3
   

9 years together and he is unsure of marriage ?

 
 
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 01:07 pm
Hello A2K community! I'm new here and I'm in need of some advice. From looking at past posts this seems like a great forum.

So as the title states, I have been with my partner for 9 years. We are high school sweethearts. He proposed to me in 2013, it was beautiful and I was caught completely by surprise. I said yes-we agreed on a long engagement because we were very young at the time.
He was reluctant to set any firm date or timeline from the time of the engagement up until the middle of last year. We finally picked the date of our tenth anniversary to be it (March 2018). I was so happy that we could start planning for real. He told me he was happy and excited to officially become part of each other's lives permanently.
We decided that we didn't want a large wedding, after all it's about the marriage not the wedding. So we compromised on town hall,just us. Then go on our dream honeymoon with the money we saved from not having a fancy wedding.

So after that decision we are 9 months out and he's not excited. I see it and confront him on it. Turns out he is unsure about our relationship and his life in general and on marriage or rather marriage to me as I'm sure that's what it is.

So basically he doesn't want to get married on that date we picked and to give him more (unspecified more amount of) time. Not end the relationship but also not go back to dating. Basically be engaged indefinatly (as we've been doing) We talked and talked and I feel deceived and resentful. I interpitated that he wants the relationship without actual commitment and I'm not ok with that. So it came down to all or nothing.

I love him a lot and marriage to him is important to me. He picked all but I'm not sure I can give him that extra time to decide if I'm even worth fitting into his life plans, shouldn't he be sure about me? I mean he proposed after all. I took the bait and he basically tried to cut the line. Should I scrap the date and give him more time or just go our separate ways?

Thanks for taking the time to read if you did! All answers are appreciated
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 01:33 pm
Find out why he is scared of marriage.

You've been together a good while and engaged a long while too, so, it would seem he loves you, but, marriage scares him for some reason. My sister was like that and was living with the man for nearly 8 years before she was ready to get married.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 01:33 pm
@FranticFox,
Wedding planning seems to bring out all sorts of weird hidden things, eh?

You have been together a very long time, and it is particularly long considering how young you must be (under 30, I am guessing from reading between the lines). He sounds like he's got some FOMO going on. While it hurts, it's kind of better that it's happening now, rather than after the I do's.

A four-year engagement is a really long time, and you would be at about the five-year mark even with the current date. Leaving an open-ended 'date to be named later' extends that more and more of course. In addition, without a firm date, nobody can do any planning. You can't purchase apparel or flowers, you can't get say a restaurant reservation for a meal afterwards, you can't even book the JP without a date.

It sounds to me like the planning made it very real to him, and now he wants to go back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when there was no planning going on, and it was just an amorphous 'someday' without a hard date and commitment baked into it.

I am thinking you need to step back and give him some space. And that means not just to scrap the date for now but also to take a break from your relationship. As in, you both get to see other people and everything, as if you were 100% no longer in a relationship.

Except my suggestion to you is to have a firm end date for that. Call it, say, six months. So if it was today, April 25 of 2017, it would be October 25th so call it Halloween.

And that's when you have the 'come to Jesus' meeting. I hate ultimatums in relationships, personally. I think they are horribly unworkable, so I am not suggesting one. But I am suggesting having a frank talk. And you need to remind him that no one's getting any younger. If you want children, then there is a very real end date to your fertility, assuming you want to have children biologically and not adopt. And even if you don't want kids, between you, me, and the internet, it gets harder to find a mate the older you are - and women are hit harder in this area than men are.

Asking you to hang around forever, when marriage is important to you, is unfair to you. But asking him to marry without sowing some wild oats that it sounds like he has, can create a situation where he will want to do just that after the vows have been taken.

BTW, I also don't love people marrying their childhood sweethearts. It's a lovely idea in theory, and a lot of people have perfectly fine marriages, but it creates a fear of missing out. Also, I'm not who I was when I was 15 (and I wasn't like that when I was 21, either), and neither are you.

I hope it works out, somehow. And sometimes the best endgame is to part ways. But whatever happens, don't lose yourself in the process.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 02:04 pm
I'm assuming you live together?

Why should he get married? In his mind, things are just fine.

So -move out. Cut him off. See see if he misses you and realizes what he could lose.

OR . . . he's going to spread his wings and soar, because that's what he wants to do.

Time to find out.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 03:14 pm
@FranticFox,
What does each of you think will change in the relationship when you marry?

