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Five Years.......and nothing?


JL2005
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5 Fundamentals For Troubleshooting Your Relationship

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I'm very frustrated with my boyfriend and moving to the next step in our relationship. We have been together for 5 years. I'm 25 and my boyfriend is 31. I've been out of college for almost a year and I work a full-time job. I also have plans to attend grad school. My boyfriend is gainfully employed and doing well financially.

 

Our issue involves getting married, moving in together and moving on to the next phase of our relationship. When we first started dating, I was young and in college. I never had plans to marry before finishing school, but marriage was always a goal in our relationship. So, I never pushed the issue before graduating college. We were on the same page with that idea and I figured that he would start to get serious about wanting to move our relationship forward after I finished school. After all, that's what we had talked about.

 

Now, I've been out of school for a full year and nothing has changed in terms of our relationship. We still live apart. We are not engaged and have no concrete plans to marry. It's still, "someday we'll get married"

 

I've become increasingly frustrated and I have made it a point to bring up this issue to him. We've talked about it many, many times. Yet, he just keeps saying to have faith in him. But, I feel like I've invested 5 years into a relationship and I'm getting nothing in return. I see little action from him. What action I do see, is very limited and slow. It seems to be an issue of "when I get around to it, I'll get around to it."

 

His answer to the problem is, "These things don't happen overnight." I agree. But, 5 years isn't overnight, it's half a decade. I'm frustrated because I've invested a lot of time and energy into preparing myself for our future. I'm always thinking about our future and I'm always ready to talk about it and take the steps to make it happen.

 

I've become so frustrated, I've become upset and even started crying in front of family and friends over the smallest comments. I'm usually a VERY private person and I never openly express my emotions or feelings to many people. But, the other day, my boyfriend's sister-in-law said, "Eric(my boyfriend), better get his act together or he's going to lose you! He doesn't understand what I good thing he has with you and I really like you! I want you to be my sister-in-law."

 

Well, that did it and I started crying my eyes out. Afterwards, I felt foolish and totally embarrassed. But, that's how frustrated I am! I'm crying in front of people I would have never been emotional with before. I just don't know what to say anymore. I've said everything.

 

Many people have suggested I leave the relationship, but it's so difficult to do. I can't see my life without him, because I truly love him. Also, his family has accepted me with open arms and losing them would be difficult too. All of them have been a big part of my life for 5 years.

 

He tells me he wants to marry me and he wants me to be his wife. He tells me we're going to get there, but I just don't know what he's waiting for? After being with someone for 5 years, I can't bare to wake up alone every morning or go home to an empty house every night. He says he love me and wants this, but doesn't seem to have the same desires/feelings that I have.

 

I need so help, some advice and some wisdom. I feel broken down.

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I think you need to start finding out if not getting married is a dealbreaker or not.

 

Could you tell us a bit more about why it is so important for you to get married? Is it the idea of getting married or the idea of being married? Is it because you expect to have kids once married? Is it more out of custom or family expectations?

 

Also, do you know why he seems to oppose the idea of getting marriaged right now?

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Marriage is really important. I value the idea of finding someone you can't live without and committing to that person for life. It also has to do with having children. I'm very traditional when it comes to dating and marriage. It's a natural step in life and when you find that special someone you get married. I'm against living with someone and never getting married, it's not for me. It's just not how I was raised and not how I want to live my life. I want the love, support and stability that marriage provides.

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I agree that he is probably scared.

 

How do you think the relationship will change once your are married? How do you think he believes the relationship and his life will change once married? (have you talked about this?)

 

Likely, he is having some fears about a future life as a married man, where fun freedom will be a thing of the past. You will need to address this with him in a NON-CLINGY, NON-NEEDY fashion.

 

Start talking with him about what life he sees for himself as a married man. Discover his fears.

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I understand your frustration. If he sees you as his wife and your future together and he knows it would make you happy. Why not propose? Have you outlined why this hurts you and why its important? Just try not to come accross as nagging or accusatory. Just tell him how it is.

 

Personally I wouldnt wait around for much longer.

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does divorce run in his family or does he have friends that have? it could be a possible factor.

 

some people value marriage more than others. just be careful in that you don't constantly complain or nag him about it. it could possibly push him away.

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great responses in my opinion. he may have different expectations about what marriage means. while it's security and comfort for you...it may be completely different things for him. just because you love him, and he loves you...doesn't mean that you share and understand each other's expectations of what marriage is all about. what seems glaringly obvious to you...might seem totally off base for him. personally...i don't see this obstacle as a reason to leave an otherwise good relationship. you need to find ways of gently probing him. discover what his expectations are. let him know that you have your own expectations...but that you accept and understand that he may not completely understand or identify with those expectations. five years and nothing? if you had nothing you wouldn't be with him. a relationship is not an all or nothing scenerio in my opinion. his aversion to marriage doesn't forfeit all the other wonderful aspects of your relationship. i get the impression that you're beginning to feel resentful at this point. has the relationship suffered as a result of this?

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JL -

I think you're focusing too much on the 5 years part of it. You're only 25, which some people would argue is too young to get married in this day and age - and you are just starting your career.

 

Nevertheless, you should at least be able to find out what his ultimate relationship goals are.

