(Closed) Long wait before engagement – how not to wreck the relationship

posted 8 years ago in Waiting
Post # 16
Member
336 posts
Helper bee

@txbella:  That’s the thing with waiting though: whoever is ready first DOESN’T get to call the shots.  You can’t force somebody to be ready for an engagement and marriage so, as hard as it is, you have to wait for them to reach it on their own otherwise there are going to be a lot more problems in the future.

The are a million reasons why a person may want to wait to get engaged for financial reasons: building up a savings account for emergencies, saving for a ring, paying off debt so it won’t become your future spouse’s, saving money for the wedding if they don’t want a long engagement, buying things that should take priority over a ring first (ex. a vehicle if they don’t have one), and so on.  Plus, 

 

@Scottish_lassie:  I don’t want to be harsh, but you cannot keep getting angry at your SO and making comments like that if you don’t want him to start permanently feeling angry at you.  It is a two way street: you resent making him wait, but if you keep pushing for it and making him feel like what you have isn’t good enough he could very easily start resenting you and, if it gets too extreme, may not want to propose after two years.

The advice for helping your relationship is the same advice that people in LDRs get: find things you can do to distract you from what you wish was happening (being with your SO or, in this case, getting engaged).  Moping instead of living your life and enjoying what you have doesn’t help anybody and can actually be counter-productive to getting what you want.  In your case, if it’s upsetting you so much that you have to wait two years take some time away from wedding websites, stop counting how many days are potentially left, and do something that makes you happy.  Do NOT try to plan your wedding before you’re engaged, that won’t help you at all.  (Also, what if he has an opinion about something you love/hate?  What if your parents or his parents chip in (which gives them a say) and you have to throw out part of your plans)?  Daydreaming is fine to a point, but when you are so upset and focused on the engagement and the wedding rather than working on what you have right now, I think it is time to take a step back.

Good luck.

Post # 18
Member
196 posts
Blushing bee

@Adams_bee:  This is very solid advice.  I’m in the situation where my fiance was the one who wanted to get married and I was the one who wasn’t sure I ever wanted to marry.  It had nothing to do with him, and everything to do with how I felt about marriage and the number of couples I know who are divorced.  I’ve more than once said to him that if he’d done to me what I see a lot of on this board – constant nagging, complaining, and obsessing about getting a ring – we wouldn’t be getting married, because I’d have dug my heels in and said no.  Marriage is way too important a decision to get rushed or pushed into, and every couple I know where the guy was pushed is now divorced.

@Scottish_lassie:  My fiance is divorced and knew from experience what happens when someone gets pushed into marriage, which helped when I told him I needed time.  In your case, your guy keeps change the timeline, which means he’s feeling a lot of pressure or really undecided.  You need to decide whether or not it’s more important to be with him, (even if you never get married), or to be married (even if not to him).  If it’s the former, focus on your relationship and what is positive in it.  If it’s the later, which it sounds like from your other posts, then you’ve already done the right thing – you have a deadline after which you will leave to look for someone else who is interested in marriage.  So use the time between now and then to work on your relationship and figure out a plan for what you will do if it doesn’t happen, so you can move forward with things if it doesn’t work out.

Post # 19
Member
1334 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Kempinski San Lawrenz, Gozo

@Scottish_lassie:  I’m sorry we haven’t met your expectations on this issue, but I honestly don’t think we’re not being supportive. I can only speak for myself here, so I’ll say I’m not being sympathetic, because you did not ask for sympathy. I am viewing my situation from my angle, and at the same time, imagining myself in your shoes, and his shoes…I think I am being supportive by following your post and taking the time to give you some friendly advice. I am telling you the same thing I would tell my closest friends in the same situation. 

 

I understand it’s frustrating waiting for a proposal, which is precisely why we are trying to advise you NOT to wait for a proposal. (Some couples never even get married for various reasons, and they still live a happy and fulfilling life.) Normally, a priority in a relationship would be for it to remain strong and healthy. But if that’s not your priority, perhaps you need to rethink your intentions together which your SO.

good luck! 

Post # 20
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@AnastasiaM:  neither party should be calling the shots in a relationship, there should be compromise, and if youve read the OPs post history you would see that her Fiance has no valid reason for waiting to get engaged. i agree you cant force someone to be ready but that doesnt mean a compromise cant be reached on the timeline, 2 year wait on a ring is ridiculous.

just because HE said 2 years doesnt mean she has to go along with that timeline if it isnt reasonable to her. the OP seems to be making all the sacrifices in this relationship while he makes very little in return. i can see this going terribly wrong as it seems the resentment has already kicked in from looking at her original post. so i stand by what i said.

if she thinks 2 years is crap let it be known to him and reach a happy medium, theres no valid reason for him waiting this long. which is why i reached the conclusion he IS stalling.

