(Closed) Difficult day today. Moved one step forward and two steps back.

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 17
4856 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think if he keeps side stepping the question and outight tells you that he doesn’t think marriage is important (it’s just a piece of paper for example) he’s making it pretty clear he doesn’t intend to go there. 

Post # 18
9130 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@LoveWillLightTheWay:  I had a sort of similar situation where we had the best relationship ever and had shared a wonderful life together for many years.  I didn’t really care about getting married (didn’t want to, even) until I hit late 20s and then started to get a little antsy.  He was skittish about marriage for whatever reason…

I told him something along the lines of “I’m not trying to pressure you, but in an ideal world we would be engaged by XX [a year in the future or so] and married by YY [a year after that].  You don’t have to commit to that right now, but if that’s not something you think you want to do, you need to let me know soon.  I want marriage and children and I’d like it to be with you, but if not, I’ll move on.”  Then backed off and gave him time to work through it.  Sure enough, he started talking about engagement and marriage, and then proposed, and now we’re super happily married (and he’s thrilled about it).

Not sure if that’s something that would work in your case, but I thought I’d share.

Post # 19
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@lolot:  Great advice!!!

Post # 21
1017 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@LoveWillLightTheWay:  It sounds like your SO feels that you two have more growth to make together as a couple before he’ll be able to commit to a timeline (it sounds like he’s already committed to YOU, I don’t think that’s a question for him). Definitely continue communicating and having these emotional talks, that’s the only way to keep moving forward towards getting the pair of you on the same page! I know they are painful to have, but they work. Also, I wonder if you should at least consider the idea of moving in together. It’s tough to bring yourself there without the commitment of a proposal, but I ended up doing it and it brought us so much closer and forced our communicaton levels (we weren’t bad at communicating before, but living together just contributed to a lot of growth in that area). Just think about it :).

Post # 22
1311 posts
Bumble bee

Big hugs!  I can understand your concerns.  I’d be worried too if he wouldn’t give me an answer at his age, especially since you’ve been together a good 2.5 years. 

I don’t have much advice on what to do, but I want to add that coming from a “broken family” has nothing to do with readiness to marry – that is just an excuse!  My SO’s parents are divorced and so are mine, but we both know we want to be married in the nearish future.  So don’t accept that answer!

Good luck!!!

Post # 24
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@LoveWillLightTheWay:  Before you do the shut up pact, I think you need to make sure that he understands the difference between “upset because you haven’t proposed” and “upset because you can’t even show me that you have realistically thought about our future and when things should start to happen”. If you can’t explain it verbally, explain it in a letter. That way he can read and reread it before coming to you with questions. 

A timeline is important in any part of life, career, financially etc. It’s about setting goals and deadlines for those goals to keep yourself on track. It is very hard to plan a career or financial goals around a serious relationship if you don’t have an idea of when and how that relationship will develop. A timeline is important so that you both know that you are on the same page. It’s not just about a proposal and marriage but also how long you want to wait before having children etc. 

A timeline is just practical and not having thought about it yet is ok. BUT not being able to talk about it 2 months after the initial conversation is upsetting because it means he hasn’t put the time or effort into serious thought about your future together. This is what he needs to understand. 

It might be helpful to get him to work backwards. Ask him when he wants to have children. Then get him to factor in a year of trying, followed by X years of waiting after marriage, then X years/months of engagement before marriage. See where you end up. 

If he can’t have a productive conversation about this then I would seriously start to worry.

Post # 25
71 posts
Worker bee

I hate to say this, but your situation sounds EXCEEDINGLY similar to one I was in several years ago. I was with my ex for four 1/2 years. We never fought or even bickered, for that matter. We had fun and all that good stuff. However, I was getting REALLY upset about him not proposing. In order to not hurt my feelings, he kept saying he wanted to be with me but he was afraid of marriage because of his parents nasty split. I believed him because I loved him and was willing to wait.

Turns out, he wasn’t afraid of marriage. He was afraid of marriage to ME. We broke up and seven months later he was engaged to another girl.

Please think long and hard about what his excuses and reasons are. If he isn’t willing to budge, then there may be an underlying issue here. Giving yourself a time-line is a good idea. But be firm with it. Never sell yourself short on your self-worth. I did it for a long time. I still have emotional scars from that. My deepest fear is not being ENOUGH because I wasn’t for that one guy. However, I ended up meeting the most amazing man who DOES want to marry me and is making that happen as fast as he possibly can.

You are young and if this doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, trust me, there are PLENTY of other men who will think you hung the moon.

Good luck doll. I know exactly what you’re feeling. *hugs*


Post # 26
207 posts
Helper bee

@LoveWillLightTheWay:  I haven’t had a chance to read all the PP replies, but I wanted to offer an opinion from a different perspective… My SO and I are in our mid 20’s, we’ve been together for 4.5 years (5 in February). I knew early on that he was the one. I came out of a really long and hard relationship before I met him. My previous Boyfriend or Best Friend & I dated for 6 years – yes, 15 to 21. That relationship taught me alot & a lot about what I wanted in relationship. So, when I met my SO I knew that he was it. It took him a lot longer to come around. I knew he was commited to me from day one. He’s been supportive, we have fun together and love the same things. We exchanged “I love you’s” about a year into it, moved in together & eventually moved across the country together. He would openly tell me that he knew I was the “one” at about 2 years – but here we are 2.5 years after that time & I’m still waiting. Does it hurt? yes. Is it aggrevating? Yes. Do I know he loves me? Yes.

