Post # 1
I wanted to connect with some of you out there who are still waiting for an engagement or waited a while before you got a proposal and any insecurities it may have caused.
A little while ago my bf sat me down and was very honest and told me he wasn’t ready to get married, he didn’t have a solid reason why, but I can gather why and I’m okay with whatever it is. On many occasions he’s told me he’s sure he wants to marry me and he specifically told me I’m “the one” but he just isn’t ready to take that next step. We’ve been together about 2 years and live together and have a truly wonderful relationship. Now, to be 100% honest and up-front – I’m totally okay with him not being ready. He’s worth the wait and it’s kind of in his nature to stew and overthink things to the point of freaking out. To be reasonable, 2 years isn’t terribly long either and I don’t have a timeline since we’re still fairly young (mid-20s). I’m willing to wait a considerable amount of time, especially since I have some goals I’m working towards myself.
The problem is, as supportive as I am about it, it just killed my self-esteem and sense of security. I’m described as a fairly strong person in general but I’m also a domestic abuse survivor. I’m pretty well-adjusted at this point, but I have mild PTSD as a result and certain things just trigger very strong emotions. When he sat me down and told me that, I became so insecure about myself and about how he feels about me. It’s completely irrational, he loves me so much and I know my worth. I’m just actively fighting the “Am I not the one?”, “Am I not worth marrying?”, “Am I boring?”, “Not pretty enough?” noise now.
I wanted to reach out and see if anyone went through the same type of insecure struggle and if there’s any advice you could offer. You don’t have to have been through the same situation by any means. I think this is a series of thoughts many women go through.
Post # 2
I went through the same thing with my SO we have been through alot together and I think emotionally I was ready to settle down long before he was. At first it really bothered me, like I thought there was something wrong with me. However I had to remember my SO had come out of bad relationship previous to ours where he had been cheated on. Also he deals with PTSD related to two tours in Afghanistan while in the Marine Corps so that was another reason I realized I couln’t rush him, which I am sure you can understand dealing with PTSD yourself.
So I gave him some space, was supportive, didn’t bring up ‘marriage talk’ unless he initiated it, and low and behold he came around on his own. We are three years into our reltationship (one year living together) and now he talks about getting engaged and how we he wants to settle down without anyone forcing it on him which makes it so much more rewarding and healthy.
You know your relationship the best so only you can tell if he will ever come around, if you think he will though I might try letting go of the subject and giving him time to discover his feelings for it on his own.
Post # 3
Yes I felt insecure whilst waiting. In order to regain some level of control over the situation I went on a mission to ‘improve’ myself (somewhere in my mind I must have thought I wasn’t enough for him and improving myself would bring on the engagement quicker). So I became obsessed with the gym and losing weight (even though I go to the gym anyway and am quite skinny) and worked on becoming a nicer person.
I realise this was unhealthy now but it came naturally at the time.
I think the insecure thoughts are you trying to gain control over it. If you can blame yourself for why it hasn’t happened it gives you the control to do something about it. Whereas the truth is he probably just isn’t ready in his own mind which is something you can’t do anything about. Realising that the insecure thoughts are just a product of your lack of control over the situation can help you move on from them and not react to them (like I did).
Post # 4
This is not about you. It’s about him. Don’t let those insecurities get to you. He has told you himself that he wants to marry you and that you’re the one. Just because he isn’t ready right now doesn’t mean that you should think that is a negative reflection of yourself.
You didn’t say exactly how old you are, but I’m guessing we’re kind of close in age. I’ve been with Fiance for over 6.5 years, and I had to deal with him not being ready as well for a while. It wasn’t me. We had talked excessively about the future. He made it clear I was the one he wanted to spend his life with and that one day, we’d get married. I’m not saying I never had any thoughts of “Is it me?” while waiting because I definitely did have them pop up a few times, but I just had to check myself. Now, we’re engaged and planning a wedding together.
You wouldn’t want him to propose if he wasn’t ready. Also, with your PTSD, are you seeing a therapist? You may want to bring up your feelings to her/him.
Post # 5
Thanks everyone for your replies so far. I really appreciate them!! @jpbee I kind of get where you’re coming from and I initally started to do the same thing. Then I woke up a couple days later telling myself I knew I couldn’t keep up trying to be perfect, and that I’m just fine the way I am. Of course I have my faults that i’d like to work on, but I don’t think they’re huge deal-breakers or else they would have broken the deal by now.
@chandlerbing Love the handle, btw. I’m 26. I keep reminding myself of that. I think the initial freaking out came from some stupid statements that were complete nonsense and projected onto me. They’re pretty specific, so it would have to be discussed in a PM. But it was essentially him having a little marriage freak out (on his own, I think I’ve brought the subject up..once? twice?) and he couldn’t place why so he blew something out of proportion to use as an excuse. He quickly realized it was unfair and apologized profusely but it left me feeling like he was looking for an out, even though it was just him panicking. Things have been wonderful since then too. It’s just his nature to find a “root cause” and “fix” problems. <br /><br />I mostly certainly don’t want him to propose unless he’s 100% sure and ready. I want us both to be excited and certain about it. I see a therapist occasionally (about 4-6 times a year) as kind of a “maintenance” measure since it’s generally pretty well maintained – it’s usually only triggered by blatant visualizations or jokes of domestic violence. For example, the beginning of the movie “Gone Girl”, if you’ve seen it, or the domestic violence bits on Family Guy. I don’t blow up, I just have mild feelings of panic, like shaking, heart racing, and I cry, but it’s usually resolved outwardly shortly thereafter. He knows I struggle with those things and he is INCREDIBLY supportive. I just hesistate to bring up the insecurities if I can manage through them because I don’t want him to feel like I’m blaming or pressuring him. That’s not fair at all to him and it’s not how I feel.
