Post # 1
My bf and I have been together almost 8 yrs. Next month, will actually be 8 yrs. Last Dec, he finally wised up and got me a ring. We went to Robbins Bros and I picked out my ring. But he never proposed actually and I guess I assumed that since I got an engagement ring, we were engaged. I was so disappointed that the ring didn’t come with a proposal but I disregarded it cos’ I was just so happy that he FINALLY got me a ring. So we started planning for a wedding and had even picked 10/10/10 to be married. Fast forward, 4 months later and all this planning – he’s started acting weird and moody and has even started drinking a lot. Every time I ask him what’s wrong, he tells me “nothing” but continues to be moody. We’ve been fighting on and off over the past couple of weeks until I finally confronted him and told him to tell me what’s going on. He couldn’t tell me face to face so he wrote me a letter.
In the letter, it said that the ring was only supposed to be a promise ring cos’ he feels he’s not really ready for marriage right now. He knows that he should’ve spoken up sooner before it all got out of hand. I was enraged, mad, disappointed – you name it! In my head, all I can think of was that “I’m not worthy of his love if he can’t even marry me.” But then I started thinking about it and come to the conclusion, we were never really engaged. He never popped the question and I never said, “Yes”. I took the ring as a symbol of his commitment and promise to me. I know people are probably scrutinizing over the amount of time we’ve been together but now I come to realize as he pointed out that we shouldn’t really listen to everyone telling us, “It’s about time” but instead ask, “Is it the right time?” Only we can make that decision and will make it once we’re ready.
Although, with the unraveling of this whole thing – I also can’t help to think and wonder where our relationship is now headed. I mean, I agree with him that we probably are really not ready for marriage right now but he’s also brought up the idea of taking some time apart to figure things out. Now call me old-fashioned but I just can’t get myself to agree to some “time off”. I told him that there are a lot of things that can happen and it’s a 50/50 chance that it can make or break the relationship. I don’t want to put so much pressure on him to stay in the relationship but I also don’t want to let him go. What should I do? What do I need to consider? We’ve agreed to go to counseling so we can at least get some guidance and direction. Any thoughts on this or advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Post # 3
So sorry to hear you’re going through this after eight years together.
With the information you gave, I’m more inclined to side with you vs him – what’s some time apart going to accomplish this late in the game?
What are your ages?
Are you living together? (Do you own the house together?)
Specifically, what are the reasons you think you two may not be ready for marriage at this time? It sounds like you kind of agree with him on that, but I’m curious, after 8 years together, what’s still holding you back?
Post # 4
So sorry you’re going through this.
I think you’ve got some level headed thoughts going on and if he’s not ready and since you agree than 10/10/10 probably won’t work and that’s for the best either way it turns out.
Some time apart might help clarify some things, me and my husband did this when we first started dating because we had both just gotten out of long term relationships and just couldnt pull ourselves together but there were some clear rules if he ever wanted to get back together (like no sleeping with other people, though we did both date other people). But a break isn’t always the best answer, sometimes you just need to confront issues head on, like ripping off a bandaid if there are direct issues to address. But maybe counseling will help clear up what’s the best path.
Post # 5
First of all, I think you should not get married. If one or both of you are not ready, it will be a big mistake to get married now. Are you the type of person that really wants to be married? Would you be happy being in a long term committed relationship that just doesn’t have the legal aspects of being married?
Is he saying that he wants to take a break from your relationship to figure it out? I don’t think that would be good for you guys this late in the relationship. If he is talking about a break from the wedding, then I agree with that for sure. My husband and I took a break early in our relationship because I had never been in a serious relationship before but I don’t know why you would want a break after 8 years together.
That is great that you are going to counseling. I’m sure that will help you to figure out what both of you want from the relationship.
Post # 6
There was obviously a HUUUUUGE miscommunication. You took it to mean more than it was supposed to, he didn’t really propose, but he said nothing.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling him, “if you want to take a break, it’s forever” because it’s the truth. He’s a big boy–he can stay if he wants or not. You aren’t pressuring him to stay. But why does he want a break? what does he think it will accomplish? Those are things you guys can talk about. If he’s tired of being with you, that’s one thing. If he just feels overwhelmed by everything, that’s different, ya know? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by life and then say, “ah, my partner is smothering me. i need a break from you!” because it’s the easy fix. Even though it may be the wrong one.
But he wants a break from you…maybe the relationship has run it’s course if you aren’t happy with him. You can’t force yourselves to stay together. You’re approaching this very logically. But do you love him and want to stay with him? Do you think the issues you need to work out are something that CAN be fixed or not?
I definitely don’t think there should be a wedding if you aren’t 100% committed to each other and it sounds like you aren’t =
Post # 7
Like prttyflowers, I think some more detail on how old you are and your living situation would help. From everything you are saying so far though, I must admit that I do not understand why after 8 years someone wouldn’t know if they were ready to marry you or not.
Post # 8
Im Sorry for what you are going through and I understand that taking a break would be hard .. but if he suggested the break, have you tried talking to him about it? If he mentioned it I dont think he said it just to say it and you cant really force him to stay (like ejs said you cant force yourselves to stay together).
I def think you should have a looong and deep conversation with him about it and try and see why he feels he needs a break from you AFTER SO LONG?!
Post # 9
First, I think it’s great for you to go to counseling, and I commend you for recognizing that!
