Why do I have to be the one to bring it up all the time!?

posted 11 months ago in Waiting
Post # 2
793 posts
Busy bee

I get the sense that he’s using the “needing to work things out together without a therapist” thing as nothing more than an excuse. It sounds like he’s legitimately not ready to be married–either to anyone or to you.

Now, don’t freak out. I know you think you’re incredibly old and getting so much older, but you’re in your 20s. It makes little difference that you’re going to be 30 soon. 30 is young, even for a woman. And here we’re primarily talking about a MAN who is 29. Heh, yeah… that equates to a girl who’s 25 or so. I know you don’t want to believe this now (though you certainly will later), but he’s still pretty much a boy; honestly, I’m not surprised at ALL that he’s not ready to be married, nor do I think it’s strange or terrible.

A looooooot of people here are going to tell you precisely this, and I’m calling it right now:

1. “Boy bye.” (The most unhelpful and unsympathetic response I’ve ever read on this board.)

2. “He doesn’t want to marry you, probably ever. Leave!” 

3. “I’d dump him! He doesn’t know what he wants! I’d never be with a man like THAT. My Darling Husband is soooo amazing.”

4. “When a man loves you, he’ll be so excited to marry you and will buy you a ring IMMEDIATELY!”

All bullshit. He’s young; you’re young. He’s not ready right now, and that’s normal. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you, and it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to marry you or get married in general. But it DOES mean that he doesn’t want to get married right NOW, to you or anyone else. And you have to be okay with that, or you have to just leave and find someone who IS ready to get married right NOW.

But I don’t think you need to consider that just yet. He’s willing to go to therapy with you and has for a bit? That’s pretty amazing, frankly. I’m not going to pretend–like so many others here–that I have some magical insight into the male psyche, but I have some insight into the HUMAN psyche (since I am, in fact, human)–and I’ll say from my own experience that being willing to put that kind of intimate work into a relationship at least SUGGESTS that you care about the relationship and hope for its longevity. That’s pretty damn promising, I’d say. 

Ultimately, Bee, my advice is to cool it for a bit. It’s a BUMMER that his timeline isn’t the same as yours, but that’s in no way strange or bad; aside from it keeping you from attaining what you want RIGHT GODDAMN NOW, it needn’t cause you any grief. (And, honestly, how often in life do we actually get JUST what we want JUST when we want it? …Never? This is just more of the same.)

Give him a little time. Three years isn’t that long, so let your love grow naturally. 🙂

Post # 3
725 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

+1 to the post above

In addition, I think it’ll help you to remind yourself that 30 really is just a number. There’s no reason for you to put so much stress on yourself, and on your relationship, to rush things so that you’re married by 30. There’s absolutely no shame in getting married at 31, or 32, or 33, or any age!

Also, you’re only 70% sure you even want kids, so stop pressuring yourself that you would need to have kids by 31/32. Even if you get married tomorrow, maybe you’d hit 31/32 and still not feel 100% sure that you want kids. No matter when you get married, maybe you’ll prefer to wait until you’re 33 for kids, or 35, or later! Or maybe you’ll decide that you don’t want them at all. Any of these choices are OK. What matters is that you make the choices that are right for you, at any age, regardless of what others are doing or whatever timing you had imagined before you got to that point.

Does it really make sense to try to rush your whole life, and put all this pressure on yourself and your relationship, just to hit these milestones by these arbitrary dates?

Post # 4
1716 posts
Bumble bee

“He’s young; you’re young. He’s not ready right now, and that’s normal.”

Eh, I really disagree here. At 28/29, after 3 years together, I think it’s a huge red flag if he can’t talk about the future with you. You don’t even say you want to get engaged right away, you just want to be able to *talk about the future with your partner.* That really shouldn’t be something that requires hand-wringing. I’m not saying that he can’t not feel ready for marriage or that you need to dump him and find someone who’ll marry you before you turn 30. I’m just saying that you deserve to be with someone who is willing to discuss future plans together and is as excited for them as you are. I find it worrisome that he can’t do that, and that you’re the only one who brings anything future related up. 

Post # 5
1481 posts
Bumble bee

Why does he get to make all the decisions? I think his comment about the therapy was a dig. I wouldn’t recommend continuing the relationship. He’s not ever going to be ready

Post # 6
8659 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2016

He doesn’t want to marry you and may never change his mind about that.

