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Hello All,
I'm looking for some advice on what to do and I'll do my best to keep this straight and to the point. My fiance and I have been engaged since christmas eve and were very happy until 2 days ago. My fiance came back 2 days ago from a trip to spain with some of her girl pals. I thought it would be a good thing because she doesn't have the opportunity to get out much and she's been to europe before and she loves it there.

When we first started dating she expressed interest in someday needing to take some time for herself to live in europe a while before she settles down and has kids and the whole family lifestyle. She doesn't know how long, but she says anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. I was ok with that at first because we were just dating and getting to know each other. As we got more serious she expressed that she doesn't need to live in europe anymore and is happy just being with me. Well, cut to three years later. We get engaged and everything is fine.

Cut to 2 days ago. She says that she has come to the realization that she needs to live in europe after all before we get married and have kids. I find this very understandable and appreciate her telling me this now vs years later after we are married and maybe have kids in the picture. However, she drops this after we have already bought a house and have commitments to each other.

I know myself very well and have told her from the beginning that I can't do long distance relationships. They are very hard and stressful for me. She says she knows and that she is sorry for putting me in this very hard position but that she has to be honest with herself and with me and she is afraid she may be unhappy later if she doesn't do this now.

I love her and I want her to be happy. At the same time, I have a gut feeling that I can't just say go ahead and expect me to be waiting right here when she gets back. I don't think it's fair. Also, I have a fear that the time she decides to go for, lets say 6 months, will turn into a year, then a year and half, then 2, etc. I asked her if she will definitely come back after whatever time she decides to go. She says she believes she would but she can't make that promise.

I'm in a very hard position and I don't know what to do. If anyone here was in my situation with their spouse / fiance what would you do and how would you handle it?
 

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What keeps you from being able to do a long-distance relationship, esp. when you have been together to form the relationship and are not trying to create one long-distance? Also, how long have the two of you been together?
 

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Its very hard for me to be away from a loved one for a long period of time. I've also have had no luck in previous long distance serious relationships and its always come down to the lack of seeing each other.

Also, if my fiance could give me a 100% promise that she would return after an agreed upon time this wouldn't be a big deal. I understand the need to get something out of your system before commiting everything to a marriage. But because she can't, I have a fear that she will like to stay in europe longer than we planned. If that were to come true, I'd feel like the one who gets left behind for a indefinite amount of time. That makes me feel like I may be wasting my time.
 

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You haven't really answered part of the question--why is it so hard for you to be away from someone? Frankly, this sounds very needy--as does your insistence that you would be "wasting time." What is the big hurry? Wasting time you could have spent doing what--rushing into a new relationship b/c you can't stand being alone?

I may be totally off the mark here, but maybe you need to look into your self-esteem issues. If you love someone, you revel in their happiness whether they are with you or not. You don't sulk b/c they aren't with you. I wonder if she feels--consciously or unconsciously--that SHE, as an individual, isn't very important to you; that it is only the relationship that matters to you, and she could be easily replaced. Hard stuff to talk about, but you should.

And yes, a time limit seems reasonable--but if you cannot live happily for 2 years on your own, then you may be the one with the problem. She's the one who has more time issues--female fertility. If this isn't bothering her, then either you are not the one for her or she knows she won't stay longing than two years b/c you ARE the one and she'll be eager to come back and settle down with you.
 

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There is this saying that I used with my boyfriend (now wonderful husband) many years ago when I was NOT sure I wanted to be with him-for Life. I needed to date a little more to be 100% sure of what I wanted, I even gave the engagement ring back.

It goes " If you love something , let it go free, if it doesn't return to you, it was never meant to be Yours, If it does.... Love it forever".

I did return to him, and I never regret that time I took, away from him, to get my head on straight. I also referred to it as "Playing the feild". I have even said in our marraige more than a handful of times -that if I didnt do that, I might have questioned our marraige or thought of other men.

