- 5 years ago
- Wedding: February 2014
So this is a combo proposal story and thank you to the Bee! Obviously, I’m newly registered to the forum but have been a lurker reading the boards for a couple months. I must have started writing a new thread half a dozen times for advice on my situation, but each time, stopped before posting because I already knew the answer was going to be sitting him down for a talk.
Hopefully, my story will give some of the waiting bees here encouragement J
We’ve both been married & divorced, he’s 32 and I’m 36. I have 3 kids and primary custody (full custody, really, as my Ex keeps moving state to state and never uses his visitation). Fiance has 1 child and primary custody, and his Ex gets visitation every other weekend. We have been friends for almost 8 years, been together as a couple for 4 years, living together for 3.
FI’s prior marriage was brief. They had been together 2 years when she got pregnant, so they got married (she was 21 and he was 23). A couple weeks after the baby was born, he was called to active duty with his Marine Reserve unit, and was sent to Iraq. 5 months later, he was sent home with injuries from his Humvee running over an IED. He had hoped to buy a house with his savings from hazardous duty pay from being deployed, but instead, his wife had cleaned out their account, moved in with another guy, and had let their baby be raised by her parents. She didn’t even bother to meet him at the airport.
My marriage lasted far too long. I’ll save you most of the dramatic ranting, but my counselor felt strongly that my Ex had narcissistic personality disorder, which had worked me down to a shadow of myself over time. I had stuck with him through 9 years of active duty Navy service, and even through him not lifting a finger while I worked, took a full class load in college, and raised 3 small children (he did have a job after the Navy, but literally did nothing else for us), But in the end, when in the space of two weeks, your husband says ‘I’m going to date other women whether you like it or not, because I think it will be good for our relationship’ and ‘when you graduate and get a full-time job, I want to be a stay at home Dad, but we’ll have to get a maid because I’m not going to clean anything’ (meaning he was just going to expand his all-encompassing video game and porn addictions, which were somehow my fault), and your son asks why Dad doesn’t want to do anything with us any more, it’s far, far past time to leave. My parents said ‘it’s about time’ and sent me a $3k check when I told them I was leaving him, and my friends had my house packed up in 24 hours, if that tells you anything about him. His behavior since I left has been so violent and unpredictable that I got my concealed carry permit and started packin’!
So yeah, both of us have trust issues, but have developed very good communication habits with each other, share our fears, and have managed to finally leave our past experiences where they belong – in the past. We make sure to carve out ‘just the two of us time’ every day and we’ve taken on each other’s children as our own. We also have just enough rough patches to let us know that it’s not too good to be true.
From the beginning, he said that he was never getting married again, and having experienced my prior marriage, I understood. To me, marriage means that you fully open yourself up to trusting someone, and yeah, it hurt a little to think that he would never fully give himself to me, but I already knew that I would stay regardless of whether or not we made it official. In spite of my prior experience, I had finally got it through my head that my Ex was just one man, and his behavior was not indicative of how every other man is (I had help in this from my counselor and the fact that my Father is a saint!) However, I’m also a realist, and if he would never marry me, I needed to keep things separate – such as not making major purchases together (he had already been an amazing man and bought a 4 bedroom house large enough to house us, his son and my 3 children), I save and spend my money how I want and vice versa, etc. Over the last year, he started throwing out conflicting signals, such as out of the blue saying ‘this is why I’m afraid to get married, I’m afraid you’ll change’, or whistling the wedding march, or being insistent that we were going to split the costs of getting a new gun safe and a new bed instead of each of us buying one, or (the most irritating) was when I came home from work and he was watching the same episodes of the ‘Big Bang Theory’ where Howard and Bernadette get engaged – every day for 3 days! In retrospect, I should have seen it coming, but when a man says he’s never getting married again, you should believe him!
The last week of March, I went out of state for work for a week while he stayed home with the kids, and I got home late Friday night. We then spent a great weekend together. Monday after work (April Fools Day!), we took the kids out to go play around with our fancy-schmancy remote control cars. When we were done, the boys were packing up and he was goofing around with my daughter, so I got into the truck and sat down – then I got the shock of my life – I totally did not see it coming. He came over to me, got down on one knee in front of the all the kids, pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him! My first response was ‘Holy Crap!’, and then I started crying, and then I remembered that he probably wanted an answer and said YES! It’s been over 2 weeks and I still keep looking down at the ring, still a bit in disbelief that this wonderful man wants to spend the rest of his life with me! The ring itself is reminder of how much I love him. He bought the right size by swiping a ring from my jewelry box, and chose a low-profile design so it would fit under my motorcycle gloves (I’m a bit of a motorcycle nut).
A co-worker said that if my Fiance was insecure about whether or not I was going to say yes, an April Fools proposal was the perfect day so that he could brush it off as a joke if I didn’t say yes, LOL.
Here’s the Bee part – it came out later that he was thinking about it for a long time, but the final push was when he came into our media room behind me and saw me looking at the Wedding Bee boards on my phone. So yeah – you all can take credit for him taking the leap!
So there’s my story & I’m looking forward to giving Happily Ever After a try!