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Help me understand this - proposal

(153 Posts)
CoffeeThroughAnIvDrip Mon 07-Oct-19 14:10:04

DP and I have been together many years and have 3 young DC’s together.
When we first started dating, we had a light hearted chat about weddings, and way back then, I was still romanticising the idea of the ‘big white wedding’. I used to dream of a designer dress and matching shoes, a huge array of guests, just a massive deal made out of it all. DP was never of the same view, and stated he didn’t see the point in wasting so much money on one day, and thought people should just cheaply elope or have a registry office do instead.

As the years past (and DC’s added to our family) I ‘woke up’ and realised that I no longer wanted that big wedding, that marriage itself was way more important to me than the wedding day (as it should be!), and I ended up telling DP about how my views had changed and had become much more, simple, for lack of a better word.

Another year or so went by, with each of us talking about engagements and weddings and marriage (not always prompted by me!), and we still wasn’t engaged and no closer to being so.
One evening, after yet another talk about getting engaged, I was browsing rings online. Found one I fell in love with, and we ordered it.

It then came to light that DP’s views on weddings had changed since we first met. He’s now no longer comfortable with the idea of a registry office wedding or eloping, and instead wants something small with just close friends and family at a little venue close to our home. He wants our DC’s included in the ceremony, a car to arrive in etc - so quite the backtrack on what I’d been told years ago!

Anyway, the ring has now been sitting in our bedroom for four months. I’ve told DP I don’t want a huge deal made out of the proposal, I don’t want the thrills or the surprise (not that I’m going to be surprised in any way, shape or form since we already have the ring!), I don’t want elaborate planning having gone in to it, I just want us to be able to sit down and say ‘yes, we’re committed to each other, we’re now engaged and we’re going to knuckle down and start saving for a small wedding’. Done. That’s all I want and need. But dp has been insistent on doing something ‘proper’ for the proposal - apparently he WANTS to propose and experience the moment of doing it, and not just decide we’re engaged after a conversation.

So, we agreed no money would be put in to the proposal, because I think something lovely and romantic can be done at home, if the romance and that ‘moment’ is what he really wants to experience, he can definitely create that in our lounge (cheap flowers, a nice home cooked dinner, my favourite music playing, ask me to marry him, boom, sorted).
4 months I’ve been waiting (well, 4 months of having the ring, but I’ve actually been waiting years by this point), wondering what he could possibly be planning that couldn’t have happened since the ring arrived in June.

Well, it was my birthday last week. DP got me some amazing gifts which I’m so thankful for, got me a lovely card from the DC’s, but I didn’t receive a card from him. He knows I love to get a card from him, but is notorious for writing them out then misplacing them (he literally has a stack of birthday, Christmas and valentines cards that he never gets round to giving me because he always forgets where they end up 🙄 he also has stacks for his mum and his sister too!) but this morning, whilst sorting through our washing and putting some bits away, I came across an envelope in his sock drawer that appeared to have a birthday card inside, addressed to me. Given his history with cards, I assumed this was yet another card he’d forgotten about, so I opened it.

The card on the front read ‘to my fiancé on your birthday’, inside he’d written a birthday message then at the bottom wrote ‘now it’s official’.

I’m so confused and frankly, quite upset. We’ve had so many talks about engagement and marriage, especially over the last year, he knows I don’t want a fuss made and am more than happy to have a ‘no huge expenditure, no thrills’ proposal and an equally cheap wedding day, so to learn he was going to propose last week at home, likely after we’d got the DC’s to bed (perfect! No fuss!) is like a slap round the face to discover that for some reason, he’s chosen not to do it.

I don’t know what to think or feel.

(Please don’t comment about how precarious my situation is having dc before marriage. I am aware of the ramifications should we ever break up - so I’m not looking to be hounded at from that perspective.)

Just looking to see if anyone can unpick this trail of events and maybe help give me an insight in to what he’s thinking. I do plan on speaking to him at some point about what I’ve found, but wanted to offload on here first!


