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New member here planning on popping the question to my wonderful girlfriend. I'm having terrible cold feet about whether to propose. She's perfect—beautiful, kind, loving, faithful, sweet, etc. But I'm having qualms about the idea of marriage altogether.

TL;DR
I genuinely want to have a family and be a father, but I'm starting to fear marriage, for the first time, perhaps because I am THIS CLOSE to proposing to her. I fear going into something that's going to simply turn into a duty, and nothing more. I don't want to end up like some of my unhappy friends.

full scoop:

I have friends who have been married for years, and a few of them seem really unhappy. Some of them have revealed to me that they have essentially no sex life. This is an important factor to me and I am somewhat convinced after browsing these forums that it's very common, even probable, for sex to essentially end after marriage (twice a year is hardly better than never).

Additionally, one of my friends is going through a divorce after 8 years and it's wreaking havoc on his mental health. He's an insecure wreck. The cause for the divorce was that his wife didn't want kids and he did. She refused to budge. I think my fiancé really does want kids, so that's not a risk, but still. That friend of mine has been calling me very frequently and complaining about marriage as an institution, and he's slowly starting to affect me. Every few days he calls me to discuss how marriage is a failed artificial outdated institution and it's driving me insane.

I'm starting to feel afraid of losing control and finding myself bound to a piece of paper that basically says I'm screwed if something turns out unexpected.

Sometimes I feel like I'm putting pressure on myself to go through with marriage for societal reasons, or to feel like I'm part of my extended religious family (all married fundamentalist churchgoers, whereas I am agnostic). I do want to be accepted in their world, although I'll never be one of them. Of course I love my GF and I am also waking up and realizing that if I marry her, this will be forever, and I want to be solid for her and I don't want divorce to be on the table going in.

Unfortunately, after speaking with married friends and perusing these forums, I'm starting to grow a little cynical. Perhaps I'm selfish, but I'm not even sure what marriage is for anymore, aside from raising children. If sex is going to end after marriage, how am I not going to end up feeling like a prisoner?

A little more about me, I'm mid 30s, she's late 20s. Been together 2.5 years. Spent 9 months of that apart in an LDR during which we talked every day, stayed faithful, and were eventually reunited. Have been living together for 1 year. I am on the fence about whether to propose to her, not because there's anything wrong with her, but because I'm not sure I'm "made" for commitment.

She's a very sweet, very kind, very selfless individual. I've dated many women, and I feel confident in my assessment that she is truly a "keeper"—the kind of woman you really want to take home to Mom and Dad. She has one of the purest hearts I've encountered. I trust her with all my being. She's beautiful, but modest. She is a family woman and likes children.

She has tons of respect for me. I work very hard, am an above-average communicator, and really try hard to be a good partner to her. Of course, we all have our flaws, me included, and it seems that no matter how low I fall (for instance, if I lose my temper), she always forgives me. I value this immensely. She holds no grudges, she doesn’t ****-test me, she doesn’t rebuke or yell at me. She’s not demanding, nor is she high-maintenance or hard to please.

I love her and I have made tons of sacrifices for her over the past few years. I've been faithful. I've provided lots for her. We do spend lots of time together, and I enjoy her being around.

Perhaps I don't feel like I "need" her enough. I don't feel like I depend on her for anything, really. I don't really depend on her for emotional support, financial support, etc. Is that feeling of "dependence" necessary for a guy to feel walking into a marriage? Perhaps I'm just too damn independent for marriage? Is there something wrong with me?
 

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If you don't think you are 'made' for commitment then let her go to find a good man who would not hesitate to commit to her and will love and appreciate her for life. She sounds really nice but it's seems that isn't enough for you, and you would rather listen to your bitter, angry and cynical friend than marry the person you are supposed to love. Yes he feels agrieved at how his wife changed her mind about children understandably, but that is no reflection on marriage but on her.

