Post # 1
My fiance proposed last year in November, after about two years together.
I had been bringing marriage up a number of times after we’d been together a year. We moved in together after being together for a year, too.
He said all year that he’ll propose and that we are good together, and he did.
But that’s when our problems began. He has been distant and seems rather downcast these days. When I try to set a date for the wedding or talk about planning (venue, guest list), he does get involved but doesn’t seem excited or even interested.
He hasn’t actually told me that he is having second thoughts- but his obvious discomfort and lack of any joy about the wedding and his odd behaviour of late is deeply hurtful and upsetting.
I am increasingly wondering if I pushed him into proposing, and whether he proposed to shut me up, rather than truly wanting to settle down with me.
He’s also shown very little interest in being intimate since we got engaged. He’s always tired, or has to stay late at work, or has some other excuse ready to not want to have sex.
I’m at a loss as to what to do, but surely this cannot be a coincidence? All these problems have come up since he proposed.
Post # 2
My advice to you is to just bring up with him how you are feeling and ask him how he is feeling about the whole thing. He may have other reasons for acting the way he is acting, stress at work maybe? The point is, you won’t know until you start a discussion with him about it. I always think the absolute worst before I know if there is even a problem or not, and most of the time I get worked up over nothing so try not to stress out about it.
Good luck Bee!
Post # 3
You’ll never know unless you ask him! Until you have more concrete information, it’s not worth catastrophizing and torturing yourself.
Post # 4
I have asked him if he was unhappy about our relationship or stressed because of work, but he says no.
There’s nothing else about our lives that has changed that would explain how he’s acting. I’ve got no idea how to deal with this!
Post # 5
Then you reframe it as a conversation about your feelings, not his. Tell him you’ve noticed a difference, it’s impacting the quality of your life, and ask him how the two of you can address this going forward, because it doesn’t seem like the current situation is working for you. We are all entitled to behavior from our partners that makes us feel secure and loved.
Post # 6
Obviously you need to talk to him, but if he is not being open then it will be easier said than done.
My SO started acting distant a few months after we moved in together, before he proposed. I brought it up multiple times because he was reluctant to talk about it. Asking him if something was wrong didn’t work; I had to point out his unusual behaviors, express my concern, and ask for the why. Even though it was uncomfortable, I had to stop accepting “nothing” as an answer.
It ended up being a combination of things:
– Stress from work and feeling unappreciated (especially in regards to an overdue promotion/raise)
– Feeling down because I was down (I was frustrated about being unemployed and not engaged after I moved back to our home state) and worrying about our negative outlooks
– A female coworker he had been friendly with confessed feelings for him before moving away, and although he turned her down he enjoyed the validation from her attention (especially since I was not currently validating him given my frustration about not being engaged).
The last point he wouldn’t tell me; I had to figure it out on my own, which caused a greater deal of stress than it would have if he had just been honest with me.
While these issues have since resolved, I have scheduled my SO and I to attend couples counselling starting this month to discuss how to improve our communication. I need for him to be more transparent with me, and for my part I’d like to improve on however I contribute to his reluctance to speak openly.
So my advice is to use your perceptions and intuition to help guide you in getting to the bottom of his behavioral change. If you think the timing or something else is significant, it probably is. Make sure when you speak to him to emphasize that you are concerned about his distance and just want to understand what he is thinking and feeling, even if it is uncomfortable. It sucks, but you need to be prepared to potentially hear difficult answers without getting upset in the moment. Not because you won’t have a reason to be upset, but because you want him to get it all out in the open.
Post # 7
When you told him what you’ve observed and asked what is going on, does he not say anything? If you tell him he seems distant, you haven’t had sex in X weeks when your normal frequency is whatever and ask him to explain what he’s thinking and feeling – letting him know you’re concerned, not that you’re accusing him of anything – hopefully he’ll be open to talking about it. Sorry you’re dealing with this, and good luck!
Post # 8
I think you need to demand some answers. Not in a wild yelling way… but you need to state the behavioral things youve observed and tell him there is clearly a problem. Tell him he owes you an explanation and that you need to know whats going on.
Then BE QUIET. Stay quiet and let it be awkward. Make him talk with your silence. If he still shuts up then I think you have to reconsider this relationship.
