Post # 1
I had a couple of incidences recently that made me feel really down lately. My BF and I have been together for almost 5 years and we’ve lived together for 3 years. We’re both in our early 30’s. He’s a wonderful man and takes care of me like I’m his world but when it comes to talking about marriage he just goes silent, like all of a sudden the cats got his tongue and he gives me wide eyes like’s waiting for the other shoe to drop and me to get mad. I ask him if he’s got anything to say about the idea and he’s just quiet or goes to bed.
Before all of this everytime I’d try to talk to him about marriage he’d say it’s not the time or we’re not there yet and I’d back off. Then about 5 months ago I told him it wasn’t fair to me that he shuts down every conversation about marriage and he reluctantly talked about it.
Then recently I went into the ER because I was sick. When it comes time for my insurance information the clerk asked if I was married or single, and I said partnered. She rolled her eyes as if to say, “There are only two status… married or single and you’re single.” I explained to her that I’m on his insurance and she rolled her eyes like she didn’t believe me and asked twice to see if she heard right the first time. I was really hurt.
I went to the doctor again for my yearly pap and the doc asked me about babies and if I planned to have any in the next few years. Again I was hurt because it brought up those same feelings as before that I’m not even married and I don’t even have the right to be thinking about babies or when I will have them because I’m not married. I said maybe 2 to 3 years but it all felt like a lie because we have no plan to get married.
When I got home I jokingly brought it up to my boyfriend that my OBGYN must have been in contact with the insurance clerk at the ER and she had informed her that I was single. He laughed and then when I began to talk about marriage seriously, he goes dead silent and just stares at me in fear like I’m going to club him over the head and drag him down the alter. I just stopped talking at that point because I hadn’t done anything to warrent that reaction… finally I asked him if he had anything to add… and he just gives me a blank look and said nothing. I didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night. If we could just have a converstaion about it maybe I wouldn’t be so hurt when the incidents happen. But we can’t because he won’t talk about it.
Later on that night I was sleep and then he comes to bed and wakes me up and says, “maybe we can look at some rings this weekend.” But honestly by that point I felt so hurt and like he was just saying what I wanted to hear so I said because he didn’t want to be in trouble. I told him I didn’t want to feel like I’m dragging him into marriage. I turned over and went to sleep.
I really don’t know what to do. I refused to be that woman that drags her man to the alter with him looking scared and about the hurl… but I also don’t want to be like so many women that are with someone for 10 years and not married and just hanging on for hope that one day he’ll get the balls to finally do it.
I want a proposal out of love not fear or coersion. I don’t know what to do.
Post # 3
Go ring shopping this weekend. If he doesn’t bring it up by then, mention Saturday morning that you’d thought about it and would like to look. No other discussion. Go look, tell him what you like. Ask him what he likes and budget. Observe. Observe for a few more months. If nothing progresses (he still won’t even discuss marriage) have the come to jesus talk. Unless you want the relationship as it is, with a man who can’t even discuss this with you after 5 years, and a hazy future as to babies, etc. If you’re fine with that don’t rock the boat. But I’ve always been a boat rocker. If someone falls out, they weren’t meant to be there in the first place.
PS – I hate when you have to choose the married/single thing. And he and I always have this awkward moment about who will be our emergency contact, etc. Soooo uncomfortable.
Post # 4
There is a lot to unpack in what you’ve written.
First of all, I think you’re being much too sensitive about the things that the medical personnel have asked you. They’re not attempting to judge you; they’re simply trying to glean necessary insurance information and to make appropriate medical assessments and recommendations. So, I would try very hard not to feel offended or hurt by these types of interactions.
Next, it sounds as if both of these incidents resulted in your feeling not only upset and wounded but also defensive and angry, and it appears that your solution to that was to attempt to put pressure on your SO to talk about marriage. However, once you were successful in causing him to consider what you were saying, and he mentioned potentially looking at rings, you immediately rebuffed him and acted as though his response was not what you wanted. Can you understand how this could be confusing to your SO, and that you have created a no-win scenario for him by doing this?