If you don't want to get married, don't waste any more of her life, if she wants children she can't wait forever. I don't know how old you both are, but women cant wait forever to have children.

Btw I think marriage is a fantastic thing that is far from bring just 'a piece of paper'. The certificate is merely the proof of the marriage not the marriage itself. If sex is going to stop then it will whether married or not.

I also know countless very strong and happy marriages, many of them of 40-50 years length.
So please don't string her along, she deserves better. She deserves a man who will commit.

At the very least you should tell her that you dont want to commit to marriage and let her decide whether to stay or go.
 

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Have you sat down and honestly communicated these thoughts with her, your fear that your sex life will end, or afraid she will change her mind about having kids?

Look what you are feeling is normal and guess what I am sure she has her own trepedations as well...but the only way to figure out that is to talk to her about it have an honest dialogue about it....remember there are just as many successful married stories out there as there are fail ones.b
 

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Wow… she sounds like a catch!! What a lady.

Is it possible your friends can see this, and are in your face trying to steer you away because she is so good?

There’s a saying, you know who your friends are in your darkest times. Or something like that.

But beware the friends who can’t be happy for you. You know… your life is going great, and they suddenly find ways to darken things for you. Like how they heard terrible reviews about your new car. Or your new job will make you have a breakdown.

Pay attention to the ones who can see you have a good thing going and try to deter you from it. Because imagine you break up with her… and one of those miserable buddies move in and give her and ear to speak into or a shoulder to cry on…

She sounds amazing, you say so yourself.

But but but. If you don’t love her, don’t desire her and your friends’ bad marriages aren’t the reason you’re having cold feet, then DO NOT marry her. She wants to feel like a prize, not a ‘may as well marry her’. Because we women just KNOW and that’s the number one thing that’s going to make you very very undesirable in bed. No woman feels hot under the covers with a husband whose mind is full of regret. It’s ugly.
 

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Marriage is work & it's not to be undertaken lightly. It's also not disposable IMO. Sometimes you have to fight for it & your individual needs take a back seat to the needs of the team. That is hard for people to process. The whole "me" generation made all of us less likely to sacrifice for the greater good.

You use "duty" as bad thing. It's not. It's honorable. Reframe your thinking on the subject & things will look brighter.

I read 2 pop psychology books many years ago by Dr. Laura. Basically she's a old-fashioned almost misogynist but her books The Care & Feeding of a Marriage and The Care & Feeding of a Husband boil down to being appreciative. A lot of the advise is absolute bunk & should not be taken literally but if you can be happy that you have a partner, that they are home at night with you, that you have certain things together, you can go far. It's about being grateful for what you have & not thinking marriage is some fairytale where once you say I do everything is perfect all the time.
 

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New member here planning on popping the question to my wonderful girlfriend. I'm having terrible cold feet about whether to propose. She's perfect—beautiful, kind, loving, faithful, sweet, etc. But I'm having qualms about the idea of marriage altogether.

TL;DR
I genuinely want to have a family and be a father, but I'm starting to fear marriage, for the first time, perhaps because I am THIS CLOSE to proposing to her. I fear going into something that's going to simply turn into a duty, and nothing more. I don't want to end up like some of my unhappy friends.

full scoop:

I have friends who have been married for years, and a few of them seem really unhappy. Some of them have revealed to me that they have essentially no sex life. This is an important factor to me and I am somewhat convinced after browsing these forums that it's very common, even probable, for sex to essentially end after marriage (twice a year is hardly better than never).

Additionally, one of my friends is going through a divorce after 8 years and it's wreaking havoc on his mental health. He's an insecure wreck. The cause for the divorce was that his wife didn't want kids and he did. She refused to budge. I think my fiancé really does want kids, so that's not a risk, but still. That friend of mine has been calling me very frequently and complaining about marriage as an institution, and he's slowly starting to affect me. Every few days he calls me to discuss how marriage is a failed artificial outdated institution and it's driving me insane.

