(Closed) Is 11 years just too long?

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
Post # 47
Member
7268 posts
Busy Beekeeper

backwardsandinheels :  Good! You didn’t fall for it then. And for what it’s worth, I thought your response, that commitment is exactly what a ring signifies, was perfect! I don’t know what your love language has to do with anything though as this seems to me to be about commitment a lot more than it is about a gift.

Post # 48
Member
325 posts
Helper bee

why should I believe that he’s not just settling for this relationship and dragging me along with him just because it makes him “comforatble”

He’s not the one that’s settling.

Post # 50
Member
8019 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
backwardsandinheels :   I feel like I’m caught between his emotions and everyone else’s expectations, and I don’t know which should win. 

Neither. Your feelings and goals and desired future should win.

Post # 51
Member
462 posts
Helper bee

It sounds like a lot of your concerns are due to outside pressures. Before issuing your longtime partner an ultimatum, really think about what you want in your life and what your priorities are. Is being with him worth more to you than the institution of marriage? Would you rather be with him or just “be married” in general to someone else? Do you feel otherwise dissatisfied with the relationship? I don’t personally believe marriage is the end all, be all of relationships (even though I personally would like to get married and have a very positive view of marriage) and different people feel differently about it. Especially since it sounds like he has had negative examples of marriage in his life, I think it’s worth examining the root of his refusal to propose. This whole “until I’m sure we won’t get divorced” sounds like fear, albeit an irrational one. But fear can be a powerful motivator.

I can’t imagine you’ve stayed with this man for 11 years for no reason. I know the wedding bug is powerful and it feels like time is running out for you, but being in your 20s is still fairly young – many people marry and have kids in their 30s these days. I would say give the therapy a try, and speak to each other about this subject calmly. No good decisions can be made when emotions are running high. If he refuses to talk to you about it in a measured way, then I would take that as a red flag that he doesn’t take your feelings or needs seriously enough to hear you out, which is a huge problem in and of itself.

Post # 52
Member
7268 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I think you need to separate what you want from what your family/friends want. That being said, I have a feeling a large part of why the outside pressure from everyone is getting to you is because in your heart, you DO want the extra level of commitment that being engaged/married provides, and you want your bf to be pumped about taking that step…which he clearly isn’t right now.

If you stay with him knowing that he cannot/will not give you what you want in the relationship (engagement), then you ARE settling. That is the definition of settling. 

Post # 53
Member
2060 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
tiffanybruiser :  This exactly.

OP, you are settling if you are knowingly staying with someone who doesn’t want the same fundamental things out of life as you do. Don’t try to talk yourself out of what you truly want deep down.

The crying thing is pathetic and manipulative. He is a lazy man-child who is happy with things as they are and doesn’t care about what you want.

If you rock the boat, I think you will finally get the answers you need so you can move on. It has been 11 years, after all.

Post # 55
Member
9436 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Maybe it would be helpful for you to have your own therapist to figure out what you want.

All my previous advice assumed you wanted marriage for you.

If marriage isn’t important to you that’s totally fine. If my husband had been against marriage, I would have chosen being with him over leaving and finding someone who wanted marriage because he was/is more important to me than marriage. It’s 100% valid for you to be okay with not getting married.

If marriage is truly important and something you need (not just to make your family happy but to make you happy) well then you and your boyfriend should figure out what that means but I don’t think you should get married just to make your family happy.

Post # 56
Member
2060 posts
Buzzing bee

What I meant by rock the boat was have one last conversation with him, a heart to heart where you tell him how important marriage is to you and that you want to figure out if you are on the same page. I wouldn’t recommend an ultimatum. 

I think what you need to do first though, like PP said, is explore your feelings more on this. I understand family pressure completely. But you have to do things first and foremost because you want them yourself. It’s entirely possible that you want marriage and the outside pressure is just adding to your anxiety that is hasn’t happened yet and might not happen with him. 

Anyway, once you have done some soul-searching, have that one last conversation with him and if marriage is what is most important to you, if the conversation doesn’t end in mutual agreement and a plan that includes taking concrete steps toward engagement in a timeline you are happy with, then you prepare to leave at that point. That’s what I’m saying.

Post # 57
Member
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Sorry girl it sounds like your life is too complicated to be a wife. Maybe just stick to the long time girlfriend 

Post # 58
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Tell him you want to move forward and be a wife. It isn’t selfish, it’s natural. If he is that worried about not wanting to be with you after marrying you, maybe you two aren’t compatible. Offer to take marriage classes first, or some such thing that will lower your risk of getting divorced, to show him that you care about his concerns but are firm in your decision. If you’ve been together so many years, obviously you can weather tough times. 

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backwardsandinheels :  

Post # 59
Member
7268 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’d also ask him to explain what needs to happen for him to feel 100% sure you will never get a divorce. Because that just seems like the type of thing that’s impossible to pin down, which sure is convenient for him. I’m happily married and even I cannot say with 100% certainty that my husband and i won’t ever divorce some day. Like it would shock the hell out of me if it came to that, but …crazier things have happened in this world. 

 

Post # 60
Member
37 posts
Newbee

I was in a similar situation with my ex. Dated for almost 9 years. He was very complacent in life. Same dead end Job for a decade, no ambition to finish community college, lived at home, no savings, no goals of any kind. I was blinded by this idea of loving someone is enough. It wasn’t. He wasn’t willing to better his life, and he certainly wasn’t willing to do anything to make his life change by marrying me. He never once told me he didn’t believe in marriage, and honestly strung me along. In my gut, I knew he wasn’t going to ever marry me, but I kept waiting and waiting, until finally enough is enough. It was time to put up or shut up. and I was also terrified of getting the ‘shut up ring.’ everything felt so wrong about that relationship. Everything felt one sided and forced. 

I realized in the time I was with him, I changed alot. I grew, and blossomed into the person I am now. I didn’t let his lack of ambition stop me from achieving alot of things. Graduating College, establishing a good career, saving alot of money toward a house. I kept doing things for myself, because honestly I felt alone in that relationship. I did not have a partner. I had a selfish person who was stringing me along because it was comfortable for him. 

When I finally had the courage to end things and move on, I felt so much relief. This outside pressure you’re talking about finally vanished. I didn’t have to deal with anyone asking me the shameful ‘when are you getting married’ question almost daily.

I can tell you – after breaking up, I did find a wonderful boyfriend. A true partner. The old cliche of when you know you know is so true with him. I have so many feelings I never had in the past with him. I feel so loved and cared about, and like I finally found my equal. Someone who accomplished all these things by himself before he met me, and he’s truly just such a caring and kind hearted man. He brought up marriage on his own, and he talks about when we get married all the time. Our wedding is something he loves to talk about as well. I realize now, relationships should feel easy. This has been such a refreshing experience, that I am just with someone I am more compatible with.

I hope what you gain from this is that you are totally right. You have not wasted any time. I am sure you learned alot about yourself and grew as an individual. I think you also have learned alot about what you don’t want. And that I think will take you far in your next relationship. I think the fact that you’re on here asking this says it’s time to move on. You just need to find the courage to do so. 

 

Best wishes. Truly. I promise you – things will get better. But if you stick around waiting for them to get better without taking action, you will be disappointed. The scariest thing I did was end things with my ex, and now I am so incredibly happy and moving in with my boyfriend soon, with marriage on the horizon.

 

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