Finally, lest you — in any way — think that I am being insensitive to your desire to be married, I want to assure you that I absolutely am not. In fact, because of my strong, Biblically based beliefs, I personally do not believe that couples should live together or even have sex prior to marriage. So, I am not at all advocating on behalf of your SO’s apparent preference to maintain the status quo rather than marry you. However, because you both willingly entered into your relationship and living situation prior to making that type of commitment, you cannot necessarily expect that your SO would suddenly feel inspired on his own to change that situation.
If marriage is important to you (and it was very important to me), I think you need to make some imporant decisions about your future.
Post # 5
@Brielle: +1 That’s a lot better than what I said. 🙂
Post # 6
I think you just need to have a very calm, thought-out discussion with him where you lay out your plans and goals for your life. No yelling or crying, just a simple recitation of facts. Something along the lines of “There are certain goals I have in my life, among them getting married and having kids. I’m in my 30s and fertility doesn’t last forever. I want to be married before having kids. I love you and want to be with you, but if our goals don’t align, I’d rather you tell me now, so that I don’t waste any more time, and can spend that time finding someone whose goals do match up with mine.”
I know that sounds kind of cold and clinical, but it puts the focus on YOU and what you need to live a happy life, rather than blaming HIM for not doing something. In other words, it’s not necessarily that someone’s to blame, but rather you may just be two people who need different things from life.
Post # 7
@Brielle: You went over everything I was going to go over, but you said it better than I could have.
I agree, especially about the “married or single” questions. I get that people feel like they’re not single when they have been in a relationship for a while and they live with each other, but when it comes down to it, you’re either married or you’re single.
Post # 8
@SomedaymrsWDS: Thanks! By the way, I loved your comment about rocking the boat, and, if someone falls out, he wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. 🙂
I always used the automotive analogy of “kicking the tires.” I did a lot of tire kicking when sorting through prospective matches on eHarmony before I finally was matched with my DH. I had no intention of wasting my time dating — or even meeting — men who did not meet my list of non-negotiables (shared faith and values, etc.)
Post # 9
@Rhopalocera: Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
“I get that people feel like they’re not single when they have been in a relationship for a while and they live with each other, but when it comes down to it, you’re either married or you’re single.”
Technically, they also could be legally separated, divorced, or widowed. However, you’re exactly right about that.
Post # 10
Well..I can tell you….I’m one of those *almost* 10 year hanging on girls.
Me and my boyfriend *rolls eyes* have been together since we were in our late teens and have been going strong for over 9 years now. We have had the discussion many, many times and it was always me who was the one who would bring it up and it would never go anywhere productive.
I’ve been wanting to get engaged for a few years now and I’ve done the whole guilt thing “I think I deserve more out of this relationship and an engagement seeing how long we’ve been together”…he’d say “Soon..it will happen” ….
Did the crying thing “It’s soo embarassing when people ask why we aren’t engaged yet..it’s been __ years!! They must think something’s wrong with me” …he says “It will happen..”
Did the ultimatum thing “If we’re not engaged by the end of summer…I’m, moving out!!” Well…it’s now November lol…and I’m still living with him.
I’ve come to realize…It’s not something that can be FORCED onto a guy, nor would you want to. You don’t want to think you somehow bullied him into it. BUT…if it’s something you really want, and are not willing to settle with being his girlfriend forever…you do need to set a timeline and he needs to be aware of it.
I’m giving it til January…. 9.5 years! and then I’m going to have to have a talk with him again.
But, you have to weight what you value more…living with him with the hope of one day he’ll propose….or living life without him
Post # 11
I’m going to be brutaly honest here. As someone who has worked in a busy place where you need to get info out of people quickly, I am not looking for your whole freakin life story when I ask “married or single?”. I’m also not trying to hurt your feelings, but seriously, just answer the question.
Your doctor was doing their job. My doctor asks me that at every visit, It’s pretty standard.
You are making a mountain out of a molehill, and taking things far too personally. Your issues with your boyfriend have nothing to do with medical professionals asking you for information which is necessary for them to provide you with care.
Post # 12
@Ambi D: Waiting over 30, being in a long term relationship where you live together, split bills, are on each other’s insurance’s…..IS SOOO HARD TO DO. x100 if you are even CONSIDERING wanting kids
Trust me…I know. I’ll be 31 early next year…SO and I have lived together 2 years, been together over 3 years…it’s hard and I know it sucks.
