Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear forum, thank you for reading my post. I am deeply conflicted at this important turn in life and would value your wisdom. I apologize for the length. If I have lost everyone by the end, I have at least laid out my feelings to help clarify my own thinking.

I am 30 and she is 31. We've been together for 7 years, though we have never lived together. In the first 5 we lived nearby with roommates or parents (frequent visits), and in the last two we've lived long distance but spent 2wks/2mos in one anothers' cities (50% time total). Understandably, she wants to know where things are headed. There is some added urgency with our next career stage about to relocate us fairly permanently, and now is the time to make job sacrifices or spousal accommodations. We've had two discussions about this, the latest with her in tears explaining she would leave me if I could not commit to her in short order. Now we are heading to a remote cottage for a valentine's + anniversary weekend. We have already had a happy week together, but I am certain this is the make or break weekend. I have an engagement ring in my bag.

We have a lovely relationship: we trust one another deeply, are loyal to one another and are best friends. We almost never fight, we have fun together and laugh a lot when talking, we have many sweet habits together, and we have a similar level of intellect, which I have found hard to find in my mates. She is attractive to me, if in a somewhat androgynous kind of way. She strokes my hair gently, and is patient with me when she wakes me each morning. She has a generally happy character, which is a great match to my own buoyant personality. We share the same general values, hopes for children, retirement dreams and love of nature. I know that if I commit to her, I will remain committed.

But... we never had a passionate "love" phase. She is pragmatic and lives by her habits, I am an idealist and a romantic. She is strong-minded and a feminist, I am content approaching our relationship as equals but have been happier with a slightly more dominant role in past relationships. I sometimes long for more feminine qualities, like a flowing dress and perfume, but she always wears jeans and shuns accessories. When we gaze out at the sky together, I want to share my sense of wonder, but she is getting cold and it's time for bed. While attractive, she has specific faults that distract me in conversation and, shamefully, make me wonder how they might appear in my future children. One of her siblings has mental illness, which also makes me worry about my children. I occasionally have somewhat intense crushes on others and fantasize about what life would be like with a friend of mine.

We are both very career-focused and I for one have been content to let things carry on as they are. I feel like whether I propose or not, life will be OK. If we married, we would be practical, committed partners in life, would produce children quickly (to the delight of my aging and wonderful parents) and would raise them with affection and care. If we did not marry, we are still young enough and I am sure would both find someone else.

But the dialemma: I can't figure out whether I am not in "love", and whether it matters given that we would be effective partners. I also can't decide whether I could live without her: I really don't think about her much when we're apart for weeks at a time. On marriage, my feelings vacillate wildly from "I'm comfortable with this" to "it's time to move on" depending on whether or not we have been together lately. I actually found the strength to propose last year, with the plan of doing so right after a beautiful sunset in a special place... but the moment the sun set she insisted on leaving, which got under my skin because I hate it when she is bossy and can't we just let this special moment last. I got cold feet and her I am today. Further confusing things further are fear and guilt: fear of losing my best friend with whom I have spent so many years, and guilt that I am thinking of betraying her, our happy relationship, and the years we have invested in it.

I can't even figure out how to talk to her about any of this. I fear if I mentioned my concerns, I would only be hurting her. I care so much for her and the thought of breaking her heart hurts me so much.

Are there any obvious answers in what I have written? Please help me decode my thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
Seems really obvious to me. You have so many doubts that you are unwilling to commit.

Sometimes you just have to accept the bad with the good. Make the jump and commit yourself to LOVING those distracting things that don't hurt you in any way, or set her free to someone who values her enough to put that ring on her finger without all the doubt.

Either you are able to cope with her flaws or you aren't. I didn't see you mention how much her pragmatism vs. your idealism affects you, but this is the only REAL concern I think you have. Will she prove to be a wet blanket in your life or will you balance each other out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
You seem to truely love her, but if your still not ready to fully commit and she is, i would deffinately talk to her. Or even have her read this. My opinion a guy willing to pour his feelings and concerns on a site where anyone can read it, deserves to be heard out on his feelings. But dont always let the faults stand in the way. My husband and i have our fair share, but that is who makes us 'us'. And even if they are annoying, i wouldnt trade them for the world. If she is truely your best friend, she will understand your concerns. And if you 2 dont get married, it will be hard after such a long period of time, but try to stay friends. I wish you luck with whatever your choice is in the end.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,718 Posts
Do it when you're comfortable doing it. Never do it based on an ultimatum. Most times, you become resentful that you got forced into doing something you didn't want to do.

Not a good way to start a marriage.

BTW, tell her the concerns you have, maybe the 2 of you can work them out and put your mind at ease to make the next big leap with her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
I would share your ideas about what you want from a relationship.

