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Woman rolls eyes at BF's proposal; 'I begged you for 25 years to marry me; and now you propose for financial reasons?!' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Woman rolls eyes at BF's proposal; 'I begged you for 25 years to marry me; and now you propose for financial reasons?!' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this woman is furious with her partner after he proposes, she asks the internet:

"AITA for rolling my eyes at my boyfriend's proposal because it took 25 years of me begging?"

Yesterday after dinner my (52F) boyfriend of 30 years (53M) proposed to me. He just walked towards me holding a box and said to open it.

It was a ring and I had pictured this moment a million different times but never thought I'd be so apathetic. My boyfriend then said that he was retired now and wants to kick back and enjoy life with me, and would love to do it all with me as his wife.

A nice speech and all but from the 5 year mark of our relationship onwards, I had been making clear my deep desire to marry, and was consistently dismissed, given empty promises, gaslit.

We had been through the gamut with therapy and one counselor implied that me telling him we needed to go to therapy and getting his butt on the couch still means nothing if his mind has been made up.

I was in denial about the fact he was just giving me the false illusion of progress to stall.My boyfriend and I have 4 kids. The oldest 3 are adults, while the youngest is 15F ( was sleeping over elsewhere when this all went down).

All of our kids went to a private school filled with typical Southern soccer parents. I had to endure PTA moms' jabs about me not sharing a last name with my kids. Preteen years were hell because the other kids would taunt my kids by saying "Your dad would rather sin and go to hell than marry your mom!"

My BF's mom would tell him marriage would be selfish on my part; it is just a piece of paper. My BF ended up rising up the ranks until he became an executive. I was a SAHM so I felt like there was always a power imbalance, exasperated by the fact I could be tossed any time.

I partly did stay because I wanted my kids to have the best life and because I felt lucky and proud to be partnered with such an intelligent, successful man, but also because I loved him.

These past few years my boyfriend's career has taken a downturn. He will never be poor, but the company he was part of took a nosedive during 2020 and he had made enemies out of associates/ board members.

He decided to step back from his role and take the generous severance agreed upon. Now he is living off his investments and wants to relax. I did not like how his career ended and how he treated people and had been deciding whether I wanted to leave and find somebody else after our youngest turns 18.

So the proposal was a shock because of his financial crisis. I should hope that he noticed I have avoided conversations about the future as of late.

He rattles on about downsizing "our" house so we can travel and also cutting back on our other expenses, but we're not married so it's all his money/ house anyway.He did notice my eye roll and was offended. He asked what's wrong and I said that suddenly now that he's downsizing I'm good enough to marry.

He got mad and said that now that he's downsizing and no longer an executive, I suddenly think our relationship is disrespectful. And started implying I was a gold digger. I was so angry I walked out and said I might just go out looking for a respectful relationship because I don't know what respect is anymore. AITA?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

tamj1313 writes:

So you have not had your own career? Being an unmarried stay at home mom might have put you in serious financial jeopardy.

You have no retirement or social security benefits of your own. It sounds like your name is not on the house documents and you are probably not listed on his retirement account either.

There is a lot of important missing information regarding your own financial situation here that should be investigated prior to you making any further changes or decisions.

Consult a divorce lawyer asap to find out where you currently stand and whether or not the 25 years you have invested in this relationship have entitled you to any assets or financial support. They can advise you on your best next steps.

If you are serious about ending this relationship, make sure you go about it in the best possible manner. You might need to briefly marry him. Good luck!

starrydust writes:

ESH. You waited 20 years to get a marriage proposal & now you’re angry about it. I’m honestly baffled why you allowed yourself to get to this place where you resent your partner so much.

Your partner sounds like a selfish guy who appears not to have respected your wishes nor cared about making you happy all these years. I don’t know where you live, but your situation would be considered common law marriage in many places, so you’d be entitled to a split in assets as if you were married.

knoff7 writes:

I went searching and scrolling to see if anyone said a comment like this before I could. You beat me to it by 3 hours.

OP should be ashamed of herself; both her and the dumb man she had kids with should be embarrassed and utterly ashamed of themselves for fg around and finding out now.

I wouldn’t have wait beyond a few years and the only reason I waited for 5 with my first marriage was because I was still in school full-time with no job and trying to graduate.

