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Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 14, 2024 ·  3 min read

What Happens If Your Partner Doesn’t Want Marriage But You Do? – A Therapist Explains

The success of a marriage is determined by numerous factors, including compatibility. Couples should have similar goals, creating a future that aligns for both parties. For example, saying “I do” is a huge milestone in a relationship. A milestone that many people uncompromisingly want to reach. However, a wedding may not be a top priority on everyone’s list. Luckily, experts like Joshua Klapow, a Clinical Psychologist and Host of “The Kurre and Klapow Show,” are here to help couples navigate obstacles like this.

Expert Advice

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Klapow’s advice is simple, urging people to focus on the “why” rather than the “when.” “You need to know exactly where your partner is, and why they are where they are. So much matters not on what your partner states they feel at the moment but what they are willing to consider down the road,” explained Klapow.

Open to Marriage

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He notes that people may change their views or perspectives over time, evolving as the relationship grows. “A partner may say they don’t believe in marriage but are willing to consider it. Or a partner may say they need to think about it. A partner should be able to tell you why they don’t believe in marriage. All of these gestures tell you your partner is open-minded.” He elaborated.

Klapow further explains there is hope for future marriage if your partner is “willing to state that they love you and while they don’t want to marry now, they are keeping an open mind.” In contrast, a partner who isn’t open to the conversation is likely set on their stance and they aren’t “the partner you want to hope will change.”

Shifting Views on Marriage

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Furthermore, he shares something that is a commonly known but difficult solution. Klapow encourages couples to discuss their views on marriage early in the relationship. “If you get a simple, ‘I don’t believe in it,’ with no dialogue, you have a partner whom for whatever reason is rigid in their beliefs and not willing to grow with you. If you are set on marriage, this is a person who is telling you it is not in their future.” He disclosed. Essentially, having a conversation about marriage can indicate how the relationship’s future may unfold.

Don’t Push Too Hard

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Because people grow, sometimes shifting perspectives, their ideas on marriage change. Therefore, someone who doesn’t believe in marriage may change their opinion when they fall deeply in love with another person. Thereby, prioritizing another person’s wants and needs. However, staying level-headed is important, as focusing on the possibility of change may inadvertently worsen the situation. Klapow continues: “Hoping someone changes is fine. Dating someone with clear understanding that they may or may not change is also fine. Pushing them to change, trying to force them to change, building the relationship around a focus of changing them is a recipe for relationship failure.”

Big Decisions on Both Ends

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Although Klapow encourages couples to talk about the possibility of marriage, he also warns not to have repetitive arguments. Instead, he suggests sharing why marriage is important to you. “They need to see that it is important to you, and they need to see for themselves that marriage is an option.” He said. He also notes that while marriage may be important to you, there’s another aspect to consider. “You must decide – will you be OK with not getting married? It’s your life, your choice.” He concludes. It’s possible to have a long-lasting, committed, and happy relationship without having to first say “I do”.

H/t: Elite Daily

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