Has He Proposed?
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|Mon, 12-30-2013 - 6:03pm|
This could just as easily go in the "living together" board, but I figured folks who were married might have some insight about what constitutes a proposal. :)
I am in my late 50s. My partner is a widower in his early 60s. He recently retired.
When we had been going together for about a year, we discussed the future and he said he wanted to marry. I said I wasn't ready, and that I would want to live with him first, especially since he was retiring soon and I was not. So we went on like this for a couple more years, and then almost a year ago, he retired. At this point, at my suggestion, he moved most of his regular stuff here. But he wouldn't close down his house until he was sure it was for keeps. He has been paying mortgage, utilities, etc, on his place (which is partially furnished--he brought some things here and gave his daughters some stuff, but the rest is still at the house) and going over there once a week to get his mail. He has even kept the land phone line, though he has a cell that he uses for everything.
So, things are going well, and I don't think we are going to learn anything more about each other without getting married. I mean, we are living together, but we don't have a shared budget and each of us may (unconsciously) still be in "courting" mode. But I am reassured that we will not drive each other crazy and that he is not going to be too demanding of my time because he is home most of the day and I am not.
As far as money goes, his retirement is equal to what I make working. Our assets are comparable. When I retire, I will have less than he does, but between us we will still have enough. We are lucky that way. (Note that I don't gain financially by marrying him. His pension dies with him, so if he predeceases me, I'll be back to what I would have had if we hadn't married. But it will be enough.)
Anyway, the issue is that I don't know if he wants to go ahead and get married or not. I am not comfortable just living together indefinitely, with him keeping the other house (and not contributing to expenses in my house beyond food) and just generally both of us being in a "tentative" position. If there were a financial reason not to marry (if I were to lose alimony settlement or something like that, for example) I could see a reason for just living together, but as far as I am concerned, living together was just a temporary arrangement.
I've asked him, jokingly, when he plans to propose, and he said he had never really proposed before. (Apparently, his late wife said something about wanting to get married and have kids soon and he said okay.) He is rather shy, but still, I think he should take the hint. He said something about the problem with proposing was that one couldn't be sure the other person would say "yes." I said that I figure a person wouldn't be asking if he was planning to propose in order to say "no." He chuckled and there it stopped.
My thought is that he does want to get married "eventually," but he is not in a hurry because getting married means a lot of work putting financial affairs in order (both of us want to have a pre-nup so that the property we bring into the marriage will be protected for the care of the spouse and then for our individual children) including selling his house (which is going to go at a loss) putting stuff in storage, etc. He believes in marriage, and he acts as if he thinks of me as his wife, but he is not in a hurry.
I hate all the trouble of moving, packing, going to lawyers, etc. as much as he does, but I am a "take a deep breath and get moving" sort of person--once I've made up my mind, i see no point in procrastinating. Plus right now, if anything happened to either one of us and we had to be hospitalized or whatever, next-of-kin would be a son or daughter who might not welcome the other in the "family" involvement.
At the same time, I don't want to pressure him to hurry up and get married if he is not ready. I don't know if it is reasonable to assume that he has already "proposed" when he said, three years ago, that he wanted us to get married someday, or whether I should continue to insist that he indicate more specific (and immediate) intent to commit to marriage.
Really, I am thinking that I don't want to live with him past this summer if we aren't going to be married this summer. We can, if he prefers, go back to "just dating" and getting together every few evenings and on the weekends. (His house is an hour away, so it wouldn't be as easy as if we were in the same town.) But I just don't see the point in staying together for more than a year and a half if we are not going to be married.
If I tell him this, he will probably go along with whatever date I set for marrying. But I don't want to be the one who proposes and so forth. I mean, I don't want him to feel that he is not ready but he is going to humor me. Does that make sense?
Am I being silly?