Post # 1
Hi! Let me know what you think about this and if you agree/disgree or at least, understand but would/wouldn’t do it: A colleague of mine, a male, was with his gf for 9 years (from age 19-28). For those 9 years, they were in school, finding careers, paying back loans, saving money, etc. Girl wanted to get married NOW, my colleague did not have the money to pay for a wedding, let alone support a wife. He wanted her in his life but just could not get married just yet. The girl gave him an ultimatum last summer: "Propose by the end of 2008, or else we’re done." 2009 came, and the couple broke up. He just could not propose, she felt she had "put in her time". No proposal happened and on New Years day, just as she said, she called it quit.
The issue boiled down to the fact that she did not want to wait any longer and he couldn’t commit to marriage now.
Just to clarify further: He loves her deeply and is heartbroken but couldn’t give her what she needed/wanted. She loves him deeply and is heartbroken but couldn’t not stand to wait any more as he was unable to provide a general timeline.
Post # 3
This is an issue that seems to come up a lot … the girl is ready sooner than her guy … and you can never tell what’s going on from the outside.
What stood out to me in what you wrote is that they were finding careers… and yet the man cannot support a wife. Does that make sense? Was she demanding that he take care of her? Was she going to quit her job when they got married?
In a lot of cases, including mine, I could not afford to live comfortably and safely on my own. I went from a roommate to a short period of time when I paid for my own apartment and now I share a house with my DF. We support each other.
It sounds like there is something else going on here. Marriage should be a decision between two people, and hopefully he gave her a better reason than what you reported. If not, I probably would have left too. I would have needed a really good reason to keep waiting. Why does he get what he wants and she doesn’t? I waited for 3 years between 25-28 and it felt like too long at times.
I don’t think that there is one person for everyone. And two people can be very happy and loving, but if they want different things from life (in this case, marriage), or if they are on different timelines, they may not be the best fit. That doesn’t mean they wasted their time together, or that they’ll never find anyone better… it just didn’t work out.
Post # 4
I think that your colleague’s ex was definitely in the right to break up with him. I would understand waiting if they were younger, but first of all 9 years is a long time, and secondly 28 is a reasonable age to get and expect to get married. I think that your colleague had to step up to the plate and he didn’t. And, he shouldn’t use having to support "his wife" as an excuse, bc they both could have worked and being a married couple doesn’t cost anymore than being a couple, other than paying for the wedding of course. Your male friend’s problem was that of committment, not one of having financial difficulties.
Post # 5
I think 9 years is too long to hold out without her getting engaged. He didn’t even step up to the plate to do that and that says to me that he didn’t worry too much about her walking away.
Just could not propose after 9 years doesn’t work. Fwiw, I would have "fired" him years before she did. My bff (lifetime) dated her bf for 7 yrs before marriage, but 2 of them were spent engaged b/c they had the most gorgeous large wedding I’ve ever seen! Plus he was finishing up law school. My sis and bro in law married during his first year of med school. There is never a right or perfect time in anybody’s life for really anything, it all comes down to WILL and WANT in the end. He didn’t have the will and he didn’t want to do what it took.
My friend’s H, may have not been able to afford at THAT time a huge rock, but he loved my bff enough to not let the best thing in his life slip away forever. Six months before their wedding, he came thru with a honey of a solitaire..but she loves her smaller ring with all her heart and always will wear it.
No reason why this man "Just could not propose" as you said. Sounds like a committmentphobe to me imho.
Post # 6
I think that his ego was in the way!! This isn’t 1950, he’s not responsible for providing everything for her so she can work at home. All she was asking for was commitment, not money. It seems a lot of men do that, feeling they have to have money to get engaged…I think it was a mistake on his part or else she’s right and he’s not ready to commit.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
Mr. Peng told me that ultimatums are the death of a relationship to him. A lot of my girlfriends consider them, a few actually go through with them, and some have actually worked! Sometimes they make perfect sense to me, but Mr. Peng says that if any woman ever gave him an ultimatum, he would make it easier on her and break up with her immediately. While it sounds harsh, he means it to mean that the fact that she doesn’t respect him enough to have a serious talk about his hopes/dreams/timeline, and instead threaten him with some arbritrary date, is disrespectful in his opinion.