I'm starting to feel afraid of losing control and finding myself bound to a piece of paper that basically says I'm screwed if something turns out unexpected.

Sometimes I feel like I'm putting pressure on myself to go through with marriage for societal reasons, or to feel like I'm part of my extended religious family (all married fundamentalist churchgoers, whereas I am agnostic). I do want to be accepted in their world, although I'll never be one of them. Of course I love my GF and I am also waking up and realizing that if I marry her, this will be forever, and I want to be solid for her and I don't want divorce to be on the table going in.

Unfortunately, after speaking with married friends and perusing these forums, I'm starting to grow a little cynical. Perhaps I'm selfish, but I'm not even sure what marriage is for anymore, aside from raising children. If sex is going to end after marriage, how am I not going to end up feeling like a prisoner?

A little more about me, I'm mid 30s, she's late 20s. Been together 2.5 years. Spent 9 months of that apart in an LDR during which we talked every day, stayed faithful, and were eventually reunited. Have been living together for 1 year. I am on the fence about whether to propose to her, not because there's anything wrong with her, but because I'm not sure I'm "made" for commitment.

She's a very sweet, very kind, very selfless individual. I've dated many women, and I feel confident in my assessment that she is truly a "keeper"—the kind of woman you really want to take home to Mom and Dad. She has one of the purest hearts I've encountered. I trust her with all my being. She's beautiful, but modest. She is a family woman and likes children.

She has tons of respect for me. I work very hard, am an above-average communicator, and really try hard to be a good partner to her. Of course, we all have our flaws, me included, and it seems that no matter how low I fall (for instance, if I lose my temper), she always forgives me. I value this immensely. She holds no grudges, she doesn’t ****-test me, she doesn’t rebuke or yell at me. She’s not demanding, nor is she high-maintenance or hard to please.

I love her and I have made tons of sacrifices for her over the past few years. I've been faithful. I've provided lots for her. We do spend lots of time together, and I enjoy her being around.

Perhaps I don't feel like I "need" her enough. I don't feel like I depend on her for anything, really. I don't really depend on her for emotional support, financial support, etc. Is that feeling of "dependence" necessary for a guy to feel walking into a marriage? Perhaps I'm just too damn independent for marriage? Is there something wrong with me?
You shouldn't really need her, or any woman, a W should be a happy complement to your life.

It's your call, not your friends, no matter which way you go. It is an important decision. Hang in there.
 

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All the things you are mentioning that you fear could happen are exactly the kind of things you talk about with a future spouse before marriage.

Maybe she would agree that marriage isn't the best thing, or maybe you will send her running for the hills, but if you do proceed, at least it has been discussed.

Usually those that communicate well don't have these issues, or they have some form of the issues, learn to communicate properly and they figure it out.
 

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Perhaps I don't feel like I "need" her enough. I don't feel like I depend on her for anything, really. I don't really depend on her for emotional support, financial support, etc. Is that feeling of "dependence" necessary for a guy to feel walking into a marriage? Perhaps I'm just too damn independent for marriage? Is there something wrong with me?
NEED is maybe the wrong word, at least I wouldn't choose it.

After many many years of dating women, when I met my wife to be :

* I recognized that I wanted to help this person achieve their goals in life. I could do that, and I knew she would support my ventures as well.

* She understood me at a core level, to the point of knowing why I loved the music I loved, the food I loved, etc. And she was a heck of a lot of fun to be around.

* We enjoyed the same activities.

* The sex was great and still is 20yrs on.

* She was not going to get married because it was an item on her checklist.

* She was sensible with money.

* Our flaws were not dealbreakers for the other.

* We're both independent people.

* Our differences were complimentary - I'd be able to take things she was good at and make changes in myself for my own betterment, and vice versa.

I'm trying to think of what else felt different, and right... If this is helpful @sagoapa , I'll add more if I can. If not I wish you luck in whatever path you choose.
 

