Second chances: how can I propose marriage, again, to my wife?
March 1, 2007 9:30 AM   Subscribe

How can I propose [again] to my wife?

I'm married. Have been for 9 years now. Perhaps for the 10th, perhaps sooner, I'd like to propose to my wife.

When our relationship got to the point where we were thinking about marriage, I was in the "I know we're going to marry, but I'll wait for a convenient time" stage [we were in college, nearing the end]. She had good points as to why we should get engaged now, and the (ahem) 'discussion' essentially ended up along the lines of, "fine--let's get married!"

Not exactly the dream proposal. And it still bothers me to this day--you don't really get to re-do your marriage proposal...or do you? I'll never be able to change what was a poor execution on my part, but I can try to do something nice, now.

Is this a stupid idea? If not, what are some good ideas, especially considering that we're married already? There's plenty of stuff out there about the 'normal' proposal, but I'm of course more interested in my unique circumstances.
posted by RikiTikiTavi to Human Relations (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I hate throwing out a commercial idea as the first suggestion, but I know the diamond companies market "I'd marry you again" rings. If your financial situation has improved enough over the last 10 years that you could afford to upgrade her ring, and she's into that kind of thing, it might be worth considering.

Is this a stupid idea?
Absolutely not. I think it's beautiful.
posted by vytae at 9:42 AM on March 1, 2007

How about a walk in the park or a meal in a laid back privately owned place that would think this is amusing ... and a musical number!

I love a random musical number. Maybe Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors? Extra points if your name is Seymour.
posted by spec80 at 9:42 AM on March 1, 2007

If you're going to propose to her again, have a plan for what you're going to follow it up with. Are you going to romantically ask her to remain married for the rest of your life and that's a romantic moment, and you're done? Or are you proposing that you renew your vows in a new ceremony?

Whatever you decide, make sure you're absolutely clear in your proposal, so she's not expected a re-wedding when you just meant for a romantic anniversary gesture, or vice versa.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:44 AM on March 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

I would pick some situation or event from when you first met or got to know one another and then find a way to creatively re-enact it, only this time you propose at the optimal moment (in the story).

So that if you were driving a Maxima and would meet her at the movies on Saturday nights when her parents thought she was studying at Suzie's house, redo that, only when you get to the theater, have them flash "Will you marry me, Suzie?" on the screen before the previews (if you're good, things like that would be a minor thing to work out).

But that's just an example. This is a great opportunity, by the way. The thing you want to do is make sure it's something meaningful, and convey to her that you remember those times and show (through the proposal) that you loved her then and love her just the same now. But most of all, just remember this is a great opportunity. Don't look at it as a failure at all. Good luck.

And Good Luck racking your brain for something meaningful that she'll remember, that you also remember.
posted by cashman at 9:44 AM on March 1, 2007

I think this is romantic and beautiful. Yes, do propose.

I hope you are doing this more to see her expression of joy and to bring you guys even closer, than to assuage "it still bothers me to this day" ;)
posted by seawallrunner at 9:45 AM on March 1, 2007

I wanted to post and vote for "not stupid." My husband and I had a LONG LONG distance relationship; he was in Holland, I was in Pittsburgh. We pretty much had to decide together that we were ready to get married so we could file the proper paperwork with USCIS. I even had to buy my own ring! Not super romantic. While the paperwork was pending, we met up in Toronto for a visit. Even though our paperwork for marriage was already in its final stages, he proposed to me again at the top of the CN Tower. It's a great memory. I think it's never too late.
posted by theantikitty at 9:57 AM on March 1, 2007

Definitely not stupid. I can't imagine a man or woman alive who wouldn't enjoy a romantic gesture from their partner after ten years of commitment. Go for it.

I think you should couple it with a nice renewal of vows ceremony--maybe something private where you married or honeymooned?
posted by divka at 10:01 AM on March 1, 2007

I joke often that I didn't realize I was being proposed to, that I thought it was a rhetorical question. So I'd be incredibly and overwhelmingly touched if a second proposal were to be in the offing for our 10th anniversary. That you're thinking of it is a beautiful thing.

The hows and wheres are probably personal to you, just as long as you're honest with her that it's bothered you for years, that you want to do it "right" and that after 10 years, you're still very much in love with her and would marry her all over again.

Is there a piece of jewelry that you think should go along with this? An anniversary band? Another engagement ring? My parents were engaged when they were quite young (small stone in her ring) and years later dad took the orignal stone, had it set into a necklace and got her a new engagment ring. She was tickled, and wears both every day.

Are you thinking of an actual second wedding? Or just the idea of re-proposing? I agree with jacquilynne, you should probably be clear if you're just proposing, or if you're proposing a vow renewal.
posted by librarianamy at 10:09 AM on March 1, 2007

Not stupid.

I recommend, however you do it, including a letter explaining what you're doing and why ("I know the first time wasn't perfect, and these last 10 years haven't been perfect every day, but they're perfect for us, and I want to spend 10x10x10 more with you, so I'm asking again....")

This will give her something to keep, and also can help clear up the "are we having another wedding? Is this symbolic" type questioins.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:29 AM on March 1, 2007

I think it might be a good idea to do it before your tenth, so that you can throw in something like, "the first time I wanted to wait until the 'right time', but now I realize that's dumb, and I'm doing this again because right now I know it's right, and I don't need to wait for some particular occasion."

Definitely not stupid.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 10:53 AM on March 1, 2007

I think it's a very romantic and touching idea. Maybe do something that would get at how grateful and happy you have been to share as much time together as you have, and ask her to spend the rest of her life with you in holy matrimony. That sort of phrasing might avoid an assumtion that another ceremony would be forthcoming (although you might need to make that clear later).

Surround this with the setting and/or objects that will be meaningful to you both -- don't "upgrade" the ring unless that truly fits, the old one won't be obsolete after this (and what would you do with the old one?). If a diamond is meaningful to her, you could always get an additional ring, but what is meaningful could be anything from a beautiful place in nature, to 1000 roses, to a new car.

I get the impression that you had dreams of proposing to your wife in a special way the first time around, thoughts about how special it would have been for both you and her to have the experience of a romantic proposal. Its OK to want this for yourself too.
posted by yohko at 10:55 AM on March 1, 2007

Oh, this is just a lovely idea. Amen to the idea that it's as much for you as it is for her.

I loved that cheesy commercial where the guy and girl are a square in Rome or something and her parents are in the audience and he re-proposes to her... it's a bit fuzzy in my memory but the part I love is that he included her family, and I imagine it to be a place that is special to her. So my suggestion is to do that-- plan an anniversary dinner, and invite the special people in both of your lives for a dinner. Reserve a room at a nice-ish restaurant (or even a hole in the wall if it's special to you two) and get your parents, her parents, your wedding party if possible, closest friends, etc., and surprise her. Then, as drinks are served, as the night begins, have a toast. Tell her what the last 10 years have meant to you, and that you got started off on the wrong foot, and now you want to publicly declare your love for this woman, and would she do you the honor of 10x10x10 more years with you? Oh, and an anniversary band or special necklace or something would be a crowning touch.

Good for you both. Lucky her to have a guy like you.
posted by orangemiles at 11:11 AM on March 1, 2007

What if she says "no"?

You are married. Celebrate your tenth anniversary when it comes around.
posted by Carol Anne at 12:13 PM on March 1, 2007

Awww, what a great idea.
posted by theora55 at 2:37 PM on March 1, 2007

That's tremendously sweet. It's hard to give recommendations about particulars because it's such a personal thing but there is no girl in the world who wouldn't love that. What a catch you are!
posted by Jess the Mess at 5:15 PM on March 1, 2007

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