Post # 16
I’m sorry bee 🙁 I’m usually really defensive of long term relationships taking their time to get to marriage, because that’s what it was for us, but I don’t think this is looking good. DH and I also started dating young (18), made it through college, dealt with long distance while I was in law school… very similar. The big difference though, was that he didn’t shut me down about marriage and we both agreed that we wanted to get through school first. Once we finished our graduate degrees, things moved along as discussed and we got married around our 9 year anniversary.
You’ve already told him that you’re down to have a small wedding, so I think him being shy is just you making excuses for him. If that was the case, he should be able to tell you that he wants to marry you, but doesn’t want the big shindig and you could discuss it from there. I know you’ve invested a lot of time in this relationship. If it was me, I’d have one last come to Jesus talk and tell him you really need to know if he’s going to marry you, and that “one day” is not good enough. If he’s still not willing to discuss it and marriage is a dealbreaker, I would start looking into how to divide your assets so that you can move forward with your life and find someone with compatible marriage goals.
Please do not have a baby with him unless you are willing to be his girlfriend/baby momma forever and decide that you truly will be happy being with him without getting married. There are unfortunately lots of posts on here from women who have partners who call them their wives and have kids with them but continuously refuse to marry them. Don’t let yourself be put in that position.
Post # 17
I agree 1000% with PP who said that he should be more afraid of losing you than of getting married. You should see a lawyer and then lay it all out to him how you two will be able to split your house / finances when you leave soon, since marriage is not happening. If that doesn’t shake him up, then you know he won’t marry you no matter what, and you can figure out how to leave.
I also agree with PPs that the resentment will become untenable eventually. Been there done that :/ You can’t will it away, no matter what.
Post # 18
27 is young. I would cut the losses, explore the world, and meet people that you’d actually like instead feeling forever trapped with wifely duty with the proverbial carrot dangled in front of you but you never able to reach it becuse ‘HE IS NOT READY’.
If you don’t cut it now, you’ll lose way more than only 9 years. He is being a BS man-child who doesn’t even want to have discussion with you
PS: Please do not TTC. Do not have a baby with him!
Post # 19
Focus on yourself. Become the best version of yourself, treat him like gold for a solid two months, than rip the carpet out from under him and leave.
If he truly loves you-he’ll come after you, and will finally hear what you’re saying.
Sorry you have to go through all of this, you deserve a guy who’s excited af about spending the rest of their life with you – commitment won’t be so scary if he’s really that sure of you and your future together
Post # 20
You’re wasting your 20s on someone who won’t commit to you after almost a decade! How insulting, and hurtful, in addition there’s the (public) “embarassment”. Family and other people being what they are, also wonder why he won’t marry you after all this time….
Open your eyes, you are just a tenuous passenger in his current ride. Tell him you want to sell the house, take steps to do it, split up. Find someone who makes you really happy, who loves you enough to want to be your husband. Let go of your false dream of happily ever after with this guy, it won’t happen. You’ll only end up an insecure baby mama and (more) bitter and angry than you are now…
The longer you put your future on hold for him, the lower your self esteem, the more difficult it will be. As women we don’t have unlimited years to find someone else, get married and start a family. You have lots of time right now, take advantage of it, get free of him. The only thing worse than wasting 9 years is wasting 9 years and another day…
Post # 21
Unfortunately your comment resonates with me beause I feel like I may be getting to this point with my own boyfriend.
Our 11th anniversary is next month, and over the past few months he has done more to make me doubt his commitment than feel secure and willing to be patient. Before now I knew he was procrastinating on the proposal, but I never doubted that he wanted the commitment. For the first time though I do doubt him, and it has shaken my faith in the relationship.
I think the last “goalpost” I need to pass is getting a permenant job. I finished grad school in May and moved back to our home state to be with him, and the geographic constraint has made the job search more difficult. I worked a seasonal job this summer, but I am tired of that lifestyle and want a stable position.
I know that if he doesn’t propose soon after I get a job, then he probably isn’t going to.
So after a rough period in September/October of focusing on him and his issues, I am now refocusing on myself and my own improvement. I’m hunting down every employment opportunity that fits my background and working on maintaining and expanding my local connections. I’ve improved my discipline when it comes to cleaning/tidiness, and I have even been teaching myself to cook. I fight the urge to wallow in my discontentment with my current situation. My social life could use improvement, but I think having a job will help that.
As a result of my efforts, my boyfriend has said that he is feeling better lately and thinks things are good. This does make me feel like I’m going to “rip the carpet out from under him” if I end up leaving within the next six months. But I’ve told him three times in the past year that I want to get engaged, and after our recent issues I reminded him again that commitment and stability are important to me. If he doesn’t get it by now, then I think that is a good indication that I won’t be truly happy with him, because there will be the underlying concern that he will string me along until he decides he is ready to move on himself.
charlottejx1 : I used to feel the same way as you, that I would rather never be married than not be with my boyfriend. I don’t care about proposals or weddings; I only care about the commitment. To me, marriage is just about putting your money where your mouth is. But I am finding that the longer I wait, the more my impatience about the proposal turns into genuine concern about the commitment. And the thought of leaving doesn’t seem impossible anymore.
