Post # 1
I’ve (F29) been with my partner (M31) for over 6 years – we got together in October 2013. We’ve lived together for 4 of those years and out of all our friends we are the couple that’s been together the longest – we’re also the only couple still not married or engaged. Over the years I’ve been to countless weddings of friends and it feels like every year the goes by we’re getting even further from that being us.
For a bit of context we have spoken about marriage/weddings. I do not like the thought of a traditional big wedding and would prefer a very small celebration with close family and friends. I have social anxiety and the thought of being centre of attention and having candid photos taken isn’t my idea of fun. I also don’t value the actual wedding day much, I don’t want to spend heaps of money on one day. I’d happily get married at city hall.
My partner however has an absolutely huge family (5 siblings, all grandparents still living, 15+ cousins etc) and to invite his guests alone would probably tip our guest list to 50+ . I said to him if we did get married I’d want to keep it to 20ish people at the ceremony and maybe a few more for the evening do (this is a compromise on my part as ideally I’d have less than 10). My partner doesn’t seem to understand why I wouldn’t want to celebrate with lots of people, and has interpreted this as me not caring about the wedding or not wanting to share our happiness. The conversation turned into a bit of a disagreement and ended in him saying he won’t propose to me as he can’t see me being excited about planning a wedding – he thinks I’d see it as an inconvenience or duty. I’ve tried to explain it’s not the wedding that’s important but since that disagreement we haven’t spoken about it again (this was about 2 years ago).
So now we’re here, I’ll be 30 in a couple of months and he will be 32. Even if he proposed tomorrow it’s going to be at least another year until we actually have the wedding and honestly it’s now become such a sour subject I almost don’t want it any more.
How can I move forward with this? I feel like all the spontaneity and excitement of a proposal has been sucked away and it’s already become a source of arguments.
Post # 2
First off welcome and thank you for sharing your story.
I was in a similar situation, together 6 years and still no ring. When he finally asked I was so excited for that next step in life. But honestly, nothing really changed except I got a fancy ring. Leading up to his proposal we fought on and off about how he hasn’t asked and if it was worth my time staying. His reasoning behind waiting was so he can financially take care of me and a family when it came along. Now your partner is mad because you don’t want a huge wedding? Marriage is all about compromise and agreeing to disagree. I think it’s bs that he won’t propose because of that reason. Marriage is about the love you have for each other, not a big wedding or showing off for family and friends.
Again I had the same disagreement with my finance, why have a huge wedding? He wanted one and after talking it out and going through financials and how everyone was treating us, we decided to have a small wedding. Why show off money when it can be put to better use? Why show off for family for one day? Why go through all the headache of planning and trying to please everyone else but yourselves.
I would tell him how you feel like a proposal now would feel “sour” and try to compromise with him. Maybe have a cute courthouse wedding with few key people, then a couple days later have a, we got hitched party. You don’t have to be center of attention or have a photographer. Just celebrate your love with your closets family and friends.
First step is compromise and really listening to each other’s needs and finding a solution to fulfill them both. Obviously you guys are in love and you shouldn’t let a “hallmark” tradition of having a wedding ruin that. It’s just one day of spending money so people can see you in a pretty dress and eat food you paid for haha. It’s something that some people dream about and others don’t. Maybe he has thought about it and it is a dream of his, to see you walk down an asile and say, “I do”.
Talk it out and listen to your partner then have him listen to you. No fighting just have a conversation about both of your needs as wants.
I hope this helps!
Post # 3
If you marry him you marry into his family.
After crapping all over his idea of a happy wedding with his family present, I don’t think you can complain that he has taken the spontaneity and excitement out of asking you to marry him. Why would he be excited if you let him think– for two years –that spending a day with his whole family to celebrate your union is dreadful?
Talk to him again
Post # 4
Well is the big guest list about the cost? You just said you want a small wedding but you didn’t specify why.
Post # 5
it’s mainly due to my social anxiety that I briefly mentioned in the post. Don’t like standing up in front of rooms of people, feel very uncomfortable under the “spotlight”. Very anxious about being judged or people thinking negatively about me or my actions. Of course cost does come into it but that’s not the main reason.
Post # 6
He told you he wouldn’t propose to you. Why did you waste 2 more years of your life on him after that?