It is very unfortaunate a house was bought, but if she is raising these issues, she really might regret later if she does not take this time. Just my thoughts on HOW important -that time was for me.

I understand your not being able to wait, the difficulty in long distance relationships, not many could handle this! You both should agree to stay in contact but allow for seeing others during that time. Unless the 2 years is written in stone, you may be surprised once she leaves, she may have had enough time & come quickly back.

It is definetly a RISK for you both, but again, if you both come back to each other , after these 2 years (or whatever time it plays out to be), it will probably be Magnificant & lasting. If not, she was never meant to be yours, or you was never meant to be hers.
 

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Simply Amorous,
Thanks for the advice. I am a believer in that saying as well. Although she says she definitely wants to be with me and only me.

What gets to me is the timing of the whole thing. Prior to getting engagement we had many, many lengthy discussions about what we both had to do before we get more serious. She was good with settling down and we agreed to take vacations together, because I would like to visit Europe as well. What I failed to mention was that I didn't want to rush into a house or get engaged right away. She was the one who wanted to settle down more. She pressed for a house, she pressed to get engaged, and she pressed the importance of starting our life together. Even though it took me a while, I eventually decided to do what she wanted. I didn't do it because she wanted, but because its what I wanted as well. I took the time with this and eventually I became fully committed and invested. I became fully committed to her and I committed my finances, career, and lifestyle for our engagement and for starting "our life". These aren't easy changes to make, or to back out of.

And I feel like what she is doing by changing her mind is just so extremely unfair when she was the one who wanted these things bad. I love her to death but I can't help for resenting her a little bit.

I'm going to be open to what you said though. I'm a big believer in that saying. So as unfair as what she is doing is you're right. We'll just see what happens. If it works out then it was meant to be, if it doesn't then we'll go our separate ways and move on.
 

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I wish i could follow her out there but it's not an option. I have an ailing grandmother, a career that I have worked tremendously hard to start, and my family (parents, siblings, etc) in a crisis. I can't pick up and leave.
 

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Obviously you can not make her stay, but since she made the commitment of an engagement and a house, she really is not completely "free" to just skip out on her commitments either.

I would suggest that she return the ring, sell the house (or make some other reasonable financial arrangement like paying off her portion), and THEN she's free to go to Europe as she pleases ... with the understanding that you will not be waiting.

Then if I were you, I would not wait.

If she wants to sow some oats or whatever, that truly is her prerogative and good for her that she said something before a wedding and children. But to push for the engagement and the financial commitment of a house and then ditch is not very personally responsible. Allow her to experience the consequences of her choices, which in this instance is that she choose (even pushed for) a house. She is not really free to go until that is cleared up, so her trip will need to be delayed until the consequence of that decision to buy a house is handled.

After the ring is returned and the house is sold, she is completely free to leave knowing you will not wait.
 

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You are very smart. Man to man - a woman who was REALLY into you would not do this.

Don't get me wrong - I am not saying she doesn't love you. What I AM saying is she is very clearly willing to end the R so she can go to Europe.

I think you might want to tell her that:
- You understand her needs
- You will be selling the house ASAP
- The engagement is off
- You are now both free to date other people

If you DON'T do this, you are simply telling her that you will put your whole life on hold for AS LONG AS IT TAKES. I don't know any woman who would respect a man for doing that. And if a woman does not respect the man - you have nothing.

As for whether or not each of you meets/marries someone else - well I hope that you do. You are clearly not her top priority in life which is sad. But at least you are learning that NOW before you have kids.


Hello All,
I'm looking for some advice on what to do and I'll do my best to keep this straight and to the point. My fiance and I have been engaged since christmas eve and were very happy until 2 days ago. My fiance came back 2 days ago from a trip to spain with some of her girl pals. I thought it would be a good thing because she doesn't have the opportunity to get out much and she's been to europe before and she loves it there.

