From the forums:
At first, he told me he didn’t have the money, and I was understanding of this. However, he went out and purchased a drum kit (we are in a band together) a few months ago that cost FAR more than my ring. He even lied to his family and told them he had already got me a ring to avoid “awkward conversation” with his family about not having one!
This is all very upsetting. He bought the drum kit instead of a ring and this was even while I was pregnant (he proposed before I got pregnant). We ended up having a miscarriage. I feel as if I am going insane. We have a loving relationship and have been with each other for two years, so I do not understand why this is happening or why he is acting selfishly. I don’t care if the ring is five bucks — it’s simply an important symbol to me. I even gave him the option to break off the engagement (I assumed he no longer wanted to get married as he will not set a date or help plan) but he refused to do that. He talks about getting married all the time, but it is a lot of talk and no action, which has left me very, very confused.
I love the man, but I am trying to figure out how I am going to deal with someone who cannot be financially sound, as I am incredibly frugal. Help! — Engaged, But Still No Ring
A man — or woman, for that matter — who won’t set a wedding date, won’t help plan for the wedding, and can’t commit to buying even a $5 ring despite his partner’s repeated requests for one, doesn’t really want to get married. All he really wants is for you to be off the market so someone else can’t snatch you up. This “engagement” is nothing more than a place holder, holding you in place so you don’t wander off.
This isn’t about money; this is about a fear of commitment and a fear of losing something valuable. More than wanting to marry you, your boyfriend just doesn’t want to lose you/ be alone. In his mind, as long as there’s talk about a wedding, you have reason to stick with him. But the second he puts a ring on your finger or sets a date or starts making solid plans, things start getting real. And he doesn’t actually want the reality of a marriage. Not yet, anyway.
If I were you, I’d call off the engagement, which is as simple as telling your boyfriend you aren’t engaged anymore. And then tell him that if he wants to try again, he better have a ring for you and be prepared to marry you immediately (not that you have to get married immediately, but he should be prepared to, just in case). And if you’re someone who is anxious to settle down, decide how long you’re willing to wait for the commitment you want and, if you don’t get it by whatever date you decide is your deadline, then MOA.
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Sophronisba March 25, 2013, 9:44 am
WWS, and please take steps to see you don’t fall pregnant again for now.
Amber March 25, 2013, 12:05 pm
Pretty sure she didn’t ask for advice on whether to procreate or not.
convexed March 25, 2013, 11:21 pm
I feel like the subtext of that is ‘please consider the engagement endangered (if not over) and be careful of doing anything to further entangle yourself or add complicating factors’. Which yes, for most people would include conceiving another child with the man, but maybe would also include: don’t order a dress or pick venues. Don’t renew your lease with him, don’t buy furniture together, etc, until you have a ring and a plan to get married. It’s looking dubious right now, so start scaling back your investment to make the getting clean and easy when it’s time to walk.
Fabelle March 25, 2013, 9:51 am
Yeah, WWS. And I think someone in the forums may have gotten it right—something about how this guy probably just proposed to get his parents/others off his back? Either way, it’s clear he doesn’t want to actually take steps towards getting married.
MMcG March 25, 2013, 4:45 pm
I think that was me… (pause while I feel the rush of internet adrenaline rush over me)!! 🙂
I was trying not to be too harsh in the forums, and I actually hadn’t thought about it in the placeholder context that Wendy references, but either way it is NOT a good sign and the LW needs to get back to taking care of #1, not bending over backwards for a guy who is not even attempting to represent himself honestly in the relationship. Takes a special kind of immature asshole to propose and not mean it.
pamplemousse March 25, 2013, 9:51 am
WWS, what Sophronisba said, and also, if you decide not to MOA, please sit down with you boyfriend and have a serious talk about finances. It sounds like you two spend money very differently and that is an important conversation to have before marriage. What happens if you two get married and you spend all of your time being frugal and saving money for the future, while he just randomly drops a chunk of change on something frivolous? I’m not saying one approach to finances is better than the other, but you need to figure out now how you will handle that difference once you are married.
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 10:27 am
LW- in the forums you ask “how big of a deal is the money issue?” My answer is- it’s a big f-ing deal. Seriously, google #1 cause of divorce; every article says financial. You can have slightly different spending habits, but y’all sound worlds apart.
