Post # 1
My Fiance got engaged last July and we currently live together. I still haven’t gotten him to sit down and talk about the wedding. At first, he seemed totally on board with planning, but now, it’s like he just doesn’t want to get married. He just wants to keep things the same as they are now. It’s not the wedding planning that’s he’s scared of because I’ve planned out a bunch of ideas and presented to them and asked what he liked and didn’t like and what direction he invisioned -I’ll do anything but go to the lawyer’s office- I may not want a big day, but I at least deserve a day. We’re not having a ‘wedding’ with guests and a reception. Just us and witnesses. When I would show him locations or photographers, he would just nod his head and say ‘that’s gorgeous’ or skim through the page so fast I would get dizzy and go back to what he was doing before I brought it up.
Last night I finally sat him down and asked him to be honest with me because I wasn’t getting any sign that he was even remotely interested in anything I ever showed him and avoided wedding conversations like the plague. Did he want to marry me? He said yes. Then I asked when because I needed some time frame. Not only for just peace of mind, but I do need to do some planning. You can’t get a dress altered and a photographer booked in 2 days notice. He responded with ‘why are we in such a rush? Can’t it just be indefinitely?’ I was like, so we could possibly have a 5 year engagement? And he just looks at me like I was crazy and goes ‘ya. Is there something wrong with that? We could also never get married, why are we talking about this right now? It’s not something that’s important right this second. We have our whole lives to discuss this.’
I didn’t know how to respond to this. How do you respond to this? He’s in his 30’s so it’s not because we’re too young. We’ve been together 3 years. I’m getting really uncomfortable having to answer the question ‘how’s wedding planning going’ and ‘when’s the big day’ with ‘uh…….haven’t even set the date yet.’ When I say that, people just respond weird, like I’m not really engaged if I don’t have a date.
I scheduled a time to sit down with him tomorrow night. There are no basketball games on so he won’t be distracted. What should I say? I don’t want to come at him about it and have him get defensive and just ask for the ring back, but I don’t think I should stand for ‘indefinite’ as my wedding date. I want to move along with my life and also start our lives together married. I also want to have kids and I’m already almost 35. I’m scared if I wait any longer, I’ll never be able to have them.
Post # 3
@Iluvmydog: I would just lay it out there like you said, ‘I don’t think I should stand for ‘indefinite’ as my wedding date. I want to move along with my life and also start our lives together married. I also want to have kids and I’m already almost 35. I’m scared if I wait any longer, I’ll never be able to have them.’
Post # 4
What if he still says he’s not comfortable setting a wedding date? Do I consider leaving him? He claims he wants to marry me, but his actions are saying otherwise, but I’m scared to death to start basically my entire life over because of this issue.
We’ve already done our pre-marital counseling. I’m real big into that and had us do it when we moved in together after we got engaged to deal with sharing a home and family issues. It was a total waste of time because he just sat there mute while I talked so spending another $200 to discuss this with a counselor isn’t really an option because it’s not going to get resolved there.
Post # 5
Is marriage negotiable for you, or are you heartset on getting married? I think that’s the first question to answer. Then, it’s the painful task of figuring out whether he shares your feelings.
Tell him why marriage is important to you. Ask him why he doesn’t feel compelled to get married. Ask him where he sees your relationship going if you don’t get married, especially in terms of kids, etc.
I’m so sorry you’re going through this hun. Don’t give up hope yet!
Post # 6
I know you said you felt like pre-marital counseling was a waste of your money since he didn’t participate, but I would definitely suggest that again. I think jpalm13’s approach is great, and if he gets defensive/won’t budge bring up the counseling again and mention that he HAS to participate this time since he didn’t last time and your relationship did not improve. Good luck!
Post # 7
If he is say ‘indefinitely’ is a possible timeframe, to me that equals “I don’t really want to get married.” I have a friend in a similar situation– they dated around 5-6 years and he proposed last June. They were hoping for a short engagement with a small wedding but then a bunch of money issues came up so all plans are on hold. And they both just feel like they’re just “dating with a ring.” But they also don’t live together…
It doesn’t sound like money or other logistical problems are causing your FI’s issue. Especially if you want to have a family with the man you marry, I think you really need to figure out if he’s serious about getting married or if he proposed for some other reason?
