- 8 years ago
Okay, I’m a New-Bee and am seeking support, guidance, and a place to vent. My story is long and convoluted, so I will do my best to put it in a “Reader’s Digest” version in the interest of hoping to keep people from losing interest. 😉
I was married in July of 2001 and divorced in January of 2008. In March of 2008, I met a man who was going through a divorce himself. I offered him advice and support, told him there was light at the end of the tunnel, and gave him what encouragement I could. He was not looking for a serious relationship and was 100% honest up front. I was looking to be re-married with at least one child by the time I was 30, and I was 100% honest up front as well. (I was just shy of 27 when I divorced.) He was pleasant to talk to, and we stayed “friends” for a while, getting together once or twice a week for dinner.
Slowly, over the next few months, we found ourselves spending more and more time together, and things sort of snowballed. He backed off (for 3 days in July of 2008), and then came back saying that being apart from me was not what he wanted. Our dating progressed, and in October of 2008, we became “exclusive”. (Gah, that sounds like such an antiquated term…)
Knowing that he was coming out of a bad marriage to a terrible woman, I let him move at his pace. It was August of 2009 before he told me he loved me, and in April of this year, I moved in with him. So, let’s recap for those keeping score: Seeing eachother nearly 3 years, together exclusively just over 2, living together for nearly a year.
This year, things began to take their toll on me. Much like many of the women here, I’ve seen friends who have KNOWN eachother less time than we’ve been dating getting engaged and married. In September of this year, an acquaintance of ours married her husband 1 day shy of the first anniversary of their meeting; another acquaintance proposed to his fiancée after about 4 months of dating, and they are to be wed in January; my beau’s best friend (who was dating a completely different woman when we went to visit him in July of 2008) just got married in October of this year; in May of next year, my best friend is marrying the man she had just met when my boyfriend and I were back home in August of 2009; and, most recently, a man I work with just proposed to a woman we USED to work with less than 2 years after the untimely death of her former husband. 60% of these couples are rational, clear-headed adults. (The jury is out on the other 40%…)
We have had discussions about marriage and engagement. I think we both agree that getting married in 2012 is fine. We are staying with family now and are getting our own place at the end of 2011, and we need to be in our own place before we actually tie the knot. But this going round and round about the engagement thing is about to drive me bat-$#!* crazy. My beau thinks that you’re engaged 6 months and then you get married. He says it’s the final countdown. He wants to live together – in our own place – for 6 months before we get married. (Again, for those keeping score, this means that in his book, we have at least another year and a half before we can begin talking about getting engaged…)
Being that I’ll be 30 in March (and am NO CLOSER to my goal of being remarried with a child by the time I’m 30), this timeline just won’t work for me. I disagree with his logic, and am slowly falling apart. I see that many of the other women here saying exactly what I’m feeling – I feel like I’m not good enough. I see other couples – who have been through worse situations than us – getting engaged and getting married without any hesitation. I feel like I’m slowly dying inside – what is wrong with ME??
We’ve discussed this many times, but it always ends with him saying he needs to come to it on his own terms. (I know his ex wife gave him an ultimatum regarding their engagement, and the marriage failed miserably. I think he doesn’t want to repeat that same mistake, but he doesn’t realize that I feel like I’m paying a costly price for her sins.) I’ve conveyed to him that I feel like I’m not good enough, and that I wonder on a daily basis what’s wrong with me. He swears it’s nothing – he says he wants to marry me – but he needs to come to it “on his own terms”, and that he wants to do it his way. I have become depressed, irritable, and not fun to be around, and he has noticed it, remarking that I used to be happy, but that recently, it seems like all we ever do is bicker.
During our last argument, he said that all the arguing made him want to do was get in the car, drive to the jewelry story, and buy me a ring so I’d “be happy”. The last thing I want is a sympathy ring – or a “shut up” ring. We finally came to a compromise. I told him I would try to go back to being my happy-go-lucky self and break out of the depression if he could promise he wouldn’t make me wait a year to get engaged. We left it at that about 2 months ago.
I was doing okay until he made a horrible joke in front of his sister using the word “resent” (“Do you want to get married on my terms or do you want me to resent it?”), and I’ve lost all of the progress that I made. By wanting to do it “on his terms”, I assume this means he’s got a plan, but I can’t be sure. There’s been no collective ring shopping, and as far as I know, he hasn’t made any steps towards getting a ring on his own. (I’ve sent him pictures of an affordable ring that I love, and received ZERO response.) There have been many, many missed “perfect” opportunities for an engagement, and each one passes without him batting an eye. Now, the holidays are here, and with the engagement of Co-Worker and Former Co-Worker last night (at Cinderella’s Castle no less – UGH!!!!!), I’ve snapped. I’m nearing the point where I just don’t give a rat’s @$$ if he ever proposes – I’m tired of fighting for something that it appears as if he doesn’t want. (Actions speak louder than words, right?) I’m afraid I’m going to go through the next few months anticipating and hoping for something that won’t come. Romantic get-away this weekend, Christmas next weekend, New Year’s the following weekend…Valentine’s day in February and my birthday (and the 3 year anniversary of our first date) in March…that’s 5 opportunities for me to get my hopes up, and 5 opportunities for them to be dashed.
If the fact that this is sending me in a depression doesn’t faze him, then why should I continue to fight tooth and nail for something that doesn’t seem to be important to him? I want to be with someone who is bursting at the seams – just like I am – to get engaged. I don’t want to have to “talk” him into getting engaged – and I certainly don’t want a ring from someone who is doing it, but “resenting” the fact that they were “pushed” into it. I love him – and his 4 year old son – dearly, but sometimes think that he couldn’t care less if things ever changed. He’s happy with the status quo, and I have put my life on hold for zip. The thought of starting over terrifies me, and I am at the end of my rapidly fraying rope.
Can *anyone* sympathize, empathize, or otherwise offer any words of hope?