Post # 7
1489 posts
Bumble bee

I think one of the problems here is that he has said he’s not ready and you don’t believe him. You are charging full stream ahead, pinning wedding stuff and setting arbitrary deadlines for marriage when some of the fundamentals are missing. You’re right, it shouldn’t be entirely your responsibility to manage the relationship and plan your future together. However, he is not doing his part because he’s not interested in that right now. Ease off on rushing to the alter and really see how you are as a couple and if you truly have the same intentions for your relationship moving forward.

Post # 8
4780 posts
Honey bee

Him saying “we aren’t ready” means HE is not ready. He knows you are ready; he is nowhere near the place you are. He may be ready someday, he may not. You have to decide if it’s worth it to you to stick around and find out.

Envision yourself five years from now. Would you rather still be with him, unmarried, or be with someone else and planning a wedding at 34? 

Post # 9
6401 posts
Bee Keeper

I kinda see both sides here. What it boils down to though, OP, is your own happiness in the relationship. Your bf cannot really articulate why he’s not ready to talk about timelines yet, which is not at all uncommon in these situations. I’m getting the feeling that he loves you and doesn’t want to break up, but is just not emotionally ready to get married yet. He probably doesn’t even understand why that is himself, which is why he can’t put a timeline on it.

All the nonsense about being almost 30, however, is just that – nonsense. You’re conflating two things: 1) the societal rat race that makes us feel like we have to be married by 30 or we’re unwanted old hags; and 2) and your own desire for greater commitment from your SO. The only thing you should focus on is #2. 

After 3 yrs, you want greater commitment, and your SO isn’t ready to give it to you. That’s a problem. It doesn’t make either one of you “right or wrong” – it just is what it is. If I were you, I’d probably make a mental walk date at this point.

Post # 10
1873 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m old, so let me share with you a little secret about life: It’s always changing!! I get so frustrated on these boards when their partner says “when we’re in a better place”- when this or that happens- whatever!! Marriage is about being together thru the best and worst of times, so right now must be the worst lol get over it. Couples will always fight- you can be perfect and he’ll marry you but a year later something will happen and bam! More fighting, then what? Divorce because he can’t handle conflict?

Humans change, there will always be some sort of conflict. We lose jobs, houses come and go. LIFE HAPPENS! And it passes us by while we’re planning for the future. Why waste time not enjoying right now?

I’ve been married before, we lived together before marriage. Wanna know how much life changed after signing those papers? It didn’t. Wait- car insurance got cheaper lol wow. And this is why I will never wait around- this is why I hate that excuse from men. After 3 years he should know if he wants to be with you- good times and bad. Take charge of your life and leave, don’t waste life on this bozo.

Post # 11
6511 posts
Bee Keeper

yupmarried :  +1

And I’d like to add that I side-eye someone who uses their ex as a cautionary tale. It always seems like they’re trying to groom their current partner like a Pavlovian dog. He tells you how his ex ‘forced’ (?!) him to get engaged and how much she pressured it- so that you’ll want to jump through hoops proving to him you’re not like her. Fuck that noise. 

Post # 12
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

No matter what you say or do, you can’t make him want to marry you. It’s unfair to give yourself these age deadlines, but you shouldn’t be sticking around for something that is likely not ever going to materialize. It doesn’t sound like you’re that compatible to be honest. 

Post # 13
1015 posts
Bumble bee

If he wanted to marry you he would have asked already. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want you in the same way? You’re not married and are attending couples counseling? Time to move on,  you deserve much better.  

Post # 14
109 posts
Blushing bee

I decided personally that I wasn’t going to pressure my boyfriend into proposing. I wanted him to do it of his own free will without any pressure from me, so that I knew it was what he truly wanted.

On the other hand, my boyfriend never made me feel weird for discussing a future with him. I knew for certain that he did love me and that he would do it eventually. I had a deep trust in him that he would choose me eventually and was willing to be patient.

I think the desire to pressure him is because you don’t trust that he will. I can’t say for sure that he won’t, but it doesn’t sound ideal to me. I don’t think it is right that he makes you feel worried that you won’t be part of his future.

What you both need is a honest conversation about your future. Does he see you in his future? Why doesn’t he feel ready? Are you both with each other merely because it is convienient and comfortable? Do you need to work through some relationship issues?

Post # 15
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

Your relationship seems like a lot of work.  I can’t imagine going to couples counseling for almost a year before being married.  If there are that many issues, I don’t think this relationship is right for either of you.

I also disagree with the your still young comments.  You’ve been dating for 3 years and almost 30.  I would think that would plenty of time to decide if you are ready to take it the next step.

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