A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!

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yaktrekker Posts : 9 Registered: 8/28/08
A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 2, 2011 12:04 PM

Alright, I just needed somewhere to express my excitement about my "deadline" coming up soon!

Quick stats: I'm 27, he's 45. We've been together for almost 4 years & have lived together for 2 and a half.

Last year on May 12th my boyfriend, when I asked him, told me that he would need a year before he would feel comfortable getting engaged. Not because he didn't love me enough, not because he wasn't sure that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and not because he had any issues with being committed to me.

The problems then, and still, are that he was married before and had a horrible time with that relationship, he has a 19 year old son and doesn't truly desire any more children, and he has worked hard for what he has and doesn't want to give up his life long dreams if things ever got difficult financially (he's a small business owner and relies on himself). Basically, he needed time to wrap his mind around the fact that he was going to have to make some compromises to his currently "perfect" life if he wanted to keep me around.

Ok. I accepted that and have managed to not take it personally. We all have our hang ups. But as time went on I started to get nervous. What was I going to do if he got through that year and then decided he couldn't do it?

And here's my personal answer to the whole "what do you do after you set your own personal deadline so you don't lose your freakin' mind?" question:

I made an alternate option that is JUST AS EXCITING as getting engaged. Not a plan that would be just OK. Not a Plan B based on getting back out there to be available for marriage minded men. Not a second choice that's disappointing. No. I had to think to myself, "Ok, if I was single and could do absolutely anything, what would I be doing?". And then I made that my plan.

So in May something wonderful is going to happen for me no matter what my boyfriend decides to do. I will either be getting engaged to a man I love, trust, and respect more than anyone else in my life OR I'll be moving out of the midwest and on to a new adventure. When I think about both of these options I get equally as excited and nervous about each of them. I know my life is going to be great no matter what he chooses to do in May, and that feels amazing.

Do I want to get married and start my family ASAP? Yes of course. But after 7 years of being obsessed with getting married and being a mommy and then realizing that life doesn't happen the way you plan....I'm ok if none of that happens right now. I'm ok with letting the universe or God or fate decide what happens next. I can only control my own actions and reactions, I can't make anybody marry me and I can't expect that I'm going to get pregnant exactly one year after my wedding like I'd want. So until May I'm going to try and relax.

To all the other ladies out there waiting, best of luck to you as well. I hope you find your adventure whether you marry the guy you're with now or not. If I'd married the first guy I got engaged to when I was 21 years old I don't think I'd like my life nearly as much. So you never know what good can come from things you think are terrible right now. Don't spend your life living in the future and being upset about what isn't happening in the moment. Take it from one who has made this mistake for waaaay too long.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 2, 2011 1:01 PM Go to message in response to: yaktrekker

YT - Good for you! Sounds like you have a good plan in place! Good luck with whatever life decides to throw at you! :-)

 

 

 

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 2, 2011 1:17 PM Go to message in response to: yaktrekker

Dear YT,

Good for you. I sincerely hope it all goes well for you.

" and doesn't truly desire any more children"

" I can't expect that I'm going to get pregnant exactly one year after my wedding"

You have two fundamentally different plans for childbearing. In this there is no room for compromise. You can't have "half a kid" and you can't be parents "half a year". Having a kid is Boolean: You either do or don't.

I'll add this: I am the mom of two adult children. Your boyfriend is about 10 years younger than I am, and his son is about 10 years younger than my twin sons. At that point in my life, I would have GONE OUT AND SHOT MYSELF had I been faced with another baby. When I was 45, having another baby would have been a personal disaster. At that point in my life, having already raised children (and survived!!!) I had no desire whatsoever for another baby.

Suggestion: If you were to feel, today, that marriage is not in the cards for you and your boyfriend, why not cut to the chase and make the move now? I know you are still hoping for marriage, but take some time to yourself and give it some deep thought.

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 3, 2011 11:18 AM Go to message in response to: yaktrekker

I am actually proud of you for being excited about your deadline! You're at a good age to make that major change, and it is life changing when you do it. No matter what.

However, Aunt is right....if you really want a child, this is something that is a fundamental issue. And you're also right--he's looking at this time to see if he is willing to have more children. (He may not be...and that's not anything to reflect upon how he feels about you, which I think you know)

Great positive attitude here!

Misty

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jbear Posts : 73 Registered: 9/18/06
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 3, 2011 10:40 PM Go to message in response to: yaktrekker

I am REALLY proud of you for being so strong and figuring out a plan for your life that works either way. That's amazing, and says a lot about you :) I've been there... and I absolutely know how hard it is. I wasn't that tough...

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yaktrekker Posts : 9 Registered: 8/28/08
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 4, 2011 10:55 AM Go to message in response to: Aunt

Aunt,

Sorry, didn't clarify. I know we can't have "half a kid". :) He and I have talked in depth and at length about this issue and our compromise is one kid, assuming we can have a kid and that we don't end up with twins. I would have normally wanted the option of having 2 or 3 but I can see that one is just fine for us and our lifestyle as a couple.

But I do know that at his age it will be very challenging for him to have another baby thrown into the mix. He's thinking about how he wants to spend his free time and the money he's saved up and I'm thinking about starting a whole new family. But it's something we've discussed and worked through together. We've made some decisions about how we plan to raise any child we may have and I understand that the majority of the care taking will be on my shoulders for the first few years because it's something that I really want.

Will I still expect him to change diapers and watch the baby sometimes? Of course. But I won't expect him to be ecstatic about the crying or pooping or financial stresses that are going to come along as part of the package. It's just not who he is and he's been honest about it. I love him for his honesty and realistic outlook on life. Better he tell me now than after the fact.

