Post # 1
My other half and I have been together for nearly 5 years. In 2010 we were about to get engaged and then had some bad news about my health – I have a gynae prob that means I need surgery roughly every 2 years will may need to have a very early hysterectomy if the pain becomes too much. The news of this and being gazumped by another couple in the family within the same week sort of took the shine off everything and the next six months were pretty rocky, we split up but got back together after a few months. . .
So that’s the history. We were talking about things again last December. And then other close friends got engaged, so we decided ok let them have their engagement party and then it will happen for us. . . But we were gazumped again in Feb. . . (arguments and frustration)
Finally we got through all that and were talking about it again and going to go down together to look at rings, tension was a bit high (my parents have taken to offering heirlooms to get this resolved) and then another two couples got engaged.
We’ve had the most awful week of fighting. I go for surgery again in a few days so I think that has a lot to do with it. We’re under so much pressure re. Kids and all of this engagement hysteria is so stressful. I’m now the last one unproposed in our social group despite putting more time, money, effort into things than most. Between that and the malfunctioning womb it’s left me feeling completely demoralised. On the other hand my other half has found all of this difficult too and there are finances at play which complicate things, he doesn’t deserve me being so emotional about this.
Trying to work towards getting engaged has taken so much from both of us and caused so much pain when it’s supposed to be a positive thing. I haven’t been on social networking in 9 months because I can’t cope with anymore dresses, rings or babies. I don’t want to socialise where there is any risk of same and this is really disrupting our life.
I want to have fun and enjoy our time together without all of this rubbish caused by a bunch of self righteous bridezillas.
Its too much, ideas?
Post # 3
Your health and the health of your relationship are paramount, and if an impending engagement is fracturing you as a couple, then now is certainly not the time. It would be best to take a break from what appear to be frequent discussions of marriage until you two are on more solid footing. Your split sounds as if it was fairly recent, so take time to fully mend the relationship before moving forward.
Life is not a competition rewarding the person who most quickly accumulates milestones. At least it shouldn’t be. Yes, you want marriage and children, and yes it can be bothersome to watch others have a (seemingly) easier time of it. But really consider whether you and your partner are truly ready. From the volatility described in this post, I would have doubts.
When you ARE ready, don’t plan around others; it has nothing to do with them. Attempting to avoid every other couple’s engagement is damn near impossible, and unnecesary. “Self-righteous bridezillas” are not the cause of your stress. YOU are. The stress will end the moment you stop comparing.
You label your friends as less deserving of their good fortune, but marriage and parenthood are not meritocracies. Your worth is not defined by your marital status or the contents of your uterus. Remember that.
Post # 4
Hey Ava, thanks for the reply. I completely agree that now is not the time after all this. It has completely dominated everything over the last six months and we’ve both been continually disappointed.
The split was in 2011 and we have been together continuously for two years. Can I explain that one of the ladies I’m referring to happens to have slept around which is why I might perceive myself as more deserving and find myself confused about it all. I feel intensely vulnerable as I have put a house, a five figure sum and essentially my chance at motherhood into this relationship. The longer I go without hysterectomy the more I am at risk of further damage to my bowel and bladder so it’s a bit more serious that just my womb. We would really like to get on with things so we can have a family and hopefully then have me healthy.
A lot of the stuff you said really made sense. Predominantly I want to heal this between us and just get back to being us. I want to manage what has been a pretty frightening experience (health) better and stop freaking out about it.
Most of all I really want to be able to negotiate all of this social pressure better so that it doesn’t affect me so much and thus intrude upon my relationship. You said it shouldn’t be a competition, I completely agree with this and have found it distressing to find ourselves in what seems to be one. I have had one friend write my partner a 3pg hatemail because he hasn’t proposed, another refused to invite him to her wedding and a third declared in ‘he will never be able to look after you’ and then launched into ‘my husbands just bought me a merc’.
I’m not close to these women at all anymore. I’m trying to understand why getting married has turned what were best friends into quite hurtful judgemental people. In terms of the recently engaged ones, one girl actually got really upset because I bought my bf a beer fridge after she had got hers one for Xmas. . . so raining on her engagement parade prob wouldn’t have gone down well. Another one waited 7 years. My point is we had so much trouble from the first 3 ladies (which actually led to the split) that we have tried to avoid any problems with the latest lot.
We have decided that should we be able to heal this, when we are ready we will just go for it. He has been amazing to me and Ihonestly just want concentrate on loving him all I can as he’s been put through so much.
As to the cause of the stress I agree it is partially me to blame. However whenever every time you go out you’re hit withunsolicited advice or something about ‘why aren’t you engaged’ it does become stressful. I’ve had a doctor sit at the end of my hosp bed (on my b’day!) and give me a lecture on why I should be getting married and he’s not the only one. A friend suggested i should cheat on my partner to find a husband because i’m getting closer to 30 . . It’s crazy.
I know that my worth isn’t determined by marital status, unfortunately there appears to be a climate around me that thinks it is which does cause stress. I’m not sure how best to equip myself to protect us from this.
Saying its not a meritocracy was really good advice and it’s true to what I really believe. I’m hoping I can find space for us where we can have fun and work towards the future.