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DraftyAiresMum 07-03-2013 12:25 AM

Feeling...I don't know...
So my BF and I have been dating for just over a year (our anniversary was June 16). I'm 30 and he's 43. We both grew up in the same town, and he was good friends with my oldest brother when they were in high school. He's a former Marine. We met at my work (he was the vending machine guy and was stocking the machines one evening...I came out of the restroom and stopped to check out the machines...he gave me a water and a candy bar, we talked for a little while, then he boldly asked for my number) and hit it off pretty much right away.

We've had our ups and downs, just like any couple, but we're good more often than not. We've both been married before (he was married for ten months and I was married three and a half years), and I have a beautiful nine-year-old son, while he doesn't have any kids. We both know what we want from a relationship and are both old enough to know that we want to settle down and have a family.

For Christmas, he gave me a beautiful promise ring, and we've always talked about *when* we get married, not *if.* He wants kids and I definitely want more, but I want to wait until we're married (I'm very traditional that way). My family loves him and really want us to get married (to the point that my dad asked him point-blank why he hasn't married me yet). He, in turn, adores my family. We're just not gonna get into how his family feels about me.

Anyway, any time I bring up the subject of us getting married, he either skirts the issue or comes up with excuses. His favorite excuse is that he can't afford to buy me a nice engagement ring. I don't know how many times I've assured him that I don't care about that kind of stuff. He knows me well enough to know that I'm not just saying that. My dad has even (independently) told him that I don't care about that. I understand it's a pride thing, but to me, it just feels like an excuse.

I know that a lot of people are thinking that getting married is "just a piece of paper" and that we're perfectly fine the way we are (we live together and have since before Christmas, and now we're looking to buy our own home), but I'm very traditional (as is my entirely Mormon family). I want to get married and become Mrs R_____ L____. I just don't know what I can do to help things along.

The other night, he asked me where I'd want to get married. I've thought about it a lot (especially since my dad talked to him about marrying me) and I think the park on my parents' property would be perfect. I helped transplant the majority of the cottonwood trees that make up the park and I feel like it's a part of me (I used to go out there and read during the summer when I was in high school). We're also both very outdoorsy and I just think it would suit us. His answer? "Oh, my mom will love that" (said with EXTREME sarcasm). I will admit that my temper flared and I shot back with "Well, good thing your mom isn't the one getting married, huh?" Not the best/smartest/nicest answer, but his comment (and the way it was delivered) kinda hurt. The problem is, my parents are about to put their house on the market (not sure how long it'll take to sell, but it's a beautiful 3400sq ft custom house on five acres with a four bay, 40' by 100' garage on it, and it's horse property, so it should go fast) and if they sell the house, we won't be able to get married there. I'd love to have this one last big memory from the house I spent my high school years in.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like he's comfortable with the status quo...but I'm not.

I'm not sure if I'm just ranting or asking for advice. If you have advice (that's positive), that'd be great. If not, no worries, have a virtual cookie for reading my patheticness.
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tinyliny 07-03-2013 12:54 AM

your situation is one that is repeated a lot; one partner likes things the way they are, the other sees this as a path to something different.
It must be very frustrating. you haven't known each other that long, so it's not something to panic about, yet. But, I can agree that saying he cannot afford an engagement ring sounds a bit odd. is he saving? or doing anything to change that?

Is it possible that he is worried about being a step dad?

DraftyAiresMum 07-03-2013 01:02 AM

As far as I know, he's not saving for a ring or anything. We share bills, but we don't share money (as in, we don't have a shared checking account).

I don't think being a stepdad has anything to do with it. My son just loves him and he thinks my son is great.

I do think that his family has A LOT to so with it. His mom is very greedy and controlling (he runs the vending machine business for her completely without pay and has for the last three years, plus working full-time at Goodwill). His older brother is angry at everyone and everything (himself included), and takes every chance he can to bring my BF down. They both (literally) hate me and are constantly telling my BF that he can do better than me and that all I'm doing is bringing him down.
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tinyliny 07-03-2013 01:28 AM

Wow. That sounds awful. I am sure you know that if you marry a man/woman, you marry into that family, too. it kind of sounds like he is under his mother's thumb a lot for a man of his age. You'd have to love someone a lot to be put in the position where you are one side of him, and his mom is on the other , and he isn't sure to which side he owes his loyalty.

Speaking frankly, and via the anonymity of the internet, I think it's bizarre they think he can do better than you, when I am thinking the same thing regarding him. I know that sounds harsh, but them's my first thoughts.

Darrin 07-03-2013 01:37 AM

My sister and brother in law lived together for 7 years before getting married. Brother in law was happy living together without being married, didn't think it was a big deal (no kids and no chance of kids) and my sister wasn't. She finally put her foot down and said put a ring on it or I'm gone, they were married a month latter.

Sometimes men do need a push but before pushing be prepared for what happens when he removes to budge or pushes back.

Missy May 07-03-2013 02:11 AM

I agree with Darrin. But, since he asked you where you would want to get married which sounds as if he is considering the option, I would wait for a predetermined amount of time (for me it would be no more than a month), and if he didn't ask by the end of that period, I think I would give him his own space - indefinitely. That is just what I would do, but everyone is different.

Skyseternalangel 07-04-2013 04:10 PM

730 Attachment(s)
I agree with Tinyliny in such that you are marrying into his family. Yes you love him but do you love his family? Can you tolerate them putting you down? Does he defend you when they try and talk trash about you?

If he doesn't, than I think you should think this over carefully.

DraftyAiresMum 07-04-2013 05:53 PM

Sky, I couldn't care less what his family thinks of me or says about me. Heck, most of the time I joke about it with him because it seriously does make me laugh. I know enough to know that they are seriously unhappy people who feel the need to bring everyone else around them down to their level, so I don't let it bother me.

At first my BF wouldn't defend me because he had this "but they're my family" attitude. He and I sat down and had a serious talk about it and now he does defend me because he realizes how he was letting the way they feel effect our relationship.
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Skyseternalangel 07-04-2013 05:59 PM

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Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum (Post 2969570)
At first my BF wouldn't defend me because he had this "but they're my family" attitude. He and I sat down and had a serious talk about it and now he does defend me because he realizes how he was letting the way they feel effect our relationship.
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Well there you go then; as long as he defends and supports you then it's just a case of sitting down and talking about how you feel.

I can understand the whole engagement ring thing because guys don't want to feel like they can't give their woman the best, however the fact he isn't saving up for one tells me that it's not on his mind or maybe he feels fine with how the relationship is right now.

NorthernMama 07-04-2013 07:52 PM

You know, women are also buying engagement rings for their men now...

Honestly, if that's the issue, that's pretty sad. Likely, it's not the issue, but as you said a kind of excuse or skirting the discussion. So go buy the dang ring yourself, propose to him and that's that.

I'm not getting the flow of this response the way it should be, but before you propose, I do think you need to find out what his issue is about it. And, rushing the wedding based on a locale being available is, IMO, not a good idea. I'm not a romantic in the least, but if the location is what's going to make it work... well, it's not enough.

You could go to the islands to get married. No fuss, no invites, easy-peezy and just have a party when you get back.

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