- 3 months ago
This is really long – so sorry. I’m struggling to even write this because I’m not stupid and I know deep down what’s probably right, I just feel so alone right now and need support/advice. Constructive criticism welcome of course.
I’m 36 years old and will have been with my boyfriend for 7 years as of next weekend. We have lived together for 2 years. We’ve had some ups and downs, rough patches etc. He’s well aware of my desire to be married. We talked a year ago around our 6 year anniversary and I told him then I didn’t care about a ring or a wedding, I just wanted to get married and that things needed to move forward or we needed to move on. Note: I am the ONLY one who brings up discussions about our future. A couple months later, nothing had progressed, he hadn’t talked about it or anything and so in the beginning of August I told him I wanted to end things, had found a place to move to etc. He lost it emotionally and panicked about losing me. Said all the right things etc. So I didn’t leave. I do love him and I know he loves me and I didn’t want to throw all that away if we could be happy together forever. I admittedly have a very big problem with not letting things go and holding on to hope for too long.
So things were good for several months. I hadn’t brought up any discussion about our future but he had mentioned previously that he was concerned about money for a ring – let me sidebar and talk about the ring thing here. Again, I am scared to say the truth here because I know I will be judged but here it goes. I’ve waited a long time clearly. That means I am more established, I am with someone more established etc. Let me preface by saying I buy everything on sale. I don’t buy designer clothes, I don’t have really any expensive jewelry. The most expensive I can think of is the pearl necklace my brother and sister got me for my college graduation (maybe $300?). I drive a Ford, etc. But yes, I would like a nice ring. If I were marrying someone who makes $40K per year, then I would never expect it. But I’m with someone who makes 10 times that. So, anyways, I brought up the ring thing to him years ago and he said he would never spend the kind of money I was looking for on a ring (Ideally I’d like 2 carats – again, please go easy on the judgment – if I could have the money for that instead and give it to homeless animals, I would gladly do that, but that’s not reality, he wouldn’t do that). So, ok, I knew that and was ok with it. When he said money was a reason he hadn’t proposed, I thought maybe he wanted to surprise me with an awesome ring. Keep in mind, I told him I didn’t need a ring or a wedding. And I meant it.
He paid off his student loans in December and so I figured, ok a proposal should be coming. I brought something up in late December and he acted like I was crazy for thinking a proposal was anywhere close to happening. He brought up other problems that made him not want to commit to me via marriage. I told him then like I told him in June, if you don’t know by now that you want to marry me, problems and all, then we need to end this. “I do want to marry you”. Ok, we need to be “engaged” by February (again, I don’t need a ring so whatever engaged means – say we are getting married? plan a wedding?)
February came and went. Sat down around March 1 and talked about my frustration, said I was ready to walk away etc. He says, maybe a prenup would help with his concerns (he has a good friend who just went through a bad divorce). I said, ok I’m willing to consider that (I’m not in it for his money), but said he needed to look into it QUICKLY. Fast forward 6 weeks – he had called a couple attorneys but hadn’t heard back. I told him how absolutely horribly this was affecting me emotionally, sent an email while I was laying awake at night saying a wedding or marriage date had to be set by June 1 and that I wasn’t bringing things up again. He finally made an appt with an attorney (magically they responded to him then? I don’t know).
So he drafted a prenup and I wasn’t ok with some of the terms because I felt like I would not be protected – what if we chose together for me to stay home with the kids? He had in there that alimony was completely off the table, etc. So we talked through that and he sent me a new draft. This was all like 2 weeks ago. I didn’t actively respond to the draft – I am WAY beyond stressed at work, 11-12 hour work days plus 2 hour commute (his commute is less than 10 min each way). He kinda casually brings it up last week saying he doesn’t want me to say he didn’t do anything about it and I said I thought the prenup was good but was feeling some serious resentment toward him. And this is really the bottom line. Everything good and happy about this has been stripped away. I do not want a ring from him period – the only ring he could give me that I wouldn’t resent is a sentimental one i.e. his grandmother’s ring or something. He said he could afford to spend $5K on a ring max when he has a $10K watch sitting on his wrist. So I don’t want that because I would look at it and think of his selfishness. I don’t want the ring I actually want because I know he doesn’t want to spend the money on it so I would resent that looking at it every day. My point with all this is I’m not waiting for him to get down on one knee with a ring. I don’t even care about a wedding – I’m happy to go to the courthouse. I’m 36 and this has not happened in the fun, exciting way I had always dreamed and just don’t know that I want to put the energy and effort into a big wedding at this stage in my life. And the real thing, I feel like I’ve been dragging him along every step of the way and I don’t feel like he really wants to marry me. I say this to him and he tells me he does want to marry me, he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I tell him I want to feel some kind of romance or emotion that shows me he really wants this.
Well June 1 was this past weekend and we are obviously nowhere. Could I push forward and say, ok let’s get this prenup finalized (btw he won’t “get engaged” until the prenup is finalized – he doesn’t want a failed engagement according to him) and be the one to say ok let’s get a date in the books etc.? Yes I could do all that and we’d probably get there eventually. But I want to feel like he actually wants this. I don’t want to be the only one driving the process. So June 1 has passed, no wedding/marriage date is set, and I don’t know what to do. I think I know the answer but I still have this doubt in the back of my mind like, what if I had said 2 weeks ago, ok the prenup is good to go and had him move forward with spending money getting that finalized etc (probably would take another month or so)? Is there anything I could have done better or differently? Is any of this on me? Am I being too unreasonable? After 7 years, if I walk away like I probably should, I don’t want any regrets…