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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2005
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    Sweet, sweet Virginia!
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    Default Relationship vent (Long) Help Please?

    Sorry this isn’t a happy Christmas thread, but I guess I just need to vent/discuss this with someone disinterested.

    My SO and I have been together 5 years and (supposedly) planning on getting married for 4. He is my best friend, my safe place, and I love him more than anything. He is always there for me, at every horse show and has gotten me through some really bad times. I feel complete when I’m with him and just love having him and our relationship. Getting married and having a life together mean more to me than anything.

    Except that another year has gone by and we aren’t married yet and aren’t even moving in that direction. I know he’s kind of scared of the idea; we were both complete loners before we started dating and I understand he’s having trouble kind of wrapping his brain around the idea because he’d never really thought this could happen. But several times a year, I feel like I can’t stand it anymore and get upset about not going anywhere. We go through the discussion I’m having with you now and I always get the same answers: that he’s just grappling with this nameless fear and “never imagined myself with a family.” And I can just see him disappear into himself and pull farther away. I know he feels terrible about it and I know he loves me just as much as I do him. I’m just trying to see if anyone has any advice to break this cycle (it obviously isn’t working) and help him conquer this fear. Or just some support to help me hang in there.

    Please don’t tell me to dump him: I’m not ready to go there. The person I am with him is the person I want to be, but I feel like we aren’t complete yet and aren’t all we can be, like I’m always on hold and we’re treading water. I don’t know how many more times I can go through this “discussion.” Christmas had a pretty rotten ending b/c I was so disappointed I didn’t get a ring. We’ve gotten a lot closer the last few months, and I just thought maybe this year would be different…

    If you’re still here, thanks for listening.
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"



  2. #2

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    I know you said you aren't ready to walk...but really, if marriage is what you want/need, and you aren't getting that from him, that's a pretty big showstopper.

    If you really think you want to be with this man forever,ask yourself, if you are otherwise happy, what do you get from a marriage license that you aren't getting now?

    If the answer to that is something he can't give you, then you need to decide if you can live without either him, or that thing a marriage license will give you.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2009
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    23

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    I don't have much advice, but I've been there. If you are happy in the relationship, don't stress too much about marriage. I was with my now husband for 7 years before we got married!! We lived together for 6 of those years. We were kind of like you, both independent and just out of college. Neither of us expected our relationship to move as quickly as it did. Neither of us had a fear of the commitment of marriage (at least I don't think he did), but he certainly wasn't quick to jump into it (hence the lapse of 7 years). You didn't mention whether or not you live together, but honestly, our relationship is the same now as before we were married. We've been married 6 years now. If you are happy with him, that should be the most important thing. Give him some more time to realize that marrying you isn't scary at all.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2006
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    536

    Default

    Man up and ask him to marry YOU!! If he refuses, then you have your answer.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004
    Posts
    4,291

    Default

    I am sorry that you are upset at Christmas over this. But it may be time for the two of you to sit down with a therapist and really discuss the issues in your relationship. If he does not want a committment and you are constantly hoping he will surprise you with proof that he does want committment, you are going to be constantly disappointed, and that's a tough way to go through life.

    Perhaps there is an underlying issue in his past that has caused him to fear marriage. If you can figure it out, maybe you can work together to help him move past it. If not, it is up to you to decide if the relationship is enough for you, or you deserve more in this life.

    ((Hugs)). I hope it all works out for you.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2007
    Location
    PA
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    5,017

    Default

    How much can he love you if he is willing to cause you so much pain? Marriage is important to you so even if it isn't to him he should be willing to make the leap. After 5 years you should know whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with someone.

    Do you live together? If so how does he think that a marriage license will change things, other than your taxes.

    I would issue an ultimatum. You have given him 5 years. Frankly, I have had friends in similar situations where for years there was always some reason their partner didn't want to get married. Then, presto chango, when the women finally walked the men found women they would marry within the year. Don't give this man more years of your life that you won't get back.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2008
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    1,668

    Default

    But several times a year, I feel like I can’t stand it anymore and get upset about not going anywhere.
    Answer some questions to yourself...

    Why isn't "Where you are", good enough?

    Where is it you want to go?

    Is "Where you are", EVER going to be good enough?

    Answer those questions honestly, FOR YOURSELF, not taking him into the equation and you'll know what to do.