In another post someone advocated using lots of “I statements”. So “I feel like you aren’t really serious about wanting to marry me.” or “I feel like there’s something holding you back from us actually getting married. Is there something bothering you/something I need to know?”
Post # 8
He doesn’t want to get married and isn’t being honest. If marriage is something that is a must for you, then I would consider leaving. I would also make sure he understands your desire for children sooner than later.
Post # 9
@Iluvmydog: I’m going to be honest with you. Your Fiance does not sound as if he has any reason or incentive to get married now, any time soon, or perhaps even ever. He clearly loves you. He clearly wants to be with you. But he also clearly likes the way things are. He’s happy with his current life. He’s living together with you as if you are already married, and he is receiving most of the benefits of being married — without having to actually make a formal, legal, lifetime commitment to you.
That, however, is clearly NOT what you want, and not at all what you bargained for when you agreed to move in with him after you became engaged. This makes me wonder why he proposed to you and gave you a ring. Was it so that you would agree to live with him?
I am so sorry that you and many other women are going through this. However, this is another real-life example of why I personally do not believe in living together outside of marriage. (In the spirit of full disclosure, my primary belief against this is because of my faith. However, I am on these boards frequently, and almost every week there is at least one bee who is in a similar situation to you. So there are very real, concrete, practical reasons as well.)
If I were you, I would clearly articulate my position with him by telling him that you agreed to move in with him after your engagement on the premise that you would be getting married, and getting married soon. Based on what HE is telling you, that no longer seems to be a priority for him. Tell him that, although you love him and very much want to be his wife, you are not willing to continue to live with him as an engaged woman indefinitely, and that, if you two do not now come to an agreement on a definitive timeframe for your wedding, you are going to move out and begin focusing on moving forward with your own life.
Post # 10
He sounds a little like my Fiance did for a while. For him he couldnt be bothered with all the planning and work and didnt understand all of it very well. Ask him if he is ok with you making decission and if he will support you in them. Ask for anything that he feels strongly about… location, feel, amount of people, guests etc. and take these and go plan. Obviously if it is an issue where he just doesnt know if he wants to get married well thats somehting that needs to be taken car of but other whise start planning. I send concise wedding emails to Fiance if I want his opinion and give him a day or two to think about it. An example would be our invitation wording… two examples he picks one and where done. If I show him 20 pages in a magazine he cant handle the overload of information. Good luck.
Post # 11
@naturalysam: I’ve planned 6 different ‘versions’ (detailed versions with the location, the hotel, the photographer, flight and hotel prices, and photos of the area -and I’m anal, I separate them all into word documents for easy navigation) of weddings ranging from a weddingmoon in the Caribbean, going to Vegas, a beach, a mountain, Europe. I feel like a stinking unpaid certified wedding planner. I’m burnt out on wedding planning and I haven’t even set a date yet (but I could give great advice on locations and photographers for all locations above!)
I even just flew dates past him at the beginning and he would agree to them, but when it came time to actually put money down to reserve flights, he wouldn’t for whatever reason. He agreed to all these locations, I spent the time researching, then he got cold feet. Now he won’t even humor me anymore by agreeing. He just continues to watch tv and just goes ‘greeeeatt’, ‘gorrrrgeeeouuuss’, ‘ya that’s nice’. I could show him a photo of a pig being slaughtered and he’d probably respond the same way if I said it was wedding related.
Post # 12
Mmmmm thats a little odd. Well not much I can suggest that none of the ther ladies have.
Post # 13
Yikes…I don’t kow…we got engaged and set a day, albeit almost two years away, immediately. You need to get to the bottom of this now and figure out if marriage is what he really wants. Let us know how it goes!
Post # 14
@Brielle: I agree that he does not sound like he really wants to be married.
I am not sure of the circumstances of your proposal or leading up to it, but it sounds like to me he was not fully into it.
