We’ve been together 15 years this month. He’s made some progress this past year with the “M” word, but it’s been baby-steps. To be sure, the baby-steps are worth being happy about, but I try really hard not to look for a proposal that may never come – it’ll go back to being easier ignoring it once everyone else finishes getting married this year and maybe the next.
I want to be married. But, I love my BF, and want to spend my life with him. If he won’t agree to profess that in front of some sort of official, family or not (can’t really avoid God watching, no matter the venue), then I guess the only way to really let him know that is to show him by staying with him, ring and certificate or not. Does a small piece of me feel like it will die off because of this lack? I have to admit, yes, or I’d have never sought out this message board. But do I feel that being married simply for the sake of being married is more important than being with HIM, married or not, I’d have to say, “No.” I DO want the respect, validation, legal support and frankly to hear him say the dang words, and I DO feel sometimes that I’m just not good enough for it, or something is wrong with me because of this. But, if marraige is just not in my future, I’ve made my bed and will have to sleep in it – life does what it will, you only have so much sway, only so many choices. My current choices are leave and start over 100%, stay and allow my brain/heart to continue in a secret corner to hope, or give up 100% and stay without hoping for a proposal, a wedding, and a new last name.
All I know is that leaving him, because he may not/will not marry me does not exactly communicate that I want to marry HIM, and that it’s because I love HIM, want the world to know that I am a unit with HI, and that I want to grow old with HIM. Leaving for the lack of marraige will communicate that it was all about a ring and a party and a warm body, that I never really loved HIM, because I left HIM to search the world for someone willing to give me said ring, party and body.
I do not plan on raising a child without being married, but since I have qualms about my potential parenting abilities, having been badly abused as a child and teenager, I will live with that. It scares me to think I could smother or neglect a kid trying to (over)correct for my parents’ mistakes. You won’t know if yo’ve done any damage, soetimes, until the child is grown and can tell you what you did wrong. BF knows he’s not ready to be a dad, and so kids are not the top priority for us, at the moment. I know time is passing, but we’ve talked about adoption if it comes to that.
BF has a lot to clean up in his life, school, finances, self-esteem, family issues, massive anxiety problems (and now he’s been neglecting his health – sigh) before I think he will ever seriously take the steps to marry me, from a proposal to a ceremony, even if it’s just a Justice of the Peace. He’s joked a bit recently about getting married in Vegas (more mention of marraige than ever before), and as long as I can wear something white and maybe find a chapel outside I’d be happy with that, but I know it’s not like he’s ever looked into anyhting practical about it. I know him, he’s a procrastinator the the Nth degree. He waits till the last minute to do almost anyhting, from ordering gifts for any occassion to doing his taxes – when asked privately by two close friends this weekend at a bachelorette party when I thought we’d join everyone else in the state of married bliss, I laughed and tried to brush it off by lightly I’d probably be in a walker, on oxygen, since he’s waits till the last minute for most things, and I guess that’s what would qualify as last minute, and changed the subject.
I also know a lot of his issues have more to do with him, his stunted entrance into adulthood, disappointment in himself, in his family relationships, in his accomplishments, than they do with me. He knows he’s wasted a lot of time doing nothing to advance himself, but that depresses him, and makes him feel like continuing to do nothing (no, he won’t go to therapy or try mood elevators).
There’s nothign I can do except quietly try to help him move forward in life, acting as his wife without many of the benefits, and hope that doing so helps him move himself forward towards marraige. It’s something he thinks he’d like to do ‘someday’, but someday often comes and goes before he’s aware of it, and he’s not the kind of person to really look at the practical requirements for most things.