My Fiancé Keeps Delaying Our Wedding—What Should I Do?

Dear Newsweek, I am 23 years old and my fiancé is 28, we have been together for almost four years. When we were together a little over a year and a half, I popped the question and asked him to marry me with a ring and everything.

Shortly after, he got served papers and had over $20,000 in debt he ended up going to court over. Two years later, he is now completely debt-free, but only thanks to me kicking his ass into gear. He refused to take care of the issue for almost another year after being served. For obvious reasons, the wedding was put on the back burner and has only been mentioned a few times since.

As of recently, I've started getting a little impatient. I try to mention getting married and he gets mad. He says he has bunches of people who always ask him about what we have planned like his dad, co-workers, etc, and he hates it. I've been bugging him about it because I will be honest, I feel like after almost three years of being engaged, with no wedding in sight and no details planned, I should have the question asked to me now.

We talk about starting a family, and he gets all excited talking about kids and making a life and home together, but when it comes to getting married, he gets pissed and tells me to stop mentioning it.

Woman annoyed with boyfriend
fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Side note: He owns absolutely nothing in terms of assets, it's not money holding him back, no fear of losing anything on his end, because I am the one who owns everything.

All I ask of him is to find me a ring, pop the question, just to let me know he is still serious. To this day I have yet to receive one (I know it's not tradition for the lady to ask the man, but we don't care about that).

I can guarantee that he hasn't even looked for a ring for me yet. At this point, I'm waiting another two years before I decide if I'm going to stay with him, and as of right now, I don't see anything happening.

Am I in the wrong for wanting him to ask me now after years of waiting after I asked him, and should I continue to stick around, or should I make my decision now? I love this man a ton, but I don't want to waste any more of my time.

Macy, Montana

Focus On You And What You Want

Faith Dulin is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dear Macy,

You're not wrong for wanting to marry the man you love, and I'm sure it hurts that he's not in the same place. It sounds like you've tried to support him in the relationship by kicking his "ass in gear" with a few things and this might feel like another situation where he just needs some prodding, but don't you want him to want this commitment with you?

He's telling you with his words and actions that he's not ready and may never be. Your needs and desires are valid, so ask yourself the hard question; what do you want more, marriage or a relationship with him? If he's not available for both, you may need to move on and find someone who knows what they want, or at the very least, can talk about marriage and the future of a relationship honestly.

You sound like a girl who has her life together. Good for you, and it can be great for partners who lack "motivation," shall we say? I caution you against unintentionally co-creating a relationship pattern where you're working harder on someone else's goals and challenges than they are.

They'll end up showing even less effort and you'll feel resentful. Of course, you're not wrong for wanting your long-term relationship to move forward with marriage! I'm sure it's incredibly painful that he's not in the same place. But instead of pleading your case, waiting around, or possibly negotiating your needs and feelings, seek the truth of this situation, instead of the desired outcome, which may be outside of your control.

Focus on you and what you want. Do you want marriage and commitment, or do you want to be in a relationship with him? You deserve a partner who can be honest about what you want and how they feel. If they're uncertain, they should take the initiative to explore where they're at, not just avoid or dismiss something so incredibly important to them. Reaffirm what you need, accept his direct or indirect response, and continue to pursue what makes you happy and fulfilled.

It May Be Time For You To Move Forward With Your Search For A Man

Dr. Chloe Carmichael is a Clinical Psychologist and USA Today bestselling author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety and Dr. Chloe's 10 Commandments of Dating

Dear friend,

I'm so sorry to hear about your dilemma, it sounds like your heart is really on the line. From what you shared, it sounds like you have legitimate concerns about whether your fiance is truly ready for marriage. You started by mentioning his unwillingness to pay his debts, which he only did when forced by the court and then personally hounded by you. I wonder if you have considered what this says about his general sense of personal responsibility and his attitudes toward commitments to others (which is obviously very important in marriage).

If the debt issue were the only concern, I could understand potentially forgetting about it and moving forward, depending on the circumstances, but from what you've said, this man seems to have a pattern of difficulty keeping his commitments.

For example, you said that he loves talking about kids, but becomes outright hostile whenever any talk of accountable action around this topic arises. Moreover, he lumps you together with "a bunch of people who bug him about it" in his angry rebuff of the topic of marriage, rather than recognizing that you're in a special, unique position to inquire about this topic with him.

You asked an interesting question, wondering "Am I in the wrong for wanting him to ask me now after years of waiting?". My feeling is that you're not wrong for wanting him to follow through, but you may be in error to expect it will happen since he has verbally indicated to you and behaviorally demonstrated to you that he's actually not open to any clear path of action towards marriage now or in the discussable future.

It's understandable you'd want him to because you've invested a lot of yourself into this relationship after he initially indicated a path to marriage, but years later, it may be time for you to realize that he is either unable or unwilling to take responsibility and follow through on the promises he made. Your growing impatience and sense of unrest are actually signs of healthy awareness on your part that something is wrong. The healthy function of those feelings is often to guide us to reset our boundaries and make changes in situations that aren't working. You can't change him but you can change yourself.

You may want to have a talk with him and explain that if his feelings have now changed to the point where making any sort of action plan for marriage is no longer feasible, then you've realized you need to accept his current position and that you'll therefore begin making adjustments about your expectations. And that since you've come to realize that since you can no longer reasonably expect to have action-oriented talks about marriage given his current mindset, it may now be time for you to move forward with your search for a man who would be delighted to meet a financially secure, marriage-minded young lady like yourself.


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