Aussiebean Mon 07-Oct-19 14:14:05

Could this be his no frills proposal? Putting the card where he thought you would find it?

It’s fine for him to change his mind btw. You did.

Ounce Mon 07-Oct-19 14:14:13

You mean - you really can't tell that he doesn't want to marry you?

How much more evidence do you want? confused

CoffeeThroughAnIvDrip Mon 07-Oct-19 14:18:34

Of course it's fine for him to change his mind, but I deserve to know if that's the case, surely?

And if he has changed his mind, why bother buying and writing out that card? It wasn't there a week or so before my birthday, so had been bought fairly recently. And if these are thoughts he's been dealing with for some time, then why agree to buy a ring? It makes no sense to me.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 07-Oct-19 14:21:26

You mean - you really can't tell that he doesn't want to marry you?
Sorry but I have to agree with this!

Are you financially dependent on him?
Do you work?
Do you own your home?
Is your name on the deeds?
Does he have a will?

ConfCall Mon 07-Oct-19 14:22:51

Changing his mind about the type of wedding he wants is fine. It’s natural to want to do something special and small, with the kids present, I think.

I can’t say whether he’s committed to you or not, no one can. You need to bite the bullet and tell him that you’d like to book something this week so that a date is in place. His reaction will be telling. I really hope it’s positive. Don’t let him prevaricate though - if there’s no wedding date, the ring and all the fine words are meaningless.

CoffeeThroughAnIvDrip Mon 07-Oct-19 14:27:34

I don't work no, currently a SAHM. We rent, but it's in my name and I'm the one that deals with all the correspondence with the estate agents, and I'm written in to his will.

I'd enjoy a small wedding with our DC's and close family included, of course, but I'd be equally happy just the two of us popping to the registry office. I don't mind that he's changed his mind regarding what kind of wedding he wants, but I have to admit, when he come out and told me that his views were now different, it did almost feel like it was stalling technique.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 07-Oct-19 14:29:06

He doesn't want to do it. Whether that's ever, or yet, or that he's not ready, nobody can say. All you can say is that he doesn't want to do it yet.

All you can do is talk to him, and really listen. Because his words have been right all along, but his actions are saying that he doesn't want to do this right now.

CoffeeThroughAnIvDrip Mon 07-Oct-19 14:34:40

It's just really messed with my head.

He's not the type of person to say things for the sake of it. I've had messages from him while he's been at work, showing images of suits he likes the look of, or a certain type of table decor he knows I like. We'll be out with the DC's, having a completely normal conversation, and he'll throw in something about marriage.

If it was me, and I had done a complete 180 on the idea of getting engaged and married, I certainly wouldn't bring up wedding and marriage talks of my own accord, I'd visibly cringe when someone else did, and I sure as hell wouldn't agree to a ring purchase with a plan to propose on a birthday.

I don't get it. I can't make heads or tails of it all.

IncrediblySadToo Mon 07-Oct-19 14:34:45

I think he’s just being daft and wanting to make some grand gesture and romantic proposal - but it’s all a bit bolting the stable door!

Just tell him that you want to sit down & set a date for the wedding and discuss how you’d both like the day to be. You’re already engaged, he’s missed the opportunity to surprise you (tell him that’s so out of date anyway, you’re not dripping around after him waiting to be asked).

Mermaidsinthesand Mon 07-Oct-19 14:36:09

Who writes stacks if cards but misplaces them? You live in a 12 bed mansion OP?

He doesn't want to marry you, going along with it to keep the peace

IncrediblySadToo Mon 07-Oct-19 14:36:15

Or just put the card on the mantle and start wearing the ring!

CreamJug Mon 07-Oct-19 14:36:35

I don’t think it’s necessarily the case he doesn’t want to marry you. Maybe it just struck him that after three children and longterm committed cohabitation with years of discussions of marriage and weddings, a proposal would be completely ridiculous, like asking someone on a first date when you’ve been a couple for 20 years. Isn’t it perfectly possible he intended to give you this card and misplaced it, as you say he has a habit of forgetting or losing cards?

