March 4, 2010

Hot then Cold, Part II: The Outcome.

Posted in Relationships at 5:21 pm by Elizabeth Nixon

First off, I want to say a heartfelt thanks to you ladies for your support during this difficult, difficult time of Professor Paisley’s cold feet.

I nearly didn’t blog about it. In fact, I was so worried about receiving negative comments, or having people advise me to run for the hills, that I pulled the post off of my personal blog before it went up on Weddingbee. But it was already scheduled to go up, and go up, it did! I’m actually really glad it did go up, because I know some of you read it and related to it. And it personally helped me feel better that I’m not the only one who’s gone through an emotional break up of an engagement right before her wedding!

What I didn’t tell you was, my feet were cold, too!

….when we went snowboarding:

Professor and Miss Paisley in the cold, cold snow

Haha, no, really, when I left off with my last post on the topic, things were better-seeming, but still definitely up in the air. Professor Paisley hadn’t made up his mind: wedding, or no wedding? I had extended an olive branch to him while I awaited his decision. I wanted to be steadfast, and patient. But I admit that branch, metaphorically speaking, after 6 weeks of hanging out in limbo land, had dropped all its leaves and was beginning to seriously droop.

Since the beginning of our troubles in paradise, we had been diligently following the book The 5 Love Languages, as well as its companion workbook, The Love Dare.

And in that time, Professor Paisley had broken the engagement, taken it back, broken it again, and then said he needed time to think about marriage. At one point, he said, “if I HAD to choose between marrying you, and asking you to leave forever, I would choose the latter.”

So, you see, my heart had broken, several times over. It was seriously as if someone had died.

Then he needed time. So I gave him time. Truth be told, however, my impatient nature meant that when I said I’d give him time, I would last only about 5 days before I would pester him, ultimately leading to yet another tearful discussion. So, it was up and down, hot and cold, with a lot of waiting in between.

On Valentine’s Day, it was the worst, brought on by my screaming, “Why can’t you make up your freakin’ mind!?!” And then crying hysterically when I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear. I began researching the cost of a U-Haul, and contemplating my life without Professor Paisley.

A younger, more inexperienced Miss Paisley would have DEFINITELY high-tailed away from a cold-footed fiance, and never looked back. On that Valentine’s Day, after hearing the above heart-breaking words, it was one of those Sliding Doors moments, where you see two paths before you, and the one you choose will change your entire life. Your dignity and pride says “get the hell outta there” while your love says “hold on one more time.”

I thought about it for a long while, and decided even though he had said those things, to stay, and keep my olive branch extended.

We decided to go to Sea World for the weekend and try to get back to good. Do something fun together, which we hadn’t done for a long time.

It was an amazing time. Even amid moments of extreme confusion, or depression, or sadness, Professor Paisley and I somehow manage to have a lot of fun together, and make each other laugh.

Just before, during and after the weekend, Professor Paisley started giving me hints of his decision: “It will be good.” And, “you will be happy.”

At first those hints gave me a little thrill. Then I thought about them some more, and they made me very mad. If he knew what his decision would be, WHY didn’t he just end my misery?! Then and there. The absolute second he knew for sure? Well, obviously, it was because he didn’t actually know his decision! I wrote him a letter expressing my anger and frustration. The day he read it, he had had one of his bad days, depression-wise. He came to me to talk, and ended up saying “I just don’t know [my decision]”

Snap.

That was the sound of my olive branch breaking.

I had had enough. So I told him, please make your decision within two days.

The next day, I texted him while he was at work: “actually, I really can’t take this anymore, please make your decision tonight, you’ve had enough time.”

So, I spent the day crying and not getting any work done. Actually, the whole month of February, I unfortunately didn’t get any work done, which was really bad for the bank account, since I’m a freelance writer.

I went to the grocery store to inquire about picking up moving boxes.

I called the U-Haul company.

I called my parents to inform them I’d be moving in for awhile, until I got back on my feet.

I went through an entire box of Kleenex.

Professor Paisley came home early from work that night. He walked into the room bearing some flowers (potted Chrysanthemums) and, funnily, a can of cream cheese frosting and cake to put it on.

At this point my thought bubble read: “OK, he wants to break the news nicely, and thinks I could probably do with a can of frosting afterward. Makes some sense.”

But instead he said:

“We’re getting married!”

Screeeeeeeeech.

That’s the sound of the record in my head of what to say next screeching to a halt. You see, I hadn’t rehearsed for THIS answer.

I was not, in any way, shape, or form, expecting this answer. I was happy, I mean, exhilarated, but a whole lot of other emotions as well.

What makes me feel peace about his decision, and feel in my heart that he won’t ever change it, is that I know him. After living together and being together basically as married people do, for the past three years, I personally know and love this man. Very well. I understand his reason for taking time to make his decision: he wanted to be 110 percent sure he would never break his vows to me. And not just the typical marriage vows.

In addition to planning to take the regular marriage vows, we had promised to do the extra things it takes to really make each other feel giddy inside: for me, that means he needed to promise to always work hard to remember to bring me flowers and little surprises and plan date nights each week. And for him, I needed to be able to remember to do little acts of service from time to time, like bringing him breakfast in bed or taking out the trash when it’s not my turn.

You see, we had learned back in January that we speak completely different love languages (according to the book The 5 Love Languages). It was this book that helped us learn to love each other better, but also led Professor Paisley to doubt himself: could he remember to do these things for me throughout our marriage? He needed to know for sure he could, and that was a big part, if not the main part, of his indecision. It wasn’t, thankfully, doubts about loving me with all of his heart. He did. He just wanted to love me the way I needed and deserved to be loved.

And while I WISH he had thought this seriously about the meaning of marriage when he proposed to me in September of 2008, I am glad that he voiced all of his concerns to me, and took time to really think about the meaning of marriage, the meaning of us, and how best to improve our relationship to become a more in-tune couple.

We’re happy. We’re solid again, and I know that after these weeks of incredibly difficult, trying times, all the while talking deeply, fighting for our relationship fiercely, and continuing to love, laugh and hug, I’ve finally reached my 110 percent faith in us. I’m faithful we’ll be OK and that God (if she exists–I’m agnostic, so I’m not sure) willing, our marriage will be a long, loving and happy one.

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