Living Together Didn't Work, And It Is All His Fault - Relationship Advice
I am writing to you to ask for your advice. I’ve been with my lady for 4 years. We’ve been living together for 2. When we hit that 2 year mark she told me she wanted to get married. I really love her. She’s a good girl and she’s very good to me. We were together so often anyway I told her let’s move in together and take things one step at a time. she was very excited about that. After about a year it wasn’t enough for her anymore and she began harping on getting married again. I was able to put it off by saying things like that I wanted to wait until we after our trip to Costa Rica this last winter, and wanting to wait until I got a certain promotion at work. She went along but we’ve hit this point where she feels enough is enough. She says we are in our 30’s and we should get married while we can still have children.
Now I know you are sympathetic to this so I am writing to you because I think you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I don’t want to have children. I see what having children has done to my brother and to all our friends. I don’t really see a reason to get married if we aren’t going to have children. I don’t want to get married. If I did I would marry her. She’s terrific and I love her. I don’t want to lose her. I just want things as they are. I don’t see why she has to push this. Why can’t she just be happy with the relationship we’re having?
She said she wanted to get married and you responded, let’s take this a step at a time and move in together. In other words, you said, let’s take a step toward marriage. You knew she wanted to get married, she told you what she wanted, and you moved in together. So, you knew exactly what she wanted. You knew that wasn’t going to just go away.
She took that step with you and your invitation, and after a year she stated what she wanted again. No surprise there. You lead her on again stating after a vacation and a promotion. These things came to pass, so naturally, by your word, she believes you’re going to marry her.
According to your own words. you never said you didn’t want to get married, and I assume that you neglected to mention that you do not want children since she’s still talking about having them with you. You had several opportunities to tell her you aren’t on the same page as she is. But instead you chose to tell her what she wanted to hear. In essence, you lied. Telling her moving in together was a step toward marriage, telling her you’d talk marriage after certain events came to pass; these were lies since you never intended to follow through on your words.
I wrote another Hub in response to an email from a guy also in a living together situation that isn’t working. That one is stark contrast to yours. Maybe you should check that one out too so you can see the difference.
You girlfriend is clearly looking for a committed relationship on it’s way to marriage. She demonstrated patience and an ability to be a partner. She listened to you, she believed you were both working towards the same goal and she took your needs and plans into consideration. She took the steps she was asked by you to take. She valued your thoughts and she went along with them. The problem is, you were lying.
SW, as you pointed out I am someone that chose not to have children, and like you I see so many people that have had kids and are now miserable. I see many more people have kids that had no realistic clue what was really involved and are now depressed, broke, and trapped. I do support anyone that writes to me saying they do not want to have kids. That’s a very valid choice. And it follows sound logic that people that do not want kids, should not have kids.
However, SW, I would never advocate leading your partner on. I would never support your lying to your girlfriend about the future she’s planning with you. I think what you did was incredibly selfish. Here she is telling you what she wants, and demonstrating wonderful partnership skills by listening to your responses and taking those steps with you. And there you are, misleading her every step of the way.
What was your plan? Where did you think this was going to go? You’re now cohabitational, together 4 years, you know she wants marriage and you don’t. How did you think that was going to turn out?
You said, why can’t she be happy with the relationship she has. I’ll tell you why. The relationship she has isn’t an honest one. I am all for people that mutually agree to enjoy their lives together without getting married if they don’t want to. I also understand that when two people really love each other, and one person wants something different than the other, that there can be compromise. Sometimes it is necessary for someone to realize the relationship they have is everything they want, and that the piece of paper they are festering about is not worth leaving over. the nuances of those relationships are much different than yours though.
If you moved in with your partner feeling unsure, hoping you’d become sure, believing you were on your way to keeping the promises you were implying, that’s one thing. I doesn’t sound like that was you, but if it was, I’d still say you should have communicated better but I’d back off from being quite so harsh with you. I do acknowledge the difference between feeling confused, and with lying. But in either case, you should have communicated the truth about what you were actually thinking.
SW, you need to tell your girlfriend the truth. You need to tell her you do not want children, and you do not want to get married. You need to talk to her about why you feel the way you do. You have to stop misleading her, putting off the inevitable, and lying about your intentions. She deserves better.
You state that you love her and that she’s terrific. It would be wonderful if you two can find some kind of compromise for your lives. I don’t know, maybe a commitment ceremony and becoming foster parents? I really don’t know. But if it were me, I’d can’t imagine getting passed being so misled and put off for so long.
Please understand that while you have the right to want the future you want, so does she. Your decision not to marry or have kids is perfectly valid. Your decision to lie to her about it, isn’t. If you two can’t work through this it will not be because she’s had unreasonable expectations. It will be because you weren’t truthful.