 

Post # 21
Member
196 posts
Blushing bee

@Scottish_lassie:  Since you specifically mention career and you are on hold for a while, are there any temporary job opportunities that would let you move ahead – somewhere you could go on assignment for a year or so that would boost your career?  Scotland isn’t that big – at least not to an American with an English father 🙂 – so you’d be living apart, but within reasonable distance of seeing each other unless you moved to the extreme north or west.

Are you living in his house, but rent free?  Are you paying rent?  It’s sort of an odd situation either way, but if he already owned the house and you would plan on living their after marriage, it makes some sense.  It’s miserable living in “someone else’s house” though.  You never really feel like you belong.  This is something I’d definitely discuss with him.

Post # 22
Member
1074 posts
Bumble bee

I’m in a similar boat with a 2-year timeline. What I do that seems to really help is on the days where I’m feeling really antsy about it I tell myself that if I still feel that way in 2 days then I can go ahead and talk to the SO about it. Most of the time I’m just having an off day and looking for reassurance, which I end up getting in other ways because he’s awesome. Usually by the next morning I’m totally fine, but the few times I have gotten to the talking about it phase I’m much more calm and capable of having a constructive conversation.

 

 

Post # 24
Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Scottish_lassie:  Two years for me too.  He gave me a time frame-between Oct.2011 and April 2012 that he would propose.  My birthday went by, then Christmas, then New Years.  Now he says he has a specific day in mind (I was hoping for Groundhog’s Day).  He says I’m kind of ruining it.

I hear you on the age thing.  I’m 34 and I really want to have children, so there is pressure.  Even though, I truly wish there wasn’t.  I wish I could take my time like when I was 25.  

Sounds like you miss your friends.  Me too.  Watching Sex and the City always cheers me up.

 

 

Post # 25
Member
1348 posts
Bumble bee

My SO works in the jewelery section of a department store so I have to deal with him saying engagement ring on a very constant basis. It’s insane. Although our timeline is very loose (I just want to be engaged before we move to Europe- in about 2.5 years but after we’ve been together for three years- next January). Currently we’re struggling financially and should be for a long time. I’m fine with a stand-in ring but want moissy eventually. It’s hard when we’re saving so much money to move and I’m starting University next spring hopefully -which is just going to add to the money woes.

I try not to talk about wedding stuff and wait for him to say anything, doesn’t happen very often.

I’ll be here (in the waiting boards) for a while.

Post # 26
Member
336 posts
Helper bee

@txbella:  Compromise would work if he was saying something like “I don’t want to be married until I’m 40” or something like that.  However, if somebody is truly not ready to be engaged or married of course they get to call the shots on if it happens or not.  You can’t get married if one party is being coerced into it, that is grounds for an annulment.  You can’t make somebody be ready and if you push it too much, things don’t work out well.  (I’ve seen the results of this first hand with my parents.)  There is no compromise when one person is ready to get married and the other isn’t, becuase you either get married or you don’t.

@Scottish_lassie:  If you aren’t happy where you are, I think that is the issue you have to deal with before marriage.  I know being far apart and not having the same schedules is difficult.  SO & I have been together almost 4 years and spent nearly 2 years in a LDR… six months of which we could not communicate AT ALL (no texting, emails, or phones where he was) 5 days a week. Three months he was doing his paramedic placement on shift work where we were working opposite schedules, and that’s what the next year and a half are going to be like when he is several hours away.  It sucks, you don’t have to tell me, but if it relieves stress it is actually good.  In fact, I think every couple should do long distance for 6 months before they get married, because it really shows you what your relationship is made out of.

I can sympathize with a lot of things you’ve said… my parents have spent the last 3+ years divorcing after an awful marriage, I’ve had the panic attacks since primary school, and that there is no proposal coming this year (I probably have 1.5+ years of waiting left).

My biggest recommendations are probably the ones I said above: try to enjoy just being with your SO and think of how lucky you are to have a guy you love when you’re feeling down.  Find a time-consuming hobby that you feel is productive and makes you feel good (I scrapbook and write novels, both of which take up plenty of time and are good distractions).  Try to give your guy space and let him process the marriage/engagement thing on his own, but if you’ve been feeling consistently upset about something in particular (not just waiting in general, because that’s kind of hard to fix without somebody giving in, but if you feel like you’re sacrifising more than him for example) have a heart-to-heart.

