- 5 years ago
…I can’t believe I am posting here, but I truly, desperately need some advice. My boyfriend and I have been together for over 8 years (It’ll be *9* in January, geezus…). Bear with me, it’s somewhat of a long story. I guess I just want to let you all know the journey of myself and my boyfriend to fully understand everything.
We’re incredibly great for each other, with tons of the same interests, temperament etc. We met in college, at about 20-21 years old, and early on in dating, we both said we never wanted children, so if either of us wanted them, get out of the relationship now (that part is truly perfect). He was in the year below me, and I actually stuck around the area for an extra year to wait for him to graduate.
After a bit of moving, we ended up in the same city, before he was sent abroad to Japan for about a year and a half for work. We kept in contact nearly every single day that he was gone, and while there were certainly hard times, we made it work. I even visited him for a month, and he came and visited me back in the US for a week or two when he was given time off. The economy then plummeted and I was desperately searching for a job on the East Coast. It got extremely bad and I was forced to move across the country for a new job. We’d been together about five years at this point, just constantly trying to get a stable job and settle on one location for most of it. His job ended and he was still trying to find a new job in Japan (since that’s his dream location), with no luck. I told him should he decide to stay, I couldn’t follow him as without marriage, it’s hard to join someone else in another country. He decided to come to the west coast with me since there were more opportunities there. He moved in with me, where I stated that him moving in with me was a tremendous step in our relationship. I hinted that it meant I’d like our relationship to grow further, such as marriage.
The first year he was out here he was unemployed, desperately looking for work and definitely depressed. I ended up financially supporting him for the most part until he finally landed a job. It was incredibly stressful and I most assuredly became resentful since I saw him lounging around in the apartment; it didn’t even look like he was applying for jobs. I feel if I’m working my ass off, the least he could have done was attempt to make dinner or clean the apartment a bit. He finally came around out of his depression and helped a bit more after I nearly had a meltdown.
Fast foward to year 6 in our relationship, we have a massive fight because he assumed we were never getting married. That he doesn’t believe it’s necessary. I believe I replied along the lines of “I can’t believe I’ve wasted 6 years of my life to be with someone who doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship with me.” I deeply regret that, but I was at my wit’s end. I finally asked if he thought about the future, did he see me there. Did he want me in his future? He thought for a moment and said yes, of course. This was another horrific test of our relationship but I was hopeful after that.
With a new job, he kept his position for a little over a year before there were mass layoffs. He’s been unemployed for a little over year yet again, and while at least he’s paying for his own rent this time, I still cover utilities, internet, and groceries. Before this happened, I had said “I’m at a point in my life where I’d love to be engaged sometime next year, and married the year after. 2 years sounds good.”
Fast forward to now, where every few months, about 2-3x a year, I try to gently bring up the ‘M’ word. He has given me reasons for nothing happening between wanting to have a job first (which while understandable for his pride, seriously, who knows when that’ll happen if it’s been over a year?) to still not completely understanding the concept of marriage (doesn’t like religion that’s tied with it, even though I wouldn’t have religion as part of it). He said he’s willing to do it because it’ll make me happy. I’ve told him that he can’t marry me simply for my own happiness, that he needs to want it for himself. Or he’ll end up resenting me some time down the road.
I don’t want to paint him in a terrible light. He’s quite kind, and thoughtful, will buy me flowers if I’ve had a bad day etc, and he helps out around the apartment far more than he used to when we first moved in together. He does nice things for me often. It’s just… 8.5 years is painfully long. Life had been chaotic with moving across the country/to other countries etc. But it feels like it’s finally settled (at least for me) since we’ve lived together for 3.5 years. Every time our friends announce their engagement, or invite us to another wedding (seems like dozens of them), it just eats me up more inside.
So the question is… do I wait some MORE until he has a new job to see if he’ll propose? And if so, how long if/when that happens? I feel like if this is a genuine dealbreaker, I have to lose the love of my life as well as my best friend…
…Any advice would be wonderful!!