- 9 years ago
We’ve been together for a long time, since high school, each others’ first boy/girlfriend. We’re crazy about each other and things are pretty swell. We’re geographically challenged and have been in an LDR for nearly 7 years. Marriage (someday) has been on the table for as long as I can remember. I’ve been wishing/hoping/dreaming/waiting for a couple years now, but now that we’re at a point where it would be totally realistic (in terms of finances, education, career, etc) to get married, the topic is getting a little less dreamy and a little more tense.
We’re hitting an impasse over how to move from where we are (he works on one coast, I’ve got grad school on the other) to where we want to be (in the same place and, ideally, married). His job and location are totally inflexible and somewhat unpredictable (military), which means that for the next several years at least, I’ll be the one who can/has to move. So I’ll also be the one shouldering the larger financial and professional (it would be much easier for me to find a job in our home state/where I’m going to school) risk to get us to the same place. Plus, I’ve always been a little ambivalent about moving in with (or, you know, across the North American continent for) “just” a boyfriend, which he knows. I’d be ok moving out/in before the wedding if we were engaged, but I would love to get married as soon as I finish my program and then start our life out here together.
He feels strongly that we should live near or with each other before getting engaged. I can step outside of my own emotions and understand where he’s coming from, but honestly, this conversation is starting to crush me every time we have it because I feel like he doesn’t understand what he’s asking of me and even what’s he’s asking me to compromise, or how much it hurts to feel like he won’t reciprocate the seriousness of those things with a commitment of some sort of his own (even agreeing to a timeline of getting engaged within X months of moving out would be something). And when he tries to make it better by talking about the future, or about how he’s very nearly sure that we should get married but just wants to be absolutely sure before proposing… it just hurts more.
I know that getting married to anyone is in some ways a leap of faith, and that having been long distance for so long, we will have to go through a readjustment period when we finally get to live together. I get that those are big things. I hate that I feel powerless and like my life is out of my own hands (especially because if/when we do get married, we’ll be at the whims of the military anyway). I don’t want to break up – I would choose him over marriage now and for the next several years at least, but getting married is important to me and, even though we haven’t lived in the same place in a long time, the fact that he’s still even a little bit unsure after all this time is painful and makes me second guess myself. Also, I know life isn’t a competition, and that LDRs are different than being in person, but it’s awful to watch friends and acquaintances get engaged and married left, right, and center, some to people they’ve known for less than a year, and feel like I’m being told that eight years count for nothing because they were lived apart. Sorry, still emotionally wounded from talking about this a few days ago and it’s coming out as melodrama. I’ve never felt so crushed from one of these conversations (maybe because they usually happen over the phone and this was in person?), which is why I’m turning to be Waiting boards here on the Bee.
I know this is a novel, but if anyone has words or wisdom or wants to commiserate, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.