Sounds like this big extednded family are what’s most important to him and not you at all. If he wanted to marry you he would, he wouldn’t be putting a long list of cousins ahead of you.
He knows you well enough to know your social anxiety, to know how uncomfortable you would be with a huge bells and whistles weddings.
Have one more conversation about getting married, it’ll either be something he wants to do or not, the guest list shouldn’t even come into it. If he’s still stropping about a massive guest list you have your answer.
Post # 7
Sounds awful. Maybe a wedding is not a good idea right now. Perhaps it’s best to focus on getting some therapy for your anxiety or exploring medication options. You’re really being held back by these emotions. The cost would be one thing. But not wanting to have a wedding because you feel uncomfortable with people looking at you is tragic. You deserve to shine on your wedding day and feel great about yourself.
Post # 8
Let me get this straight- he *refuses* to propose to you because you guys disagree on how you want to get married, knowing you have social anxiety? There is no room for compromise?
First of all, when a guy says he will NOT propose, for any reason, that’s your cue to leave.
Second, it baffles me that your SO of over 6 years doesn’t know you well enough (or care) to understand that your preference for the wedding could be related to your anxiety and he isn’t willing to work with you on it.
In many cases there is some give and take when couples have different visions of their ideal weddings. But if you want to marry the person, you make compromises and you figure it out unless you two are just so incompatible that a wedding wouldn’t happen anyway.
I think if he really loved you for who you are, anxiety and all, he would propose and you would sit down and figure it out.
I don’t think he actually wants to marry you and is hiding behind this ridiculous disagreement as a reason to not get married.
If he is truly that opposed to working out a compromise or there is no possible way to compromise then you two need to break up. The answer isn’t to keep chugging along in a dead-end relationship.
my guess is when you go to leave, suddenly he will be magically willing to bend a little. Too little too late
Post # 9
Is the wedding your only issue? If you have social anxiety, does it affect him normally? Examples: are you the only plus-one who won’t dance at weddings? Does he have to bribe, pester, or drag you to social events? Are things he likes (group vacations, karaoke) off limits because of your issues?
If the wedding isn’t the only place where your limitations are impacting him, this may be his line in the sand. He gets to have the life he wants for the future, with all of the socializing he enjoys. If you can’t join him there, he may not want the life you could have together.
Post # 10
I have a large family. My guy doesn’t prefer to be the center of attention. I was not willing to consider a wedding that did not include my family. So I get your guy’s perspective. There are compromises that each of you could make, though. You don’t really have to be the center of attention as a bride. There are ways to make your wedding more about the people around you so the brunt of the focus isn’t just on you. Your guy could have spent some time in the last two years thinking of solutions, too, but you both preferred get stuck here than to look for other ways things could work out.
If you really want to get married, then both of you need to sit down together again, look at each other’s needs and look for workable solutions and compromises.
Post # 11
I’m sorry you’re going through this, bee. It sounds very stressful. Why can’t you two get married at city hall and then have a small gathering later where you’re not the actual center of attention the whole time? A party would give YOU the choice of who to mingle with.
I’m with others in that I don’t like him saying he won’t propose to you. That isn’t really fair of him. He needs to talk with you and compromise. This is a fixable issue, I think, if both parties are willing to try.
Post # 12
He said he won’t propose because he can’t see you being excited about planning the wedding? In the grand scheme of things, the wedding is a one day affair (yes, there’s the planning involved etc. but that still isn’t much compared to your lives together). He should be proposing because he wants to have a marriage! He wants to spend his life with you. Not because he wants a wedding.
It can be stressful as it is to plan a wedding and stand up there in front of everyone, let alone doing so with anxiety. You both really need to sit down and talk about this again. Work together. You’ve been a team for 6 years, it’s time to be a team now.
Post # 13
Him refusing to propose unless you agree to the style of wedding he wants is pretty bad OP, particularly as he must be aware of your social anxiety. I fear the pp is right who said he actually may not want to get married at all , seeing it as signing up for a life of having to manage your anxiety . I’m not saying that’s how it will be, just how he may see it.
Are you getting help for it btw? One thing you might consider too, is that a smallish group looking at you is actually worse than a big crowd as most of them won’t even be that close . I suppose there is no point in my saying what does it matter if his second cousin thinks you walked too fast or had a faux bouquet or whatever….? Do check out Cognitive Behavioural Therapy if you haven’t already .