My Boyfriend is Perfect Except That He Does Not Want To Get Married

What should you do if your partner does not want to get married

By Sylvia Epie
My Boyfriend is Perfect Except That He Does Not Want To Get Married

What is The Main Reason That He Doesn't Want To Get Married?

You meet the perfect guy, fall in love, build a relationship, you complete each other, your lives fit together, everything is perfect - except you’re dying to make it official, to wear that white lace dress and walk down the aisle in front of your family and friends but your partner does not want to. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, you’re not alone, in today’s society more and more couples are going through the same scenario.

As time goes by, there’s an ever-growing divide surrounding the institution of marriage. While some hold on to this traditional institution as a form of security in these fast-changing times, others resist the mere idea of marriage with equal passion and want nothing to do with it. It’s not fun when two people who are in love and want to be together but find themselves at polar opposite sides of something that is at the core of most relationships.

If you’re in such a situation, here are some clues on how to get your partner to reassess his stance on marriage and how to proceed if he doesn’t. But before diving in, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your perfect boyfriend might not be willing to say I do!

1. The Fear of Divorce

His resistance towards getting married could be as a result of past experience, maybe his parents or a close relative went through a bad divorce that traumatized him, or he was previously married and went through a nasty divorce.

2. Financial Constraints

No one can deny the financial implications of a wedding, just the thought of the cost alone is enough to send a guy running in the opposite direction. Especially for someone who has a large family and many friends or someone who wants to post their wedding on Instagram.

3. Discomfort with the events surrounding a wedding

For some people, it’s not about marriage per se they’re against but rather the things associated with it. For example, the ceremony, hosting friends and family, exchanging vows, all the attention, family conflicts,  etc. This is enough to scare the crap out of a lot of people.

4. The need to ‘’test’’ the waters

This is often the case when he wants you to move in before considering marriage. He might be commitment-phobic or he just wants an out if things don’t work out, a back door, an exit strategy. He could also want to test the waters before taking the plunge.

How To Convince Your Boyfriend To Re-Access Marriage    

Your partner’s stance on marriage might not be as deep-seated as you think, maybe all hope is not lost and you can still get your happy ever after with all the wedding bells and trimmings you’ve been dreaming of since you were a little girl. But the only way to know for sure is to get him to reassess his position on marriage. 

Talk it out

Like most other relationship issues, communication is always key, an honest and open discussion will go a long way. Hearing your partner out on his reasons for opposing marriage will help you understand his position. It will also give you a chance to explain clearly why you want to get married. At the end of the day even if you don’t succeed in changing his mind with a conversation, it will at the very least have the benefit of providing you both with clarity. Just remember to keep the discussion supportive and non-judgemental. 

Go to Couples Therapy

If talking things out by yourselves does not yield the desired result, another option is to seek help from a professional. Consult a therapist to help work through your conflict, a therapist will help you get to the bottom of things as a couple, to discover the underlying issues behind your stance on marriage. Exploring every option with a professional will help both parties make good decisions, free of emotions moving forward.

Evaluate what marriage means to both of you

Marriage is not as simple as rings, roses, and dresses, it has a deeper meaning and this meaning differs from one person to the other. To you, it could mean one thing and to your partner something entirely different. So, it’s necessary to take this time to evaluate what marriage means to each of you. Where your views and beliefs on marriage are coming from and how they affect your relationship.

What If He 100% Sure He Doesn't Want To Get Married?

While you might feel cheated that your partner does not want to get married, you have to come to terms with the fact that he might never change his mind. Consequently, you’ll have to decide if not getting married is a deal-breaker for you or not, if you’re willing to compromise and try other alternatives. 

Validate His Feelings

Acknowledge that your boyfriend is entitled to his feelings and beliefs, he is not wrong for not wanting to get married. Put yourself in his shoes, show empathy and validate his feelings without condemning his choice. Understand that the fact that he has a different opinion from yours does not make him a bad person. His fears could actually be founded, depending on his past experiences.

Trust that he knows what he wants and what works for him and tying the knot might simply not be it. As painful as this may be for you, acceptance is better than forcing your boyfriend into something he doesn’t believe in but goes along with out of obligation or guilt.

Figure out why you want to get married

In the same way, your boyfriend has deep-rooted fears and feelings about not getting married, so too are your feelings about wanting marriage. Ask yourself why you want it so badly, is it out of social construct, religious belief, for security or financial reasons? Be true to yourself, dig deep and get to the bottom of your own need for marriage. Examine what marriage means to you personally, what it represents and why it’s important to you. Is it about the legal document or the ceremony?

Weigh your happiness

At the end of the day it all comes down to happiness, will you be happy even if you don’t get married or must there be a wedding/legal document to make you happy. Figure out if you can grow old and be happy with your boyfriend regardless of marriage or if you’d prefer to let go of the relationship and find someone who is open to marriage.

If you know you won’t be happy without the legality of your relationship or without the dress and the rings around the roses, it’s best you come out clean and make your partner know where you stand. And if neither of you is willing to budge, then it’s time to make a decision on what to do next.

What is Your Next Step?

Give it time

Failing to find common ground with your boyfriend does not necessarily mean your relationship is doomed. With time, when the dust has settled, he may reconsider, not wanting to get married now doesn’t mean he won't want to in the future. Maybe he feels pressured to commit or is just afraid of losing his identity and freedom, only time will tell. You may be able to bridge the gap and actually see things shift, but this doesn’t mean you should wait until your 60th birthday. Use wisdom and wait it out for a while, if things don’t seem like they’ll change, reconsider your options.

Walk away

What’s most important is being true to yourself about what truly makes you happy, irrespective of societal norms, family pressure, principles, and beliefs. When you’ve figured this out and both of you still can’t find your happy place, then it wasn’t meant to be.
Both of your principles are stronger than your love which is a sure sign of future disaster, so you might be better off walking away sooner than later. After all, is said and done the ball is in your court, it’s up to you to decide what you want more and where your happiness truly lies and whichever path you choose you are right. 

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Summary

When faced with such a situation, it is definitely an important decision for you to make. A man who you loved but (stubbornly) with his own views of marriage. Of course, there are reasons why he would have such a strong stand. Find out his reasons and share your perspective. If you are someone who strongly wants to marry and accommodating on such a request would result in you being regretful and resentful, it may be wise to take some time for a breather. Spend some time to think through it rationally and decide the best for yourself. 

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