    If you can be happy, all by yourself, exactly where you are, then stay exactly where you are. Change nothing. Be happy. Enjoy this relationship for exactly what it is what he can (currently) give you.

    If you want other things, change yourself, because the possibilty of you (happily) changing someone else to get to your happy place is low.

    Also, after 4 or 5 years of being in a relationship, getting a ring shouldn't be something you're "surprised" by getting or dissapointed about not getting. If both of you are honestly heading in the same direction this should be a decision you've already made together before the ring shows up in material form. It shouldn't still be a "will he or won't he?" sort of thing.

    I had to make a decision something like yours once after 7 years together. We split up for a year, got back together and next year we will have been married for 20 years.

    Do what you think is best, even if it hurts like Hell.

    NJR



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2003
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    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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    Default

    If you are happy with him why do YOU need to be married?

    Are you living together? If notthen you might want to talk about moving in together.
    Are you going to cowboy up or lie there and BLEED?



  9. #9
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    AridZona
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    “never imagined myself with a family.”
    Is it about getting married or is it assuming getting married = having kids and he either doesn't want any or is on the fence about it?

    Just something that jumped out at me.
    Delicious strawberry flavored death!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    18,472

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    What do you think will change when/if you get married?

    Personally... Flame suit ON.. I would never get married unless it were because I intended to have children with that person. Otherwise it's all the same to me...
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2009
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    23

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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    What do you think will change when/if you get married?

    Personally... Flame suit ON.. I would never get married unless it were because I intended to have children with that person. Otherwise it's all the same to me...
    And that may be exactly what he is thinking!!! That may be what is scaring him??



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2007
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    592

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    I'm with those who are asking what you think will change with marriage. I am in a similar situation. I've been with my BF for 5.5 years (living together for 3.5) and marriage is in the cards, but not for a couple more years probably. When we first got together I was really terrified at the thought of marriage but now I can definitely see myself and am even looking forward to eventually marrying this man. I don't feel like I HAVE to get married, though. I am extremely happy with the way things are now and would be happy even if we never got married. I just want to be with him.

    IMO, it is about being happy with the person you are with and not getting caught up in having to get married. I understand that marriage means a lot to you, though, and I think therapy is a GREAT idea.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    Default

    I had The Talk with my SO about 2 yrs into our relationship. I was 29 to his 43, he had an exwife where I had no exes. We were living together. Calmly, rationally, and reasonably, I told him we needed to be engaged if we were going to talk about building a house on his property (we were living in a small cabin on his land and we had our 2 horses there). The thing that apparently most struck him, was when I told him that I was not going to be 35, dumped, and explaining to my Grandmother why I'd lived with him all this time. Tried and failed at really being married, sure: but this whole living together un-married, was over. I appreciated his fears and his history, but for me, for who I am, this is where I need to be. If that wasn't something he could do, he could keep the Noodle Dog (whom he adores), and I'd need to board Jake with him for a while until I got settled, which I'm sure was going to be ok with him. I didn't give him a deadline so much as I said this is where I'm at. I am giving you a heads up to figure out where you are. Soon as in Really Soon. It wasn't dramatic, I didn't well up and cry, it was just a discussion of this is where I am. And this is where I'm going. And how about you?

    We were engaged in about a month's time, I think? Married the next Spring on the porch of our new house. Hella busy year, looking back good Lord that was a lot to process. Been married now going on 9 years. And happily. We're best friends and buddies and he treasures me, and I treasure him. But that day he learned what I'm made of, which is not silly putty. This girl's got a spine and a force and a will. Deal

    I was ready to walk away if we weren't on the same path. Until you are there, nothing will change b/c it doesn't have to. Until and unless you are ready to hear I love you, but I just can't marry you/anyone/see myself married'- and then either accept that and stay, or WALK- nothing will change.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2008
    Location
    Maine
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    Default

    I'm with the others who are asking what you expect to change with marriage. I was in a relationship for over 4 years where we were both "certain" we were going to marry each other. I got frustrated with him not proposing and it created a real tension in the relationship. We're broken up now and, in hindsight, I can see why I was so hell-bent on that commitment--and it wasn't for the right reasons. I'm not saying you're the same, just throwing it out there.

