Help! Should I be getting married?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Just a Girl, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Just a Girl

    Just a Girl New Member

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    I’m writing this here because if I ask anyone in real life I’ll feel so bad to have said it aloud and I’ll also worry they’ll judge me if I make the ‘wrong’ decision. I realise this is very long but I’d appreciate it immensely and eternally if I could get a response to this.

    I am almost 27 and have elaborate plans underway to be married this year (to another woman).

    For multiple reasons I find myself worrying over whether this is the right thing to do, although to change my mind now would not only upturn my and her life, but would also massively inconvenience a large number of people in relation to the wedding (although I know that needs to be last on my list of concerns in the scheme of things).

    To give the context, my fiancée is the sweetest, most patient, understanding and generous person, who does an endless amount to make me happy. Family and friends comment that we are such a cute couple and that we seem so happy, and that we never run out of things to talk about- we’re constantly chatting and making each other laugh. She is my best friend, I trust her 100%, and I get so much comfort from having her in my life and in my bed.

    I love her, without a doubt, but I don’t know if I’m in love with her. The problem is, I’m not sure what that even means or if I am being confused by some ideal from a movie that doesn’t even exist.

    I have felt more strongly about other people in the past but that was mostly unrequited and ended very badly, so it’s hard to compare that with the longest and most stable relationship I’ve had.

    I would love to hear what people think who have been married, or anyone else, on whether you think it makes sense to make this commitment to the person I like and get along with, even if I’m not sure how ‘passionate’ I feel about them.

    My worry is that I am only 26 and I have so many fantasies in my mind and feel like I have such a great capacity for romantic and sexual feeling, so I worry that it’s not right that I’m just not feeling that about the person I am with.

    We have been together 4.5 years, and I admit that I had these doubts even after the first year, but I put them out of my mind so many times and of course I’ve only grown closer to her and we've been making this whole life together.

    At times I have been totally convinced that getting married was a good idea, or I couldn't have gotten to this stage. It was her who asked me, and at first I really thought I couldn’t do it, then I changed my mind, and back again, and so forth, all internally, until I eventually did try to tell her I wasn’t sure about getting married 6 months ago.

    She got so upset and even mentioned that we had told everyone about it already, and the whole thing broke my heart so much that I totally backtracked on myself and finally I convinced myself more than ever that it was a good idea. But here I am again when things are actually booked and lots of money spent and I’m still worrying.

    One big issue for me is that I feel that I’m not that enthusiastic about having sex very often. I’m sure we do it far too irregularly (partly through my choice) and yet I can find myself very frustrated but often I get more satisfaction by myself.

    It’s terrible to say but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to have sex without thinking about somebody else (real or imagined). I just don’t know if that’s my fault for letting myself do that and not trying. I’m just not sure if I have the level of physical attraction at this point that I should.

    I also sort of feel like I am more sexual or at least sexually confident as a person than she is, and I’m left feeling like maybe there is something more I want out of what I'm experiencing.

    There are other issues I have debated over with myself, such as her total lack of interest in politics and current affairs, which may sound silly but it’s a major part of my life and what I foresee for my life and it can be frustrating that we can't discuss those things at all.

    I also often feel I can’t see friends or even family as much because she really requires all of my time and gets upset over ever being without me, which she says is due to her anxiety but it feels like we’re at a stalemate over actually addressing the issue. I should stress that she genuinely is very sweet to me, but it can also be pressurising to feel like I’m all that she cares about, both in terms of people and even life goals.

    That’s why it’s also such a horrible idea to imagine hurting her.

    I know I have now given various reasons why I should not be getting married, but I need to stress that the dilemma is that I genuinely am happy 99% of the time that I spend with her, and I am far more serene and stable as a person than I was before I met her.

    To call this off would obviously mean calling the relationship off (I discovered that when trying to suggest just not getting married *right now)*, and I know for a fact that it would feel crushing and scary and totally explode all of these good things about my life in the short term. I just have no idea about the long term. It could be the biggest regret of my life to throw away the nicest person I’ve ever met.

    Any thoughts???
     
    #1
  2. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    The one theme which seems to run through your post is that you don't want to hurt her. You don't want to throw away the "nicest person I've ever met." You say you don't want to hurt her several times, in fact.

