Post # 1
I’m asking this for a specific reason – my fiancee and I are engaged after 4 years of dating, 3 years living together, and 2 years being ‘parents’ to our dog and homeowners together. We have been through many things in that time (both good and bad) and have weathered them together. Despite that, suddenly everything feels ‘real’ – getting married means that we are grown up and making a life together. And? It’s both lovely and infuriating at the same time! 🙂
In the month leading up to the engagement, the proposal through time until now, my own views on our relationship have changed DRASTICALLY. For me, the talk of forever together and actually planning when to have kids makes me hyper aware of some lingering problems we have been avoiding. I feel that the moment he put the ring on my finger was the actual moment of committment – and when it gets brought up casually, he tends to remind me that ‘we aren’t married yet’ and his family ‘aren’t my in-laws until after the wedding.’ I say semantics… but I don’t know if he really means those comments or not (one of the things I need to know!) I’m aware that some of the issues we are working through *now* likely should have been addresses before making this level of committment. We are tackling them now and managing as best we can – it’s all we can do.
No matter what our issues are, I don’t have any second thoughts about him – but I DO have much higher expectations now that I expect him to be with me and be a father to our kids. I’m also more aware of how deeply I love this man and want him in my life forever. It’s a wonderful feeling to be this sure about someone.
I’d love to hear some feedback on how others have dealt with this experience and how it has changed (or not) your relationship.
Post # 3
I’m not sure I can really give you any advice. My husband and I were together for five years before he proposed – two and a half of them were while we were living together in an apartment. A few months after we got engaged, we went house hunting and bought a house, and then roughly a year after the proposal, we got married (six years together total).
Our relationship changed and developed a lot during the two years we were living together before we were engaged, and it continued to develop during our engagement. Before we got engaged, I was often under the impression that my boyfriend (at the time) wasn’t sure he could live with some of my bad habits, which is why he hadn’t proposed. When he DID propose (after LOTS of conversations to get him there), I knew that he had come to the decision that he COULD live with my bad habits (even though he really does hate my bad habits, haha).
I don’t think our relationship has changed all that much since our engagement and then wedding. I still do things he hates, and vice-versa, but we just know we can live with those things and that we love each other MORE than that. I feel a lot more secure and happy in our relationship now that we’re married (I used to wonder “will he ever marry me????” and now I don’t have to anymore), and I think my happiness from that security has been contageous and has made him even more happy, even though he originally didn’t even care about getting married.
Not sure if I answered your question… hopefully I did! 😛
Post # 4
Actually that story very much mimics what is going on with us – I’m more secure knowing now that we ARE getting married, my fiancee rode the fence much longer than I would have preferred – but now that it is for certain, I feel like we should work on the items that we haven’t really faced as head-on as we could have.
I doubt that we are the only two out there who have experienced these same kinds of changes, so I was looking to see if anyone else could chime in with their story.
Advice isn’t necessarily in order, more that I was hoping to compare notes on the topic of change in the relationship related to becoming engaged. I’m not upset or overly-emotional about it – maybe I should have posted this in a different forum (I would have picked relationships but since this is directly tied to getting married, I didn’t want to label it as NWR)
Post # 5
Yeah, I did feel our relationship changed. We’d been together for 4 years when he proposed (like you guys, I could have heard those words sooner!), but we didn’t move in together until about 9 months after that. There were two immediate changes – the first was I relaxed and stopped worrying that he was going to dump me, and the second one was kind of unexpected. I sort of became inhibited about sex. Really weird. It was like I wondered if it was appropriate for his future wife to behave that way! I’m past in mostly now, but my personal requirement for sex (which was always pretty high) has dropped somewhat.
Since moving in, things have mostly been fine, with the odd bump along the way. The trouble is that I’m writing a thesis at the moment, so I’m working a lot of nights and weekends, so we’re often really tired when we see each other, so part of me misses the dedicated time we used to have together at weekends. But if we were apart, I’d still have to work weekends, so it’d be worse. So things aren’t amazing at the moment, but that’s not necessarily linked to being engaged.
I would agree that it causes unexpected changes, though. (But I’m still glad he did )
Post # 6
I agree that becoming engaged brought a lot of issues to the fore and I was like, “OK, we need to figure some things out NOW because we’re committed for real!” It added some tension, but ultimately has helped us grow closer and confirmed our commitment to each other.