And sorry, in my opinion you need to be actively planning a wedding to be engaged. Even a wedding that is 3 years off, but concrete plans need to be being made.
katie March 25, 2013, 10:34 am
i agree that the money issue is a big deal… but i guess in this case its almost like, a secondary problem? the guy doesnt even want to marry her! you cant figure out money differences with a potential husband if there is no potential husband, you know what i mean?
LW, i would tackle the commitment first, then tackle finances. a big part of being able to deal with finances together is the desire to be together.
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 10:40 am
I would do it in the reverse, haha. In my mind there is no point in tackling the marriage conversation when there is a huge road block like mismatched financial goals/expectations/lifestyles in the way. Either way- this doesn’t seem like a great marraige to enter into.
katie March 25, 2013, 10:50 am
it really is a circular argument.
i guess i see it as if you are financially different (which most people are), but committed to your partner/the relationship you will be able to work it out and compromise. but you cant compromise with someone who you arent committed to. but you cant commit to someone who you cant compromise with.
well there you go. lol
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 11:12 am
Yup, circular. What ever way you slice it though, something is off in this relationship.
lets_be_honest March 25, 2013, 12:09 pm
This reminds me of the chicken/egg argument. I saw a cartoon of a picture of an egg and a chicken in bed together, the chicken was smoking a cigarette and the egg had a frowny face. The caption was ‘well I guess that question’s been answered’
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 12:13 pm
Hahaha. That’s great.
And, I guess what katie and RR in this specific case is the “right” answer. Since the “figure shit out before getting engaged” ship has already sailed, they need to figure out if they both still want to get married and then work HARD on compromising on all of their issues. Or, call off the engagement since they aren’t even planning a wedding yet, get on the “figure shit out” ship and then get re-engaged if they can compromise.
But for everyone else, I still think you should figure all the shit out and then get engaged.
lets_be_honest March 25, 2013, 12:15 pm
As I read your position and katie/RRs, I kept thinking Yea, she’s right! for both of the arguments. lol.
katie March 25, 2013, 12:33 pm
i agree, i read GG’s reply to RR and i was like.. yea totally! lol
i guess maybe its more then a concurrent thing then a chicken/egg thing. like you cant have one without the other. the commitment (if thats marriage or whatever it is) has to be there to work through issues like finances. if you work through issues you have to be committed. they go hand in hand.
although i do very much agree with “figure out all your shit and then get engaged”.
ReginaRey March 25, 2013, 10:44 am
Yeah, I’ve got to second Katie on this. What’s the point of tackling lifestyle choices if someone doesn’t even want to marry you in the first place? The money issue is a convenient distraction from the fact that he isn’t at all invested in the relationship or interested in marriage.
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 10:52 am
I don’t know that he isn’t interested in marrying her. Later posts in the forum the OP comments and says the BF is the one who is always bringing up wedding planning and wanting to have a bigger wedding, etc. And she says they didn’t discuss marriage before he proposed, so he must have come up with the idea on his own.
I also think part of figuring out if you want to get married is figuring out if you line up on things like finances, children, religion etc. To me, you can’t just decide to marry someone and then sort out all of the details (like finances). To me, you work through the details as you grow closer to a person and then make the commitment to marry.
bagge72 March 25, 2013, 11:53 am
You should work through all of those details first, but since the LW is already engaged she needs to take a step back, and look at that first. She can’t just jump into the finance thing if she isn’t sure if he even wants to stay committed to what he has already done. I think if she finds out that he truly does want to stay engaged, then they need to jump right into the finance thing, which I agree should have been done first anyways, but it is too late for that.
Jess March 25, 2013, 10:45 am
I agree 100% with Wendy, but also wanted to offer this.
Many, many men drag their feet on the way to engagement. And many men are contradictory as hell on this subject.
My fiancee starting talking about marrying me 1.5 years before he proposed. And along the way, I was confused and frustrated at times (heck, see the forum archives!). We’d go to a wedding and on the ride home he’d rattle off a 100 ideas about how we would do things the same way or differently. He’d propose names ideas for our imaginary kids over breakfast. He’d talk about our financial future and how saving for a wedding was part of that. He had lots and lots of ideas for our wedding, house purchase, kids, etc. But……. time just kept passing and no proposal. We had some tense conversations about it. I felt like our relationship was on trial and he wasn’t sure. He said he’d known he’d wanted to marry me already for a long time. But that, and this is the key part, he was trying to ready himself for being a husband and a dad. Like there was some internal assessment he was doing to determine if he was confident enough, qualified enough, and –worthy– of the assignment.
