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How to get a man to talk about the future
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How to get a man to talk about the future

My partner and I have been together almost 2 years. We have talked about getting married and having kids, but when I want to actually talk about it, say "i'd like to get married next year" or "I would like to think about children in 4 years", he gets defensive, and says he can't plan tomorrow let alone that far ahead.

He worries about "rushing" into marriage (we've been living together for over a year), beacuse of the divorce rates, but my theory is, that if he won't talk to me about the future, then we'll only become one of those statistics.

Each time I try to talk, he makes me feel like I am pushing him into things he is not ready for. I am 27 and would like to know where my life is heading, and if he can't commit, not to find this out in another 3 or 4 years.

Should I be more laid back and take it as it comes, he says he wants to wait another couple of years to get married. I am getting furstrated that our life seems to be on his timeline, and that I have no say.

We seem to want the same things out of life (but then I could be wrong because he won't talk seriously about it to me), but he just wants me to "wait till he's ready" all the time, and I seem to have no say in the matter.

How can I get him to talk to me about the future so we can negotiate what we want?
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164559_tn?1233711618
He is burning your daylight.  He has everything he wants and doesn't want change.  I think you need to be forceful and ask him point blank where he sees this relationship going.  If you want marriage and kids and he doesn't, then he is not the man for you and you need to move on, now, not after waiting another 3-4 years.
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Avatar_n_tn
Some men really just are not ready to committ. I went through it. It's not that I didn't love the woman I was with, its that I didn't understand love, and was totaly afraid of divorce because I allways swore I would only be married once. Boy was I wrong. Looking back, I can see how all my reasons were just excuses because I really wasn't mature enough...yes, even till in my early 30's, for the responsibility. That was what I think I was running from.  I was afraid of getting hurt also. Had many excuses. You really have to just continue to let him know that you are ready and want more, and that it hurts you inside because it makes you feel______, you fill in the blanks. One excuse us men like to use is that we wnat to wait till things are better financially, other life things etc....but if we wait till that perfect time in life, it will never happen.  I think that is along time to be together and still be pushing the thought of marriage away, but we are all different. I do know that if he is like me with a somewhat rebelliouse nature, he will push away from the idea if you make him feel pressured. You really need to tell him how you feel, show him love and intimacy. Also, the day he see's that there are other men out there looking for a woman like you, will be the day he consents to marriage. That doesn't mean set it up...lol...Good luck..it really sounds like you do love eachother and that you will be together no matter what...if you have any "GOD" in your life, there is another reason for marriage...its a oath, a bond.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Kat - you do have "say" in the matter,  you can leave.  If I were you,  it's ultimatum time.  You may lose him,  but if you do,  you never really had 'em anyway and your bioclock is ticking away.

Best wishes - I do know several women who were in your situation,  gave an ultimatum,  and the guy realized he needed to make a commitment or lose her,  and he made the commitment.
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Avatar_f_tn
unfortunatly its not a great situation. men do not like ultimatums, nor do they like to feel pressured. its sad that they can live with us,(getting everything THEY want and need) and we have to just be. the best thing is to either wait it out, which can take who knows how long, or say you need to discuss it or maybe this relationship is all that its going to be. why does he bring up divorce? if you love each other and are ready to commit then divorce shouldnt even be a thought. he might not want to go to the next step. good luck, id wait until after the holidays!
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172023_tn?1334675884
You get what you feel you're worth.  If not, there is no one to blame but yourself.  You've been ok with this for so long, he sees no reason to change things now.
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164559_tn?1233711618
Well put.  Very Dr. Phil like
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Avatar_f_tn

One thing I've learned about men is that they do not commit until they are ready. Sometimes they will find the right partner and still not commit. You can't really blame them, marriage is a huge step.

katvn - My advice to you is to tell him that he needs to continue to be honest with you about the subject because you have expectations and it isn't fair to you if he doesn't talk to you about this and/or be honest. In the future, you may have to give him an ultimatum.

Good luck !

