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Thread: Ultimatum: Marriage or Breakup

  1. #1

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    Ultimatum: Marriage or Breakup

    Hi all,

    Currently, I am in a 5 year relationship with a lady who is around 7 years younger than I am. The past years have not always been great, but it has not been terrible either. From the outside we seem a good a couple and seemingly have it all, but on the inside we have our fair share of problems. These problems are mainly the result of my inability to take our relationship to the next step, namely marriage and eventually children. This has been the discussion for the last 1-1,5 years now and currently my partner is giving me an ultimatum: either fully commit and marry her or part ways.

    The past maybe 3-4 years i have been trying to know myself, and find out what i want in life, because it seems that no matter how successful I am, I don't know whether i'm happy or not. I'm not sure whether I am capable of being happy or can only be "content". This currently mainly affects my relationship as my partner does not know whether i'm happy with her, and whether i will stay with her. I understand that it's difficult for her, because i currently do not give her security that she needs and wants from me. She is afraid that I'll leave if i have found my answer to happiness which may not include her in the picture. She has been patient, but has also pushed me the past years to make a decision, because she wants to follow her planned out timeline of marriage and having kids at her ideal age.

    For me, marriage is not a must, but i'll do it for my partner if i'm ready. For some reason, something is holding me back of actually proposing to my partner and i'm not sure why. I had doubts of us before, but can not pinpoint what exactly is the issue. She is nice and pretty, has a good relationship with my family, loves kids, and is supportive in whatever i do. Sometimes though, i feel like our relationship is imbalanced, in the sense that i'm contributing more than she does. For example, i cook, bring in the money, do groceries, wash the dishes, wash clothes, iron them, vacuum etc.... sometimes i feel like i have a daughter. Although she changed, and picked up some of the chores, it still feels like i'm doing the bulk of the things. She is also always negative about things, while i'm more positive. She always has problems with work, friends and family, which i need to help with every day. Even though i love to help, its sometimes exhausting hearing negative things every day. This has made me anxious about the future with her... what do i have to when we get married? What will happen if we have kids? Will i have to do everything? Will she be negative about everything?

    She has grown impatient of waiting for me... and i feel guilty aswell for making her wait for my decision. I don't want to waste our time, because i'm not sure what to do.
    On one hand, i believe she might be a good wife, but on the other hand i'm afraid and doubtful of something that i myself don't even know what it is....

    I have had difficult youth, which i went to therapy for. The bottom line is that i have grown to be very rational, and rarely emotional to the point that i'm a robot, monotone emotions. This makes me to believe that im unable to love or feel the excitement of happiness, which makes me believe that i'll feel more than "content". For example, i have never missed my partner (or exes) in the past and have never had "butterflies" in my stomach. I don't even know what a crush or feeling in love means to be honest...which makes me a robot. Some of my friend say that i'm just incapable of doing that, or that i have not found the right lady that could make you feel that way...

    I'm not really sure what to do right now... take a leap of faith and marry her? or... leave a potentially good partner in search for my "happiness"? I'm stuck in a dilemma...
    Sorry for the long post, i hope some of you might be able to give me advice or shed some light on certain things... or share your experiences.

    James

  2. #2
    Silver Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    I don't think you're unable to love or feel happiness. I think you're not with the right person. You have grown resentful of her, and that's usually a huge indication that you're not right for each other.

    Don't commit to marriage if you're feeling this way.

    Perhaps a break would help you to sort out your feelings.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Can I ask how old you both are?

    Honestly it sounds like you’re making an existential mystery out of something that is not mysterious: you’re in a relationship, and have been for a while, with someone you’re not compatible with. Sometimes it’s easier to make it into more than that, because we want to rationalize the length of an investment, find “meaning” in having history with someone.

