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Woman refuses to define relationship with BF of 7 years as 'serious' if he won't get married. AITA? UPDATED

Woman refuses to define relationship with BF of 7 years as 'serious' if he won't get married. AITA? UPDATED

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"AITA for not defending our relationship more?"

I (44f) live in a small town, population about 2000. I’ve been dating my boyfriend (52m) for 8 years. We were at a holiday party in December with probably 200 guests. Someone asked when we were planning to get married. Bf said never. People continued to press the subject, so I said that neither of us wanted to get married currently but if it changed we’d be sure to let them know. So bf said, “If you ever change your mind about marriage don’t bother talking to me about it. Just move on and find a man who wants to marry you.”

Everyone was staring. I cried. We went home. He has brought it up a couple of times since then but it’s not really something I see a point in discussing. He’s made it clear from day one that he doesn’t want to get married. I don’t want to either. I wouldn’t have said what he did in public but it’s the truth. The way he said it embarrassed me and it hurt my feelings that he was so flippant about breaking up and going our separate ways after 8 years of being in love but again it’s nothing I didn’t know from private conversations.

Every Tuesday we have dinner with friends at this Mexican restaurant. So last night at dinner a guy that I know socially from living in the same small town walked up and said that he knew I was exclusively dating bf but he just wanted to say that I should call him if I ever decided that I wanted a “serious relationship." Then he looked at bf and said, nothing personal man. I know we go way back (they are about the same age and hung out in high school and in their early twenties) but if she ever decides she wants more than casual dating, it would be over between you two anyway.

After we got home, bf was upset with me for not making it clear that we have more than a casual relationship. I told him that I wasn’t the one who made our relationship status unclear, and if he felt something was unclear or misunderstood he could have set things straight himself.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

HoshiJones said:

That's HILARIOUS. Your boyfriend acted like a prize dickhead, and now he's upset over the fallout. F--k him. He's shown he's plenty capable of bragging about how he'd never marry you, so let him deal with the reactions. NTA.

No-Comfortable-3918 said:

NTA. Your boyfriend is on record stating publicly that he will step aside if you want to marry anyone. Every potential suitor has his explicit permission to seek your hand in marriage.

Curious-One4595 said:

NTA. Your boyfriend's behavior at the party was crass and uncalled for. Apparently he lacks the basic social skill and cognition to understand that you were giving a canned polite response to close the uncomfortable topic and move on to other topics. He totally missed the cue, and spoke in a way which degraded you. So, he has no right to be upset that his ill-chosen and uncalled for words have come back to bite him in the a$s. Though I'm not sure he has the social skills to fix this himself.

Gnd_flpd said:

Lol!!! NTA. I'm wondering if your SO comments at the holiday party got back to that friend. "So bf said, “If you ever change your mind about marriage don’t bother talking to me about it. Just move on and find a man who wants to marry you.” So he totally forgot saying that, right? Or does he think you're so settled and complacent about it you won't go anywhere else. Hell, let him wonder.

Life-Yogurtcloset-98 said:

The fact you're still with your BF after he humiliated you probably gave him an ego boost and then that guy just deflated it. Not getting married is fine, but the way your bf said you can be discarded? Fuck that noise. NTA, but you need to reflect.

countryboy1101 said:

NTA - the other guy would have never known about your "casual" relationship if your BF had not spoken about private matters in public. He opened the door and advised that you could leave anytime. I for 1 would take him up on it regardless of if you marry in the future or not. You speak of LOVE between the two of you but this does not sound like he loves you. It sounds like he wants you around but does not want a commitment in any form.

UPDATE:

After posting I did a lot of reflection on our relationship. One day I just packed what I had at his house and brought it all to my house while he was at work. When he came home, I told him that I had moved my things out and I wasn’t going to be around anymore. I gave him his house key.

Bf feels blindsided by my moving out. He doesn’t understand how we went from happy and peaceful to me moving out and living an hour+ away when essentially nothing changed. I still have feelings for him but it wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected it to be.

I have to many hard feelings towards him for the way he treated me and my kids, especially in the beginning of our relationship to try to salvage anything between us. And I most definitely have too much resentment towards his youngest son (24 m) to ever consider working on things and trying to be anything that resembles a family with either of them. 8 years and I packed every thing I had there in 2 hours, like I was never there.

During the first couple of years I did tell him how he made me feel, but his answer was always this is the deal, take it or leave it. It took 8 years but I decided to leave it. I suppose at some point I emotionally checked out of the relationship and just sort of let things be. Many of the issues have just sorted themselves out with time but the underlying hurt is still raw.

My house really doesn’t feel like home to me anymore. I’ve been staying with my children (who are away from home attending college). I’ve completely moved out of my house and I officially put it on the market last Friday. For now I’ll just commute to work until I figure out what I want to do going forward.

Here's what top commenters had to say about the update:

Legohenry said:

He told you to take it or leave it and you left it. Good for you. You deserve better.

Aloreiusdanen said:

Sorry it took you 8 yrs, but I'm glad you have found the strength to move forward. Time to put all your energy into yourself for a while. Find out who you are again. Pick up some hobbies that you placed on the back burner. Maybe in a few years' time, you'll find the right guy. Best of luck!

tuna_tofu said:

"After we got home, bf was upset with me for not making it clear that we have more than a casual relationship." NTA-No you really dont. If an actual marriage had gotten to this point, you would be filing for divorce about now. Not like he "checked out" but more like he was never really in it. That isnt living. That is stuck in some half-as$ed limbo that never changes. Well done you.

BeatingsGalore said:

Something did change. He talked down to you and humiliated you in public. He also thought that was an ok think for him to do to you. That is not acceptable behavior. You didn't need to clarify your relationship with him, because he already did it. IN PUBLIC.

If you were in a serious relationship, he would be vastly more concerned about how he treated you in order to keep you, marriage or no. So he was extremely clear. I'm glad for you. You have to take care of yourself. Enjoy your future! NTA.

Think_Effectively said:

Things will get better. Take the time to figure things out. Enjoy your new life!

scifichick119 said:

I know everything hurts right now but you will get through this and time is the greatest healer. Just work on realizing yourself worth because you are worth a lot. Next relationship make sure that you get all the things you want and need.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one throughout. What's your advice for these exes?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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