Expectations around my engagment – the "should's" are getting to me.

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
3996 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

sw7577:  I’m really sorry, that is a lot to carry around with you. I think we get all of these unrealistic expectations from society about what an engagement should look like. In all reality, the only thing it needs to be is the decision between people in love to make a life-long commitment together. If you love your FI and know you want to spend your life together, that’s all that really matters. Moving in together and getting engaged can be stressful and challenging for any relationship. I was definitely excited to move in with my then bf (now husband), but I wouldn’t say giddy. Same with our engagement and marriage. It was exciting and so what we wanted, but it wasn’t blown out of proportion like you see in so many movies. Good luck OP!

Post # 3
5208 posts
Bee Keeper

sw7577:  First, congratulations on your recovery and his too. I think you are both amazing. I work with people everyday who can’t do it.

Second, I feel like we need more information. What is making it hard to live together right now? I know you said he is struggling with an addiction. Is he actively using? Getting engaged is supposed to be a joyful time, but it is stressful too. Are you guys maybe just going through a rough patch, or do you think you are seeing a side to him you didn’t see before? You will definately have rough patches in married life. 

There is nothing that says you need to rush into setting a date or anything. If you feel like you are just seeing him through a difficult time in his life, you can wait until things round a corner before you start really planning.

Post # 4
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I understand your feelings. I moved in with my FI last year and we got engaged very soon afterwards. And very soon after that the rainbows and unicorns ended and we had to deal with the adjustment of living together after both having been single for a LONG time. We fought quite a lot.

It’s hard to give advice without really knowing the issues, but I think you can get through this and get to a point where there are some rainbows — if not unicorns, lol. Keep your chin up, OP! You guys can do it!

Post # 5
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

My brother is an addict in recovery and got married when he was still using (and fooling himself by saying he could just “have a few” and be ok). What’s worse was my parents tried to warn his then-fiance. She was just bound and determined to marry him, and it never seemed like it was for the right reasons or at the right time.

I think that maybe you two should attend some pre-marital counseling to work through how you’re feeling. You would hope that right now you feel like a lovestruck teen, and if the lack of that feeling has you concerned, you definitely need to talk to a professional about that. Many states offer pre-marital classes and sessions at low cost or for free. Look into it and good luck.

Post # 6
3195 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I never experienced the over the moon feeling when I was engaged. In fact, it was the complete opposite because of financial factors and my very nosy family. Our first year was difficult because we had to deal with the fallout of our elopement. Now that we are going into our fourth year of marriage, we are very happy with each other because we have learned to communicate effectively.

Think about where you got these expectations from and how realistic they are. Remember that the honeymoon stage in a marriage is often temporary; real life takes over and marriage is not always easy. You and your man have been through so much; of course the addiction issues are going to weigh on both of you. 

Post # 7
35 posts

sw7577:  i relate to you a lot . i have days where im excited to be engaged, and days where i’m not as much. then i come to the boards am i reminded that the movies and the fairytale love stories and weddings and blah blah blah are not real life. that we can find joy in the little moments. in fact im here lurking the boards because i am trying to do that today. to find joy in the little things and be reminded that perspective is everything. i was in recovery too so i can relate to that. like recovery, a relationship takes work. nothing should be easy. you have to put in the work to get the results.

and who cares what other people say you should be feeling and whatnot about the engagement. its your own experience and not theirs. ive accepted that im not a typical chick who always dreamed of her wedding day, which i why im ho-hum about wedding planning. that ok. thats my business and im allowed to have my own feelings on the subject. 

one last thing i wanted to add, i think a lot of people feel sad at the loss of their single identities and are ashmed to say so because they’re supposed to be “over the moon”. well, its a big deal and its ok to feel sad. its a huge change! expectations lead to resentment. so no need to tell yourself you’re suppossed to feel a cetain way. if you are content in walking this path with your guy one day at time, thats all you need. 

Post # 8
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May

sw7577:   I can kinda relate to the wY your feeling and the magical expectation society has placed upon engagements. We are supposed to be roses and sunshine with a magical glow every day. I hope this doesn’t sound dismal, but my experience is that life still goes on. Your two people in a relationship with everyday problems. 

i had a friend who got engaged ( he custom designed the ring by himself, planned an amazing proposal for months,etc) then Fi was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer at 27. Just two weeks after the proposal- BAM, you’ve got cancer. They got married in between surgeries and chemo but she always joked that fairy tales never prepared her for the realities. 

In the end, marriage is a promise you make to stay together through it all. My engagement hit us hard with financial worry and medical concerns. I’m learning first hand that when FI pledges in sickness and in health, he really means it. It’s not how I pictured our engagement, but it shows me that if we can endure this then we can handle most anything headed our way. 

So work with FI on his demons or allow him the space and support to face them. We all have demons, they just come in various shapes and sizes.

Post # 9
93 posts
Worker bee

There is no “what its suppose to look like” as every relationship is different. I think it is often segment engagements, and almost lose sight of the fact that whether your engaged, married or just in a relationship, you are still in a RELATIONSHIP. No relationship is perfect and there are bumps in roads, good times and bad times. Relationships in general are hard work and so while I understand your sentiment of that it should be “easy”, it is just because in your relationship you are currently facing a bump in the road. Even if you were not engaged, that bump would still be there, and you would be working through it. You just happen to be working through it while now engaged. 

Yes, I will admit, most people get engaged during high times in their relationship and so for them its rainbows and unicorns. But the reality is you got engaged during a time when you are coping with this issue but as a PP stated life and your relationship and its problems still need to be dealt with even when you get engaged. There is no one size fits all on how your engagement is suppose to be. Im sorry it hasnt been what you expected, but if he is the man that you want to marry, be there to support him and see him through this difficult time. It wont last forever, and at some point, your rainbow and unicorns will emerge. 

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