Maybe, as others have pointed out, you are really the above category (some call it “pre-engaged” which is really obnoxious but it does need some kind of label) rather than being actually engaged.
I don’t know that all hope is necessarily lost here but that the current status of your relationship is really not clear. You are in some murky middle place between relationship-engaged-married. If all else is going well in this relationship, than you may need to sit down and get to the heart of the matter. If you aren’t wearing a ring and no date has been set, you aren’t engaged. Maybe telling him that (and changing your FB status or whatever else may be relevant) will create a reality check for him.
This is a case of balance. You need to clearly articulate your expectations and be prepared to walk if you learn that your life plans are completely at odds with his. At the same time, patience, understanding are important too. No good marriage started by a proposal made under duress. Most importantly, how do you feel about your PRESENT in this relationship? How happy is your day-to-day? That’s where your answers lie. Marriage isn’t going to alter the nature of your relationship. It’s just a progression of your commitment. If you are happy now, maybe focus on that and ask yourself how long can you be happy with things just as they are. What will marriage change about that? If you can answer those questions, you’ll get a better idea of what you want and how long you are willing to wait.
FireStar March 25, 2013, 11:20 am
See I can understand someone taking a moment to make sure that this is the commitment he is willing to make….but you have that conversation with yourself before asking – no? Asking and then waffling? Just unfair. That kind of thing would just erode trust in a relationship long-term because why should she believe anything he says if there is no follow through?
Jess March 25, 2013, 11:43 am
Oh I agree completely. I guess that’s what I am trying to demonstrate by pulling apart the threads in this thing. Maybe THAT’S where this guy went wrong by caving to pressure before he had gone through his own process. And maybe that is the kiss of death, I don’t know. But there is a lot of tricky footwork to these things and it seems LW and her partner have fallen into one of the pitfalls.
HmC March 25, 2013, 12:17 pm
Really great and thoughtful advice Jess. It can be so fracking frustrating determining your own healthy medium between being understanding and being a doormat, being realistic and applying *too much* pressure. Chances are that even really well paired people aren’t going to sync up exactly when they want to get married at the exact same time, but you also don’t want to misread signs and stick around when someone is never going to marry you but just doesn’t want to break up (especially when so many people don’t even know what is happening in their own heads). And even what Wendy said about setting your own personal deadline… I agree and I’ve given the same advice, but it can be REALLY hard to set a date like that. Like, in 99 days I’m in love with you and planning a future, but it 100 I’m prepared to never see you again. Shit is difficult.
SweetPeaG March 25, 2013, 12:24 pm
Jess- I loved your response. It may not be exactly what is going on with the LW’s boyfriend (fiance?), but it is a strong possibility. It doesn’t sound like the guy doesn’t want to marry her. It sounds like he’s scared. The delays make him feel better. I am not saying I’d wait around forever (totally agree with Wendy that she needs to pick a time frame!)… but the day-to-day assessment of their relationship is SO key. If this wedding is ever to actually take place, the day-to-day is what will truly matter anyway.
MMcG March 25, 2013, 5:10 pm
Just to echo, with a bad outcome just in case the LW reads about you Jess and gets her hopes up a little too high…
my ex boyfriend talked me into talking about marriage (I said I wasn’t ready after dating for a year but then upon discussion realized I was and started to look forward to it – duh!) and then started to ask me about rings, what kind and what I like, etc. Well that’s exciting, but then he starts acting all weird and distant and making it seem like I was pushing him to marriage… um, no. Then he cheated on and crushed my hopes and dreams for a long-while there. Turned out he just figured that’s what you talked about at that point in the relationship whether it was REAL or not. He was punting on the hard choices because he liked having me around, and he was a co-dependent asshat who didn’t like to be alone, hence waiting until he had someone new before breaking up with me. Dodged a major bullet, but it didn’t feel like it at the time.
llclarityll March 25, 2013, 10:48 am
My gut is telling me that the whole pregnancy thing had a big role to play in what’s going on in this dude’s head. He proposes, she gets pregnant, has MC, then he realizes he can’t do the commitment thing.
