- 3 years ago
This is my first time posting to the site, but I’ve been lurking around these pages and especially the “Waiting” boards for at least a year now. I think all you ladies are wonderful, fabulous advice-givers, and I respect that you guys generally don’t attack eachother, but instead support one another! It’s a beautiful thing. So now I need your help and advice! 🙂 I hope I’m posting to the right place – if not, do let me know!
Now this is super complex and has so many layers. I’ll do my best to give you the highlights! I apologize in advance for the length!
Some background: I’m 24, he’s 29. We’ve been together for just about 3 years now. In the beginning of our relationship, we both agreed that we’d like to get married (not necessarily to eachother at that point, but we were both looking for a long-term, committed relationship with the possibility of marriage). We don’t technically live together, but I am at his apartment 80-90% of the time.
At 1 year and again at 1.5 years, he took me to look at rings. He had me try some on, got my ring size. We discussed what I liked/didn’t like. He asked the saleswoman for a brochure and we took one home. He began looking at rings online and asking me about the styles, etc. After a friend of mine got engaged and spent $12k on a ring, we discussed how much I’d “expect” him to spend. I told him absolutely not more than $1k, because I even think that’s ridiculous.) I thought a proposal was imminent. We were in the process of planning a trip to Europe at the time, and I thought maybe he’d propose on the trip (in Paris, maybe?). We had a great time (about a year ago now), but no proposal.
At the time we started seeing eachother, I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree and he had just finished his training and had just been hired (L/E). I graduated and started studying for the LSAT to go to law school. I was accepted into 2 amazing schools. One was in my state, 3 hours away. The other would require me to move across the country to CO. I’ve never been to CO, but I applied there because they were one of 3 schools with the environmental program I wanted and because his family had just moved there and he had expressed a desire to possibly live there someday. We discussed the possibility of moving there together, and the possibility of moving to the school in my state. He told me he’d quit his job (with a pension, 401k, insurance, etc.) and move to CO, but would not move 3 hours away to the school in my state. Eventually, for mostly financial reasons, I decided to go to law school in my state. I moved there a few months after our Europe trip.
We talked about getting married after we got back from Europe. He said then that we were on a “seven year plan”, where we would get engaged after 7 years, and then he would expect 2-2.5 years minimum between the proposal and the wedding. I immediately told him I didn’t agree with his timeline. I thought that we should get engaged sooner. His reasons were that he didn’t want to get engaged before I went to law school (in case we broke up), and he didn’t want to get engaged WHILE I was in law school (in case we broke up), and he didn’t want to get engaged right AFTER law school for another year or two (in case we broke up from the transition back from LDR to living together). I ended up crying at that time, because he’d already taken me ring shopping and asked me all sorts of things, we’d discussed our future (kids, house, where to live, wedding, etc.) The next day, he said he was just kidding about the 7 year plan, and continued to “joke” about it by bringing it up multiple times over the next few weeks/months.
But, then I got sick. Like really sick. I already have a severe anxiety disorder and some stomach issues. But they found multiple/large (golf ball sized) ovarian cysts and endometriosis. I tried some of the medical therapies they wanted me to try (ie birth control/hormones) and got much worse. I had to drop out of law school and move back home, just 3 months in (~$20k in student loans for one semester, $12k was returned to me because I withdrew for medical reasons. As soon as the money came due, I paid off the remaining balance within a few months (I had been saving my money to pay it off quickly…I really hate debt.) Anyways, after leaving law school, I fell into a deep deep depression (“failure” in law school, “failure” at career, unable to work, unable to go out, etc.. This was in Oct/Nov/Dec…so about 6-8 months ago. To this day, I am still unable to work full time (or even half time). My boss has graciously allowed me to have my job back, and I worked 10-15 hours per week. I also miss a week each month from my period/endometriosis. I have seen two lawyers about applying for disability. I’m still on the fence about it (overachiever-turned-disabled makes for a difficult decision).
In the mean time, the BF has been saying allllll sorts of marriage/wedding related things. On a daily basis. Complete with hand-holding, from-behind hugs, deep eye gazes, etc. Examples:Like that he’s going to make me his wife, saying “I do” in a pointed way, getting down on one knee (as a joke, which i have repeatedly told him isn’t funny), picking out wedding songs (that we wrote down on paper), saying “when we are married” “our place” “in sickness and in health” “we’ll get through this [the illness] together” “we should move in together”, pretending and generally “we” in the “we’re going to be together forever sense”. Plus, he always made a point of showing me when his friends got engaged on FB (I quit FB about 2 months ago – couldn’t be happier about it!)
