We had a talk

posted 2 years ago in Waiting
Post # 16
Member
7524 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Thanks for the updates OP – this gives a lot of important context. You and your bf both have a lot on your shoulders. I can totally understand why you’ve been pulling back – you don’t want to let him in any further than you have if there’s a chance he’s not going to give you the commitment you want. You’re protecting yourself emotionally by distancing yourself – it’s a normal reaction. However, this behavior isn’t healthy or productive, so I can understand why he’s been reeling from that too. It would be better if you could sit down, have a direct and honest conversation where you both are able to express your feelings and understand where the other is coming from, rather than you passive aggressively pulling back and being moody, and him passive aggressively holding onto the ring for months on end after initially telling you he’d never make you wait long.

I know this is a huge weddingbee cliche, but have you guys considered couples counselling? I just feel like with all the extenuating circumstances – your special needs son, his daughter, the messy divorces you both went through and the financial issues – you have so much more on your plates than the average couple. Any couple would probably struggle navigating through all this, and I think a counselor might help you learn to communicate better and build the best foundation possible for your relationship before you get married.

Post # 17
Member
7524 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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zzar45 :  She’s not trying to dictate “every little detail” though; she’s worried about the big picture – whether he’s actually going to propose or not. Her fear that he’s not all in is what’s leading her to distance herself. I’m not saying her behavior is healthy or “right,” but it’s understandable.

Post # 18
Member
846 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

Two years may not be that long for the relationship, but I think four months is excessive to be sitting on a ring when you know he has it (or claims to have it).

Let’s first dispel the fiction that he has been planning a special proposal because I would bet a small fortune that he hasn’t planned anything that couldn’t be done at any point in the last four months.

It’s likely true your attitude is concerning him, even if your attitude is a direct result of him dragging his feet and not communicating his concerns with you. It seems like the both of you are contributing to your communication issues. If your waiting resentment is outwardly manifesting itself in your treatment of him, then you need to get out in front of that and be open with him from now on. He is either truly interpretating your frustration as a lack of commitment, or he is using it as an excuse to claim you aren’t committed in order to stall. 

And he is making matters worse by saying things like “I’ve thought about proposing several times already but you always ruin it.” That’s manipulative crap and he needs to cut that out. Please tell him that is not constructive or helpful, and that if he is concerned about your committment then he needs to talk through that with you.

If you think his concerns are valid, then consider working on your feelings of insecurity via therapy or some other outlet. But also make it clear to him that your efforts to resolve your anxiety do not give him a free pass to take as long as he wants without any consideration of you. I think your 2-two year anniversary is a fair timeline for him.

Post # 20
Member
5634 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

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tiffanybruiser :  I don’t think it is understandable, they had previously agreed to getting engaged after moving in next year.  OP herself says the ring wasn’t purchased because they were ready to get engaged or married, just that the perfect ring happened to come up.  To her boyfriend, i’m sure four months from this February isn’t long at all considering they had agreed to wait until 2019. 

You’re acting like he is finding any little thing to blame the delay on her.  He said he doesn’t feel like it is the right time to propose because she literally doesn’t take his calls and tries to avoid contacting him. OP is the one coming off as manipulative, not the boyfriend in my opinion. 

Post # 22
Member
11272 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Bee, nothing in your post changes my mind about your bf.

So, you were extra stressed and a bit more distant.  You didn’t jump like Pavlov’s dog every time he texted.  All relationships go through these kinds of phases.

And offering to help you with your son does not prove that he loves you.  It proves nothing.  It’s pretty much the bare minimum expected of a partner.

It’s concerning that you need a ring to feel secure in your relationship.  You don’t get married for the purpose of feeling more secure.  You marry because you already feel confident and safe in the relationship.

The business about him having quite a temper is also a concern.  Bee, he still does have a temper.  He’s just holding it down for now.  Probably white knuckling it.  What did he do when he got angry?  Anger problems don’t magically go away without intensive work in therapy.  It will return.

Post # 24
Member
7524 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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zzar45 :  Op says: “I guess the “strung along” part comes in with him telling me twice when he first got the ring that he would not make me wait for a proposal, and then 4 months ticked by.”

There is miscommunication on both sides for sure, but your insistence that OP is nothing but a petulant brat who’s trying to dictate every detail is simply not backed up by anything she has told us here. 

