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So, I am new to this forum. I have never participated in one of these and am going to bare it all, which is very scary for me right now. I am not married yet, but our wedding date is set for this fall. We have been together for just over 3 and a half years and engaged for almost 2. We spent the first 2 and a half years in a long distance relationship (we saw each other more than just weekends as he can work from anywhere) and then I moved in with him about a year ago, leaving the city I lived in.

I don't know if I can explain this quickly and concisely, as it feels very complicated. But in not so many words, I am questioning the relationship.

He is a wonderful, wonderful man and loves me very much. And I love him too, although sometimes I think he loves me more than I love him. Neither of us has been married before or had many relationships for that matter - he has been in more than I, but I believe I have had more sexual partners than he. We are both older - me late 30's and him entering his 50's. We have very good communication and always end up talking through an issue or argument - it may take a couple of days to get through our own processes and then talk it through, but we eventually get through it. We have our personality differences; I am more social while he is an introvert. I am more emotional and have a bit of a temper at times and he is incredibly even tempered and takes his time before speaking (not a strength of mine). We can both be very sensitive and ironically, we can both be very critical. We are aware of our own stuff and can talk about it with each other. We do get hung up on stuff from time to time, though.

Sexually, we have wonderful, loving sex. It has grown and deepened over the years, but we don't have it that frequently (2-3 times a month) and struggle with issues of not "feeling sexy". Both of us are guilty of it and I find that sometimes it can be impossible for me to get aroused. He is very loving, but sometimes I want him to take charge, seduce me, and he doesn't seem to have had the experience to be able to do that. Also, I have been trying to covertly work on his kissing, which is lovely but not as passionate as I have had in other experiences. Sometimes he gets it, but not often.

At the end of the day, I don't think I could ask for a more loving, caring person. He is sensitive and has a great sense of humor (he isn't as quick witted as I, but finds me hilarious, which definitely strokes my inner ego). We see eye to eye, or close to eye to eye, on so many moral/ethic/value topics and appreciate the same areas of the arts and music (we are both in the performing arts world as well as self employed, running our own businesses). The problem is, over the course of our relationship, I have gone through periods where I question whether I really love him or just the idea of a relationship. I wonder if I am in this because I am afraid of being alone or because I really love him. Not having had many relationships, I don't have the experience to compare. So often, I dated someone for 3 months or less, so I would often never get out of that "lust" or "crush" period before it ended. So I look at this and think, "Is this normal? Am I really in love? Could the little things that I wish were different in this relationship be waiting for me in another relationship down the road? Would someone else ever love me THIS much? Is there always going to be some quality I wish the person had?" Some days I cannot imagine my life without him, but this year has brought on more of the other feelings - doubt, questioning and pulling away. Some of this could be the transition of living together, me leaving my home and starting a new life, the fact that we are working on the wedding, I don't know. I feel I have doubt more often and absolute confidence less often these days. I should note that I don't have any desire to be with another man or inclination in that regard, which would feel like a strong indicator to me.

Finally, I have struggled with depression and anxiety in the past. I was working with a therapist for 2 years, but my move made it difficult to continue and I haven't seen her in 6 months. I was on anti-depressants in my 20s. Lately I feel like I am either crying or trying to keep from crying. Between my business, the move and transition, the wedding planning and financial insecurity, stress has been a continual component in my life. I have had more than one daydream about running off to South America or the West Coast - I am alone in these day dreams.

Wow, that is an awful lot of information. And I could keep on going, but I will save you all from the droning on. I just need some perspective, as it feels like I am unable to find it on my own and may be too confused and stressed to see reality without a little help.

I would love some guidance. He is a good man and I don't want to make a rash decision made from inexperience, but I do have to figure this out before we walk down the aisle.
 

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The real red flag for.me is a man in his.50s who has never been married before.

As for your worries, I think they hsve validity and that you shouldn't marry until you ere certain. You hsve the rest of your life to get it right and one huge giant commitment when you aren't certain can wreck havoc later, when you find yourself with an intense crush and justify it by having married someone you didn't really love.

Another valid thing ti explore is your perfect picture idea of what marriage and relationships are suppose to feel and look like.

You have a positive time and you get along well. You have basically good sex but you wish he would kick it up a notch. (you aren't alone there.)

What things are you really questioning? Is there anything about him that needles you? That you are worried about?
It is good to ask these things of yourself before you get married. But the big question is, if the answer is no, this isn't enough for you, will you have what it takes to call it off?
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So you're trying to find out if these doubts are normal pre-wedding jitters or an indication of a lack of compatibility, right?

And as for the lack of sex goes, you two are wide apart in age. You are in your sexual prime, but not feeling a lot of lust for him. And he is entering the decline as far as sex goes.

Are you wanting children?

What is the pressure here for getting married? You already live together.

That piece of paper won't do much for you both wanting each other that day-to-day living already doesn't achieve.
 

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Pre-marital counseling may be a great idea for the two of you. If you don't feel comfortable discussing these issues with him it may help to have a therapist help you iron things out. At the very least it will clear the air and help you feel more confident about your decision either way. Good luck.
 

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Why put the "expectation" of marriage on your relationship? It's clearly burdening you. What's pushing this? Is it your own expectations? Or are you succumbing to societal expectations? Is your man pushing it? I'd wager that this weight on your shoulders will only get heavier the deeper you get into this.

Your relationship seems to be pretty good overall, so it may be wise for you to just live day to day and let it be. By living in the future or past, we lose the precious present.

Do you plan on having children? If not, then there's no point in getting married. You can do everything a married couple can do without the legal entanglements.

I jumped into marriage with an artistic woman. We're now separated. Her intense depression and darkness were inseparable from her joy, and this in-turn fueled her creativity. I learned a lot from her.

Deep down I still love and respect her, but everyday I was walking on egg shells and fighting a fight. Her constant depression, anxiety, and anger was extremely difficult to deal with. There were a lot of external factors on us too.

There came a time when, because we were married, we were no longer together because we wanted to be, but because we had to be by state law. Now, my wife and I can't even talk on the phone due to her emotional meltdowns, she can't find a job, she needs health insurance, and this separation/divorce has already cost me well over $100,000 with no end in sight.

Yeah, one day I'd like to love and be loved again, but I'll never remarry.
 

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The PEAs, the brain chemicals that make you feel 'in love' biologically only last 2 or 3 years, so you're coming down off of the high you had before. NOW comes the work. And marriage IS work. If something in your relationship isn't up to par, it's your responsibility to (1) discuss it with him - always be honest! - and (2) seek out ways to fix it.

For example, to improve your bedroom relationship, try this book - it will work wonders. And, no, it's not a book to read; it's a set of 52 invitations, half of which the female gives the man, half of which the man gives the female. It helps you become and stay more connected.
Amazon.com: 52 Invitations To Grrreat Sex: It All Begins with a Lick (9780974259918): Laura Corn: Books
 

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If you have to question-there's your answer.
 

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Take it from someone who learned the hard way, trust your gut. I married a man only to discover 5 years in that he is physically abusive in addition to being emotionally abusive. I had serious doubts like you when we were engaged. I should have left years ago.
 
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