When we first started dating she expressed interest in someday needing to take some time for herself to live in europe a while before she settles down and has kids and the whole family lifestyle. She doesn't know how long, but she says anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. I was ok with that at first because we were just dating and getting to know each other. As we got more serious she expressed that she doesn't need to live in europe anymore and is happy just being with me. Well, cut to three years later. We get engaged and everything is fine.

Cut to 2 days ago. She says that she has come to the realization that she needs to live in europe after all before we get married and have kids. I find this very understandable and appreciate her telling me this now vs years later after we are married and maybe have kids in the picture. However, she drops this after we have already bought a house and have commitments to each other.

I know myself very well and have told her from the beginning that I can't do long distance relationships. They are very hard and stressful for me. She says she knows and that she is sorry for putting me in this very hard position but that she has to be honest with herself and with me and she is afraid she may be unhappy later if she doesn't do this now.

I love her and I want her to be happy. At the same time, I have a gut feeling that I can't just say go ahead and expect me to be waiting right here when she gets back. I don't think it's fair. Also, I have a fear that the time she decides to go for, lets say 6 months, will turn into a year, then a year and half, then 2, etc. I asked her if she will definitely come back after whatever time she decides to go. She says she believes she would but she can't make that promise.

I'm in a very hard position and I don't know what to do. If anyone here was in my situation with their spouse / fiance what would you do and how would you handle it?
 

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Wow. First of all, i'm really sad to hear about your situation. Secondly, shame on those of you who have no sympathy for his situation and tell him that he must let her go. Keep in mind that when he wrote the post it happened TWO DAYS AGO. I don't know any person, man or woman who would not be devistated by this news that the person they love and are to marry wants to leave them to explore themselves. There are definately a lot of options to take in this situation but telling him that maybe he is the one with a problem because he is unsure of how to procede...not cool! He does not have a problem other than that of deciding which path to follow for his future. Geez people!!
 

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As much as it would hurt and regardless of how much I loved her, I would take that as her way of saying that she's not ready to settle down with you. From there it's up to you. Personally I'd take that as I'm single again, and free to explore other avenues of love. Take time for yourself to recuperate and reflect before you do obviously. You both seem to be very independent people and doubt that this isn't something you wouldn't being able to move on from. She screwed you with her move but you can't make someone stay if they don't want to. Try to learn from it if you can, so not to put yourself out there again, putting you in a situation of taking care of what was supposed to be a joint financial and life commitment, by yourself. I believe she's being selfish and shouldn't be allowed to do as she pleases with your heart. She welched on her promised commitment to you. She's a big girl, she made a big decision, now she should be made to live with it. Hopefully she'll fall flat on her face and regret her decision. I also hope you don't take her back if she does. Just keep it moving... this isn't the movies. You sound like a good man, understanding, and secure. You're a hot commodity buddy and in demand. Good luck.
 

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Sis,
I don't think this is fair. She pushed for engagement/house etc. which = commitment commitment commitment.

Now she is suddenly saying she wants to go to Europe and wants no committed time frame. Forget about what they can negotiate as a final agreement. Given her mantra of commit commit commit, her request in and of itself at this point in time is a BAD FAITH REQUEST. It shows a level of self centeredness that is very much NOT good in a marriage. Even if she had done this before engagement - asking a person - male or female to "wait" for 2 years is ludicrous. You tell them you love them - just not enough to give up your travel dreams - they should move on with their lives and if by some chance both of you are available and still want to marry when you return - great.

Now some specific questions for the OP:
- Do you jointly own the house?
- What has she suggested doing about the house?
- Is she willing to pay her share of the mortgage while she is gone?
- Is she willing to absorb any costs associated with selling it if that is the right thing to do?
- How is it she can afford to travel in Europe for such a long period of time?
- WHAT changed? Why did she go from total commitment mode to total self focused mode?


