Post # 1
I’ve been waiting for a while, no real reason to expect anything, just comments he had made about settling down with me. Anyway after I got myself so worked up it finally came down to us having a conversation where he got completely argumentative. He refused to give me a timeline except to say “one day”. I told him I don’t still want to be waiting when I’m 40 (I’m 32 next month and he’s 39 in June). I asked him if he definitely saw us getting married because if not that was fine but we couldn’t be together as it’s not something I’m prepared to give up. He said that it is something he wants, just not yet (we’ve been together 2 1/2 years).
However, this weekend we visited my brother and his wife in Germany, and whilst there we were a little drunk. I went to the bathroom and I heard raised voices. He told my brother I was bullying him into marrying me! My brother was angry that he was stringing me along and my bf backtracked pretty quickly, but I am so hurt and upset. And now I’m thinking if he ever did propose how could I could accept because I know he really doesn’t want it. What do I do?? He went to bed pretty quickly and I sat up talking with my brother and sister in law. My brother says he knew straight away that he wanted to marry his wife. I feel unloved and unwanted. Surely after all this time he would know if I was the one? And if not why won’t he let me go?
Post # 2
He won’t let you go because he’s selfish. He wants to keep you, and all the value you bring to him (companionship, helping with chores, paying some of the bills) without giving you what you ultimately want. I would suggest leaving, because as you say, it has been long enough and he has no interest in marrying you. If a man is 39 and cannot settle down and marry, he never will.
That being said, I really am very sorry you are going through this 🙁 I know the idea of leaving is scary, and maybe you won’t leave, but whatever it is you choose, I hope you find happiness soon <3
Post # 3
I’d have left that night after hearing that. Even if he did propose now its tainted.
Post # 4
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
aprilnewbee: When did you two have your timeline discussion? If that and the brother argument was recent I would give him a few months after that conversation for him to consider it. But if like you said, you’re not willing to keep waiting it is time to consider leaving IMO.
And to answer your question about letting you go, it’s probably so much easier for him to just continue your relationship as it is now, lots of drama to breakup and lots of work to get engaged! Not saying it’s the right thing to do, but that’s probably what he’s thinking, and it doesn’t mean necessarily that he doesn’t love you!
Post # 5
I’m sorry you are going through what sounds like a very dismal situation. Personally, I think you are being strung along. He is clearly comfortable as things are which is why he is happy to discuss the principle of marriage but won’t begin to clutter his head with even the vaguest timeline.
To tell your brother that you were bullying him into marriage is both disrespectful and out of order. I’m not sure I could get over that.
Post # 6
Im in the state of mind where I am not casually dating anymore, I am dating to find that person to spend the rest of my life with. 2 years is enough time to decide whether you can see yourself with that person in my personal opinion. Im not sure what his issues are, he may have other demons haunting him that have nothing to do with you and the quality of your relationship. I cannot say for sure how your SO’s treating you or whether he is stringing you along from this post but I will say that after 2.5 years, you deserve a conversation about your future and where the relationship is going. If he is unwilling to give you that and have a serious open conversation, then you should be unwilling to hold on to an unknown future with this guy. I hope everything works out! *hugs*
Post # 7
From what you wrote, I don’t think you have enough information on his thoughts. There could be issues in his past, or things he’s concerned about in the future that you don’t know about, or that you don’t realize how big of a factor they are playing for him. It seems like people’s advice is frequently “leave! he’s using you!” right away, but I don’t think any of us here have enough information on y’all’s relationship to assess that… obviously. But you guys definitely need to have a serious, calm talk. Maybe not right now, but after you’ve had time to cool down and collect your thoughts.
Women tend to respond emotionally and are pretty good at understanding another woman’s behavior without us saying too much–how many times do we women intuitvely understand why another woman is upset about something, when her man is *totally* clueless? Men just seem to operate on a totally different level. I think you have to be direct and spell it out for them. If he loves you and if you guys are right for each other, y’all will be able to understand each other if you find the right way to communicate about it.
Something to consider in the future is counseling. Maybe counseling for just you, to help you get your thoughts sorted out, and then maybe counseling together. It may not be necessary, but sometimes it is so helpful to have a neutral third party’s perspective.
Post # 8
I think I have to take (gentle) issue with this idea that men operate from a completely different planet and thus must be indulged when they choose to behave selfishly, tactlessly or downright indecisively. I accept that there can be gender differences in how some issues are tackled – just try getting the average man to a doctor, for example! – but we shouldn’t tiptoe around the male sex on the grounds that they “do things differently” when we need sensible answers to reasonable questions.
Any man who wants to get married is perfectly capable of expressing this straightforwardly. Likewise, if he doesn’t wish to commit he can say so. You can then make your own decisions based on what he has said. The idea that a man has to be allowed to prevaricate purely on the basis of gender is an indulgence too far in my opinion.
