I feel for you, bee. This isn’t a simple, cut and dry situation. You have been together for a few years and you’re in your thirties and you want marriage and children.
I understand your urgency since you want kids and it’s a stressful situation since you dont feel comfortable moving forward until he secures a full time job. And you don’t know when that will happen.
I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to say that you aren’t being supportive- you have been supportive for at least 2 years. That’s a long time for someone to not be working full time. You have been supportive of him not having full time work for the majority of your relationship.
And without more info, I’m not sure the details of his freelance work to judge whether it’s sustainable for a family or truly reliable as a source of income. If he’s doing a few projects here and there, then I don’t blame you for feeling apprehensive about tying yourself to someone who has yet to hold a full-time job in your entire relationship together.
But at the same time, the market could just be terrible or he could just not interview well or something.
I think you need to do some soul-searching. Is his freelance work a deal-breaker for you such that you would not say yes if he proposed tomorrow? Is he in agreement that you should not get married until he has a traditional job?
Is he applying in other locations? Do you think his prospects would be better in a different location/ part of the country? Would you be willing to get engaged and relocate contingent on a job offer somewhere else?
What is more important- him having a traditional FT job or moving forward in the relationship?
I know you want both ideally but I think you need to realize that you have a limited time window and you need to come to a decision soon.
Do you have faith that he will find employment eventually? Based on what you’ve written, he does not exhibit any red flag behaviors and he does not seem lazy at all if he’s applying and interviewing and working freelance.
However, if on principle you will not marry a man who does freelance work and aren’t willing to consider it, then I would end it now. There’s no telling when the economy will look up and/or when he will get an offer for stable employment.
But if the relationship is otherwise wonderful and you realize that being with him while he works freelance is more important than him having a full time traditional job, then maybe it’s worth re-evaluating