- 4 years ago
My SO and I had a conversation back in January about getting engaged/married at some point this year. It was a very productive conversation, and for a while, I felt hopeful that it was actually going to happen. But as time went on, I began to see that there was no forward movement taking place.
A few days ago, my grandmother’s boyfriend of 20+ years fell. He was hospitalized, and thankfully is okay and going to physical therapy to get back some muscle. But that scare reminded me why I believe marriage is so important. If her boyfriend dies, my grandmother will be homeless, and my parents will be forced to take her in (which is not begrudged, but also not a fun idea for them).
Last night we went for cocktails at a resturant in one of the ritzier sides of town (something we can only do once in a while during extremely cheap happy hour specials). While there, I brought up all of my concerns: had he started saving money for a ring? Did he really WANT to get married, or did he feel obligated to propose, just so he wouldn’t lose me? What did he feel needed to happen before he was ready? He also brought up some of his concerns: Would I want to be engaged when we’re still living with his mom as we both start our careers? Would he still be the “bad guy” for making me wait so long, and will I forever be angry with him for that? Do I need a fancy wedding to be happy? He also explained how he had always pictured us being much more financially stable when he finally proposed, but was starting to see that taking a much longer time than he originally thought. He went on to tell me that he has felt confused about all of it, because our relationship has gone through some really rough spots, and at one point (stupidly) I gave him an ultimatum–mind you, we were freshly out of high school and I was taking medication that messed with my hormones so bad that my parents felt I needed to see a doctor. I quickly regretted saying such nonsense, and apologized, but he still feels hurt about it to this day. Ultimatums are stupid. I assured hi that I wasn’t going anywhere, but I needed to know yes or no on the issue. If yes, great, but if no, than I needed to figure out a way to be okay with that. One of his biggest concerns was figuring out how to convince me that if/when he does ask that he is being 100% genuine, and not doing it out of fear or guilt. He knows that I have a lot of hurt from being forced to wait so long.
We talked for a long time, and he realized that he really does want to have that lDegal security for our relationship. He also realized that he would rather I help him to pick out a ring than go by himself. He shared that he felt like my family was disappointed in him for not proposing sooner (they are), but I assured him that they love him because I love him. In the end, we got out a lot of hurt and frustration, and it seems as though he is willing to take that step sooner rather than later. He even asked me to show him pictures of rings I liked, and made notes on his phone of settings/stones/etc.
Talking it out without getting emotional or upset has helped so much. I don’t know why we culturally expect that the person “waiting” for the proposal should just keep quiet and hope that it’s coming, while the other person is left to make a major life decision without input from their partner. If you’re wondering if you should have a talk about waiting, I say do it. Just be sure you’re being honest, direct, and logical about it.