How do I know if I'm wasting my time?!?!

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
How do I know if I'm wasting my time?!?!
8
Sun, 09-16-2012 - 9:46am

My bf and I have been together for a year and a half. We have been living together (with my 6 year old son...whom is not his), for 6 months. When I ask what he wants one day (not necessarily with me so he didn't feel pressured), he says that he DOES want to get married and have kids one day. Btw....I am 28 and he is 31. Well, he can't even say the WORD MARRIED without looking terrified. I asked him last night if he wants to marry me one day and he said "I don't know. It's WAAAY too soon." I flat out told him that while he may want to get married one day, that I think that he is afraid of marriage. He then admitted that he never thought of it that way and that I am right. He was with his ex for 4 years and said he didn't give marriage a thought until the very end...and only b/c it felt like the right thing to do but never proposed. He said that they did say that they wanted to get married "one day" and did talk about it. But when I bring it up, he clams up and doesn't like talking about it. He looks scared and barely says anything.

I wanted to make sure that I am not wasting my time, so last night, I told him that I would like to be engaged in anywhere between a year and a half to two years from now and to get married within 3 years. He looked scared and said nothing. I said "what do you think?" and he said "uh...I don't know. That seems soon. People change and I don't want to end up divorced like my mom and dad." So I said "what is the LEAST amount of time that would go by before you did propose?" and he said "I don't know. Maybe a year and a half." I dropped it at that point after he said he felt like I was issuing an ultimatum and felt pressured.

I barely slept last night b/c I was so hurt. He has even said before that he didn't know if I am "the one" and that it would take years for him to know. I, for one, know he is MY one. Why doesn't he? I am so hurt and almost feel like I am wasting my time. I do EVERYTHING for him! I clean and cook and even always buy him little gifts at the store so he knows I was thinking of him. He even has some personal problems going on and I have been more than supportive and understanding. He even thanks me for it quite often. But I am really starting to feel like I am doing it all for nothing.

My question is, is he afraid of marriage or afraid of marriage with me? He says "if I didn't want to be with you, we wouldn't have moved in together." But then again, I kind of had to push that also. Am I wasting my time? :-(

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 09-16-2012 - 6:09pm

If your goal is marriage, then I think it is actually counter productive to push him (or any guy) to move in together.  Once you are there & you're living together and getting along & everything seems fine to him, why should he really change it?   What incentive does he have to get married--unless he really wanted kids, for example, and you said to him that you don't want to have kids unless you're married.  I would never have moved in w/ my 2nd DH (we both had kids from our first marriages) unless we had already decided that we were going to get married--we were already engaged but really had to sell his house & combine households in order to have the money to get married & have a honeymoon.  That marriage didn't work out & at this point, I would not want to get married again but would consider living with someone--but I think these things are very important to discuss before you move in.  It seems like you have different goals.  Now you have told him what you want so he knows.  So you have to see if he ever brings it up or just avoids the subject.  If you have to push him to get married, it's definitely not worth it.  But I also think that if he is going to be paralyzed by fear of commitment because his parents got divorced, then he should probably do himself a favor & get some counseling.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Mon, 09-17-2012 - 11:30am
First of all, I agree completely:

But I also think that if he is going to be paralyzed by fear of commitment because his parents got divorced, then he should probably do himself a favor & get some counseling.

From what he's told you re: his past 4 year relationship, this was an issue in that relationship as well (they didnt talk about it until NEAR THE END of the relationship----think it mighta had something to do with why/how they "ended" ? I do....).............and, ...FWIW, this issue will follow him wherever he goes, so, ML has a very good/valid point here.

However, you cant do this yourself. You can suggest/encourage this.....but it's his decision to work on his personal issues.

(sigh).

Here's my thought re: your situation, from your perspective.

*marriage* is important to you---and not important/terrifying to him.

I think what would help you the most is for you to work on clarifying YOUR issue with "marriage"---to help you better put your relationship with BF into perspective, and help you know what to do----

What I mean by this is---

What does "marriage" signify to you?
What exactly will you have *with* marriage, that you dont right now?
List these things out, perhaps......and really think about them.

Are the things that are different (eg, that you'd have with marriage) things that are MORE important to you than the day to day things you have currently with your BF?

If so, then definitely you'd want to move on. I really dont think he's going to *resolve* this issue (of his) in the " near-enough-for-you -not -to -be-extremely-frustrated -and-unhappy-regularly" future---------

On the other hand----maybe you're giving higher value to "marriage" than you thought----you have a man who (sincerely, it sounds like) loves you/loves living with you...............IMO, that's probably what you want with a marriage, also------since divorce is so (relatively) *easy* these days, it really kind of blurs the lines between a committed living together and a "marriage"............

I'm really rambling here----but the bottom line is you need to be living your life feeling GOOD about what's going on in it TODAY/this moment.



