I never realized how important marriage was to me until my ex told me he never wanted to get married. It’s not like I thought we were on our way to wedded bliss anytime soon or anything, but knowing that he was entirely against the idea of ever making that kind of commitment to me was like a kick in the teeth.
I knew he loved me but it wasn’t enough.
We’d been together for three years and I wanted to take our relationship to the next level, whether that involved moving in together or getting engaged.
I didn’t want to waste my time.
He never really spoke about marriage and it was starting to worry me. I didn’t want to end up at a dead-end with this guy and I was especially worried about it because he seemed too happy to go with the flow.
I brought it up and got more than I bargained for.
One day, we were having dinner together and I just couldn’t keep my questions inside any longer. I asked him if he ever saw our relationship moving to another level. He said he thought moving in together would be great because we were so happy together. That made me happy, but I felt the need to press him further about where he saw our future going. I mean, moving in together was great, but it wasn’t the same as getting married. Besides, he said we’d live together “soon” but he didn’t seem like he wanted to commit to when that would happen.
I asked him what his thoughts on marriage were.
He took a gulp of wine and then exhaled. Oh no. He looked like I’d asked him to have a root canal without anesthesia. What the heck was going on? He told me he wasn’t the marrying kind. What did that even mean? I’ve always hated when guys say that they don’t think they can get married. It always makes me wonder if they’re saying that because they can’t commit to one person.
Even though he didn’t want to marry me, he still loved me.
Look, I didn’t doubt that he wanted to be with me and that he had strong feelings for me, but I also knew that I wanted to marry the person I was in a LTR with. I didn’t want to get stuck in a phase before marriage, such as living together, or dating like a new couple.
I told him I didn’t want to get stuck.
He said we didn’t need a marriage certificate to validate our love. I totally agreed with him, but for the first time in my life I was viewing marriage completely differently.
I realized how much I’d lost.
Now that the chance to get married to the man I loved was being taken away from me, I realized how much I actually wanted to get married. It was similar to how if someone told me that I could never have guavas again I’d want them even though I don’t really like them that much when they’re available to me.
We wanted different things.
Neither of us wanted to budge on how we felt. My boyfriend told me straight that he would never change his mind and want to get married. I didn’t want to judge him unfairly, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit paranoid that he just didn’t want to marry me.
I wanted more.
I realized that what he was giving me wasn’t enough, and I felt guilty for it. I thought back to the story of one of my friends whose boyfriend had told her that if they didn’t have kids he’d leave her and find someone who wanted a family. I had said the guy was totally unfair to do that. But now I realized I was quite similar to him and it freaked me out. I knew I wasn’t trying to be controlling, though.
I couldn’t push my feelings away.
I knew that I couldn’t just smile and kiss my boyfriend, acting like everything was okay. It wasn’t. I wanted marriage and he didn’t want to get married. He wanted a woman who was fine with living together but not taking that leap, and I wasn’t able to give him that. We couldn’t compromise on this, it was too big of an issue.
I battled with guilt for a long time.
I felt selfish, like I was putting my needs above his. I felt bad, like I wasn’t appreciating the love we shared and I was putting too many expectations on my partner. But as time went on, I knew that if I had to go along with the relationship plan that he wanted, I would never be happy. Living by someone else’s rules is a crappy way to live.
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