Post # 9
If he was younger, I would say he could just be wanting to get his proverbial ducks in a row before marriage – this is something a lot of younger men want, they want to try to build some stability before they take a wife. But he’s not. I would walk.
Telling him what you want is NOT bullying him into marrying you. You’re an adult, you should be able to talk to a partner about your wishes for marriage and expect them to be able to participate in a dialogue about that with you without the partner being threatened by a normal, adult, mature conversation.
My FI and I are older (or at least, out of our early 20s in his case) and he was very decisive about it. Even before we got engaged, he made it clear that he wanted marriage and he wanted it with me. It is not a “man thing” to resist engagement.
Post # 10
Thank you all for your replies.
We had the timeline conversation just before Christmas. We went to Iceland at the end of January and I had gotten it into my head that he would propose there. I told a friend who told a friend and word got back to my bf who just told me it wasn’t going to happen. Like you all, I was thinking well, he’s nearly 40 and he’s always saying how he’s settling down and doesn’t want his old life anymore (he’s a total lad’s lad and just used to go out with the boys) that he’s happy with me and my 2 kids, and that we have a great life together; it’s bound to happen soon and Iceland was his dream holiday from his childhood.
However he’ll say all those things, then in the same breath he says I don’t let him do what he wants and he feels like he can’t breathe! Thats not true. I know I’m not the easiest person to live with, but I don’t stop him doing anything he wants to do and it really gets to me when he makes out I’m holding him back.
To be honest I think I’ve already made my own mind up. If things don’t change soon with his attitude toward me I’ll just go. I’m not the type to hang around for something that isn’t working, I just hoped this time was different. After all, I have my kids to think about. And my own needs. I’ve been married before (long story, don’t ask) and I left as it was really toxic. I’ve already proved to myself I can be a strong single mother, but what I want is my family. I just want someone who, like the lyrics of “Fairytale on New York” can put my dreams with their own, who gives as much as they take.
Post # 11
aprilnewbee: I think often a good rule of thumb is that if you feel the need to ask an Internet message board whether you should leave a partner of multiple years you love enough to marry, then yes, yes you should probably leave.
Putting aside the fact he’s in his late 30s and thus should know himself well enough to know one way or the other if he’s ready for marriage with a woman he’s dated over 2 years, he lied to your face about something incredibly important to you – marriage. As adults that love and respect each other, you should be able to ask him where you and the relationship stands with him, and be able to trust that out of said love and respect he will give you a straight answer. Instead he gave you a vague cop out of an answer that still managed to keep the carrot dangled just enough to keep you around. Then he proceeded to turn around and tell someone else that you are bullying him, which is a complete divergence from his response to you.
Sorry but that would be major for me. I’d feel betrayed he went outside the relationship to express those (rather unflattering) feelings while giving me a completely different song and dance. Agreed with PP that telling him what you want isn’t bullying him. The fact that he said that it is shows disrespect for your feelings and makes this all about him, which is not a good quality in a partner.
Actions speak louder than words and he is showing you what he really wants (or doesn’t want).
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
Telling your brother that you’re bullying him into marrying him? That would be a MAJOR fight right there.
I know it’s possible for men to “come around” to marriage when they first claim not to think it’s necessary, b/c my friend married a guy like that. They also compromised on children and agreed to have only one. He’s very happily married and a great, fulfilled dad.
Maybe your guy is like that… maybe not. I think you know deep down what the truth is. And kudos to you for knowing when it’s time to go.
Post # 13
I think you can give a timeline for a timeline, meaning, give him a set amount of time to figure out what he wants, by when. If you give him a week/month, he might decide he wants to get married next year/never.
If a man hasn’t married by 39, then I think he’s set in his ways and there’s a big concern about loss of freedom. I would try (or if you’re already doing this, continue) to shift the conversation from what you want, to understanding what he wants. Does he want marriage? Does he want marriage with you? A 39 year old man should know his own mind. You deserve to know his answers.
Post # 14
He told me that he had felt ready to marry a previous girlfriend of 5 years, but that she “pressured” him so much it put strain on the relationship which subsequently broke down.
I now believe this was his way of telling me to shut up or I’ll go the same way! He was with her for 5 years. And telling my brother this, while we were staying at my brother’s home in a foreign country was downright nasty. I hadn’t even brought up the conversation since our discussion at Christmas. His comment was completely out of the blue, and I was so upset I went to my room and cried. My brother’s wife told him he needed to come talk to me and he refused because he didn’t think he had anything to apologise for! I haven’t said anything yet, I didn’t want to ruin the rest of my visit with my brother. But now we’re home I’m going to tell him exactly how I feel.
Wish me luck ladies, and thank you for all your kind words and support xx
Post # 15
OP, it sounds as if it’s time. Like you, I could never accept a proposal after over-hearing such a statement. So sorry.