low key devastated by boyfriend's 5 year stipulation

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 91
2509 posts
Sugar bee

Ok, so you are treating everything he’s doing as if it’s completely normal and it’s not. This tells me that you probably attract narcissists, and so you’re used to this cycle. Except, it doesn’t sound like you’ve run up against a truly SMOOTH narcissist before, because you were completely brought in by his love-bombing. 

He love-bombed you until he got you to give in and become vulnerable, then he started becoming less and less loving and a little more judgmental, a little more gas-lighty here and there until you’ve reach this breaking point. Because you sound like you have a lot of healthy self-esteem, and a fairly good amount of standard and expectations. 

If you’re not careful, he’s going to start chipping away at all of those things. VERY carefully. Stating a 5-year “rule” and waiting to see if you’re going to give in and stay is his power move. If you give in and stay, he now knows he’s in control, and that your standards and expectations (and even, eventually, your self-esteem) are negotiable.

Does this guy have a problem admitting when he’s wrong? Listening to your point of view? Does he get defensive a lot, increasingly so lately? Does he turn the table on you? (obviously he does – talling you it’s YOUR fault he doesn’t want to talk about marriage and kids is classic table turning.)

Is his logic like shifting sands? Does he withdraw emotionally when he’s mad at you to “teach you a lesson”? 

Are you begining to feel a little bit like a thoughtless child whose father-like boyfriend needs to point out her emotionality and lack of logic and guide her behavior?

Please read up on narcissism, love-bombing, and gaslighting: http://queenbeeing.com/narcissists-soulmate-scam-identifying-love-bomber/

And ABSOLUTELY read The Human Magnet Syndrome.

If you want to have kids within the next 5 years, you don’t have time to keep falling for these losers. They know how to fake loving someone just enough to ensnare them, but around the 6-10 month mark, their mask starts slipping and something starts to feel “off” about the relationship. Your self-esteem starts to falter, you feel less and less loved, their abusive tendencies (need to control) come out more and more. The problem is, they don’t know how to ACTUALLY love anyone. So once you’ve identified them, you HAVE to move on. You can’t save them, you can’t change them, you won’t be the special one who opens up their heart. 

And kind of just as an aside, he also sounds a little like a MRA/PUA. Google it with the term “holding frame,” and it sounds just like what he’s doing with the 5-year rule, not “allowing” you to discuss children, and giving you tasks to achive before things can move forward.

I’m telling you – you can’t see it right now b/c you’re in love with him, but he’s scum. Start the process of unblinding yourself.

Post # 92
3830 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

The controlling aspect of all of this would make me crazy, and would definitely be enough for me to leave.  I am an active part of my relationship.  You should be too.  It isn’t just about his timeline, it is about your joint timeline.  And Eff that with the “I’ll marry you when you check your temper and stop being messy” shit.  He should accept you for who you are, flaws and all, or not at all. I’d be out.  

You could meet someone, get married, and have 2 kids by the time his 5 year timeline would be up.  DH and I were engaged within 18 months of meeting, married by 2 years and it didn’t feel rushed whatsoever.  He is the same age as your SO.  

Post # 93
2092 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Sorry, dear. I think it may be time to walk away from this guy. I don’t care who he dated before, she is not you. Also, it makes me think that he simply is not sure he wants to get married and is going to keep trying to test you and see if you are the “one”. But, he should know this by now. It would be one thing if he had said from early on that he had this timeline because you discussed marriage with him plenty and he waited until now to bring it up. Who knows what else he will say to hold off on getting married at the 5 year point. You could ask him if he would want a longer engagement before you walk. My Darling Husband and I decided to do that because he proposed in under 2 years and we wanted to wait and have a longer time to plan the wedding. But, my original wedding date was too far out! So, I moved it up. But, he was not making excuses not get married. We just didn’t want to do it right away.

Post # 94
6793 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

So…once you are 100% perfect he’ll agree to consider marrying you?!?! 

No thanks dude, I’m good. 

Post # 95
2933 posts
Sugar bee

Hmm. He thinks that you would make a good wife. Does he think he would make a good husband? Particularly with his controlling ways? 

I think that you probably need to leave. Marriage isn’t about working on things until you are perfect enough to get married. You are perfect (even with your imperfections) as you are right now.  Don’t forget it.

Post # 97
9 posts

I am so sorry you are going through this but I must warn this is a bad situation to be in. Ive been in it. About six months after dating a guy who’d persued me aggressively, he told me pretty much the EXACT same thing. That he couldn’t even consider marrying someone unless he had dated them for 5-10 years (yup I’m serious). I was 25 at the time and although that was not the timeline in my mind, I was so into him that I convinced myself I was relatively young and that once we’d been together 1-2 years he’d probably change his weird rule. Fast forward 5 years and he was still dragging his feet. Long story short turns out he was in love with his high school sweetheart and just waiting for her to become single, and just passing time with me. He knew I wouldn’t stick around unless he pretended to be more serious so he just said what he needed to say. Now I’m not saying that’s what’s going on with your bf, but at the end of the day I learned a very hard lesson. Which is that if a guy is not even open to the idea of letting a relationship progress into something serious (and taking actions to back that up) there is SOME reason. Whether it’s another girl, immaturity, denial, whatever – doesn’t matter. The end result is usually the same. Please do not waste your time with someone who is clearly not on the same page as you and who on top of that, requires you to be perfect before he deems you good enough to commit to.