I divorced him because he abused me horribly in many different ways and without him I’m living my best life and thriving. With my second, last and real marriage my husband asked me within 4 MONTHS for me to marry him. I was engaged a year due to us being in a LDR but it was well worth it.

This story hurts on a very, very personal level because I have a family member who begged my cousin to marry her and he constantly refused her because “we already have kids and we don’t need to be married”.

She cried every day and they have 4 children who are all adults. She’s so beaten down by my fd up cousin that he left her, married someone else within a week of knowing her, got divorced and crawled back to her AND SHE TOOK HIM BACK EVEN WHEN THEIR KIDS SAID NOT TO.

This is the reality OP lives in and she made the gravest mistake to give up everything to a pos that just used her the whole time.

They’re both so wrong here but I’m angrier at her because she should’ve never had kids with someone who always thought she was a gold digger. I’m angry she didn’t stand up for herself and now she’s eyeballs deep in stress and could be homeless tomorrow. ESH SO HARD.

sora writes:

ESH. I think your response was the honest collective disappointment and hurt of 25 years of being rejected my this man for a legal commitment you deeply wanted.

A proposal at 52/53 is obviously going to feel different, and he’s a fool for not recognizing that. At 52, it’s a different experience. While your friends are all renewing their vows or remarrying for the second time, it’s just not the same as the excitement and celebration you were longing for and asked for.

Twenty five years is a long time to not be deemed “good enough” for marriage. That will wear on you. And the fact that you never developed a career was not a good decision given the fact that he didn’t commit to you. Be sure to teach your daughters to do differently.

All this being said, I think you need to take some time to really think about this because your life will be considerably worse if you leave him because you never married. You have no entitlement to any shared assets, no sufficient income, and no way to live to the standard of living of which you are accustomed.

I would suggest you circle back with your boyfriend and tell him how you feel about all of this. Let him see and feel how hurt you are.

Say something like this, “I was really surprised at your proposal because I had given up on hoping and praying you would commit to be my husband, and solidify our family.

All these years - 25 -that we’ve been together I dreamed of the day you would look into my eyes and tell me you couldn’t live without me. That you were grateful for me birthing and raising our four children and supporting your career while sacrificing my own.

But right now I just feel sad. All these years you never considered me good enough to marry after everything and I don’t know how to process that. I do want to marry you.

I’ve committed my entire life to you, but a piece of me is heartbroken that I had to wait 25 years. I won’t be a young bride who can wear any dress. I won’t have the same last name as my children, which caused me a lot of pain while they were in school. And I’m mourning that.”

You need to marry him for your own benefit. It’s sucks that it’s taken this long, but as so many posters pointed out, you are also at fault for the situation.

You are responsible your life as well, and choosing to be a SAHM with no marriage commitment was incredibly risky. You should not have had four children. You should have stopped and demanded marriage or walked away, but none of that matters right now.

It’s enraging because you have no other option. But women often find themselves in less than ideal situations when they’ve made life decisions like this.

I’m so sorry. I wish you all the best. Get married soon and have whatever wedding you want. Throw a big party, travel with him for the next couple of decades and consider this a fresh start. Make him buy you a BIG ring. I know this sucks, but use it as a lesson for your girls and get that title you always deserved.

stardustdark writes:

YTA. It’s been a while since I’ve read such a narcissistic text. So you had a normal life except for the marriage status, was always treated fairly, your kids are well provided for, you never had financial troubles… and all that is trash because you weren’t married?

“I could be tossed any time” - when has he shown that to be true? Or is that just your fear and fixation with the marriage status? You had 4 kids. Are you sure you could just “be tossed” like you didn’t matter?

But the worst part comes with you saying that you stayed with him first because of WHO HE WAS and what he did for your kids and second because you loved him. You are also considering leaving him because he is no longer the super successful executive from before.

As for a reality check: you are a woman in your fifties who doesn’t work and has always lived with the money of your husband - yes, your husband, because that’s basically what he is. Not legally, but practically.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with living like that if you both agreed to it. And even if you want to bash and resent him during your writing, there are still signs that he considers your choices and preferences when dealing with money...

and likes to be with you, like when you said he wishes to spend the rest of his life and money with you as his wife (like he always did) and when he talks about what you have as a couple as your assets as well (our house).