It’s like this: I was the woman who used to fight with her SO about him not wanting to marry me on my timeline. Then he started to talk about marriage with me….but I was in a resentful spot in my life and I was confused….sounds like this is you now.
Not sure about you—-I’ve made it clear from day 1 that I want to be married. Have you?
I was pretty upset that it hasn’t happened on my timeline…We fought about it and told my SO that I didn’t want to be the woman to pressure him into marriage, but I want to be married and have kids and I wanted it to be with him. I also made it clear that I realized that if he didn’t want to marry me back, maybe he wasn’t the one….and then I told him I had some thinking to do and I had to take a bit of a ‘pause’/’timeout’ for a month or two in order to figure it out.. I’ve actually followed Mr. Bee’s advice and it has really helped me a lot.
THIS VOODOO ADVICE IS WORKING FOR ME!
Another question–have you considered how you might pay for the wedding? I started saving up for a wedding/house..and I told my SO about it. This has also changed our relationship a lot, because I feel like it helps him see how serious I am about our future too.
I’m not the bee in this Hive to suggest to you to leave. Only YOU can make that decision.
Sorry this is long, good luck! (edited for spelling)
ETAx2: ** I have found out the REASON behind the delay and they are valid…Have you and your SO talked about THE REASON BEHIND YOURS?**
ETAx3: Sorry for all the updates. My first tries at this post was waaaaay to long. SORRY!! I also included a link to Mr. Bees advice.
Post # 13
@Brielle: You’re welcome.
Ah, you’re right about that. Separated, divorced, and widowed are all short ways of saying “Married, but…” and “Single, because…”.
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Yes! I think you need to just lay out your feelings and goals and tell him he needs to decide if he fits into them.
That’s what I did with my partner of mannnny years once we hit our late 20s and I started to feel like getting married was what I wanted (hadnt cared before that). He totally did the deer in the headlights thing, etc. We had/have the absolute best relationship, but his fear stemmed from 2 things: not feeling like he was financially / career ready to “provide for a family” even though we’re not particularly traditional, and not being sure he wanted to have kids (knowing I did). (Btw the kids thing is definitely something people should obviously work out early on, but we fell in love sooo early and then just had a hard time talking about our differing views when we were older .)
Anyway, I did as oneofthesethings suggested, and told him that I didn’t need an answer ASAP but he did need to decide. Sure enough, he started taking more and more about marriage and kids, he proposed, he was thrilled to be engaged, and he’s thrilled to be married. In no way do either of us feel like he was drug to the altar – sometimes they just need a little nudge. Or a nudge to make him realize he can’t do it!
The medical stuff is annoying but it’s just technicalities and their job. Although that receptionist was kind of a bitch IMO.
Post # 15
So well said!
OP, I really hope I don’t come off as judgmental or unappreciate of your situation, because that’s not the case, but I do have to ask: are you looking for a wedding or a marriage? You talk about it bothering you about having the single ‘status’. I glanced at some of your previous threads and you were posting two years ago about potential wedding dresses and your dream venue which you contacted and also that you had planned your whole dream wedding already. It’s totally understandable to have ideas and fantasies about your perfect wedding, but when you seem focused on the wedding itself and the status of being married instead of what it means to be in an actual ’til death do you part’ partnership, that’s when it may be a bit off-putting to your S.O.
I don’t think it’s fair that he just shuts down when you ask. He should man up and tell you how he feels either way. This is a sign that you need to work on communication before you look into being married. Do you want a life partner that will just stay silent when faced with difficult decisions? Either way, you two need to sit down and have a serious discussion about where you both want to go in the relationship and see if he’ll map out a timeline for you. You both need to be on the same page on where you see the relationship going before you push for anything else.
Best of luck to you! I hope you two can see eye to eye. 🙂
Post # 16
@Ambi D: hey! I was with DH for 8 years before he proposed and we got married on our 10 year anniversary Lol but we also met when we were 18 so we were too young. And even after being together 5 years which made us 24, we werent ready to get married financially. Other than that we always wanted marriage.
But i do want to say, go shopping. Let him know what you like and then let him do the rest.