Birth control, and a frank discussion with your man about what’s going on STAT, dear LW.
Jess March 25, 2013, 12:38 pm
I keep forgetting to revisit that. It’s huge. So huge. Talk about the weight of a sudden commitment. That’s enough to give anyone cold feet. An unexpected pregnancy is an enormous shock to the system. Losing a pregnancy is even worse.
Some really great questions I’d want to ask myself if I was LW —
How did they navigate the unexpected pregnancy news and how did they navigate the loss?
What did she learn about their relationship in the process? How did they support and communicate with each other during that difficult time? How do they feel about parenthood in retrospect? Are they still on the same page?
My fiancee and I have been through this and we came out much stronger but it was not an easy road and there were times where we were absolutely not in sync with our feelings. We learned a ton about ourselves and, strangely enough, it made us more confident about getting married.
ReginaRey March 25, 2013, 9:51 am
“I am trying to figure out how I am going to deal with someone who cannot be financially sound, as I am incredibly frugal.” — I think this is another case of “I’m going to direct my attention toward this lesser problem, not the actual problem, because I’m fearful of what will happen if I get conscious of what’s actually going on.”
It’s understandable that you want to place all of the blame here on your differences when it comes to money. But you know that’s not the issue. Not really. It’s scary as hell to admit that something way, way bigger than a difference in financial beliefs is going on in your relationship. But can we go there, please? Can you take a deep breath and just be willing to go there?
Your boyfriend doesn’t want to get married. If you would have accepted a $5 engagement ring, then there is literally NO external reason your boyfriend can give you for the fact that you don’t have a ring. He spent a ton of money on a drum set, anyway, so he REALLY can’t give any lame, external excuses. This is completely, 100% an internal issue. Your boyfriend does not want to get married, period. Maybe he’s not ready. Maybe he doesn’t want to marry YOU (which can sting like a motherfucker, lord knows).
But we can’t know exactly WHY your boyfriend doesn’t want to get married. But let’s focus on the facts we do have: Your boyfriend has, time and again, shown you what’s more important to him. His drum set was more important to him than making a commitment to you. Every single day that he goes without buying you a $5 engagement ring means that being as UNcommitted as he can be is more important than being totally committed. For whatever reason, the idea of marrying you doesn’t excite him. It doesn’t thrill him. It doesn’t make him want to marry you tomorrow, next week, or even give you a $5 ring to show you that he event wants to do it at all. And the bottom line is: How do you feel about being with someone who isn’t jazzed-as-fuck to marry you?
Kate B. March 25, 2013, 10:34 am
I think this hits it right on the head. This guy clearly has the ability to come up with large sums of money (drum kits aren’t cheap). It’s a matter of priorities. Right now, getting married isn’t a priority. I agree that you need to call off the engagement ASAP and find someone who will make it a priority, if that’s what you want. Don’t we always say that if a guy wants to be your boyfriend he’ll act like it? The same is true for husbands. If he really wanted to marry you, he’d find a way, even if he was flat broke.
ReginaRey March 25, 2013, 10:41 am
“If he really wanted to marry you, he’d find a way, even if he was flat broke.”
Yeah, there’s really no denying that fact. I’m sure there are countless people who could attest to the fact that being broke didn’t stop them from marrying someone they really, really wanted to marry. My parents being one example that I can personally vouch for!
bcamber March 25, 2013, 12:28 pm
The guys I know want to be financially set/have their ducks in a row before committing to marriage.
ReginaRey March 25, 2013, 12:42 pm
Exactly. Which is why you shouldn’t propose if you aren’t ready for marriage. A proposal means “I’m ready for marriage.” So if you’re proposing and you have no money, then that means you and your partner accept the fact that you might not have a nice ring or a big wedding, but that you still want to marry in spite of those financial restraints. His situation is not at all the same as what I just described.
