- 8 years ago
- Wedding: August 2011
I’m been engaged for almost a year, and was officially “waiting” for about 2 years, counting from the time we moved in together and my parents couldn’t understand why we weren’t engaged. It was very hard – I am not an aggressive person when it comes to guys, and have only had a couple of serious, very long-term relationships that ended fairly amicably when I decided they weren’t “forever”. I was clear with him that I was not going to “campaign” for him to marry me, either he wanted to or he didn’t.
I think the hardest part about it was that I wasn’t worried that it wouldn’t happen, but the agonizing that my parents (mostly my mom) did over the issue was painful and hurtful – I constantly felt that we were disappointing them, and I couldn’t seem to convince them that it was just a matter of time, and that he had to feel more stable in his career before he got married and was expected to buy a house and have a family. We are both successful professionally, so its not like I’m waiting for him to take care of me. The constant explaining, and assuring people that it was okay, and we were communicating about it, was what made it so frustrating, especially when I felt like I took the brunt of it (people bothered him much less!)
We will essentially get formally married in what amounts to our fourth year or so of being “married” for all practical purposes; sharing a home, a car, a dog, the bills, and supporting each others’ career aspirations. It is strange to some, normal to others, but feels right for us.
Of course, if he had asked me two years earlier, I would have been thrilled, and it would have saved me alot of anxiety and general bad feelings, especially when it comes to my family. I hated that they thought he was some kind of a deadbeat, even though they love him and didn’t want to feel that way. When we stand at the altar next year, there will be no hesitation at all that this is the right decision, and that we each came to it on our own timetable, but ended up in the same place. That is comforting to me.
One other thought – I have a bunch of friends who are now in their 7-8-9th years of marriage (the ones who were married shortly after college.) Many of them are raising families and have had major challenges in the last few years. Some are better able to weather them than others, and it makes me grateful that we have the years behind us of adulthood together that we do before we make the promise. This is not a knock at all on younger brides – there is not always, or even often, a correlation in terms of success – but it makes me feel like i wasn’t just treading water the last few years, but contributing to a lifelong partnership.
I’m sending big e-hugs to all patient waiting ladies. I feel like I am the unofficial waiting counselor among my friends, who all know what a hard time it was for me. Women have to support each other, and also remember that it is not always a picnic for guys in their position, either!