As for simplyamorous - I like you and I find your story interesting. If I remember correctly you starved your husband of sex for much of your marriage and then a few years ago you suddenly realized that was a bad thing to do. You fit the profile of someone who is with a basically decent guy who they don't find super attractive unless they feel him slipping away. And that is mainly sad for the guy - because until he cracks the code and starts to withdraw - he gets starved of sex. Maybe him "waiting for you" was good for you. Maybe if he had known how you were going to treat him he would have married someone who treated HIM a lot better. So it is great that he was ok with you playing the field - but for much of the marriage I don't think your behavior reflected any real gratitude for that.



You haven't really answered part of the question--why is it so hard for you to be away from someone? Frankly, this sounds very needy--as does your insistence that you would be "wasting time." What is the big hurry? Wasting time you could have spent doing what--rushing into a new relationship b/c you can't stand being alone?

I may be totally off the mark here, but maybe you need to look into your self-esteem issues. If you love someone, you revel in their happiness whether they are with you or not. You don't sulk b/c they aren't with you. I wonder if she feels--consciously or unconsciously--that SHE, as an individual, isn't very important to you; that it is only the relationship that matters to you, and she could be easily replaced. Hard stuff to talk about, but you should.

And yes, a time limit seems reasonable--but if you cannot live happily for 2 years on your own, then you may be the one with the problem. She's the one who has more time issues--female fertility. If this isn't bothering her, then either you are not the one for her or she knows she won't stay longing than two years b/c you ARE the one and she'll be eager to come back and settle down with you.
 

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As much as it would hurt and regardless of how much I loved her, I would take that as her way of saying that she's not ready to settle down with you.
Yep.

She's had a 'dream' her whole life, it seems like. She even made that clear at first. But life got in the way, and she decided to give up on her dream and settle for OP. But then she went there, and realized it really WAS what she had been dreaming for, and if she didn't follow through on pursuing that dream, she'd hate herself (and make OP miserable) for the rest of her life.

I think you should thank her for being honest BEFORE you got even deeper into debt and family than you are.

Sell the ring, sell the house, and decide to see if you can make it through this period apart, but don't make any promises.

She's giving you valuable information. My D19 was talking to me today about being honest, and how each time she's told the truth (to school principal about skipping, boss about being unavailable over the holidays, etc.), the person has thanked her because they are so used to people lying (or omitting the truth) for their own gain.

Be grateful that she's being honest with you.
 

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Thank everyone for the really good advice. It confirmed a lot of what I already knew and it feels great to have that validation from people looking into it on the outside.

It's been a rough couple of days but here is where things are:

I told her that I understand she has a dream and that if its something she feels she has to do(which is the way she words it) to go ahead and do it. I told her that if she goes that the engagement will be off. I also made it clear that it wouldn't be off as a way to get her back for the hurt, but that its just unreasonable to take off and tell me to just wait while she goes and does her own thing.

She didn't like that very much. She sees the whole thing as its not a matter of having to choose one dream for the other. She honestly thought that we could just pick up where we left off when she comes back. She didn't even consider the possibility of me not being there as a fiance, or the possibility of not being available when she returns.

So, the ball is in her court. Although I also feel that if she stays she may resent me for it but we'll see. She wants to take the time to think about everything and I told her that is ok as long as she doesn't wait forever to reach a decision.

Again, thank you to everyone(well, a great majority of you anyway) for the very great advice. It has helped me tremendously. Thank you! If anything else happens I'll be back for more advice.
 

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Y

I think you might want to tell her that:
- You understand her needs
- You will be selling the house ASAP
- The engagement is off
- You are now both free to date other people
.
Obviously you can not make her stay, but since she made the commitment of an engagement and a house, she really is not completely "free" to just skip out on her commitments either.
Yep.


