A few days before Thanksgiving, 28-year-old Fernando Brazier married his longtime girlfriend, Trudian Hay. They had been a couple since they were teenagers and had two little ones, a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old, so it seemed right to her and their families and maybe even to a certain degree him, too, that they should go ahead and make it official.
So the pair exchanged their "I do"s in front of loved ones and celebrated what was supposed to be a new life together as husband and wife with their two beautiful babies.
It sounds pretty ideal. Except Fernando Brazier didn’t want to get married. And feeling overwhelmed and distraught over what he perceived to be a hopeless situation, he left a suicide note for his new bride at the front desk of the hotel they were staying in, put his wedding band inside of the envelope, and jumped from into the Harlem River only hours after their ceremony was over.
His sister says he’d been struggling with depression and anxiety, and a marriage he didn’t want to be in drove him over the edge. He snapped. And now his children are growing up without a father, his family is mourning their unimaginable loss, and his bride has got to be going through a kind of grief that neither you nor I can rightly wrap our minds around. For more reasons than one. I don’t even need to break it down. As a woman, you already know.
But let this be a lesson to all of the singleistas out there, all of us who are dreaming of walks down aisles and cake cuttings and happy little nuclear households. I know no one would readily admit that they’ve tried to put a dude under the gun to get married. That’s the kind of confession no one wants to really make to themselves, much less to anyone else. “Yeah, I strong-armed him into marrying me” doesn’t sound nearly as romantic as “he proposed to me.”
Sometimes it’s more subtle and subconscious, where there’s a good chance that the woman dropping the hints and making the suggestions doesn’t even realize she’s digging the screws. And sometimes guys will be sweating bullets about that impending “next step” and no one has even uttered the M word. Social convention, I guess, makes it clear that a respectable man will eventually make that his next move after a certain amount of time with a special someone.
Brazier’s case was extreme — and deeply pitiful one — but it does make a neon bright statement: if a man is not ready to get married, no amount of pressure, whether it comes from brute force or delicate innuendo, is going to make him want to be there. If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. If he’s not into it, he’s not into it. And really, if you have to convince or cajole someone into marrying you, I’d venture to say that the relationship is probably not going to last, ring or no ring.
Sometimes we can envision how perfect life would be if only the guy we’re waiting on would catch up. (Trust me, I know plenty about that one. I waited eight years for an ex to capitalize on how fantastic I was and that aha moment just never came.) But that’s what’s in your head, not necessarily his.
My thought: if he doesn’t bring up marriage after two years and you know that’s your dream, ask once what his plans are. Once. If he doesn’t kick it into gear after that, pack your heart, your pride, and your plans for the future and head out. But, whatever you do, don’t bother dropping hints or making ultimatums. It might not end in tragedy like this but it more than likely won’t be pretty, nonetheless.
Are some women so blinded by their desire to be married that they miss major warning signs that their man isn’t into it?
Image via Eduardo Deboni/Flickr