(Closed) Is 11 years just too long?

posted 5 months ago in Waiting
Post # 61
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

My SO and I had been together 11 years before he proposed, and I had been waiting for two years. I had told him in August 2016 that I wanted to get engaged soon, but then I left it up to him to plan a traditional proposal. He has never been proactive, and it was wishful thinking on my part to assume that he would handle the proposal differently. So I soon became disappointed, and when he became overwhelmed with other aspects of his life in addition to my disappointment, our relationship suffered significantly for several months. 

Although he did eventually propose as he had planned, I still had to deal with feelings of resentment and lost trust. I was in therapy for awhile and also did a few sessions with my SO to talk through what happened during our pre-engagement and work on better communication in the future. 

Through all of this I’ve needed to work on being more assertive with my expectations, and my SO in turn has needed to work on being more receptive and less defensive. He has also warmed up to the idea of seeking therapy on his own if he finds himself struggling again. But beyond that there’s also been the acceptance that neither of our personalities are going to drastically change. So I am going into the marriage knowing that my SO is what he is.

But I should also add that I don’t like or want children, so my frustration with waiting to get engaged had nothing to do with planning for children. And my choice of my SO as my husband has nothing to do with his potential as a father. Truth be told, if I did want kids, I would hesitate to have them with a man prone to procrastination and indecision. I’ve heard all about that struggle from my mom, and I wouldn’t want that for myself. 

Post # 63
7813 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

backwardsandinheels :  Is that really how your family and friends view marriage though? I almost feel like you’re being intentionally cynical about marriage here in order to convince yourself that wanting marriage is irrational. Because if you can convince yourself that marriage is unnecessary or a sexist, antiquated tradition, then this problem goes away and your relationship remains peachy keen.

At this point I think individual counseling might be helpful for you because I think you could use some clarity on what it is you truly want out of this relationship and for your own future. In my opinion: there is no shame in wanting to be married. It’s 2019; being married doesnt have to mean giving up your name or losing your identity. It’s not about a big party and a flashy ring. Imo marriage is the ultimate form of commitment between two people, backed by legal protection. It’s nothing more, nothing less.

There’s also nothing wrong with genuinely not caring about marriage, but you need to be really honest with yourself about whether that is actually how you feel vs. you’re just trying to convince yourself that’s how you feel so this problem goes away.

Post # 64
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

So many people have been giving such great advice here and it’s super beautiful. My advice is going to be a lot less helpful but honestly all I can say is:

I was with a guy just like this for four months and it was four months too long. 

It is the furthest thing from irrational for a woman to want a wedding. Men will twist it around and say “it doesn’t change anything” but men don’t realize that women are wired COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from them. Women need grand gestures. We just do. It keeps the spark alive for us and makes us feel desired, wanted, and loved. And what could possibly be a bigger grand gesture of love than a wedding? 

Weddings are not “just weddings” – they symbolize, very literally, the lifeblood of being female.

So many men just don’t understand. And those men should not be people we waste our time on. The unfortunate reality for you is that you don’t know any different. You’ve been with the same guy since you were in high school. You have never dated anyone who understands and respects these female desires.  

Post # 66
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019


backwardsandinheels :  have you had a serious conversation about how he is worried marriage would chang what you have? This is what my FH and I did. He has known I’ve always wanted to be married to him(our 9 year anniversary and wedding day is next month) but he  was not sold on marriage in general. We both come from divorced parents, his was more traumatic than mine, to me I didnt see it as a different phase just new nicknames. 

He has been calling me “wife” conversationally for a while now(I just found out, and but the shut it down each time) we finally had a conversation about what was holding him back from actually getting married, and it was some of my anxiety as well(not wanting things to be different, not wanting a wedding that was a big ‘show’s how other people in our families would want us to get married vs how we would want to, my sister “taking our anniversary” a lot of little things that are easy to work around) we decided that what we wanted was the legal paper but no fluff. We wanted a party but not a public ceremony(I know, gasp) so we did some research and looked into things that fit either of our aesthetic and realized it still wasnt “us” 

I made an off the cuff comment that we should just elope and that’s basically what we are doing, micro destination wedding. Anniversary party the following year. 

Something to chew on is what you really need out of the wedding versus what you think it should look like. That’s what we had to really grind down to, because it’s not about the ‘wedding’ it’s about the symbolism for us and its really just about us moving to the next nickname(and getting the legal rights of a marriage vs a long relationship) 

My family is taking it hard because they dont want to go(for various reasons) but at the end of the day we dont want it to be a “big deal” to other people or worry about what they think, it’s just another day we love eachother and tell eachother that. 

Post # 68
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

backwardsandinheels :  they will eventually get over it. Seriously, at the point that you get the “yall aren’t married yet?!?” Comments they should be more supportive of just getting it done and partying later 

Post # 69
3854 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

backwardsandinheels :  I think a lot of couples who have been together since their teens have this issue, strangely enough. It’s like you spend so much time together that you take certain things for granted and don’t bother to do the work of finding out how to tell the other person what you want. 

I disagree.  D.H. and I started dating in our teens and we had no trouble communicating what we wanted out of our relationship.  We both decided we wanted to finish college and graduate school first and he proposed shortly after I finished law school.  We got married after being together 9 years and I never felt like he didn’t value me.  There is nothing wrong with dating for a long time before getting married if that is what both people want.  It seems like you previously were happy with not being married and now you’re interested in taking that step, while your partner is not and can’t even have an adult conversation about it.  That is definitely a problem, and I wouldn’t be so quick to write it off as “something people who have been dating since they were young” do.  

Post # 70
25 posts
  • Wedding: December 2020 - New Orleans, LA

Me & my FH dated 11 years before getting engaged. So pls don’t say being together that long w/o a ring is not normal. Many couples aren’t ready to get engaged a few years into their relationship. Others chose not to get married at all. I’m trying not to get all soap boxy here … just want to make a point that not every relationship fits onto a traditional timeline.  

having said that … I’ve been where you are now re: your friends. Most of mine got married while he & I were dating. Did I feel a little pang every time we went to another wedding ? Sure. I’d be lying if I said No.

But our relationship was solid and I was happy.  You don’t seem to be. If you feel in your heart it’s time to move on – then it’s time to move on. You’re the only one who knows the answer. But I can totally understand giving it your all to try & work it out.

If you do leave – don’t feel like you wasted anything in the relationship. I’m sure over all that time you learned a thing or two about yourself 😉

Post # 71
3047 posts
Sugar bee

backwardsandinheels :  How did the convo go? I hope you are both feeling better and more on the same page

Post # 73
2836 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

backwardsandinheels : giving him an additional whole year after 11 years together,  and you being almost 30 and wanting kids, is more than generous.  His response sounds promising. I sincerely hope he chooses to comes through for you with a ring and a wedding date. Keep us posted. 

Post # 74
35 posts

backwardsandinheels :  I’m so glad to hear that you could communicate in your session with the therapist.

First of all, please DON’T listen to some of the comments here about breaking up, him not wanting to marry you, you settling, etc, because only YOU know your relationship and it seems like you two care a lot about each other.

Talk to your family and tell them to mind their own business! I think all the comments from your mom and sister are what made him feel like marriage was not what he wanted to do, but what he had to.

Now that you’ve talked and understand where each other is standing, focus on yourself and in making the relationship even stronger, and I’m sure your ring will be coming very soon ❤️ Best of luck!!

Post # 75
35 posts

backwardsandinheels :  PS I agree with you about some of the things you said about “wedding culture”, and I’m definitely NOT changing my last name when I get married, just something to think about! 

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