Post # 1
So as I mentioned in another post, FI has just recently clammed up on the topic of weddings, when it was something we had been able to discuss before. On the one hand I felt like I should drop it because he clearly needed some space on the topic. On the other, I was nervous about his suddent shift in attitude and inability to even speak about the topic and left wondering what it meant.
So I brought it up last night, which was probably the wrong thing to do. Not that I wanted to get engaged right away, but I was just confused about his recent change in attitude on the topic and wondering if there was anything we needed to discuss, i.e., he was uncomfortable with the spring timeline we’d set.
He basically told me I knew very well that I was causing trouble and ‘attacking’ him when I brought up wedding stuff. I was kind of shocked. If he had said "You know what, you need to give it a rest. I know it’s important to you but I think you bring it up way too much and that’s obnoxious," hey, I would have been fine. Because at least that would have made some sense. But he basically said he thinks I’m attacking him and purposely ‘trying to make him mad’ by speaking about the topic.
I don’t know where he’s coming from with this. The only thing I can conclude is that the topic DOES make him upset/angry, and therefore he assumes it was my intent to make him angry. But seriously, it’s not like I ever bring up the topic in a nasty or attacking way. For example, we went to a wedding last week and saw something particularly cool so I said "Wow, maybe when we get married we can do ____." Again, maybe overboard, but not attacking!
He went to visit his sister recently and she is single and very eager for us to have a wedding. So maybe she put the pressure on and it was just too much, I don’t know. Just not sure what to think here.
Post # 3
Can you provide more information? How old are the two of you and how long have you been dating? That could be a monstrous factor in how he feels about it. Then again if you’re in your 30’s and have been together awhile, I’d say he may have other issues. He may simply not be ready for such a huge committment. I think it’s perfectly valid to want to know where your relationship is going, within the next year, couple of years, etc.
My Fi told me he didn’t want to talk about wedding stuff in the months leading up to the engagement. He felt like I was intruding on *his* job for all that stuff and didn’t want me to leap too fast into wedding stuff without actually being engaged.
Post # 4
I don’t know something doesn’t seem right. Off hand it does sound like commitment issues but I think we need more information in order for us to come up with true opinions.
Post # 5
Sorry! A little summary:
I am 31 and he is 35. We met two and a half years ago and ‘officially’ started dating exclusively 2 years ago. We are both pretty established in our careers and lives at this point.
In the beginning he wasn’t sure about marriage but he slowly came around on the topic, and kind of ‘picked up steam’ in talking about it over time. I think especially because he probably wants kids and, unfortunately, our ability to have them will not be unlimited time-wise.
We both have lifelong best friends that we grew up with, went to college with, still live near us, etc. It just so happens that we all met at the same time (I was out with my best friend and he was out with his at the same bar, I met him and my friend started dating his friend) and so our relationships started at pretty much the exact same time. His friend and my friend are now engaged and will be married this summer. At first this seemed to make him more excited and open to the topic of marriage and he wanted to talk about it more. Then, suddenly, just recently, he clammed up about it.
This led to me asking him why the sudden change, which led to him saying I ‘knew very well’ that I was ‘trying to start a fight’ whenever I brought up marriage, which I in fact did not know and left me confused!
Post # 6
Well, since you are both a little older, I’d say a discussion regarding "where is this going" is perfectly valid.
I don’t get why it was suddenly ok to talk about and suddenly isn’t? I am wondering what scared him off, too?
Could you perhaps get your friends to do a little digging? I hate doing that personally, but I’d ask his friend if there’s a reason for his sudden freak out. Maybe he IS proposing and wants you to back off so he can surprise you. Then again, maybe he’s going "oh crap i don’t want to be married again" and is hoping he comes around to the idea again.
Either way I think you have a right to know if the time you are putting into this relationship is leading somewhere.
I don’t think he should be so defensive when you talk to him about it. You should be able to explain your concerns to him and want to discuss your relationship without him brushing off the subject as you starting a fight.
Post # 7
Well said ejs! I think ejs is totally right so I have nothing to add.
Post # 8
The only other possibility is that he is pulling a Chandler on Friends – he wants to surprise you and is trying to throw you off. However, believing that is the answer for long is a bit risky for all the reasons ejs mentioned….
