Post # 1
My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years. We are great together, spend a lot of time together, and are very happy. We’ve talked about future plans and getting married. He tells me I’m the one and he wants a life with me, but the only problem is I’ve feel like I’ve been waiting forever for that to happen.
Background Story: He suffers from anxiety disorder. I haven’t seen the impacts of this on a daily basis in regards to our realtionship, but I know that he’s on medication and sees his therapist weekly for this. The first time I saw any signs was 2 years into the relationship when we discussed moving in together. We both agreed to do so, but it wasn’t until I told my landlord I was moving out and the for Rent sign went up that he panicked. Although, not a popular practice these days, I’ve always wanted to be engaged first so I was able to move past it and it was soon enough that I told my landlord I was renewing the lease. Then, in December he was dropping hints making me think he was going to propose. I was disappointed when that didn’t happen. This May, my lease was up again and considering what happened before, I definitely didn’t want to move in without a ring. He’s been getting his condo ready to sell and move in with me in the meantime with the understanding that we would be engaged when the time came.
Last week was our 3 year anniversary. The plan was for him to come up to be with me and my family for the weekend I was on vacation as he normally does. Over the past month he’s been telling me he should have proposed a long time ago, that he wants it just as much as I do, that he wouldn’t wait longer than 3 years…that we would be celebrating on my vacation. I also know that he was ordering the ring to be made and his reason for not yet was that he was waiting for it to be delivered. The Thursday before our anniversary I made the mistake of saying if he was going to disappoint me again on our anniversary then he probably shouldn’t come down because we would most likely be fighting and being around family that could be uncomfortable. Saturday came and he called to tell me he wasn’t coming…he went to the jeweler to get the ring and his plan was to propose, but he had some sort of anxiety attack.
His explanation is that his nerves can be very debilitating, that he is absolutely certain about me, and his reaction wasn’t about not wanting a future with me at all. He couldn’t even explain to me the thoughts going on in his head at the time this all happened. I’m heartbroken to say the least :(. I really thought it was coming because of all things he said and what he was doing. Now, I don’t think it’ll ever happen and I’m struggling to figure out where to go from here. I love him so much, but I’m turning 30 next month and I can’t wait forever. I’m starting to worry that he just won’t be able to commit to me ever. I feel like 3 years is long enough to commit to someone. Any thougts or advice would be great, thank you!
Post # 2
Okay, three years truly is not that long TBH. He has purchased the ring already, he is making plans, but you’re being overbearing in my opinion. I think your passive aggressive comments would give me anxiety too. Good for you for realizing your mistake. I hope you gave him a sincere apology. Try to let go of the control a little bit and let it happen naturally. If for some reason a few months go by and no ring, then bring it up and have a talk.
Post # 3
He is taking the steps to commit to you, but it sounds like you are not showing compassion towards his anxiety. He likely fears a big crowd, a huge announcement, a large wedding, etc
It also sounds that your pushing is aggravating his anxiety. I think you need to take the focus off of your timeline for a little bit and see what he is capable of doing on his own. Maybe track your own timeline in your head, but don’t force your agenda on him.
Post # 4
The Thursday before our anniversary I made the mistake of saying if he was going to disappoint me again on our anniversary then he probably shouldn’t come down
OUCH bee. Even if he was planning on proposing, why would you want to after that? Why would he even want to attend this vacation at all? Ice cold.
Post # 5
Three years is not that long to be married, I understand the need to feel like your relationship is going somewhere but if he suffers from anxiety then your constant pressure isn’t going to help. If he’s talking about moving in and marriage it sounds like he’s committed your just too focused on meeting your need and not understanding his at all.
Post # 6
Wow bee, you’re being incredibly insensitive and selfish to him, especially when he tells you it’s not you and it’s his anxiety. He wants to marry you. He’s on his way to propose and making steps to do it but you’re being cold and showing him that you don’t care about his anxiety. I would apologize for your behavior and let him know you love him and you understand his anxiety.
Post # 7
I don’t blame you for being upfront about him not coming on vacation with you if he’s going to disappoint you. You two have talked about your timeline, which is before you move in together and from what you say, that is fast approaching. He’s getting ready to put his condo up for sale, he knows where you stand but you don’t know where he’s at.
