(Closed) Pre-Engagement Hell

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 16
2551 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t think you want to be married to this man.  And if it makes you feel any better, I don’t think he wants to be married to you either.

When you find yourself waiting at a bar for your alcoholic boyfriend, who lied about wanting kids because he didn’t want to deal with you nagging him to quit drinking, you can pretty safely say that leaving is a good call.  Sorry hon, I know it sucks to invest a lot of time in something that doesn’t pan out.  But a breakup is better than a divorce any day.

But in his defense, a “career break” isn’t a thing, unless you’re Jennifer Lawrence and you’re between scripts.

Post # 17
7591 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I would not get engaged to someone with an alcohol problem until he had shown me through his actions, consistently and for a long period of time, that he had the problem under control. And that’s not even touching on all the other issues in your post.

Post # 18
4242 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

View original reply
maymay777 :  Oh boy.  Where to even begin???

This post is literally all about you and the problems you have with your boyfriend.  It’s about how YOU designed the right.  How YOU expected a proposal but didn’t communicate that with your boyfriend.  How YOU were able to take a “career break” (not to be rude, wtf even IS that????) and how HE didn’t respect you through it.  I see literally NOTHING about your love for your boyfriend or how good you two are together or how happy you are in your relationship.

It sounds like you really just aren’t a good match.  Marriage can be a lot of work and can be difficult yes, but not THIS hard.  A ring on your finger will not magically make him change into the man you apparently want him to be.  It’s fine to have expectations (i.e. not drinking/smoking/doing drugs excessively), but it’s not fine to expect to change someone.  He will NOT change.  Let me repeat that…he. Will. Not. Change.  (This coming from a girl who spent years in a serious relationship with a boyfriend expecting her guy to change.)

Look at it from his perspective — you resent him for not proposing how YOU want things to be, but don’t you think HE might have resented you with your neverending “career break”?  Don’t you think he feels the pressure to support the two of you while you are off on your Eat Pray Love adventures?  It would be one thing if you were married and it was a mutual decision for your health or something to take a break work-wise, but you are boyfriend and girlfriend.  That is a LOT of pressure to put on a boyfriend…even if you live with him.

This, honestly, is not even worth thinking about saving.  I could literally write 5 more paragraphs about the issues in your relationship.  I think you want engagement because you see it as the next checkbox to cross off in your life checklist.  Take a minute and open your eyes and LISTEN to what your boyfriend is saying and NOTICE how the unhealthy dynamics of your relationship.  You have had the ring for over 9 months now with no proposal in sight.  Doesn’t that tell you something?

Post # 19
2389 posts
Buzzing bee

Y’all are both clinging to a sinking ship. I wouldn’t stay in this relationship for an entire HOST of reasons:

– Emotional manipulations on both sides
– Emotional reactiveness on both sides
– Terrible communication from at least his side
– Lying
– “Abusive patterns” on his end
– Controlling urges in you
– Seeming imcompatibility in terms of future children
– Foot-dragging on his end
– Sense of entitlement on your end

This truly sounds like an awful relationship, if I’m being honest. Relationship Hell, not “Pre-Engagement” Hell. 

You sound like you have your shit together and have standards for yourself. That’s great. But you’re staying with someone and pinning all your hopes and dreams on someone who OBVIOUSLY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY does not live up to your standards. So you’re dragging him through life and then becoming resentful of him for “making” you drag him through life. 

– You want a brilliant ring – instead of designing it WITH you, he sits back and lets you do everything.
– You want an actual proposal – he has an ACTUAL ring in his ACTUAL possession, and can’t seem to figure out how to make that happen, you accept his excuses for MONTHS.
– You take a “career break” (whatever that is…?) seemingly to work on yourself in other areas, and he’s so incompatible with you that he doesn’t even understand what it is you’re working on.
– He’s a drinker and a smoker and instead of walking away from something that clearly violates your personal standards, you procede to nag at him. 

You each need to just start entirely over. No, I don’t think counseling or ANYTHING can save this train wreck. 

Post # 20
7591 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Is your bf supporting you financially (by paying more rent, or in other ways) during your career break? I think that is extremely relevant here. If you have enough savings that you haven’t had to rely on him and are still in financially good shape during your time off then I don’t really think he has any right to resent you for it. On the other hand if he’s pulling more weight while you’re off adventuring then yeah I could see that getting old real quick.

