What should I do when my boyfriend is scared of marriage?

I just had another fight with my boyfriend and he finally admitted he is scared to commit to marriage with me. He says he's just not ready and that he loves me so much but is scared of the next step. We've been through hell and back of 5 years! what should I do?

Updates:
well the thing is.. it's not that I'm pressuring him, I have to admit in the beginning I did, we broke up.. got back together, and now I guess I would bring it up.. but I learned not to anymore.. because it'd cause fights.. the problem is everything boils down to it.. he brings it up himself.. its wierd... I tell him I love him and it doesn't matter, but why does he seem like it's always an issue.. always on the verge of breaking up but we end up not..

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Most Helpful Guy

  • OKAY

    Here is the thing. It's not that your guy doesn't love you, it's just that you have given him every reason NOT to get married. A guy's mentality is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." A girl's mentality is to live out romantic dreams no matter what.."I've dreamed of a gorgeous wedding since I was 5."

    Reassess your relationship. Have you guys ended up in a relationship that already feels like a marriage? Are you doing the dishes, living together, sharing expenses?

    Perhaps, there are certain things about you or your life that the guy is afraid committing to legally. Is your dad a nazi? Are your religions different? His thinking is, if he doesn't tie the knot, he has more wiggle room to escape these things without legal docs binding him to them. So even though he loves you, if things go sour in the relationship, he can always escape them!

    What you need to do is something different. Stop bugging him about marriage and insinuate the idea in his head, make him think it's his idea. Right now, he is afraid to marry BECAUSE HE STILL FEELS SOMETHING IS OUT THERE THAT MIGHT BE BETTER. Which means he is uncertain of the future.

    My advice

    -Don't rush anything

    -Insinuate the idea of marriage in his head

    -Do things without him, like join a fitness club, get out there...find hobbies. WHEN YOU ARE BUSY and making friends, he will start missing you, realizing how awesome you are when you are out and about in the world instead of always being around him.

    -Let him know that you already love him for everything that's going on and don't baby him or try to change his behavior or anything. Don't play any covert mind games, like telling him about all the men interested in you...TURN OFF.

    -Get rid of "marriage-like" settings in the relationship and add back some spontaneity to the relationship you had before, add some spice...take some tantra yoga classes, sign him up for some dancing lessons, watch a dirty movie, these are just examples.

    -Take a look at your relationship and find out all the consequences that marriage can have on you guys now.

    Good luck

    8|2
    • nice answer..i agree..and in some way this has helped me..

    • out of all the answers, this one empowers me.. thank you so much for taking the time out to let me know how it is.. it feels good to know that its not just me.. as woman I always try to be ambitious wanting more.. and seeing how far I can push myself... I know I shouldn't do that with him.. we should wait and be ready TOGETHER

    • 2mo

      Ahhh, yes, I remember this response, back in the day when I actually took this site seriously

What Guys Said 20

  • Wait for him to be ready. Why do you feel the need to push him into a marriage? Most guys aren't ready for that type of commitment until into their 30's. Be happy with what you have now.

    ~Distant

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  • After 5 years, he definitely has something holding him up. If he is the same age as you, you two are definitely more of the age I would recommend looking into marriage. When I first saw your question, I thought you might be 18. However, at your age, he should be willing to think about marriage. By your late 20's, most people have "lived" and ready to commit. If he isn't there yet, he is lagging behind.

    You are a very attractive young lady. He is being dumb in not claiming you as his future bride.

    I am going to breach a subject here that I am not sure anybody has brought up. If you two are sexually intimate, he may be getting from you what he thinks he needs and does not want to commit any further. If you two are sexually involved, abstain from sex. Tell him that you are wanting to know if he is willing to commit. I don't like it when women use sex as a tool to get something from a man, but it does become necessary to see if that is mainly what he is after.

    If you two are NOT sexually involved, I agree with others that he is afraid that something "better" may come along. He needs to take a long look at you and who you are. If he thinks he is going to find something "better", he needs to move on (or you need to move him along and look elsewhere).

    5|2
  • I think the next step would be to find out why he's scared of the commitment. I don't think he seems to be scared of marriage, just the idea of making that commitment. Although I don't know how you would go about figuring that out.

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  • What's the "hell and back" you went through over the last 5 years? Depending on what it is, that could be part of the reason. What did you fight about recently that was such a big deal?

    Why do you want to get married so much now, and why does he not want to? The answers to those questions will determine what you should do.