You know what he says but his actions haven’t backed up those words, have they?
Don’t ever think it’s a mistake to say what’s on your mind. The way you put it might have been a mistake but telling him how you feel isn’t.
Instead of wondering if he’ll ever commit, I think that right now you have a decision to make.
Can you deal with finally getting engaged and having to put off your wedding once, maybe twice or more because his anxiety makes him freak out as the date draws near?
After you get married, can you put up with his assertions that he does want children and he knows you guys have a timeline, namely mother nature’s timeline which is different for every woman, but him freaking out and not following thru with actually trying for them and possibly missing your chance to have children?
Can you handle his anxiety for the rest of your life?
I know I couldn’t.
I think people get so caught up in being ‘understanding’ of everyone’s ‘special issues’ that it’s easy to forget that it’s actually pretty hard for someone who doesn’t have anxiety to understand it. And I’m sure it’s hard to live with, especially when you don’t have it and are able to make life decisions without freaking out about them.
There’s no shame in not wanting that to be your future. He might just not be your guy, bee.
Post # 8
Thats the thing though. I have anxiety too and it doesn’t stop me from wanting to commit. The only time Ive really seen his is with these big steps with us. He also told me he didn’t actually pay for the ring since he’s working with a family jeweler. Him backing out of things is making me fear he won’t ever pull the trigger :/
Post # 9
Thanks for the feedback. I wanted to marry him a year ago so it’s taken a lot of patience to work with him through his anxiety. As someone who suffers from anxiety myself, I wonder if the issue with him is commitment and not so much his anxiety.
Post # 10
I know and no excuse but I had a few drinks when I said that and was just so anxious he wasn’t going to do what he said he was going to do again. This has been the 4th time he hasn’t followed through between living together and engagement so I’m losing hope! I don’t think ditching me on our 3 year was productive either…
Post # 11
I’ll agree with other pp’s that your “don’t bother coming” comment was too sharp. But I don’t think your expectation of a proposal by this point is unreasonable. At your age, 3 years is plenty of time, in fact, I’d say you’ve been patient. I know I would have been way too bothered by the first lease incident to let him wait until the last possible minute this next time around. The anxiety thing feels like a cop out. He doesn’t have a ring. He’s just not ready. Now that you’ve seen it for the third year in a row, you have a decision to make.
Post # 12
Did I miss your ages?
3 years isn’t a long wait. The average age a women in the US gets married is 27. That means some get married younger, others get married older.
Post # 13
First of all, you know he has anxiety, so maybe be a little more sympathetic to that. Can you go to the therapist with him or set up your own time to figure out the best way to deal with that? If not, I will say that you will have a difficult time spending the rest of your life with this person. My friend went through this and first it was the proposal and getting married, then she gave up on that and just wanted kids. Freak out after freak out and she just turned 40 is recently single and no kid. If your solution to his anxiety is to keep putting pressure on a big moment, then you two just aren’t meant to be. You need to find a way to make him feel more comfortable with this. Go to the jeweler with him, reassure him its fine to do it at home, etc. But if you are just getting frustrated, then maybe the best solution is to find someone more suitable to your expectations and lifestyle
Post # 14
libra930 : The Thursday before our anniversary I made the mistake of saying if he was going to disappoint me again on our anniversary then he probably shouldn’t come down
I wouldn’t come down either. Not to be an ass, but that was a really mean and hurtful thing to say.
Post # 15
So you proposed to him and he agreed but pulled back.
You said that you’ve always wanted to be engaged first before moving in.
Before that you said you guys discussed moving in together. So presumably you also told him you wanted to be engaged. Since you guys both agreed to move in together, I presumed he agreed to get married before moving in.
But when you told your landlord you were moving out, he put the Rent sign out and your BF/Fiance panicked and backpedaled.
Now you say he suffers from anxiety.
He has the ring. He probably suffers from anxiety from you nitpicking and calling him out on everything. This is not uncommon. Many men have anxiety over their partners always finding fault in them or looking for opportunity to find fault. This would give anyone man or woman anxiety.