I know not everyone will agree with this, but I personally believe that couples should get engaged when they are actually ready to get married, both individually and in terms of the relationship. I don’t see it as a “try out period”, or the time to get the relationship all “ready for marriage”. If you aren’t ready to get married, don’t get engaged.
I am only saying that as I think your Fiance feels very differently about engagement than I do. It sounds to me like he either saw it as try out period, or as an indefinite step, or a way to get some pressure off of him. To him an engagement does not seem to mean a readiness to marry you. Hence, his reluctance to set a date or to even confirm that you are going to get married!
I think it is time to have a serious one on one to find out what each other’s expectations are, and, quite honestly, I would suggest that if he is not ready to get married, you give him back the ring (assuming you received one) and put off an engagement either for now, or indefinitely, and evaluate whether your wants and desires for this relationship are compatible with his. I don’t think marriage is required for a couple to have a long, happy and healthy life together, but I DO think that being on the same page about marriage (whether to choose it or not) is indeed very important.
Post # 15
@RayKay: I agree with you. It’s just such an odd thing to me. We picked out the ring together and he actually bought it and then quickly returned it and got me a larger diamond than I asked for which I think isn’t normal behavior for someone being ‘forced’ into marriage. I wasn’t even the one who brought up getting engaged. I think he did it because I had been given a job offer in another town and we were going to do long distance.
We agreed on eloping within the first week of getting engaged and set a date, but I think, deep down, he isn’t really cool with that -that original date is in 2 months but no decision on even a location has been made so that’s out the door. I ask him all the time if eloping is still what he wants and he says he does, but he’s never willing to pull the trigger when push comes to shove and he would just drift off when I’d try to get him to focus on it. And it’s definitely not financial since my family is paying for everything and offered to pay from day 1. We just need to do the research and book it and they’ll send the money. I know his mom has been giving him a lot of stress over it because she really wants to plan a wedding (all the wedding) so her friends can come, but, no matter what, she isn’t planning my wedding, I don’t know her friends and don’t care if I ever meet them, and if that’s the real reason he’s been so non-committal with our wedding planning and what he hopes he gets by doing this, a wedding isn’t going to happen. I refuse to be miserable and do something I don’t want to do on my one day to make someone else happy. She’s already asked if we could get married at the lawyer’s office so her and her friends can come watch. She wanted us to use her friend’s teenage son who does photography for a hobby for our professional pics and then hold a reception in a park for a group of people I’ve never met after (the whole thing made me feel like I was some mail order bride for some reason). A total budget of $500. She said we could then ‘renew’ our vows ‘wherever we wanted’ since my parents were paying for that. That isn’t acceptable to me as my wedding day and my parents aren’t going to pay thousands of dollars so I can play dress up and I wouldn’t want them to.
I’d be willing to take eloping off the table and do a full wedding if that’s the reason for his hesistance, but I’d still want full control of the planning, or at least share wedding planning with my mother. If we were going to have a real wedding, she’d have to pay beyond what our budget is and it would be a real wedding, not some el cheapo wedding where I wear my $3,000 dress to the park and we grill hot dogs after and have BYOB- we’d have a ceremony location, his and my friends would be invited, invitations, and a professional photographer. I’m not forcing my parents to pay more than we allocated towards our elopement budget 6 months ago, and I’m certainly not going to spend our money on it when I know what the price of all these beautiful weddings with the works are in some of the greatest places in the world and he wouldn’t agree to pay for it either. I’m willing to have the grand ole wedding, even though I really don’t want one, but I wouldn’t be happy knowing I could have a high quality dream ceremony in the location of my dreams at a low price but I’m being forced to sacrifice it with a low quality location and photography for a high price -and I live in the city, so it would be a high price -the photography alone would be our entire current budget. I’d resent the day forever. I could be totally off thinking this way, but I do wonder if it has to do with the mom. Of course, I can’t accuse him of that. He’d never admit it.
Post # 16
It sounds like he only gave you a ring to pacify you and keep you quiet, but he has no intention of actually marrying you. If he won’t set a wedding date within the next couple of years, I’d consider leaving…