Post # 25
Member
7524 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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laurenalaine83 :  Well, that’s alarming that he won’t even consider therapy. I’m not sure what to tell you then. 

I halfway agree with Sassy’s comment that “You don’t get married for the purpose of feeling more secure.  You marry because you already feel confident and safe in the relationship.” However, I think even in a relationship where both partners are feeling secure and safe, that feeling would eventually be lost if one partner kept delaying a proposal. Like yes you should feel secure and safe before you get engaged, but if one partner begins to suspect that the other isn’t all in – it will erode the feeling of safety and security, and I think that’s where OP is struggling right now. 

Post # 27
Member
846 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

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laurenalaine83 :  I understand the cycle. I was pretty miserable this time last year waiting to get engaged. While I wasn’t nagging my boyfriend or openly treating him badly, I was generally unhappy and it showed, and my boyfriend ended up letting that feed into his “relationship doubts.”

I ended up refocusing my energy on self improvement in the coming months, and had one more discussion in April to set a timeline of July for engagement. Since then I have let it go and have started therapy to work on my lingering anxiety and insecurity.

That said, my boyfriend still hasn’t proposed, and now very likely won’t propose in July as agreed upon due to an unexpected event in my family (and that’s assuming he was going to otherwise). And what’s most unnacceptable about it is that I know he won’t try to talk to me first, to say something like, “I know the plan was for me to propose this month, but given what has happened I think we should wait X more weeks.” He’s not going to say anything. He’s just going to make me deal with it. He’s going to force me to walk away on Aug 1 because I can’t accept his laziness and passiveness anymore.

So do pay attention to your boyfriend’s willingness to discuss and share his concerns with you. If he has reasons for waiting then he should openly share them with you. If it’s up to you to initiate every discussion about your shared future, then I think you will find that gets quite discouraging. Consider if that life is good for you, even if you consider him a “good” guy.

Post # 29
Member
7524 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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laurenalaine83 :  I think the problem is that allegedly the only obstacle to getting engaged was financial, and that obstacle has been removed. He bought the ring and told you he wouldn’t make you wait long. So now, it’s like what’s the hold up – four months have gone by – what is he waiting for? And the only logical conclusion – which is backed up by his own words – is that he’s not 100% sure he’s ready to propose to you, which naturally has YOU reeling and questioning everything too.

Further compounding the problem is that neither of you is a particularly great communicator. He bottles everything up rather than keeping you posted on the status of the proposal or on the major stressors with his family, which will affect you too if you get married (and are already affecting you). This causes you to feel in the dark about your shared future, which is super stressful. You try to avoid mentioning the proposal cause you know doing so will piss him off, but then lash out passive aggressively by distancing yourself, ignoring his texts, etc. 

It’s a hot mess on all sides, and it doesn’t help that you’re both bringing a ton of complex issues from your individual personal lives into the relationship like your special needs son, his daughter, and the mess with his parents. 

Anyway …I would ask him again about counseling. I’d insist on it. Y’all are in over your heads here and I don’t see how this is going to improve without some outside help.

Post # 30
Member
1578 posts
Bumble bee

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tiffanybruiser :  THIS  

“It’s a catch 22; he doesn’t want to propose because you’ve been moody and snappy, but the entire reason you’ve been in a bad mood is cause you’re worried he’s not all in cause he’s been holding onto the ring for so long. “

Yep!! See here is the deal. I don’t care how dramatic or snippy you were being to him. When you told him what was bothering you his response should have been kind and understanding. Him getting angry as a result of hearing the waiting is hurting your feelings is the red flag. He is 100% trying to turn this around as your fault.

If you get real with him and vulnerable and have a conversation with him where you are telling him that his stalling on proposing is hurting your feelings, making you sad, and feels like he doesn’t want to marry you, and you say all this in a calm mature way, his reply to that if he loves you and cares about you should be, ” Wow I am sorry that is how this is making you feel. I love you very much. I am going to propose by our anniversary I promise. If his response to a rational and calm conversation about this is to get mad? that isn’t a good sign. Someone who loves someone doesn’t want them to be hurt no matter what. My boyfriend always responds with such kindness and love when I tell him something bothers me or hurts me. Anger is a bad emotion in this situation. People don’t get angry when discussing something they want to do or plan to do. They certainly don’t get angry when the other person tells them their feelings are hurt. Try to talk to him again, he still gets angry and blames you? Maybe this isn’t the guy for you. 

 

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