(and I have a separate thought on your post that I'm going to post separately....)
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Mon, 09-17-2012 - 11:43am
REGARDING:


I barely slept last night b/c I was so hurt. He has even said before that he didn't know if I am "the one" and that it would take years for him to know. I, for one, know he is MY one. Why doesn't he? I am so hurt and almost feel like I am wasting my time. I do EVERYTHING for him! I clean and cook and even always buy him little gifts at the store so he knows I was thinking of him. He even has some personal problems going on and I have been more than supportive and understanding. He even thanks me for it quite often. But I am really starting to feel like I am doing it all for nothing.

------
I was in a similar relationship 10 years (OK, 11 years probably?) ago----and, same deal ---we were GREAT Together----until I started wanting to look towards the future, and thoughts of marriage/life together-----and he was kinda/sorta PARALYZED re: this, ...due to past experience with marriage/exwife/whatever.

AND.............same deal:
I clean and cook and even always buy him little gifts at the store so he knows I was thinking of him. He even has some personal problems going on and I have been more than supportive and understanding. He even thanks me for it quite often.

----OK, maybe I didnt do QUITE that much----but, I did alot, and LOVED doing it----------------and then I read one of those "John Grey" books--y'know, the "Mars and Venus" books (men are from mars/women from venus)---I think it was "mars and venus on a date"-------------and he really expained it well how early in dating men need to get INVESTED into the relationship, by DOING things for the woman (and being appreciated by the woman for doing them)-------------and how it became negative, later on in the relationship, if the woman had been doing too much, so that the man HADNT become as *vested* in the relationship---------------------------
-----------and I really could see how that happened.

FWIW---He and I DID break up----------------------I think I was the best thing he EVER had, and I know he will NEVER find another woman who loved/cared for him more-------but,........he never followed up and wanted to get back together, etc............................................

AND....a month later..........I met a guy , I *allowed* him to become vested, and...................we're still together 10 years later, he's still doing all sorts of nice things for me...................................and I'm prefectly happy being living together instead of married (point is: this guy WOULD marry me at the drop of a hat---it's ME who's thinking things are better off not legally married----but we are a different age range and circumstances than you are ama)----


Anyhow....it's just food for fodder.




In general, my thought is that you shouldnt stay living together if you're feeling badly /hurt because he cant express committment to you -------I just think it's bad to accept feeling so badly on a day to day basis.

You dont need to put it forth as an "ultimatium" ("buy me a ring or I'll move out")-----heck , the LAST think you want is to feel that the **only** way this guy will buy an engagement ring is though ultimatium/pressure------

but you DO need to respect your OWN FEELINGS-----YOU are worth being "committed" to ----and you shouldnt keep yourself in a situation that is negative to your self image that way (eg, you're not worthy of being committed to)-------*even though*, I think we can all agree this is HIS issue of "inablility to commit" , and *not* YOUR issue of "not being worthy of committment", still..........you're FEELING that you're "not worthy of being committed to" in this situation , so need to remove yourself from this negative situation.

(on the other hand, if you make list like I suggested in other post, and really examine-------you MIGHT become "ok" with staying where you are)----

The bottom line is to feel "OK" with where you are ---


((((((((((((((HUGS!!))))))))))

BEST WISHES!!

Keep us posted!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 12:36pm

You need to move on.I'm afraid that it could be that he doesn't want to marry you..not that he is afraid of marriage.It doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you...it's just how things tend to go.Ok..you have heard of the story of guys who were wih their gf for years and years then break up and that SAME guy meets someone a few months later and then they are engaged within a yr and actually get married...it's like that in your case.It sucks when you give all to someone who doens't feel that way towards you because if he did..he would have known long time ago.That's why I will NEVER move in with some man unless I am married to him because in my opinion...he already has what he wants without the marriage so why get married?Please move on because you deserve so much better.If someone isn't ready to get married..you can't force them.I myself have a rule for myself.The next relationship I'm in..it's only going to be 1 yr dating and by the 2nd...he should propose to me...if not then it's done.No more wasting time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2009
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 10:31pm
I agree with HONESTGIRL31. I too have learned my hard lessons. I have lived with my boyfriend, now is ex. for 6 years. I have lived with few other relationships before. I have wasted my time with them. None of them wanted to marry me. :-( I should not have had sex with them either. It ruined the relationships. The next time, I will NEVER live in with someone and I will NEVER have sex IF I want to keep a relationship, love, friendship and even dating. I really never know if I ever would get married someday but most of all men are asshole and men don't know how to treat right and don't know how to love me either. So sad. but I have to love myself and going to live on my own for rest of my life and complete alone is not what I ever wanted in my life. Life sucks.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2013
Sun, 02-24-2013 - 2:29am

I am with someone who also used to have the same reaction to marriage. Marriage is a huge risk (especially when there is a child involved). You seem like me (you know pretty much, what you want) and that`s a good place to start. If you are happy with him and are willing to find a compromise somewhere in the timing of when to get engaged or married then I don`t think you`re wasting your time. But if you get the sense that he will never compromise on whether or not he wants to get married at all, then that is something to really think carefully about.