SeekingShade Mon 07-Oct-19 14:39:43

Definitely card on mantle, ring on finger, see what he says

CoffeeThroughAnIvDrip Mon 07-Oct-19 14:40:32

How he misplaces so many cards is beyond me, and to be fair, it's not just cards that he loses. He's forever asking me where things are in the house, he'll spend half an hour trying to find something then I'll walk in the room and literally point right at whatever it was he was trying to find.

I guess it is plausible that this was yet another card that he couldn't find again, but, he would've known when he came home from work that day what was written on and in that card. If he couldn't find it, he surely would've proposed with out it anyway?

anothernamejeeves Mon 07-Oct-19 14:40:55

Can I ask if you both knew you wanted marriage why you kept having children before?

littleorangecat22 Mon 07-Oct-19 14:42:40

did he have second thoughts because he thought propsing on your birthday might be making more of a thing about it than you wanted?

BigFatLiar Mon 07-Oct-19 14:43:15

You say he has a pile of cards written and not sent. Sounds like he's got this one ready put it down and forgot just like all the others.

You've agreed on engagement (and presumably marriage at some point), have the ring so why have any sort of gesture? Why not just accept you've become engaged.

CoffeeThroughAnIvDrip Mon 07-Oct-19 14:43:43

Another - I guess because I assumed it would just happen at some point given how often we spoke about it. I especially thought it would've happened by now since I dropped the whole 'let's have a crazy expensive wedding' malarkey, and said I'd be ok with nipping to the registry office.

PullingMySocksUp Mon 07-Oct-19 14:44:20

Perhaps he bought the card but then didn’t feel like he agreed with the sentiment.
I don’t think he wants to get married. I think you need to make sure you aren’t left being vulnerable here. Can you go back to work?

PlasticPatty Mon 07-Oct-19 14:46:35

As you have the card and the ring, I'd say yes, get them out, put the card on display, wear the ring. Then when he notices say "And the wedding date is?" If he won't say, there and then, tell him to pack his bags and jog on, and mean it.

You'll be entitled to child support, I suppose, and the house is rented in your name. So not the end of the world if he has to go.

Give it a whirl. You might end up married.

But... do you want to marry a man who is so reluctant?

CreamJug Mon 07-Oct-19 14:47:19

But whatever about the card, OP, the fact is, you’re already engaged. You’ve agreed you’re going to marry, and you’ve already bought a ring. Not that jewellery is necessary — I don’t have either an engagement or a wedding ring — but there doesn’t seem to be anything to wait for. You’re engaged. Congratulations. Now plan your wedding and get on with it.

melissasummerfield Mon 07-Oct-19 14:47:28

you sound so controlling, why are you dictating how he proposes after you bought your own ring?!

This is such a weird scenario confused

CoffeeThroughAnIvDrip Mon 07-Oct-19 14:47:57

Regarding it being done on my birthday - it's another thing I can't grasp...

We've always, from day one, both agreed that birthday/Christmas/NYE/Valentines proposals were a bit of a cop out in terms of planning, and we BOTH eyeroll every Christmas Day when we have a look on Facebook and see yet another couple have got engaged. We're of the mindset that a totally random day is much nicer to propose on (I appreciate its each to their own, and if a birthday or NYE proposal is something you like, then fair enough!) so at what point he changed his mind, then changed it back again, I really do not bloody know!

ElloBrian Mon 07-Oct-19 14:48:20

He doesn’t know what he wants and he’s equivocating. He knows what life is like now and so perhaps at the back of his mind there a question about whether marriage is necessary, or ‘why change if things are good already?’ There is no push factor - he’s already got the happy family life - so maybe he’s struggling a bit to get on with it because he doesn’t feel a need to.

It sounds as though you’ve been careful not to put too much pressure on him - but has that perhaps given him the impression that it’s not a huge priority for you either? Does he really know clearly how important this is to you?

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