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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,
Sorry for this, my first post being long.
I am new here so I guess I will start by telling you a little about my relationship and how I have come to my current position.

I am a 28 year old guy who took a few years before going to college so I was several older than most of my friends at College. While in my senior year there ('05-'06) I met my fiance. She at the time was 19 turning 20 (She is now 24) and a sophomore. We started dating seriously during my last semester after meeting in November and then randomly taking a class together in the Spring.

Before graduation I took a position that took me about 450 miles away from her. We continued dating via long distance seeing each other 6 or 7 more times that year after graduation.
She then left for a study abroad in Sweden mid-way through her stay there I took a 3 week vacation to Europe where we visited Paris then went back to Stockholm each for about 10 days.

After that I moved back to about 50 miles from where she was going to school. So for her Senior year we were able to see each other almost every weekend. Midway through her last semester in school (Spring '08) I asked her to marry me.

Upon graduation, she took two trips, one with her honors class to the Galapagos Islands and the other with Rotary Int'l to Japan, before moving back to her parent's house to look for a full time job. We didn't move-in together at this point because I wanted to wait until we got married.

She at this point turned down a position with Teach for America in New Orleans because I didn't want to move there. So she instead began looking for a position in the nearby major metropolitan area (Chicago), with the understanding that we would both move there and have jobs in the same city. She eventually found a position in Chicago in November and I continued looking for jobs. At this point, Financial Services (my profession) was almost impossible to find a position in, so I maintained my current position which was about 120 miles from Chicago and drove up there every weekend but my enthusiasm for looking for new positions was tempered by the lack of options at that point. This continued through out most of 2009 until she took a trip to Peru.

Back when she was a Senior in College she became fascinated with the country of Peru, and Machu Picchu in particular. At first the trip was going to be 5 girlfriends and 1 guy friend. I was invited, but wasn't that interested in that particular location. So I declined back in '08 to go on the trip. She was the driving force behind the trip and one by one the girls dropped out till it was just my fiancé and her guy friend. Notably we had hung out in a group quite alot and we were all friends. I selfishly requested for her not to go on the trip, though I refused to go on the trip as well.

Ultimately, over Thanksgiving break, she did make the trip with her friend. On the second to last day of the trip, he, in a loaded question, asked her if she and I hadn't been dating when they met, would she have considered dating him. She said that she wasn't sure but probably. Then he kissed her on the top of the head. But prior to this exchange she had been questioning our relationship because of my unwillingness to accompany her on this trip.

When she got back on Sunday, I could immediately tell there was a change. She didn't tell me at first, but later on that night, she told me what had transpired. I at first was very angry, because I could tell that although she hadn’t physically cheated, she had mentally allowed herself latitude that she shouldn’t have. I left for work early on Monday as usual, and went to work, On Tuesday, though she called and tearfully asked for a break. I was pretty floored and after talking to my friends for awhile that night, I called her back and agreed to it. Then I took the rest of the week off and went back to Chicago, the break didn’t last, and she called me on Thursday to see how it was going. We ended up postponing the break till after the Holidays. During the rest of December, she was able to put away her concerns for the most part, and we had a really good holiday season.

After she came back from Peru, I gave my boss 2 months notice that I was quitting at the end of January, and I told my fiancé that I would move up to Chicago, job or not, to be there starting in February. She accepted this but said that it wouldn’t sway her opinion.

The break started January 4th, but the first week she didn’t do that well in not talking to me. The second week she was much more serious about it, and on Wednesday she told me that she almost made a decision (against us), but that she wanted a little more time. However, that Sunday, her Grandpa passed away, and she was in an emotional crisis, we started talking again and I went to the funeral with her, and after that we continued talking.

I ended up moving to Chicago on Jan 30, and she was there to help me. Since then we have spent virtually every night together, but last Sunday night she told me that it isn’t working for her and told me she wanted to break-up.. Although she still loves me a lot, she doesn’t think we connect on the same levels. And she has brought up the following as the reasons:

She feels that although emotionally we connect and fulfill each other’s needs, companionship wise we don’t connect in certain ways, the biggest are, that she is an agnostic, doesn’t know if God exists, but isn’t worried about it. I on the other hand am certain of God’s existence and his workings in the world. But frankly this isn’t that big of a difference to me. Second, she is a very depressive person. She is prone to being down, but I am not at all. It takes a lot to bring me down (This btw is bringing me down a bit…). She says I don’t understand her depression when she feels that way, but I think that I would understand it more if I was there with her, and further, she has never had an extended depression (Multiple days) when I am around. So I am not sure that is a great concern. Also, she wants me to travel with her. To this I have told her I am willing to go anywhere with her.

