Post # 1
Having a bit of a rough day again, and I’ll summarise here what’s going on.
I have been with my SO for 5 years although we’ve been broken up twice the first 3 years. All in all it hasn’t been an easy lovestory. The first few years we both had baggage and fights and arguments were pretty much on a daily basis. The worst period was at the beginning of 2017, where I actually moved out for a few days and we started therapy. Therapy was long and difficult, and things were very bad before they became better. The first time I ever brought up marriage was April 2016 (I still remember it). Everytime I brought it up since then, he said he was ready but our couple wasn’t. Too much conflict and he wouldn’t like to live the rest of his life like that.
December 2017 we take a 3-week trip, the marriage topic is brought up again and we have a very nasty argument, ends up in two days not talking. I ask him if he ever wants to propose, and when, and he says “If I don’t propose by 2018 it means we just don’t work, so I either propose by 2018 or I won’t and that will be it”. I was actually happy with it at least it gave me some kind of guideline. Fast forward to March, for the past 2 months our relationship started to actually Work. We’re caring, attentive, handle small arguments very well, and he is clearly VERY happy with it. A couple of weeks ago I tell him I am feeling stressed because I have no idea what’s going on in his head. He says things are going so well that he couldn’t even hope they’d get so much better, and that the thought popped in his mind to propose by June, since we’re taking another trip in June. He does say that as of today he still isn’t comfortable enough with asking me, as the good period has been 2 months (vs. almost 5 years!) but he thought about June as realistic as that’s another 3 months away.
Fast forward again to two days ago, we were discussing Christmas and what to do. I had expressed my wish to get married in December this year (if a proposal was to happen) for a number of logistic reasons. He blurts out that December no, is too soon, and he didn’t even ask me to marry him yet. A LONG conversation (and by long I mean 5 hours) ensues. He says things are going very well but we’ve had 5 years of bad relationship that cannot be just erased by 2 months of things going well, and that he is hoping to be ready (actually be ready is not correct. He hopes he will feel the relationship is strong enough) in June. He also said that after proposing he would like to have a 1 year engagement in preparation to the wedding because that will also give us time to have additional security in the fact that our couple indeed works.
I am not upset because of what he says – I do think he is right. I understand that he is scared because almost 5 years were terrible and difficult, and we’re starting now to see the light. At the same time he is 38, I am 31, I want kinds, I want to get married, I want to feel safe. I don’t know what I am asking here, probably I just needed to vent and to feel comforted by strangers and to be told that it will be alright.
Post # 2
Sorry, just to add to it. He didn’t say he is proposing in June, he said that he thought June would be OK as it’d been 6 months since when things started working and it’s at the same time of a holiday with both sets of parents. He said it obviously depends on how things go, and that if things keep going well then he would propose.
Post # 3
I don’t know. Five years should absolutely be long enough to have an idea if a relationship will work in the long run. I agree with him 5 years of bad cannot be fixed in 2 months… I would argue it can’t be fixed by June either, but I don’t know the dynamics of the relationship. I would just take it easy and try not to get too worked up. Just enjoy your relationship and the way it is going right now. Don’t push something that is not going to work because it will only cause heart break in the grand scheme of things.
Good luck, bee. Focus on enjoying your relationship, not getting engaged.. it’ll happen when it happens (maybe June!).
Post # 4
I think you should give it more time and not push it. I have to agree with him. You’ve guys had had 5 years of bad in the relationship. I’m surprise you guys hung on to it for that long together. But you guys managed to worked through it and that’s amazing. If he’s been hanging on with you through the bad for 5 years, give him some time now that it’s actually good. Couple of months of good definitely doesn’t erase the many years of the bad, like he said. I think he wants to be sure the relationship stays its course. I’d say try going a year without bringing it up and if the relationship stays good, then maybe bring it up again. Don’t keep bringing it up and push in it on him. Otherwise, he could be thinking you’re trying to make it good just for a proposal. He probably wants to be sure you guys can handle it for a much longer period before propsal and marriage.
Post # 5
I agree with him. 2 months of good definitely does not erase 5 years of bad. 6 months doesn’t either.
I’d take a step back and think about why you’re so anxious to get married. Is it because you truly love this guy? Or is it simply because you’re 31 and already sunk 5 years into this relationship?
Post # 6
I agree with your Boyfriend or Best Friend and think that you need more time to figure out if you are compatible or if the relationship will just go back to the bad.
As a PP said, start concentrating on your relationship and stop thinking about the engagement.
Post # 7
2definitelymaybe : I’m sorry because this is not what you want to hear, but I agree with your boyfriend that 2 months of good doesn’t outweigh 5 years of bad. I don’t think that 6 months of good does either. If you guys can have a good year, then I think you should think about engagement.
And I also think that being engaged for a year is smart, not just from a planning perspective, but to make sure that you are strong as a couple and better off together.
I understand that you are 31 and anxious to have kids, but you need a solid foundation and a strong relationship before you bring kids into the world. Kids are wonderful, but having kids is only going to make things more complicated and more stressful. And you need to build a solid foundation before you jump into that.
So I would say, enjoy the relationship as it is. Make it the best relationship that you guys can.