Post # 9
Well i sure hope the other girls are right when they say they think its a surprise attack. Other wise its probably not a good thing that he is acting like this. When i just read through this my first thought was well maybe since his best friend is getting married he is sharing all his stress with your bf. The wedding planning,cost ect and it is scaring him in a way. Know what i mean? Hmm this is a hard one to figure out and the only on that knows the answers to his actions is himself. I would remain calm and collected for a bit and see where that gets you.
You said that they are getting married over the summer? try dropping things to do with marriage and see if he hints or suggests anything wedding related for example you were at a wedding and you thought that something was a cool idea. Give him the ball field but watch and listen to him. Guys sometimes throw themselves into it head first but after awhile they have time to think about the big life style changes which could possibly scare anyone. Sometimes guys need time to think about the positives that come with marriage not that its game over time.
I couldn’t wait to get my engagment ring and when i did i was on tiop of the world. After some thinking i got a little scared myself knowing this is IT. I had to think to myself and remind myself off all the positive things instead of the not so great things ya know.I am not saying i love my fiance one bit less because i got scared a little. Maybe this is what he is feeling. Girls get scred to its not just guys that do. Stay positive with your chin up. Hope all of it makes sense to you soon..Hugs
Post # 10
When your bf says that you’re attacking him and becomes upset/angry, is he REALLY upset and angry? Like, are YOU really offended and hurt? Is he visibly disturbed? I wonder because if he truly IS that upset, perhaps he feels the pressure of getting married and out of frustration, he cannot wrap his mind around the whole situation. He could probably be wondering about the cost of an engagement ring and be totally stressed out.
On the other hand, I would think that by this stage in your relationship, the "where is this going" talk is inevitable. This may sound dumb, but is he the type of person who is capable of expressing his feelings? With my bf, if he clammed up about something, I can just say, "Listen, there is something bothering you about marriage, I need to know what is wrong so I can stop doing what it is that upsets you." And that opens up the conversation for him to tell me anything that’s on his mind. Let us know what happens!
Post # 11
My personal advice in a situation like this would be to drop *everything* that can remotely be considered wedding related for the next couple of months. Then when you gently try to re-introduce the topic of "Where are we going with this?" in say July or whenever, he definitely can’t accuse you of anything… so if he still acts funny, it’ll be "Houston, we have a problem".
Right now, the problem is that you can’t distinguish between what is you talking about it too much and what is him over-reacting. Take the "you" part out of that equation.
The thing is, doing something like this takes the patience of Job and a sort of Zen-like approach to the future. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about here. I made a rule when I started getting serious with fiance (who is 11 years younger than me) that I would never, ever take the lead on discussions about the future. I didn’t want to think that I’d pushed him into anything.
I felt like our relationship was great (and getting stronger), but I resisted the impulse to do anything but respond to *his* queries about the future. I can’t prove this, but I really think that when girls are hands off, it drives guys crazy. I never would of thought that my FI (who said he didn’t want to get married until he was 30), would propose to me when he was 25. I think it’s partially because I wasn’t tied to the outcome of marriage.
Good luck. I fully appreciate that my approach isn’t for everyone. I only know that it worked really well in our relationship.
Post # 12
I wonder if maybe someone else has started bugging him about this. Like, if his friends are saying, "It’s your turn next!" or his parents are asking, "When are you going to propose, already?" Maybe he’s starting to feel the pressure.
I agree with the advice to let it go for a couple of months, as hard as that may be. If he’s been fine/the same in every other way except in regard to specific wedding talk, he might be struggling with the (very important) decision to propose, and just need some breathing room.
Post # 13
Thanks for all of the insight. I will probably smooth things over this evening and tell him it wasn’t my intent at all to make him upset, and then force (possibly with duct tape,) myself not to speak about it for the next few months at least.
I think he is probably adjusting to the idea of this going from ‘hypothetical’ to ‘real’. He’s agreed to a hypothetical engagement but when it starts to get ‘real’ in terms of actual plans it is a bit different, and I think his best friend doing all of these things has made it much more real. In the end there is no way for me to know if he will make that leap with time but I know that nagging him certainly won’t help, so I just have to wait and see.
Also, in a weird way I kind of think there is a male ego thing going on with his friend being engaged. I don’t know why, just an instinct on my part and the fact that his friend didn’t tell him that he was going to propose so it was a surprise to both of us.
