Post # 1
Okay, so suffice it to say that serious relationships makes me nervous.
Weird, I know.
Every even remotely serious relationship I’ve had has gone down in BIG flames. My parents’ marriage made Hiroshima look like a kid’s tea party. SO and I have talked about getting married and he mentioned that he’d be getting my dream ring soon (just kind of dropped it into conversation). He talked to his parents several days ago and while they obviously knew we were serious (have been together a little more than 2.5 years), they were a little surprised by him telling them that he intended to ask me to be his wife soon.
Here’s the thing. We aren’t planning to (nor can we afford since we’d be paying for it ourselves) get married until after he gets out of school at the end of next year. Even cheap venues are freakin’ expensive. What bothers me is that while my close friends know that it’s coming, it’s everyone else (including my mother, who knows!) that’s bothering me. We’ve been together for a while and people are putting bugs in my ear about men using engagements as excuses to hold off on weddings, or “shut up” rings, if you will. If he’s actually serious. If he’s all talk. My mother recently said something about long engagements (since we’re looking at a little more than a year and a half on this one) and how they never, ever work out. Note: Mama bear is a divorce attorney. She watches marriages with the best intentions crash and burn every day. She doesn’t want me to get my hopes up and get hurt, but I’m excited. But what if they’re right? What if he is just looking to get a shut up ring? He tells me that with all of his heart he wants to marry me and start our lives together (we even have kids’ names picked out, for god’s sake!). I’ve been hurt so badly before and the people putting these bugs in my ear are mostly people who I trust (haven’t met SO…we live VERY far away from my friends/family).
I’m sorry for the rant/vent, but since SO is saying all of these things, it makes me more scared. I’ve been burned so badly in the past. I’m scared that he might change his mind. I’m scared that they might be right. I’m just terrified. I want to marry him and I want nothing more than to start my new life with him, but I’m tired of telling people to be patient and laughing it off.
Any advice on how to handle any of this? He seems dead serious but won’t bring it up unless I do (except maybe once or twice). He’s talked to his family, will talk to his best friend soon, says that he plans on buying the ring very soon. So why am I so scared?
Post # 3
I’m sorry that this one was so long, guys. Just really, really worried. 🙁 Has anyone else ever felt like this?
Post # 4
A couple of thoughts:
1) Previous relationship failures do not determine the outcome of your current relationship.
2) Do you trust your SO? If so, trust that he is telling the truth when he gives his reasons for wanting to marry you–don’t believe that he’s just trying to shut you up. (This goes without saying but if you don’t trust him, you really shouldn’t be thinking marriage).
3) People will offer you advice because they love you and care about you; take it as graciously as you can, but ultimately, make the decision that you know is right. A lot of people told me I was making a huge mistake when I started dating my Fiance. 4.5 years later, most of them (at least the important ones) have realized that I wasn’t.
4) it’s ok to be scared about facing such a big decision, but don’t let that fear control you. A long engagement could be a great opportunity for you and your SO to work on building a strong foundation for your marriage. Maybe consider pre-marital counseling? It might help you to see those areas of your relationship where you’re doing things “right” so to speak.
Hugs and good luck!
Post # 5
@LadyInGreen: I don’t know your SO, but if he is bringing up marriage and seems genuinely comfortable talking about it, I wouldn’t worry about a “shut up” ring. From what you say it seems he is sincere–but weddings are expensive-taking a little time to save and make sure that this is what you truly want is beneficial, I think. A 1 1/2 year engagement is not that bad… I know a lot of people who do that and they actually got married. I don’t have any stats on divorce rate b/c they have only been married a year or two. In fact, it was the shorter engagements who got divorced in a matter of months ( I don’t know these short-term people personally, just high school acquaintances. )
While I am normally an advocate of listening to family, friends, people you trust, etc. – I think in this case they don’t KNOW him so they can’t be true judges of the situation. Listen to their advice, but don’t feel pressure to adopt their views. Sometimes friends and family will name something you already know deep down but don’t want to admit. That’s why a lot of times I find their advice (especially my father’s) useful to sorting out my own feelings that I am too afraid to confirm. However, if you don’t find yourself inwardly nodding your head about things that they are warning you about, I wouldn’t worry. It is natural to be a little freaked out and worried, but if you trust your SO and you want to start a life with him and you think he feels the same way- don’t let other people’s opinions/your past get in your head and set you up for a failure or problem that did not exist.
I hope this made sense. And sorry it was so long. I hope you feel better about this soon! Good luck!
Post # 6
1 1/2 years hardly qualifies as a long engagement. You usually need that much time if you want a specific venue, etc.