Kate B. March 25, 2013, 1:16 pm
Right. As I said above, when it suits HIM, he can come up with the money. He’s the one who proposed. She, quite reasonably, took it to mean, “I want to marry you.” They went ring shopping, he gave her a budget. She went well below it. He hasn’t followed through. He’s wasting her time and stringing her along. She needs to MOA.
sarolabelle March 25, 2013, 11:01 am
You sure do have a LOT of patience LW. My boyfriend and I became engaged and he wanted to “wait a week” before we started to plan and that week almost killed me! Waiting 8 months? Wow. Within a month of our engagement we had date, the venue (church and reception) and the photographer. I don’t know how you’ve done this but gosh. I first would have never accepted a proposal without a ring. But that is me. To me if he is serious he would get a ring.
SweetPeaG March 25, 2013, 12:35 pm
I am less demanding/materialistic when it comes to rings as many women out there. My antique ring, while beautiful & unique, is on the small side (I basically picked it and know the cost was SO beyond reasonable as far as these things go). I want the marriage to the man I love… the ring’s dollar value isn’t of much importance to me. However, even I would feel really sad/disappointed/embarrassed if my proposal didn’t include a ring. Can you imagine sharing your exciting news and not having your special little symbol to show for it? I know some people think the tradition is lame… but I don’t know… I am not sure if I could accept a proposal without a ring (or very concrete plans for one). Does that make me superficial?
lets_be_honest March 25, 2013, 12:39 pm
I don’t think so at all. I mean, what’s the first thing a person asks other than How did he ask? Its something about the ring. Or let me see the ring!
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 12:41 pm
I don’t think that makes you superficial. What I do think is superficial is when women compair/contract the $ spent/size/color/etc of a ring as like a way of prooving their fiance’s commmitment. Ugh, drives me nuts.
(I have an antique (free!!) ring and I love it to pieces.)
MMcG March 25, 2013, 5:03 pm
Yes GG!! Karats =/= Love
katie March 25, 2013, 12:43 pm
i guess it just depends on how people think about proposals being real = a ring, and fake = no ring. BUT there are plenty of men who have given a ring and then pulled exactly what this LW’s boyfriend is pulling- making excuses, not setting a date, bla bla bla.
to me, an engagement is real if the couple is getting married. a ring doesnt make it real. sure, it makes it fun, i guess. people expect it. but its the actions of the couple that make it real.
i do wonder now- i will probably not wear a ring if i get married, like ever. im not a jewelry person anyway, and then i work with food so i cant have jewelry even if i wanted to. i wonder how people will react when im like “oh im getting married/this is my fiance/whatever” and there isnt a ring. ill probably be judged. lol
ActiasLuna86 March 25, 2013, 12:57 pm
When I got engaged, there was no proposal. We had a discussion and agreed that we were both ready and began telling our family and friends. Because of the way things played out for us we had already been engaged, set a date, and booked a venue before I received my ring (he insisted). I didn’t feel any judgment from those whom I told and if they had any they kept it to themselves. I wouldn’t worry about it too much Katie.
Skyblossom March 25, 2013, 1:53 pm
If you’re planning a wedding no one will think anything bad about it. It might not be their choice of how to do it but most people won’t mind that you do things your way and if they do then they have their own issues to work out.
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 2:34 pm
It depends on your circle if people will look at you crazy. In my experience, here in the South, rings are expected. Big engagement rings are the norm. I told my fiance’s family I planned on only wearing a wedding band (not my engagement ring too) they where shocked. Like mouth hanging open shocked.
I think you should make the decision you’re most comfortable with- if that means not wearing a ring then do it and don’t appologize. People will judge no matter what you do.
MMcG March 25, 2013, 5:15 pm
“Like mouth hanging open shocked.”
I think you, like me, should make this a goal for our new southern relatives at least once a year 😉
Michelle March 25, 2013, 11:03 am
Wow — this hits very close to home. Not the exact situation, of course, but similar enough where the guy wouldnt commit, and Ive had to deal with the fallout and heatbreak because Ive realized that its because he doesnt want to commit to me. We signed a contract to build a house, a legal binding contract, and 3 days later, he tells me hes unsure of our relationship and cant go through with the house. 2 days after that, he moved out. I was blindsided. I had NO idea he felt this way, its been devastating. 3 years with him and this is what I have to show for it? Im still in disbelief. My heart is completely broken, but Im trying to move on and reading your advice helps … if only for a little while.