Maybe instead of getting married in Dec 2018, you can get engaged in Dec 2018 and married in Dec 2019. Obviously that’s not up to me, but that is the earliest timeline I would recommend.
As for now, stop thinking about engagement, and enjoy your relationship!
Post # 8
slpjessie : Thanks for the feedback, I know I should focus on the relationship as I did in the past two months (and things changed when I started doing it).
luckyrabbit : I think the reason why we held on to each other is… love. And the fact that we could both see our future together. I know it’s pretty amazing that after such a long bad time we actually came through the other side in a better shape than ever. We worked hard. The last sentence you said, He probably wants to be sure you guys can handle it for a much longer period before propsal and marriage. that’s almost his view, word for word.
llevinso : He brought up June, I didn’t ask, so somewhere in his head 6 months might be enough to at least get the committment started (not that he is not committed, but I mean the engagement type of commitment). I don’t think it’s because I am 31, I do want kids as I said but that’s not a dealbreaker and I can picture myself without kids. So, after all, the biological clock is not in full force (not yet). And I know I could easily meet someone else who’s more compatible with me on the day-to-day interactions, I am very aware of my “value”. But I don’t want anyone else, I want him, the future I see is with him.
sharpshooter : Thank you, it’s just hard a times, especially since he mentioned June. I wish he didn’t say anything.
Post # 9
anabee323 : Don’t get me wrong, I actually agree with him on the fact that 2 months don’t make up for 5 years! I was actually the one who said, when he mentioned June, that 6 months don’t do it either, but he replied that 6 months is consistent enough for him, and that he might just decide it gave him a good enough insight. The December 2017 thing as I said if for logistic reasons only (we live far away and I love the idea of two ceremonies, for me both Countries are home. In December 2017 will be summer where we currently live), but it would only work this year – in December next year we will be in a Country where it is actual winter and he doesn’t want to get married in Winter (me neither).
Post # 10
Be careful you’re not falling for the sunk cost fallacy.
You have invested five terrible years, including two breakups .
Two months of ‘good’ out of five years is a fly speck. What made everything suddenly change in March? Is it genuine change or eggshell dancing?
You can love someone and be wildly incompatible. Unfortunate, but true.
Something in the tone of your posts feels wobbly. As if you’re trying too hard. Real change is a process, not an event.
Your position on kids is concerning. You say you want kids, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Does that mean your bf doesn’t want kids? Children are one relationship issue that truly cannot be negotiated. If you want kids and he doesn’t yet you’re cavalierly dismissing the issue as a non dealbreaker, the net result will be a lifetime of resentment.
Post # 11
sassy411 : Hi there, let me clarify. That’s right, real change is a process, and this process started more than a year ago when we started therapy. We started to have some good periods and then bad again, but good periods started to be longer because we actually learnt how to communicate to each other. And it started being consistently good with no “interruptions” or “downs” a couple of months ago. I do think it’s genuine change but I can only speak for myself. I tend to be a strict person and I am simply learning to love him for who he is.
My position on kids: yes, I do see myself having kids, and I want kids at some point in the next couple of years. However, if that didn’t happen because one of us couldn’t (infertility etc.) or because we couldn’t be as financially stable as we wanted, or any other reason, I would be OK with it, I probably wouldn’t even try IVF (but this might change when I am 35 or 40, who knows).
He thinks exactly the same. We don’t want kids now because we both want the relationship to be stronger but we both want them someday because we know we have the same idea of family and we are completely compatible on that.
Some time ago I asked him what he’d do if I told him I decided one day I don’t want children. He said it would be fine because it’s not a dealbreaker for him either, and he’d rather spend his life with me without children, rather than having children with someone else.
Post # 12
sassy411 : I think my reply disappeared 🙁 in short yes, change is a process, and it started 1 year ago with therapy. A slow process, but we’re seeing the results of it now, consistently. Re: kids it’s not a dealbreaker meaning that if it doesn’t happen (ex. fertility issues) then I’d be fine with it. I want kids with him as a natural step of our relationship in the future, but I don’t want kids in general, I want them with him. But I don’t feel that strong urge or instinct that some people have.
Post # 12
I am also surprised you two made it through these five years. Two breakups in the first three is extremely concerning – typically the first two years are a honeymoon phase.
I guess my best advice would be to keep working on things slowly and see how they go from there. You need a lot of time to be sure the relationship is fully stable now.
Also, I wouldn’t worry about fertility too much. My mom had me at 36 and my brother at 41. You have time if you choose to go down that road.
Post # 13
jayquellen : Thanks for the reassurance. My own sister has my niece when she was 36. Yes, we’ll keep working on things, that’s a given! Honestly sometimes I am also surprised that we made it through two (although breaf) breakups and almost 10 months of couple therapy.
Post # 14
In my experience, a good relationship with the right person is actually easy. Sure there can be hard times, but your relationship should not be exhausting, and yours sounds exhausting to me.
A wise person once said to me, marriage is hard, but dating shouldn’t be. The fact that you guys have already gone to couple’s counseling and are spending time analyzing if your relationship is stong enough, is concerning.
I agree with PP about waiting longer before getting egnaged. I hope your relationship continues with it’s stability trend so that you both can move foward when the time is right