Wednesday, July 23, 2008

He Won't Marry Her, and She's Embarrassed

Dear Terry:

Thanks for your recent [email] articles about ultimatums and commitment. I have a special situation. I'm almost 30 and have been with a guy I'm crazy about for 2 1/2 years. We spend most of our free time together, our families like each other, etc.

My problem is, he says he's not ready to get married. He's 32, has a good job, nice apartment, and so on. His refusal to move our relationship to the next level can be embarrassing. We went to his cousin's wedding last year, and one of his other cousins blurted out (while taking a photo), "And there's S (me), still trying to get a ring out of J (my boyfriend)"

I was humiliated beyond belief.

My boyfriend's mother loves me, has shown me jewelry she'll pass on to me one day. She says she knows her boy, and that I should be patient. She knows he'll come around.

But I'm tired of waiting. And next year, we'll be going to three weddings, my cousin's, his friendfrom college, and --worst of all--his younger sister's.

Everytime I think of going to his sister's wedding and being looked over by his relatives, I want to cry. She didn't ask me to be a bridesmaid, so I won't even be in the family photos even though I've been on vacation with the family, and I've spent every Christmas and Easter with them.

Believe it or not, I am intelligent and have a job I love.

Any advice?

-S.


Dear S.-

First off, I can tell that you're intelligent by the way you've described the situation. Second, thank goodness you have a job you love because it's actually going to help you here.

Right now, I imagine you're walking around with a pain in your chest and stomach, especially when you think about your boyfriend's sister's wedding. You might feel that your future-- YOUR LIFE--is in the hands of another person who is unwilling to give you what you want.

You feel bad, so I'm going to ask you: What would make you feel good?

-Feeling in control?
-Feeling at peace?
-Feeling loved by a man who is free and ready to love
you without excuses or limitations?

How would that feel? How would it feel in your chest and in your stomach? Warm? Light? Cheerful?

Please write down the emotions you'd feel if you were in this new situation. Imagine the arms of a man (a generic man, not your current man) you love around your waist. "Feel" yourself dancing with him.

I'm going to ask you to bring this scene to life in your imagination before you get out of bed in the morning and after you put your head on the pillow at night. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

You are employing the law of attraction here, and it's powerful. The goal is to attract a man who loves you, whom you love, and is clear about his desire for a lasting relationship. (Whether this man will turn out to be your current boyfriend remains to be seen.)

Now, as far as your boyfriend's family is concerned, if you've expressed any frustration over the fact that he's not ready to get married, this is the time to stop. If anybody else brings it up, casually change the subject.

It's great that his mother likes you so much, but she says you should "be patient." Here's the truth, though: She's afraid you'll move on and her her son will lose you.

But in the end, whether he gets married is his decision, not hers. And whether you stick around is your decision.

(There's no law that says that because you have developed a relationship with a guy's family that you have to hang around until he's good and ready to put a ring on your finger.)

You do have a job you love, so I strongly suggest that you direct your attention there, to the job itself and to the people you've met through it.

Make a promotion your goal. Work a couple of extra hours when you can. Go out with your work friends for dinner or drinks. Make yourself more available for your job and less available your boyfriend.

The key here is not to be spiteful about it. Just go about your business. Be open to new experiences and opportunities.

Your current boyfriend may indeed be the man for you, or he may not. But you do need to stop insisting that he is because it's making you terribly unhappy.

It is certainly not in your best interests.

If you go to the current guy's sister's wedding and somebody makes an ignorant comment about you "trying to get a ring out of" your boyfriend, smile nicely and say, "I'm happy for [the sister and her husband], but neither of us wants to get married yet."

Which would be true. (Because why would you want to marry some guy you have to talk into marrying you?)

Keep visualizing, "feeling" that loving situation with a man who can't help but love you. THAT MAN WILL EVENUTALLY SHOW UP. Again, whether he is the man you're dating now remains to be seen.

3 comments:

Melissa said...

Do NOT bring up the subject of marraige again (let him wonder about your about face). That's right, get involved with your job, friends, others, and HAVE FUn. If this makes you less available to him, oh well, what's he going to do to motivate you to want to spend time with him? Also, it's been over 2 years...that's long enough for a grown man to know his own mind regarding relationships..he's not a teenager. If it were me, I would tell him that you have no desire whatsoever to pressure him, however, since one of your goals is to marry, you need to keep your options open and date others. And don't sleep with him or anyone else while you're investigating your options. He will either rise to the occasion, or you'll meet someone who is decisive in his relationships. You have to be tough in a gentle way. This will increase your confidence which will cause him to view you in a different light. Remember though, you're doing this for YOU, to keep your life FUN and in YOUR control...not to make an impression on him. He's got no right to be so certain about you at this point...he's got to earn it. You've been more than patient.

Chrissy said...

Love your advice... between this site and SingleSisterhood.com, I don't think I could date if it wasn't for dating advice. I know I am bad at it and not original and quiet and shy... but with all this advice i've learned to speak up to gain that confidence I lack and to go out there and just giver' so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Great advice T - as usual. Years ago I tuned into your pearls and guess what ... I am happily married to a man who is perfect for me. What you are talking about - works BIG time!

Thanks! Viv