- 4 years ago
I came across this forum about a week ago and have been reading many of your stories about waiting for your boyfriends to propose. I’ve gone back and forward about posting here, but feel like I need to reach out to people who might understand how I am feeling. Right at this moment, I feel broken.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years. We are not kids. I am 35 and he is 41. We met online and it really seemed as though we had, in each other, found the person that we wanted to spend our life with. I knew that I loved him after a few months, but he made me wait for a whole year before he said those three words to me. Around the nine month mark, his lack of confirmation that he loved me to lead to me, on a lovely weekend away, having a meltdown about the fact that I did not understand why he did not feel that he could tell me that he loved me. Despite seeing how unhappy it was making me, and despite knowing that he could end my unhappiness and heartache with just a few words, he chose not to. He had a plan which involved him waiting until our one year anniversary until he told me he loved me. I will admit that the day he told me was very special, but when he later said that he had known he loved me from just a few months into the relationship, it hurt me that he had let me go through so much unhappiness, watched me breaking down in tears, seeing me questioning myself and wondering why I was not good enough for him to love me, when all along he felt the way I felt but just did not think that it was the right time to tell me. And now we are in a similar situation again.
I have made it clear from even before we met (it was on my dating profile) that I am not an ambitious person, but that the greatest joy in my life would be marriage and having children and being happy. And as we approach our four year anniversary, things are becoming extremely difficult. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, perfect. When my boyfriend met me I was in a financial mess from my previous relationship and from the fact that I am not particularly great with money. For the first year, he had to pay for a lot of the things that we did together, and he sat down with me and helped me to work out how best to manage my finances and pay back my debt. I did this over 18 months ago and since then have spent that time trying very hard to ‘pay back’ by taking him away on holidays, by paying for meals and evenings out, and by generally proving that financially I am now an equal partner in this relationship. I am also overweight and have been throughout my relationship. Being overweight has always affected my confidence and I have always wanted to lose weight so that I can feel better about myself as I know that my lack of confidence can get in the way of my relationship sometimes. My boyfriend is extremely fit and does lots of running and biking and swimming. He is a triathlete and has completed Ironman several times. In the early part of our relationship he made every effort to support me to lose weight. He threw himself into helping me to diet and to exercise and I even signed up to complete a triathlon myself just before our two year anniversary. By the time the triathlon came I had lost five stone and was happier and healthier than I have ever been. Not long after the triathlon my boyfriend took me to Paris for the first time. I hoped that perhaps he would propose to me there. But on the first night he took my hands looked into my eyes and said ‘I need you to know now that I will not be proposing in Paris and I need you to know that because I don’t want you to be waiting for it and I don’t want it hanging over us’. And while it hurts and while I was disappointed, I accepted that he was not ready. When I came back from Paris I like the diet and exercise slip and I sit here today having regained all five stone.
Our relationship is extremely volatile and has been for at least the last three years. We have our ups and downs and most of my side of it has come from the fact that I feel neglected because in my eyes he spends more time on his triathlon and Ironman than he does with me. At one point I even thought that he was a little obsessed with it. It has come between us many times and we have argued about it many times. When we argue I find it really hard because I’m not good at dealing with conflict so I kind of just go quiet and get upset. He often accuses me of being like Child and tells me that I need to grow up and have an adult conversation with him which he knows really upsets me and makes me angry but every time he does it anyway. I will admit that I am an emotional person and, I have managed to ruin many of the weekends away that he has planned for us, because when we relax together and have a few drinks, it always seems to be the case that I get upset about our lack of moving forward.
For me the breaking point came in September when he surprised me with a trip to New York. I had never been but had wanted to go my whole life. And I have to admit I did think that this might be the moment. On the first day there we went to the diamond district and he even picked out the ring he thought that I would love, and I really did. We had a lovely time in New York although I was not well throughout which I was gutted about. On the last day we went back to the diamond district to see my ring and he asked if I would like to try it on and said if I did that that would be fine. We went into the shop and I put a ring on my finger and it was perfect. And then we left and I realised that he had no intention of proposing to me in New York. And I felt crushed. I could not understand why he did not want to marry me and start a family together when we have been together for over three years and both say all the time that we want to be together for the rest of our lives. I remember sitting in Central Park crying, and apologising for being so selfish and for being upset when I was in New York because he had brought me there is a surprise. But I told him that I was ready to move forward and needed him to move forward with me. I told him that his unwillingness to do so was having a big impact on me, and that I was constantly questioning why I was not good enough and why he did not want to move forward in our relationship. I told him that I understand that being with me is not always easy. I am emotional and I wear my heart on my sleeve in both the good and bad ways. Our relationship has been so stressful and I understand what he means when he says that this is stopping us from moving forward. But at the same time I do not feel like I can stop feeling the overwhelming unhappiness of not being engaged and not being in a place where we are thinking about having children yet when being a mum is one of the things I want most and I do not feel complete as a human being without it. Since the New York trip things have been awful. I feel like I am constantly worrying and being anxious and being unhappy and we now argue every few days. I have told him that he could take all of this unhappiness away simply by moving forward, by showing me that he is committed to a future with me. I moved in with him 18 months ago and sold my house and all of my furniture to do so. But he is making no move to put his own house on the market so that we can buy somewhere together. Nothing is happening. I have told him that I need some commitment from him, whether that is us buying a house together or us getting married or us trying for baby. He is on willing to give me anything. He keeps saying that he does not want to be forced into it because I am unhappy and I understand that because I do not want him to commit to me for any other reason than because he wants to. But for me to be happy and to move on I need things that he is unwilling and unable to give me here and now. It feels like my only option to stop this from destroying was both is for me to leave. But when I said that he was so upset and was saying that he cannot lose me and that he cannot be without me. I love him so much but it feels like every day I wake up unhappy and every night I go-to-sleep unhappy. I feel like I am losing myself. I am anxious and worried all the time and I feel like I cannot even smile any more. I know he wants me to put a brave face on, stick on a smile, take the pressure off him, get back to how we were at the beginning of the relationship and then maybe he will feel ready to move forward with me. But I know I cannot do any of that. He says that I am being selfish and always thinking about what I want in the here and now and that I am not doing anything positive to help us move forward in the future. But I feel like after nearly 4 years together there is no new information that he needs to know about me. I feel like he should know enough to know whether this is what he wants or whether it isn’t. And it feels like we’re back to that first year when he made me wait for a whole year to tell me that he loved me even though he knew that him not saying it was breaking my heart.
I’m so sorry that this post is so long but I feel like I just needed to get it out. I don’t know whether I’m being unreasonable. I don’t know how much is this is my fault. And I don’t know what to do for the best. The thought of waking up and knowing that I am no longer with my boyfriend is so painful. But the thought of waking up another day feeling like I feel now is also painful. I just feel completely broken.