Do you really expect to find someone better than him with this context? That is probably not happening. Men probably wouldn’t want to get involved in a serious, long term relationship with someone in this situation. Not those with a stable life, that is.

Truth be told, you are absolutely fixated on the status of “marriage” and completely forgot what it entails or means.

You’ve been married all this time in practice, your kids were treated with the best, you had all comfort you could ask for and never needed to work, your husband wishes to be with you as you grow old together and all you care about is “the piece of paper”. Your husband understands marriage much better than you.

But oh well, go ahead and throw everything into the fire. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

potenteacup writes:

NTA. This sounds like a typical 'pat the dog' gesture. I had an uncle that was with his girlfriend for 20+ years and once he got to his mid 40s started talking about marrying her to "reward her for her loyalty".

It was sickening that this woman that had been a part of the family longer than any of his brother's wives, had stood by his side through addiction and loss and the tests of time, was being treated as though she was finally worthy of my then past his prime, washed up old uncle.

As if he was some great prize she needed to dedicate over 20 years of love and loyalty to even begin to earn the legal title of his wife, which was so easily afforded to every other woman marrying into the family.

It's insulting. Both for her and for you. OP, I hope you find your happiness, in whatever form it takes. Whether you wait for your son to turn 18 or you leave him tomorrow or you don't leave him at all and settle into married life with him. I personally don't think he deserves you.

Not after subjecting you to humiliation year after year after year and also subjecting his own children to the shame of having an unwed mother (despite that not being something one should be shamed for or ashamed of).

You have spent so much of your life sacrificing for him and for your children, I truly wish you peace and happiness in whatever you decide.

And now OP's update:

At the time of my original post, my boyfriend and I had not spoken since the engagement fight. I've been with him long enough to know that when he goes and closes the bedroom door before I get in that's a signal that I should sleep in one of the guest rooms so I did that.

However this morning I broke the ice. I told him about how dismissed I felt over the years. I also said that we are both in our 50s and these last few years have taught us that people at work who kiss the ground you walk on one day can easily turn on you the next.

And true partners in life are valuable and hard to find, so I wished he'd treat me like I'm valued. Instead he treats me like he thinks prettier, better, and just as loving is always around the corner.

I apologized for the eye roll but told him that if he wants marriage, I want a quick committed timeline and genuine happiness from him to be marrying me. I don't need a big party.

He listened to me and finally asked if this was about the money/ security. He told me that being an executive's girlfriend required things of me, but if I wanted to work I could have. He said he doesn't think I'm grateful enough for the position in society I was in due to his career.

But that he's not mad about the eye roll- he said he didn't succeed by being that sensitive.

He went on to say I was not his prisoner so I can leave at any time. But to remember he won't tolerate being made my prisoner either via manipulation. He said that for what it's worth, the engagement ring is mine and I could do whatever I wanted with it.

He will also not be accused of not providing for his daughter so be assured he won't shirk child support. But that he felt what I said before was emotional blackmail.

So he no longer wants to go forward with marrying but says if I'd like to travel with him that's fine. Him traveling is non negotiable and so if I wanted to get a job it would have to be a remote job.

It was a sad conversation and I spent a few hours alone after that.I felt I had nothing to lose so I just asked him if he would support me getting an associate's, but that most associate's for technical careers were in person. He then dropped the bombshell that if I wasn't traveling with him he wasn't going to go those periods without sex.

I was astounded by his callousness because he's back to take it or leave it. We fought again with me saying we're all feeling the effects of age, I've supported him through health issues, and if he thinks he can just find somebody who has that loyalty I've shown him, he's wrong.

At this point I'm looking for ways out. I can't say I haven't been tempted to say I'll travel with him and try to get a remote job but also realize how resentful I am that he continues to need to have the power in the relationship. I don't think I'll ever know my value truly, but something telling me there has to be better out there, at least in a partner.

Update 2:

It's been over a month since I last posted and my life has changed drastically. For those who didn't see my previous posts, my boyfriend of 30 years proposed after I had begged him for 25 years and I had rolled my eyes because it took 25 years and him not being an executive anymore. In response, he retracted the proposal.