Maybe that sounds a little archaic to some people or like a crazy compromise. I know if I heard or read someone else saying any of that I would definitely tell them they should leave and find a man who shares the same goals and desires to start a family. But it is what it is. I really love this person and we have grown a lot together as a couple over the last four years. He compromises certain things to be with me and I compromise certain things to be with him. It's real life.

If we end up getting married then I have faith that our family will be exactly what it's supposed to be. If we don't end up getting married then I suppose I can start thinking about finding a different partner who shares some of the same goals that I have for a different future.

But until May, I'm enjoying the comforts of our home and our love and we'll see what happens when the time comes.

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 4, 2011 12:24 PM Go to message in response to: yaktrekker

That's good that you guys came to a compromise for if you do decide to get married and have any children, but this was something I just don't understand:

We've made some decisions about how we plan to raise any child we may have and I understand that the majority of the care taking will be on my shoulders for the first few years because it's something that I really want.

That's not right, BOTH parents should equally be taking care of the child. What if it's not always possible for you to be the caretaker? Is he only going to take care of the child when it's convenient for him? You said you both have already been making compromises for each other because it's apart of life, but guess what? Having a child you have to as well, and not just for deciding rather to have a child or not, it's for the whole rest of your lives.

Will I still expect him to change diapers and watch the baby sometimes? Of course.

This is something I will NEVER understand. Watch the baby +sometimes+? It's his kid too, why should he only watch the baby sometimes? If you have to work and he's home, but doesn't feel like watching the kid are you going to get a babysitter?

But I won't expect him to be ecstatic about the crying or pooping or financial stresses that are going to come along as part of the package.

I don't think anyone, no matter how bad they want to have a kid, is exciting about pooping and financial stress. But it's apart of being a parent. If you decide to have a baby, no matter which parent wanted it more badly, this is something BOTH parents need to step up for. And it's only going to get harder when the kid gets older.

Edited by: FutureMrsDJLeo on Apr 4, 2011 12:25 PM

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yaktrekker Posts : 9 Registered: 8/28/08
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 4, 2011 8:28 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Meh, I suppose there's no truly effective way to explain some things to people who don't know me at all.

I get what you're saying, honestly, and I get how it all sounds when it's written in a forum like this without any back story or personal understanding of one another.

But just for the record, and b/c I can't resist a response, I like to think of it this way: Everybody is good at different things and when two people who are very good at very different things come together and form a bond, it can be a great thing for everybody. Difficult or frustrating at times, yes. But to me it's a relief to have clearly defined roles instead of stepping on each other's toes trying to do "equal parts" of the same jobs just so we can feel thoroughly modern and liberated.

When we choose to spend our time engaging in different tasks it's not a slap in the face to one another at all. We're both pulling our weight in the household and in the relationship. We just find that it works better for us if we take care of different elements of the shared responsibility. That's why I'm confident that there won't be resentment if we raise a child together in such a seemingly "split" manner.

We each understand what we're good at and we're happy with it. We support each other. We encourage each other. We pitch in where we can with things that are out of our personal comfort zones if we have to. But we understand our different brains and our different preferences and then we try really hard to repair the situation if we ever do feel misunderstood or like something's unfair.

At the end of the day we know that there is love and trust and plenty of affection. If the relationship does end then I'll know it was because this truly was not in the best interest of everyone involved (future child included). I would be sad, but I trust that my bf knows himself well enough to make the best decision. If he believes he can handle the future as we've discussed it then he'll marry me. If he believes that he won't be able to handle it in a way that would be healthy and happy for everyone, then he won't marry me. I have to respect that. I know that I'm ready to marry him but it obviously takes two and I certainly want him to be a willing and happy partner in the deal, not dragged by the collar or manipulated into it.

Which is why I'm waiting him out until the "bitter end". I asked how long he needed to make a decision and he told me "a year". I agreed to it. Therefore, he deserves the whole year. If that means he waits until midnight on the very last day of that year then so be it.

I could choose to view that as an insult or as him stubbornly holding out but, after talking with him about it, I really do believe that he's using every last moment to give this the weighted thought and consideration that a major life decision such as this deserves. Whatever decision he makes, I know it will be serious, heart-felt, and final. Which makes it comforting if it's a "no" and incredibly romantic and secure if it's a "yes".

So, to everyone who doesn't get why on earth anyone would put up with such a mismatched relationship and then wait a whole year for an answer about marriage ...sorry. It's really hard to explain without sounding weird or offensive.

And to everybody who's offered support, thanks so much for taking the time to do so.

It's gonna be interesting. But that's the fun of life. It's not as black and white as we like to try and make it sometimes. Sometimes our hearts fall in love before our minds have a fair chance to analyze everything and break up the party.

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Apr 4, 2011 11:13 PM Go to message in response to: yaktrekker

Dear YT,

" We just find that it works better for us if we take care of different elements of the shared responsibility."

My husband and I do a lot of that. We think it inefficient for both to be involved in everything. For example, I do the taxes but he maintains the cars.

You are still young and still have a lot of options should your boyfriend decide to part ways with you. I don't have a problem with waiting it out another few weeks.

You have your options clearly defined. Stick with your plan.

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ggbella Posts : 2 Registered: 6/10/11
Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
Posted: Jun 10, 2011 1:14 PM Go to message in response to: Aunt

yaktrekker, since May has passed now, any update for us?

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Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
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Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
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Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
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Re: A little over a month left before my "deadline"...yikes!
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