Worst weekend of my life after boyfriend proposes
Published 12:43 pm Monday, May 15, 2023
Dear Aunty Pam,
I hope you can help because I’ve just had the worst weekend of my life.
I’ve been dating ‘Fred’ for about a year now. We’re both middle-aged, he’s divorced and I’ve never been married (by choice).
I like Fred a lot. In fact, I love him, and he’s the only guy I’ve ever dated I’d even consider marrying, but now I’ve lost him because he proposed to me in front of his family and a lot of other people at a big, public event.
Fred knows me well enough to know that I hate, hate, HATE that sort of thing. I find public declarations of love, or proposals really distasteful. We’ve even talked about that after watching a ballgame on TV when a guy in the crowd proposed to his girlfriend on the ‘kiss cam.’
So two weeks ago we went to a local bluegrass concert and his family and some of our friends were going. Halfway through their music set, the singer calls us both up on the stage. My heart started pounding because I don’t like being the center of attention. Then Fred drops down on one knee, pulls out a ring and proposes. Everybody starts hollering and clapping and I just shook my head, walked off stage and walked back to my car.
Obviously, I was considered a big ‘Debby Downer’ for bringing down the mood. Fred and his brother approached me asking what was wrong. I told him he had humiliated me, that he knew I hated that sort of thing and then his brother insulted me using foul language and said that Fred was lucky not to end up marrying me. I was so upset that I told his brother he could drive Fred home, got in my car and left.
Since then, Fred has texted me a dozen times and I haven’t answered because I don’t even know what to say or how I feel about him anymore.
Do you think I made too big a deal out of this? Should I accept his apologies? Help!!
Dear Fred-Ex (admit it, that’s clever),
Boy, oh, boy, this is a juicy one.
Aunty Pam always pays close attention to the level of respect, or lack of, in a relationship because when the honeymoon phase is over, if at least mutual respect is healthily intact, a long, satisfying relationship is very possible. And… I’m not seeing a whole lotta respect for your opinion from Fred and company.
In my head, I’m picturing Fred as this kind of big, Jethro Bodine sort of guy. Like a friendly Golden Retriever that means well but keeps jumping on you until you have to be quite firm and rap him on the snout with a rolled-up newspaper.
Obviously, I could be way off, but I can just see him thinking, “Well, she SAID she hates public proposals, but I bet she’d accept it if it came from me!” and then off he went, knocking over everyone’s wine glass with his big, goofy tail.
But the thing is you’ve made it very clear to Fred that you find a public proposal to be horrifying. By not respecting your opinion, Fred essentially dug his own relationship grave. And what’s worse, instead of going after you alone to try and salvage what’s left between you both, he actually brings his brother—essentially making this very painful interlude public as well! I’m not even sure if a rolled-up newspaper would work on Fred at this point. And what a coward he was to allow his brother to curse at you and not step up to your defense.
Obviously, Fred has good qualities or you wouldn’t have considered marrying him in the first place. But unless he has the desire and capability not to treat you as if you’re an extra in his movie of life, I’d cut my losses and leave. Therefore, what was once the worst weekend of your life ended up being a big, fat blessing in disguise!