I really wish this update could have been positive. But I'm not doing well. But what remains is hope. Hope in the kindness of others- my grown kids, employers, courts, even my kids' dad.

Hope in the value of love that I've given so freely to my kids' dad. Because I was raised to believe even those who don't appreciate the love I've given them will eventually self actualize and pay it back.

Here's what has happened since. Since my kids' dad accused me of trying to keep him an emotional prisoner- I tried to show him I valued his freedom. I gave him his space and showed that I could live life without trapping him.

I started doing that right after our discussion. His reaction was anger. After our talk he started glaring and picking fights over everything- the speed at which I did housework, my spending ( within his allowance), and cut it to nearly 0. Asked for the ring back during an argument.

I took the comments to my posts to heart. In particular, advice telling me that if badgered I should refuse to leave the house. Just a few days after our conversation about the engagement he picked a fight and accused me of ignoring him. He said he wanted me out. I said no- I deserved to be here.

He responded by having a lawyer send me a notice telling me to vacate that day. I happened so quickly I was too shocked to react. My kids were torn between " dad's bluffing" and " try to leave." But now he's filed to evict.

It's up to the courts now. I tried looking for legal aid, but the person I talked to was cold and implied that my status as a mom and partner won't protect me from eviction.

I've tried sending out applications for office jobs. But was told by friends to be kind to myself because if one rejection comes, something better will be along.

My adult kids suggested I apply for SNAP ( food stamps and I haven't out of shame. They said if I do and "dad" and I no longer live together the government will help me collect child support.

My grown kids said they can't risk upsetting " dad". My oldest told me a gas station was hiring night shift. And he'd try to help once he graduated. Just when I decided to just be grateful for the job, they rejected me after an interview where I feel I spoke well. That hurt.

But I keep having hope because every day there are new remote and non remote jobs posted, saying they'll train the right candidate.I am applying to every corporation it seems. With hope that one of them will take a chance on me, give me an interview that I will ace. See me for somebody pulling herself up.

I know my boyfriend wants me to beg. But I don't know if that would make him drop the suit. I just don't know anymore. I am in my corner of the house trying to keep things normal and applying like it's a job. I don't know what else to say but that ends my update for now. I maintain hope and dignity.

Update 3:

The woman at the legal aid place I visited said there's no hope of me making a common law claim because it's Arkansas.

and because around the time my second was born my boyfrined made me affirm in writing that despite living together we are not married, not holding ourselves to be married, and I should not expect him to give me any support ( besides support for minor children) if we break up.

Unless of course we did end up marrying and registering a marriage with a state, which he promised at that time to consider.He did this when he expected to take a job in a common law state ( but that didn't end up happening since he got promoted here).

I just think for me to be committed as something I need to be passionate about it and it would likely be in a marketing field. At this time I just don't think it would be a good fit for my needs and where I want to go from here.I have applied to around 100 marketing jobs for big corporations and small ones as well as remote. Ideally I'd like a remote position since I work better when I am comfortable in my setting.

My skills of competency are mostly around marketing and maybe something like investor relations, which my boyfriend's sister was in for around 8 years before she got married and changed to another role.

I love creating beautiful imaging and speaking to people, even if they are strangers ( I know it doesn't come off that way because I've been through a lot emotionally lately).I don't think I would be a personality fit around tradespeople.

We would likely have nothing in common ever and they run the gamut in terms of background that made them choose trades over an office job that climbs the corporate ladder.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have been up and applying for more jobs again, but was hoping to have a job where I wouldn't necessarily have to be in person because I still have a 15 year old at home.

She turns 16 soon, and her dad promised her a car, but he's known to retract or delay gifts so I don't know.I am also concerned because a lot of parents who send their kids to daycares are often the ones who go to work sick, and then their kids are also sick and are sent to daycares.

I don't have the best immune system and have suffered from health issues and sensitivities as of late, so I do not want to get something and worse to pass it on to my daughter.

His former colleagues sent him a letter ( unsigned) saying how they were glad the board of directors pushed him out. He wants to leave the country soon to travel. I don't think he cares.

Some of the women in my group have heard my story and either said they support me but cannot do so employment wise or reputation wise, or gave me coupons for blowouts and botox and then after I continued to show how desperate I was for help, they have been planning events without me.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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