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Avatar_n_tn
I too wanted to get engaged / married while my husband dragged his feet. We were at yet another friend's wedding and I was feeling depressed about it all. A friend of his was sitting next to me and out of the blue (after too many drinks) broke the guy code of silence. He told me that he knew Frankie since they were kids (Frank was 33 at that point) and Frank never loved anyone before me BUT that it was my fault I did not have a ring. I was furious - MY FAULT??!! He quickly went on (luckily for him :-) ) that Frank knew I'd always be there, he was comfortable - I made it that he did not have to change anything. That stung and it stayed in my mind. About a week later it came out with Frank. I said that I thought about it and his friend was right - I had to get on with my life. Frank did not like being pushed and is quiet so he said very little and I went home. He kept asking me to stay but for once I didn't. He called me the next night and said he spent the day at the beach and while he was at first furious at his "friend" he realized he was right and that he was acting selfish. So here we are married. What is the point of that?? All these other people are right. You have to take the ball into your hand. Only you can say "Heah I deserve to be loved and valued - the way I love and value you". You do not have to be mean - just say what is exactly in your heart. I hope everything works out for you.
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Avatar_f_tn
well if you were the one he would know it by now.  I'd be wary about continuing with him, but that's just me.  he's just not that into you if he doesnt want to marry you. the above posters are right, he's got everything he wants. and by you living with him, you've already showed him that you've lowered your standards. you've already settled for less. if marriage is important to you, and he can't honour that.......it might be time to move on.
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172023_tn?1334675884
I heart Dr. Phil.  I insist on watching him every time I'm installing a system.
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Avatar_f_tn

I don't believe you lower your standards when you move in with someone or that is considered settling for less. (?!)
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Avatar_n_tn
All your comments so far have been great. But I suppose the "issue" behind the problem is that when I want to talk, he closes up and get defensive. I honestly believe he wants to marry me and have kids with me, but we have different timelines.

I would like to negotiate something that works for both of us, but he closes up so I can't get to working that out. How can I get him to realise I don't want to force him into something he is not ready for, but I HAVE to talk about it, and NOW! Because there is no point letting it go and then realising later on that maybe we're arn't on the same page after all.

Communication is the most important thing, and if I want to force anything on him, it's to open up before I give up with frustration...
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93654_tn?1247502934
Lemme tell ya how I got my ring. Before we were married, I would ask my dh "when, when, when??" Couldn't get him to nail down a date or a time frame. We did not live together, and I'm glad we didn't, because I'd probably still be calling him my boyfriend if we had. After dating for a few years, I started a job and made lots of friends at work. I started going out with these friends and the idea of marriage was not nearly as important, because I was a busy girl! I started this job in September of 1999, and I got my engagement ring that Christmas.

If I were you, I'd move out and get my mind on other things. Enjoy your hobbies and go out with your girlfriends! You don't necessarily need to dump him, but let him know that you would do just fine without him.
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Avatar_n_tn
Another little update, I have decided to say to him:

" After Christmas I want to talk about our future, what we both want, when and how we can both be happy with what we have together now. You will have to initiate the conversation at a time when you feel you are ready to communicate. If you can't talk to me, the relationship is not going to work and I will have to start thinking about whether we should still be together "

What do you think? Is this fair? From any men reading this, would that scare you, what would be your reaction?

If this method works, then maybe it is one we can all use...

- Giving him a time in the future when you want to talk
- Telling him what you want to talk about
- Getting him to initiate the conversation when he feels ready
- Telling him the possible outcome of not working this problem out

I tried to make it sound like I wasn't forcing him into anything, and that I wasn't going to dump him for not being able to talk, but that he needs to try, because I have tried too many times and been rejected, and I can't bear to be rejected over and over again.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a girlfriend in the exact situation and she too is frustated.  I consulted my fiance and asked him why wouldn't her boyfriend propose to her.  His answer was simple:  Why buy the cow when the milk is free.

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Avatar_n_tn
i do..i have awesome handwriting..however my posting stinks.
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172023_tn?1334675884
You are 27 years old, and have been in a relationship with him for 2 years, and he won't even discuss this?  "Rushing" into it?

Again, you get what you expect.

How's this for a discussion:  "I want us to get married.  What date would work best for you"?  Then list 3 dates within the next 6 months.  

