Post # 1
Ladies: In the Signs he will propose (my story) post by laceylace, she writes “I don’t understand!!! WHY won’t you talk about this!! We’ve been together for over 3 years and you don’t want to marry me????“
Something about that line stuck with me and as I drove to work this morning, I realized that these years we were aren’t married won’t really count in the longterm.
Yknow, when we have our 5th, 20th, etc anniversaries, it’ll actually be short these first 5 years that we were together. And believe me – these were years where I have been a wife to him but he wasn’t ready to be my husband.
Yknow, I “understood” his preference to get his finances in order before proposing (richer or poorer), supported him through health problems (in sickness and in health) and through a myriad of petty complications he put us through as he grappled with making sure I was really the one for him (good times and bad).
Am I the only one who notices/feels this … resentment/anger about how long it took their SO to finally make their willingness to be committed ‘count’?
If not, can someone give me a perspective from which to see it differently?
Post # 3
I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. Because of everything he has watched his older brother’s go through and the fact that one of them has actually told him not to get married, he is super hestitant about everything. Even though he says he wants to marry me all the time, he still isn’t ready to commit.
Post # 4
I was very angry before he proposed. I was upset because he HAD the money saved to get me a ring. And i didnt care about the ring anymore anyway i just wanted the committment. I thought i would resent him for life. And i still wish he had proposed alot sooner so i never felt like that.
But now that we are planning the wedding and i know how excited he is to get married the anger has completely gone away.
Post # 5
i read that part of her post too, and like you it made me reflect on my own relationship. after 5 years my SO still cant bring himself to say those 4 words. we’ve had arguments/breaks over his indifference to propose. it did a number on my self esteem and eventually resentment towards him was building.
i think now im just in a state of numbness about it now. my indifference is showing and he has noticed. i hate to feel that way towards the man i love. but i cant help but think you didnt love me enough to propose by now, why should i feel different? why keep up the effort of being the good attentive girlfriend.
i totally get where youre coming from.
Post # 6
I feel this way sometimes. I used to fantasize about having a 75 year wedding anniversary (kinda silly but true) and now that isn’t a possibility. 50 years may be pushing it too. A friend of mine got married in april after being together for over 11 years- now when people ask her about her relationship, she says she is a newly wed and she feels like people judge relationships based on length and she wants to add that they dated over 10 years before they got married. Like it or not, people use length of the mattiage to judge how successful relationships are and getting married is a reset button. The important thing to remember is that quality is more important than quantity- the time you spent waiting prepared you for marriage and gave you a solid foundation. You have already been together longer than a lot of people who do get married and that is an accomplishment! Anyone can get married but only half of them stay married. And while some times may have been difficult, im sure that other times are memories you will cherish forever regardless of your title at the time. Chin up my dear, and be grateful that you already have all this marriage-like experience under your belt!! You are ready!!
Post # 7
Uggg, I know the feeling.
I’ve been with my guy for 8 years. He is finishing up a Masters Degree right now, but I would like to get married within a year of him graduating. I don’t even think he needs to save up for a ring (his Mom has his grandmother’s in a safety deposit box for us), he just needs to get his act together and make a decision.
I want to get married somewhere just short of our 10th anniversary. This way for the rest of our lives I can tell people “we’ve been married X years, and 10 bonus years before that”
I am honestly thinking of having a serious conversation with him after Christmas. Just sort of a “no pressure, but when are you thinking about us getting married?” kind of thing. I’d like to know we are on the same page.
Post # 8
@Swizzle: I definitely feel resentment towards SO for making me wait and now I think SO is worried I’ll hold it against him forever. I’m glad that all your resentment and anger and frustration went away- that’s comforting to hear.
Post # 9
I was so resentful, I left after 6-7 years (on top of other things that was wrong). I know a lot of people that were together for upwards of 10 years before getting engaged for school, distance or something. But unles theres a GOOD reason for waiting, not knowing after that long wasnt working for me anymore.
Post # 10
I feel that way a lot lately but I’m trying to focus on the good in our relationship. We’ve been together 7 years and I love him but I’m so tired of waiting. I know that I want the proposal to come from him and not me pressuring him to do it so I’ve been good about not talking about wedding stuff around him, but its hard sometimes. I know he has the money for a ring but I just don’t think he realizes how important it is to me that he propose soon. I’m also planning to have a serious conversation about our future if he doesn’t propose by our 8th anniversary.
Post # 11
I get totally resentful and angry sometimes, but on other days there is zero resentment. I’m still waiting, but we’re not even at the 2 1/2 year mark, and we’ve been in an LDR for most of our relationship so I’m not sure how much the regular timelines apply. Our original understanding (that we never discussed in detail, just an assumption on both of our parts) also was for a year from now, and something just clicked in me a few months ago that wanted it to happen earlier instead.