Anna March 25, 2013, 12:34 pm
I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. I’ve been there as well. Stay strong and just take care of yourself for now. *hugs*
lets_be_honest March 25, 2013, 12:35 pm
any word from apartment management?
Michelle March 25, 2013, 2:45 pm
Im not sure where apartment management comes into play, Im not in an apartment, but we did have to shell out $2000 to break the contract to build the house — plus, now I have to come up with about $10k for a downpayment on a house. We were planning on getting a VA loan (no downpayment required) but I do not qualify for a VA loan on my own, so I have to go FHA, which means 3.5% down. I have the money, so thats not the point. The point is, I wanted a house with him, I wanted a life with him, everything I thought we had is gone. Thats hard for me to process.
theattack March 25, 2013, 2:47 pm
LBH was asking Anna about it because Anna is trying to apply for an apartment.
Sorry to hear about what you’re going through though…
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 2:48 pm
MIchelle- LBH’s comment was completely unrelated to your post. Anna is waiting to hear about her own living situation.
Michelle March 25, 2013, 3:14 pm
Ahh! Got it. ((embarrassed))
MMcG March 25, 2013, 5:05 pm
I’m so sorry Michelle! You are not the first or last person who has had to deal with that kind of disappointment because so many people can talk a good game, and then when it’s time to put up or shut up, well THEN its real. People suck.
AmyP March 25, 2013, 3:30 pm
I’ve heard that VA loans have bad terms, so not getting that loan may be a blessing in disguise.
John Rohan March 25, 2013, 11:06 am
I agree with Wendy, although I’m willing to be sympathetic on him buying the drum set – IF the couple plays their band professionally, because then it’s a career investment. If they play as a hobby, then no, I don’t feel sympathetic.
Here’s another option to solve this proble: call his bluff. Since he says you’re engaged, then be engaged. Set a wedding date, and start calling various venues to make reservations. Start writing wedding invitations. Register at a store, etc. Make certain he sees you doing these things. Suggest he start planning his bachelor party, because it would have to be before the date. Watch him panic as this theoretical wedding suddenly starts changing into reality before his eyes. I guarantee, either he will get serious and get you a ring, or he will come clean and admit that he isn’t ready yet for marriage. Either way, problem solved.
FireStar March 25, 2013, 11:17 am
She shouldn’t have to launch a covert-op to get him to make a decision – and spend her money doing it either. When a man wants to marry you – he proposes. If he doesn’t want to marry you – then he shouldn’t propose. This limbo thing is just nonsense. I would just tell him the engagement is off and when he wants to make a serious commitment he should be prepared to follow through because as of right now – he is just a boyfriend.
GatorGirl March 25, 2013, 11:20 am
Can’t like this enough. Playing games to figure out the truth is a bad idea.
John Rohan March 25, 2013, 11:24 am
Well, I was only half-serious about that option. Would be fun to see his reaction though.
SweetPeaG March 25, 2013, 12:50 pm
That’s why I gave your post a thumbs-up. I don’t think it is a realistic (or healthy!) piece of advice… but funny nonetheless. It would teach the guy a lesson, at any rate. And I felt you meant it as a bit of snark. So kudos!
AmyP March 25, 2013, 3:32 pm
“I agree with Wendy, although I’m willing to be sympathetic on him buying the drum set – IF the couple plays their band professionally, because then it’s a career investment. If they play as a hobby, then no, I don’t feel sympathetic.”
Either way, if they are engaged, he should not be making four figure financial decisions without talking to her first.
Skyblossom March 25, 2013, 12:20 pm
I think this may go back to his willingness to lie. He told you he lied to his family to get them off of his back about a ring. Why would he lie about being engaged? Maybe as a place holder, sort of like putting you on layaway so that no other guy can have you or maybe to cement his place in the band since you indicated in the forums that it is your band and you could replace him. He is getting something out of saying he is engaged but his actions show that he isn’t interested in marrying you at this time.
I’d tell him that you aren’t engaged since you haven’t gotten a ring or set a date in eight months, there can really be no illusion that there is a real engagement. Then tell him that you won’t get engaged until you have worked through your issues until you are completely satisfied. One of those issues should be why he asked you to marry him eight months ago. One should be the fact that he is willing to lie. One of them should be his money management and how it doesn’t work with your money management. I’m sure you can think of more.
