- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
najadai : So, I’ll admit, my FH said literally the same thing to me about a “project”
I’m driven. It’s hard for me not to have something I am planning, working toward, or focusing on. After we finished building our house, which was obviously all-consuming, I expected we would get engaged immediately. Because that’s what we’d talked about.
When it didn’t happen right away I started to get upset. He wasn’t fussed at all. In his mind it was inevitable, and I was just being needlessly impatient. If we were going to be together forever, who cared about 6 months one way or another about proposing. I was looking forward to planning the wedding, and had lots of pent up energy I wanted to apply to the purpose, but it wasn’t just a project. It was what seemed to me to be the next logical step to plan for.
When that didn’t happen, our previously conflict free relationship suddenly became constantly tense and prone to bickering. I was more or less always pissed at him. He didn’t take my frustration seriously, and he was irritated I was being so persistently unreasonable. Normally I’m super analytical and can intellectualize my emotions very effectively. That I just kept saying the same things and not being swayed by his very practical explanations bothered him a lot.
So, I decided to approach the subject another way. We also have a bit of gender role reversal. He makes much more money than I do, but I am more independent and frankly, his intellectual superior. It makes him feel like I don’t need him. And, I don’t. Or, at least not in the sense that I can’t get along without him.
What I have tried to impress upon him is that I need him to love me. To give me a shoulder to cry on. To always be on my side. To call me on my crap. To challenge me and make me laugh, and to be good at all the stuff I am terrible at. I point out to him how much I benefit from having him give me the things he does all the time. I don’t consider this pandering to his fragile man-feelings, but an earnest acknowledgement of all the things he gives me that I ABSOLUTELY need, to be as happy as he makes me. This has gone a long way toward making him feel that sense of interdependence that healthy relationships need.
Ultimately, I knew he would propose, because he said he would. I still got super emotional and upset unil it actually happened. Crying helped. Really. Because I’m not a cryer, and I finally let him see how truly hurt I felt not to have him make that commitment. It seemed to sink it at that point I really needed him to take it seriously and make a move.
I have no idea what your dynamic is with your boyfriend. It doesn’t seem like you’re ready to bail. So, approach the subject like you never have before. Write him a letter. Be as vulnerable as you can possibly be. Don’t try to provoke any particular response, but express the anxiety and fear in your heart. Let him know you need to feel needed, too. That knowing you have a future together will bring you a sense of peace and security you just can’t seem to feel without that knowledge.
Then really listen to how he responds. Does he care you are anxious and unhappy? Is he annoyed you’re pressuring him? Does he really just want a little time off from talking about it? Take in whatever he says and really sit with it. Even if it isn’t what you want to hear. Then, decide how you want your life to look, thereafter. Is he in it? Can you wait and do you want to?
Then, start another project. Write a book. Start learning to knit. Take up Tarot cards or yoga. Focus on something else so he doesn’t feel like the next task on your list. Do it for yourself, and let him see whether being a part of your life is a project he wants to sign up for, permanently.