My boyfriend and I have been together for over four years. He tells me I’m the most beautiful creature in the world. He doesn’t really like to spend time with my friends or my family. I understand why with some of them, he’s very athletic, a police officer, and particular about certain things; some of my friends are a little sloppy for his taste or loud, my family likes to get close and ask a lot of questions. We’re going to get married, but my Dad thinks my boyfriend will never propose. My boyfriend gets angry when I bring it up and tells me I don’t trust him. I tried to explain to him that since we’re living together it is embarrassing to me when people keep asking why we’re not married. He said that by pushing him I’m ruining the surprise he’s been planning for a long time. I’ve asked when, and he gets quiet and goes on a bike ride or goes to visit his parents without me. He doesn’t usually take me with him to see his parents and he has Sunday dinner with them every week. Is he going to marry me?
Wow! There is a lot going on with this relationship that needs to be sorted out. The first thing that stood out about your relationship is the complete lack of trust with each other. I don’t know how you can build a healthy marriage without trust, so I recommend you start there before you worry about a wedding proposal.
It certainly stands to reason that after four plus years you would hopefully know where you guys stand as a couple. However, your inability to communicate with each other about your future plans makes this relationship unstable. I’m also concerned about your struggle to blend into each other’s family and friendship relationships.
While you both might have a great time hanging out as a couple, it sounds like blending into your larger respective family circles has been a significant challenge. If he won’t let you spend time with his parents and doesn’t want to be with your family, find out why. Since marriages don’t exist in isolation, this is an issue that won’t disappear after your married. This is one you’ll want to get resolved as soon as possible.
Your boyfriend might have the best intentions in the world to want to spend the rest of his life with you, but there are some strange dynamics that keep you both stuck in the same place.
Before you focus on getting a ring and a date, I suggest you work on making your relationship look like a healthy relationship before you officially declare it a marriage. Marriage won’t magically fix your concerns. It will only amplify them.
Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.
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