Are you tired of waiting for your man to propose marriage? Are you wondering why your man hasn’t proposed marriage? If you answered, “yes” your not alone. Many women stay with a man for years but never getting proposed to and wonder why? To help understand why some men don’t propose marriage and what you can do if your man doesn’t propose marriage, I have interviewed therapist Mike Grabill.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I’ve been providing psychotherapy since the 1980s and I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Addictions Counselor in Colorado. I’m comfortable working with men’s issues, relationships, addictions, parent child relationships and stress management for law enforcement, fire and first responders. I’ve also been married 28 years this August and I did propose to my wife.”
What are some reasons that men don’t propose marriage?
“From what I’ve discovered, men don’t propose marriage for a number of reasons. One, they may not see the proposal for marriage to be valid, “Why get married when we can live together?” Perhaps their parents weren’t married and the marriage institution is not significant to them. There are also two other issues that come to mind as to why some men do not propose marriage. The first is that they are afraid of that level of commitment that their marriage hopefully calls for, and they are afraid that level of commitment is beyond what they’re able to uphold. This may be based on past relationship experiences. Experiences with family discord and parental divorce centering around trust. Or it is too great of a challenge to be totally committed in all areas of life that marriage demands for. Sometimes we forget that marriage is a contract before God, Man and the State. Men, sometimes fail to see that both parties, the man and the woman, are bound to the contract. Both have as much to win and lose as the other does. Let’s face it; being married is hard as well as fantastic, all at the same time. And that’s in a good marriage!”
What type of impact can a man who doesn’t propose marriage have on the relationship?
“Probably the biggest impact I’ve seen on a relationship where there is no proposal, is that the woman feels, “I’m not good enough.” Believe it or not women and men are different. This is one of the things men deal with in therapy. Men ask the question, “Why is proposing and getting married so important to her.” My answer is, “I don’t know, ask her.” It starts them talking and a proposal allows talking to continue about the relationship. Proposal can set the tone for the marriage. It can be a springboard to a new level within the relationship. I know a couple that have lived together for close to twenty years. Most folks who know them see them as a married couple. After all the years together, the woman has confessed she still doesn’t know why he won’t marry her. He just tells her, “I’m not.” He has a lot of fear of the commitment and she wonders how she can measure up enough for a proposal. That’s a tough way to continue in a relationship, especially after all the years of building memories together.”
What can a woman do if she wants the man she loves to propose but he won’t?
“What’s a woman to do about not being proposed by the man she loves? That’s a great question. My knee jerk reaction is to tell him its over. If it is already a live in relationship, there needs to be a commitment made on the level of marriage. I’m not sure what the latest research seems to show, but live in relationships have a disadvantage over marriages and it has to do with commitment. By design, we all function with symbols that have significance and one of those symbols of commitment is marriage. If the woman can convince the man for a proposal and marriage, that should be the aim. Sometimes it takes a third party like a counselor, rabbi or pastor to help in this area. But, even if that is pursued, it still may not be worked out. I do think men who have this fear of commitment need to take a close look at themselves and do a personal inventory as to why trust is such an issue. That takes time and energy. But, when you’re talking about the love of your life, I believe it is important and worthwhile.”
Thanks Mike for doing the interview on why some men do propose marriage. For more information on Mike Grabill or his work you can check out his website on www.mlgbehavhlth.com.
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