Also you both need to make an effort to have a passionate relationship. I think it's vital to a healthy marriage.

it isn't good that you don't think about her much when you are not together, for weeks at a time.

It's also bad that you allow yourself to have crushes on others, particularly a close friend. If you are committed it's best to stay committed in your mind.

You will both have faults, but if you can compromise and work out a relationship that suits you both, than that's important.

Please do not propose untill you sort out your relationship. Learn how to connect sexually and work out if you both an get what you need from the relationship.

Do this very soon, and if not move on and marry other people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
You obviously have love for her but I see some red flags that may indicate she is not "the one." One is being so conflicted after 7 years together. You're very focused on what she is missing instead of being overwhelmed with all that she is. Your being attracted to her in "an androgynous kind of way," the frequent crushes you've had.Not missing her or even really thinking about her when she hasn't been around. I think you should feel in love when you propose marriage and I dont sense that you are even though she is very special to you. Marrying her mainly because you think she is a good match (which is very important) may leave you with a lingering feeling like something is missing, maybe that you settled in some way. You seem to already have the feeling something is missing, dont ignore it, its there for a reason. I would think you would be excited and looking forward to your life together and not merely "comfortable" with it. It seems to be more of a practical decision or alliance than a true want or desire. Really think about this. I hope whatever decision you make is the right one for you.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
411 Posts
I am 30 and she is 31. We've been together for 7 years, though we have never lived together.
NEVER get married until you have lived with them first. When people live apart, they can hide their craziness. My brother's ex seemed perfectly sane until they lived together. It quickly became apparent that she was a nut. She had every sign of borderline personality disorder, but she could hide it for the years they didn't live together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
I read your post carefully. I have not yet read any of the replies. Here is my objective analysis: You should propose to her this weekend and enjoy the rest of your life with her. You described a normal, healthy relationship with a great woman. Your expectations are a little too high. You are not going to have that passionate, in love feeling past the first few months and it is healthy that you don't need to with her while you are apart. This is all normal, including her faults and your doubts. I would suggest you talk to her about your need to sit longer with sunsets and for her to wear a skirt or dress for you once in a while. The grass is not greener, you have a nice relationship that will stand the test of time. Relax and enjoy it:)
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Its obvious... You love her to bits, but are not totally 'in love' with her... otherwise we wouldn't even be having this discussion...

You both share a great level of comfort and she might be the one person with whom you could be your true self. In fact you may find yourself more comfortable with her than with anyone you might ever find, but and a big but, she possibly fails to ignite that heady feeling in you...you both are best mates, but possibly not best lovers... and you wonder how it would be if someone else came along and did that to you...i.e. ignited your spark...you wonder if you are missing out on the potential to find sexual spark..chemistry...passion...

What I would advice is to read a thread started by enchanted...can you create chemistry in marriage...
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/sex-marriage/67226-can-you-create-sexual-chemistry.html
you might find some answers there...
As for going ahead with it, I'd say dont do it till you are sure...if not you'll resent her for it even though its not really her fault for wanting to give this relationship the 'marriage' tag...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
If you are not contented with passion and intimacy you will always have a roving eye after marriage. Think about it and do what is right.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,908 Posts
I'd agree with the last two posters, as someone who married a woman he was "comfortable" with. You have a long time ahead if you to wonder "what if"...

FWIW, after separating from my wife, I've been seeing someone for almost two years now. And it feels like "movie plot" love. Like when I see her for the first time that day, I still get a big goofy grin on my face that only she gets to see. I'll drop a lot of stuff just to make time to be with her. And my mind keeps turning back to her throughout the day. We're the first person each other talks to in the morning, and the last person at night. It's like nothing I could every have dreamed of.

C
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
Have you researched how the legal system is going to affect you? If not, you need to do that now. By getting married you're inviting the state into your relationship. This isn't necessarily a good thing for you.

Marriage changes the balance of power in a relationship. You already say you prefer to have some dominance in the relationship. That's natural and maintains her attraction to you.

However, be advised that once you marry, she will have ALL the legal and financial power granted to her by the state. If she ever decides to leave you, then you pay. If you ever decide to leave, then you pay. It's a heads I win, tails you lose scenario.

Tell her she gets the diamond ring if she signs a pre-nup.

You need legal protection in this day and age because there are dozens of laws on the books which stack the deck against men. No fault divorce, VAWA, equitable distribution statutes, the Bradley amendment just to name a few.

Do your research and ignore this advice at your own peril.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies and very varied perspectives. One thing that seems clear is that I shouldn't be making this decision under pressure this weekend, having not come to a clear resolution. I also feel like I should really be talking with her about everything I have talked about here, but I don't know what I could hope to accomplish: other than asking her to wear a dress for me, it would not be fair or reasonably to expect her to change who she is for me, e.g., with respect to her pragmatism.

