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Marriage Proposal/Engagement Advice


danyboy
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Please bear with me, this is a long story. I've tried to condense it as much as I can, but didn't want to leave out important information. It also helps me to write out what happened.

 

To be very brief I just want some feedback and opinions on:

1. Is she stable enough for marriage?

2. Is there something wrong with what I did?

3. Am I being taken for granted?

4. General opinion about the situation.

*What are your thoughts? At this point I'm just too embarrassed to tell my family or friends how she took the proposal in that she was mad, sad, and disappointed that it happened. In our relationship she always freaks out and seems to criticize everything I do and the way that I do it. I do my best to be loving, caring and supportive of everything that she does, even though she is very critical of herself. It seems like I protect myself and herself from her negative thoughts and demands of perfection. I feel like I'm going to be married to someone who is chronically unstable and unsatisfied.

 

 

Background:

Me and my girlfriend/fiance have been dating for about 6 years or so, but a bulk of that has been long distance. We started the relationship while we were both undergrad students, but were separated when I moved off to graduate school. As I was graduating and she was entering graduate school we reunited and started our relationship again. I visit her regularly and have talked on the phone every single day when we are apart (I made a point of it). She used to be emotional and illogical at times, but usually when she was under stress (a final) or when she was PMSing. Now it seems that I am not really sure what to expect from her when I do anything; from buying a gift to taking her to dinner.

 

Anyway, I have been planning on proposing to her for more than a year now, but I just wanted to make sure I was financially secure and could provide a foundation for our future life. She is graduating this year and will be moving in with me in our new place. She always brings up that we're not married and that all of her friends are and that she wants to spend the rest of her life with me, ect.

 

 

Proposal:

In the last few months I talked with her best friend about finding out what her ring size was. She set up a sting operation and found out. I shopped for the ring for months and found the perfect one, with her birthstone, which is what she told both me and her best friend that she wanted. It had a return policy so we could return it if she didn't like it, while making sure that she knew that I wouldn't be offended if we shopped for a ring together and returned the one I got. So, come this past weekend. It was her birthday and I came in town to propose and celebrate her birthday. I planned a massage because she always talks about wanting one and took her to her favorite restaurant. I initially planned on proposing at the restaurant and putting the ring on a make roll to surprise her.

 

At the restaurant I just chickened out and got nervous so I thought that I would wait until we got home. So we get home and I'm still nervous, our pet (dog and ferret) are running around a freaking out and I kept asking her to talk. Finanlly we quieted everything down and I pulled out the ring and asked. I didn't get on a knee cause I was nervous and felt akward. When I show her the ring she tenses up and just starts crying. She didn't even look at the ring or me. She continues to stand there and start crying not saying a word while I stand there puzzled. She then lays on the bed and starts crying some more. Then she says "what do you mean?" or something on those lines, like what is this all about we never talked about this, why are you doing this ect. At that point I was just speechless. We had talked about marriage almost regularly, or really, she had talked about us getting married and living together forever.

 

Finally I lay down beside her and tell her how much I lover her and want to spend the rest of my life with her, things I wanted to say during the proposal, but was just plain too nervous and scared. Then I asked her if she wanted to and she said yes, kinda sorta. She looked at the ring and had me put it on and it looked amazing.

 

Then, she calls her mom to tell her and her mom was really excited cause she has been expecting this for some time (as have all of her friends and my family [it was not that shocking]). So her mom asks why she doesn't sound or seem happy. She says that she is scared and never thought she would get married. Her mom wanted a picture of the ring right away so we sent a camera phone pic. She didn't even call her best friend and I was hoping to go to dinner with them and celebrate, which I thought would be quite "normal." In the end I pushed her to call her best friend so we could take them out cause her friend got her a gift and had been in on the whole thing. She relented and we went out (this has been her closest friend for the last 4 years and we weren't going to see her and her husband for a long time [possibly forever]).

