Just Engaged and Proposals

Fiance Said He Didn't Want To Propose

Short Version:
After separating, FI and I got back together. We have been together for almost four years, so we set a deadline for a proposal. I got antsy because 10 days before the deadline, he still did not have any preparations made that I was aware of (talking to parents, planning an evening either home or out, etc) and was saying we were not ready yet. I felt that after almost four years, we were as ready as we would ever be and I was worried he was waiting until the last minute to ask for an extension. He proposed the night he and I argued about getting married and told me the next day he compromised on the way he wanted to propose and that he felt forced to do it that night. A month later he does not want to make any sort of plans for the wedding and says we are still not ready yet and should not plan until we are ready to get married. To him, this means "30 to 60 days of consistent improvement" in areas he wants to work on (communication, our individual goals, getting a house, fitness, etc). 

I feel terrible that he felt forced to propose. I also feel like we are not really engaged because we have one foot in and the other out- he said he wants to marry me but doesn't know if it will happen (because all of the things he wants to work on have not been addressed to his satisfaction). Am I overreacting to feel like my engagement is a sham? How to I make this right?

Background: I am 28 and my FI is 44. Neither of us have been married before or have kids. We have been together almost 4 years. We separated for 3 months (I broke up with him) and then got back together 6 months ago. We discussed marriage multiple times over the course of our relationship and I was upfront about wanting to get married and have kids in the beginning of the relationship. I left because I was tired of waiting and didn't think he was going to ever propose. He kept insisting I was forcing it. In hindsight we were both right- I was forcing it a little and he was dragging his feet. 

Detailed version:
When we got back together I told him we needed to decide if we were going to move forward and get married or call it quits for good. He agreed, but listed things we had to work on such as communication, personal goals, fitness etc. We set a deadline for us to decide on whether we were getting married.

I compromised on the deadline (one extra month) and compromised on moving back in before we were engaged. We looked at rings a month before our deadline and I thought all was well. 10 days before our deadline, he still had not talked to my parents.  I had a frank discussion with him, telling him I felt like getting engaged wasn't a priority. He kept telling me I didn't believe he loved me and I needed to just let things happen; the deadline was stupid because we still hadn't resolved the list of things he wanted to work on yet. I told him we were actively working on things and that after almost four years, we should know if we wanted to get married. 

That night he asked if the only way for him to prove he loved me was to propose. I said yes, because I did not realize he meant that night; I thought he meant by our deadline. Later that night he proposed. It was beautiful and sweet, but the next day he said he felt like he was forced because he thought if he didn't ask me that night I would break up with him again and he compromised the way he wanted to do it. He was especially upset he didn't ask my parents. I apologized and asked if he wanted to forget it happened and have a "do over" later, He said no. 

A month later, he does not want to talk about wedding planning at all. He insists we are putting  the cart before the horse and need to work on things before we plan the wedding. He said he knows he wants to marry me, but doesn't know if it will happen because of me. I gave examples of everything I've done to work towards resolving the issues he felt we had, and then he said it had to be a joint effort. He said after 30-60 days of improvement we can start planning our wedding.

I know he loves me and I feel terrible that he felt forced to propose. I also feel like we are engaged with one foot out the door.How do I reconcile this? Am I overreacting to think he doesn't really want to marry me? 

Re: Fiance Said He Didn't Want To Propose

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Wedding planning needs to be on hold. He doesn't want to marry you right now. As for how long you should wait until he does, only you can decide that.

    I would stop wedding planning, stop "marriage talk," and see what happens. If in a couple months nothing seems different from him,  I would probably move on. I understand needing to work on things, but the fitness one is kind of a red flag for me, too. It's just a weird reason to not be ready to move forward with planning. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • Get out. He doesn't want to be married so give him what he wants.

    Stop trying to plan a future with him. What's next? You're pregnant and he's not happy you tricked him into it? Get out now before you have more baggage.
  • I agree with PPs, if he truly wanted to marry you he would do so now and not after certain items are "worked out."  He shouldn't want to fashion you into someone he deems worthy of marrying, he should actually be jumping for joy that you find him worthy of you!! I am another one who wasted too much time on someone in the past.  It hurt like hell to walk away but now that I have met my FI I am so glad I did.  This is no way to live your life or start a marriage.  Walking on eggshells is no fun and it is not fair to you.  Sometimes love is simply not enough.  I had to learn that lesson the hard way.  You are still so young, go out and explore and enjoy your life.  The right guy for you will come along and he will be everything you have ever wished for and more!!

    I found talking to a counselor and reading the book There Goes The Bride by Rachel Safier really helped me make my decision to move on. 

    Take care!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker



  • I have to agree with the majority of posters--this isn't a good situation. You have an uneasy feeling for a REASON; he doesn't want to be married. And you shouldn't have to feel like you need to marry someone who isn't 110% ready for a lifetime of being with you.

    Honestly, I would get out of this relationship now. Because best case scenario--like, if he changed his mind a year down the road and was suddenly okay with marriage--you'd still have this uneasy feeling within you, knowing that there was a loooooong time where he just didn't want to propose.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited January 2016
    OP, I don't think this is personal on your FI's part.  It isn't that he doesn't want to be married to YOU.  He doesn't want to be married to ANYBODY!
    He is 44 years old and has never been married?  I would be wondering why not.  If you two are right together, he should be begging you to marry him.

    I think you need to find a man who wants the same things that you want.  You have the wrong guy.  I spent four years with the wrong man who was commitment shy.  When DH and I got back together after a nine year separation, he proposed in FOUR DAYS.  We will have been married 40 years in June.

    Dump him and run, honey!
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