Here's the story:
My bf of over 3 years has been living with me for 18 months. We are both in our 30s, happy, and talk about how this is it for us, relationship-wise. We are in it for the long haul. Only problem: he does not want to get married and I really do. Marriage is important to me.
We have had a lot of talks recently and his vibe is somewhere between "not ready" and "commitment as far as marriage is stupid so why bother". After many long discussions I realized that I love him enough to stay and take marriage off the table, even though I want it.
He says he doesn't know if he'll ever want to get married. (Side note, we both do not want children.)
Now the issue. I got paperwork from my insurance and was looking through it. I made a joke about how "my parents are going to be really comfortable if I die, especially in an accident. They can mourn me in style" because of my insurance policies and the added "accidental death" insurance I have.
My boyfriend and I then got talking and he mentioned how I should really change my beneficiary to him. I said NO. Absolutely not. I told him that I would never make anyone who isn't blood or legal family my beneficiary. I said I would add him in the future if one day he decided he wanted marriage with me but as it stands now my insurance will remain as is.
I also told him that since I own the house we live in myself (I bought it before we got together) that I would never add him to the title without marriage.
AITA? He is now mad and saying I'm an a$$hole and holding marriage as a "bargaining chip". We never have to get married, but I am not comfortable tying him to my finances without being married.
(For added info: I also have a lot of money tied up in my house. He does pay me to live here. My mortgage is almost $1200 and he pays me $400 a month towards that. I also have a lot of money invested in my house - when I bought it I used $42,000 that I saved for the down payment. That was all my money and is now equity in the house that he had no part of.)
NTA. He wants to benefit from marriage (being a legal spouse) without actually getting married? Yeah no, hard pass.
And if something does happen and they break up, she could be screwed! OP is doing everything right. My mom spent years in real estate and when my sister was getting serious with her first BF, she told both us to NEVER buy a house with a non-spouse or put a non-spouse on a house we owned.
She saw too many chaotic situations resulting from non-married couples buying a house together/adding someone to the deed. It pretty much always ended with one of the people losing financially and the house being sold as quickly as possible and usually for less than it was worth.
Often that was because one in the couple wanted the money fast and strong-armed the other into settling for less.
NTA. I don't think you are using this as a bargaining chip but rather being cautious and smart. You guys have not been together long enough to tie your finances together. He may change his mind about marriage eventually and you may change your mind and add him without it. Or you may not on both counts. But right now it's absolutely too soon.
He wants the perks of being married like sharing in the wealth, being a beneficiary of your life insurance without the obligations. Pretty reasonable that you're objecting to that. If he wants to stay single, that's fine but he shouldn't expect you to agree that it's OK to hand over your nest egg or give him the proceeds of your life insurance. NTA
NTA in the least. The house does not belong to him. And if you did add his name to the house and something happened to him- who are his beneficiaries? Would you then be stuck owning your own home jointly with his parents? There are only downsides for you if you did that.
The hardest parts about marriage are children and co-mingling finances. With no marriage and no children you can avoid the financial issues as well. And good for you to keep on top of your documents.
He's not even paying half the mortgage and wants to be the beneficiary??
For some perspective, I decided when I was twelve that I never want to get married. Then I met someone who I was sure to spend the rest of my life with. He wanted to be married. We discussed it and I decided that, since we plan to spend our lifetimes together, getting married would be beneficial legally. We are also childfree.
When he got into a near deadly motorcycle accident, it was very beneficial to be his spouse for legal and medical decisions.
If your partner truly plans to spend his life with you, he needs to consider all the benefits of a legal union versus the cons of that legal union. I found more benefits than cons. Also, it made my husband feel so good that I changed my stubborn mind just for him specifically. NTA. You need to have a deeper conversation regarding his reasoning.
I listened to a lot of your feedback and talked to my BF after my post. He seemed weird in our talk. (He's been weird a lot lately, but I have been excusing it.)
He told me that he said to put him on as an insurance beneficiary partially as a joke but then when I "went off" on my tangent (including offering up that he'll never go on my house title either even though he never mentioned it) that he got offended and reacted poorly.
He said he really did think I was going off about all that in retaliation for his "no to marriage" talks so he was left with a bitter taste. Which...I get. I can be more forceful than I realize and I am naturally passive aggressive.
He said I didn't have to put him on anything but he needs me to understand that I am it for him. He wants to makes his life with me. Things seemed to be better after this.
That weekend he asked if I wanted to go on a hike. It was peak season for the leaves changing and there is this waterfall he suggested we go to. We get to the waterfall and he pulls an envelope out of his jacket with a tiny bow on it and says it's a present for me.
I open it and it's a receipt from a jewelry store. I was confused but I see he had the date of purchase highlighted and circled with a heart - it was early August (before the talks we had where he said he never wanted to get married). I turn and there he is with a ring. I said yes.
He said he knew I would never believe that he had the ring before all this without the receipt. That his attitude and comments when I started asking about marriage was to fool me so I didn't get suspicious because this was the plan all along - he wanted an autumn proposal in a beautiful location since it's my favorite season.
Money he has been saving after moving in with me (since I charge him a much smaller amount than he was previously paying) went to the ring. He saved money for over a year because he knew when he moved in with me that he was going to eventually ask me to marry him.
So honestly this is the best case scenario! We talked after too. When we get married we will add each other as beneficiaries on our insurance policies. And we decided there's no need to put him on my title even after we get married.
I really appreciate everyone's comments on that last post! I read all of them and most people were genuinely concerned and offered wonderful advice and support.
Oh man, what a bumbling way to hide a proposal. This will make a great story down the line though and I bet you two will laugh about it quite a bit. Glad it worked out.
We learned fron Chandler that this is not how one covers an intent to propose. Anyway, congrats on actually communicating!
Congratulations. But I really wish he had realized that you can surprise someone with an engagement without forcing them to go through the emotional toll of thinking their partner is anti-marriage. He could have told you he was open to marriage but wasn’t ready yet, and still surprised you. He really created a lot of unnecessary drama and angst with his approach.
I don't understand how people can be soo foolish. He risked a break-up level fight to trick you? ugh.
What do you think? Is this true love? Or a financial (and emotional) disaster waiting to happen?