Post # 8
She did the right thing. If after 9 years, at age 28, he couldn’t commit, he likely never would. He knew her timeline, and was willing to watch her walk away rather than marry her and his excuses are empty . She got out while she is still young enough to meet someone new. Good for her.
Post # 9
Wow! You ladies are so great!
Follow-up questions: 1) What’s the difference between "committment-phobe" and "not ready to get married"? 2) Do you know anyone or, have you given a proposal ultimatum?
Oh, to clarify on his inability to support a wife: This is my colleague’s first year working full-time as a teacher. His ex is a teacher, too, but since graduating she has not been able to find a permanent teaching job.
Keep your responses coming! I love it.
Post # 10
While I’m not a fan of ultimatums, she certainly did "do her time" in this uber long term relationship that had no end goal.
She wanted one thing, he wanted to be selfish imho. She had every reason after nine long years to "fire a warning shot" as my friends call it.
She was knocking on the door of 30. Different ages call for different time frames imho. If you’re in your early 20’s, you can date alot longer. If you’re in your 30’s maybe not terribly long..and if you’re like me, in late 30’s, you better darn well know what you want! I knew firmly by my mid thirties what I wanted out of a r and out of a potential mate.
Post # 11
I completely agree with MightySapphire. This is 2009. Women can support themselves. She isn’t a stay at home woman who doesn’t have a life of her own it sounds like. She wanted to know, securely that she would be with him forever. She wasn’t asking for money. You don’t have to have money to have a wedding. Now a days I have know a lot of women and men who have gotten married that have used family and friends to make their wedding complete. He got scared in my opinion and didn’t want to commit. Hopefully they can get it figured out if they truely love eachother.
Post # 12
I agree – 9 years is a loooonggg time to get your stuff figured out. You can get engaged (as many bees can vouch for) without being "made of money" so if was a $$$ issue for him I would feel that is just a copout.
Post # 13
I think 9 YEARS qualifies as a commitment-phobe. They were together for almost a decade! And he still wasn’t ready to get married? If you can prepare yourself for marriage in 9 years, when will you ever be ready? I think she was right in giving him the boot.
And while I am a fan of being upfront about what you want (ie saying, "I’d like to be engaged by 2009") and not a fan of ultimatums- after NINE YEARS I think an ultimatum is in order. As the vulgar saying goes, "it was time to sh*t or get off the pot" and it seems like he wasn’t willing to do either, so she made her own decision.
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2009 - Harbison Chapel & The Maple Lane Farm
I think she did the right thing. To say you can’t afford a wife, after you’ve spend 9 years together, and clearly you could afford being together for 9 years, it seems like it’s just an excuse for not wanting to commit. I don’t understand how you can say you can’t afford a wife unless she doesn’t work, but if she’s been taking care of herself for 9 years, then that’s rediculous. Even if he was affraid a wedding would cost to much he could say we have to have a simple wedding, we need to make it a two year engagment to save up, anything really to say he wants the marriage, but it’s really the funds that he’s worried about. She did the right thing, something else is going on here.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2018 - Millenium Biltmore Hotel
9 years?! Wow, that’s a long time. Although they are still relatively young (28 years), I can see why she was getting antsy for him to make a commitment. I don’t think she was out of line to press the subject. Is an ultimatum always the best way to go about this? Probably not. But, I can understand her position. And in the end, he was willing to let her go. So maybe it wasn’t meant to be?
This is a secret few know…I gave Mr. G an ultimatum! Quite frankly, he was heading toward his late twenties and a mess in terms of career, long term goals, etc. He had moments of maturity, but at other times he was like a big kid. I told him, shape up or ship out. He shaped up very quickly and we’ve never been happier. So, you’ve gotta do what works for you and your relationship. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions I ever made – for both of us. And, he thanks me all the time for helping him get his act together.
You say he’s a first year teacher. I understand there must be financial strain. But, honestly, I don’t think that should really get in the way of making a commitment. Just my 2 cents.
Post # 16
Wow.. The guy has had 9 years to save up for a possible future with his girlfriend. I have a feeling there is more to this than what he’s letting you in on. I can imagine he is feeling sad but I can’t even imagine how his former girlfriend is feeling. Wow..