Post # 21
1808 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

My father was an alcoholic, and I have a husband who has a lot of social anxiety. Over the years I’ve come to realize a lot of people deal with their shyness and social anxiety with alcohol – it helps them be a little less shy. I wonder if your boyfriend is very anxious – which would explain the drinking and smoking? I know my husband was terrified to ask me to marry him. Even though we had purchased the ring together – he was just so scared I would turn him down. We ended up going out to dinner, and under the table he handed me the ring and said “here”. That was it! The whole proposal! Over the years I’ve asked him about it – and he was just so in love with me – he couldn’t bear the thought of me possibly saying no – so he didn’t ‘really’ ask – that way if I handed it back to him it’s not like he actually was turned down. Does this make any sense? Not really – but in his mind it did

When you said your boyfriend put the ring on the bed, it sounds to me a lot like what my husband would have done. I think – in his mind – he was asking you to marry him – but he’s just too scared to get the words out.

My suggestion – if he’s drinking and smoking, I would get him to a doctor, get a full check-up, get him on some anti-anxiety meds (if the doctor thinks he needs them), and get off the self-medication of alcohol and smoking. It’s unhealthy – and unfair to you if he really is serious about children. You shouldn’t have to go into having children if he won’t be there with you to help raise them. My dad died when I was 15 – and I know how much of a struggle it was on my mom being left with raising the kids, paying the mortgage, etc…

One thing that you could point out to your boyfriend is that by quitting drinking and smoking there would be a TON of money saved. Alcohol and cigarrettes are expensive! It would also be much healthier, and probably help you two communicate better (it’s hard to communicate with someone who’s drinking all the time). I would start with telling him that this needs to stop before you can move on in your relationship.

Post # 22
905 posts
Busy bee

Please call this wedding off. Neither one of you are suited to each other. I have to add my voice to many of the bees who say there are just to many red flags. Not just him but you too. You can not change someone. He is a smoker and a drinker. There is nothing wrong with that per say. I smoked for years and it took me 20 years to kick my addictions to cigarettes and Im 41 years old. Kicking a smoking addiction is hell. 

You seem to be a Type A personality. You seem to be making all the decisions with little to no input from him and then taking him to task when things dont go the way you want them. He is is pushing back because he has concerns about your career break. Im not sure what a career break is, but from a guys point of view it looks like you are intending to marry him and not go back to work. Thats some scary stuff right there. 

He obviously has concerns and you dismiss them out of hand. That is very worrying. He might see your dismissiveness as a red flag. He has issues of not handling conflict very well…i.e..moving out of the bedroom during a petty spat, but it could be that he just doesnt know how to deal well with conflict. Some men dont. My DH is one of those. If I we argue and I raise my voice he just refuses to engage me. He was raised never to yell at a woman or to speak in anger, so he just walks away, especially if I am being irrational, which can happen. 

We have learned to argue constructively and not dismiss each others feelings, but it takes time. 

It appears you and your bf have not yet learned to do this. Please dont get married. You are pushing and he is pushing back. He does not want to marry you and you dont really need to marry him either. Its really neithers fault. It just means that in the grand scheme of things you two are unsuited to each other.

You can waste your time pushing for a ring and an engagement and then end up married, miserable and probably divorced in the long run or you can end the relationship, meet someone who has common goals and hopefully have a happy and fulfilled relationship.

Good luck to you bee.


Post # 23
1299 posts
Bumble bee

If this post were reversed, and you came on here talking about how your boyfriend was taking a “career break” I guarantee we’d all be telling you to GTFO of that relationship. So…you quit your job, with nothing lined up? A “career break” is not a thing.

Post # 24
14 posts

View original reply
maymay777 :  I think you are being strung along and every time you’re ready to walk, you don’t cause of another promise or another date or the fact that you’ve invested so much time in the relationship, in the design of your ring and so on.  I know that feeling all too well. What i understood in your post is that YOU have sacrificed a lot of your beliefs and wants to be with him and to make him comfortable “forgoing anniversary presents, expensive dinners, ect” but honey, WHAT DID HE GIVE UP FOR YOU? Love is selfless but it is not stupid. I know you’re on a “career break” and maybe you think that a huge sacrifice on his part but he agreed to it AND you are budgeting your self and still working part time. Don’t give credit where it is not due. You’re young, you don’t really want kids and you for sure know you don’t want kids with him the way he is right now. Do yourself a favor and start being as good to yourself as you have been to him these last 5 years. You don’t want to marry someone because you “know things will be different” cause they won’t be. the only thing that will change is your last name and your filing status. If he isn’t what you want right now, a ring won’t change that. 

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