It will be rapidly apparent what the future will hold for you.

  No more guessing or wondering or spending years waiting for this schmuck to decide what HE wants to do, while you contribute to the household upkeep and income and watch your future go bye-bye.
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172023_tn?1334675884
May I nominate you to head my fan club, then?  It will just be you and I, so far.  But it looks bad for me to be president, you know.  

I just think, for Gods sake.  Two years?  27 years old?  Enough already.  Stop pussyfooting around.  If marriage is what you want, speak!  He should know by now.  If he doesn't, he's an idiot, or deceitful, or both.
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93654_tn?1247502934
I still think she she move out, tell him you're not wasting anymore energy on him, and you're gonna live the single life and enjoy the benefits.

Tell him if he gives enough notice, you'll set aside an occasional Saturday evening for him.

Peeka, I'll be the treasurer of your fan club if you need one.
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172023_tn?1334675884
Treasurer?  
We'd have to get some funds, first.  

But if we ever do get funding, you'll be treasurer.  We just need a Secretary now to keep the minutes.

I'm with you on your advice, btw.  If only I could take my own advice, huh?  
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Avatar_n_tn
i agree with milkspage and we share the same situation only it took my man 7 years, 7 months and 3 days to finally propose.
thats ALL i did towards the 4th/5th year was NAG him to death. although we were 16/18 when we met, i was nagging him about marriage around your age as well. it was always something with him...
finish college, get a job, save $. all very logical but i could have cared less. i just wanted the ring to show committment.
ohhhh the timeline...you can bet i gave him a timeline. lots of timelines. ultimatums? gave him tons of those too. the "talk"? yup...talked too. in one ear out the other. he dreaded when i approached him because he knew the marrige talk was coming.
well, i layed off for a while and guess what? "will you marry me?" i didnt see it coming. as i grew older, i realized, it was worth the wait and i would MUCH rather have HIM be ready in his own way as opposed to ..here...here's your ring now shut up. ya know?? i appreciate his waiting and hesitation. now, i am 37 and we've been together 20 years. if ONLY he'd pick up his sh** around here! grrr......
ps: if he is not a communicator now, marriage will NOT make him be. i know.
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93654_tn?1247502934
oceans can be the secretary. I get the feeling she has pretty handwriting.
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164559_tn?1233711618
You are my hero.....

You say it like it is....

And I am glad you are back.
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Avatar_f_tn
um, are secretary and treasurer the same thing!?
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Avatar_n_tn
Oceans, I know that marriage will not make him a communicator, that's why its important that he talks and opens up now. I honestly believe that if he can't talk to me about this, then there is no point getting married to him at all.

It actually that he's not a communicator, cas he has always been one to talk out his issues with his mother. Maybe that's it, i'm not her!

I think if I can get him to see that I can listen and not judge, he would be able to talk to me, but he seems scared to open up - like he is scared to lose me and that if he is honest about how he is feeling I will get rid of him.

Everyone has doubts at some point, and I think it's imporant to be honest about them. Talk them through and come out the other side a stronger couple.

I think it's just the initial barrier, and once we get past this we can get better and better as years go by. I want to be his rock, I want him to be mine. We are great as friends and have great fun together. When people say you should marry your best friend, he is mine. We also give each other the freedom to do our own thing and be ourselves.

So why is this bit so hard?
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Avatar_f_tn
why is this bit so hard?! did you read any of the valuable advice that was given to you by the women above? does he share the same values as you on marriage in the future? does he spend as much time worrying about you, as you do about him?
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Avatar_n_tn
i think you just opened a new can of worms in this discussion without realizing it. i dont know what your relationship is with his mom but if he is THAT close to her and tells her things, around here we call that a "mamas boy" and you know how mamas dont want to see their sons get married. she could possibly be influencing him in his decision to get married.
also, your statement about "why is this bit so hard?"
well, no one is perfect. no relationship is either. never has, never will. you went on about what a great guy he is except the communication part. well, many men are not great communicators and sometimes ya just have to accept the good with the not so good.
maybe just lay off it all for a bit.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am fully aware that he is a mummas boy. So its just one of the things I learn to live with, agreeing that yes we all have our own imperfections (i'm sure I have them somewhere - I just havn't found them yet Hehehe).

