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Living with a committment phobe, need real help

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I have been with this wonderful man for going on 4 years and have lived with him most of those 4 years. We have had so many conversations about getting married. He says that he is going nowhere and that I am the one he wants to marry. He always says someday we will be married. Last weekend he finally opened up to me about why we are postponing getting married. He says he is very afraid of becoming his dad and stepdad. His real dad was basically with his mother just for sex and my bf hasn't seen or spoken to him since he was 17. His real father does not care at all about him. His stepdad is basically the only father he knows, but hasn't been the most loving of people either. He has been a workhorse all of his life and has expected my bf to be the same. My bf never really had a normal, fun childhood with working with his stepdad all of the time. His stepdad never calls to see how he is, only if my bf owes money or to come help him work. His mom has left him twice, but isn't of the right mind to leave for good and does not know how to care for herself. His mom rarely calls to see how her son is either.

In past conversations my bf has been quite defensive about the whole topic of marriage, not again and why are we talking about this. He has said in the past that he needs to get his life together, doesn't feel good enough for me.

So my question is where does this leave me? He says he needs to work through these issues on his own and that only a man would understand. I feel that if it was that big an issue and that he does love me enough to want to marry me he would get whatever help he could to resolve this so that we can move on. My bf is not like his fathers, far from it. I feel like it is all a big copout, but have not told him this. I have told him that I will be there no matter what, but how long should I be expected to wait. He says to wait for him. I honestly do not know how much longer I can wait. I am going to be 31 in February and want a family of my own. He knows this and we have discussed this. How fair is it to me? I just don't know if I can throw in the towel either. We have a wonderful relationship. I feel married to him now, but not in the way I want. I guess I do not see this is as a big deal, to get married. Any advice would be helpful.

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Well, I'm sure you've already explained to him that you're very anxious to have children, and want HIM to be their father, because you believe in him and know him well enough that YOU can see, even if he can't, that he's nothing like his father or stepfather.


It's your choice....I suppose that, in the same situation, I'd weigh the pros and cons. If being married is THAT big of a deal to you, despite the fact that you have that wonderful relationship, then WHY is it such a big deal? It wouldn't change anything, really....only your name and the fact that he'd now have the title of "husband." But I also understand the desire to get married and have that "oneness" with someone, that says you belong to them and they to you.


The issue of how long you want to wait is entirely up to you, and only after you think about what you'd be giving up for the cause. I'd look at it this way: I can be with this man that I adore, love him, have him love me, share everything, and not be married right this minute, or I can walk away from it all, be alone, and.......not be married. After thinking that, I'd do the mental headslap and wonder why I even CONSIDERED leaving, unless I had a desire to be alone and leave a man who I had a solid relationship with! But that's just my two cents......



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Hedieann, I'm sorry to hear you're in a rough spot, and through no fault of your own. I think you're right in asking why your boyfriend isn't getting the help he needs to get over his childhood issues.


One explanation is that he really *doesn't* value getting married like you do. If a person wants something s/he makes it happen. If he's all talk and no walk, well ... you come to your own conclusion about that.


You need to decide for yourself how long you will wait. Even though you are in this relationship, it's still your life and you still need to make decisions that are good for you.


I was with a commitment phobe for a few years, and yes, in some ways it was wonderful. But he had issues that got in the way of our relationship, and although he recognized them, he didn't do anything about them. After a few years my conclusion was: He wasn't thinking of the relationship. He was only thinking of himself.


We're not together now, and I am free to find a man who is ready to devote himself to our relationship and our future. I feel I deserve that much out of life.


Best wishes, whatever you decide to do.

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