“We’ve been together for four years. We’ve been engaged almost as long,” I pleaded. “If you’re not going to marry me, then you just need to leave.”
We had been a couple for over four years. Mostly hot and heavy, sometimes not so much, but, still, four years. We had lived together just as long. We had been engaged nearly as long. We were practically already married, for crying out loud. Yet, this man refused to set a date and follow through. I didn’t get it, it made zero sense to me, and I was totally going to call his bluff. He was going to realize I was serious and I wasn’t waiting any more, not one more minute. “Marry me,” I said, “or it’s over.” And, poof, it was over.
What the heck just happened? This was crazytown. But that’s what it was. I had given him an ultimatum and he had given me the boot. To top it off, we had to live out the remaining three months of our lease in a very uncomfortable, bizarre living environment. At least it was uncomfortable and bizarre for me; he seemed fine with it.
Fast forward those three months, we both move into our new seperate homes but continued to see each other, because, well, because it was comfortable, I guess. And maybe I was a little desperate. And maybe I thought I could convince him he made a mistake. And maybe I should’ve just forgotten all of that and told him to hit the road, because I didn’t need him anymore, or want him anymore, or love him anymore, even though none of those things were true.
Three months after that, Prince Charming decides he has totally had enough of me. (I don’t know know what his problem was, I was quite the catch, and really funny and entertaining, and all that jazz.) So now we don’t even talk to each other anymore, like ever. And I finally move on with my life.
I’m getting asked on dates (4+ years is a long time to go and not have that!), receiving compliments, going dancing, having fun, making things work on my own – and it was liberating! I looooooved it. And I am so glad I got the opportunity to have those experiences, so that I will always know I am able to not only take care of myself, but absolutely thrive on my own!
And then, a few fabulous months later…I hear his voice on my answering machine. UGH!!! I couldn’t call him back; I didn’t want to fall into the same old patterns and I didn’t want my heart breaking again. I didn’t want to feel those butterflies with him. I didn’t want to find him attractive anymore. I wanted him to know that I didn’t need him after all, and he was going to just have to deal with that. After all, he had made his bed, his bed that he now slept in all alone, all by himself, without me. So I didn’t call him back.
The next day was fantastic. I went to work and came home excited to spend a holiday with my fam. And just as I am getting ready to go on my merry way, you-know-who knocks on my door. I didn’t know it was him and I was busy, I wasn’t going to answer. But he didn’t stop knocking. So eventually I opened the door, completely expecting it to be anyone else and there he is. Looking like a little lost puppy dog in need of some TLC. He missed me, he had realized how great we were, and he wanted me back. And I had waited so long to hear those words.
But, hold on now. Things were NOT going to go back to the way they were. He wasn’t just going to show up on his timeline and get everything he wanted after what he had put me through. I was amazing (I’m still pretty good) and if he wanted all of THIS back, then, by gosh, he’s going to work for it, IF I ever decided I wanted him back at all.
The next month was aaaawwwweeee-some and totally about me, which, yes, I tend to love. He would drive the 45 minutes to see me ALL THE TIME, even when he had to work the next day; he would take me out; he came to sit with me when I had a really bad cold and all I did was sleep. So, yeah, I caved and took the man back, but this time, there were conditions.
I was not going to be with him for another four years without a commitment. If he truly wanted to be with me for the rest of his life, then he needed to propose within a month. (Sounds quick, I know, but, please, I had already waited 4 years of my life for this!) AND he could not propose with the same ring he had the first time. New engagement = new ring.
Several weeks later, he and I had planned to go on a date when my father called asking us to join the rest of my family for dinner out. My mom had been missing my grandmother who had passed away and we were all going to try and cheer her up. (Pretty fabulous cover story, eh?) So cheering her up became my mission: We went to this relatively fancy restaurant, which none of us had ever been to. It had an Hawaiian theme. It had live music. And I was told that there was some really outrageous wallpaper in the men’s room. Hmmm, make my mom laugh? Yeah, I could do that. And off I go in this fancy(ish) restaurant, in a pretty dress I had borrowed from a friend, looking all kinds of good, into the men’s room. The manager saw me coming out of there and offered to give me a tour. My mom, she just plain cracked up. I had been successful!
I take my seat and here comes the staff bringing out dessert. And right smack in the middle of dessert is a big ol’ whopper of an engagement ring!!!! My man (oh, yeah, my man!) gets down on one knee and asks me to be his wife. I cover my mouth with excitement and disbelief and say the words every man down on one knee asking someone to be his wife hopes to hear: “But I just went in the men’s bathroom!”
Needless to say, here we are, nearly 12 years later, with two wonderful, beautiful, amazing daughters, in all our wedded bliss. (Okay, so maybe it’s not ALL wedded bliss ALL the time, but that’s a whole other story.)We finally said our vows on the 6th year anniversary of the day we had first spoken. We have seen many of our friends seperate and divorce, but we are still here. We have been together now for almost 18 years, and I’ve actually liked him a good half of that time.
So, yes, he eventually got wise to the fact that I am pretty freaking awesome. Some people just catch on slower than others. All in all, regardless of how long it took, I sure am glad he did!