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How Can I Change His Views On Marriage?

Dear Sugar
I have been dating a great guy for about eight months. I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. He feels the same way, but he recently told me he doesn't want to get married--ever. We discussed the topic of marriage before but it was always in the hypothetical sense. He feels that people change after marriage and that it almost never works out.

I love this man and can't see my life without him. I have a feeling he will eventually change his mind on the subject, but if he doesn't, I would be devastated. I can not see myself living and having children with a man without being married. I've never been one to conform, but marriage is something I've always wanted for myself. Do you think that he would change for me? Wishful Wendy

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Wishful Wendy
You might not like my answer, but it sounds like your boyfriend has made his feelings on marriage pretty clear. If you want to stay with him, I would not bank on him changing his mind. Have you voiced how important marriage is to you before starting a family? Pressuring him into a situation he is against will not make for a happy union and could cause him to resent you.

Marriage is not for everyone and it sounds like your boyfriend has negative preconceived notions and has already made up his mind. Was he the product of a bad divorce or another childhood trauma? Something to think about is that there are lots of happy couples who spend very fulfilling lifetimes together without ever tying the knot. Just think about Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell or Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

Although you can't see yourself having children without being married, you have to ask yourself if your ideals are worth giving up for the man you love. If you can not find a middle ground, you unfortunately might have to cut your losses. Please talk to him more about this and think long and hard about what to do before you make any decision. Good luck.

