at all..by any means. Think about how much better it will be when he bends down and pulls out a ring ON HIS OWN influence. That way..he would be making his OWN decision, not the one you made for him.

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    • We haven't had any problems with cheating, except the first week we met, then again I wouldn't consider us exclusive the first week of a relationship either. We do not lie to eachother, we try to be as transparent as possible. Neither of us have been married and there are no kids involved from either side. I want him to do it on his own, but I'm afraid he never will. I haven't seen him make any attempt to find money for a ring, and every time I look at them in the mall he rolls his eyes.

    • Just because one person gets married at 18 and another person gets married at 22, does not mean the 22 year old's marriage will fail. It depends on the people involved whether the marriage fails or not. But, dear God, why would you even think about that if you were marrying the person you loved?! If you're having doubts like that or worries like that before marriage that is not a good sign.

  • I have to say, I am going to side a lot with him. The economy does really suck, and as a man, he is seen to support the family, whether you work or not. And if he looses his job, that's a horrible feeling for a man who's supposed to provide for his family. And what if you get pregnant? Even with protection it happens. Then you got a baby and doctor bills on the way. His sister's marriage failed...a lot of people see so many marriages failing today that it scares them, and I don't blame them. But, you guys aren't his sister either. Not having enough money for a ring or a wedding...now that makes perfect sense to me. Many guys, believe it or not, when they meet the girl they do want to marry want to give her the ring and wedding of her dreams. He probably doesn't want to see you sell yourself short with a courthouse wedding. Trust me, being an Army wife, I talk to many many wives who did that and regret not waiting to have an actual ceremony. They don't regret getting married to their Soldier, just that they didn't have a wedding. And no one should go into a marriage when their financially unstable. That's a really bad way to start out a marriage. He's obviously not ready, so quit pushing him or your gonna push him away for good. He could be getting ready to propose, but your ruining it by bugging him constantly about marriage. Moving in together is fine, but you need to tell him you want to get married within "X" amount of years (make it reasonable, like 3 or 4, not 1 or2) or else your going to move on. You obviously want to get married, and it sounds like he does too, but he's just not ready. Just give him time. Just because you've been dating for a while doesn't mean he is ready to tie the knot right now. But, if you are, you need to tell him that and your not looking to "date" the rest of your lives and if he is, then you need to move on. Because marriage is a huge deal, and if only one partner wants it, how can the relationship possibly work out without someone settling and later regretting it?

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    • As far as him being the breadwinner, I pull my own weight, and when I graduate I'll be making alost double what he does. It was my sister who's marriage failed, and that's because her husband was a scum bag who got her firend pregnant on his bachelor party. while they have a 3 month old baby. My sis and her husband aren't the same people as he and i. we have way more respect for each other than that. What ceremony we've agreed upon is affordable and my dad would pay for it. he still to propose.

    • Don't force him though. He might regret you for it later!!!!

    • Maybe he's really planning on proposing but he is just trying to throw you off the trail... lol. Something positive to throw into the bunch of negative answers.. :)

  • Is there really a big rush? Marriage obviously means a lot 2 you but its also obvious it doesn't mean the same to him. You need to give him time prove to him that your not gonna change if you's do get married and the only thing that will change is your name and make you's closer together. I'm in the complete oppistie situation I'm 22 and he's 29 exactly the same, we are looking for a house of our own and I know he would propose 2mora if he could but we have talked about it seriously and we both don't have the money for a wedding. I look at exactly how your boyfriend would and my boyfriend would look at it as you would but realisticly it doesn't mean I don't want to marry him just means I want things to be right and I know there is no rush as the way I see it we do have the rest of our lives to org it. hope this helped

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  • If you've told him multiple times that this is important to you and he is still not committing, then he's just not that into you. All the excuses he's giving you are just that, excuses.

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  • Look don't buy the economy and pregnancy bull. You're having sex with him and that means you could get pregnant at anytime. You're already living together so the economy has nothing to do with it unless you're going to leave him if he looses his job now. Basically he's scared. I f he's a good man don't leave him because believe me it's going to be hell trying to find someone better. So what you do is give him a little push in the right direction. Let him know that you won't wait forever but don't give him a time for how long you think you'll wait either. Just let him know he needs to figure out if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you and to tell you, because if he already knows he doesn't he should tell you so you can go find the man who does. Also you should talk about what being married means because you are already doing everything married people do. Ask him does he expect you to stay with him if he gains weight, gets old, gets in a car wreck and can't walk. Then you expect him to stay with you if you gain weight or get older. But trying to keep him happy should be your duty as a wife. Just like it is his to do the same. So try not to let yourself go. Also tell him what you expect from him too (not cheat, don't stay out late, always answer when I call, don't flirt and don't take advice from single or bitter people). That goes for both of you.

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  • I can say that you are too young for such game, I think the guy in question is not ready to settle down yet, and don't make it look like you are forcing the guy to married u, I believe the guy is not really in love, he don't want it to seem that he we be the one to talk of break up , him is just waiting for fact to comes from u, any way you need to be careful, bcos that guy I think he is a player, if you still think of moving on please be careful.

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    • He's not a player, I'm sure of that. The man goes to work, watches tv and sleeps. when we go out on the weekend 99% of the time its together, I have access to all his bank records, social security number, and personal records. I know more about him than he does. I really really don't think he's playing the field. He doesn't have time, and I'd know.

  • I would REALLY like to know what happened here. I know this was over a year ago but I'm in the exact same situation and it would really mean something to me if I knew what happened with this situation

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  • A man knows he wants to marry you usually within a year. Nobody if you live together or not. Clearly he doesn't

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  • Marriage should be easy, romantic and simple. If there are doubts, don't force it, you should both be happy and easy with the idea.

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  • I could understand if he felt this way 2 years into the relationship. But 4 years! That's BS! Looks like he is just wanting the privileges of having a live-in Girlfriend without the commitment-is that what you want? I don't think so. Does He really need to have a "trial period" after 4 years? If he's worrying that you're gonna get fat etc that should be a red flag to you...marraiage is about staying with the person in sickness or health, for richer or poorer, skinny or fat. If he is not willing to go through the hard times with you-are you sure you still want to marry him? What happens if you do get married and you do gain weight, or your finnces aren't that good-and he's not there for you. Sounds like he is more worried about himself than making you happy. Maybe you should move on.

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  • He probably doesn't want to commit to someone over time because they might change. You might gain weight, you might get into an accident, you might get cancer, you might become an alcoholic.. It doesn't seem like he is willng to commit to you. I think you should leave. Guys who are single at his age usually have commitment issues.

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