Welcome back for another Wedding Wednesday! Last week I recapped how Will and I met. Now I am going to share one of the most trying times in our relationship … the time we DIDN’T get engaged. I feel like this time was just as important for us as the time we did get engaged.
While I was hesitant to go on our first date, once I did we were inseparable. We went from 0 to 60 in no time. I don’t necessarily recommend this but it was just what happened for us. We coasted through year one and on our two-year anniversary Will asked me to go look at rings with him. I will say, this caught me a little off guard but I went. He got an idea for my style and we had fun. That was June 2013. We got engaged December 2014. And somewhere in between I had a MAJOR meltdown.
Will and I started dating in June 2011. Will has two best friends, one who met his girlfriend in May 2011 and one who met his girlfriend in July 2011. That was a good summer for those guys.
By the time we even looked at rings in 2013 both those couples were engaged. It didn’t really bother me. Will and I had grown up very differently I thought the extra time was what we needed to make sure we could really be on the same page.
About a month after we looked at rings I got a job offer in New York. Even though we weren’t engaged I knew I was going to marry this man and I wasn’t going to take this job unless he was going with me. While we were discussing it he mentioned that he had planned to propose by the end of the year but wasn’t quite ready and didn’t really want to move together unless we were engaged. I thought this was reasonable and with other reasons I turned down the job.
Well the end of 2013 came and went and no proposal. A few months in to 2014 and both those couples were married already. At their weddings, while Will was off doing groomsman duties I was left to field a million questions about why we weren’t engaged. And to smile awkwardly when his mom would introduce me as her daughter-in-law and people would look at my hand. No ring.
We reached our three year anniversary in June of 2014 and I was starting to get really upset. We had bought a house and moved in together. We had both turned down jobs and accepted jobs based on the other’s opinion and life. He had said he was going to do this. He knew I wanted a spring wedding so if he didn’t do it soon I couldn’t have my spring 2015 wedding.
The problem was I didn’t communicate any of this to him. I just kept pretending it was fine. While inside I felt very taken advantage of and disrespected. Did he think I would just wait forever? Was it right for me to have turned down multiple jobs for this person? Did he not want to marry me?
The final straw came in August. One of my dear friends, who has already been married and divorced, got engaged. When she called to tell me she knew I would be happy for her but also deeply upset that she was getting married AGAIN, before I was engaged. She was so sweet and thoughtful but as soon as I got off the phone with her I burst in to tears. When I told Will I could see that he knew their engagement was making wheels turn in my head but he didn’t say anything. And I lost it.
I had a full melt down. I yelled at him. I cried. I demanded an explanation on what in the hell he was waiting for. I was angry. And he made it worse by saying very little except “you just have to trust me.” Well I had been doing that for over three years and that wasn’t working for me anymore. So I grabbed my keys and left and stayed with a friend for the night. That is the only night in over five years now we haven’t resolved a fight the same day it happens.
When I did come home after work the next day I had written a very long letter about why I was upset, how I felt taken for granted and that if he didn’t figure it out soon he was going to lose me. I gave him a time frame he had to propose by or I was leaving. It was a very eloquent “shit or get off the pot.”
He apologized. He truly felt awful. He didn’t remember ever making the by the end of the year comment and he felt terrible. He promised me he was working on it but anything else would give away something he wanted to be a surprise. I apologized for not being more open that I wanted to be engaged. That I had been ready for a while. Our failure to communicate on this was both our faults and it caused the biggest fight we have ever had.
It took us a few weeks to get back in the groove. We had both hurt with our words and our silence.
But we learned so much about our relationship, how strong it is, how we have to communicate openly and often and how much we didn’t want to lose each other. This non-engagement was just as important as the engagement that followed a few months later.
We were professional bridal party members/wedding guests before we ever got engaged.
If we could do it all over again we would be agree that we would like to be married much sooner than our five-year anniversary. But that is what happened. And because of the delay we ended up with some wonderful details we wouldn’t have had if we got married sooner. And I can’t wait to share those soon!
As a fun continuation… that same couple who got engaged and sent me in to a tail spin just announced they are pregnant with their first child! My friend’s husband knows what his proposal caused so he called and preemptively apologized to Will if their pregnancy caused the same thing. It didn’t. I am so not ready for that! But it still made us all laugh. I am glad that the most trying time in our relationship is something we can openly laugh at now.