FIELD REPORTSay it once, then let it be (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor

This post is part theory, part field report (theory report?).

I'm sure many of us know or have seen floating around here the idea that if you want something specific or have a complaint, then the best way to go about resolving the issue (except in cases where there is a particular level of urgency and immediate discussion needed) is to say the thing you want/the problem you have one time, then not talk about it again.

First, let's talk a bit about why this works, then we'll get into my recent experience with it.

Why only say it once?

The idea behind this is that he will take what you've said to heart, and act on it as necessary. Continuing to bring it up will only wear him down and may come across as nagging (even if you don't mean it that way).

I had accepted this theory as fact because it seemed reasonable enough, but for a long time I had no way to test the validity of it -- until a few months ago.

My experience

A bit of background: neither I nor my boyfriend is particularly traditional. My family, however, is your typical big European family, relatively religious (I am not), and quite traditional. His family is also quite big, but neither religious nor traditional, so he doesn't have quite the same expectations placed on him -- one of these expectations being marriage.

We had previously talked about how he didn't, for various reasons, have any particular interest in getting married, and while I personally am okay with not getting married, I know that my family doesn't feel the same way, and the situation is further complicated by the fact that I am not a native of the country we live in, and the only way I'd be able to stay here after I finish my doctorate would be either: 1. get married or 2. have a child here. (And while we do want to have kids, I'm not interested in having one just so that I can stay in the country.)

So a few months ago I said to him, very simply, "this is important but I'm only going to say it once: I'd like for us to get married one day." And I stuck to my word. Not a mention of marriage (even in completely unrelated contexts) after that. Time went on and because it's not a pressing issue and because I know that his stance had always been quite anti-marriage, I kind of assumed he had forgotten about it.

A few weeks ago, we started playing a quiz game in our free time, where we had to answer questions then guess how the other person responded -- and one of the questions I had to answer was "do you think you'll ever get married?" So of course my response was "no"! He, on the other hand, guessed that I had said "yes". So we talked about it, and he said, in essence, that eventually marrying me was now his plan on how to make sure I could stay in the country once I've finished my PhD.

This may not seem like a lot, but the change in his attitude towards marriage was very surprising (and definitely pleasant), and I highly doubt this could have happened if I had spent the months leading up to this moment constantly talking about how I would eventually need a way to stay in the country, and how my family expected me to get married one day, and how X, Y, and Z cousin of mine were getting married soon, and blah blah blah.

I said it once, I trusted him, and I waited. And it paid off.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 19 points20 points  (1 child)

The idea behind this is that he will take what you've said to heart, and act on it as necessary.

He also needs time to mull over the issue and determine the best way to deal with it.

Assuming good intentions and trusting him will do wonders. You do this by not bringing it up again.

Furthermore, your belief in him that he's capable of fixing the issue is the biggest encouragement to actually be capable of fixing the issue.

Continuing to bring it up will only wear him down and may come across as nagging (even if you don't mean it that way).

It also displays a lack of trust as well as the assumption that he didn't take the issue seriously.

I kind of assumed he had forgotten about it.

Oh hell no. We can forget about all kinds of things, but not something big like this.

To better understand why he was silent - please see this post by u/girlwithabike

[–]qwertyuiop111222 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Oh hell no. We can forget about all kinds of things, but not something big like this.

I don't forget when my woman prefers poached eggs to fried ones. I'm definitely not going to forget that she wants to get fucking married!

OP, you did well. Giving him space & time to think was the best thing you could do.

[–]mmerijn 7 points8 points  (0 children)

The idea behind this is that he will take what you've said to heart, and act on it as necessary. Continuing to bring it up will only wear him down and may come across as nagging (even if you don't mean it that way).

It doesn't just wear him down for now, you can bet that he will let any following minor requests go in one ear out the other because he is tired of listening to requests.

[–]mewoo94 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not being drama queen makes men happy. And making men happy pays off. Congratulations

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Congrats! Both on your ability to say it once and then keep your mouth shut AND on the successful outcome.

I think that knowing you'll stay regardless makes it easier for a man to choose marriage. It makes it more his choice perhaps. I don't know, even knowing that I was never going to leave, I was pretty insufferable on the marriage question :-P ... actually, I'm not so sure I'm very good on the 'say it once' technique in general...Kudos to you!

[–]BlackHairedBitch 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I completely agree with the essence of this post and can personally vouch for it but I think this only works with guys. I have tried this with a close female friend of me and it did not work so it's not really universal rule for all relationships but works great in a context of hetrosexual relationship.

[–]puffpuffpastries 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That is so great.

I think marriage in the.modern world is something each couple has to take apart, look at inside and out and see if any / all of it applies to them. It's not necessary to be married to have a lifelong commitment.

So theres you, a person who seems to want that traditional commitment and him, a person who seems to want a lifelong, non-traditional commitment. And you were able to talk about it calmly and sparsely, let each other's POV matter and, allowing him to take the helm, make this decision.

I'm really happy for you, OP! I think you handled it so well. Like you said, the temptation to press your needs is a heavy one. This is something that could have rebuffed him, but you resisted. Its a lesson I try to keep in kind but I think I could do a bit better at, so thank you for posting this.

Sorry for my long, rambling reply... I just woke up with a headache and this made me happy. Oh, and congrats on going after your master's!

[–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much for this comment! It put a huge smile on my face as I was reading. :)

I absolutely agree with you --the fact of the matter is that for many people, marriage is no longer a necessity for longterm/lifelong commitment, and as a result, marriage is something that needs to be fully discussed and understood by both parties, especially if they both have differing ideas on its necessity.

congrats on going after your master's!

Thank you! :D

[–]lespetiteschoses 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I'm curious how your partner responded when you told him that you'd like to get married one day? Did he express agreeance?

How long would you have waited around without a proposal if it hadn't come up?

[–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I saw your other comment and I understand where you're coming from, so let me just preface this by saying that if this had been a more pressing issue, I would have handled things differently (more like how you suggested), but for the time being I still have a number of years here before I need to consider how I can stay in the country permanently, so being laid-back was fine for me.

He didn't initially express much of anything, just accepted what I said and we went on with our lives. Because marriage isn't an absolute dealbreaker for me (I can still stay in the country without it, but it would be more diffficult), I really would have waited forever. It's something I'd like, and it would make my life easier, but if in the end he had decided that it wasn't something he was willing to do, I'd accept that as well.

[–]lespetiteschoses 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ok yep that makes sense :) I thought that it was a more pressing concern and was wondering how you were so chill about it lol.

I'm glad you two are on the same page with things anyway!

[–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I like to think I'm a pretty chill person, but not quite that much, haha!