I can only hope that I no longer feel resentful once he finally asks. Most of the time, I’m resentful at the situation, and not at the person, and being able to distinguish the two usually reminds me of how lucky I am to have found someone like my SO, and while it’s a little sad that we’re not on the same timelines, it’s something that will come together sooner or later if we’re meant to work out. If not, life will happen along the way, or I’ll feel like it’s time to move on, or something. Until then, I just try and appreciate things one day at a time.
Post # 12
I very much understand how you feel. I had a little bit of a meltdown on Sunday, the first I’ve had over the subject in almost 2 years of dating. I try not to let it build up too much but it gets hard, my SO procrastinates and is so indecisive about even the smallest things sometimes that it drives me crazy and if you mix a major decision in with that it will be that much more difficult for him. We had a timeline talk a long time ago and basically the end of that timeline is quickly approaching and it was clear on Sunday he hasn’t put our engagement as any sort of priority and it hurts. I know he has looked at rings but during our conversation it was apparent that mentally he still wasn’t to the point of pulling the trigger despite him giving me the impression otherwise. He says he is 100% sure he wants to and constantly brings up the future, money is not an issue, neither is career stability etc, it’s just him not wanting to make it a reality and it hurts sometimes. Even his boss jokes with him to put a ring on it already.
We had a bit of a laugh on Sunday and I told him I was going to buy a lighter and start carrying it with me lit when I walked behind him to put a “fire under his @ss” about it.
As for dealing with my feelings, I’ve just started devoting more time to just me and doing things to make me feel better, I also recently reunited with one of my best friends from high school who lives near me so I’m looking forward to having weekly dinner dates with her.
Post # 13
I’ve been resentful for a few months now, and I feel it growing every day. I don’t necessarily care about the years that “wont count” because we weren’t married. I have no problem w/ answering “how long have you been married?” with the number of months/years, and then adding “but we were together for x years before we got hitched.” I’m more resentful that it has taken him THIS LONG to propose. I am 34. A few years back I told him I hoped to be married by 35, and that isn’t gonna happen b/c we are both too broke to get married before 2014 (I turn 35 in May 2013).
I know he’s nervous about marriage but after 6 years together he needs to man up. He keeps telling me it WILL be by the end of the year, but that could be any time from now until midnight on NYE! I was really hoping for a proposal on our anniversary (10/27) but he’s made it clear that won’t be happening. So we’ll have been dating for OVER 6 years by the time he finally pops the question. I can only hope the joy of having him propose will help my resentment fade once he finally does it…
Post # 14
I think that there is too much emphasis put on marriage rather than the relationship as a whole. By saying your committment doesn’t “count” if you’re not married is basically saying that your relationship means nothing to you because you don’t have exactly what you want. A marriage is a glorified version of what you have right now. You will feel the same, act the same, and have your relationship be exactly the same as it is now. Because that is the case, what makes your relationship as it stands not count? It does count. It counts towards your future together, it counts towards your relationship. A marriage does not a relationship or a family make. Sure, it may get you legal benefits — but aside from those, you don’t get more legitimacy or more commimment. Any feelings of the contrary are an illusion. Your relationship and committment does count.
I think it’s normal to be upset because you don’t have what you want exactly when you want it. It sucks when we don’t get the things we desire, but I don’t see what there is to resent. You can be upset…but to take your selfish wants and then get pissed at your SO because of it, just seems a little silly. If you are getting what you want, why does it matter if you had to wait a little longer than you anticipated? All of this can be linked back to your self esteem — and basically, you are resenting the fact that waiting made you feel a certain way, which honestly, is not his fault.
I’m sure that when the time comes, you’ll be singing a different tune. I doubt you’ll feel the resentment you feel now when the engagement is a reality.
Post # 15
@HeartsandSparkles: exactly! I was relieved to hear that too….
@Swizzle: yes, thank you so much for saying that. I am going to refresh my thread about former waiting bees, you had some great comments on it and I think it’s helpful for those of us in this space, to hear from those who have finally crossed over!
Post # 16
I think it depends entirely on where you are in life, frankly I’m just three months shy of being 36 and have been dating SO for almost two years. I was ready to get married after a year of dating but I’ve been waiting patiently for him to get to the same place which is now almost a year later with not much progress and it’s getting tiring. We had a timeline discussion to make sure we were on the same page and I was honest with him about what I wanted, no fights or demands just honesty and we both agreed on our expectations. For a woman my age, fertility is already likely declined and will continue to do so while he “gets it together”. I don’t think of marriage as a glorified version of what we have now, I know the everyday stuff will be the same but being someone’s wife and sharing a home (we don’t live together) and having the security of marriage in all aspects, knowing we have made such a huge commitment to each other is very different than being someone’s girlfriend. I don’t think wanting to get married after a certain amount of time is just a selfish want, if that is the case, then a SO could be seen in the same light while they took their time until *they* wanted to get married.