Post # 98
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

whytheskyispurple :  “Then he mentioned some of the issues that he has with me – my temper (I don’t have a horrible temper per se, but I am the type that easily gets upset, however, I am also quick to forgive) and also my messiness. He says he wants me to work on these problems and to see if they improve over time, and in the meantime he’ll work on the issues that I have with him.”

Nope nope nope nope nope! This is a giant, undeniable red flag. He is telling you he doesn’t want to marry the person you are, but he is hoping that (you) will change. Don’t waste your time on someone who loves your “potential” rather than loving you.

Post # 99
1764 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

(When hikingbride  cusses, well then you know it’s time to listen up.) 😂


Post # 100
2826 posts
Sugar bee

5 years is SO long. It’s understandable if (like someone else said) you are in school and need to finish that and get established first, but at your age you certainly do not need 5 years to get to know someone enough to marry them. I do agree with 2 years or even 3 being a suitable amount of time to get to know someone. But I feel like beyond that is just passing time by, length in and of itself can’t prove the strength because people COULD change at any time. My fiancé dated his ex for 6 years and didn’t seriously discuss marriage, and then he proposed to me after 14 months of dating. 

1 year in is soon to be making a plan for sure either way (we got engaged sooner than average and I odn’t think that’s reasonable to expect of all realtionships) but the FIRM 5 year wait seems excessive to me. 

I don’t know if I would bail straight away, but I would be clear that I probably wasn’t going to wait 5 years just to decide whether or not we would get married. 

Post # 101
1743 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

whytheskyispurple :  Sorry you’re going through this, but I call BS (on your boyfriend’s part). A man knows when he’s met the woman he wants to marry. He just knows. And it doesn’t take 5 years for him to know. Just use George Clooney as an example: he dated TONS of women and told them all he would never get married. Until he met his now wife, Amal. And it didn’t take him 5 years for him to marry her either. He nailed that down ASAP for fear of losing her. A man knows that a good woman has options, and if he loves her…he’s going to lock it down.

No way am I risking my prime years and fertility for a man that tells me he’ll start to consider my application in 5 years. Hell no. And that’s exactly what you need to tell your boyfriend. Tell him that his timeline is unacceptable to you. I would agree that 2 years is a good amount of time to get to know each other, and then it’s decision making time. If I didn’t see an engagement or firm commitment by the end of year 3, I would let it be known that I’m not willing to wait any longer. Men do this to women all the time…date her for nearly a decade and then break up / leave her and marry a new chick in a matter of months. Nope! Bye Felicia!! xoxo

Post # 102
990 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016


First he gave you the 5-year timeline excuse. When you poked holes in that one, he gave you another excuse: that you need to improve. Marriage should not be conditional. If you aren’t good enough the way you are, then he’s not the one for you. Plus, EVEN IF you change yourself and you wait 5 years, there will be another excuse waiting in the wings with this kind of guy.

And why can’t you find out if you’re on the same page regarding having kids? What is his dysfunction that he can’t even discuss it with someone he’s in a serious relationship with? What if you wait the 5 years and then find out he doesn’t even want kids?

Post # 103
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I’m so sorry for everything you are going through at the moment bee…but please, do not, at any stage, question yourself or your self worth! I know that deep down, you know that your BFs demands are exceptionally inappropariate and the fact that he’s so inconsiderate to your feelings is unforgivable! I also have to second PPs opinions about him being a narcissist; for more information about narcissits, head on to http://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2016/06/20-diversion-tactics-highly-manipulative-narcissts-sociopaths-and-psychopaths-use-to-silence-you/

It shouldn’t take any more than a year to work out if they see a marriage in the horizons of their relationship (pre-20’s excluded); from there, by the end of the second year, discussions should be made regarding timelines and even discussions of future children, career plans etc (generally, timelines are made to suit financial capacity).
I can understand waiting to MARRY after 5 years, but to have you in limbo for 5 years so that he can “figure out” if marriage is on the cards is a major red flag for me – especially considering you have expressed your dreams of having children within an earlier time frame. If he really saw a future with you bee, he would negotiated with you…marriage is not up for one person to decide – it is a joint decision. The fact that he doesn’t take your opinion into consideration is just…again, a major red flag! 

You have a right to a loving, selfless, respectful future husband; a man that communicates well with you, trusts you, is honest with you, and is willing to put effort into your future, your emotions and into nourishing your relationship. This man is not him.

Do not doubt yourself, do not doubt your self worth, do not doubt your emotions, your logic or your intuition….I know you love him bee, but there is a lovely man on the horizons waiting to give it all to you. Don’t look down when you walk…be proud, and confident in your decision with your head and shoulders held up tall; because you don’t want to miss what could be your future husband, or a good chunk of your beautiful life, whilst watching your feet as you walk…

good luck bee! my heart and my prayers are with you xxx

Post # 104
7372 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Girl love YOURSELF. Because he isn’t going to be around in 5 years. I’d bet money on it.

When someone shows you who tey are believe it the first time. You’re only one year in and want to bargin with the rest of your prime years. girl bye. 


Post # 105
1650 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve told this to so many girlfriends. What appears to be the RIGHT guy with the WRONG timeline is the WRONG guy. He might love you and say all the nice things now, but if he and you are not on the same wavelength on timeline, you have got to go. 

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