___


Have you gone for any pre-marriage counselling? I'm not a big fan of religious stuff but I am a HUGE fan of the Catholic marriage prep courses. They're available online though I think they're best if you can work with a sponsor couple.

http://www.lancasterdiocese.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Marriage.pdf

some topics from the first couple of weeks

Quote:


Start to implement a plan to deepen the foundations of their love for each other.

Your experience: How did you fall in love? What is it like being in love? How is love changing
your lives?


• What is marriage? Consent to total, unconditional self-giving which needs personal unity, indissolubility, fidelity and openness to life.

Discuss the opportunities and challenges of marriage.

What is love? Jesus and love. Affection, erotic love, friendship, self-giving love.
• St Paul’s ‘Love is never...’ and its mirror, ‘Love is....’
• The secrets to a happy marriage: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
modesty, self-control, chastity, gentleness and generousity.
• The threats to a happy marriage: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.



The courses tend to be more practical than religious when it comes down to the discussions/activities.

I find it interesting that over the past 40 years of knowing couples who have done this program the one thing that consistently trips people up is car ownership. One or both people in the couple own a car before marriage. Whose car is it after marriage? (not legally, but practically and relationship-wise)
0 Replies
 
tibbleinparadise
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 03:37 pm
@FranticFox,
You guys have been together for nine years, why are you busting his balls about whether or not he's committed? Nobody likes to have their hand forced, so pushing him on it will definitely be met with resistance. If marriage is more important to you that being in a relationship with your guy, then go find a new guy that meshes better with your goals towards being married. No need to throw down ultimatums, just be direct.

"Getting married is important to me and I understand that it is less important to you. I also understand that you are feeling some pressure and are unsure of what you are wanting. I'm going to move out and give you some space to figure out what you want and what's important."

Now, because you guys have been together for so long, you don't need to rush head long into another relationship so, at this point, you don't even need to address dating other people or whatnot. Give this arrangement a few weeks, a month, and re-visit the situation. It may resolve itself before then, it may not.
0 Replies
 
FranticFox
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 04:26 pm

Thanks everyone who responded so far!
So here are some more details and answers to some of your questions;

We do not live together nor have we ever. We've talked about it and would like to but the cost of living in our area is astronomical. I believe in living together before marriage but in our unique case we haven't been able to find anything affordable. We went on to talking about buying together since rent was higher than a mortgage in some places. Talks of even relocating out of state were had but all our friends and families are here. I would compromise for the right variables if it worked for both of us.

We've been to couples counseling just this year and we're working on our communication. He reassured me at that time that everything was going forward and he was happy about it.
Had conversations about life plans and goals, told me he didn't have any or that he couldn't see the future like I could. I told him I would support him in whatever he wanted to do. Go back to school, change careers etc.. he just kept telling me that he didn't know what he wanted. The same excuse.
Finally he told me he wanted a better job and was all about saving money right now -which is fine, literally everyone does that. Own that goal if that's what you want. I have my own goals and aspirations and have stayed true to myself in all these years.

Some other variables to consider;
-He works a stressful job with long hours
-We are 1&half hours away from each other-we talk every night and we try to see each other every weekend
-I own a demanding business
-We both have older parents with mild to severe health issues, adds ALOT of extra stress on top of everything, his father having it the worst with a cancer diagnosis

I'm not trying to make excuses for anyone but it's not that black and white and we have ALOT of history together. It makes it hard to separate why we should or shouldn't be together when our lives are already so intertwined. But marriage is important to me and it was the next step for our relationship naturally or so I thought. He wants the relationship without the pressure ultimate commitment right now. He wants me to give him more time, how much time is too much time at this point? How many more years do we need to be engaged till he thinks he's ready? He told me explicitly that he doesn't want to go backwards to downgrading our relationship back to dating and seeing other people. All in (unending engagement period) or break up. That's what it's come down to.

Sorry that was so long, just trying to give context.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 04:42 pm
@FranticFox,
How do you think your relationship would be different if you got married?

How does your fiance think your relationship would change if you got married?
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 04:52 pm
@FranticFox,
Perhaps he's depressed (note: I am not a doctor). With no real plans for the future and a lousy work life, that might be driving it.
0 Replies
 
tibbleinparadise
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 04:54 pm
@FranticFox,
Given the added info here is my take.

