- 7 years ago
I’ve been hanging around this board, and I’ve posted some, but I haven’t officially introduced myself so I’ll do it now.
My Boyfriend or Best Friend and I have been dating and living together for 5 years. We have a great, comfortable, honest relationship and the idea of getting married never truly crossed my mind seriously until a few months ago. I was busy with finishing up school, he was busy with work and I was fine with the status quo.
But a few months ago, for some reason, the idea of getting married for real started to creep into my consciousness. I even had dreams about it. So, I brought the idea up to the Boyfriend or Best Friend. We had a very mature, honest, realistic discussion. His exact words were, “I feel neutral about marriage, but if it is important to you we can get married”.
Initially, I took those words to mean “I don’t want to get married TO YOU”. They really hurt my feelings. And when I dug down deep, I realized that the reason they hurt so much was because my Boyfriend or Best Friend had talked about marrying his former girlfriend, and also because his perceived words kind of echoed my deepest, darkest fear: that I am unloveable and unwanted.
I had a terrible childhood to put it mildly. Parents divorced at 6, sexually abused for years by my mom’s boyfriend (eventually husband), sent to live with my biological father at 13 who turned out to be a horrible, violent alcoholic. I seriously couldn’t have written a worse childhood for a novel! I felt like neither of my parents wanted me, I didn’t feel important to them, I felt completely and utterly unloved. To this very day, my mother has not left her pedophile husband (he did serve time for his crimes against me and she waited for him!) and my father who, as far as I know, is still slowly drinking himself to a miserable death.
I have very little contact with anyone in my family, for obvious reasons. I spent 10 years in therapy as an adult (I am now 31) and thought that I had “come to terms” with as much of the trauma and pain as possible. But the idea of getting married, and not fully understanding exactly what my Boyfriend or Best Friend was trying to tell me, started to do a number on my head. I started to run the gamut of emotions, almost going crazy with anger and hurt and a feeling of being almost cheated.
So, last night, all night long, my Boyfriend or Best Friend and I talked. I laid it all out on the table: what I was thinking, how I was feeling. And my Boyfriend or Best Friend cleared up a few things for me as well: that the only reason he ever even considered marrying his ex-GF was due to her religious culture, that he felt like the marriage would have ended terribly, that he has never been able to be so open and honest with another human being as he has been with me. He told me that he loved me, deeply. He reminded me that we’ve already started a family together (dogs! Neither of us wants kids), that he holds me in the same regard as if I were already his wife and that a marriage to him would not change his thoughts or emotions surrounding me, that it would only be a piece of paper. For the first time in a long while, I felt like I really HEARD him. I felt special, and loved, and so so incredible lucky to have found a man like him.
We already looked at rings awhile back. We’ve both joked about each of us proposing to the other person (before things got crazy in my head and things went nutso for a little bit), wanting to make a game of it. I realized last night that my Boyfriend or Best Friend really does want to marry me, if that is what I decide is important to me. It’s just not important to him because he already feels married to me in his heart.
So I made a big decision. I told him that after 10 hours of talking, I think both of us have said everything we can think of that needs to be said concerning the issue of marriage and I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Now I need to decide if I really want to get married. And if I do, I told him that I want to propose to him. It will have more meaning to me if he accepts my proposal.
I feel like such an emotional weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I just wanted to throw it up on the board in case any other Bee is going through a similar situation. I think, initially, I was thinking that getting married was going to solve all my childhood wounds, and I think I would have been in for a rude awakening. I’m glad that we are on the same page now. I feel liberated, like the idea of getting married isn’t going to decide how we feel about each other.
I know this post was super long, and if you took the time to read it all – thanks! It feels good to say this stuff because I NEVER talk about my personal issues and NEVER mention my family to the few friends that I have. It feels kind of good to open up, even if it is to a bunch of strangers. 🙂