(Closed) Is 11 years just too long?

posted 4 months ago in Waiting
Post # 91
949 posts
Busy bee

My husband and I had been together 11 years before we got engaged. We also met when we were young (our first term at university), so had some things we wanted to do before getting engaged (like graduating from uni) and a few practical issues finding a way to live in the same country (I had returned home after university and it took us a few years to get him to join me here). However, by the time we were done with our first degrees, it was no longer a question of if we would marry, as long as we first found a way to be physically together, but rather that we would, as long as we’d gotten our ducks in a row first.

We had a discussion about the topic once, where I ended up crying out of frustration because things were progressing so slowly, in my mind. My husband listened and then apologised for not having realised how much I wanted to get married. It still took a little longer for us to get there, as I wanted him to ask because he wanted to, not because I’d nagged him into it.

I had also decided, that my husband and the relationship I have with him was more important than getting married for me, so that’s also going to have played a role in my story. YMMV.


ETA: We married after 12 years and 2-ish months together and will have been together for 17 years this year and married for 5 next January.

Post # 92
1639 posts
Bumble bee

DeniseSecunda :  agreed! up until very recently weddings among non wealthy people mostly had the extravagance of a 4th of July backyard BBQ. The wedding industry has done an amazing marketing job convincing women of modest means that a fancy blow out party beyond what they can reasonably afford is a rite of passage, just as the diamond industry did a great job convincing men that super overpriced stones are a necessary way to demonstrate love. Truly amazed at what these companies accomplished, they should be teaching these as case study 1 in all marketing classes. 

Post # 93
10567 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

backwardsandinheels :  

Meh.  I’m not so thrilled with your bf’s performance. I’m hoping this was a one off thing; otherwise, the ethically proper way to proceed would have been to refer you both to a couples’ counselor as bf continues with his own therapist.

Your bf’s therapist is there for him, not you. And not for the two of you, as a couple. I think it’s important to be mindful of that.

I do give your bf mega props for going to therapy.  What was his initial motivation, if I may ask? Our culture makes it much, much harder for men to reach out. They deserve a lot of support when they do.

That said, I have trouble with this bs about not being sure whether you really want to marry him, or just get married. In 11 years, he hasn’t figured this out? Puh—lease.  Do not try to sell that Bandini here, dude.

Wrapped up in wedding culture. Geeze, he’s got the lingo.

And WTAF is this:

The therapist asked my boyfriend if that was something he felt comfortable giving, and he said something along the lines of yes, if I could give him some kind of assurance that I wanted a ring because I wanted to marry him, not because I wanted to prove something to my sister.

So, what might this “assurance” be?  What would it look like? Must it be in writing? Notarized, perhaps?

Do you see what he did there, Bee? He gave you something along the lines of yes.  He couldn’t give you a YES? Then, he made even his quasi yes dependent on your providing some sort of ethereal evidence as to the honorableness of your intentions. And, for his fait accompli; he knocked you completely off balance by pegging his demand for assurance to your sister.  Which led gracefully into the dropping of the MOAB about her loony texting behavior.


And effective. He got you to immediately pivot off of his reluctance to marry you, and onto your sister; then, onto your family; and, you were left sputtering in rage at them, not at your feckless bf.

He’s good.

His game is to push responsibility for his inaction on to you.

When you shake it all out, it’s still 11 years without being married.  

Your sister?  Red herring.  She has no power over your bf.  Obnoxious, for sure. He won’t be the first guy in history to have a pushy, obnoxious SIL. But, she’s totally irrelevant.

Post # 94
2748 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

sassy411 :  wow, very insightful. You went point by point.  I think  you’re absolutely right!  I hope OP opens her eyes!

Post # 95
759 posts
Busy bee

sassy411 :  Yep. OP needs to decide if she wants marriage and act accordingly. She shouldn’t have to convince her boyfriend that her sister’s judgement is irrelevant. By the way, they aren’t mutually exclusive: it’s possible she both wants to marry this less-than-stellar candidate and wants to prove to her sister that her decision to stay with him was warranted. 

Post # 96
7852 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

backwardsandinheels :  When we got home he suddenly asked me whether I needed a year specifically, or if I would be comfortable with getting engaged sooner. I was kind of taken aback and asked him if he was sure he wanted to speed up the timeline. He said he wasn’t sure he believed in timelines, that after this many years together it seemed kind of silly, and that he didn’t see the point in waiting if it was something we both wanted (!).

This sounds really promising to me bee. I hear what Sassy & co. are saying…but I don’t know why your bf would go out of his way to ask you if he could propose SOONER than a year if he was just full of hot air. Time will tell but…I am optimistic for you! 

Definitely talk to your sis/fam, but also try to keep in mind that as bad as their behavior has been, I think they’re probably coming from a good place.

Post # 99
759 posts
Busy bee

backwardsandinheels :  Someone can be manipulative and not be completely concious of it. Talk is cheap – it’s been 11 years – what’s the point of a timeline? Why not get engaged tomorrow?

Also- Are you really criticizing us for taking our time to offer advice.

Post # 100
992 posts
Busy bee

Idk you’d think after 11 years your communication would be better. And you’d think he wouldn’t be so easily influenced by your sister’s irrelevant opinion.

You sure you want to marry someone who “couldn’t get off his ass” to do things such as proposing sooner? Have you agreed on rough timelines for other major milestones? If not, I’d work on that now and get used to the idea that you may be with a man that takes forever to do anything.

That’s great that he says he wants to propose sooner. But it sounds like you have some serious communication issues to work on in therapy. Good luck!

Post # 102
7852 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I think y’all are forgetting that they got together as teenagers. Yes 11 yrs is a long time…but they’re still not even 30 yet! A huge chunk of the relationship was high school or college years which barely counts.

I dont get all the doom and gloom after the latest update. 🤷‍♀️ 

Post # 103
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Y’all leave her alone.

OppyBee, I’m glad to hear the update. And yes I would advise him that another year of waiting is a bit much. Might as well pick the ring out together. Planning a wedding is supposed to be fun! Good luck sweetheart.

Post # 104
759 posts
Busy bee

tiffanybruiser :  It’s encouraging relative to the initial post, but that is setting the bar far too low.

They’ve been dating for 11 years, they are almost 30, and they still don’t have a set plan or timeline as he “doesn’t believe in timelines”. Plus the exchange with the therapist was highly concerning. It would have been far more credible if he had suggested they look at venues and rings this weekend. Otherwise it seems like he is just saying what he needs to kick the can down the road.

Post # 105
7852 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Except the lack of timeline isn’t being used to delay things; he’s literally saying why wait a year if we’re both ready now! 

Also…Weren’t you just criticizing them for HAVING a timeline? Dude can’t win. anonymousbee001 :  

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