"He won't marry me because his ex shouted at him," girlfriend wants a proposal

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Waiting for the moment when your partner asks you to marry them and be together for the rest of your life is romantic, and thinking about the ring and the special words can get very exciting.

But what happens when time passes slowly, there's no indication of a ring coming your way, and you already know they're worried about getting married? Should you wait for your partner to change their mind, or is it time to find a different person to have the love you need?

My friend Cassie has been dating her boyfriend Adrian for two years. They started out as friends, and she supported him while he was going through a divorce.

"I was there for him because we already knew each other from school. We'd lost touch for a while, but once we talked again, we kept texting and calling each day. I wanted to make sure he wasn't sad, and he said he missed me each time we didn't chat for a while," Cassie said.

Adrian was married for eight years to his ex, Sandra, and they had three daughters. He can still visit them, but he misses being closer and playing with them each morning.

"It's just not the same. I know we didn't get along, and she kept arguing and shouting at me for everything I did wrong. But I still want to be with my little girls. I know they miss me too," Adrian said.

Even if he regrets not getting the chance to have his daughters in the same house, Adrian knows he and Sandra don't love each other anymore. At the same time, the way his marriage ended made him very stressed about relationships. He's worried the same thing will happen again, so he isn't sure at all about having a home with someone else.

"I don't mind dating, and I'm still able to commit to just one woman. But going through a wedding and all the preparations only to see we're arguing and I get shouted at would be too much. I don't know if I can take a chance on anyone, no matter how in love I would be," Adrian said.

He told Cassie how he felt, and she was with him through every challenge during the divorce and after it was final. Even so, she kept hoping he would change for her and that he'd realize he cared too much about her not to want to remarry.

"I know he was clear, but I also felt he loved me. And once we began dating, it was like everything went so well there was no way it would just end or be left in uncertainty," Cassie said.

During the past six months, her parents kept asking her about a proposal and whether she thought she and Adrian were closer to getting married. Unfortunately, nothing like that happened, and she even feels embarrassed each time she goes to visit them.

"They're eager to be grandparents, and I get it. I want to have a family and be a mom too. But Adrian is still undecided. We dated for two years; he won't marry me because his ex shouted at him. I don't know if it's something we can work through, or he's just too worried about arguing and feeling unhappy or bored," Cassie said.

They've been living together for three months in Phoenix, Arizona, and Adrian pays the rent while Cassie covers their groceries and bills from her part-time job.

They get along well, but he hasn't promised her anything, and they haven't talked about buying their own home or having kids.

"Every time I try to bring it up, he will start talking about something else. Or get on the phone and ignore me for the rest of the evening. I don't want to be unkind or harsh; I know he was very sad when his marriage ended, but this isn't fair to me. How long do I need to wait for him to get over it? Is it about his ex? Could he still be in love with her? He keeps saying he wants to avoid arguments, but in the end, he keeps thinking about her. I'm uncomfortable with that," Cassie said.

The last time she told him she'd like to be together permanently, Adrian said yes and assured her he only cared about her. He did, however, mention that his little girls were the only family he would keep no matter what.

As for an engagement ring or a proposal, he added Cassie shouldn't need any of that if she trusted and loved him.

"I had no idea what to say when I heard that. Yes, I love him, but being his wife is different from being his girlfriend. It's the next stage for love, but I don't think he wants to do that. And what if I get pregnant? I don't want to have kids while we're not married," Cassie said.

Her parents are doubtful there will be any marriage and are encouraging her to keep looking, maybe even date someone else.

Cassie would like to stay with Adrian, but unless he can make up his mind and propose, she's not sure what kind of future they have together.

How do you think this situation should be handled? Is it ok for Adrian to avoid proposing to Cassie because his divorce left him sad and worried about the way a relationship can change after getting married? Should Cassie keep waiting, or is it time for her to find another man who can raise a family with her and propose?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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