Feeling Stuck in a Relationship
I received this relationship advice request via email, from Bill, who titled his email “Feeling Stuck in a Relationship."
"Your posts have been very helpful to me when thinking about my relationship at the moment, particularly the posts concerning not wanting to get married. I am in a similar situation myself.
Me and my partner are both 27 and have been together for the last six years.
We've been through so much together over that period of time and she is someone i care about deeply.
Over the pat two years she has endlessly talked about getting married and every time she mentions it I squirm. She constantly talks to her mother about it and her family and friends despite my obvious discomfort and has now given me an ultimatum; she want's to have a ring on her finger by the time she is 28 (so basically i have 10 months left to propose).
I just feel so guilty because I really don't want to be married to her and honestly feel that we want different things in our lives now. We are quite different people compared to when we first met in university and I feel that if I proposed I would be 'giving in to her' so to speak. The guilt I feel because of this is unbearable.
I have considered breaking up with her a few times, but I always change my mind and stay with her, mostly because I don't want to hurt her and also because I am utterly terrified of making the wrong decision. We are 'comfortable' together and she can be a truly great girlfriend at times. My parents love her (and her parents like me) but she can also be nagging, boring, sulky and can make me feel like a child. It's such a complicated relationship because we need each other in a way, but I don't think either of us are as happy as we could be.
Before I met her I was quite inexperienced and only had one previous girlfriend. My partner has had quite a lot of lovers and ex's and this hasn't really been a problem until recently. I have never cheated on her but I find myself longing to be free and single. The main reason I feel like this I suppose is that I now have a good job and plenty of great colleagues so I have more opportunities and options in my life.
I know this it totally unfair to string her along like this but I truly thought that I would grow used to the idea of marriage and settling down when we moved in together. I certainly didn't want or intend this to be the way it is.
I feel like I'm at a crossroads and I honestly have no idea what to do. WIll breaking it off and losing her be the worst thing I've ever done or is it the right thing to do?
I’ve published a few articles in the same arena as your situation.
The girl wants to get married, the guy doesn’t. But that is where the similarities end. Each relationship is different, and brings with it an entirely specific set of circumstances. Each article is so vastly different from the others because the situations are so very different. I just published a Hub called Boyfriend says Not Now to marrying GF with BPD and the circumstances could not be more different.
Bill, you need to give yourself permission to end this relationship.
You’re 27, you’re at a very significant age. You’re in the Rites of Passage time, and your frontal lobes (Aren’t you sick of my bringing that up) are fully developed, which is why the pressure to make the right decision weighs upon you now. You understand consequence for the first time, and that includes the fears you expressed about this being a bad decision.
You’re being very clear and articulate. You squirm when she brings up marriage. You said, “I just feel so guilty because I really don't want to be married to her and honestly feel that we want different things in our lives now. “ I promise you, guilt is a horrible reason to marry, especially when you know and state so clearly that you do not want to be married TO HER.
It is a manipulative move on her part to discuss this with her family and friends knowing how uncomfortable it makes you. This is a very clear sign of the kind of manipulative and self-involved partner she will be. She doesn’t respect your feelings, and she doesn’t listen.
Now you say she’s given you an ultimatum. Well, good. Then you should take it and go. Why would you even entertain for a moment being treated like that for the next 50 years of your life?
You are one smart cookie to realize that you have not sewn your wild oats. You said you long to lead a single life. Honey, that feeling is going to get more and more intense as time goes on. There is no way in hell you can marry someone that you don’t want to marry, and expect it to work. This only confirms that. If you surrender your freedom now those feelings of longing will grow massive.
There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to experience things. With wanting to meet different people, and fall in love, and date, and see what is out there for you. Quite the opposite – there is something infinitely wrong with denying that very natural and healthy growth process. Such denial will absolutely end with affairs, mid life crisises, and being completely miserable and buried by decisions you were nowhere near ready to make.
Wrong reasons to stay.
Bill, your ability to articulate what you’re feeling is amazing. Many men in your situation and at your age can’t do so. This paragraph of yours is absolutely stellar:
“I have considered breaking up with her a few times, but I always change my mind and stay with her, mostly because I don't want to hurt her and also because I am utterly terrified of making the wrong decision. We are 'comfortable' together and she can be a truly great girlfriend at times. My parents love her (and her parents like me) but she can also be nagging, boring, sulky and can make me feel like a child. It's such a complicated relationship because we need each other in a way, but I don't think either of us are as happy as we could be.”
You have to know that staying with her because you don’t want to hurt her is not fair to either of you. By the way, she doesn’t seem too hesitant about hurting you or at least making you very uncomfortable by giving ultimatums, and by discussing your private situation with friends and family to force you to do something you’re not ready to do.
Your parents and her parents can’t be part of this. I’m sorry hon, but put them out of your head. You’re the one that would have to live with the mistake or a marriage to someone you don’t want to marry. You have to think about it that way only.
Your being terrified of making a bad decision is right on schedule with your age. Now more than ever before in your life, you understand ramification and consequence. But don’t confuse that new awarity, with the outcome of this decision. You’re terrified of making the wrong decision. You are not however, terrified of losing of her.
It is a sad thing that you said she can be a great girlfriend “at times.” And that you are comfortable. You deserve more than comfortable, and more than “at times.” You have to allow yourself to know that. New doors can’t open for you until old ones close.
It is so highly important that you said she makes you feel like a child. Her nagging, and sulking are really going to magnify after marriage.
If you have any respect and care for her at all, you should want her to have the opportunity to be with someone who wants to marry her. You aren’t doing her any favors staying with her, not wanting to marry her, and feeling all the ways you feel.
You know what you need to do. Give yourself permission to do it.
Was written by Veronica for Hubpages. If you are reading it elsewhere, it has been stolen.
Let's be authentic.
All text is original content by Veronica.
All photos are used with permission.
All videos are courtesy of Youtube.
Feel free to ask my relationship advice. Thanks!