What is less clear to me is the importance of passion and whether that "what if" feeling is going to be a problem in life. I read about these head-over-heels marriages, like PBear's, and I know mine would not be like that. I have a world of respect for her, but she doesn't make my eyes dilate. On the passion front, the sex is OK. It is a pleasant regularly scheduled activity on Saturdays when we don't have to rush off to work. If I initiated more often we would probably go at each other more frequently, but she says I need to do that in mornings when I'm usually not alert, and in practice even that doesn't seem to work out.

ShawnD, In our last conversation I suggested that we first try living together full-time, but she was not open to this at this late stage after all these years and I think this is fair. Having spent weeks at a time, many times with her, I am confident cohabitation would be fine. Also, Viseral, she and I agree that pre-nups are a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,104 Posts
in the last two we've lived long distance but spent 2wks/2mos in one anothers' cities (50% time total).

I really don't think about her much when we're apart for weeks at a time.
This to me doesn't sound like a man in love.

My husband and I have been married for 21 years and we can't stand to be away from each other even for a night. Like Pbear we have that movie plot kinda love and honestly I wouldn't have it any other way. I want that intensity and passion. No settling for 'comfortable' for me. I want it ALL. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,538 Posts
This to me doesn't sound like a man in love.

My husband and I have been married for 21 years and we can't stand to be away from each other even for a night. Like Pbear we have that movie plot kinda love and honestly I wouldn't have it any other way. I want that intensity and passion. No settling for 'comfortable' for me. I want it ALL. :D
Ditto! and we've only been married 10 years. One day apart is like torture. :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,908 Posts
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies and very varied perspectives. One thing that seems clear is that I shouldn't be making this decision under pressure this weekend, having not come to a clear resolution. I also feel like I should really be talking with her about everything I have talked about here, but I don't know what I could hope to accomplish: other than asking her to wear a dress for me, it would not be fair or reasonably to expect her to change who she is for me, e.g., with respect to her pragmatism.

What is less clear to me is the importance of passion and whether that "what if" feeling is going to be a problem in life. I read about these head-over-heels marriages, like PBear's, and I know mine would not be like that. I have a world of respect for her, but she doesn't make my eyes dilate. On the passion front, the sex is OK. It is a pleasant regularly scheduled activity on Saturdays when we don't have to rush off to work. If I initiated more often we would probably go at each other more frequently, but she says I need to do that in mornings when I'm usually not alert, and in practice even that doesn't seem to work out.

ShawnD, In our last conversation I suggested that we first try living together full-time, but she was not open to this at this late stage after all these years and I think this is fair. Having spent weeks at a time, many times with her, I am confident cohabitation would be fine. Also, Viseral, she and I agree that pre-nups are a good idea.
BTW, my marriage was like your relationship with your GF. It's my current relationship that's "head over heels"... Just to clarify! :)

And I wouldn't settle for anything less, now that I know the difference!

C
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I wish you the best. Choosing who your partner will be for the rest of your life is a huge decision. I agree that it's not good to make decisions like this under pressure. I am going through some issues right personally and with my marriage, but I can tell you that there is no woman I find more attractive than my wife or no one I'd rather be with. I also cannot imagine not seeing her weeks at a time and not thinking about her. I have a hard time not thinking of her during each day when I go to work and wondering how she is doing. The physical attraction thing is very important for me. I do believe it's better to feel pain in the short-term in order to have a better long-term. Before, I met my wife, I was in a relationship what lasted seven years. It wasn't a healthy one; the woman I was with was a permanent fiance. I keep hoping, and praying and trying to make things better. I didn't have the courage to end it early on which just prolonged things and made the eventual breakup worse. Marriage has enough challenges in itself. I don't think anyone goes into a marriage think it will end in divorce. Don't let friendship, guilt, stand in your way. If you truly care for her, either marry her or let her go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,671 Posts
you wouldnt be doing anyone any favors to propose to her while you have these feelings. Sounds like time for a real talk with her and to decide whether or not this is what you both want. It may be time to make a decision to 'sh*t or get off the pot'. She is 31, she may be having maternal urges. If you dont ever plan to marry her, and it sounds like you shouldnt, then let her go while she is still young enough to find someone else and become a mother.

Also, if you have so much respect for her allow her to marry a man that is hot for her. Its not fair to her to have a H who is , at best, passively interested in her. Out of sight, out of mind is not the thought process of a man in love.

Its ok that youre not. Whats not ok is to drag it out past HER prime.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top