- 5 years ago
In my announcement on engagement, Waitingtoexhale queried:
I was reading your recent post about resenting the wait, which i totally relate to… you mention this briefly above.. but now that you have had a couple days, has the resentmnt really started to fade? some say it goes away immediately, some still feel it after the engagement. Please share!!
She refers to my post from a mere week ago, Resentful over how long it’s taken?, in which I lamented how I’ve shown my commitment to him for years, sticking by his side like the wedding vows stipulate and even as he (seemed to) attempt to decide if I was worth committing to.
A few days later, though, I posted Hoping for a tiger to change his stripes? [vent] to describe his uber-passive nature and discuss the possibility that I was waiting for him to suddenly stop being who he is really is, who I’d originally fallen in love with.
Late last week, as I posted that he had found the courage to begin the process by chatting with my parents, I had this epiphany:
“At that moment, all my anger and resentment melted away. I recognized that it was fear … fear that he didn’t love me enough to set aside who he normally is (passive) to do this in a traditional (assertive) way and I’d have to ‘force’ it. But I can also see so many instances where it was HIS fear that was in the way of just sharing his timeline with me (which would have made my waiting SO much easier!). I feared he didn’t love me enough and he feared that if he was honest about how he wasn’t good (or quick) enough, I may decide HE wasn’t worth it.”
Now, from this side of the proposal, I can say there is some residual resentment for ‘what could have been’.
We started dating 4.5 years ago and moved in together 3.5 years ago. Pretty much, we were existing in a committed, married state at that point, so the vows were not going to change too much on the surface. However, because he was not my husband, I was hesitant to butt into too many of his affairs, like his job search. Or his health problems. I took the attitude, “If he wants my advice, he’ll ask for it.”
Interestingly, he later accused me of being unconcerned with his troubles because I didn’t help him. I pointed out that I had occassionally tried to show interest or offer suggestions and his response was typically angry and defensive. He admitted that he immediately assumed that what I was actually saying was ‘You’re not doing it right/fast enough.’ and didn’t like me pointing that out to him. We both realized how we were misinterpreting things and began working as a better team, where I tend to take the lead on things (although, he refused to let me propose to him -hehe) Sadly, those flaws in his outlook cost us a lot of time. I understand why he felt that way but still hurt, not from how he misinterpreted my words, but from ‘what could have been’.
So, what could have been?
Well, the wedding, for one thing. But also, a friend offered to help him get him a good job at a good company and he passed on it. Nearly two years later when he was still unemployed, I asked him to take up her offer. He was hired on a temp basis and really enjoyed it. After 9mos, he was offered a permanent position with a raise and benefits; he just celebrated his 1yr annv there and 10 days ago was recognized as the top performer for the entire worldwide company.
I feel this component of finally becoming a ‘stable provider’ was the final affirmation he needed to feel competent enough to become a husband and propose. If he’d had taken the job in early 2010 (and assuming it worked out – and I know, never assume … but still!), where would we be now?
Well, we’d like to have children. I have 3 from my first marriage and they were all under the age of 6 when we moved in together. Had he taken that job in 2010, we’d gotten married and he got benefits in 2011, we could have a baby already, or be pregnant. Instead, we’re dealing with the consequences the delay of healthcare has caused in his reproductive areas. With good healthcare, I see us probably getting pregnant in the next year, with having a baby in 2014.
By then, my kids will all be in elementary school. Going back to middle of the night feedings and all those stages prior to potty-training, while worth it, is soooo hard since I’ve been away from it for 2 years already. Oh, and then there’s the issue of paying for fulltime daycare – ouch!
There’s also finances … his years of unemployment means we’re starting from scratch with debt payment, house and retirement savings. These concerns should not bug me, but they do. He has many great qualities and I know what it’s like to be married to a planner who doesn’t the friendship component I now have and highly value, so these delays are worth it – but … oh, what COULD have been!
Instead, I must remind myself that we had some other great opportunities come our way that we wouldn’t have had if he worked fulltime. Those are treasures I will never undervalue but my Type A personality does rear its ugly head -haha!
In time, as we complete the wedding, work towards having a baby and make financial headway, these pains will leave me. The good news is that they’ve stopped bleeding and are working their way to healing. Looking at the scar from my many c-sections, I know that in time, I will more or less forget about these once-painful and debilitating wounds and just be grateful for what I have in the here&now. 🙂