Finally, what it seems to me is the greatest concern, is that I don’t talk to her the same way as I do my friends. Now most of you probably say that’s a good thing, but in my case, I am animated and have a good time with my friends. With my fiancé, I have a good time with her, I love her, I like to hear what she has to say, but often I am not very conversational with her.

I am trying to figure out how to get her to not give up on us. How do I change the way I talk to her? How do I convince her that I can fulfill her companionship needs?
I am sure that there are elements to the situation that I haven’t illuminated enough. I am open to most questions, as long as they aren’t personally identifying. And I am definitely interested in your opinions.

Thanks
PL
 

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Well, I think you have your work cut out for you here. Just from what you've written I can see some of the reasons she feels the way she does.

She turned down a job in New Orleans for you, you refused to go on a trip with her that was obviously very important to her. She moved to Chicago because that's where you wanted to move to. She put a lot into this relasionship, and I'm sure she was hurt when you didn't want to go to with her to Peru. Maybe she doesn't really feel as big of a priority to you, as you are to her. Top that off with what she sees as you have a better time with your friends than you do with her.

If religion dosn't play a big role in either of your lives, I don't see how that would be the problem.

Although this may be a hard time for the two of you, I think it is an opportunity for you both to really assess what you want and if you each meet the needs of the other.

I think it is a time for you to really look inside yourself. Why don't you have good conversations with her? Communication is such a huge part of a marriage. If this trip was so important to her, why didn't you go? She gave up a job for you and you refused to go on a trip for her. Why?

I'm not trying to pick on you, so I apologize if you are taking it that way. I'm just asking you to think about how she may be seeing this relationship as maybe one-sided.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Scarlet, I think that that I can agree with most of your assessments. I think that she did feel like I wasn't putting as much into the relationship as she was. She has told me as much. But since the beginning of December I have been putting everything I have into the relationship. I have moved to Chicago, I am spending all of my time with her and happily doing it all. But the hardest thing for me has been transitioning the way I communicate. Not that we don't talk or communicate. Just that it seems like I am not connecting with her in the same conversational way I do with my friends.
I am looking for what I can do to change the way I communicate with her. It has to be something I can change. I love her so much. I love spending time with her. I love being with her. I love hearing about her day, and telling her about mine. I love dreaming dreams with her and planning our future together.
But I still need to figure out how to change the way I communicate with her. I feel like it is a learned behavior as I recognize the same problems in my parent's 30+ year marriage and their communications. But I am willing to change, I am just not sure exactly how to change it.
The even greater pressing issue for me is, if my relationship implodes and I am left holding the pieces, how do I have any hope that I will be successful in my future endeavors if I have basic flaws in my relationship skills....
Next week we are taking a trip to the Pacific Northwest but after that, if I haven't figured out how to change this, my relationship will probably be over.
I'm kind of hanging off the ledge holding on by my finger tips. I haven't fallen yet, I haven't lost her yet. The disaster is impending, but it is 5 minutes to midnight...

Looking for anything here....
 

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This is difficult, and of course is not going to be what you want to hear, but is very straightforward.

It's over.

Your relationship is built around distance and absenteeism. You undoubtedly shared wonderful times together - but it also seems pretty clear that you don't seem very well suited to the day in - day out routines of marriage to one another.

She went on a vacation with another guy. Whether or not anything happened between them at all, his presence simply highlighted what someone that DOES share her interests looks like and behaves like - and it isn't you.

Beyond that, you simply do not want to pursue a marriage to someone who has even a shred of doubt.

Hell most of the people here had no doubts whatsoever when they took their vows - and it still isn't enough to preserve a marriage.

You can't 'win' her back. It simply doesn't work. Even if you do convince her to hang on to the relationship - she won't be doing it because it is what her heart wants, it will be because it's what your heart wants. Eventually she will resent that she didn't follow hers.

Grieve, be heartbroken and angry, but let her go. You will be doing both of yourselves a favor. I recognize that you won't possibly see it that way now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Deejo,

I appreciate your candor. I only hope you are wrong.

