- 6 years ago
I need advice :\ I have no-one to talk to in person about this.
SO and I have been together for 4.5 years now. Our son is 15 months old. We’re at the point in our lives where all of our friends are getting engaged and married. When I got pregnant, the thought of getting married honestly didn’t even cross my mind at first. Other people brought it up, but I said, look, I don’t want to be that girl. If he wants to marry me, then great, but I’m honestly not ready yet and I don’t want him to feel like he has to marry me because I’m pregnant. The whole pregnancy was a boatload of drama and stress (we’re in our early 20s, so there was a lot of “ruining your life” crap being thrown around), and potentially getting married would have just been more stress that I didn’t want to deal with. So I didn’t bring it up. When friends and family brought it up, I deflected. I told them there were no plans. From my understanding, nobody ever broached the subject with him; I was hounded at every get-together and every phone call with family that live further away, but nobody breathed a word about it to him. His friends would immediately ask as soon as he left the room, and several expressed anger and outrage that he wouldn’t “do the right thing with a girl as awesome as you are.” But I kept saying no, no no, I don’t want a proposal because I’m pregnant, it’s fine.
Now our son is a toddler, and I’m thinking about the future. Christmas came and I was itching for maybe a proposal. I had no reason to think he would, and sure enough, he didn’t. I got an amethyst necklace — more romantic than any gift he’s ever given me in the past! — but no ring. His brother proposed his nightmare of a girlfriend ((she, more or less, ordered him to)), we all rolled our eyes and sighed unhappily over the news, and moved on. Valentine’s Day came; I was tossed a box of chocolates he bought as he walked out the door from work (retail.) Anniversary came; he completely forgot that altogether. His family has expressed disappointment and even anger that he hasn’t proposed yet; his grandfather has told me flat-out that he sees me like a granddaughter and more a member of the family than SIL-to-be (and she’s the one with the ring on her finger.)
Now my birthday is coming up, and my parents have generously offered to pay our flight and hotel to go to Las Vegas for my cousin’s 21st birthday (several days earlier; we fly back the day before mine.) We accepted, SO’s mother immediately offered to watch el kiddo. And now, yet again, I’m working myself up over a proposal. It’s the perfect time, perfect place. We haven’t had a vacation together in three years, and no more than a few hours away from our son together since his birth.
But I realize, reading around here, that I have comparatively no idea what’s going through his head on the subject. I keep working myself up over getting engaged when we haven’t even had The Talk. The most I’ve had on the subject is a sleepy conversation as we fell asleep about a month ago that went as follows:
Me: Do you want to get married someday?
Him: (nods head against my shoulder)
That’s it. Everyone here talks about, “oh, he has the ring!”, “oh, he asked my father’s permission!”, “he told me it would be by Christmas!” I know nothing. I can’t get him to talk about it with me. It’s been four years and we have a child; I’m at the point where I need to know if we’re going somewhere or treading water. Marriage matters to me, and I’m at the point where it’s embarrassing to have to correct people that no, I’m not his wife, I’m actually just “the gf.” I’ve told him that I don’t want a big froo-froo wedding (like SIL-to-be is insisting on.) I’m fine with a cheap ring, going down to the courthouse and having a kegger at our place afterwards. I’d be happy to have something slightly more formal with decorations and a nice dress and all that jazz, but honestly, most of the traditional wedding crap these days just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t want bridesmaids and showers and 23402934 photo shoots and designer-made invitations and all that. I want to be a wife. I want to be married. I could care less about the wedding; I just want the marriage. And the fact that he won’t discuss it with me and basically buries his head in the sand when I try is making me increasingly insecure. I need some kind of reassurance. Again; I’m not one of those girls that, “oh, I have my timeline to meet!” But I’d like to know that I’m not going to be 30 and still checking single on all the government forms. He’s talking about using next year’s tax return to buy a house; why can we buy a house and have a child, but not get married? He says he’s happy, so what’s the holdup? I’m fine with a long engagement; we’re pretty broke, so even a modest, backyard wedding would be out of budget right now. But I need some kind of reassurance. It’s been a long time since he’s made any significant proclamation of commitment, and it’s starting to wear at me.
I need to have The Talk with him. Unfortunately, he’s an expert deflector. He does this over everything. It’s common knowledge that he can and will avoid all serious, life-changing conversations or decisions by burying his head in the sand until he has no other option. I need him to give me some sort of scope here on when a proposal or engagement is going to happen, just for my own sanity. I need him to understand that it is on my mind and that the lack of discussion is starting to eat away at my self-esteem. But, again, he deflects. He’ll flip it as me pressuring him. I told him that the other day, actually (during an argument on a completely different subject): that I’ve been told that even discussing my feelings is “pressure” and that I feel like I get shut down when I express how I really feel. He denied it and said no, not at all, just tell me what you want and how you feel. “Why can’t we have an adult discussion?” I want to have an adult discussion with him, but I’m scared he’s going to just pull back into his shell, get defensive, and effectively say nothing (as he always does.)
How on earth do I get something out of him? I’m not asking for a proposal tomorrow or a wedding next year. I just want an adult discussion where he actually says something; narrowing “someday” down to something more concrete. I’ve dropped hints left and right, but he himself has told me that he is pretty oblivious. He’s one of those guys that you need to walk in front of the tv stark naked and say, “I need you to come have sex with me” for him to pick up the hint.
TL;DR: Four and a half years and a 15 month old later, SO avoids the subject and literally will not say anything about it. I’m fine waiting longer if it means knowing that it’s coming soonish; I’m fine with a long engagement; I’m fine with a no-frills wedding. But I’m becoming increasingly unhappy and insecure thanks to the stark silence and the growing anger of our friends and family. He has plans to move forward in his life (job, house), but won’t talk about marriage. How do I get him to have The Talk with me? He immediately gets defensive when he feels cornered, but at this point I’ve tried every non-confrontational strategy I can think of with no success. I need to know that we are going somewhere and that I am not going to be “baby mama” or “the gf” forever.