    Maybe early on some of what you’re now hung up on worked. Maybe you saw her first as a potentially great girlfriend, but not a partner, and so some of the youthful stuff was easy to overlook, even fun, as it reinforced your own sense of being mature, responsible—nice stuff to lean on when you’re asking those deeper questions, doing that deeper self-work. And, who knows, maybe “committing” to someone you had doubts about reinforced this self-conception of you as incapable of the kind of feelings/relationships others are. There’s a certain twisted comfort in that—or perhaps there was, for a time.

    Well, sounds like that time has passed. You’re less than happy and so, clearly, is she. Marriage will not change that dynamic, but will only further cement it, so I’d take that off the table as the solution. She’s pushing for it, yeah, but that’s just her own confusion and unhappiness coming out sideways. After all, you don’t hear about a lot of happy marriages starting with an ultimatum, you know? There’s a reason for that.

    I hate to say it, but I suspect you might find that this relationship, far more than the other questions you’re asking, is partly what’s inhibiting you from finding “happiness.” While stepping away is always agonizing, it kind of sounds like it would put you both on a path toward the kind of connections you’re both seeking but not finding in each other.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jameswan
    The past maybe 3-4 years i have been trying to know myself, and find out what i want in life, because it seems that no matter how successful I am, I don't know whether i'm happy or not. I'm not sure whether I am capable of being happy or can only be "content". This currently mainly affects my relationship as my partner does not know whether i'm happy with her, and whether i will stay with her.
    I read your entire post and this is what stood out to me the most.

    It's for these exact reasons I would lean to letting her go and work to resolve some of these things on your own, singularly, before you can be in a committed relationship and one that leads to marriage.

    At the same time you share the dynamic between you two and describing her as a daughter (therefore makes you the parent) She would also benefit being on her own as well.

    I agree that if in 5 years you don't know, then it's not the right fit for either of you.

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  6. #5
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    Never make decisions based on fear. You fear losing her if you don’t get married. You fear not being ready to marry her or if you’re capable of being happy with her. I say take a break to clear your head and find what you want. Deep inside what path is right to take regardless of what changes it may bring. Then face that decision knowing if it’s not her you’ll be okay. If it is her then you have your answer for her.

    I can understand her wanting more commitment after five years but I know it’s also not fair to her if you aren’t on the same wavelength via emotions and love.

    So just take a time out and do some deep internal searching.

    You’ll find most likely you’re in the way of your own happiness.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by jameswan
    Hi all,

    Currently, I am in a 5 year relationship with a lady who is around 7 years younger than I am. The past years have not always been great, but it has not been terrible either. From the outside we seem a good a couple and seemingly have it all, but on the inside we have our fair share of problems. These problems are mainly the result of my inability to take our relationship to the next step, namely marriage and eventually children. This has been the discussion for the last 1-1,5 years now and currently my partner is giving me an ultimatum: either fully commit and marry her or part ways.

    The past maybe 3-4 years i have been trying to know myself, and find out what i want in life, because it seems that no matter how successful I am, I don't know whether i'm happy or not. I'm not sure whether I am capable of being happy or can only be "content". This currently mainly affects my relationship as my partner does not know whether i'm happy with her, and whether i will stay with her. I understand that it's difficult for her, because i currently do not give her security that she needs and wants from me. She is afraid that I'll leave if i have found my answer to happiness which may not include her in the picture. She has been patient, but has also pushed me the past years to make a decision, because she wants to follow her planned out timeline of marriage and having kids at her ideal age.

    For me, marriage is not a must, but i'll do it for my partner if i'm ready. For some reason, something is holding me back of actually proposing to my partner and i'm not sure why. I had doubts of us before, but can not pinpoint what exactly is the issue. She is nice and pretty, has a good relationship with my family, loves kids, and is supportive in whatever i do. Sometimes though, i feel like our relationship is imbalanced, in the sense that i'm contributing more than she does. For example, i cook, bring in the money, do groceries, wash the dishes, wash clothes, iron them, vacuum etc.... sometimes i feel like i have a daughter. Although she changed, and picked up some of the chores, it still feels like i'm doing the bulk of the things. She is also always negative about things, while i'm more positive. She always has problems with work, friends and family, which i need to help with every day. Even though i love to help, its sometimes exhausting hearing negative things every day. This has made me anxious about the future with her... what do i have to when we get married? What will happen if we have kids? Will i have to do everything? Will she be negative about everything?

    She has grown impatient of waiting for me... and i feel guilty aswell for making her wait for my decision. I don't want to waste our time, because i'm not sure what to do.
    On one hand, i believe she might be a good wife, but on the other hand i'm afraid and doubtful of something that i myself don't even know what it is....

    I have had difficult youth, which i went to therapy for. The bottom line is that i have grown to be very rational, and rarely emotional to the point that i'm a robot, monotone emotions. This makes me to believe that im unable to love or feel the excitement of happiness, which makes me believe that i'll feel more than "content". For example, i have never missed my partner (or exes) in the past and have never had "butterflies" in my stomach. I don't even know what a crush or feeling in love means to be honest...which makes me a robot. Some of my friend say that i'm just incapable of doing that, or that i have not found the right lady that could make you feel that way...

    I'm not really sure what to do right now... take a leap of faith and marry her? or... leave a potentially good partner in search for my "happiness"? I'm stuck in a dilemma...
    Sorry for the long post, i hope some of you might be able to give me advice or shed some light on certain things... or share your experiences.

    James

    Marriage doesn't solve problems. DO NOT put a kid through this if you aren't even sure yourself. For god's sake, don't leave this woman on the hook any longer either. Do the right thing.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
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    The relationship pattern you two have created is indeed imbalanced. And it's actually just as much your fault as it is hers. You have been inauthentic all this time contributing more than you genuinely wanted and have been building up resentment in the process. Through your actions you trained her for half a decade to a dynamic that is really a lie and you are indeed wasting her time. She is right in giving you an ultimatum. There is crude saying that applies in your case : you need to either $h!+ or get off the pot.

    It's not her fault if you have misrepresented yourself all these years through your actions. It's her fault that she slacked off but it sounds like you got with her when she was too young to know better. Imo, it's super hard to break the half a decade imbalanced relationship pattern that you two created. If you can't accept her as she is (and it sounds like you can't) you will never be ready and you will indeed end up wasting her years. Being seven years older you should have known better than to foster such an imbalanced pattern and misrepresent yourself in the process. You need to stop doing in relationships things you don't really want to do.

    Imo, she was right to give you an ultimatum. You don't really love her the way she really is and imo, that's your answer. Plus, you have been misrepresenting yourself through your actions so she doesn't really know the true you either. Based on the info you provided, neither of you is with the right person. Imo, your relationship has run its course and your partner is doing the right thing to rid herself of your indecision that is keeping both of you stagnant and stuck.
    Last edited by Clio; 04-08-2019 at 05:04 PM.

  9. #8
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    Honestly it sounds like you’re making an existential mystery out of something that is not mysterious: you’re in a relationship, and have been for a while, with someone you’re not compatible with. Sometimes it’s easier to make it into more than that, because we want to rationalize the length of an investment, find “meaning” in having history with someone.
    This hits the nail on the head. This woman doesn't do it for you and for good reason. She sounds more like a dependent than a partner and her personality doesn't even offset that for you. You're drained and with the wrong woman.

    My guess is that your first reaction when you part ways with this woman will be one of relief. Sure you'll grieve the history you had but I think you will find a much better connection with someone else.

  10. #9
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    She sounds like a complete bore. End the relationship civilly and move on with your life. Don't waffle about it. It makes you look very unattractive.

    Get in the game again when you feel ready.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    I can only say when there is SO MUCH doubt screaming from every pore, then please please do NOT get married. Clearly, you are not ready and it would be a big mistake to go ahead and get married - all it would do is end up in divorce (imo). You two are no longer on the same page. Do BOTH of you a great favor and end it. Don't keep her on a hook any longer, she deserves to find someone who shares her vision of her future and you will be free to "find yourself" .
    (I don't blame her for giving an ultimatum because clearly she has noticed and can sense your doubt).

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