- 4 years ago
Okay ladies, be prepared for a long one. I am 32 year old F who has dated the BF for just over 5 years and we have hit a very rough patch lately that I am having trouble getting a rational perspective on.
Long story short, I have been waiting for a proposal since March – I say this because I designed and made my own engagement ring (he was fully on board, I kept him updated throughout, kept well within his designated budget and he also paid for it) and passed it to him then. In that time, we have gone on multiple trips together, been spending good time together, living together, nothing was wrong. However, he tried to initially pass off the ring to me saying I should just put it on (to which I tried very hard to respectfully remind him that I would appreciate a marriage proposal or at least for him to ask my parents first). He finally did ask my parents in September and I was over the moon. A couple of weeks after that, he chose to put the ring box on my bed, while we were having a cold argument over something silly. No follow up, no words, I was not even sure if it meant he was giving the ring back to me and we were breaking up?? For the next few weeks I hung on to the ring and did not wear it. He did not raise anything in that time.
It was until I blew up one day and asked him about putting the ring on the bed in the middle of an argument. I asked if he recognised how confusing that was, when I wasnt sure if he was giving up on getting married, or that he just still didnt understand how a proposal worked (surely a Google/ Youtube search would suffice if he spared some time?). I may get the whole “Why are you so caught up on a proposal if you already know he has a ring” deal from some of you, but I felt I really needed to see that conviction that he was committed to me and himself in a lifetime together – more on commitment to himself in a sec.
He was apologetic and agreed he did not approach it well, and said he was planning to propose during a trip at the end of October. I took his words for it and left him to his own devices. The trip came and went, no proposal. The week after we got back, he told me he knew I was expecting it on the trip (I didnt really expect it until he told me he was planning to but yeah..) but that he still had to do some planning. I tried asking what more planning was he looking to do- we have spoken very openly about being in this relationship with the goal of getting married throughout our relationship, at year 3 scouted some wedding venues together, figured out the potential cost of a wedding we wanted, even down to talking about guest lists! He said and has been saying he needs to save more money. While on a very comfortable salary since we got together and me trying my darnest in the last few years to help ease his spending on me (this included recently foregoing anniversary presents, expensive dinners, etc). I have even gone to tell him to scrap the destination wedding, I wouldn’t mind a simple courthouse wedding, especially if a destination wedding was causing him that much grief and having to save for 5 years and going.
His exact words were “Don’t worry I still need to plan for it and save abit more money, I am almost there”. Now, the ring has been bought and paid for in full since March, and I sure dont expect to get married tomorrow (I have mentioned the timeline between engagement and wedding is easily a year or so if you are planning a big-ish wedding, otherwise $150 at the courthouse is all you need). I just felt like this was a sorry excuse and that I am being strung along with no end in sight.
We had the final irrelevant argument in November over him being late by over half an hour (honestly this was the breaking point, I felt like he just did not respect my time enough to let me know he was going to be late while I waited for him at the bar alone, very petty I know but straw on camel’s back really). He again retreated to moving out of our bedroom for the next week, before approaching me the day before I was due to fly overseas for a couple of months. He wanted everything to be good again and said he was actually going to propose the day after that argument – only I saw through it and questioned how we were going to agree to be engaged when he moved himself away and we shut ourselves off from each other. It just didn’t make sense.
I told him I would like to use the time away for us to take a break as I really felt like I had given the relationship everything I had and we still couldnt move forward. We spent the next 2 weeks no contact and I sent him a very long email outlining everything I felt before I left. It honestly felt like hell and I had to look into my own issues in that time. I did not realise how much the resentment had been building up. I realised I was extremely resentful at him for being unreliable (in terms of turning his own words into action). He is still addicted to cigarettes and alcohol – I have tried all this time supporting him through it but there has been no improvement, in fact I felt it was getting worse. We have always communicated from day 1 my wish for him to stop any patterns of addiction (I always maintained I would consider it a massive success if we could just have him smoke and drink socially, not every day, but that was too hard for him to attempt)
After 2 weeks he approached me with the commitment to work things out. We spoke over the phone and he agreed his lifestyle was very unhealthy and he really needed to do something about it. I wanted to maintain it as a balanced discussion so I asked him to air any of his issues with me, as I am sure I have faulted in the course of this downward spiral of the relationship.
He proceeded to tell me 3 things – 2 of which really bugged me. He said he wanted children and he felt like all I wanted was to get married and forget kids. I had asked him many, many times over the course of our relationship what his position was with children – he ALWAYS answered that he didnt really mind not having any. While I am still petrified of the thought of having kids, I communicated to him then that I know my chances will dwindle as I advance in age. I have considered it and know it will likely be in my future, but everytime I think about it I have to shut it down to taking one step at a time. If I was not even engaged to be married yet, why would we be planning children now? So it turned into this giant miscommunication that he never communicated to me he seriously wanted kids, and I apologised for giving him the impression I didn’t want any. I don’t know if he knew his bad lifestyle was an ongoing sore topic for me and that if he brought up having children to me, it would force him to lose the cigarettes and alcohol as I would want us both to be healthy and live long to see our children grow up (he has family history of early heart disease and cancer, and previously tested poorly in liver/ kidney function tests). Perhaps he knew bringing up children was going to force a discussion on committing himself and myself to someone other than ourselves and he was not yet ready to let the habits go?
The second issue he brought up was the fact that I have been on a career break since March (I have been talking about this career break for years and finally jumped at the chance to do it). What started out as a potential 6 months break to look into entrepreneurship/ business potentials, a chance to see the world, spend time with my folks living overseas, is now inching on 9 months. I have been trying my best to be active in that time (watching my spending of my money, part time job, making myself useful around the house with chores for him). I also told him several weeks ago that I was likely going to call an end to my career break after the new year and get back to work.
He now said the issue was with me ‘promising’ a 6 month break but I am now on 9 months and counting, and that I have done NOTHING in that time. I had to retort and say I didn’t think I did ‘nothing’ in all that time, but I submitted and said I would be getting back onto a job in the new year. After the call I really digested the discussion over the next week and felt like we really did not move forward at all – if anything I felt my resentment for him grow even more.
He continued to pretend everything was now peachy that we have solved everything in a 1.5hr phone call – but I felt different.
Like really, did I appreciate a partner who evidently did not see any value in what I did in my career break and chose to label it as ‘nothing’? I felt very passively manipulated all over again, manipulated to keep waiting for the ring, manipulated to allow him to continue feeding his addictions, manipulated to do everything he wants with no consideration of me, manipulated to continue living with him, and that I really have no influence on him to change things.
Tonight I voiced out to him that I felt very discouraged by him saying I have done nothing in my career break (in a way it highlights the fact he doesn’t genuinely support me – when he has said nothing of this nature in all this time, even when I was constantly checking with him that he was happy during my break -I recognised very early on and was very aware this may turn into a deal breaker for alot of couples when one stops working, etc) , and he chose to respond with “I think we need more time to cool off.” and “I did not mean it that way/ You have taken it the wrong way”. What other way can I interpret ‘doing nothing’?
Our break to take a breather seems to be turning from bad to worse, and I am feeling like I am personally throwing the relationship into the bin. I really want to be happy again like we were before, but it seems impossible now with how things are looking. I know this resentment is killing me and I have been trying to release it, but I just can’t easily. I am feeling tired/ burnt out like I have no more to give, is this because I have been manipulated, or am I the master manipulator that didnt get what she wanted. I dont know! I want to know if I am crazy and imagining things, I am willing to get help if needed for this.
I really need some perspective on this girls, any would be appreciated 🙂