My fiance sometimes tells me everything is fine (and I do the same to him) when it isnt becuase we havent figured out how to discuss something. But we both give a little space (a few hours/ or a day) and then we get direct and force it out. You gotta be able to communicate. Dancing around this will kill your joy and relationship. Confronting this could save it.
Post # 9
Honestly this is why I shake my head at women who frequently asked for an engagement. You’ll never know if he proposed because he was really excited to ask you to be his forverf or if he felt some pressure for your you and/or others. You may have gotten the ring but now it’s unsatisfactory.
Life is not a checklist. Allow things to happen organically.
Sit down and have a serious conversation with him and try to be open minded and understanding.
Post # 10
Honestly this is why I shake my head at women who frequently asked for an engagement. You’ll never know if he proposed because he was really excited to ask you to be his forverf or if he felt some pressure for your you and/or others. You may have gotten the ring but now it’s unsatisfactory. Life is not a checklist. Allow things to happen organically. Sit down and have a serious conversation with him and try to be open minded and understanding.
Post # 11
I would point out specific things so that youre not just generalizing, that gives him the opportunity to say “its fine” without being called out on specific acitions. Don’t attack, but point out specific behaviors that are concerning. If something is off, he owes it to you to communicate with you so you guys can talk through it. In my opinion communication is what makes a relationship/marriage work, I wouldn’t marry someone who couldn’t open up to me.
Honestly, after we moved in togerher and after we got engaged, and leading up to our wedding was like some of the happiest times in our relationship. We were so excited about moving forward in our relationship and getting married, I would find it highly concerning if my husband had acted this way.
Post # 12
elk91 : I’m not sure if this could be a possibility but a few weeks of starting wedding planning, my SO started getting quieter and not talking much. I assumed he was just not interested in wedding planning as he wasn’t really initiating anything and I had to follow up with him multiple times to get wedding stuff done.
When I asked him what’s wrong, he said nothing is wrong. Then, I expressed to him that he seemed awfully quiet these days. He said he was just feeling off but didn’t know why. I had to ask a bunch of follow up questions to get it out of him.
It was a combination of:
1) issues at work
2) similar issues with wedding planning (he felt like he wanted to be included more but he knew he wasn’t doing as good of a job as me at it and didn’t know how he could be better)
3) similar issues with him forgetting to do some non wedding things I had asked him to do.
I was really surprised because I was so sure he was just not into wedding planning because that’s what his actions suggested and I told him the same thing. He said he didn’t know how he could do a better job. I told him it’s only human to forget things and I forget things all the time. Also explained that planning comes naturally to me but I had to read a lot about wedding planning online and didn’t just magically know everything. We discussed possible solutions that might help him do a better job and things have been fine since then.
I feel like women are just better at verbalizing their feelings better as well as voicing it out. I have noticed that while women are usually quick to voice their unhappiness or show it in a more obvious way, men usually don’t and it takes a little bit of attention and questions to get them to voice what their feeling. As a PP mentioned, I would suggest telling him how you feel and wait for him to respond to that.
Post # 13
Get out ahead of this and start your pre- marital counseling now. Have the therapist discuss what each of you thinks marriage is, and looks like. Discuss any fears you both might have. Do it now before it breaks down your relationship.
Post # 14
In my prior relationships, the feeling of an SO being off and saying nothing was wrong could be traced back to their inability to express their feelings. Is this something your SO normally has trouble with, Bee?
It could be as simple as work being busy, it could be as catastrophic as him having lost the feelings he had.
If the answers aren’t forthcoming, you need to show him what’s been going on and give him specific examples. If he still doesn’t seem right, couples/premarital counseling might help him become more self-aware.
Post # 15
You definitely need to have a serious conversation about this. It could be several things:
* a reaction to getting engaged – he might want to but feels overwhelmed about the committment and needs time to process it
* feeling like you only care about getting married if all your conversation is centering on that – like he was a means to an end
* having second thoughts about getting engaged at all, and the direction of your relationship
* I’m sorry to say, but it’s possible there’s another woman in the mix somewhere
You need to find out which of these it is, so you can go from there. I hope it’s nothing too serious.