(Closed) And then there were none (I am the last unmarried woman in our group)

posted 9 years ago in Waiting
Post # 17
3968 posts
Honey bee

@Isilme:  I’m so sorry you have been living in this turmoil.  I definitely remember the feelings I had, watching friends meet and get married – all while DH and I were dating.  I think it’s great that you understand your partner’s stance on marriage and the issues he has with it.   If I were in your shoes, I’d ask myself, can I allow myself to be happy for the rest of my life, if I have no legal commitment to him.  That’s something that only you can really know in the depths of your heart.  I know you don’t want to give him any conditions (which I whole-heartedly respect).  This is about YOU, not him, at this point.  If you choose to stay in a relationship with him, then embrace that and choose to be happy.  Don’t choose it and live in this state of continual misery because it makes you feel less-than.  That sounds like a level of hell.

You mentioned that you’ve seen the progress he is making and the time to leave would have been in your 20’s.  I spent my entire 20’s in a relationship with the most wonderful late-developer.  I wanted to get married badly, but in the end, I had a handful of basic deal-breakers that he couldn’t follow through with (related to his employment, health, and eductation).  In the end, I realized I wasn’t willing to wait around, until he got his act together.  Now that we are closer to 40 than 30, he’s still getting his act together (or so I hear through the grapevine).  He’s made progress (just as he was making progress before) – but his progress was so slow and most 20 year olds have probably acheived what he has to this point (he had a motivation / laziness problem).  I guess I tell you all of this because just because the movement may be forward for him, it doesn’t mean that you need to wait around for him to catch up or that you missed some golden window to leave the relationship.

Your life is NOW.  Choose to be happy and be ok with the decisions that you have made and continue to make.  There’s no rulebook on how this should work – but you strike me as incredibly unhappy for the sake of a relationship that isn’t getting you to where you want to be.  Your needs are just as important than his needs.  You can decide to forgo those needs to be in a relationship with him, but realize that with it, comes the disappointment from not getting what you want.  Take the time to mourn that and then make a game plan how you will emotionally deal with it when you have difficult days.  HUGS to you!

Post # 18
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I lived it for 6 years, three of them married to a guy that really didn’t want to be married and ultimately it took a pregnancy scare to finally make him come clean and tell me that he never wanted to get married in the first place.  A shock for me since I never pushed the issue of marriage, partly because I was so young at the time (very early 20s) and not ready myself, and partly because I knew he didn’t want to get married.  Boy was a surprised when he proposed and then rushed our wedding date so we were married within 5 months of the proposal.  It should have been less of a shock when 3 years later he still didn’t want to be married much less have children with me.

I wasted a lot of great years on a man who was really still a child.  I hate seeing someone else making the same mistake but honestly it’s a mistake you have to make for yourself so you know what the ultimate outcome will be.  Please don’t compromise on things you know are essential to you, it’s not wrong to want to get married but it is wrong to marry somebody who doesn’t want to be married.  And honestly at this point waiting around for him to change his mind is only going to be a waste of time.  If you want kids don’t blow your chance to have kids by giving this guy years of your life that you can’t get back.  Thankfully I was released by my ex in my mid-20s when I still had plenty of time and youth to go out, enjoy myself, and find somebody else who wants the same things out of life that I do.

Post # 19
209 posts
Helper bee

WOW… You have the patience of a saint. Seriously. Sixteen years is a long time to wait. Do you think you would be okay going another 16 years without a proposal? If you think you’re okay with life how it is then no reason to give him ultimatums. Hang in there!

Post # 21
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@Isilme:  I really wish it was so cut and dry for me as it looks like it is for so many others.

I don’t think it is cut and dry for really many. You’re in a really tough situation. You love this man dearly, that is clear. You want a marriage; that is also clear. Wanting to be married doesn’t mean you’re pinning him down or subjecting him or yourself to ‘ring prostitution’. It’s you saying that this one thing, this committment, is very important in your life. And we only get ONE shot at this life. 

Some men come upon the decision to marry more easily than others, but that shouldn’t necessarily dictate your decision in the end. Ultimately, only you can decide if you would be happy if you were to never be married. If you feel that being with your SO forever, even as a Girlfriend, would sustain you, then that is what you should do. And of course, vent here when you’re feeling down!

However, if thinking about never being married leaves with you with an incurable sadness, then I think you should seriously think about that too. This may sound harsh, but we get over heartbreak; it may break your heart to leave your SO, but time heals those wounds. If you feel that you’ll be sad for the rest of your life that you may not be married, then that’s something to think seriously about.

Two people can love each other greatly, and have no major red flags, and still just not be right for each other because of mismatched goals. This can mean different views on marriage, to children, to finances, to travel desires… Sometimes leaving a relationship isn’t about ultimatiums, it’s just about saying ‘we don’t have the same goals’ and moving on.

Now, I’m not saying this is what YOU should do as you seem pretty passionate about staying with your SO. But it makes my heart sad for you to know you’re so sad over this. If we were friends IRL, I would say that I think it is worth doing some true soul-searching over, but of course would support you no matter what!

Best of luck, and lots of hugs!