Join The Conversation
donniesgirl07 donniesgirl07 9 years
I'm with you sister... My boyfriend is recently divorced. He was married for seven years. He tells me all the time that he wants to spend "forever" with me...but he can't bring himself to say the "m" word. Infact, he is so turned off by marriage, he wont even let me discuss it. He always says that he doesn't have marriage "hang ups" but it is clear that he does. Hang in there. I think some guys just need time to think it over. He will come around. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, lol they were already crossed for me anyways!
herbiefrog herbiefrog 10 years
children are your future not some societal ceremony superstition still ? isnt this 2006 ?
jaxon jaxon 10 years
Marriage is more than just a piece of paper it's legal and binding and gives you rights that a longtime girlfriend doesn't have. What if you have kids? If something happens to him it is extremely hard to get anything for your kids from his estate because of the legalities. Anyway if marriage is what you want and he doesn't he's obviously not right for you. You must have goals and dreams in common. Don't sacrafice what you've always wanted for ANYONE for ANY REASON.
flutterpie flutterpie 10 years
if he says that he never wants to be married, you need to treat it as such. do not force him to do what he doesnt want to have a choice either you stay with him knowing he never wants to be married or you breakup with him and find someone who does. if he is really as wonderful as you think he is, you will realize that maybe marrying him isnt as important as being with him :JAWDROP:
liliblu liliblu 10 years
I had a friend who was "engaged" for 5 years and her "fiance" was still not ready for marriage. She finally realized he simply did not want to be married and left him. But she gets depressed when she thinks of all the time she spent trying to get her "Mr. Perfect" to the alter.
liliblu liliblu 10 years
When someone tells you who they are and what they want or don't want, BELIEVE THEM. He's not talking about it being to soon to marry. He says he doesn't want to ever get married. I refuse to waste years of my life hoping someone will change their mind and find me worthy of marriage. I don't care what Goldie & Kurt, Brad & Angie, Sean & Kim, Susan & the guy from Shawshank choose to do. I have to do what's best for me. If you want marriage and kids, then find someone who wants those things as well.
crystallawson crystallawson 10 years
This is my first post. I couldn't keep silent on this one. First off - you have only been together 8 months. You guys really need to get to know one another and that comes with time. My husband and I met in March of 1998. He proposed February 14th 2006! I have other friends who went 10 years and 17 years before taking the plunge. If you truly love someone, you'll wait. I came from a religious family. I would never have thought I would have sex before marriage, let alone live with someone before marriage. I loved him unconditionally, without a ring. He realized how much marriage meant to me and he proposed. We were married in April and so far so good. I wish you the best and take your time!
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
wow, that got really long... I guess I just have a lot to say about that because I just got married, and I think some people go through a phase of realizing marriage isn't just all fun and easy to do. It takes work and maintenance. Most people don't see that, they just see the result of either doing it or not doing it.
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
First, I'd like to say that I don't think it is right for Dear to tell you that you're not going to get what you want, so maybe you should change your mind about what it is that you want ("Something to think about is that there are lots of happy couples who spend very fulfilling lifetimes together without ever tying the knot.") -why should you have to give up your ideals and not your boyfriend? Second, your boyfriend's view ("He feels that people change after marriage and that it almost never works out.") is a total generalization and sounds completely ridiculous to me. Its not marriage that changes people, its time and experiences - things that people go through whether they get married or not. In a marriage, two people are (supposed to be) committed to seeing each other through those changes (you know the vows- good times and bad, sickness and health, etc...). He clearly has seen or experienced a marriage(s) that have put some kind of fear in him. Third, while some people can decide on a spouse in a relatively short time, eight months is not necessarily very long when it comes to deciding on a spouse. You two probably still have some getting-to-know-eachother to do. All that being said, give the relationship some time to develop more so that he can tell you his true feelings behind the statment he made about marriage and what it does to people. Try to find examples of successful, happy marriages so that he can see that not all marriages turn out so negatively. See if those people can tell you what they have done to keep their relationship together. If he's still not feeling the marriage thing after some time, tell him you love him but he can't give you what you want so you have to move on. And then move on.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
I kind of agree that he won't change, either. My friend just ended a 6 year relationship because she finally "got it" that they didn't want the same things. When they got together it was all fun and stuff and party, party, party, but she found herself wanting to settle down more and more. He said "I told you from the beginning--no kids, no marriage--I thought you understood" She stayed another 18 months trying to change his mind. :( Didn't work. Think about yourself, if you had strong feelings on something and someone asked you to change them would you? Convictions cannot be changed easily and it's kind of selfish to think you can change someone else's beliefs to fit YOUR beliefs, no? What if you found out he was posting online "How do I change my girlfriend's views on marriage cuz I don't want one?" Would you be hurt and upset? THink about it...
bonbonfay bonbonfay 10 years
He won't change. Find someone who wants the same things as you. It's painful in the beginning, but ends up so much better in the long run! ~Bonnie~
getstinko getstinko 10 years
Good comment Twinkle. There are a lot of factors here. 1st off - it sounds like your goals and visions of your future are not aligned/actually at odds. Yours being marriage, kids, conventional commitment etc, and his being not marriage and unconventional commitment. Love and relationships work when everyone is getting what they need and want. Your boyfriends unilateral anti-marriage comment is a symptom of his inability to commit fully to you and to put your needs ahead of his own empty fears. 2nd off - women, all women who want kids have a limited timeline of how long they can waste with men like this. A guy will lead you on for years (and this comment is for Pinksparklgrl also) getting what he wants until the bloom is off your rose, your options are limited and your personal needs/dreams of children, motherhood and what you associate with happiness becomes compromised. I'm not saying this to be sexist but in hopes of giving you a wake up call - Men are on no timeline for commitment or marriage - women need to work towards marriage by 30 or having kids may be problematic. Lastly - 8 months of a fairly happy relationship may seem intense but it is not worth a lifetime of dissatisfaction. Women (again with my generalizations) need to wake up and realize that for every 1 man that seems to make you happy there are 20 who will crawl over glass and jump through burning hoops to make you overwhelmingly happy. NEVER COMPROMISE YOUR STANDARDS when it comes to Love and your Future. Never ever try to bend him to your desire for marriage - this will only lead to him resenting you.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 10 years
Don't waste time with someone who doesn't want the same things you do. Cut your loses and move on.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 10 years
He'll change his mind if he really wants to but if you keep bringing it up he will feel pressured and he'll back away even more. He's clearly told you what he does/don't want so what do you think he feels like when you bring up marriage? This is where women, and men for that matter, should stop thinking that they have the magic button to actually 'change' someone who has been 'them' all their lives.....watha?
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
I bet you two are married before long:)
angelbaby2 angelbaby2 10 years
If a man says that he doesn't want to get married-believe him and don't try to change him. I used to do that when I was single. YOu probably want to see what happens cos it sounds like you have a good relationship. Less pressure from you the better chances in the long run. You may have to wait a long time. It depends. What is important is how he treats you and if you love each other. Good luck
cams cams 10 years
I agree with toxxic, its only been eight months! He may come around. My bf wouldve hit the door if I had even mentioned anything at eight months, and now weve been together for over 4 years and now he wants to get married sooner than I do!
JessNess JessNess 10 years
Do you want to be with him or do you just want the paper saying you are with him? Why not try a compromise by doing a commitment ceremony. You will have the feel of a wedding and you get to express your feelings but it wont be a legal wedding. That way you both get what you want
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
If you love him this is no reason to move on, and honestly if he loves you truly and knows that true desire he will eventually change his mind. Thats just how I think, but there needs to be no pressure from you on it thats for sure. Wait it out its nly been 8 months an things do sadly change -------------------- -------------------- Watch us play secret santa, and every tuesday fab find for our wishlist!
PinkSparkleGrl PinkSparkleGrl 10 years
I feel your pain Wishful Wendy, I have been dating a man for 6 years (I am 26 now) and he still have not popped the question. We have talked about it - and he says that he does want to get married, but it never seems to happen. I love him with all my heart and we are a perfect pair. It hurts a bit when all our other friends, around the same age, are already married. I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately: Would I be able to just live with him for the rest of my life with out marriage? For me, I want the big bash - at least just to have a party and have a real chance to get all dolled up. Its something I have been looking forward to since I was a little girl. Is it worth loosing my man - no - but a relationship is alllll about the middle ground. You want a big wedding, he doesn't want to get married..what about just a big mirage - you wear the white dress or any dress and have a big party to simulate a reception? Are you more about the confirmation of a piece of paper? Well how about a simple ceremony in your home where you devote your life and love together, alone? Or do you want to really know that he loves you enough to go buy u a ring? He can still do that, without a wedding or marriage. Again, a relationship is all about give and take - from both sides.
Lindsb Lindsb 10 years
I, personally, have always dreamed of my wedding and the dress and all of that.. I, too, want children and a husband. But I think I could have all of that without being married. If it was that important to the person I was in love with.. if he really associated a strong taboo with marriage, maybe that is the compromise you can make here.. if he gave you the experience.. would you need the paper? What's important to me is the promise, the vow, that you get from a ceremony. That is probably really confusing.. sorry this is just my stream of consciousness.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I am one of those that has no desire to be married in a relationship yes but I have no desire to get married. I agree with sug if this is something you want for yourself than you may need to make the decision to move on to someone who wants the same thing!
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