Sorry if you thought we were being harsh earlier, I can’t speak for the others but I know I didn’t mean to be.  I just wanted to make sure that you realized that moping or resenting that your SO isn’t ready when you are is not the best way to start a marriage.  As long as you don’t hold anything against your SO and don’t criticize him for not feeling ready/try to avoid low blows, you’re following most of the advice you got from people.

Post # 27
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@AnastasiaM:  i dont think i suggested anything of the sort to ‘coerce’ or push someone to be ready for marriage, agreeing on a timeline they are both comfortable with is not pushing or forcing so i dont see the correlation in your stance here, so we will have to agree to disagree.

the OPs SO is a grown man with free will, he seems to be calling the shots so far, when it should be a mutual decision on a timeline, i dont see why finding a happy medium they can both agree on is coercing.

ive been in a 4 yr relationship with a man now who once told me he wanted to wait until he was 35. should i have told him ‘sure honey ill wait?’ hell no, i let him know that was out of the question, and i would walk in x amout of time. he can either come along for the ride or walk. that is where free will comes in. i didnt put him in shackles and tell him to marry me or else.. he’s still here (his choice) and we have a date. not all couples who settle their timelines end up like your parents.

 

you dont have to settle for what a man thinks should be the time frame if you’re not happy with it. plenty of couples who deal with mismatched timelines, some are able to meet somewhere in the middle and agree on a plan. 

Post # 28
Member
336 posts
Helper bee

@txbella:  There is a big difference between waiting 10 years and waiting a maximum of a little under 2.  I am also under the impression that the OP and her SO have agreed that he has two years to propose to her.  She can discuss it with him, but has to be open to the possibility that he might say, “Honey, I’m sorry.  I don’t think I will be ready to get engaged until 2013.”  Also he has told her that he will propose in the next two years… that doesn’t mean he’s going to propose on the last possible day, but people are jumping to worst-case-scenario here.

The coercion thing was in reference to if you keep pushing, people sometimes agree to things they aren’t ready to out of fear of their SO leaving them.  Having a rational conversation is one thing, but if you keep bringing it up after your SO has told you the earliest they would be comfortable getting engaged and try to make them propose to you sooner, you are pressuring them to give in to your desires.

An analogy would be if, after you’re married your husband tells you he wants to have kids asap.  You don’t feel comfortable in your ability to parent, feel that you aren’t financially stable enough, and/or want to get things done before you become a parent and tell him that you would be more comfortable starting TTC in two or three years.  The answer to the problem is not for your husband to keep nagging you or to pressure his wife into trying to have a baby in a year, the answer is waiting until they are both ready.  You can compromise if a person realizes maybe they don’t need to do everything they originally thought they had to do before taking a big life step, but if they aren’t ready and you love them, you have to let it be and let them come around on their own time.

Post # 29
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@AnastasiaM:  i believe i mentioned here in previous posts she agreed to what her SO wanted for a timeline, it wasnt necessarily what she wanted, but she accepted. and again this is based off her post history. i believe she has also mentioned in previous posts that he changed timelines plenty before. even making up a cultural excuse as to why hes waiting. this all ties into why i believe he is stalling. the latest timeline he came to was 2years, she mentioned she wouldve preferred a year but agreed to his 2 yr timeline anyway.

but anyway, im done with the back n forth. good luck OP.

Post # 30
Member
81 posts
Worker bee

I know what you’re going through 🙁

My Boyfriend or Best Friend and i have travelled all around the world on business and he initially asked me to elope with him at 10 months into the relationship (we didn’t though). Three years later and no ring, just verbal promises, while I’ve gone beyond a ‘I want to get married’ state and into a ‘I want to start planning our kids’ stage (which I wouldn’t do UNTIL we’re married).

Overall it means I’m super anxious to get to goals far beyond where we are, and I know i’m not getting a proposal this year.

My advice is to talk to him about it, I mentioned to my Boyfriend or Best Friend how one of my friends who recently got engaged pretty much took my dream reception venue, my planned theme and colors and is having her wedding obviously before ours. She’s a close enough friend it would be awkward for me to go with my ideal theme/venue choices so I feel like my dream wedding plans are shattered already.
The Boyfriend or Best Friend heard me out about that and I think it’s clicked in his head that there are so many factors that can interfere with the ‘Dream Wedding’, including TIMING.

If your guy is holding out because he wants to raise a bit more money to afford the dream wedding, he might not realize timing is also a big factor? 

The topic ‘Long wait before engagement – how not to wreck the relationship’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors