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Thread: 8 years of uncertainty...

  1. #1

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    8 years of uncertainty...

    Hi there.

    This is my first time posting here, and first time ever talking to an audience about myself in regards to my commitment issue. This is a long post so I understand if you aren't able to take the time read it. But for those of you who have time to help, thank you very much.

    My girlfriend and I have been together for the last 8 years and living together for the last 5. In this time, she has made it clear to me that she wants to marry me. I have not yet asked her to marry me, and I now become very uncomfortable whenever the subject comes up. Tonight, she left with our dog to go spend the evening at her parents without me, something she has only done once before when she was really upset. I am at a loss of what to do at this point, which is why I am posting on this forum. I basically have nobody else that I am comfortable enough to talk to, but I need advice and insight badly.

    The backstory...

    I am in a current relationship with my girlfriend of 8 years. Our relationship started a few years out of high school, where we were friends since the 10th grade. Soon after high school, we became best friends. She was such a wonderfully sweet and empathetic friend. About a year before our relationship grew into more than just a friendship, I moved from NH and went to school in AZ for motorcycle mechanics. She was so devastated when I left. It felt good to be missed so much. About 4 months into my schooling, I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. I shattered my pelvis and sustained other less threatening injuries. I don't remember the crash. I was in ICU for at least a few days, and stayed at an inpatient physical rehab center for almost a month. I was lucky to be alive. Then, I decided to fly back home to be with my family and friends who missed me very much (and I missed them just as much). So, after I was starting to feel better and could walk again, me and my future girlfriend started hanging out a lot more. I got a job as a pizza delivery boy, and eventually got into smoking pot. She helped me through this pot smoking phase until I finally came out of it about a year later, realizing what harm I was doing to myself and the ones who I loved. She was the only one of my friends who didn't abandon me during this time. She was and still is an amazing friend; the only true one I have left. This was about the same time we became more than just friends...

    She and I started discussing how close we had become over the last few months, and she had made it clear how she felt for me. She had never felt this way about anybody else, even though she had been in a serious relationship a couple years back. She wanted to be more than just friends, and I agreed. So, we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend in 2011. Notice, how I did not seem overly excited about becoming her boyfriend? She basically had convinced me to give it a shot with her. Maybe this was the start of my commitment issue? I am not sure. She sometimes wonders, upon reflection, if she possibly made a mistake back then.

    In 2011, we were still living separately and with our parents. We would try to see each other whenever we could, and usually Saturdays we would spend all day together. We loved to go out and drive anywhere and explore. Since we lived with our parents, we didn't have many chances to be intimate. So sometimes we would stay out til dark and find a secluded place to have sex in the car, or sometimes rented a room at a hotel. We had great times together for those years. We loved each other very much. Some more time went by and as we were growing up, we wanted to get a place together. So, we combined bank accounts and saved up some money. About 5 years ago, we moved into our first apartment. She admitted later (about 1.5 years after living together) that she really had thought that I was committed to her because we had decided to move in together. I felt horrible about this and felt like I had let her down. This is when the guilt started. As time went on, she would bring up commitment every so often, and every time she was looking for some kind of answer, or decision, from me. I felt like I could never give her a straight answer. I didn't want to say no (because I thought that it could happen someday), and I did't want to say yes (because it wasn't true at the time). I always leaned more on the 'maybe'. This cycle has continued over the years. It has become increasingly straining on our relationship. I feel like it's always in the back of our minds now. We have become a lot less intimate over the past couple years. Like I said before, tonight is the second time she left to go see her parents without me (and we are almost always together when we aren't working). About 2 years ago, we even tried temporarily separating for a work week. Basically, I stayed at the apartment and she stayed at her sister's house. She came to the apartment during the day when I was working to see the animals, but we did not see each other in person for that whole week. The result was that we missed each other very much, and were optimistic to work on our relationship with the goal of becoming committed to one another (well, mostly I had to work on my decision). We haven't really gotten anywhere with it. Instead, we have dealt with more of the same cycle, up and down emotions, lessening intimacy, and constant underlying strain on our relationship. After that break, we also adopted the sweetest dog in the world, and (it's gonna sound crazy) have been pursuing buying a house together (we are sick of apartments).

    Every time we get on the subject of the status of my commitment, I get very quiet and reserved, and feel so indecisive and get this feeling of internal pain (most likely caused from anxiety). I never know what to say. I don't want to make her any promises, because I am afraid to let her down. I also don't want to outright say no, because I don't want to lose her. I do love her very much, but I feel like I have caused this women so much pain, confusion, and stress. I feel more and more down on myself because of my inability to give her an answer.

    I really don't know exactly what's wrong with me. But I do know that I have fear and anxiety issues, not just with commitment, but with life in general. I haven't had close friends in years. I have nobody that I go hang out with, no guy friends, or girl friends (besides her of course). I feel pathetic. I hate myself for doing what I am doing to this sweet, beautiful, caring, loving women. I feel like she doesn't deserve this pain. She wants to spend the rest of her life with me, but I can never return the feeling to her because I am never 'sure' about it. I love her so much, though, and I don't want to lose her. I have never had any desire to leave her either. I want to be with her. I just don't want her and I to have this kind of pain. I am at a loss. Maybe this problem stems from my parents... They are no longer happy together, and haven't been for years. They've been married 24 years now, but haven't been happy for over 14 years.

    Please help me! I love her so much. I want to get married someday (there's that damned word again), I just don't know when. All I do know, married or not, is that I want to be with her still... and just for us to be happy together. Maybe this is possible, maybe it is not. *Sigh* Thank you all so much.
    Last edited by RyanMatrix; 10-14-2017 at 06:52 PM.