It stinks when your head and your emotions don’t match up!
Post # 6
Thanks (about the handle).
But that’s what being in a relationship is about–being able to talk about your insecurities with your SO. That doesn’t mean like go to him and be like, “MARRY ME NOW”, but more along the lines of, “Hey, could we have an open discussion about the future? I’m feeling a little insecure because (insert reasons here). Please understand that I’m not trying to pressure you, but I’m feeling a little upset and would like to discuss it with you.” There is a definite difference between blaming/pressuring and communicating. You shouldn’t have to “manage through them” alone. You are a unit with your SO.
Also, I’m glad your PTSD is pretty well-maintained. One of my college roommates had PTSD and had vivid nightmares as a result. It’s such an ugly illness, one that doesn’t receive enough attention.
Post # 7
Yeah, that’s reasonable. I’ve had a conversation about it with him previously, but the insecurities bit was vague and the times I have brought it up I’ve specifically told him “no pressure” – we were planning a project on our home that we’re splitting the cost of and it’s a LOT of money. So I sat him down to be sure he was sure about the future (we dont need a huge mess on our hands with that one if we were to break up) and we talked about it all. He was very encouraging and reassuring and we’re mid-project now 🙂 . I’m mostly just struggling with how to manage the emotions so I don’t drive myself crazy while waiting. I think a lot of that work is going to have to be done by me.
And I feel for your college roommate. I used to have terrible nightmares, which my SO was amazingly supportive with as well. I haven’t had a vivid nightmare in about a year and a half now, thankfully. Slowly but surely it gets better.
Post # 8
I don’t understand the “you’re the one” but “I’m not ready yet” discussion.
If you’re the one, then the only thing holding him back should be logistics in getting a ring ($$, time) and actually proposing. (This is where I’m at.)
But if he has the ability to do these things, I don’t understand why he doesn’t do it. Did you ask him this? I wouldn’t be able to take an answer like “I’m not ready yet” if he said he was sure and had the means to propose with a ring.
Nevermind the voices and worries about you not being good enough, or whatever. It’s not you – it’s him.
Post # 9
He does have the means to do it, and he can’t really express how he’s not ready. His usual answer to the query is “I don’t know.” He’s not very good at verbalizing his emotions to begin with without putting his foot in his mouth. <br /><br />Really though, a lot has happened at once for him, moving out on his own for the first time (he lived at home through college), buying a house, starting a relationship with me, us moving in together. That’s a ton to happen in a 2.5 year span. I think he just needs to really gain some footing before he makes yet another giant life leap.
Also, there are a couple of his friends who either have a wedding coming up or are planning on proposing soon, so they all have this “don’t steal his thunder” bromance mentality going on.
He’s also really just the type of person who really needs a good debate with himself, panic a little bit, reason things out, and get a little push before he makes any big decision. Took him… 6 months? To decide on his new car…if that’s any indiciation.
It would be different for me if it wasn’t evident that he wanted to – but he makes an effort to show me how much he loves me every day. I think he wants to, I just don’t think that he thinks he’s equipped to deal with something that serious right now.
Or at least that’s how I’m rationalizing it.
Post # 10
I use to feel that when when I was waiting… i knew he went through a divorce, and was nervous etc. Even though I knew he loved me and wanted a future with me (we have a daughter and are planning on buying a home). I felt Like I wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t figure out how he could get engaged and married to someone he was having issues with (he thought getting married would solve their issues) while we have an amazing relationship. I felt less.. Not wife worthy. I cried. And I cried a lot. I pushed him away at times etc. I finally decided that eventually it would happen and I refused to bring it up.(for my sanity) Low and behold about 2 months later we are engaged and getting married next year!
Post # 11
That’s exactly how I feel sometimes. Sometimes I get envious and I see rings on other people’s fingers and wonder…why am I not worthy of that? It a giant punch to the stomach.
Post # 12
Trust me. I know that feeling. Nothing helps but I can tell you I’m sure that’s not the case. It wasn’t for me either. I’ve expressed it before our engagement. But it sucks that our minds play games with Us!
Post # 13
Sometimes I feel so alone in this situation and it’s nice to know that there are more people going through it.
My SO and I have had the open discussion, and I admitted that I was ready while he was not. I said very honestly that it makes me uncomfortable because of how vulnerable of a state I am in, while he isn’t at that state and may very well decide later on that this isn’t what he wants. Or maybe he will and I am wondering why it took him so long to get there because I moved quicker emotionally. But we have discussed that he does move slower emotionally than I do, and he assured me that it’s okay that we are at different places and he doesn’t feel pressured. He told me to not clam up or get quiet about my feelings because they make him feel good and more confident about our relationship, but it still hurts when he says things like, “If some time down the road we end up together,” and I just kind of have to shake it off.
Post # 14
Hey there, I think it’s fine that he said he’s not ready, but it’s also fine that you’re not ok with that.
I think having a compromise is fine. If doesn’t know when he’ll be ready and you will wait a max of two years for him to be ready, I don’t think that’s selfish or unreasonable at all.
Post # 15
“it still hurts when he says things like, “If some time down the road we end up together,” and I just kind of have to shake it off.”
Next time he says something like that, I’d take the opportunity to ask why he says “if”.