I also agree with the other posters that this isn’t the time to get married. I would stop with the planning and focus solely on the relationship. After 8 years together, it’s definitely a difficult thing to swallow that your significant other isn’t ready for marriage. Are you ready for marriage? If you’re happy with the way your relationship was before you guys bought your ring, then maybe that’s where you both need to try to get back to. Who cares what anyone else thinks? As long as you’re both on the same page with where your relationship is, then that’s all that matters.
I think talking with the counselor will help to get some of the issues of your relationship out in the open so that you can work on those first. Then, maybe down the line…someday…you with BOTH be ready for marriage.
Post # 10
Yeah, I mean – If I were you I’d be getting a little fed up. If you really want marriage (which it sounds like you do) and he isn’t willing to commit on that level, then I would probably let him go. I know it’s easier said than done, but you can’t be happy in the relationship at this point if it isn’t headed towards marriage and that’s not fair to him.
Post # 11
OK I am going to be harsh: DTMFA. (Google this if you don’t know what it means.)
If a guy isn’t ready after eight years, there’s a good chance he’ll never be ready. (Unless you guys met when you were thirteen or something.) His behavior has been passive aggressive and cruel. He has not treated you in a loving way.
What he wants is not a break, it’s a break up. (Or a trial run break up to see if he can meet someone else, which is the same thing.)
Yes, I could be wrong on all of this, but my instincts tell me I’m right. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. To have someone who would give you the courtesy of proposing, or at least TELLING YOU that they’re not proposing. You’re missing out on meeting a guy who will be these things by staying with him.
Good luck, and I really hope things work out.
Post # 12
Thank you all so much for the advice. I guess to answer some questions. I am 32 and he’s 28. We don’t own a house or live together. I refused to move in with him until he proposed and I knew that we are going to be married. Otherwise, as cliche as it sounds, I just keep hearing that old adage in my head telling me, “Why buy the milk when you can get the cow for free?”
Just a bit more history on our relationship. This is both our first long term relationship. We’re both kind of latebloomers. We also lost our virginities to each other. I had told him that I was open to having some time apart but there needs to be limits (i.e., no sleeping around, no dating other people). Because I think that since we’ve been together all this time, he feels that he’s missed out on part of his life and hasn’t really “sown his oats yet”. I had told him that if we were to go on a break and he ends up sleeping around, then the relationship is over. I just won’t be able to forgive him for that and there’s really no other way around that for me.
We’ve tried to sorta take this so-called “break” a few times now and after a few days just end up going back to each other. Call me crazy but I know that there’s obviously something special between us which is why we keep coming back to each other. However, I just don’t know why he feels the urge or the need that he needs to “explore” before he feels he can really make a commitment to me. I’m just not OK with that and I’ve told him plenty of times, it’s all or nothing.
I don’t know if the near future will be an easy one. We have yet to start counseling probably next week. But I know it’s a 50/50 thing. We either salvage the relationship or we part our separate ways. I guess deep down, I’m still wishing for a happy ending. That even though we’re not getting married this year, we’re at least working towards that some time in the future.
Post # 13
Seems pretty clear, either he gets over wanting to “sow oats” and marries you, or you go your separate ways now. I’m not sure what he intends to accomplish on the break if not to be with other women, since it sounds like that’s his major concern.
If you do go on a break/break up, I’d suggest cutting all contact for at least several months. There’s always a chance when he has to go through actually losing you, he’ll change his tune. But if you keep in contact, he never really has to process the loss, and it won’t have the same effect.
It’ll be interesting to get your counselor’s take on what the next steps are.
Post # 14
i can understand and forgive some of things he is saying perhaps but there is one big thing that is really bugging me. you say you all settled on a date of 10/10 and you’ve doing all this planning for months, yet he didn’t feel the need to say something to you during all this time. and even then he still can’t tell you – he had to write it in a letter. it just sounds like he is kind of immature and obviously needs more communication skills. i agree with the previous poster that said he has not treated you in a loving way and has created a situation that might humiliate and embarass you and your family.
and again, 8 years is a long time to still be unsure. yes, you keep coming back to each other all the time – that does mean there is something there – whether that thing is good or bad or healthy/unhealthy is a different issue. counseling is a great idea but keep in mind that counseling is meant to figure out if your relationship is on the right track or not – good outcomes in counseling doesn’t always mean you end up together at the end of it.
so sorry you are dealing with all of this. good luck.
Post # 15
You haven’t mentioned this yet but I thought I’d throw it out. If you’ve already booked vendors for the 10/10/10 date and don’t want to lose money in case things change, then I would call your vendors and let them know that you’re postponing the wedding. I did this with my first engagement. He and I needed time to sort things out and we didn’t want to lose money and we didn’t want money to be a factor hanging over our decision.
I think taking the time for both of you is a good idea. Wishing you the best
Post # 16
If I understood what you said in the 2nd post – it sounds like he’s not ready to be in a committed relationship (ie: wanting to see what else is out there). There’s no use in trying to salvage the relationship if he isn’t ready. It will be a losing battle. I’m SO sorry you are going through this. You may very well be the very best thing for him – but, if he doesn’t see that, then holding on to him tightly will only strangle him and not be a good foundation for marriage.
Has he actually told you he wants to see what else is out there? If he has, then I’d say, count your blessings that he was up front with you and you weren’t married when he found the itch.
I know eight years is a LONG time to invest in someone – but, there is no point in making it nine years, only to discover that he doesn’t really want to be committed to you.
It’s ok to have dealbreakers – ie: you wanting a commitment. If he isn’t ready, perhaps it’s time for you to move on.
Hang in there, sweetie. I know it’s not easy.