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My Boyfriend Doesn't Believe in Marriage

Group Therapy: My Boyfriend Doesn't Believe in Marriage

This question comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

So I've been dating my bf for almost 4 years now and we are both 26. When I first started dating him, I was looking for a Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Right. But as time passed by, I began to see a future with him and wanted to one day get married.

But when I first started dating him, he told me he didn't believe in marriage because he thinks what is the point when it's going to end anyway. His parents are divorced (and it was a messy divorce) since he was a little kid and his relatives and friends have all been in unhappy relationships and divorces, too, so I can see why he feels that way.

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Now when he told me that, it didn't bother me because I was thinking that I am not dating him because I am looking for a future mate, I am dating him for companionship and if it didn't last it's okay, I'll come out with experience. But now, I see a future with him and perhaps marriage one day. But he clearly does not believe in marriage at all. We love each other very much and we don't have any major problems with each other. Do you think he doesn't believe in marriage at all or is he just saying that because he doesn't see a future with me like I do with him? And what am I supposed to do leave him then since I want marriage and he doesn't? And when we're dating around to find Mr. Right Now, should we only date the men who believe in marriage even if we are just looking for something temporary?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

henna-red henna-red 5 years
There is no should or shouldn't. You have to decide if it's enough for you. And if it's not, and if he won't, then it's time to let the man go and feel the pain of the loss. You are the only one who can decide what works for you, what is enough, what is not. Search your heart. Search his actions. Do what you believe is right. Accept your own feelings. blessed be, and best of luck
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
tdrake: yes, you know what to do. You either have to stay and settle as a gf only to him (not married) or you leave and be with another man who has the same mindset as you. You're just afraid of leaving, is all, and perhaps disappointed that he'd rather lose you than marry you. Good luck.
tdrake777 tdrake777 5 years
When I meet my boyfriend I was separated from my ex husband hadn't even filed for divorce. We went out to eat after leaving the bar and he told me he was looking for the girl he was going to marry. I was in no way looking for a serious relationship. 5 plus years later he doesn't believe in marriage and it's all I have on my mind. I've tried giving him a date to decided by but really he would rather lose me then to marry me. I just don't understand. I don't know what to do? He said he is committed to me and loves me, should that be enough?
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
Professionals say if a man hasn't ask you to marry him with a year and a half there is something about you he doesn't like. He won't ever tell you that. But its the truth. Guys like this break up with you saying they dont' believe in marriage in thier last breath and then you find out they got engaged to someone else right after you. What happens if you got pregnant? Would he believe in a wedding then? Just curious becuase the women I ever knew that were in this situation suddenly got pregnant by accident. Then what? For the rest of thier lives they have to ask themsleves if the husband ever really loved them for them and not the kid. I'm too proud a person and always have been to put up with a situation like that. I may not have everything, but I always had the guts to get what I thought was right. Thats why I'm happily married, and I was asked. Tell him you want to get married and leave him quickly if he won't agree. That way you won't waste too much more of your time.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I think you just need to sit down and talk with him. There is always a chance that he has changed his mind. I understand nasty divorces, and not wanting to go thru the same thing. Don't ask him if he ever wants to marry you.. ask him if you see a future together. If you could see the two of you spending the rest of your life together. That will give you an idea as to his level of commitment. Ask him if he would ever consider leaving the door open to marriage and kids somewhere down the road. See what he has to say. You can't be afraid to talk about it. If you plan on being with someone forever, you have to talk about EVERYTHING. My fiance and I talk about everything from work meetings to bowel movements... it's all life & you have to be comfortable enough to brooch the topic of something that's bothering you. Talk with him, and see where he stands. That's my advice.
reesiecup reesiecup 7 years
Is he anti-marriage because he thinks you guys will eventually break up or does he just not believe in the institution of marriage? Marriage is not necessarily a guarantee of lifelong companionship. I believe that two people can be fully committed for life without getting married, like anon #11's bf. If marriage is that important to you, maybe you should consider talking about it with him openly again and moving on if he still feels the same way he did when you started dating.
singinglawgirl singinglawgirl 7 years
Personally, if I I were with someone for 4 years and I knew I wanted to get married, but my boyfriend didn't, I would have to sadly move on. If you know marriage is what you want and you can't get that with your current partner, what's the point of dating him when you want to take it to the next step. Good luck on everything!!!!!!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Haven't we read this same thread/question a hundred different ways on here?
medenginer medenginer 7 years
If he already has expectations for a marriage or a relationship to fail it will. A couple can still be committed and never marry. He may never ask you to be married and you need to decide if that's something your able to deal with.
kristints kristints 7 years
'not believing' in marriage is just him saying that he will NEVER commit to you. I don't see how this isn't obvious. He doesn't want to commit to you, he doesn't want to take a risk to be with you, he doesn't believe that you'll be able to make a relationship work. Why would you date a guy like that? Go find a good man who actually WANTS you for more than just the 'right now'.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Well, I don't believe in marriage either, so I would guess that he means it when he says he doesn't. I'm going to get married at some point though, because it's important to my boyfriend. Your boyfriend's aversion to marriage doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't see a future with you. In my case, I want to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend, but I personally don't need the government to sign off on my relationship, nor do I feel the need to obtain permission to have sex with my boyfriend from a priest who may or may not be a child molester (I have issues with hypocrites). In other words, I've selected my partner and he has selected me, and I don't feel that we need approval from a third party to make our union valid. So the bottom line is, just because someone is against marriage does not mean they're afraid of commitment or that they don't take their relationship seriously. He clearly has issues due to his parents' divorce, so I don't think you should view any of this as being a reflection on you. The more problematic thing is his belief that no relationships can ultimately work out. I think you should talk to him and see whether he wants to spend the rest of his life with you - with or without marriage - and then go from there depending on his answer. If it's clear that he does want to be with you but that he's not going to change his mind, you'll have to decide which is more important to you - being with him or being married.