Post # 22
777 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I feel your pain, as of right now all of my college friends are engaged or married… the last engaged girl is getting married next month. (And by the wedding she will have only known her fiance for 13 months whereas I am closing in on 3 years with SO) I’m happy that she’s found this guy (don’t know much about him though, haven’t met him yet) but can’t help feeling like I’m left out. I just keep hoping that the proposal will be around the corner soon…

Post # 23
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

So I’m not very good about the correct terminology for extended family members but… my grandmother’s husband’s son got married to his girlfriend of 18 years recently. It took him well into his 50s to realize that if he wanted this woman to stick around he ought to make that clear to her. I’m not saying that your SO will figure it out in the next two years but I thought it might be nice to know that you aren’t totally alone in sticking it out so long.

Post # 24
1390 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I have no words and I get the feeling you’re not exactly looking for advice.

I get what you’re saying.  I get the situation, I get the ring prostitution and the whole bit.

There is nothing wrong with being satisfied in your life, but still wanting something tweaked,

Vent with us, we can listen and not judge.

Post # 25
8 posts
  • Wedding: November 2006

I have followed your story as well and I’m sure it is very frustrating for you to still be in this position (despite the fact that you are telling yourself that you have resigned to be in it indefinitely).  I have to admit that I do not follow all of your logic in not taking control of the situation.  I know you say that if you leave you will be vaildating his thoughts that all a woman wants is a ring and to trap a man.  I understand what you are getting at somewhat but I think this is what you tell yourself so that you can rationalize your situation.  No one could logically think that a woman who has been with a man for 16 years before standing up for herself and what she wants in asking for marriage is only looking for a ring and a party.

An ulitmatum does not “communicate a ring is more important than being with him” – it communicates that you respect what you want out of life and are willing to create a life that makes you happy and that you deserve.

I really do feel for you.  You can make excuses for him that his mother babied him, that he started life later then most, etc. but what that fails to do is take into account the fact that there are two people in your relationship.  It seems as though he is always getting more consideration.

I was never a person who felt one needed to be married.  In fact, I am only really married because my husband was very adamant about doing it and I loved him.  We have been happily married for almost two years, together for 5 but if it were up to me I would never have gotten around to it  My point is, getting married didn’t mean that much to me (in that I could take it or leave it) but it meant a lot to him so we decided to do it as a couple.  

I really really hope that you find peace in your relationship.  I know I don’t understand the ins and outs of your life together and understand that you have talked about it with him.  Have  you discussed recently?  What do you say to him when you bring it up?

Post # 26
2200 posts
Buzzing bee

So I saw this yesterday and didn’t want to be to hasty in my response. I personally think you need to stop dwelling on not being married and be happy that you have had a 16 years relationship.

Every few months you come on here complaining about the same thing over and over again, but you are not willing to change your situation. I dont intend to be harsh or mean, but if you don’t like the fountain, drink from another well. Next year it will be 17 years and the year after that 18 years. Four years from now it will be 20…. At some point you have to come to terms with the decision YOU made, to stick with a man that isn’t ready or willing to give you want you want and the millions of excuses you have given him why it is OK. 

Be HAPPY in what you have. You have a man that has stuck by your side for 16 years. You have a relationship that has lasted longer than any of your friends because you have let go of the need to be married to stay in your relationship. while it is sad, at some point you have to take responsibility that this is what you chose for yourself. Dwelling on it is going to cause nothing but more unhappiness and resentment in your relationship. You don’t need to be married, you said that yourself. You aren’t going to leave your man whom isn’t going to give you marriage to find someone who will because that isn’t the definition of love to you. That is fine, but what you need to do now is find peace and solice in that decision you made. Own it and take back your happiness. You don’t need the ring or piece of paper, so make yourself happy in your life without it. 

Post # 27
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I hear you. I’ve been in that boat and I was miserable. The worst part is getting over the negative comments and snarky remarks from friends and family. Aren’t they suppose to support you instead of making you sad?! Never understand why people have to be so mean about a non-married couple. My relationship is just as valid in common law.

I think the only way I got through it is by reminding myself that I really love this person and may be he will eventually come around. He loves me and wants to be with me for the rest of his life. He is scared of marriage because of all the scars he has. It is not me that he does not want, it is the institution itself.

We did a vow exchange on the beach between the two of us, it was very romantic. It was just the two of us, I felt really good afterwards. The wedding fever didn’t return for almost a year after that but it did come back because people just couldn’t stop commenting on how it is time… argh!!!

Stay strong, believe in your love for each other and keep talking it through together ๐Ÿ™‚

On the positive note, he has been by your side for 16 years, that’s longer than most marriages around here!

Post # 28
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m dragging up an old post here, but hope everything has worked out for you, OP! You haven’t posted in 6 months so I’ll go with no news is good news ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 29
32 posts

@Isilme:  Bumping this up again. I hope everything is going well for you, since this is from a year ago ๐Ÿ™‚ 

16 years is a long time girl. I think of you as a married person already, even without the title…it sounds like you and your S/O (/ life partner) have been through a lot of ups, downs, and personal growth. To me, that’s what a marriage REALLY is. Congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚  

I hope your life and r/s are full of love, laughter, and trust; I’m sure that is what you will remember at the end of the day.

Post # 30
255 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
Isilme:  I’m happy you came back with an update. It makes me a little sad that it hasnt happened for you yet but I am very proud of you for communicating how you feel. Sometimes men are really oblivious to the feelings that their actions might cuase us. I know that a ring is something that you want but it can come later. You can get a place holder ring until you both can get you the ring you want. What matters is that he wants to be with you and Im soo glad that you are looking into marriage licenses and the like. Congrats in advance and I hope everything works out well for you!!

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