But I do believe that the imperfection of communication is the root of all relationship problems. So even if we are not good at it, we should all try our hardest at it.

I'm probably not that good at it either, cos it seems that my BF doesn't "get" where I am coming from, so I am probably not putting it very well.

I think men & women have different ways of communicating, so women have to learn how to talk in "guy" language, and men in "chick" language.

So how do I speak "guy", and what is it that women understand, so I can ask the BF to talk to me in ways so I can understand his point of view?
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Avatar_n_tn
My boyfriend is the same way as yours , we live together also .. i know how you feel and i feel like leaving him because of that... But i truely do love him ..let me know what happens after all ")
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Avatar_n_tn
My heart goes out to anyone struggling with whether or not to STAY or LEAVE.  I love the man I've been with for over 3 years now.  We've pretty much lived together the whole time.  I have a daughter.  I love what we have...OTHER THAN...whenever I mention even setting goals together (planning a family vacation, starting a joint savings account, whether or not he wants children, marriage) he just looks at me and says nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  It's insulting.  He is an articulate, intelligent man.  We had a discussion 1 year ago about the "future" and I said if he wanted a future with me he'd say so (literally verbalize it).  At that time, 2 years into the relationship, I wasn't even talking about a date for marriage - but I had ALWAYS said I would "never" live with anyone.  Bottom Line - after we had our SERIOUS discussion - he has not mentioned it - I've tried mentioning us having a few goals together (we're both professionals and are goal oriented) and NOTHING.  He has major hobbies that he spends lots of planning on and always achieves what he wants!  I told him twice in the last year that although our relationship was very good, and we are so comfortable with each other - the "future" conversation will present itself again.  I have the courage to do everything else in my life.  I need a BOOST to do this.  Our lease is up soon and I feel that would be the "best" time.  I don't want to be away/apart from him.  But - where is it going? Love doesn't keep people together.  Good luck to everyone out there and I would appreciate thoughts/suggestions.  Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
I also wanted to ask, has anyone read the book "He's just not that into you?"  My background (ironically) is in mental health, counseling, etc.  Having survived a divorce - you'd think I'd have learned - people do WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.  When people don't commit to us (and it's not just men) - it's because they don't want to.  Bottom Line.  Especially for people that do ANYTHING else they want to do.  I've been putting this off - because I have so much fun and feel so comfortable with my guy - but...the bottom line is:  I want to be with someone that SAYS THEY WANT TO BE WITH ME and TALKS ABOUT IT and PLANS IT.  I don't ask for a date.  I just want to know we're on the same mission.  I have a teenager daughter that looks up to me and I need to be a good role model in EVERY way, especially when it comes to relationships.  If you haven't read that book I mentioned - read it.  It's so "RIGHT ON THE MONEY."  I still welcome thoughts/suggestions.  Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
go get the book called how improve your marriage without talking about it. I know your not married yet, but it will tell you how to speak his language.  And can only improve your relationship.  just read it through for yourself first.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 45 and divorced and I have been living with my boyfriend for 3 years now. He told me a year over a year ago that he wasn't ready for marriage again. Probably because of what his ex-wife put him through. But I am thinkikng about MY future. Like, he has type 1 diabetes and God forbid, what if something happens to him? I know this may sound selfish, but I have to wonder what would happen to me? He has a son and daughter that I know would just want to sell the house that I call my home and kick me out asap so they can get the money.
I don't know how to talk to him about this concern.
Any ideas?

Confused
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 45 and divorced and I have been living with my boyfriend for 3 years now. He told me a year over a year ago that he wasn't ready for marriage again. Probably because of what his ex-wife put him through. But I am thinkikng about MY future. Like, he has type 1 diabetes and God forbid, what if something happens to him? I know this may sound selfish, but I have to wonder what would happen to me? He has a son and daughter that I know would just want to sell the house that I call my home and kick me out asap so they can get the money.
I don't know how to talk to him about this concern.
Any ideas?

Confused
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