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The important thing to do is not get married if you’re having so many doubts about marriage. It’s really ok to be single, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, and it may hurt her in the short term.

The thing you don’t want to do, is be posting here in 12 years: ‘I never wanted to be married, but I felt pressured. Then we had 3 kids and I never really wanted kids either but I love them so much. My wife was always yelling at me to spend weekends together but I was independent and needed downtime with my mates. And I’ve met this woman at work and my wife has stopped having sex with me and I can’t stop thinking about this other woman. I just never had that passion for my wife, this woman really gets me. But I love my kids so much and don’t want to destroy our family’.

See, the first part, how you’re feeling right now is totally ok. But don’t be writing that second story. You can be single, or you can wait too, that’s ok and the right thing to do. I know plenty of single people and also a few men who married for the first time in their 40s.
 

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There are no guarantees unfortunately. I would discuss everything you feel and think about with her now. Be 100% honest and get her response/feedback. Know that being married will require effort and compromise from both of you, Be clear from the start about where you want to be in 1,5,10 years etc.
 

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Here's the thing, your assessment on the risks of marriage aren't wrong. The most you can do is before you propose (if you do) is bring up the idea of a prenup. You say she's all great, but you probably haven't really tested her yet. You talk about making tons of sacrifice whatever the hell that means.

So tell angel that you want a prenup and see if she keeps her halo or if you see a crack in the armor.
 

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If you’re asking a question about it you’re not ready, in my opinion. If she’s for you and you want to lock it down you should be excited about proposing not questioning it.
Sounds like the big head is starting to kick in. Something is triggering his logic. Maybe something about the 9 months they were playing the long distance game, maybe he recognizes a pattern in his relationship he saw in his friends.......

The uncomfortable truth here is when your gut is talking to you like this, it's usually right.
 

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"The only thing to fear is the Dear, herself".

I would snap her up, marry her.
Ladies like her are always in short supply.

You WILL NOT find one better, only different looking.

God (or Fate, if you will) is giving you a gift.
Take it.

If she does not work out, give the gift back.
More likely....... if the gift of her, does not work out, it is more likely your lack of being, too, that gift.



King Brian-
 

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I will, I won't, I can't, should I?

Indecisive men are so unappealing.


Nemesis-
 

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New member here planning on popping the question to my wonderful girlfriend. I'm having terrible cold feet about whether to propose. She's perfect—beautiful, kind, loving, faithful, sweet, etc. But I'm having qualms about the idea of marriage altogether.

TL;DR
I genuinely want to have a family and be a father, but I'm starting to fear marriage, for the first time, perhaps because I am THIS CLOSE to proposing to her. I fear going into something that's going to simply turn into a duty, and nothing more. I don't want to end up like some of my unhappy friends.

full scoop:

I have friends who have been married for years, and a few of them seem really unhappy. Some of them have revealed to me that they have essentially no sex life. This is an important factor to me and I am somewhat convinced after browsing these forums that it's very common, even probable, for sex to essentially end after marriage (twice a year is hardly better than never).

Additionally, one of my friends is going through a divorce after 8 years and it's wreaking havoc on his mental health. He's an insecure wreck. The cause for the divorce was that his wife didn't want kids and he did. She refused to budge. I think my fiancé really does want kids, so that's not a risk, but still. That friend of mine has been calling me very frequently and complaining about marriage as an institution, and he's slowly starting to affect me. Every few days he calls me to discuss how marriage is a failed artificial outdated institution and it's driving me insane.

I'm starting to feel afraid of losing control and finding myself bound to a piece of paper that basically says I'm screwed if something turns out unexpected.

Sometimes I feel like I'm putting pressure on myself to go through with marriage for societal reasons, or to feel like I'm part of my extended religious family (all married fundamentalist churchgoers, whereas I am agnostic). I do want to be accepted in their world, although I'll never be one of them. Of course I love my GF and I am also waking up and realizing that if I marry her, this will be forever, and I want to be solid for her and I don't want divorce to be on the table going in.