Also in the meantime, because of his “devotion” to me, and because I’m not working much, I’ve been trying to help out around his apartment. Even though I don’t “live” at his place, I do make messes sometimes, so I clean and cook dinners (he works midnights and double shifts) and make and pack his lunch. But when *I* work, he also makes and packs my lunch. So it’s pretty fair. We trade off on dishes, or help out when the other person isn’t feeling well or deserves a break. Compromise. Good stuff. But lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m playing house with a man who has no intention of marrying me. But then again, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
He has asked me to move to CO with him in the past, and he visited for the first time in March. He enjoyed it. We both hate our current state because of the disgusting heat and the sheer volume of people. BUT, I’ve told him a) I’ve never moved in my life (except to law school and back), so it’s a scary thing to me, and b) I’m not moving to a state that I’ve never visited, c) I won’t move across the country to live with a BOYFRIEND. I would need a real commitment. Especially because I would be leaving my already disabled/sick mother and aging father and one of my sisters. So my family is here, but some of his family is in CO. Maybe I’m being a little harsh on the commitment part, but I fear that he will put off a serious commitment for years and years if he doesn’t have to (while simultaneously pretending we’re married/getting married). I realize compromise is essential, but…at what point is it fair to ask for a commitment?
So, in the past 6-8 months, I’ve done a ton of things to improve my health. I’ve changed my diet completely (to the point where I became hypoglycemic and had to be less severe with my restrictions), I do yoga every single day, even when I am in serious pain, I see a chiropractor once a week (twice the week of my period), and I’ve also been seeing a therapist for a few months to get through my anxiety/OCD/depression issues. (We are very into natural methods, and sort of against some aspects of Western medicine, so he has been fully supportive.) I am still not where I want to be, but I *am* seeing improvements each month, and even on a day-to-day basis. I have only been missing 3 days a week at work instead of 7 from my period. Things are definitely looking up. Plus, I’m working my butt off and really pushing myself to stick to this stuff.
So a few weeks ago it was my birthday. He bought me two books. Books I had put on a Pinterest wish list, that I told him that if he was ever completely stumped as to what to get me, he could take a look at the list. But he didn’t coordinate with my parents, and they both got me the same book. I felt like he had stopped caring/trying. He used to buy me flowers and put up decorations, and etc. Not this year (despite me going all out for his birthday). So I have been feeling a little resentful and we had a relationship check-in/talk.
During the talk, he told me hadn’t planned on/wasn’t going to marry me, mostly because of my health (but he kept saying “in sickness and in health” before that) and because I was dragging him down. So then I felt like an idiot and wanted to break up with him because we wanted different things and I felt like I wasn’t good enough for him, etc. Blah blah blah girl feelings which I sometimes hate having (lol). I slept on the couch that night (yes, you read that right), and the next morning, he told me he didn’t want to break up with me, and that he only meant that he didn’t want to marry me *right now*.
Now, before you go all pitchforks and torches on him, I see his points. They are all completely valid, and I can’t say I wouldn’t feel the same if I were in his shoes. It just hurts, you know? I am chronically ill. I am clinically depressed. I have disabling phobias. I can only manage to work 10-15 hours per week, and even then it’s iffy. I can’t get a real job under those circumstances Plus there’s the “where are we going to live?” thing…home state or CO? I can’t go to the grocery store, or Wal-Mart, or anywhere really. I don’t have a career. I don’t have a plan, for school or work or life in general. For the first time in my life, I don’t have my crap together. Some days I can barely take care of myself. Sometimes I think – no wonder the guy doesn’t want to marry me – I’m a mess.<br /><br />I guess I just hoped that when he said “in sickness and in health” and all that jazz (when he was constantly talking about marriage) that he meant, no matter what you’re up against, we’ll make it in the end. We’ll get married and have our happily ever after. <br /><br />The sad thing is that beyond the marriage issue (which I agree is kind of huge), I don’t have any other major (or really even any minor) complaints about the relationship itself. We get along well, we are a good team, we both enjoy being healthy and active (though it’s not as easy for me). We work well together, we cook together, we take turns doing dishes. If one of us isn’t great at something, the other steps in to help. His family likes me. I love his family. They have accepted me. My family likes him. We have the most amazing sex. We both love to cuddle. He isn’t one of those jerky guys who ignores you when you cry – he puts his arms around you, he holds your hand, he snuggles close to you, he gets you tissues – EVEN if you are being a completely irrational, crazy, psycho, emotional wreck. We like to work out together. We have a lot of the same values on family, money, life (except global warming!!!! he doesn’t believe in it!) He is literally everything I have ever wanted in a guy and then some. I don’t want to give that up. <br /><br />But does staying with someone who I know doesn’t really want to marry me (“right now” or otherwise) mean I have no self-respect? I’m not going to push him or pressure him into something he doesn’t want to do.
Or is my girl-brain just going crazy right now?!
So we are in kind of a relationship limbo. We both want to be with eachother, but there are obviously issues in the way.
PS – I should mention that one reason I would like to get married within the next 2-3 years is my mother’s declining health. She is already wheelchair bound with a breathing condition from smoking her whole life. She hardly leaves the house as is. I honestly don’t know how much time she has left, and I would be heartbroken if she didn’t get to see me walk down the aisle. (I have expressed this to the BF).
So, opinions, advice, PLEASE! 🙂 Thank you in advance! And good luck to all you waiting ladies out there!!