Post # 1
Okay, so I think I’ve finally figured it out (but I’d like some bee imput on how to handle it). Back Story: My SO was previously engaged. Six months after popping the question to his ex, she cheated on him and he broke it off. Anyway, now after us dating for a long time, I can still see the panic in his eyes when we seriously talk about the ever closer engagement. He has said we will get married, and I am holding him to that. It’s important to me and my family, and he knows this.
I had previously thought he would be proposing on NYE (there were signs, we’re taking a big trip- and he’s always said he wants to propose on a trip), but last night, he blind sided me when we were talking about moving in together, and there was the panic again. It’s something that hasn’t changed after I’ve proven myself time and time again, and now I’m worried that he’ll never be ready to get engaged because he’s afraid everything will fall apart like it did for him last time.
So what I’m asking all of you is, have any of you experienced this? Dealt with a SOs fear of engagement/married, anything? And how have you handled it and helped him to get past it?
Post # 3
Unfortunately not (but my SO is not the quickest mover either, after 3.5 years still no engagement!).
I think one day you will just have to hug him, cup your hands around his face and say “Look honey, I know you had a bad experience before, but I love you, I know that more than anything. I will not leave you or treat you badly, please tell me that one day we will be engaged as I want to be with you always” Convince him, maybe he is just waiting for the extra bit of assurance, as sometimes although actions do speak volumes, a bit of vocal assertion can work wonders 🙂
Post # 4
Well first off, how long have you been dating? How long after he broke up with the cheating ex did you two get together? Is it possible he hasn’t had enough time to move on from that traumatic experience? It may be a few years before he is able to fully trust someone again.
The best thing you can do is talk to him about everything. I don’t know if asking him if he’s afraid is the best way to start the conversation, but find out where he stands on the issue and let him know how you feel. It’s better to have an open line of communication regarding engagement. You can’t expect a proposal without talking about it first! I hope you find the answers you need, good luck! 🙂
Post # 5
I understand your feelings. You must be hurting… I am not sure if I can offer you any advice as every situation and every relationship is different.
I think you are doing good. I think your best bet is to continue to be patient with him and show him how much you care. If you would like, maybe write him a letter explaining how you believe you two will make it and you will always be with him forever etc. It might be easier for him to sink stuff in if it’s written?
Then, it will be up to him and will be his choice and power to get over his fears. This is something only he can do for himself.
My boyfriend had unknown fears about marriage. It had been a struggle for me and for him to talk about M stuff. And, I would get heartbroken everytime. I wrote him a letter telling him how I feel. Then, now it looks like he bought a ring(I’m seeing clues)??? I’m not sure what happened, but sometimes people learn new things or get to the next step on their own while you don’t even notice.
Post # 6
@KittenB: We’ve been together for three years and do talk about engagement wedding stuff (sometimes, I don’t bring it up since he gets so freaked, but it has come up about 3 times in the past year and no change in his demeanor, which scares me that he’ll never be ready) Because we have that open line of communication and I’m beginning to worry, I feel like I should just ask him, “Does engagement scare you?” because I’ve tried everything I can think of to assure him I’m not his ex (I’m nothing like her!) and still he gets so freaked out.
Post # 7
I think you’re doing a great job being patient with him! Three years is a while to get over a bad relationship, especially if you’re with someone who makes you happy. I think at a certain point you might have to let him know that you have been very considerate of his needs, but you also have needs (marriage!)
Maybe he just needs kick in the pants to realize he has a great girl who wants to be his forever 🙂
Post # 8
I voted to ask him how he is feeling. I kind of did this, and we had a real, honest, calm discussion, and it went really well. I think he now sees me as someone he can talk to to figure out how he feels. When you figure out the obstacles/fears, it is easier to talk through them and figure out how you can move beyond those fears.
Never let fear hold you back from doing something unless of course your heart really isn’t in it. As humans, we are designed to have a lot of fear in order to protect us. Just my thoughts 😉
Post # 9
Thanks girls! This definitely helps
Post # 10
@dansypants508: My SO was also previously engaged… for 2.5 years until she broke it off. We started dating about 9 months later. Rationally, he is able to say that he loves me more than he’s ever loved anyone and that I’m a much better/different person than his ex. However, he still hasn’t been able to put this talk into a proposal, and I suspect that the broken engagement may still be part of the reason. He is afraid (as he’s told me) that once we get engaged, our relationship will change– some spell will be broken and I will become a terrible person.
I would definitely have an honest conversation with your SO about it. Also, would you and your SO be open to counseling? My SO benefitted from one-on-one counseling sessions after the break up. Additionally, I’ve suggested that the two of us do pre-engagement counseling together– partly as a way to make him feel confident that we are a good match and will have a strong marriage. TBD after February if this is helpful 🙂
Meanwhile, I am right there with you on this one. It is a tough position to be in sometimes, but on the other hand we are so incredibly lucky to have our SOs (and that they are not married to other people right now)!
Post # 11
@dansypants508: I can relate to your story very well. My SO was in a long term relationship that was 5 years long. He was truly in love with her. Until she broke his heart by cheating. They were engaged as well. Well 4 year later I would hear stories and felt like he wasn’t totally over her or the hurt, but during that time that they dated he grew up a lot. We talked about marriage pretty quickly after we started dating. Which sorta freaked me out. Since I had just gotten out of a bad marriage that had lasted several years, but fast forward to now. Him and I have been together for almost 2 years now. I have never felt the way I do about him towards anyone and we complete one another. Hardly ever have disagreements or fights. I had told one of our mutal friends. That I had thought of proposing to him around Christmas time. Because we had talked about it several times over this past year, but felt like it went no where and I don’t think he really understood how I felt and wanted to be married to him. Well out of the blue a couple weeks ago. He said I think it’s time to get married. I was blown away. Since I had all this planned in my mind.LOL Most guys seem to be pretty quiet about their feelings on things and it’s so hard to get them to open up. Especially if they have been hurt badly in the past. I know my SO is this way and sounds like yours is too. I know it’s hard being patient, but sounds like you have done a great job of doing that. Sounds like to me if I were you. I would have a heart to heart talk to your SO and tell him how you feel and that you want “forever” with him. I wish you the best of luck girl. 🙂 If you want to pm me, you are more than welcome too. 🙂