    2|0
  • Does he not want to get married? or does he not want to get married to you? There's a difference.

    Personally I could understand why any man would hesitate, given the way the laws are in CA.

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What Girls Said 18

  • Marriage is the elephant in the room for both of you. You can try all sorts of avoidance techniques but there is no way to sugar coat the fact that this is a potential deal breaker.

    In relationships, we all have a perception of the role we play or the value we have to our partner. I think your boyfriend is very well aware that he is not meeting your expectations. I doubt there is anything you can say or do to change his mind because if you are honest with yourself, I don't think you can really say you don't want marriage. You might be able to say you are willing to wait, but then that just puts a ticking clock in his mind as to when you won't be willing to wait.

    What kinds of things do the two of you enjoy about each other? What do you enjoy about your relationship? Is any of that dependent upon being married? If you say you want marriage in order to start a family, well that may be the real problem here. Also, fyi, If your boyfriend is struggling with career or financial issues, that is a big hurdle for a man to deal with before they get married as most men, somewhere in the back of their mind, cannot consider marriage if they don't feel they can fulfill the provider role.

    Marriage represents a lot of things to people, most of it unspoken even to ourselves. It can remind us of our parent's unsuccessful or undesirable marriages, it can remind us of our own difficulties in sustaining a relationship, it can represent the ultimate sign of love and romance, it can be loaded with fears on having kids, financial responsibilities and losing our youthful freedom, it can be loaded with joy and anticipation of a wedding and a future as a couple. You two should really talk all of this to death instead of trying to avoid the conversation.

    Good luck.

    2|0
  • It may be a little harsh but in my opinion, if there's no agreement of marriage after 3-4 years, he doesn't want to get married to you. If a guy isn't sure if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, it seems as if he's waiting for something else.

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  • first of all I think you should thank him for being honest and admiting to his fear, its not easy to admit that we're scared of something, but the thng he may be afraid of is not marriage but fear of change. some people become so comfortable in relationships that the are afraid to step out of that zone. to be honest no realtionship is perfect and I can gurantee that there will be misunderstandings but its up to both of you to understand each other.

    marriage is filled with responsibility and decisions but the joy and happines that can be gotten from it will, can make it seem all worth while.

    my advice, take some time and talk to him, let him know how much you care, let him know that you want to spend the rest of you life waking up next to him, you know when you're at home and some1 ask you to do something and you really don't feel like it and you may not want to do it, but when your boyfriend ask you to do something when you are really tired you do it any ways. its like that love changes us.

    today youth make marriage seem like is not sacared anymore and with the divorce rate soaring he may fear change or he may fear losing you, give it some time, let him think, the last thing you want to do is make him feel like he has no choice. but 1 word of advice, stop arguing if you both have problem, talk about it rationally, eg. if he said something you didn't like tell him, honey, you said something that I really didn't appresiated... you may think that doesn't really work but in 23 years my parents argued once. they do this, talk out stuff and it works. even I did this in my relationship and my ex and I has never had a argument in 3.5 yrs. even when we decided to part ways we didn't argue

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    • what you can do is find out what about marriage scares him and maybe then you can figure out what to do or if not tell us and we'll try to help

  • You both have to figure out what is and is not negotiable in your relationship. For him not being married might be non-negotiable and for you getting married is also non-negotiable. So if they are both non-negotiables why stay together, it doesn't make sense. Married or not, if a couple stay together and if only one of them is compromising their non-negotiable well there will be some resentment and friction throughout the whole relationship.

    You have to find a guy that has the same non-negotiables as you, is your boyfriend that guy? You don't want to wait around for him and that day just never comes (because that means you think you'll be able to change him) and then you'll miss out on the life you could and wanted to have. You don't him to also marry you for the wrong reasons. And why are you supposed to be the only one to compromise (It seems like a lot of people in this thread seems like you should, but why?) Its obviously something really important for you.

    I kinda have the feeling that he is bringing the subject (even if you are not anymore) because he secretly want to break up but doesn't want to do it. Don't do guys to that? Act like jerks, so the girl will do the breaking up? Anyways, I'm making major assumptions here.

    I wish you the best of luck, I know its a decision that can't be taken lightly.

    1|0
  • I wouldn't push it..he says he loves you...that's already a huge step for most men. When women try to push marriage or anything else on men..it ends up pushing the guy away. In time he will want to marry you...maybe he wants to not be fighting all the time...or be well established with his life first?

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