Post # 31
iomi : I’m sure you expected to get many different opinions. So this probably hasn’t helped you that much but perhaps just made you more confused lol. I personally think the very first response in this thread was amazing.
Every person is different. Every relationship is different. 3 years might be a lot to some relationships, and not a lot to others.
I was once in your place actually. Looking back, I think I wanted to be engaged mostly because of society. So many questions of when I was getting married. Some people even putting doubt in my SO’s intent to commit. Lots of negativity….from society expectations.
You have to block that out and truly know what is right for you, without all the outside noise telling you what is right. You have to figure out if it’s a great relationship, despite the lack of a ring/engagement. I was with my SO for almost 10 years before he gave me the o-mighty ring. Before that, though, I came to understand that it didn’t take a new title to have commitment and love.
Post # 32
anthonyswife : So you guys go indefinitely to counseling? That’s so interesting! How long have you been going for? Our counselor has been saying we should start to think about stopping going, which makes me nervous because I like having that predefined space to talk.
Post # 33
sablescorpion22 : Thank you. I will approach it this way!
I’m not ignoring everyone else’s comments here. I really appreciate all the advice and your perspectives. I’m just not in the place yet where I feel like it’s time for me to move on. Believe me, when something is finished, I accept it and I leave. For now, I deeply love my partner, feel we have both grown to be better versions of ourselves together, and want to be with him!
Post # 34
nicoleivy2004 : Thank you! It is SUCH good advice to remind people that they know themselve and to trust their intution The hard part is when it gets conflated with fear, and separating the two!
Post # 35
I don’t think you only have to worry about things getting ‘conflated’ with fear. Sometimes being in a relationship is like being in a fishbowl. All you see is what you want to see and what’s inside your bowl. You start to forget what real human nature is like inside a relationship because you’re defining it under the experience of the relationship.
Its like when it’s obvious to everyone except the SO that their partner is cheating. So it’s good we have these forums where people can give their advice without fear of hurting someone they care about.
So yes, you know your relationship better than everyone else, the good and the bad. Strangers like us can only give opinions on your synopsis. Take the information and do with it what you will, but ‘ignore’ it at your own peril. No one is trying to hurt you here.
Post # 36
iomi : we like going, so yes. We will continue to go. We always get something out of it. We just view it as a way to keep our relationship in check. We usually go 2-4 times a month. Sometimes once a week, sometimes every other week. But we’re the happiest we’ve ever been. So why stop. You know?
We’ve been going for 13 months. It’s helped a lot. We had a lot of life happen to us this past year. My father actually passed away suddenly 2 months before our wedding. I ran his business while working my full time job up until the wedding. We might have been able to get through that on our own. But our therapist helped us communicate a lot though that time. DH saw me at my worst, before he ever married me. We got through the hardest time in my life right befornow our wedding because of the solid foundation we had from counseling.
So yes. We will continue to go. It’s been nothing but positive. I think every couple can benefit from counseling.
Post # 37
I’m curious why you said in your update that being unmarried at 34 wouldn’t happen, because once you start having kids he’ll marry you? I’m just wondering why you think he’ll have kids and marry you “at your urging” in 4 years. What’s going to change?
Post # 38
iomi : I didn’t mean the counseling itself is exhausting. I went to counseling with my husband before we got married and found it really helpful. What i meant was, the having to talk someone into believing he’s ready to marry you part must be tiring after awhile. But if you feel invigorated by this process, more power to you.
Post # 39
So… you’re going to wait an indefinite number of years more, and then try to corner him by claiming your fertility is declining an it’s time for kids? What makes you think that if he has found excuses for seven years by then that he will magically come to his senses and see things your way? If he hasn’t found a reason to marry you yet, and hasn’t found a reason to by the time four more years have passed, then kids won’t be a good enough reason, either. Will you be desperate enough by then that he will convince you to have kids with him without him committing to marriage?
I just don’t think a relationship that requires counseling before marriage is worth it. Things shouldn’t be this hard.
Post # 40
echomomm : “I just don’t think a relationship that requires counseling before marriage is worth it. Things shouldn’t be this hard.”