 

 

The Ring:

The ring is a little big so we decide to get it resized and try to do it as soon as possible, all while she says that she's glad that she does't have to wear it to school so that everyone will know. Also, after saying how pretty the ring was and how perfect it is (I really searched hard for the perfect ring) she finds a couple spots that look discolored and says that its tarnished and want to get the ring "checked out." It's made of 14k white gold and stamped with it on the inside of the ring. While we are on the way to the jeweler she also talks about how she deserves a $5000 ring and all that and wants a big rock and wants a quality ring that lasts (pretty much treating my beautiful ring like * * * * ) and says that I should have paid more for a ring that's supposed to last. Anyway, we go to resize the ring and discuss its quality. We went to two jewelers both of whom were really enamored by the ring and kept asking where I got it from and how beautiful it is. She asked if it was real peridot (an inexpensive gem to which the first jeweler confirmed, but didn't ask about the our medium sized diamonds that flank it). She couldn't find the spots on the ring at either jewelers and they both keep saying how beautiful it is and how lucky she is ect. Unfortunately it took two jewelers to not call the ring a piece of crap and give it the appreciation it deserves.

 

 

Dinner with Best friend:

Before we go to dinner she is upset that anyone knows about the proposal, even her best friend and doesn't want me to bring it up at all. Which is ridiculous cause they know about it. So at dinner its asked and she says OMG I can't believe it I was so embarrassed and she talks about how she always said that she was never going to get married and then described the conversation with her mom and her "not sounding happy" and said that she wasn't. I was pretty embarrassed at how she was talking about it so flippantly. She also said that she's way too young to get married (28) and that she wasn't going to get married until she was at least 35 (cause "that a big commitment).

 

On the way back home I asked her if she meant that she didn't want to get married until she was 35 and if so why would she accept my proposal. She then starts ranting about she is really upset at the fact that I didn't get on one knee. Huh? I apologized and said that I was nervous and had been planning it for sometime. After this I said (in a very calm and logical way) that if she didn't want to get married then she could just say no to the proposal and we would still be together and that I would still love her. I then talked about returning the ring and just saying that we can wait until she's ready. Of course she freaks out crying and saying no, no, no, don't do it. I already told my mom and friends and I just said don't tell them. Again her first reaction was "what will people think?", but then goes on to say that we can never go back now ect. I disagreed and said that nothing changed and my dad had to propose to my mom twice cause she wasn't ready the first time and they've been married for over 30 years. She still pleads for me to just let it be and stay engaged.

 

 

NOW:

I thought we had gone through everything and that she wanted to be engaged and had a talk with her friends about it and concluded that she was just really scared about marriage because her mom never married her dad and divorce was the biggest fear of her life; so scary that she would never risk failure, hence never getting married. I can understand where she's coming from to a certain extent, but if she doesn't believe in marriage and is constantly looking for perfection we are destined to fail.

 

She also just sent me an email about how hurt she is that I didn't get on one knee ect.: "I'm sorry to bring this up again but I still feel really hurt by your proposal, and

I can imagine that you feel a bit hurt by my response.

I feel like you've put more thought into picking out speakers for the livingroom

than the marriage proposal. I mean...you always research everything and I just

feel like the whole thing was so casual.

I wanted to talk with you b/c I don't want this to be an issue in the future for us.

I don't want you to feel like I'm blaming you for something I just feel like you need

to understand how I'm feeling lately.

I love you very much."

 

 

This is upsetting in that:

1. It is a sign that she is completely unstable and incapable of a life-long commitment.

2. She doesn't appreciate the fact that I tried to plan a great day for us doing what she had been talking about for months (massage, sushi, spend time together).

3. I don't feel that she appreciates all or any of the thought and work I put into getting the perfect ring.

4. That she thinks the form of the proposal matters more than the function: I've formally and publicly shown my love and life-long commitment to her and put myself on the line.

5. She is probably going to be a naggy wife.

 

 

*What are your thoughts? At this point I'm just too embarrassed to tell my family or friends how she took the proposal in that she was mad, sad, and disappointed that it happened. In our relationship she always freaks out and seems to criticize everything I do and the way that I do it. I do my best to be loving, caring and supportive of everything that she does, even though she is very critical of herself. It seems like I protect myself and herself from her negative thoughts and demands of perfection. I feel like I'm going to be married to someone who is chronically unstable and unsatisfied.

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I think this woman is a selfish, self-absorbed drama queen and that if you go through with this marriage you will have to tolerate this behaviour from her until the relationship ends. You will never be able to make her happy nor has she any intention of making you happy.

 

Please - get the ring back and walk away. Otherwise you are in for years of misery.

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I've got to wonder why you want to spend the rest of your life with this woman.

 

Her reaction to your proposal is ridiculous. Talk about be careful what you wish for - she nags you about getting married constantly, then freaks out when you actually take her up on it?