 

You need to decide how much longer you are willing to wait. Give yourself say, another year or so, and then in one year if he hasn't proposed, you may want to think about what your next move will be.

 

Instead of focusing so much on marriage, maybe right now you should devote that same energy to your career and your independence. He may appreciate you more for it.

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I agree with Kalika..

 

I know it must feel frustrating but from his point of view, he probably thinks you are both too young right now..

 

Being out of school for a "full year" might seem like a lot but its just a little step into the world outside of school. Give it another year..if you can!

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i respectfully disagree. i've never encountered a situation where ''waiting'' solved anything. there are situations where a choice is made to ''wait''...but this is not the same thing as waiting. there needs to be some kind of action.

 

is there any reason to expect that his expectations are going to change in a year? is it possible that you will continue to resent the situation by waiting?

in my own personal experience...nothing will change without some sort of action. i wish i'd learned to communicate these issues better in my last relationship. i never made the effort to understand what my ex REALLY thought and hoped for. i had a very distorted understanding. i assumed i knew exactly what she wanted...and that she knew exactly what i wanted.

it seemed obvious. i don't think these things can ever be completely obvious.

we form our own assumptions based on what we do know...but usually these assumptions contain very little in the way of reality.

 

i think there are definitely some deeper issues here. age is one thing...but there are always motivations behind the age card. what does age have to do with anything really?

 

that being said...it's entirely possible that another year will provide him with the time to come to his own realizations. i tend to think of this as the exception to the rule though.

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^^^

 

I suppose this is true as well. We're all assuming things when the smart thing is not to assume. Find out what he's waiting for. If it's just general fear then there's stuff you have to talk about to put him at ease.

 

If it's to be a certain age because there's some arbitrary bar in his mind before which he thinks it's "too soon" - maybe you can live with waiting for the bar to arrive.

 

If he really has no answer for you in terms of what he's waiting for then I think you should propose to him. It's basically your cue to leave him when he says no - and he'll know very clearly why you've gone. It avoids the "she left him cause she was pressuring him to get married and he wouldnt be pressured" label (which somehow makes it seem like its your fault.

 

Basically, you left because you decided you loved him enough to spend your life with him and was ready to take that step. After 5 years you proposed and he turned you down. So you ended it. Same as many men would do in that situation.

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Perhaps what you need from him is something a bit more concrete, as in "I plan to propose in 2 years" or "My plan is to purchase a home in 18 months and after I have a place for us to live I will propose to you" rather than "Someday". I think after 5 years together you have the right to know what his time line is. Right now he's waffling with answers like "Have faith" and "someday" and those don't require him to take any real action or have any sort of time line or plan. You really don't know what his intentions are, and he doesn't have to worry about it because you are sticking around and willing to wait indefinitely in his eyes.

 

If he can't give you anything more concrete than a wishy washy "someday" than I would set a time line in your own mind where you will be willing to wait for a proposal (you draw the line where you are comfortable, be it 6 months, a year, 2 more years...) and then if he isn't ready or willing to set an engagement with a solid date I would end the relationship.

 

On the flip side, you could always propose to him- there's no rule that says you can't.

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JL, if you think, see and feel that your boyfriend loves you, then you have to take your time. Being 25 is not old! I'm almost 31 and still single but I really want to settle down too...does that make you feel a lil bit better?

 

Marriage shouldn't be rushed as well as engagement. Don't ever put your man under pressure because he might make the wrong decision. Either he marries you unwillingly or just decide to run away from you. Would you feel great when you know that you only got married because you pressured him to do it? Think about it.

 

I don't want to keep your hopes up and be frustrated in the end. But, we don't know - He may be planning to surprise you but he just cannot do it because of your actions. Don't set an ultimatum or say: "If you don't propose to me.." or "We have to be married ASAP or else..." - that's not going to be a very good start of your married life and I don't think you want that.

 

Take it easy...you're still young. If you can't wait anymore, then let him know and move on.

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Don't be one of those girls that dates a guy for 10 years, gets dumped and finds out that the guy is getting married 9 months later. I've seen that happen.

 

I've also seen a guy who loved his gf, but was pretty comfortable with pushing marriage off. Five years in, she turned up the heat and he proposed.

 

I think you better find out where he stands before investing another few years.

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So, it hasn't been 5 years you've been waiting for a proposal..It's been a year.

 

I'm wondering if because that was your plan, if you didn't spend 4 years imagining a romantic proposal on your graduation night? You can't say "I've been waiting 5 years" when you've only really wanted it the last year. It just blows the situation out of proportion...

 

DH and I were together over 7 years before we got married. It's not a bad thing. You really know what you're signing up for when you are together that long. You're 25? You've got some time. He's saying he wants to marry you. He isn't being evasive or ambivalent. He is only asking you to be patient.

 

Maybe, he's saving money up for a ring, or a down payment on a house, or an exotic honeymoon. Maybe he's waiting for a special date to propose..you don't know what he's up to. If you love him, give him some room.

 

You want him to ask because he's ready and wants it himself, not because you backed him into a corner and it was "marry me or lose me" It isn't just about what you want, and you don't want to start your marriage on that foot.

 

DH stalled me for several years on having children, so i do understand where you are coming from. All I can tell you, is that it will be SOOO much better when he proposes on his terms.

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