Post # 1
I decided it is time for me to pull back a little in my relationship. I feel as though I am a wife to my SO despite him not being ready for an actual marriage, and after our last conversation he clearly is not ready to drop down on one knee anytime soon. Problem is, I am not sure what I even mean by “pull back.” I do not want to do anything spiteful (i.e. going out with single girlfriends until late at night, being cold or standoffish, drastically changing our routine.) I just want to make some subtle changes so I do not feel like I am giving so much. I am starting to resent SO and it isn’t healthy. ** I am not ready or willing to move out at this time **
I am doing more for myself, I have made dinner plans with family members that do not include my SO, I work out daily which makes me feel great, I stopped cooking every.single.night and initiated a couple of “fend for yourself” nights (I love to cook, but not EVERY night.) I also am laying off contacting him during the day while we are at work. I figure it will give us a little more space. I don’t know.
So, what else do you think I could do to pull back, without being drastic? What would you do? Thanks.
Post # 2
Anna113619: Sounds like you’re already making some very healthy changes. Doing good things for yourself is a step in the right direction. This way, either way he decides or reacts you’ll be healthy, happy and just fine.
Post # 3
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
Anna113619: Maybe stop doing some things for him that you consider to be “wifely” activities, such as doing his laundry, packing him lunch, putting away his clothes for him, etc. would continue to cook dinner, but maybe less frequently.
Post # 4
Unless it’s drastic enough for him to really care, it won’t change anything. I think in situations like yours, there has to be a major shakeup in order to affect the other person’s perspective. A couple of make your own dinner nights probably won’t do it. Pulling back to me means going back to a dating relationship rather than living as a married couple without the title.
Post # 5
I think the biggest thing you can do is not actually an action, but a mindset. Try not to spend a lot of time thinking about your relationship and the future of your relationship. Certainly that’s not something you can ban from your thoughts altogether (nor should you) but if you find yourself thinking in circles and getting worked up, try to make a concsious decision to think about other things. Talk about other things when you’re out with your friends and family. You can still be be mindful about your boyfriend in the present while trying to spend less mental energy on the relationship in the future. Maybe take up a hobby?
Post # 6
I don’t think any of these little things will make much of a difference, honestly. When you live together, it’s kind of impossible to not act like you’re married in a lot of ways, so to me, the only way I would have been able to “pull back” would have been to move out.
Since you said you don’t want to do that, I don’t have a lot of advice for you. Make plans independently of your SO – that doesn’t mean you have to stay out all night drinking and going to bars, but make sure to go out with friends solo. Pick up a hobby that is just for you – take a class or join a club.
Post # 7
It’s fine to make those changes to make yourself happier. But, if you’re doing it to get him to propose I think it’s a bad idea that eont likely work. It feels a but like playing games. If you enjoy doing things for and with him then do them if not then don’t.
Post # 8
Hmm..I’m not sure how I feel about this.
To me, one does not just become “wifely” after marriage. I have always cooked the majority of the meals, cleaned, catered to my hubs. That wasn’t different before or after marriage….and if I changed that because he wasn’t ready to marry me, I’d indeed feel like it was out of spite.
It’s good for you to spend time on yourself, but to me, this does seem like a reaction to him not being ready for marriage. If you love your spouse, regardless of marital status, you should want to do things for them. If your SO is not pulling their weight or showing the same respect, then you might have to discuss that with him rather than distancing yourself from the relationship. Pulling back in a relationship in my opinion, isn’t going to accomplish much.
I just feel like this “pulling back” is an attempt to show him “what he’s missing out on” or giving him a taste of life without you in an effort to convince him to marry you. It won’t work.
Post # 9
Fluffmallow: I agree.
I know you said your aren’t willing or ready to move out at this time, but oftentimes moving out is the only sort of “pulling back” that really makes a difference to either party in terms of actions that are done to and for each other, and how each party thinks of themself as an individual and how they think about the relationship.
These changes you are making are good changes, but I don’t think they’re going to help you accomplish your goal.
To me, these are steps a wife would take to add more variety and independence to her life, not the steps of a girlfriend who wants to stop being a wife to man she isn’t married to.
Post # 10
OP, I have predominantly been the ‘caretaker’ of most things in our household, both as a SO, now FI, and soon to be wife. I did those things not to ‘show him’ how awesome of a wife I will one day be – because as urchin mentioned, those duties are not held to that title, but because I wanted too, desired too, and enjoyed doing them for me, and for him. (And, I am OCD when it comes to the foods I eat, the way the house is cleaned, etc…)
There have been times in our courtship where I have been ‘fed up’ with keeping up on things (maybe due to my work schedule, or mood), and I communicated that with him, not because I begrudged him for it, but to tell him that in those moments I needed him to clean, cook, menu plan, etc.
If you are reacting to the fact that he is not ready for marriage, then I think you need to communicate your angst to him. To tell him that (perhaps) that in order for you to be content, you need a more strict timeline, or you need him to help you out more. I think it is GREAT to focus on yourself, but I think that is a goal we all should maintain whether we are single, dating or married. I do not think it will push him, specifically, one way or another.
At this point, since you are living together, I think he should KNOW all the things you offer to the relationship, and should appreciate those things without them going ‘missing’. I hope this makes sense. I think more conversations need to be had, for sure!!
Post # 11
MrsWBS: + 1
You need to do what’s necessary for YOU and your wellbeing. If that means establishing your independence and a greater sense of perspective about your relationship then that’s just fine. But don’t “pull back” as a gesture intended to make your SO feel guilty about not being ready to get married. It’s likely to backfire on you.
Post # 12
Pulling back by giving less seems a bit like self-preservation as opposed growing your relationship. If you’re not on the same page about marriage, manipulation isn’t going to change things–communication will. Doing things more on your own is great, but instead of “pulling back” you should have more open communication about how you’re feeling. If/when you do get married, you can’t survive marriage without communication and compromise.
Post # 13
I suppose I have recently become a needy, paranoid, mildly obsessed mess about the state of our relationship. I am a “type A” semi control freak by nature and relaxing and enjoying the ride is very hard for me. All of these posts are excellent food for thought…
Post # 14
I guess I have a hard time understanding what “being like a wife” is. I would consider myself to be like a wife as I live with my boyfriend and am faithful to him. However, I guess I didn’t realize that “wifely duties” included cleaning up after him as well, and I’m not sure why that’s wifely. Being a wife is being married, which in my mind is loving the person through thick or thin and being faithful. Not to say that I don’t recognize all couples have different relationships, but I don’t know if domestic duties necessarily need to be tied to the role of a wife.
But, back on track a little more, I think “pulling back” is way more about you and less about getting him to realize anything or change his ways. Pulling back is about you not giving as much to him mentally as you usually do. Keep hanging out with your family and your friends apart from him, get out of the house more, and just focus on the things you love to do. It doesn’t have to be for any purpose to “show him” anything. It’s for reminding yourself that you are a person with or without him with your own likes and dislikes. If the time comes to move out or something, then you’ll feel more comfortable with it knowing you aren’t dependent on the relationship. I think you’re on the right track.
Post # 15
The only thing that’s going to help your situation is moving out. He’s got things exactly how he wants them – why would he suddenly change and want to get married?