- 4 years ago
I am feeling anxious about my engagement, and I feel I need some help.
It will be hard to condense my relationship into a couple paragraphs, but I will try my best. I met my partner when were were in our first year of high school. We started dating when we were 15 or 16, and were a happy, head-over-heels couple throughout high school. When we graduated, I went off to attend university and he followed me to the same one a year later. In university, we struggled and went through peaceful periods and periods of intense fighting. We both went through the “urge to be single”, and when I was in third year, we broke up for a period of about 8 months because our relationship had become so unhealthy. During this time apart, we both casually saw and became involved with other people, but it wasn’t enough time apart for either of us to experience serious relationships with anyone else.
When we got back together after this 8 month break, I wasn’t quite ready for it. He pursued me and, since I still loved him, I went back into the relationship. This was back at the end of 2012, and we were 21 years old. It was rocky at first, because we had both slept with other people, and it was a hard thing for us both to get over. Slowly, we rebuilt our relationship, and became pretty happy again. But to me, it never felt the same as it did during high school. Now I had become older. I wasn’t sure. I was sure I loved him, and had missed him terribly while we were apart, but I wasn’t sure. I figured that it would work itself out, one way or the other.
We have stayed together since 2012, and through a lot of life changes. I graduated university and went on to teachers college 4 hours away; we stayed together (through some hard times due to long distance). I moved away from Canada to England to work there for four months in 2015. I thought that moving to England would potentially break us, but it didn’t – we stayed together, although that was the toughest challenge we had faced. When I moved home last January 2016, we finally felt that our hard times were over. Life was settling down, we both were now done school and working full time, things slowed down.
It was around this time last year that I began to feel I needed to make a decision regarding this relationship. I had been dating him for 10 years, and I was finally done schol, done moving, and starting my career. I felt stupid that we didn’t know if we were going to get engaged and married or not. I started telling him about my feelings, about how I thought that when I moved back to Canada, I figured we would move in together and get engaged. I thought that it was silly we didn’t live together and were living apart, him in an apartment with friends, and me in my parents’ house.
Last April 2016, we had a big fight, because i wanted to go on a trip to Europe with his sisters friend. He felt I was being insensitive to his sister, who couldn’t afford to go on the trip with us but wanted to. In retrospect, I think I was being insensitive, but the way he spoke to me and yelled at me was way over the top. I drove to his house that night last April, feeling like the relationship was over. I told him I wasn’t going to spend my life being told I was wrong and selfish for the things I wanted to do, like travel or maybe even move and live in a different place. I felt sure it was over, but he begged me to stay and at least let him talk to me, so I stayed. I love him – hurting him by saying I don’t think the relationship is working is the most painful thing I ever had to do- and after talking for a couple hours, I decided to give the relationship another chance. We stayed together, again.
As last fall approached, I began to feel more and more anxious about living with him. I felt so stupid that we weren’t living together, given our decade-long relationship. I began to push him to live with me. Then, realizing I didn’t want to live with a boyfriend unless we were planning on getting married, I began to push him for an engagement. I said things like “if we aren’t going to get married, then we shouldn’t be together” and ‘I’m still not sure about us, and maybe something is wrong’. I felt foolish to be as old as I am, still living with my parents, still unsure whether I want to marry my boyfriend.
So, we moved in together in January. And this did not go well at first. My Catholic parents were very upset by my decision to live with him before we were married, or even engaged. I felt sad to disapppoint my parents, and also I was surprisingly sad to move out of the home I had become used to. I began to feel that it was a good thing we weren’t engaged yet, because living with him wasn’t as wonderful as I had imagined. I was alone all the time because he works late. He is pretty messy. I am frustrated at our diference in priorities. I am a teacher, and I am really focussed on my career and getting a permanent position, which I don’t have yet. In my free time, I like going to the gym and playing sports, and getting together with friends. My boyfriend, by contrast, is a musician, and works at a music store full time. He always says he “doesn’t want to stay there long”, because it isn’t the career he wants and doesn’t pay very well, howevr he is making no effort in searching for a different job. He owns a lot of musical equipment and always seems to want to buy more- his music stuff takes up a small room in our 2 bedroom apartment. He prefers to spend his time outside of work working on music- writing songs, practicing guitar or drums, and recording music.
One night, I was being really grumpy to him, then broke down and told him how I was feeling. I told him how I felt like moving in togehter might have been a mistake,and how I was glad we didn’t get engaged first, becuase it was smart to live together first. I admitted to him that I had been disappointed at Christmas time when he didn’t propose, but I also said that now, looking back, we weren’t ready. I told him how hard it had been for me to move in with him, with my parents disapproving and making me feel guilty. After telling him all this, I felt better.
The very next night, February 21st, 2017, he proposed. In shock, fear, panic, and excitement, I said yes. “Yes”, I said, then “I’m not sure, but of course I say yes”.
We have now told everyone- family first, and then friends. When people ask us when the date will be, I have decided to tell them that “we are just going to enjoy being engaged for now”. I feel utterly stupid to be feeling such doubts now. I pushed for this. I thought I wanted this. Now that I have everything I thought I wanted, everything one would expect me to have (moved in with long term boyfriend, then got engaged), I am questioning the relationship. I feel so guilty to have made him think this is what he should have done. When I ask him if he proposed becasue I pressured him, he says he proposed becasue he was ready, and loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
I don’t know what to do.
Please, if anyone has read this, let me know if you thoughts, and any advice you may have. I appreciate any feedback. Again, thank you for reading.
- This topic was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by perdita.