I’ve been with my significant other for 10 years (I’m 30 years old). We’re engaged to be married, he is one of my best friends. That said, it feels like something is missing, but I am not sure what.
When I met him 10 years ago, I wasn’t in a good place in my life. I was filled with self-doubt and just wasn’t where I wanted to be.
Since we’ve been together, he’s motivated me to be a better person – I now have a master’s degree and my dream job. But, something has felt “off” for the last 5 (or so) years. I love him, I know he’s a great person, we have so many laughs together — but, I often question if we’re “right” for each other.
I am concerned that because of my own family dysfunction, I often seek what’s not good for me, but if I were to end the relationship, I’ll regret losing such an amazing person. I worry that I will be attracted to unhealthy relationships as my mother was. My previous boyfriends were not good for me – I think to some degree, I was drawn to the drama of that. When I talk to my aunt about this (we’re very close) she tells me to stop overthinking, be grateful for him, and that he has made me a better person. I agree, and continue to work on that. You should also know I have grown so close to his family they’ve started to feel like my own.
My fiancé literally does nothing wrong. There are times where I’m 100% happy, however, certain things could be better with our sex life. It’s good, but foreplay is nonexistent. Sometimes I wonder if I’m settling. I feel like I’m being really selfish and that other girls would be happy and grateful for a SO like him. I wind up feeling guilty and wondering if my feelings are valid. Why do I keep doubting the relationship so much? Is it normal to feel this way? Is this just part of the ups and downs of a relationship? I know that relationships take work and they’re not always going to be rainbows and sunshine, but I keep questioning if the grass is greener on the other side and that makes me worry.
Thanks so much, Bee. I can’t wait to hear your take on my situation.
Engaged and Confused
Dear Engaged and Confused,
Gulp. You’re not gonna like this. Do you like tea? Maybe make yourself a cup since I am here in QuaranBEEn and I can’t make one for you. Actually, a glass of wine or whiskey. Yes, that might be even better. I’ll wait for you to pour.
Is this lovely man lying next to you as you read this? Do you want to excuse yourself to go into the living room while you read and have an ugly cry? I’ll wait. It’s time.
Comfortably numb has no place in love. Comforting yes, but you can’t walk down the aisle in a white gown and Louboutin’s anesthetized. You have to be strong enough to walk on your own.
He sounds like a wonderful man. And you, sweetheart, I’m sure are equally as wonderful. My childhood was no fairytale either, but dysfunction can make you work harder, dig deeper, and feel feelings of gratitude and appreciation that others might miss. That is a gift that you apparently have already tapped into. So bravo to you. Here’s the problem. Along with that gift comes the responsibility of looking inside the box. Now’s the time to see if there’s a gift receipt included.
Your aunt no doubt loves you. She wants you to be happy, loved, and safe. We all want that for our loved ones, especially those who we perceive to be unable to fully take care of themselves. You ARE happy and grateful for him, he HAS made you a better person, AND that doesn’t mean you should marry him. Starting to see where I’m going with this? You’re good. It’s time to set the crutches down.
On the evening of my first wedding, minutes before I walked down the aisle, I stood in the dressing room of our wedding venue. Sucked in and swathed in Vera Wang satin, I stood in front of an antique full-length mirror. My girlfriends surrounded me oohing and aahing over the beautiful dress. One fixed my veil, while another fluffed my train. From behind me came one of my nearest and dearest girlfriends from college. Josette Grippo is Brooklyn through and through. Not at all impressed with caviar or champagne. She looked at me hard in the mirror, our eyes locked while the other girls primped around us. She squeezed my elbow tight and in her undeniably Brooklyn accent she whispered into my ear:
“You wanna get out of here?” I stared back at her.
“What do you mean?” I laughed nervously.
“I want to make sure you’re ok. Cause if you’re not I can grab a few bottles of champagne and I’ll get you the fuck outta here.” She held my gaze. She was dead serious. You can read more about Josette and our adventures in Montana together and grab one of my favorite ReciBEEs by clicking here.
Less than an hour later I was married. But I never forgot that exchange. I have never forgotten what a “good friend moment” that was.
Fuck the dress, fuck the tiara, fuck everyone’s opinion of whether or not to serve the surf and turf over the roasted chicken. Only this. ARE YOU SURE?
You, darling girl, are not. And that, is absolutely ok.
You can love him and love yourself enough to put the crutches down and be brave enough to hobble a little before you march down the aisle to a man.
You might lose him. And that may be the best thing to ever happen to you. This is not about fixing yourself or about being grateful. You are wonderful, you are grateful and you may need to go figure that out a little bit more before becoming a wife.
I met my first husband when my parents’ marriage was shattering into a million loud, ugly, sharp pieces. He was the perfect distraction and it was the exact love that I needed at that awful time; it was pure and it was beautiful. His family and their home became my cocoon. My safe haven.
And it should have stopped there.
I walked down the aisle on invisible crutches that autumn evening. And that’s a bad look in Vera Wang. Even if no one else can see them.
You wrote to me because you don’t want to be bullshitted.
End it. Put the crutches down.
Let the anesthesia wear off and then walk again.
This isn’t about finding better, this isn’t about finding gratitude, this is about finding yourself.
There’s no limping in Louboutin’s, angel. You’ve got to strut your stuff.
On September 4, 2005, I did.
And my love affair with Bazz and stilettos still goes on.
Wishing the same for you, sweet pea.
Below are the stilettos Jule will be jumping into if this quaranBEEn ever ends, but we’ve given you some more “practical” options in the BEEantime.
All illustrations by @courtneycoloring.