- 3 weeks ago
Today is our 3rd anniversary and I am so ready to plan the future with my SO. I don’t even know if this means ‘get engaged’, but at the very least, I want to talk about it excitedly with him. And I’ve tried. But I feel like to him it’s such a negative thing to discuss it. He feels like I am pressuring him whenever I mention it.
Would love some support and you guys’ take on this…
So we’re both about 29 years old. We’ve had 1 serious talk about timelines, in May, and he couldn’t give me any indication of when he wants to get married, just says that he agrees we should one day. He says we are doing a lot better now (we went through problems last year in terms of always getting into the same fight, and actually started couples counselling in March this year). I pointed out that it had been nearly 3 years. Ideally I’d want to be engaged by November. and to be fair, I always told him that I saw myself getting married after 2-3 years of being with someone. on his side, he couldn’t give any date he wants to be engaged by and said he refuses to commit to one because just stating a date isn’t going to make us ready to get engaged at that point, and he didn’t feel like we’re ready.
So that was May. I thought fair enough, maybe he needs a bit more time to start seeing us as ‘ready’. And after that I got a bit wedding-crazy with the Pinterest and the rings. I wouldn’t stop talking about it! Inwardly I think I hoped discussing it more casually like this would get him to start feeling prepared and less freaked out by it. But I admit I went overboard. So in July I joined the shut up pact and stopped talking about it for over a month. He didn’t even comment on it…. not once.
So, yesterday I brought it up again (in couples counselling) but he said we STILL aren’t ready. I tried to get him to say how he’d ideally be feeling about our relationship at the point we get engaged. What would have to change? He just kept going back to how he can’t commit to timeframes. (He’s so stubborn!! I wasn’t even asking him to cite a date.) I tried to get him to envision how we would be when he thinks we’re finally ready to take that step. He wouldn’t say this until the therapist probed, but he said he wants us to work as a team, know we can resolve arguments on our own, be supportive etc etc but do it all independently (ie, without a therapist). What’s more… he says we DO do all that now (which I agree with, otherwise I wouldn’t want to talk about our future!).
We ended it as: we will try to have discussions regularly on our own, as we continue to go to counselling but with plans to leave eventually. We’ve been told to do this before because our counsellor does think we are doing so much better and has been trying to wean us off her. However my boyfriend NEVER instigates these talks. I get resentful because I feel like the burden of our relationship is all on me. Like he says we need to reach this certain standard before engagement, but it’s all something *I* am responsible for… having these talks are my responsibility because he just doesn’t bring it up ever (even when I ask him to). The counsellor suggested I continue to do it the first time and then we switch back & forth, so I guess that’s our homework for now. And it is good to have at least somewhat of a plan with that.
Anyway, I feel secure within our relationship and just want to be able to plan our next steps. But he always views it as such a confrontation. I think it is because he had a failed engagement in his last relationship. Also because he’s a perfectionist and can get quite anxious about these things in general.
There’s another side of it, and that has to do with my desire to actually have some time to enjoy these steps. I want to enjoy being engaged, and I don’t want a rushed marriage. But at the same time I am so anxious about getting married after 30 (I’ve got about 16 months left). I know it’s irrational!! I also want time married before having kids (I want to try around 31/32 — but my best friend recently got pregnant and now it’s making me question that too. And again my SO won’t give his own timeline for kids, just knows he wants them. To be honest I’m only 70% sure I want them so that’s why it doesn’t bother me as much. He’s more sure than me.) Finally, we are thinking of moving countries in the next few years and we can’t do that until we are married for visa issues. But again I don’t want to have to rush a marriage because we suddenly get an opportunity to move and we need that visa quickly. I would be so upset.
Anyway, I’ve mentioned ALL of this to him. And I can wait if he’s really not ready. But I don’t believe he’s not ready. I think he’s just being an obnoxious perfectionist trying to make the relationship perfect before finally just DOING it. It’s certainly not at that point yet, but I am afraid I will have to give him an ultimatum in order to get on with things… which is actually what his ex did. She then ended up breaking up with him 5 months after she made him propose. So I know he has trauma around these things. But I’m getting trauma going through this!!
So that’s where we are. And realistically, yes we are going to discuss it more and we can work through all of this. I don’t doubt that this all will eventually happen. But ugh, I am so frustrated and hurt. 🙁 I wish I had a partner who was excited about the future, instead of so vague about it. He doesn’t take risks for the future for himself either (his career especially), so I’m not surprised this is happening. And I LOVE the part of him that is so grounded and practical and logical too.
Sooooooo. I’m sorry for the rant. I needed to get that out. We have a nice anniversary dinner planned and I’m looking forward to it.
I would love to hear you ladies perspectives on it. Especially regarding my anxiety over getting a chance to enjoy being engaged, the whole ‘by 30’ thing, and not wanting to have to rush into it due to other circumstances (visa & babies) when we finally pull the trigger, etc.
anyone else in my position!? 🙁