I think possibly it bothers him a little to know that he put me off for awhile when it came to engagement, in comparison to his friend who lavished his girlfriend with the big ring, surprise romantic proposal, etc. I kind of think on some level every guy wants to see themselves as your hero or knight in shining armor, and to some degree I wonder if that made him feel a little bad.
In the end, who knows?
Post # 14
I agree with Doctorgirl and Ejs4y8…
The same rules in your 20’s DO NOT APPLY in your relationship as time goes by. Issues like children, family, become more in the forefront and you simply do not have all the time in the world.
I read an article (geez wish I could quote the author and where it is) which says that a reasonable time frame from meeting to engagement grows smaller with age. A woman in her early to mid twenties can afford (genetically speaking) to date a bit longer than say a woman in her mid thirties..and like ME? I just turned 40….it’s definitely NOT the same playing field. I know as I’ve aged, I’ve become able to pinpoint exactly what kind of person I wanted to be in a relationship with..I agree, would give it till mid summer and mabye even until fall to bring this up. If his WORDS AND ACTIONS do not mesh then, or he becomes more distant that would speak volumes to me and tell me maybe he’s not wanting the same goals and future as you do.
I would also stop immediatley talking about this. And if this guy wants to become the knight, he has the ability to do that any darned second he wishes too. Let it drop on your end though. Just drop the forever talk. He may be feeling pressure from family, and seeing his friend do the lavish proposal. He may just be confused and all this "stuff"going on around him might make him question things or bring up wierd issues he has never thought about before.
for example, my guy has brought up us marrying and planning for some time. No ring as of yet (but sure it’s soon). I finally got fed up and lost it and let him have it..I told him under no circumstance is he to bring up marriage or engagement until the day it ACTUALLY HAPPENS. I told him he was ruining the romance of it by giving me confusing signals and not doing it and to just let us be who we are together..a fabulously in love and happy couple..and NOT bring it up again until the day he does that. Plus I’ve been a bit more doing my own thing from time to time.
He knows I mean business 100 percent and that I just got absolutely sick of hearing about it without him doing anything. Now things are back to normal..we’re doing great. Very happy. But yes, like the other poster suggested and I agreed, I will put a clock on it if the holidays roll by and no ring. Jmho. I’m barely 40 btw with much different circumstances than alot of brides here.
Post # 15
I can somewhat relate. My boyfriend hasn’t been upset/defensive about it when it’s brought up, but he has mentioned some things that might help understand your guy’s point of view. I know that in our conversations (we know we want to get married and talk about the future a lot, but we’ve specifically talked about marriage a handful of times) he wants it to be a surprise. He’s a wonderful guy, and always tells me "don’t ever worry about this – I got this one". I think it’s his way of proving to himself that he’s "grown up" enough and being a responsible, independent person ready to make a committment – he wants to do it for us and make it really perfect. He also mentioned that it’s tricky, because although he wants to talk about marriage and things, anytime a friend of mine gets engaged and we bring it up somewhat he said that if he was planning something he’d want to wait anyway – he doesn’t want to immediately be around anyone else. This might be some insight into your guy. He probably wants to surprise you, and even though your intentions for bringing it up are completely genuine and understandable, he might feel "darn, the surprise factor is gone – now I have to wait again" when it’s brought up, and he feels like he’s at square one. I agree with what some others said – completely, COMPLETELY drop it for a while. The "you talk about it too much" factor is completely thrown out the window then. That’s what I’ve done actually, too – not because of arguing or any type of uncomfortable issues with my boyfriend at all – but just to ensure that he can do his thing and surprise me like he really wants to. I’ll be honest – it’s hard sometimes! But just keep hanging in there. Vent to us on here!
Give your guy the benefit of the doubt for at least 2 months – just like it was said earlier – if at that point (July or so) he STILL is defensive and strange about it…it’s time to have a very serious conversation. Maybe he’ll end up proposing before July and you won’t even have to go there at all. 🙂 Best of luck! Hang in there!
Post # 16
I would not comment on anything that would be good/not good for your wedding until you get the ring. Just tuck some thoughts away until the time that he is ready. I think bringing up the "where is this going" conversation is fine, but planning the wedding…is….probably what he means by attacking…not sure though…