    What you really need to do is look within yourself first. It's going to sound crappy, but this is your life and you're about to promise someone "forever" -- as much as forever means to some people because divorce is so convenient, so I think you also need to be selfish here. Something is clearly missing -- and that something may be the fantasy of someone else...the fantasy of a better sex life...who knows? But if you're always going to wonder "what if," and if you're not living in the here and now with the person who may be your wife, then you're depriving her of an honest relationship. You shouldn't marry someone out of guilt -- out of arrangements having been made -- to please family or friends. But I say again, you shouldn't marry someone out of guilt. It sucks to hurt someone, especially someone who's not at fault for anything.

    I often tell people that if you have to question a relationship, it probably isn't the right one. Now I'm not going to go all rainbows and ponies and say that the movie version of relationships does exist, but I'm also going to say that great relationships are about growing together and appreciating the ups and downs..and the right relationship can be without doubts that you're with the right person. You're also almost 27 years old, which IMO is still young...at 27, I hadn't a clue as to what I wanted out of life in a spouse...thought I did, but looking back, I'm glad that I had the opportunity to have good relationships and bad ones and, yes, I even got my heart broken a few times to make me realize what I wanted out of a relationship and ultimately a marriage. You've also been with her for 4 1/2 years (which puts you at 22) and have had doubts since the first year. Someday you'll understand that the person you were at 22 is not the person you were at 27 or even 30 or 35.

    At the same time, I always tell people that one person cannot possibly meet all of our needs. This is why we have friends, colleagues and interactions outside of relationships. There is no one perfect person for everyone...she may be lacking some of the qualities you want in a person, so you need to be fair here. I wouldn't necessarily have thought I'd end up marrying the person I did, but I felll in love with someone who wasn't traditionally "my type"...and having accepted her for who she is without my preconceived mental checklist getting in the way was the best thing I ever did. She is my best friend, and when it came time to get married...it was a no brainer.

    Please don't marry someone if you're only delaying the hurt that will eventually come. If you marry her, marry her because she makes you happy..because you see a future with her, because you couldn't imagine growing old with anyone else, because you're in love with her.
     
    #2
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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  3. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Here's the question you have to answer (and I'm going to be transparent, it's always the question you have to answer): If this situation continues exactly the way it is, if you get married to a woman who a) has some really great qualities, okay, but also b) you don't really want to have sex with, is super anxious to the point that she limits you from seeing your friends (which, SPOILER ALERT, is quasi-emotional-abusive behavior that a lot of people engage in and normalize), and does not share an important, foundational interest around which you would like to build your life - if none of that ever changes, are you going to be happy? Not just okay, not just settled, not just happy enough, but actually and joyfully happy?

    If you are - if you are going to be able to genuinely say, well, what I love and value weighs more than what I am missing, and for real, I'm not missing that much anyway - get married. Sure. But if you are always going to wish that these things would change, chafe against them, wonder what you're missing - DON'T. People very rarely fundamentally change, and while no one is perfect, you need to make sure that what is imperfect about your partner is something that you are not only resigned to but happy with, that her faults are something you feel affection about rather than frustration. It is THIS funny, sweet, idiosyncratic person that you are getting into a whole life with, that you are choosing to be your team, and you want to look over at her five, ten, thirty years down the road and feel delight and love towards all her good and her less-good.

    Do not get married because it would be inconvenient and hurt people not to. It will hurt your partner much more in the long run if you commit to a marriage out of inertia and under false pretenses. And, no lie, that part that worries me the most about your post is this one:
    In response to you voicing your concern - which has real, lasting consequences for your individual emotional health and your relationship - she got upset and talked you out of it. This is NOT the only action she could of taken here, and using her hurt feelings to talk you out of YOUR feelings is tantamount to emotional manipulation. It didn't solve the problem, but your "broken heart" - about her upset feelings, not your actual needs - was enough for you to back off an important conversation. (And I'm not saying that she wasn't going to be upset, but she could have said, "Okay, I need some time to take this in, can we talk in half an hour after I go cry in the shower, this is important.")

    If you had had that conversation in a real way, if your potential spouse was open to having the kind of mutually supportive relationship where maybe you could talk about this sex thing and work out a solution, or you could voice your concern about the role of politics and current events in your home, or you could ask for the space you need to maintain your friendships - she would not have responded by getting into a feelings stalemate where your choice was to break her heart or back off. She would not have used your care for her to manipulate you (and conscious or unconscious, this is what she did) into dropping a conversation that was hard for her to have. This conflict lets you know how she is going to respond to challenges and concerns in the future, and it does not look good to me: her needs, her feelings, are more important than yours, to the point that you are literally spending money on a wedding that you TOLD her you were not sure about in order to avoid hurting her.