 

Your 5th point - She will probably be a naggy wife - sums up for me how you're probably feeling. If she's like this now, what is being married to her going to be like? Stuck with her attitude for the rest of your life? Sounds pleasant. She's absolutely right, she's not ready to get married at all. Far too immature. I can't believe some of the things you've written down here. I can't imagine treating a man I loved enough to want to marry like that.

 

You can either wait around for her to grow up, which may or may not happen, or you can get back that beautiful ring and find an equally beautiful and mature woman who deserves it more.

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Well. I doubt that she just started acting this way out of the blue.

 

Is she always so difficult to get along with?

 

 

Not always, it comes and goes. I can handle moodiness to an extent, but I can't handle the blame game and pointing fingers cause she is in a bad mood. Most of the time she talks about how much she loves me and how special I am to her.

 

I just don't know what to expect most times. I honestly think she would self-harm if I were to break things off, which makes things a little more complex. I broke up with her for a week about a year ago and she stopped eating and was a wreck.

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I honestly think she would self-harm if I were to break things off, which makes things a little more complex. I broke up with her for a week about a year ago and she stopped eating and was a wreck.
That is not a good reason to stay in a bad relationship. You do not owe her your happiness because she might harm herself. That is her problem not yours - you are not put on this earth to be her emotional punching bag or band aid.
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I honestly think she would self-harm if I were to break things off, which makes things a little more complex. I broke up with her for a week about a year ago and she stopped eating and was a wreck.

 

At the end of the day, if you want to break up with her then you're not responsible for her problems after that.

 

It sounds harsh but if you decide you don't want her in your life anymore then you're under no obligation to help her make the transition. It's difficult when you care about someone, even when you can recognise that they're not right for you anymore, but it's not your fault if she goes down a bad path after that.

 

I didn't eat for 3 days after my ex and I broke up either. But I had to get past that eventually, and she will too. You can't be with someone just because you're worried they'll hurt themselves if you leave. What kind of a basis is that for a life together?

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At the end of the day, if you want to break up with her then you're not responsible for her problems after that.

 

It sounds harsh but if you decide you don't want her in your life anymore then you're under no obligation to help her make the transition. It's difficult when you care about someone, even when you can recognise that they're not right for you anymore, but it's not your fault if she goes down a bad path after that.

 

I didn't eat for 3 days after my ex and I broke up either. But I had to get past that eventually, and she will too. You can't be with someone just because you're worried they'll hurt themselves if you leave. What kind of a basis is that for a life together?

 

At the same time I do love her and enjoy the good times. It's hard to imagine my life without her; I would feel empty and alone too.

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At the same time I do love her and enjoy the good times. It's hard to imagine my life without her; I would feel empty and alone too.
Of course you would. But you will also feel free, less tense, free from concern about what she will throw at you next and soon you will be able to look for a woman who is loving, stable and good to be around.

 

Few relationships have good times all of the time - But even where times are bad there is an underlying love that gets you through to the good times again - that is highly unlikely with this woman because she is not the sort of person who can love someone as much as herself. She is all about her - and your happiness is of secondary importance or of no importance to her.

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I think this woman is a selfish, self-absorbed drama queen and that if you go through with this marriage you will have to tolerate this behaviour from her until the relationship ends. You will never be able to make her happy nor has she any intention of making you happy.

 

Please - get the ring back and walk away. Otherwise you are in for years of misery.

 

totally 100% agree!!!!

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I stopped eating for a month when my boyfriend dumped me years back...but then I got over it. The fact of the matter is, this girl sounds like a HUGE drama queen and she needs to get over HERSELF if she wants to be with you as PARTNERS. And partners don't embarrass each other or talk down about something. So you screwed up the proposal in her eyes - THAT'S TOO BAD. If she can't get over something you had to plan by yourself, she won't get over the issues that you both have to deal with as husband and wife, which won't always turn out the exact way she likes.

 

To be honest, it sounds like there's something else going on here: emotional trauma, perhaps? You guys better both get on the same page before you end up dedicating your life to this. If you don't fix the problems you have before you get married, you'll end up with more than you can handle when you DO get married. Problems don't go away, they just keep coming. The question as to whether or not you'll be able to handle it as a couple in the future is answered with how you deal with the present. And it really sounds like you're sweeping a lot under the rug here.

