Dear Mike and Nicole,

I need some advice. My boyfriend and I have been together for the better part of a decade. We have a wonderful relationship. We rarely fight. Everyone would say we are meant to be, that we are soulmates. He is a good man. I still get butterflies with him after all this time. We are happy. On to my OPP. Slight back story he was married. They were young and the marriage happened for all the wrong reasons. She ended up cheating on him among other reasons and by the end of it he was left devastated and broken. I was aware of a lot of the situation before we got together. He has emotionally fixed a lot of the issues he had coming out of his previous relationship those some we still run up against to this day. he had gone to counseling in the past but no longer believes that the issues he has now are not big enough issues to merit counseling anymore. When I was considering the possibility of dating him I asked him if he ever wanted to get married again. He said if the right girl came along, absolutely. Okay, phew I want to get married someday so I can go ahead and date this guy. He even told his family months in to our relationship that If he were to ever get married again it would be to me. He has been aware of the fact that I do want to get married and not just be labeled as someones "girlfriend" forever. I have been patient but frustrated as the years have gone by and he has not asked me to marry him yet. I don't want to be one of those women that nag about it and end up giving an ultimatum. I want him to ask me because he truly wants me to be his wife. So I finally had a talk with him. I asked him if he wants to get married. His reply this time was "I'm not sure." He went on to explain that marriage scares the hell out of him and look at how many people are getting divorced and he doesn't want to go through another divorce again and yadda yadda. But that he loves me more than I know and wants to be with me and that he is in it for the long haul. And that he wants to propose in his own time when he feels comfortable about doing it. Part of me is so hurt because how does he NOT feel comfortable enough to propose after we have been together for almost a decade?? I'm starting to feel like he is giving me excuses and false hope so he doesn't lose me all together. I am so torn. Part of me is okay with the happiness of our relationship while another part of me is sad at the prospect that our relationship might be ended eventually because of my rift of wanting to get married. The thoughts I have are "Well maybe He will be okay about just going to get rings and wear them as a symbolism of our commitment" Or "Maybe I should just propose to him because at least if he is hesitant I will have my closure to his real thoughts and decide what I want to do from there. But am I mentally prepared for the possibility of the relationship being over after I do this option...." I guess the advice I need... Has anyone been in this situation themselves? Either as the broken one or the one trying to mend? How did you change/get them to change? Or is it hopeless? Should decide if love is enough and give up the hope of ever getting married as long as I stay with this man? Or do I give myself a time limit on how much longer I am willing to wait and be prepared to move on without him after that time passes if it doesn't happen. Please guide me everyone.
Sincerely, Hopeful but frustrated Idaho Girl