Hello, all you lovely bees!
I have a question for those who have ever experienced the agony of waiting. I have a cousin who is also one of my best friends. I’ll just call her L. L’s been waiting for a proposal for over two years. I’ve been there for her through it all. I’ve been her shoulder to cry on, to vent to, to stress with, to bounce hypothetical proposal scenarios off of, to go window-ring shopping with. I mean, that’s obviously not all we do, but I just want to say that I’ve really been trying to support her desire to get engaged and married.
Lately, though, L is getting really desperate– and– I feel terrible saying this– a bit exasperating to talk to. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking on eggshells because I can’t so much as make a funny joke about anything that could be interpreted as wedding related– she gets very serious and quiet so fast. And she’s been having these meltdowns a lot recently.. and I have to admit, the last couple times I’ve gotten a text saying, “OMG I’M NEVER GETTING MARRIED. MUST TALK NOW” I’ve turned off my phone for the rest of the day. It’s getting very draining for me to deal with the same. exact. situation. over. and. over. and over again.
I’ve never been there. When I met my husband, all bets were off for the both of us, and we got engaged after only a couple months of dating. L., bless, her, was nothing but gracious and kind and wonderful during the entirety of my engagement and wedding, even though I can imagine it must have been difficult for her. So I have to admit that I have no idea how it feels, to wait. I can only imagine the frustration, the agony. And L. thinks the proposal *might* be coming this holiday season… again… and I’m so, so worried it won’t and what will happen to her.
I’m asking for your help. What should I say to one who is waiting? What shouldn’t I say? What words are comforting? How do I be honest with my feelings that she is weighing too much of her self-worth on this? Without sounding like a smug married person who has no idea (which I worry I sound like sometimes).
Thanks so much in advance.
LOL just wait till she actually gets engaged. Good luck, friend. Just try to be patient with her.
Honestly, I applaud you for being as patient as you have been. You are trying to be sensitive to her feelings, but you can’t sensor everything you say and do just because she is dying to be engaged.
It is a hard thing to wait for, but she may be driving her man mad with badgering him to propose (you didn’t mention whether she talked about getting married constantly to her man, but that is a common theme for waiting SO’s). What is the holdup on the engagement, if there is one?
I know many people don’t find it comforting, but I’m a fan of being honest when situations hit this point. I would tell her that you honestly don’t know what to do anymore because she’s driving herself and you crazy being so wrapped up in getting engaged (and probably her man, too!) and that while you are there for her, you can’t always be talking and thinking about her proposal/engagement/wedding or lack thereof. She needs to get a hobby to take her mind off this and maybe when she has some distance things will fall into place!
It sounds to me like you have some geniune concerns about her tying her self-worth to this proposal, and I don’t think that comes off as being a smug married person at all.
I think you could at least start by saying that you’re worried about how all this waiting is affecting her, and then that might open up the conversation to talk about how all this waiting is affecting YOU. It seems a bit like maybe she doesn’t get that her stress is being a drain on you, and I know that if I were doing that to someone I’d really appreciate them being honest about it.
There’s not a whole lot you can say that will help/hurt the proposal situation obviously, but being honest might help her get some perspective on the situation.
@Bunny82: Thanks for the well wishes.
@fvsoccer: Yes, she’s laid off speaking about wedding related stuff to him for the past few months, and I think she’s been pretty successful at it. You know, it’s hard even for me to say what exactly is delaying the engagement– there are a lot of issues, it seems, and one of the main ones, in my opinion, is that her SO doesn’t seem to be eager to get married anytime soon (as in, he’s quite content and happy with the lifestyle of a young guy without any responsibilities at all). I’ve already expressed this to her before, so she knows what I think. I do think I need to sit down and tell her how her obession is affecting me, honesty, like you say. And I do think she needs a hobby, or some creative activity. I’ll suggest that to her when I get to having that heart to heart.
@m-joy: Thank you, that does sound like a good way to open the conversation. Because I am afraid of how desperate she’s getting and how she was trying to manipulate him into asking her. And how she acts like there’s nothing else going on for her.. like she’s worthless if she isn’t married by x age or something. I think it’s a very unhealthy mindset, and of course, I’ll be honest with how it’s affecting me.
I’ll also add that I think she and her SO have a very dysfunctional relationship. I honestly think it would be best if she didn’t marry him.. I get the sneaking suspicion that she’s really into the idea of being married, but hasn’t really considered what the day-to-day grind would be in this strained relationship. I haven’t told her any of these thoughts, because I’m afraid this is very smug-married-person.
Thank you everyone for your words. They are helping.