    That is the disconnect that has to be addressed for your marriage to work. I say this is an anxious person who has, much like your girlfriend, accidentally used my intense reactions to manipulate people into keeping me emotionally safe. I say this as a married woman, who in order to be married has had to deal with the fact that in order to make this work I am sometimes going to be wrong, and feel exposed, and have to have conversations and do things that are uncomfortable for me. I say this as someone who got married at 28 to my then-25 year old partner, and has zero regrets about that - but also knows that I had to do some impossible growing up to be ready to make that commitment.

    At the end of the day, your marriage exists before you get married: it is the tangible thing that you have created through your love, your arguments, your compromises, your adventures. The ceremony recognizes and solemnizes it, but it is not something new or different that is created, only something that is made permanent (in a weird cultural ritual that people overemphasize). What you should ask yourself is if the thing you have built, flaws and all, is the house you want to live in for the rest of your life. It is okay to walk away from an attempt to build your lasting home, and it is okay to decide to live in a home that's a little crooked. But don't commit to a love that doesn't fit you, a home where you feel cramped and unhappy, just because you've already put so much time in.
     
    #3
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  4. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

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    Don't marry her. What's with so many lesbians wanting to take things so fast? Yes, you've dated for nearly 5 years but ask yourself whether you've ever been in love with her. If not, better break up with her and try to remain friends.
     
    #4
  5. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Hi Just A Girl, to sum it up, you are wondering if you are just getting the classic case of cold feet, yes? The best thing for cold feet is to give yourself permission to change your mind. Someone I met once told me the best advice she got when she was worried if she should go ahead and get married was someone saying to her, "So, don't get married." She ended up getting married. Turns out her fear was all the baggage she got beforehand with previous relationships. Her fiance at the time jumped through hoops and years of engagement, met with her therapist, talked it all over till she really had no reason to doubt that this would be a good life partner. Then the last thing that really helped was someone say, "so, don't get married."

    So, I will reverse the process here, I will say, "So, don't get married." Then you need to be completely honest with all the problems and doubts you have with your fiance. If all the ceremony and stuff is non refundable and expensive, a divorce is even worse. And the status of having been married and always having that paper you have to drag out about your previous marriage is non-refundable indeed. Go to an adviser, therapist, whatever, spend some real time and money on THAT. Premarital counseling is a good good thing. The lady I talked about in previous paragraph was in constant communications about her fears and the poor fiance put up with all of it and loved her enough to talk through everything. They had a therapist and mandatory premarital counseling with the outfit they had the wedding at. When you are spending your life with someone, things will only get more challenging as both of you age and acquire other things to worry about. If you can't talk about this now, things won't get easier. People coast through things and think they are happy and it is only when they get a very challenging question, like yours, "Is this all there is and I have to make it legally binding that this is all there is?", then they wake up and wonder if they need to do something about it. Who knows, maybe it will wake both of you up and you can both rethink your relationship differently, whether it is a coming together in passion or just going separate ways. I wish you both happiness either way. The money you can always make it back. Friends and family will understand.
     
    #5
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  6. dakotagirl

    dakotagirl New Member

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    This is the first time I have ever replied to a post but your story really struck me as it is very similar to my situation. I am, however, married with kids. I know you feel trapped and don't want to hurt your fiancee but you have to do the hardest thing you have ever done and walk away from this. You will be unhappy in the end if you don't, and your partner may not realize but she will be better off in the end as well. I stay married for my kids. I am not miserable with my spouse but we have a very untraditional marriage. It is basically roommates that co-parent. Don't let yourself fall into this relationship and look back years later and regret your choices. I love my kids to death but I have given up my own relationship happiness to some extent to keep our family unit in tact. Don't get me wrong, we don't fight or have tension, etc. I wouldn't do that to the kids but it is what it is. I made my bed so to speak. Make better decisions for yourself. Sometimes you just have to be a bit selfish and take care of you first. If not, you may find yourself in my situation and twenty years from now, you will be me and wish you made a other choices. Good Luck and be strong. You aren't to blame any more than she is.
     
    #6
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