Only you know if he’s truly commited. My SO doesn’t know that I know he has the ring, he still can’t give me an exact timeline, although we’ve discussed ideas back & forth. He’s a very methodical, analytical and “slow” (for lack of a better term) decision-maker. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know what he wants, it just means that he’s not quick to make a life changing decision. Even though I’d argue that 4.5 isn’t “quick” by any stretch, everyone comes to these decisions on their own time. My SO also comes from a wrecked home (dad cheated on mom with brothers BFF’s mom & divorced when he was in HS) and my parents divorced when I was 15 but my dad is an asshole, so it doesn’t affect me the same way that it does him.

I guess, after all my rambling, I think that you should give him some space and “shut it up.” Choose your own timeline of when you would like an “answer” (will that be a timeline from him? or a proposal – that’s up to you). He knows that you’re getting anxious – and perhaps all the pressure is overwhelming to him. If he’s anything like my SO it doesn’t  mean he doesn’t love you, or that he’s not commited, he just wants to figure it out on his own & doesn’t want to be pressured into it. I don’t think you should wait around forever, but I also think that if you know in your heart he’s the one & he’s commited to you — he will do what he needs to keep you around 🙂

Also, I should add – my BFF’s (now) husband said that while they dated (4 years) he started off not wanting to get married. It took him two years to realize that she was the one. Then at the 3-4 year mark, he decided he was going to propose. It took him 6 months to go look at rings and then held onto the ring for a month… I guess what I’m saying is that he was slow to come to the realization he wanted to get married and even after that point it wasn’t like he woke up one day and decided he was going to propose! It happens at different paces for everyone. I have really hard waiting days, often… You aren’t alone in that.

((hugs)) hang in there. No one knows your relationship better than yourself. If he’s the one for you, I think it’s worth “shutting it up” for a little while. 🙂


Post # 27
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

Your SO sounds somewhat like me, slower-than-average to be ready for marriage. I wasn’t really traumatized by my parents’ divorce (I was so young and basically have no memory of it), but for whatever reason I strongly wished for myself not to have to go through divorce myself. I wanted to move forward with marriage very carefully. I was ready after almost 5 years with my Fiance, which worked out well because it was around the time he was ready, too. (I strongly suspected he’d be the one I’d marry after about 1 year…but it took a few more years to really feel we know each other so deeply that I’m joyfully confident that I will never regret my decsion to join our lives together permanently). This just felt like a natural progression for us – meanwhile we knew people who met and got married during the time we were dating, and that always seemed bizarrely rushed to us. We had a sense of a risk that there could be nasty surprises in store for couples that married quickly – not at all that we wished it upon them nor knew it would be the case, but rather that we wondered what was so urgent about marriage for them that they were willing to take that risk rather than take things a bit slower.

If he is like me and just resisting being rushed so that he can get to the point of really being ready to be married, I doubt you have anything to worry about. You are still in your 20s after all! I’m in my early 30s and plan to have kids, and I have no reason to believe there isn’t enough time. Have you been diagnosed with a fertility issue? If not, there’s no reason to panic. The speed at which the Joneses are marrying is probably what’s creating a sense of pressure on you, and it’s not a very good reason to feel pressure, is it?

Post # 29
36 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013

At about 2 years in, my husband (boyfriend at the time) told me he wants to marry me but since his parents divorced when he was young, he wanted to make sure our communication skills and the foundation of our relationship are strong before we jump into marriage. If your SO is having doubts because of his experiences with his parents, try to assure him how your relationship is different. Until you two are able to communicate freely and resolve all fights, it will not bode well for the marriage. My husband and I have had our fair share of fights before marriage and we have learned how to solve conflicts quickly and painlessly. We have learned to be open about what’s bothering us and as a result, our marriage is stronger and he eventually had the peace of mind to propose and get married despite his fear due to his parents’ divorce. I would see if this might ease his mind about marriage and talk it out from there.

Post # 30
714 posts
Busy bee

@LoveWillLightTheWay:  Hi! i’m in a very similar situation, my SO is mid 30’s i have just turned 30 and while we had always discussed the future, he had always told me he would never rush into marraige. that was fine with me at the start as i felt the same. His parents had a messy divorce while my parents are married 36 years! After over 2 years with him i had expected him to be ready and he wasnt we had a very emotional chat and i explained why marraige is important to me.

1. We want kids together SO would have a kid tomorrow if i agreed but i want a commitment from him first.

2. I want to have the same surname as my kids.

3. I want my day. i told him plain and simple nearly all girls dream of a wedding day not a huge day but a day where they can wear that dress and have teh man they love commit to them.

I was honest with him and 2 months later he gave me a timeline! i’m still waiting but hes still got over a year left on his timeline!! I think if you explain to him WHY exactly it is important to you, he might understand a bit better. For me it wasn’t about having 200 guests and a huge day. He was shocked he thought i would want that. he was honest with me about financial reasons and also he would hate a big big day and that he was scared because of how it ended with his parents. he was also shocked that i wanted the same name as my kids, these were all things he never thought about. Anyway what i would say is be honest with him and then let him digest that for a couple of months and you might be suprised that he will bring it up himself with a more definite timeframe. I also told my SO to stop talking about weddings marraige and kids until he puts a ring on it!!

Post # 31
1 posts
  • Wedding: July 2015

This is very common now a days as I can see.  I went through a similar situation a couple of years back and realized after being together for 5 years that he did not want to commit.  I can totaly relate and understand the furstration!  It was very hard to let go of the feelings I had for him.  But then as I struggled to find answers all the “WHY?” in my head my heart went from warm to frozen.  I looked all over searching for answers and also trying to see his points of views.  Like your story my parents are together and his parents divorced when he was a child.  I eventually came across a friend that pointed me to becomplete.net and the rest is history. 

I can only share my story but everyone is different.  Hope everything resolves and remember…I learned the hard way…never pressure a man!  Good Luck!

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