Be grateful that she's being honest with you.
:iagree:
 

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Sis,

As for simplyamorous - I like you and I find your story interesting. If I remember correctly you starved your husband of sex for much of your marriage and then a few years ago you suddenly realized that was a bad thing to do. You fit the profile of someone who is with a basically decent guy who they don't find super attractive unless they feel him slipping away. And that is mainly sad for the guy - because until he cracks the code and starts to withdraw - he gets starved of sex. Maybe him "waiting for you" was good for you. Maybe if he had known how you were going to treat him he would have married someone who treated HIM a lot better. So it is great that he was ok with you playing the field - but for much of the marriage I don't think your behavior reflected any real gratitude for that.
Mem: I really LOVE & enjoy your posts- by the way, I almost ALWAYS agree 100% , you bring SUCH clarity to every thread you reply too - amazing.
I am a little taken a back that you are beating up on me here though! :scratchhead: I have to defend myself - just a little.

I would agree with your assesment of me saying ..."You fit the profile of someone who is with a basically decent guy who they don't find super attractive unless they feel him slipping away". This is true, but it would be for many many women in my shoes. My husband is Mr Nice Guy-Love you till Death, Sacrifice it all - Kinda man. He is basically very very easy to take advantage off. He was just "always there- always waiting". And I did take him "for granted" for many years - but here is the RUB >>>> He was SUCH a willing participant, you really have no idea! He surely could learn some Great lessons from "BIgBadWolf" on here -- and YOU. If he was different back then, I can tell you for sure, I would NOT have taken him for granted , and our sex life would have been "smoking".

You even give advice for Passive Husbands like him all the time. I hope they are listening -- I agree with this advice!

It is very very very true that men like my husband would be better off to lay the law down, make no apologies & like this poster - let this woman know she has to do her part (financially)-in this commitment they made together with this house, and that he will NOT wait 2 yrs for her to get her act together. If he does not , he is allowing her to take advantage of him, and she will loose some respect for him.

I totally agree with you !!!

And my Husband SHOULD have laid the law down WITH ME, seduced me, talked to me, wooed me for more sex in all those years instead of willingly suffering in silence. I really had no clue to how he was feeling.

Was it not up to him -who was suffering the frustration - to inform me, sit me down, talk to me about it ? He failed us both with his in-action and passiveness. :mad:

If he had dared TALK to me (trust me when I say I am reasonable & LOVE to communicate), shared with me his feelings, what he needed/desired, I would have ACTED, took him seriously, not brushed him off. I would have at least bought a book - to help explore our sex lives. I always loved him. We had sex about once a week, it was never less than that. And even then, he waited for me to come to him! How insane is that? No man does this!! Find me one - heck I was off masterbating about 2 times a month thinking he has little drive, that I did not want to wake him up in the middle of the night cause he needed his sleep! Little did I know he would have loved that!! (This all comes out AFTER I start the communication- a shame really)

I applaud the husbands on this forum for taking their frustrations to their wives- laying it down & demanding change to better their intimacy & marraige. I only wish I had that opportunity back then , but he denied me that.

So please, give me a little credit MEM. I love my husband, if you asked him if I was worth all the trouble/suffering of the past (which I have), he has told me he would do it all over again, even without this boost in my drive. We are both blessed that it happened though! :):):)

But please trust me when I say, His overly passive tendencies have hindered us sexually, probably even more so than anything I did or didn't do.

Please forgive me for this sidetrack reply to MEM! :)
 

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I agree with simplyamorous.... it doesn't pay, whether female or male, to be passive. All you will be is an enabler and all enablers I've seen get taken advantage of without even knowing it.
 

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Be grateful that she's being honest with you.
I agree with this but timing is everything. She had her opportunity long before agreeing to commit. She even said she no longer needed to go to Europe cuz she had him. Now that the ball has begun rolling, engagement, house, etc., now she wants to renig on her commitment? She's so wrong for doing this to him. Her timing for being truthful was God aweful. It could have been worse you right, but it could and should have been alot better with her timing. Nevertheless, you're right in that he should still count his blessings that she quit now other then later or even that she didn't choose to stick it out, where they would most likely end up being miserable and resentful of their marriage.
 
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