- 5 years ago
Many posters on this Waiting Bee board have expressed the occasional anxious, spirally self-doubt of “GASP! If he hasn’t proposed after this long, does it mean he’s not sure he wants to be with me?! How can he not know already?!” – and I am no different. But then we all come to our senses, quickly enumerate the many ways our SOs are really great and of the many desirable qualities about our relationship and that he does have some reasons that, as difficult as it is for us to accept, are/have contributed to the delay. (Afterall, if there wasn’t a truckload of good/understandable reasons for the plight we’re in, we wouldn’t want to get married, right?!)
In the week I’ve been around this board, I’ve seen freak outs run the gamut from ‘IS IT ME?!’ to ‘OMG, THAT’S IT! I’m done waiting!’ to ‘I can’t keep my mouth shut!!!’ to (IMO), the most heartbreaking of them all, ‘I am so stressed over this, I cried (but can’t/shouldn’t tell the person I consider most important in my life).’ On another wedding board, I believe the call this state ‘Relationship Purgatory’ which summarizes these feelings we Waiting Bees seem to have. At the root of many of our posts/responses, what we are often discussing/venting is what WE want and we so often grapple with compromising on what our SOs want – which is typically to surprise us, to spoil us with a certain type of ring/wedding that often requires a tidy sum of moohla, which means time and patience must be mustered on both parties, but mostly of us who are in the dark for the sake of the ‘surprise’ factor.
And so, since misery loves company, we become WaitingBees and pay lip service to understanding and appreciating our SOs’ desire to do these nice things for us, but for those of us who have been waiting for a while for him to ‘come around’, we also must balance our patience with the resentment of ‘I’ve ALREADY been patient! Why do I have to be MORE patient so that you can look like the good guy?!’ and although I hate keeping score and hate when people whine ‘It’s SO unfair!’, we all seem to be have these thoughts lurking deep inside us when the waiting gets hard.
An interesting development of joining this board is that your posts/responses (and writing my own), I continually play devil’s advocate on behalf of your SOs and find myself updating my perception of what my guy’s delay is and am starting to wonder if his problem is just him – and that I am wanting him to change his stripes in order to propose (but then change them right back since a striped tiger is what I’ve fallen in love with, yknow?).
Your stories may all be different but for me, I am dealing with a naïve and passive man who dislikes conflict, rejection and being judged. Of course, the upside of this is that he is laidback, a great listener and, due to his rather introverted and timid ways, is quite wise; for manic, uptight me, he is a cool drink of water. But as you can imagine, these qualities have interfered with not only proposing but his career and health. (Note: I have been married before, to a go-getter like myself, and found his tenacity to be a huge liability because he had little concern for merging goals or compromising occasionally for my benefit.)
After the first few years of our relationship, I became fed up with the consequences of my guy’s passivity and fear of rejection and used a delicate combination of pushing and confidence-boosting to move him in directions he wanted to go but was too timid to pursue. (Even his boss tells him he needs to be more assertive!) I can honestly say the efforts of my aggression have lead him to a life he loves, which largely include regarding my kids and I as family but every large component of happiness he has: his job, his hobby, living in his dream city, his much improved health, becoming a couple, moving in together … ALL of it required me to push him through his insecurities and narrow-view of how things ‘should’ be.
Which reminds me: My guy is quite a unique conundrum as he worries about appearances but lets his insecurities block him from trying to remedy whatever appearance he’s uncomfortable with. For example, he is not ok with us having lived ‘in sin’ for the past 3 years. However, won’t propose because he feels he is not ok with not being able to provide for my kids and I, like he feels a husband ‘should’. When I get past all his defense mechanisms, he time and time again has expressed fear that he is not ‘good enough’ to be married to me and being able to provide would help him get closer to who he thinks the world expects him to be.
I have pointed out that he and I are all that matter and he gets irritated, feeling judged by me and defense mechanisms return as he says “I know! But it does! And you’re one to talk – you settled for your ex and I don’t like how you compromise yourself so much! I need to be the best for you so that you’re not compromising for me like you compromised for him.” And since I see this is a pattern of his personality and not localized to our relationship, (I can’t apply for that job, they’ll see my name, expect me to speak Spanish and then not offer me the job* when they find out I don’t.) I am starting to wonder if hoping that he’ll get past his issues long enough to propose (he has a ring, but it was given to us by my parents, so he didn’t actual take initiative on this) is reasonable. (I once suggested that I propose, and his concern with appearances flared up. The man is ‘supposed to’ propose and if I did it, it’d be a form of judging him as ‘not man enough’ to do it – although, I can’t help but thinking, ‘If the shoe fits’ –hehe)
And here I sit, less worried that his lack of proposal indicates that he’s lying to me when he says he wants to marry me and will propose soon but that he’s just being his striped-tiger self and I’m gonna have to figure out, like every other huge thing in his life, how to prod him to do it? Since the job situation has remedied itself, he is feeling more ‘worthy’ lately and has been more mushy and helpful, as was mentioned as a ‘sign’ in another post.
I got fed up recently and he said he was planning to do it this month but wanted it to be just us and somewhere ‘outside’ and that he was waiting for ‘the right moment’ to appear to him. Since my kids will be with us on the 30th and 31st, that means he’s got this weekend to do it. But will he? He’s been saying it’d be ‘Soon.’ for years and updated that language in May to “Thinking of a proposal idea that will be ‘good enough’ for you” … so … maybe, his stripes will change?
But if 12:01am Nov 1 gets here without a proposal, then what?
Do I mortify him by proposing?
Do I assume he was lying and walk out on him for that, when it may just be his striped-tiger ways?
Sigh… I guess I’ve got 8 days to figure it all out. But, hopefully, introducing this possibility behind your guy’s delay will help you stay calm until he gets all his ducks in a row. If this relationship and my (failed) marriage taught me anything, it’s that marriage is not about changing your partner but about adapting yourself to them. It has been mentioned that all these years waiting is good practice for being married but I’m of the opinion that marriage isn’t something people should practice but, to quote one of my guy’s favorite characters, “Do or do not. There is no try.” 😉
*He did apply for that job, got it, started with a dozen other people, had his one-year anniversary there last week, recently got a promotion, a raise and won an award for being the best person in his department for the entire year. Ya, he’s awesome but he’s insecure.