Ring Around

17 Mar

Letterbalm Diamond Ring with Question MarkDear LetterBalm: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years, living together for the past two. In many ways we are very compatible – similar goals and values and respect for each other – even down to how we look at children, religion and finances. I love him more than any man I’ve ever known. A year ago, we went to a jeweler at his suggestion and picked out an engagement ring. But he still hasn’t proposed and gets defensive when I ask why. He won’t discuss it. I’m beginning to feel he never will ask me to marry him, but I’ve got to get to the bottom of this. I can’t keep hoping if it’s not going to happen.

–Diamond in the Rough

The last thing you want is to strongarm your boyfriend into making one of the most important decisions of his life. Yet you and he seem to have a solid relationship. So, what’s his problem? Did he have a bad marriage before? A terrible history with girlfriends? A best buddy who got flattened by a woman? Parents or relatives who endured a dysfunctional marriage? Ms. L.B. urges you to keep this strategy to yourself: Schedule a few private sessions with a therapist to help you sort things out. You must decide whether you will wait him out, live together without marriage or walk away. When you’re ready, have a quiet talk with him, and don’t mention the ring: 

Trevor, I know we’ve had disagreements over when we might get engaged. I’ve done a lot of thinking, and I’m beginning to understand why this is such a stumbling block for you. It doesn’t have that much to do with me, I think. It may have to do with your own life, your parents and some bad experiences that your friends have had in marriage. Darling, I love you and value what we have together so much, that I will give you all the time and space you need to come to a decision. No pressure. I only ask that you think about it and be honest with me. If marriage is not in the cards, please tell me. We owe each other that much, and I will have to decide what I’ll do as well.

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