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I am an emotional person who often gets upset over dumb things and i can tell you I NEVER would have responded this way. She sounds totally self absorbed and greedy, UNGRATEFUL and awful. I really feel badly for the way she treated you.

 

I honestly hope that this is all because she is very young and that she will mature one day but honestly it sounds like you'd be making a HUGE mistake marrying her now. She's totally immature and selfish. PLEASE PLEASE take a step back. What is the rush?? she is only 20. Please date her longer and figure this out but do NOT marry her at this time. Give it at least 5 more years and revisit, that is if you are even together in 5 years.

 

I really just cringe when I hear about women like this. It really disturbs me. You deserve better than this.

 

one more question, what are her good qualities?

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First of all, I'm so sorry that your thoughtful proposal and choice of ring was received so poorly and rudely. Honestly, she sounds so awful- rude and self-centered and immature.

 

I think she is making a huge deal about you not getting down on one knee because she knows that SHE acted so poorly- she is making a fuss over your behavior to drawn attention away from her own.

 

That said, this stuck out to me:

 

 

I just don't know what to expect most times.

 

To me, one of the biggest perks of being married or in a long term relationship is being secure - knowing that you can count on a person, knowing them and how they will react to things. Sure, everyone can be irrational *sometimes*, but I honestly cannot imagine being in a relationship with someone who is so irrational and so prone to freak outs. If you marry this woman, think you will spend the entire marriage walking on egg shells, always wondering what nice gesture will be misconstrued and cause her to explode. That's no way to live.

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I agree, I have been confronting her about all of this and will not actually marry unless I truly believe that she "gets it." A problem I have though is that when I do confront her she just can't handle it, then cries, and apologizes. Her boldness comes in spurts, but she is really quite timid and afraid of confrontation. I tend to sympathize with her cause her dad is a loser jerk and she has deep seeded fears about marriage. I just keep thinking that she will change and be more logical. She just gets really emotional about stuff and wigs out.

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Well, she likes to stay active, usually has a goofy spin on things, is usually kind and gentle. we like a lot of the same things.

 

I just think that she has A LOT of baggage from her childhood that is carrying over. I would hate to abandon her when she is in need, but I don't feel that she's giving me a choice.

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you're not her therapist. i don't know, most women, after dating for 6 years, are dying to get married. they don't go on rants about how they aren't ready, how they want to wait another 6 years, that the ring isn't right, and all that. it should have been a day of celebration, not her acting like that. i see it as a really bad omen, or more specifically, just a sign of things to come. i think after 6 years together, she should be excited about taking the next step in life. if she has childhood issues, she needs to see a counselor.

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If nothing changes - do you think you will be happy or miserable?

 

Is she capable of changing? If your answer is 'yes' what evidence do you have that she could change other than some vague feeling or misplaced hope?

 

You really need to be realistic - think with your rational mind not with your emotions. Your emotions could mislead you here.

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you're not her therapist...if she has childhood issues, she needs to see a counselor.

 

YES, YES, YES. And tell her that.

 

Well, maybe not so blunt-like, but if you truly want to see the relationship work, you need to make that strong and genuine effort to get there. Sometimes counseling IS that thing.

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I think just the fact that you're saying AFTER the proposal "I won't marry her if she doesn't shape up" is like saying to a little kid "no ice cream till you clean up your room".

She's acting like a spoiled brat and you're having to think about her that way.

Do you want a partner or to be like the daddy with a little girl on your hands?

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A precondition of marriage is that we get premarriage counseling. I imagine that the counseling may take some time to clear up her issues. i'm in no hurry to get married. I would like to say that I did everything that I could before I move on.

 

A precondition of my proposal was that she not take her emotions or problems out on me, but I think that's asking too much. She either deals with her problems directly (counseling or self reflection) or we can be friends and part ways.

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I think just the fact that you're saying AFTER the proposal "I won't marry her if she doesn't shape up" is like saying to a little kid "no ice cream till you clean up your room".

She's acting like a spoiled brat and you're having to think about her that way.

Do you want a partner or to be like the daddy with a little girl on your hands?

 

I don't want to be her daddy, but I understand that she has deep fears about marriage that come from things that she had no control over. I would like to give her a chance to grow up.

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I agree with annie24...preconditions after the proposal and before a marriage sound like a last resort. It really sounds like you're making excuses for her. Whatever the underlying problems may be, you need to get this all out on the table because these "preconditions" won't last. They're that rug I was talking about before.

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