Post # 17
Ha ha, well, the consensus seems to be to drop it, so I suppose that is what I’ll do! I don’t know, it is still hard. I think his strange reactions tell me that, for whatever reason, the idea of marriage is bothering him or he’s struggling with it. It’s hard for me not to feel a little annoyed by that, although I know how non-productive it is. A little part of me just gets annoyed now because he wholeheartedly expects me to do all the usual nice things I usually do for him. Like, no, I don’t want to marry you, but I expect you to continue making my dinner and cleaning my house. Well, until spring then, I guess, and if it’s still an issue then I’ll have some hard decisions to make.
Post # 18
I don’t necessarily think that his reactions indicate that he has a problem with marriage. I think he’s feeling smothered right now maybe…
As far as doing the nice things….do them because you love him…not because you expect something from him. If you get to the point where you walk away from the relationship because of whatever reasons…that’s when the nice things stop.
This post reads harshly, but I mean it with your best interests in mind…I saw my friend go through this with her boyfriend who in the end told her that she had completely smothered him and he wanted out of the relationship. She always wishes that she had handled the months leading up to the break up differently…
Post # 19
No, I hear you. And I understand the difference between feeling and doing. A feeling is something that occurs naturally, you can’t help how you feel. Yes, I feel a bit annoyed right now when he’s kind of stonewalled on the topic but when I come home from a long day he wants a foot rub. But doing is a different matter. I understand if you can’t forge forward and be nice to each other when you’re not really feeling it, it’s not a good thing.
As far as the smothering thing…not knowing your friend at all, that sounds like a pretty jerky way for her ex-boyfriend to end a relationship! Isn’t ‘it’s not you, it’s me?’ pretty standard, vs. ‘it’s all your fault woman!’ I don’t know, in our case I don’t think that’s the issue. Maybe he does think I am smothering him on this particular issue, but in part that is due to HIS initial enthusiasm in talking about it, and my confusion when that suddenly changed. As a rule we are both super independent.
Post # 20
Then maybe he’s confused between the independent woman that he loves and the person who is needing feedback about wedding related questions. That’s pretty much what my friend decided in the end was the start of the unraveling…it was a pretty hard situation for both of them.
And I can’t tell exactly what went on in their relationship, but after they had the initial talk about marriage and then she went into full planning mode, their relationship changed over night for the worse. It was very sad. 🙁
Post # 21
I think everyone else has already responded very well and given you great advice. However, I don’t like some of what has been said. Not because it isn’t valid, it’s just that I feel differently. You are adults, and therefore should be able to have an adult conversation. Even if he were to say, "I’m not sure yet whether I want to marry you," at least he’s giving you information rather than getting defensive and snippy. He should not have sole control over what you’re allowed to discuss with him. Are you a child or are you his equal? He can’t just be unwilling to have a discussion with you. That’s ridiculous. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss where you stand in your relationship.
Reading your most recent posts, I wonder – does he rub your feet? Does he ever cook you dinner? Does he ever clean the house?
You have to give out that treatment sparingly. Seriously. You’re spoiling him. This is just coming from my point of view. In my mind, the roles should be reversed. He should be giving you the royal treatment. And if he wants to get snippy with you just because you want to have an adult conversation about where your relationship is going, I’d say CUT the royal treatment. He’s a grown man, he knows where the kitchen is. He knows how to use a vacuum cleaner. He needs to realize that your kindness should be appreciated. You are not a live-in maid.
Sorry, I just hate to hear about a good woman being treated like that.
Post # 22
Just to give a man’s perspective: the pressure on a guy to propose can be extremely strong and overwhelming.
I knew right away that I was going to marry Bee, but it was still extremely stressful to find the money to buy a ring. Every day that went by that I hadn’t proposed yet, I felt like I had let her down. It may not have been rational, but it was definitely what was going through my head.
Just a little context for what may (or may not!) be going through your mister’s head! 🙂
Post # 23
I think the other women have raised some good points and given good advice. I can only speak from my own experience. I am 32 and my fiance is 29. When we were dating for one year he moved across the country for work and said that, "we will know if this is going to work after 6 months of long distance." A year later I turned 30 and we started to talk about marriage.
Unfortunately this opened the floodgates for me, and I honestly think that he was just feeling out the subject and wasn’t truly ready. For the next year we had numerous conversations/arguments/total meltdowns on the subject. I was overwhelmed by the statistics that say you should have children before you’re 35. He is a very easy going guy and used to just listen to me cry on the phone because I was so upset that we were apart and that I would not move to be with him without a ring on my finger. But at a point he would just get upset with me.
