What does pulling back mean to you?

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
Post # 2
Member
9253 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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
Member
2529 posts
Sugar bee
  • 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
Member
968 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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
Member
9533 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

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
Member
2134 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Fluffmallow:  +1

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
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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
Member
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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
Member
1750 posts
Buzzing bee

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
Member
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

urchin:  +1

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
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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
Member
3519 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Steampunkbride:  +1

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 # 14
Member
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

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
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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?

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