- 5 years ago
So, here’s the longer version of lastnight’s post:
Awhile back, my guy & I had some trust issues due to some inappropriate friendships and I still check his phone/email to make sure we’re on the up and up. He’s been clean for months, we have both gotten our career ducks in a row in the last 60 days and he’s been mushy/more helpful during the last 6 weeks. While he’s always been a gem, lately he’s just been super-duper dreamy. Our only disputes have been regarding my impatience for the proposal! 😉
Lastnight, I checked his texts and saw that the only unusual text he had was with my mom. It said “I need to ask you a question. Well, its a question for both you and [my dad]. When would be a good time to call and chat with both of you.” When he and I got in from dinner, he holed up in our office and when I checked his call history afterward, it showed he’d called my parents and then his. He was all mushy the rest of the evening!!!
For those who are waiting and would like some assurances – Backstory:
As our career issues resolved late this summer, I started getting antsy about our timeline. We never sat down and placed one as he doesn’t like to plan or “force” things. Over the years, everytime we DID have a discussion about moving forward, he would lament, “I DO want to get married but I don’t want to you to laugh at my proposal idea and the ‘right time’ hasn’t really come up.” During other, unrelated discussions, he would vent, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough for you.”
We established early in our relationship that while I am progressive and reasonably open-minded, my parents are traditional and my guy felt the world would expect him to provide for me and my kids (I was married for nearly 7 years in my 20s), likely along the lines of my ex’s earnings. I tried to point out that one of the large downfalls of my marriage was that my ex’s priorities showed in his where he was successful (ie, successful career, failing marriage) but my guy just couldn’t bring himself to ask me, my parents or the world to accept that I didn’t deserve someone who could provide for me.
Knowing he likes to tell me what I like to hear, he likely often said “Soon.” to calm me as he worked on his career rather than a real estimate of when the proposal would happen (because he didn’t know when/if he’d ever get to a point ‘good enough’). In May, we had a heart-to-heart about some confusing behaviors he was displaying and he indicated he was dreaming up a proposal plan. With both our bdays occurring in the summer, I shut-it-up but it didn’t happen.
In late August, his temp-to-hire position became permanent, he got a slight raise and full benefits. I also landed a job I’ve been working towards for the past few years, garnering an income boost and my own benefits. One evening as we dressed to go out to dinner, I lamented that I lost my favorite ring (which I wear on my ring finger to ward off trolling men) and had to reject 3 men that day (I feel bad, rejecting them). He came up behind me, wrapped his arms around my waist and said “I know what will fix that!” Alarms went off in my head, at what he was possibly insinuating and then played it cool, saying “Oh, what?” With a mischevious sparkle in his eye, he exclaimed “A kiss!” and plopped one on my cheek.
A couple weeks later (end of Sept), he suggested we go to dinner at a place he once said he hoped to propose (but he then picked a fight and said he couldn’t propose so soon after a fight [rolling eyes] -haha). I thought it might be coming then but it didn’t. I know he wanted to do it outdoors, on the beautiful drive there but it was drizzling and humid that say and he is obsessed with things being ‘perfect’ and ‘the right moment’.
When it didn’t happen, I broke down a few days later and expressed my concerns over the timeline. He felt defensive but said he planned to do it this month. After all the ‘soons’ I’d gotten, I wasn’t sure I could believe him. BUT he’d always been vague before, so that was a change in the pattern. And there had been all that progress in his areas of importance, so that was another change in our previous patterns.
The past 30-ish days since this convo have been utterly awful as my anxiety has spiked so much. I have ruminated over every action and comment he’s made, hoped every dinner might be the proposal, tried to calm myself by rationalizing why he might not do it or what I’d do if he didn’t (just in case) and joined this site. In looking for evidence that this would finally be the time he’d do it, I realized we had not really discussed rings so mid-month, I brought that concern up and he explained that he wanted to choose the ring with me, after he proposed. Oh. Kind … or another convenient answer, like all the ‘soon’s he’s given me over the year?
In a defensive attempt to convince that he wasn’t bluffing, he explained some of the ideas he’d had in the days prior to this mid-month conversation. The ideas were sweet but not really well thought out and my anxiety spiked even more, unsure of trusting him. In the past 10 days have required me to really consider what is reasonable to expect of him based on previous behavior patterns. See Hoping for a tiger to change his stripes? [vent]
I began to accept that my guy is passive but loves me enough to not want to lose me and that I shouldn’t take it personally if he could not finds the juevos to step up and do a traditional proposal. I have had to help him so much over the past few years so I’d probably have to help him with this. And then I checked his texts last night and saw that he found the courage to start the process.
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 normal is (passive) do it this 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.
This theme is summed in this APW article regarding society’s message to women about proposals and society’s message to men about being a provider. I realize that everytime my guy ‘soon’-ed me, he was really saying (as the article more-or-less says), “You deserve the best. When I realized you were The One for me, I wasn’t working towards being good enough for ANYONE but wanted to give you want you deserved. I’m working on it now. Please wait for me.”
And so … based on other assurances he’s given me, I’m sure it’ll happen this weekend, while my kids are gone. We’ve got a jam-packed calendar of fun events planned so it’ll be neat to see what he’s got up his sleeve for me!
I’ll keep y’all posted!