DeMaria482 DeMaria482 7 years
If he said it right from the beginning. Then forget it. Dump him and look for Mr. Right. You looked for Mr. Right now, and you found him. Now I have no doubt you can find Mr. Right, you just have to believe in yourself and love yourself, too! You can't change him, you have to respect his decision. You had enough time with him, 4 years? It is that time to move on.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i have a few thoughts: 1. i would never date a guy "temporarily" even if he didn't believe in marriage because i really believe in marriage and have always sought out people with like values...so i would maybe suggest you do the same in the future, and then you won't be in this predicament 2. he told you he didn't believe in marriage from the beginning, but then dated you for 4 years since then, so i doubt it's YOU that he doesn't believe in...it's probably the institution of marriage since he told you that before he even really got to know you...and has stuck by you for a lot of years! 3. because i really believe in and want to be married, i don't know what i'd do if i were you...i would have a VERY honest and frank talk with him and if he will never change his mind, i may leave...but make sure you really let him know you love him, want to spend your life with him, and would love to get married....and learn if he also wants to spend his life with you and have kids (even if that means without a piece of paper) and then you'll know his views and can make a decision from there
GregS GregS 7 years
The statement, "And when we're dating around to find Mr. Right Now should we only date the men who believe in marriage even if we are just looking for something temporary?" sounds like you turning the tables around on the guy. Is it fair? The object of dating is to search for and hopefully find a mate which, in the case of humans, is supposed to be for life. How would you know that the guy believes in marriage without dating him first? I'm kind of in the frame of mind that you've lived with this guy for 4 years knowing that he doesn't believe in marriage. Is losing him worth it to you because of this? If you absolutely, positively HAVE TO HAVE a marriage to be happy, he's not the one and you should leave. I don't get that sense from your post. I think you understand that he's scared stiff of getting married. Not because of you or him or your feelings for eachother. He's afraid of the "end game". He was very hurt by his parents divorce, and his other relatives. All of his personal experience involved painful divorces, and he not unreasonably wants to avoid it from happening again.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 7 years
I would add another option. 4) Improve the relationship until the two of you are best buddies. (This assumes that the two of you are not best buddies already. Best buddies means being able to discuss almost anythng, and can easily and comfortably reveal almost all of one's inner fears to the other person.) I strongly recommend that two people become best buddies then bring up the subject of marriage.
KiwiRose KiwiRose 7 years
There are several options: 1) you can stay with him and continue to audition for the part of his wife, hoping one day he'll change his mind. Not good = you will be driven apart by the clash of direction. 2) You can tell him how you feel, lay your feelings on the line and discuss it all. If he is still set against it, you could think it over and see if he's worth staying with despite the lack of a wedding band; if you love each other enough, you can still live a very happy life together. My friends have been together for 20 years and they've never been happier, despite the fact they never had a wedding. 3) You could go and find someone who doesn't need a decade or two to pop the question... if marriage is that important to you, than this is the option you will have to take. Maybe it'll jumpstart your current man into proposal action, maybe it won't. Either way, at least you'll be on the right path to getting what you want and finding happiness. Good luck. xxxxx
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
You asked: "Do you think he doesn't believe in marriage at all or is he just saying that because he doesn't see a future with me like I do with him?" I have no idea. It can be either. It really depends on the man. You're the person who really knows him. Although most of the time....generally/stereotypically, they use the excuse because they don't think you're the one, but they're just comfortable to have you around because you're a great gf. You asked: "And when we're dating around to find Mr. Right Now should we only date the men who believe in marriage even if we are just looking for something temporary?" LOL. Well, you should know way beforehand if eventually in your life you want to get married or not. If you do, you need to not continue dating any guys who don't want to get married no matter how great they are. Changing a guy's mind usually can be futile unless he is the one who does the changing. It has happened a few times to me before (meeting great guys who don't want to get married--either they just got divorced and burned badly or they're just free-spirit people who didn't want to get tied down), but I had to walk away soon each time. As for leaving him due to your fundamental difference, it's going to be your choice. Right now, your choice is to stick it out, but be prepared to be the one who will have to change your pov (basically be prepared to never get married and not mind about it--be his forever gf/partner without legal paper), or you can walk away. How about telling him about what you want? See how he reacts, put the ball in his court and see his action, because that usually is good indication if he's really a good person. Good luck.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 7 years
So what you are saying is, he is afraid of marriage because he believes it will eventually lead to divorce no matter what. He is also extrememly afraid of divorce because of what happened to his parents. These things make sense. But I think there are a lot of things that the two of you can do together to make divorce very unlikely. (Sorry, no guarantees.) If you want, I can share some of my ideas with you.
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