Post # 22
I spent many years with a man like yours. I also thought the world of him and couldn’t imagine my life without him. But at some point the waiting resentment became too much, and I finally worked up the courage to leave. It was hard and extremely sad. He begged me to stay, and even claimed to be ready to get married. But it had occurred to me by that point that I didn’t want to spend my life with someone so selfish. He had known for a long time how important commitment was to me, and I had explained at great length how terrible his unwillingness to commit made me feel. But none of that was enough to make it feel important to him, because he was the kind of person who is primarily concerned with his own comfort. Your boyfriend sounds the same. You do not have to put up with that, and you certainly don’t have to beg him for a lifetime of it. I think he’s shown you that he’s really not a very good partner, and he really isn’t all that concerned with your happiness. You deserve someone who loves you enough to care about the things that matter to you (at least enough to entertain a conversation).
Post # 23
Whatever you do, DO NOT have a baby with him. He doesn’t want to marry you and probably never will. He can give you all sorts of reasons why, but they are excuses. If you want marriage, this isn’t the relationship for you.
Post # 24
IA Many years of dating are fine IMO if it’s a healthy relationship where mutual goals and timelines are discussed as equal partners- which appears to be your case. To me the major difference is that you and your partner decided what was right for your relationship together.
In these scenarios, a long dating period is perfectly fine.
Unfortunately on this site we’ve seen many examples of long term dating where it hasn’t been a mutual decision or even an honest one, where one partner calls the shots or breaks promises or refuses to communicate or misleads their partner. Anytime waiting is fraught with deception, broken promises or a refusal to communicate, the relationship is already damaged regardless of whether the Bee has been waiting 2 years or 5 years or 10 🙁
Post # 25
My DH and I dated for a long time before we got married (longer than you), but the thing was, my DH was OPEN to discussion. Yes, we argued and postponed getting married but we had actual reasons (didn’t buy our own home yet, financially unstable, etc). And your SO? His only reasoning being “he’s not ready”. Yet he’s ready to be a father? Doesn’t make any sense.
Please bee, do NOT have a baby with him even if he “proposed.” He’s not ready for commitment!
Post # 26
I completely agree with you. I would definitely have felt differently about my own relationship if I was stonewalled from discussing our mutual future. DH was always open about discussing it. Maybe my comment was unclear, but I’m not at all suggesting OP wait it out. I think OP’s SO has been pretty clear that he’s not interested in marriage. I’m not the type to say “bee, it’s been TWO YEARS HOLY CRAP and he hasn’t married you, he’s never going to!!!” All relationships have their own timetable, but there has to be open, honest communication.
Post # 27
lol yes sorry if I worded my post confusingly- I did understand you weren’t suggesting OP wait it out, I was agreeing with you too when you said you can get defensive of long term relationships taking their time to get married- I was agreeing that it’s an absolutely fine and healthy choice when both partners are open and agreeable to it- as with you and your partner. But also sad that in so many cases, as in OPs, it’s not a mutual decision or one that’s even open for honest discussion.
Post # 28
Sorry bee, the fact that he won’t discuss it after 9 years is a massive red flag.
Do yourself a favour and do not start trying for a baby in the new year!
Post # 29
About eight months in, Dh and I had a discussion about marriage, pretty generic, but time for a little clarity. I was not in a hurry, nor have I ever been especially marriage minded. He went through a rancorous divorce from an untreated bipolar ex, after twenty two years.
It went fine. It was made clear that all options were on the table, no doors were closed, no obstacles were in the way.
That said, it took many years for me to finally come around to the idea, but he’s a very patient man. It was always open for discussion. I wouldn’t be in a relationship in which I wasn’t allowed to do something. Anything. Dh knows better than to tell me not to get my hair cut short (I wouldn’t), let alone tell me I can’t bring up a major relationship issue. Eff that.
Post # 30
seriously, do urinal cakes have ‘babies are lower than marriage on the commitment scale’ written on them because it seems to be a theme amongst upset waiting bee posts… 😕
OP, I’m sorry that you are going through this. TBH I think this will be hard to recover from this even if he does propose. You will always feel like he proposed because of pressure and you will doubt his commitment which can cause massive relationships problems down the line. Same if you walk and he realises he was wrong and proposes…
You can stay and resign yourself live as a defacto but again I think this will eat at you and cause a breakdown in your relationships eventually. Nine years is a long time to work out what you want. If he was in his early 20s I could understand him not being ready but he’s pushing 30.
What is really bad is that he cannot be man enough to articulate his reasons for not being ready. Instead he shuts you down and uses the oldest trick in the book by telling you its your fault because your not getting along (because your upset over his lack of commitment) and as a result its not a good time to get married until your relationship gets better…
Bee, its hard to hear but I’m sure walking away now when you still feel young enough to start again and are biologically young enough to have kids in committed relationship (which I gather I’d what you want from your post) is probably the wisest idea. I know it’s hard but sometimes hard times lead to more than you hope for in life. You shouldn’t have to beg someone to marry you.