| | Re: Why won't he suddenly STEP UP to make a positive change?
Just because he brought it up first, several years ago, doesn't mean that's still what he wants. I once had a boyfriend that I thought I wanted to someday marry. I hadn't expressed this wish to him (we were only about 19 at the time), when I began to get to know him even better than I already thought I did. As I got to know more and more about him, that desire to be his wife began to wane. He wasn't quite the great catch I thought he was. He's a great guy, in fact we're still friends today (nearly 13 years later), but he's not the kind of guy I'd want for my husband. We continued to date off and on until I met my first husband, because even though I didn't want to marry him, we had fun together, we liked each other and...well, he was there.
It's entirely possible that he brought up marriage because he thought he knew you so well and wanted to marry you but then as time went by he got to know more about you and decided that maybe marriage wasn't really want he wanted after all. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with you; just like with my friend and I, it's just a matter of incompatibility. You're not a bad person; neither is he. You're just different.
But, after all these years together, he doesn't want to tell you he doesn't want to marry you, and he probably is comfortable with you and the habits that have been established with your relationship as it is right now, so he's not going anywhere as long as you aren't.
I would just be honest with him and tell him that you want marriage in your future, and you feel that it's not happening with him in a reasonable fashion. Then tell him you're going to move on and find someone with whom you have compatible viewpoints on this. One of two things will happen when you do this:
1. He'll let you go, because you've just given him his out without him having to tell you he doesn't want to marry you. Which will free you up to find a man that will want to marry you.
2. He'll realize what he's losing because he won't step up and move forward with the relationship, and you will then get a proposal.
If you're not willing to move on to find someone who would want to marry you, then I think maybe you need to do some soul searching and admit that possibly marriage isn't as important to you as you're making it seem, and figure out why you are pushing so hard for it then.