Unfortunately, after speaking with married friends and perusing these forums, I'm starting to grow a little cynical. Perhaps I'm selfish, but I'm not even sure what marriage is for anymore, aside from raising children. If sex is going to end after marriage, how am I not going to end up feeling like a prisoner?

A little more about me, I'm mid 30s, she's late 20s. Been together 2.5 years. Spent 9 months of that apart in an LDR during which we talked every day, stayed faithful, and were eventually reunited. Have been living together for 1 year. I am on the fence about whether to propose to her, not because there's anything wrong with her, but because I'm not sure I'm "made" for commitment.

She's a very sweet, very kind, very selfless individual. I've dated many women, and I feel confident in my assessment that she is truly a "keeper"—the kind of woman you really want to take home to Mom and Dad. She has one of the purest hearts I've encountered. I trust her with all my being. She's beautiful, but modest. She is a family woman and likes children.

She has tons of respect for me. I work very hard, am an above-average communicator, and really try hard to be a good partner to her. Of course, we all have our flaws, me included, and it seems that no matter how low I fall (for instance, if I lose my temper), she always forgives me. I value this immensely. She holds no grudges, she doesn’t ****-test me, she doesn’t rebuke or yell at me. She’s not demanding, nor is she high-maintenance or hard to please.

I love her and I have made tons of sacrifices for her over the past few years. I've been faithful. I've provided lots for her. We do spend lots of time together, and I enjoy her being around.

Perhaps I don't feel like I "need" her enough. I don't feel like I depend on her for anything, really. I don't really depend on her for emotional support, financial support, etc. Is that feeling of "dependence" necessary for a guy to feel walking into a marriage? Perhaps I'm just too damn independent for marriage? Is there something wrong with me?
You are fearful of commitment. Not to worry. Another will see her qualities and that will be that for you. She may not need you enough after all. Now, for the "failed marriages" you know of, there is generally more to the story. Marriage takes work. But the rewards are many for that work. People tend to go on cruise control after the wedding and kids. Totally wrong. Both should continue dating long after the marriage and until death. Both should appreciate and hold each other as number one over everything. Many don't. This results in resentment and feeling unwanted. A brew for failing marriages. There is a plethora of material to read concerning marriage. There is this very website that TALKS ABOUT MARRIAGE. My marriage is 27 years strong. I messed up a lot. I learned a lot. But once I fully understood what it takes to make a marriage all it can be did my marriage go to a new level. It is a level of pure enjoyment. Do not shy away from what ifs. When you do this you will do nothing in your life.
 

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New member here planning on popping the question to my wonderful girlfriend. I'm having terrible cold feet about whether to propose. She's perfect—beautiful, kind, loving, faithful, sweet, etc. But I'm having qualms about the idea of marriage altogether.

TL;DR
I genuinely want to have a family and be a father, but I'm starting to fear marriage, for the first time, perhaps because I am THIS CLOSE to proposing to her. I fear going into something that's going to simply turn into a duty, and nothing more. I don't want to end up like some of my unhappy friends.

full scoop:

I have friends who have been married for years, and a few of them seem really unhappy. Some of them have revealed to me that they have essentially no sex life. This is an important factor to me and I am somewhat convinced after browsing these forums that it's very common, even probable, for sex to essentially end after marriage (twice a year is hardly better than never).

Additionally, one of my friends is going through a divorce after 8 years and it's wreaking havoc on his mental health. He's an insecure wreck. The cause for the divorce was that his wife didn't want kids and he did. She refused to budge. I think my fiancé really does want kids, so that's not a risk, but still. That friend of mine has been calling me very frequently and complaining about marriage as an institution, and he's slowly starting to affect me. Every few days he calls me to discuss how marriage is a failed artificial outdated institution and it's driving me insane.