I see too many red flags waving here for this to have a happy outcome unless he grows up quickly. You sound like you are more mature than him (another red flag) and that seldom works.
Skyblossom March 25, 2013, 1:17 pm
And if you tell him this and then he shows up with a ring tell him it is too late for the ring and that you have to work out the issues before getting engaged. Tell him, as was said above, commitment means working out the issues so that the relationship will work and you can have a strong marriage.
Tracey March 25, 2013, 12:48 pm
“At first, he told me he didn’t have the money, and I was understanding of this. However, he went out and purchased a drum kit (we are in a band together) a few months ago that cost FAR more than my ring.” Red flag #1.
“He even lied to his family and told them he had already got me a ring to avoid ‘awkward conversation’ with his family about not having one!” Red flag #2.
“I even gave him the option to break off the engagement (I assumed he no longer wanted to get married as he will not set a date or help plan) but he refused to do that. He talks about getting married all the time, but it is a lot of talk and no action, which has left me very, very confused.” Red flag #3.
He won’t buy a ring, won’t talk about your engagement, is lying to his family about not giving you a ring because it’s “awkward” (which is code for, “I lie to get out of making tough decisions and facing up to my broken promises”), and his treatment of you (especially after your miscarriage) all says he doesn’t respect you, much less wants to marry you. Moreover, he may be going through some issues of his own related to your miscarriage. WWS…break off the engagement and move on completely – and that may mean leaving the band as well. Don’t try and push someone who doesn’t want to be with you into being with you. It will only bring you more anguish and hurt, and you’ve been through enough already. You didn’t mention it, but you also might want to look into contacting a support group for people who have lost a child to miscarriage, just to work through those issues.
lets_be_honest March 25, 2013, 1:06 pm
Tracey! Its been a while.
Tracey March 25, 2013, 3:03 pm
DW got labeled “adult material” and blocked on my work computer. Seemed really weird…I could get to the Savage Love site with no problems, and I can’t think of anything more “adult material” than that site. Anywho, the problem finally got fixed and I’m back. Man, I missed everyone!
MMcG March 25, 2013, 5:13 pm
I blame AP’s language in the forums… we have had some doozies in there lately:)
Great response too!!
Wendy March 25, 2013, 1:09 pm
Tracey March 25, 2013, 3:00 pm
Yay! It’s good to be back. The site got blocked (again) for a long time, and the IT guys at work finally figured out what was going on. Thank goodness, because I really missed everyone!
Wendy March 25, 2013, 3:04 pm
Aw. We missed you!
Sasa March 25, 2013, 1:09 pm
It sounds like you and your fiancé are not on the same page regarding your engagement. There shouldn’t be so much insecurity around an engagement, to the point where the RING (which is really just an external symbol) comes to signify whether there is an engagement at all. More importantly, are you sure you want to get married to this guy? Have you talked about your ideas of the future? The impression I get is that the engagement was entered a bit thoughtlessly (at least on the bf’s part if he doesn’t want to follow through).
FireStar March 25, 2013, 1:20 pm
For the LW a ring is part of the engagement – even if it is $5 ring. I think that it just speaks to some type of action on his part solidifying his words. Because without that – all she has is talk…and not even talk she can particularly trust at this point.
katie March 25, 2013, 1:44 pm
i think Sasa was just pointing out the same thing that i did on the forum- which is that the ring issue is distracting from the real issue. maybe this is calculated on the boyfriend’s part, maybe not, but if all the LW is thinking about is where the ring is, when the ring will be coming, ect, she is distracted from the fact that the boyfriend doesnt have any plans to marry her.
i agree with sasa. the ring is an external symbol.. if you have a ring on your finger, you should feel and act as if you are getting married. you dont need a ring to feel and act that way. its not a bad thing that the LW wants a ring, but it is just an external symbol. the real nitty gritty is largely being ignored here…
FireStar March 25, 2013, 2:12 pm
I think it is true that if she was secure in this relationship it would be a non-issue – but then again – if he was fully committed she would have some sort of ring by now too given that it is important to her.
Sasa March 25, 2013, 4:44 pm
Totally, it’s not like the lack of ring means nothing, that’s really indicative of the overall lack of commitment on the bf’s part (since he knows she wants one as part of the engagement but won’t get her one). But even if he got her a ring now – under pressure – the problem wouldn’t be solved.