    I have a friend around the same age as you who has been with his girlfriend about 8 years. They've lived together for at least 6 of those and have moved across the country together several times. His girlfriend REALLY wants to get married. He really feels uncomfortable with it. He loves her entirely, doesn't want to be with anyone else, and knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. There is NO question of his commitment. But he still isn't quite sure about marriage. He bought a ring a couple weeks ago but he's not sure what to do with it. He bought it just because this is what she wants...but he's still not comfortable with it, at least not NOW.

    If you're happy with the relationship, I think you should chill out a bit on the ball and chain and really appreciate what a good thing you have! These kinds of anxieties can only harm a relationship.
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2000
    Location
    Lake Norman, NC USA
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    For those that think marriage doesn't matter, it does give the spouse some legal protections should the relationship break up later.

    A dear friend of mine lived with her bf (they were both in their 30's) for five years. As they were driving home from having dinner with us shortly after we got married, he told her he needed more space and he wanted to break up. She'd always thought they'd get married and even got an "engaged to be engaged" ring (her words). Now she'd missed 5 years of opportunity to build equity in a house/condo. After picking herself up, she did buy herself a condo and a couple of years later connected with an old acquaintance and has now been married for several years, but too old to have kids now.

    I honestly think I would not live with someone, not for moral reasons, but kinda to protect myself financially and to give some incentive for marriage, perhaps. I do have another friend that lived with a guy due to her fear of remarriage, and they've been married for years now and have two kids, so YMMV.

    Don't know that I've helped much, but those are my thoughts.



  16. #16
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    Feb. 7, 2007
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    592

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    I agree with Nipntuck. I own the house that we live in (and have since right before I met him) and I am not going to join any finances until we are wed. He gives me money for the bills, but isn't on the mortgage. I have bought most of the furniture as well. He is in school and he couldn't afford to buy a house or condo anyways, so he isn't missing any opportunity to own.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2005
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    Sweet, sweet Virginia!
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    We do not live together. I believe that you shouldn't before you're married. To me, marriage is the culmination of a relationship and be it's own stage with it's own "perks and privileges." I want to be able to come home to my best friend every night instead of trying to make a few days per week last in between.
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
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    SF Bay Area, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    What do you think will change when/if you get married?

    Personally... Flame suit ON.. I would never get married unless it were because I intended to have children with that person. Otherwise it's all the same to me...
    As others are pointing out, why get married unless you want to raise a family together? If you want kids and he doesn't, you need to either be okay with the idea you will never have children with this man or move on. Just because people are married doesn't equate to living "happily ever after".

    You didn't say how old you are. Are you at that age where your friends are starting to get married and you feel left behind? You need to sit down and think about what your dreams are as far as having a family, and decide if you are willing to give up your dreams to stay with this man. You don't want to regret not having children when it's too late to have one, so really need to think about the idea of not having a family and just being together with this man.

    You may also want to consider counseling just to make sure you two are on the same page.

    I do wish you the best of luck, I know it's not easy.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
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  19. #19
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    Sep. 24, 2008
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    We do not live together. I believe that you shouldn't before you're married. To me, marriage is the culmination of a relationship and be it's own stage with it's own "perks and privileges." I want to be able to come home to my best friend every night instead of trying to make a few days per week last in between.
    Culmination? Perks and privileges?

    Oh my.

    Please don't take this the wrong way because I don't mean it to be condescending, but I am afraid that you really have no idea just how HARD it is to be married.

    Marriage is no "culmination" of anything. Especially if you've never lived together. Marriage and living together are the very first step up a LONG hill that certainly has it's perks and benefits, but I suggest you put those rose-coloured glasses away and take a good look at the other side of that coin.

    It is a very difficult thing you are looking at here and if this man is not 100% behind the idea, I'm afraid that you are going to set yourself up for failure either now, or later.

    Think about it like this:

    If you were going to open a business with every penny you had in the world, put every ounce of energy into that business for the rest of your life, spend every waking and sleeping moment with your business partner for the rest of your life, and know that if that business failed you'd be seriously affected (effected) by it, financially, emotionally and spiritually for the rest of your entire life.....Would your current prospective spouse REALLY be the business partner you would pick? Would YOU be the business partner your prospective spouse would pick?

    Because yes, you love each other, but there is so much more than that, that goes into a marriage and you have to be ready for it.

    Just food for thought.

    NJR



  20. #20
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    NJR, very well said.


    After a while the ultimate expression of love in marriage is a clean kitchen sink and the dogs are already fed. Nevermind a fresh roll of TP, ON the TP holder



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