I'm starting to feel afraid of losing control and finding myself bound to a piece of paper that basically says I'm screwed if something turns out unexpected.

Sometimes I feel like I'm putting pressure on myself to go through with marriage for societal reasons, or to feel like I'm part of my extended religious family (all married fundamentalist churchgoers, whereas I am agnostic). I do want to be accepted in their world, although I'll never be one of them. Of course I love my GF and I am also waking up and realizing that if I marry her, this will be forever, and I want to be solid for her and I don't want divorce to be on the table going in.

Unfortunately, after speaking with married friends and perusing these forums, I'm starting to grow a little cynical. Perhaps I'm selfish, but I'm not even sure what marriage is for anymore, aside from raising children. If sex is going to end after marriage, how am I not going to end up feeling like a prisoner?

A little more about me, I'm mid 30s, she's late 20s. Been together 2.5 years. Spent 9 months of that apart in an LDR during which we talked every day, stayed faithful, and were eventually reunited. Have been living together for 1 year. I am on the fence about whether to propose to her, not because there's anything wrong with her, but because I'm not sure I'm "made" for commitment.

She's a very sweet, very kind, very selfless individual. I've dated many women, and I feel confident in my assessment that she is truly a "keeper"—the kind of woman you really want to take home to Mom and Dad. She has one of the purest hearts I've encountered. I trust her with all my being. She's beautiful, but modest. She is a family woman and likes children.

She has tons of respect for me. I work very hard, am an above-average communicator, and really try hard to be a good partner to her. Of course, we all have our flaws, me included, and it seems that no matter how low I fall (for instance, if I lose my temper), she always forgives me. I value this immensely. She holds no grudges, she doesn’t ****-test me, she doesn’t rebuke or yell at me. She’s not demanding, nor is she high-maintenance or hard to please.

I love her and I have made tons of sacrifices for her over the past few years. I've been faithful. I've provided lots for her. We do spend lots of time together, and I enjoy her being around.

Perhaps I don't feel like I "need" her enough. I don't feel like I depend on her for anything, really. I don't really depend on her for emotional support, financial support, etc. Is that feeling of "dependence" necessary for a guy to feel walking into a marriage? Perhaps I'm just too damn independent for marriage? Is there something wrong with me?
It's clear you like her enough to keep her for now. But that really isn't what most people are looking for.
I don't have a crystal ball. I don't know what your marriage will look like.... I do know
I've been married 27 years and have sex many times a week.
I wouldn't wait around for a man who after a year doesn't know if he wants me. Ok my limit is actually 2 years.
I do know that in a good relationship actually talk about the future, expectations and how to accomplish those. By now you shouldn't think she wants kids you should already know.

She might be stupid enough to have kids without marriage but she sounds awesome enough I hope not.

You should care for her enough to let her go. She can find someone who sees how awesome she is, communicates with her and has an optimistic outlook on the future.
 

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If you’re asking a question about it you’re not ready, in my opinion. If she’s for you and you want to lock it down you should be excited about proposing not questioning it.
Exact what I was going to post.

Sir, life is a game of chance, we face risks in every daily action we undertake. We could walk outside our front door and get hit by a meteor. You could be killed in a car accident on the way to work, and so forth and so on.

Marriage is not something that should be entered into lightly. The two of you will be becoming one. Do you love your fiancé? Or, are you having second thoughts and cold feet? If you are unsure, please break off the relationship as another poster advised. She deserves better than being married to a gentleman who is not 100% certain she is the one.

Marriage is a journey, it is not static, it has a fluid dynamic to it. I guess to paraphrase a speech I gave at my sons rehearsal dinner two years ago marriage is a work in progress No matter how long a couple as been married. In my speech I said to them marriage is built on a pillar of there things: love, honesty, and trust. Without any of the three, there cannot be a successful marriage.

pLease read the parable “Maybe so, Maybe not”.
 
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