Sasa March 25, 2013, 4:42 pm
Yes katie, that’s what I meant, thanks! I hadn’t expressed myself very clearly. I meant to say that if they really were both committed to the engagement then the LW probably wouldn’t care so much about the ring (although she might still want one, which is perfectly fine). The ring has become the symbol for the lack of commitment to the engagement on the bf’s part.
Emily March 25, 2013, 1:26 pm
Ugh. What Wendy said! Also can you not buy yourself a $5 ring? If the RING is what you really want? Although I agree it doesn’t sound super promising right now. Lay down the ultimatum! Or peace out.
Lindsay March 25, 2013, 1:59 pm
I think the LW was pretty clear that the ring was not just what she wanted, especially since she said that she thought her fiance maybe wasn’t interested in getting married and that he’s not interested in setting a date or making any wedding plans. Buying yourself a $5 ring is not going to solve those issues.
convexed March 25, 2013, 11:45 pm
I feel like this comment veers (maybe unintentionally) into the ongoing debate about whether engagement rings are silly or important, which is not at all the question here. The LW can no more solve the problem by buying herself a ring then she can by barrelling ahead with wedding planning without his involvement or enthusiasm. The lack of ring is a symbol for the lack of action on his part—and presumably not because he has an ideological stance against rings, given that he looked at them with her and gave her a budget. The lack of ring stands for the lack of the fiancee(???) making any concrete moves to back his words. Apart from the ring, the question could be addressed if he helped her choose and commit to a venue, or if he was sitting down with her and a calendar looking at dates, or really ANYTHING other than being weirdly deceptive and cagey. Buying herself a ring, be it $5 or the dream ring she picked out with him, would be just plugging her fingers in her ears and moving into denial land about what’s really going on.
Lindsay March 25, 2013, 2:10 pm
Ring or no ring, nobody should be engaged to someone they’re unsure actually wants to marry them. I agree with everything Wendy said. With no wedding date, no ring, no plans and a guy who lies to his family about buying a ring, this isn’t a real engagement.
Personally, the lying to his family thing is a really big problem to me. He knows how bad it looks and is concerned about what his family thinks of him, but apparently doesn’t care how his fiancee feels about his behavior?
Engaged, But Still No Ring (Original Poster) March 25, 2013, 10:31 pm
I would just like to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the advice. It has given me very much to think about and I am determined to take care of this issue as soon as possible.
Thank you all once again, I feel a greater sense of clarity compared to before.
Crazy in Love July 5, 2013, 4:33 pm
This really can go either way. Maybe he doesn’t want to get married right now, but as another poster said, he wants you off the market. Or… maybe he just needs more time.
When I met my husband, he talked on and off of marriage, spending the rest of his life with me, etc… we’d talk about rings, wedding this and that, but never any ring. Whenever I would bring it up, he would tell me he’s not ready yet. I finally had to ask him to refrain from any talk of marriage until he was actually prepared to propose. His talking about it would get me excited and all emotional. So for many months, we didn’t talk about it at all. I liked it that way.
Last October out of the blue, he asked me to marry him. He did not have a ring to give me, but I said yes and we began announcing our “engagement” to everyone. I knew at the time, he didn’t have the money to buy me a ring. I told him I was fine with a nice CZ or even a pawn shop ring. But he really wanted to be able to give me something better. He works construction and work is hit and miss, especially in the fall/winter time. However, he got a nice size job in December, which required him to be away from home for a few weeks. But when he came home… he said, “Let’s go shop for you a ring.” He gave me my ring for Christmas and we got married on Valentine’s Day, two months later.
It took him a little while to get his head/heart in the right place about marriage. He had a failed marriage that had ended 17 years ago and he was afraid of messing up and it not working. But honestly, I’m glad I waited around because we are very much in love and the marriage has been wonderful.
Too many people on this site rush in to see the “bad” in a situation. Rarely do they look for the good or the “what if’s” in a relationship.
Truth be known, no one knows you or your fiance. You are the only one who can really make a sound judgment on what you should do or why he’s behaving in this manner. The VERY BEST thing you can do is to talk to him. Communicate your thoughts, feelings, etc… and allow him to do the same.