- 3 months ago
Hello, bees. I’m writing this because I’m struggling to find support in real life (not online) as my FH and I navigate a really difficult part of our life together. If you have any encouragement, wisdom, a similar experience you wouldn’t mind sharing, or just some love, I would sincerely be so grateful.
I’ll try to keep it short. I met FH in 2011, started a committed relationship in 2015, engaged August 2018.
His family was unhappy at the engagement announcement and have actively acted as if we are NOT engaged this entire past year. As you can imagine, this continues to cause us a lot of pain, anger, sadness, and frustration. We have been to both individual counseling and couples counseling as we try to navigate the situation they have put us in and help FH become better at setting healthy boundaries with his parents, as well as assertiveness and standing up for our relationship. He is doing great BUT….his parents continue their crazy and hurtful behaviors. We cannot change them, only how we respond.
Due to various extenuating circumstances (serious health issues, grad school, money, moves, jobs, etc) we are simply not able to live together yet. We’re working on that goal every day. It’s a bit too complicated to type out here. For mostly the same reasons, we are unable to plan even a small wedding right now.
The overall result of all this, and the reason I’m finally turning to strangers on the internet, I am carrying a huge sadness in my heart every day. We are both 26 year olds professionals who look fairly ‘successful’ on paper, but cannot marry (or even live with) the love of our life. Nobody in our lives seem to understand, even when I am vulnerable and try to explain the legitimate reasons holding us back. People seem to think we are just nervous and need to ‘just do it’ or ‘just plan something small’. Believe me, more than anything we wish we could just say “F it” and be married already!
I am constantly bombarded by friends and family asking if we have picked a date yet, what have we planned, why don’t we have a ring (people are legitimately so judgmental about me not having an e ring yet!!) and it hurts every time. I’ve tried explaining, I’ve tried a simple “we’re not in a rush” but honestly the amount of gatekeeping other women have been doing is ridiculous. Several people, from my future Mother-In-Law to colleagues, have acted as if I CANNOT be engaged without a ring. Well meaning friends just don’t seem capable of understanding why we can’t just set a date yet.
Everyone we know seems to believe you should only become engaged when you are ready to set a date and plan a wedding. Most engagements around here are 1 year long, then the wedding happens. I wish we could just elope or do a courthouse thing but those ideas conflict greatly with the extenuating circumstances we are in and also with our religion.
All these things pale in comparison to the most hurtful thing of all…at the end of the day, it is just so depressing not being able to marry (or even plan to marry) the love of my life. I know I should focus on being grateful for having such a wonderful man in my life that I want to marry so badly, but I am just worn to the bone. I’m tired. I’m tired of living apart, I’m tired of working our lives away to pay medical bills, I’m tired of defending our engagement to his own family, I’m tired of feeling this sadness. We’re coming up on a year of engagement now, and I’m feeling rather depressed about that.
I said I would make it short, and I certainly failed at that. Thank you if you read this far. Just typing this out and thinking that somebody out there might understand, is giving me tears of relief.