  2. #2
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    Firstly, don't think about buying a house together until you sort this out. That sound exactly like "well if I make this commitment, then it proves that want ot be with her forever". It's like "well if we have a child, that will force him/her to buckle up and our problems will be solved..

    One phrase stood out above..." She was so devastated when I left.It felt good to be missed so much" . Sorry , but that sounds like it was more about you trying to have the power in the relationship, and being in control of it , rather than being a mutual affair. Maybe I reading it wrong, and just relating it to my own past.

    Personally , I think you should see a therapist (on your own, not a "couples/relationship" therapist) to try and find out what you actually feel about this relationship. I dont think there would be a quick, easy answer to your dilemma.

  3. #3
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    Your relationship is dying. For someone who is afraid of commitment, a decades long mortgage with her name tied to it should be of concern to you as well. See a professional to sort out your feelings or eventually you will lose her (which is you say is not what you want to happen). You are not going to get any closer to committing to her (or not) just by putting her off and letting more time pass by. Some will say you are already committed, but in her eyes it's clear she wants more. If you really value this relationship I would suggest professional help asap to get to the bottom of your hesitation.

  4. #4
    I agree with the 2 responses before me about seeking professional help. That would be a big help. But I have a few questions. You said she had to convince you to give it a try, when you caved in, were you happy to actually be with her? You 2 are pursuing a house, are you happy with this decision or are you just doing it solely to not be in an apartment? If you actually want to buy a house with this woman, you're obviously ok to commit enough to a 30 year loan. You 2 are pretty much already married but without the ceremony and piece of paper. You've combined finances, you have a dog, you're looking to buy a house. I guess I just don't understand why marriage is the only thing holding you back. You're already committed to this woman man! Let me ask you this, if you 2 were already married like right now, would you be happy? If you say yes then maybe it's the anxiety of the day itself holding you back?
    To me, she sounds great and it sounds like u both really love each other. If it's just the day, I say have something small with just family and nothing else. If she's the type to want something fancy then just tell her no, you can't handle that. Best of luck man

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  6. #5
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    You are being selfish. You said you 'don't want to tell her no, because you don't want to lose her'. So, you refuse to answer her, preventing her from leaving you and finding what she wants in life. Allow her this freedom. Its clear that you both want different things.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Why are you afraid of marrying her? You don't want to lose her, you love her, you have a good life together. If all that is true, [I]What[/[I] is the problem? Can you articulate what your fear actually is.

    I take it you're both close to 30. It's time to S*** or get off the pot. Either you put a ring on it or you let her know what you're fearin so she can find someone that wants what she wants. (if you don't).

  8. #7
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Just because you don't want to marry her doesn't mean there is something wrong with you. You may have your issues, but wanting to marry her or not is not the barometer for that imo.
    Stop beating yourself up for not being able to meet her expectations. Be honest with yourself. Face where you are at. Accept it. Then you can be honest with her.
    Talking to someone can help. Someone outside this relationship. Therapy may be a good idea. Work on developing relationships that are meaningful and where you can open up outside of only her - and it's ok if you need therapy to get there.

    You have too much to lose , too much reliance, on her. That's part of why you act out of fear with her. It's not healthy imo. That's not about love, but survival, emotional survival. You need to be able to stand alone, well, I believe any person does to truly be able to give freely.

    It's my two cents. I wish you the best. You aren't defective. People project their needs on us often in this world. Don't take up a cross because she wants marriage. Don't distract yourself from addressing yourself. You sound lost in her - you need to get at you . Don't be afraid of your own truth.

  9. #8
    I'm a 32 year old woman myself and just to let u know I'm going to be blunt. This is so unfair to her. 8 years? It's time to commit or let her go so she can find a man who shares her same adult goals. You are being very selfish. You mentioned your parents being unhappy, who cares? Aren't u your own person? You're lucky that this woman isn't hounding u everyday for a ring. I'm not trying to be a here but come on. It's time to grow up with her or let her get on with her life.

    In fairness, it's clear you love her and care about this relationship, you wouldn't be here if u didn't. If u truly don't want to lose her and you want u two to be happy, give it a chance. You 2 have already been through what most married people have. Have something small (elope if need be) and casual. That's what my husband and I did. We had a cookout, it was like a party. If it winds up not working out in the end, again who cares? You pick up the pieces and move on. But you'll never know the love and joy if you don't give this a chance. I hope u do the right thing. And by the way if it is just the day you fear, it is not as bad as your probably imagining it. You stand up at the "altar" for a couple minutes and boom your done. Good luck!

  10. #9
    I went through this exact situation. I was with my woman for 4 years, we lived together for 2. I had some issues with commitment. Basically I worried it wouldn't work out, things would change etc. One day she gave me an ultimatum, we get married or we're done. I wanted to stay with her so I proposed. It doesn't sound ideal, but in the end I'm glad she did what she did. We had a very small wedding and it was alot of fun. My only regret is making her wait and not taking that chance sooner. Seriously man it is not a huge deal. Your anxieties are normal, don't think there's something wrong with you. If you do decide to propose, I guarantee your love life will improve! She'll want you alot more! Best of luck man. Marry that girl! If you don't someone else will.

  11. #10
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    It is a mistake to combine bank accounts with someone who is not a spouse or business partner.

    She is right to expect or ask about commitment - after all you have done committed things like pooled your money and got a place. You can't honestly think that buying a house or saving for a house with someone doesn't show you are committed to them??

    So stop playing with this young woman's emotions and if you don't want to marry her, I suggest you break up with her so she can find someone who wants her, have kids, etc. because if you don't, 4 years from now you are going to be in the same place. I think you are almost wanting HER to get sick of things and leave so you don't have to do it. And if you decide that you want to marry her just so you don't hurt her and not because you really want to -- i predict divorce.

    Its not her fault that you don't have guy friends, that you haven't kept in touch. Why not join meetup groups?

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