I set two deadlines to try to make him "see" that I was serious, but he was just not ready and when the deadlines came he begged me to leave him alone and just let things be. Then, during one of many conversations something just changed. I didn’t register it then, but I can remember now a conversation where I was asked "can we agree that you’ll make a decision by my birthday and either decide that you want to marry me too or just let me go?" The conversation was 6 months before my birthday and I admit that I really didn’t let it go before then, but I tried. I think I even made a new years resolution not to talk about weddings or rings. As my birthday approached I mentally prepared myself to move on, and then 8 days after my birthday he held up his end of the deal and proposed.
In your case the seed has been planted and now he needs to nurture it and see if it will grow.
If I were in your situation, given how sensitive he is right now, I would wait at least a few weeks and then have the conversation to set a mutually agreed upon date to decide to marry or move on. I’d set the date at least 6-9 months in the future and then drop it and not speak of weddings or anything wedding related until then. Maybe you can plan a baby shower or some fabulous party for a friend to keep your mind off weddings. Start collecting magazine clippings and get ideas for your wedding, but do it in private. But, for your own self preservation have a date in your mind where YOU decide that you’re going to move on, because at the end of the day you are the only person who is 100% concerend with YOUR well being and 100% in control of your life.
Post # 24
Since you’re both a little older and have been together two years already, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask him where he sees the relationship going (I think two years is long enough to at least have an idea if you’re going to want to marry a person sometime in the future or not). Maybe say something along the lines of, "I don’t want to put any pressure on you, but I really want to know if you think we should get married some time in the future, even if it’s a ways off, or if you don’t see this relationship heading that direction." Then you can decide whether you’re okay being in a relationship that’s not headed that way or not. It does seem like it’s not such a good thing that he’s all of a sudden not wanting to talk about it.
When my fiance and I started dating, we were both very open with eachother about how we were looking for marriage and wanting to see if we should marry eachother. A relationship where we just got together and saw how things went wasn’t what we were looking for. So maybe just be clear with each other about what you’re looking for in the relationship, especially after two years.
Post # 25
Aw, thanks so much everyone for taking the time to post! It’s so cool to see the support and advice!
I think what I keep coming back to is that I just can’t know. I can’t know if he’s just nervous about the proposal, if he doesn’t like the idea of marriage at all, or what. And even if he says one thing now, there’s still no way for me to know how he will feel when it’s time to make it ‘real’ in the spring.
I guess what I have learned from the situation is that there are no guarantees in life. And to a degree, if I do love him, I will take him at his original word that this is something he wants to do. Of course we will have to talk about it again in the future but I think for the next couple of months at least I will retire the topic and hopefully give him time to reflect and figure things out without any pressure.
I think the hardest prospect for me will be what to do if he say no when next spring rolls around. I will be 32, not getting any younger if I want to have kids! Like someone said upthread, would you rather be with someone who you love but will not get married, or be alone with the prospect of maybe finding someone who wants to marry. I think the Catch 22 for me is that I do love him, but if by age 36 he is still not able to commit, despite knowing how important it is to me, then to some degree that makes me view him in a different light.
Post # 26
I feel for you, Miss Summertime! I recently went through a very similar situation. I am 33 and have been with my Fiance for 3.5 years – he just proposed. Like your BF, he was very resistant to the idea of marriage for a long time, but he has come around completely on his own. Now he’s more enthusiastic about getting married than I am.
Last year, we had a few blow-out fights over the topic, and like a few other women have already advised you, I decided to leave it alone. I did not speak of it for about six months, and whenever the topic came up I deliberately kept my mouth shut. I do not view this as a lack of communication – he already knew perfectly well that I wanted to get married. I know for a fact that he hated the feeling that he HAD to get engaged. I think he waited for a time when it seemed like his own choice, rather than something that was forced on him. Go with your instincts – if you have a gut feeling about why your man is doing something, trust it! As long as you can separate your gut instincts from your fears and tendencies to self-sabotage (if you do that – I know I do).
In the six months before he proposed, I seriously entertained the thought of life without him. And realized that while I would have been heartbroken if it did not work out, there is a world of other things out there. Including other men. My sister met the man of her dreams at 33 and married a year later. Yes, it is scary to leave a relationship in your early 30s, but things happen quickly at this age, and you just don’t know who could be waiting around the corner.
Things happen later for some of us these days – many of us have put serious relationships and marriage on the backburner because of education and career path choices. I was also very conscious in my 20s that I wanted to live my youth to its fullest. I probably could have married either of two of my serious BFs in my 20s. I am not sorry I waited. But people (men AND women) in their 30s can be really set in their ways. You get to a certain age and you have very fully-formed ideas about how you want to live your life.
Good luck! Have faith that love will guide you. That means not only your love for him, but also your love for yourself. Now is a great time to figure out if there is anything you would really love to do before all the marriage and kids stuff starts to happen.