Right now your guy has his cake and can eat it too. He has his own place, can come and go as he pleases, does what he wants, etc. He straight up does not what you in his bubble on a permanent basis. He likes his independence and has effectively held onto it for nine years now. If you laid out an ultimatum he'd probably let you go rather than compromise his current situation. He doesn't want a family, doesn't want kids around all the time, doesn't want you around all the time...you get the drift.

You need to accept the situation or bite the bullet and end it. If it were me, on either side of the coin, I'd want out.
FranticFox
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 04:55 pm
@ehBeth,
Our relationship shouldn't change that much, it's more about legal protections,having his last name,becoming a family officially. I don't think he thinks the relationship would change that much either, I think he's afraid maybe of what's to happen after marriage as per sociatal norms. Kids,house etc. Thinks that he has to provide for me,has to have everything in place to do that when that's not even the case. He was raised traditionally and even though his mother has a job she expects to be taken care of hand and foot and he's seen this his entire life. Our relationship isn't like his parents at all but maybe he fears it will become like that. Their relationship is far from perfect.
FranticFox
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 05:01 pm
@tibbleinparadise,
Why would he propose at all then? That makes no sense to make a promise like that and then ask to leave :/
tibbleinparadise
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 06:25 pm
@FranticFox,
He's proposed because you made him (in his mind). He's just trying to make it work without having to loose his independence.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 06:30 pm
@FranticFox,
FranticFox wrote:

Our relationship shouldn't change that much


living together changes everything

really

__

Sounds like you would both benefit from more relationship counselling before proceeding.
FranticFox
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 07:59 pm
@ehBeth,
We live together on the weekends. We have our routines and own sets of friends and we balance family/friend and us time. If there are times of crisis we deal with them when they come up. The relationship has evolved because of all those trials and tribulations. Because we did make it through, that's not to say it could change with 24/7 living together, which is why I said it shouldn't. I know myself and my partner well enough that in it shouldn't be much different then it is now. I've seen all sides and so has he. We will continue couselling though. Thanks for your input,appreciated
FranticFox
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 08:08 pm
@tibbleinparadise,
I think the term you're looking for is 'dating with a ring'. Pacify the other side and still get what you want ie the relationship without permanent commitment. Drag it out for as long as you possibly can and then bam you're in a situation like myself,atleast that's what I've read on other sites when looking for this type of situation.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2017 05:21 am
@FranticFox,
Living together on the weekends isn't living together, sorry.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2017 07:47 am
@FranticFox,
Living together on weekends is not the same as full-time life together.

I've done both a few times over my many decades. I've been a work warrior, I've been in long-distance relationships. I've been in long-term live together partnerships. Weekend coupledom is nothing like 24/7 life together.

___

Given your inability to understand his current position / feelings, I do think you need to reconsider this statement.

Quote:
I know myself and my partner well enough
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2017 07:52 am
@FranticFox,
FranticFox wrote:
I don't think he thinks the relationship would change that much either, I think he's afraid maybe of what's to happen after marriage as per sociatal norms. Kids,house etc. Thinks that he has to provide for me,has to have everything in place to do that when that's not even the case.


the beginning of this does not match up with the balance - you don't think he thinks things will change much - then you outline some of the things you think he thinks will change

You guys have some work to do here.

__

n.b. I'm the marriage - resistant partner in my relationships. Was with one guy on-and-off for 19 years, he always wanted to be married. I never did. He's been married a few times, and now, another decade or so on, I know we'd be married in a flash if I blinked. In my current relationship, close to 20 years in, I'm the one who almost drove off the road when my partner suggested making things legal. Some of us just don't want to be married. Full stop.
0 Replies
 
tibbleinparadise
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2017 08:30 am
@FranticFox,
Speaking from experience (my own)...

Just because you have been together for a long time, have been through trials and tribulations, crisis, etc doesn't mean you were meant for each other, are good for each other, should get married, or anything else.

Sometimes the desire to no rock the boat, to not upset somebody, to not voluntarily create a bunch of stress....it all overrides our good sense to see the big picture and make the hard choices. None of the reasons you have presented creates a compelling argument as to why you two should remain together. At best it seems like you are trying to convince us and yourself that it's all okay, it's just a bump, it's healthy, it's normal, it'll change, it'll get better...

People generally do not change unless they want to. If this guy was interested in changing, he would have done so a long time ago. He isn't a "bad" guy, he's not a terrible person, but I doubt he's the right guy for you. Unless, of course, you enjoy beating your head against this wall.
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » 9 years together and he is unsure of marriage ?
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/04/2022 at 06:51:45