Every relationship is different. Everyone comes from different backgrounds. It’s not fair to lump everyone’s relationships into one general statement. What might be healthy for one relationship isn’t healthy for another.
Post # 41
anthonyswife : exactly right. I would not marry someone who wouldn’t consider counseling if one of us felt we needed to go..Some men may say they’re willing – but only in theory and refuse when it’s asked of them.
I go with my SO just to make sure we cut any budding issues off at the pass. Like a medical check-up, I think it’s important. We’ll go every week/month/6 months. Sometimes my SO has trouble expressing himself and the therapist can help translate. Sometimes I just want to understand each other better, so we don’t go there to change anything about the other person. I believe we should accept each other as we are and not expect big changes and once I know WHY he is the way he is I don’t have any issues with that particular thing.
its just another tool to get to know if this person is the right life partner for you and to cut that out as an option is narrow minded.
Post # 42
lovelyruby : what will change is that in 5-6 years time, I would have too much respect for myself to have stayed that long without marriage. I will NOT stay with someone who doesn’t want to get married. And I definitely will not have a child with someone I’m not married to. In fact I won’t even by a property with someone I’m not engaged to and he knows that.
I actually broke up with my last boyfriend because he refused marriage and kids. With my current partner, he’s the most serious, committed person. I have security in him and know he’s not lying when he says he believes in marriage and also believes in us. So it’s just a matter of when he’s ready. My frustration comes from our different timelines and that I’ve always been the one that pushes things forward.. but then I definitely tend to let myself take on that role in ALL things I do. So I recognise that it is in part a problem of my own making, too.
At this point we only just started talking about ‘timelines’, which is why I don’t feel panicky / or the urge to set ultimatums. My SO is the type of person that takes time to come around to change (all change, really). So I don’t see this as out of the ordinary for our relationship and I love him for his differences from me too. I’m definitely more the type to just go with the flow and try something for the heck of it, feeling like I can always bow out later. Once he makes a decision, that’s it. It would take moving mountains to change his mind! So I think, strangely enough, he has way more reverence for the idea of marriage than I do.
But that doesn’t take away the frustration.. argh!! Which is why I posted here. I wanted tips to deal with my anxiety / need to plan things / fear of getting old!
Post # 43
I don’t tend to buy the justification people use that the boyfriend is just a perfectionist and risk averse and slow because my fiance is a perfectionist and risk averse and slow to make decisions — and he still proposed at 2.5 years.
And he really is that way. Every purchase involves months of research, and doubt. Looking up a hotel room to stay for a night is an exhaustive search. Other life decisions tested my patience as a mere bystander.
I think this personality type might be oversensitive to doubt, but either way it seems he has some doubt, and that’s the crux of the issue.
Post # 44
iomi : Your 5-6 year plan seems to be delaying taking action, not changing anything, and still expecting a different result. This isn’t fair to yourself in 5-6 years at all!! If you aren’t able to have an open and honest discussion NOW with your SO, and he shuts your down or defers the conversation each time you talk about marriage, it is a one way conversation to a brick wall.
You have said in earlier posts and updates that you just started talking about marriage, but it seems that he has shut you down way more than once in therapy, when you brought up Pinterest, AND when your best friend’s pregnancy was announced.
If you are truly happy in your relationship, don’t feel pressured to make any life altering decision today. But please don’t fool yourself into thinking that more of the same will yield a different result in 5-6 years time. You deserve better, but will miss out on that opportunity to change anything if you keep internalizing all of his excuses about not feeling ready for marriage at 29 and several years of a relationship because of his experiences at 26.
Post # 45
He isn’t ready to get married, and doesn’t want to marry you. You can’t change his feelings for him, or guilt/coerce/pregnancy your way into your happy ending. He’s told you through his actions, he’s told you through his words repeatedly, he doesn’t want to get married in your timeframe, if at all. The fact that you refuse to listen is all on you. You don’t get to coerce him.
So here are your options: either continue in the exact relationship pattern you have now indefinitely, or leave and find someone else whose views on marriage align with yours. That’s it. There are no third options.