You state that it seems pretty clear that we don't seem well suited to the daily routines of marriage. But for the last month we have been almost living together... we make a great team on the home front. And as to my lack of appearance on the trip.. I understand my error. Can't someone realize a mistake and recover from it? I, in the past didn't have alot of desire to travel, but the trips that we have taken, I loved. So it is really just getting me out of my comfort zone. I am literally willing to do anything, I am just not sure what to do....

pl
 

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How exactly is it that you communicate with your friends that you don't with your fiance'? Is it more joking, laughing, speaking freely whatever comes to mind? I don't know exactly what you mean, so I don't know if I'll be any help here.

I understand when you're with someone all the time, like at home, sometimes really good conversations can get scarce.Sometimes you have to create those situations. Play cards, or a board game. There are some pretty cool games out there where you have to say what you'd do in a certain situation. That can open up a lot of topics and let you both know things about each other that you didn't know before.

Your trip is the perfect opportunity. Say no TV, no computer. If you're taking the trip for recreation, then you have great opportunities here (I live in the northwest). Go camping or for a hike. Nature, quiet, and just the two of you alone together can make for some wonderful bonding.

You can't undo mistakes you've made, but you can show her that you've learned from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think that it is more the genuine conversation. We talk about serious things, happy things and funny things. I am actually a pretty jovial person. With my friends i am a little funnier, a little more conversational. But often when I am with my fiance, we talk about our days and cuddle up on the couch , but we don't have the deep conversations we used to. With my friends it just feels a little more free.

I think that your suggestions of creating situations where shutting off the TV and talking are great ideas.

Thanks
 

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you say u believe in god? this is what the bible speak of when it say UN-Equally Yoked. one person believing in god and the other not.read ur book on the subject.then ask urself is this the person ur higher power created for u? and if she isn't ,doesn't that mean ur blessing is still out there waiting on u. Grannie use to tell me when something is removed from u , that's just gods way of making room for something better. but he can't give it to u if u r still holding on to the old things. believe god is working everything out for the best. let her go , if it does not come back to u , then that means the one, is still out there praying for u. hoped i helped .. i feel u.
 

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When you let your woman travel internationally with just a single guy friend, you pretty much signal your disinterest in her. Obviously something is going to happen on that trip. Asking her not to go wasn't enough, you had to ****block her guy friend and you didn't.

I not saying he had sex with her, but obviously something was going to happen between them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the posts.

She is still in some contact with her friend. He was her best friend other than me. But as our relationship is still in flux I can't ask her to abandon her second strongest friend relationship. However, she allows access to her e-mail account (she has my password, I have hers) and although the do e-mail occasionally, the subject matter is platonic. If I had my 'druthers I would definitely ask her to end the relationship, but I don't think that I am in a position to do that at this point. My only consolation, is that on a daily basis she is choosing me. Also we have been very truthful with each other throughout our relationship. And during this problem we have both been doing a pretty good job of remaining completely honest and forthcoming about our feelings and opinions.

Atholk,

I have realized something akin to what you said. I think that she never thought I was disinterested in her. But she did have serious doubts about whether we were right, she has a serious desire for travel, and if I don't share that with her, she is/was calling into question whether we are right for each other. But you are definitely right, that it was my responsibility, not to ask her to stay her, but to go with her and be her companion whether it was my top choice or not.

Any additional opinions or comments or advice would be very welcome.

Thanks,
PL
 

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This is difficult, and of course is not going to be what you want to hear, but is very straightforward.

It's over.

Hell most of the people here had no doubts whatsoever when they took their vows - and it still isn't enough to preserve a marriage.

Grieve, be heartbroken and angry, but let her go. You will be doing both of yourselves a favor. I recognize that you won't possibly see it that way now.
I totally agree with Deejo.
There is a reason for the custom of dating: to see if we are compatible. When you find that you are not - you break up! You don't convince yourself to get married.

You say 'you are new here' to the site and forum. Read the other posts.

If you go forward, you will be back on this site as one of the hundreds 'wondering if I ever really loved my wife'. It may take 1 year, 5, or 20, but the day will come.

Face the music and give both of you the chance to have a happy life with somebody else - instead of many miserable years trying to make it work between the two of you.

Sorry for being brutally frank.
 

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I have realized something akin to what you said. I think that she never thought I was disinterested in her. But she did have serious doubts about whether we were right, she has a serious desire for travel, and if I don't share that with her, she is/was calling into question whether we are right for each other. But you are definitely right, that it was my responsibility, not to ask her to stay her, but to go with her and be her companion whether it was my top choice or not.
It's not that you were disinterested in her, it's that stuff happens when you have a single man and a single woman in close promixity for long enough. She starts getting attracted to the other guy, then she can't help but feel you let it all happen.
 
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