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Marriage: When is it time? When is it forever?

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I would really love to hear from happily married people....


-When did you know it was the right time?

-How did you know if was the right person?

-Aside from the ups & downs of life, how did you know you were willing to make that lifelong commitment?

-How did you know you no longer wondered what else was out there?

-Did you know you would grow together and not grow apart?

-Did you know this was the person you wanted to have your children with?


I am 26 and engaged and I have to admit, I just don't understand my feelings towards marriage... I have so many questions and doubts in my mind and don't even trust myself enough to know if I am on the right track or not...


Like I said, I am engaged.. This is my second long-term. My first was 5 years long and this one is 2 years so far. I lived with both of them, I have no problems dealing with the commitment, shared space, conflict resolution, giving up single life...


I am definitely not a commitment-phobe as I have always considered myself the relationship type. I just prefer to have my partner as my best close friend and enjoy a close companionship as opposed to single life.


Now my question is WHY on earth did I leave my relationship after 5 years? We were the best of friends.. Sure it lost the spark, and although I was very attracted to him (we made a beautiful couple) I just didn't feel he was growing up enough and I went through this sowing my wild oats stage... so we parted (he was devastated).


My current fiance, is everything on paper that I could ask for.. Financially stable, AMAZING sex life, we have fun together, he definitely makes me laugh.. We have more conflicts than my first relationship, and fight pretty badly but we always make up. My fiance is worried as to why at 2 years I STILL have not set a wedding date.. and he really wants us to get married and start a family. But I am not ready...


I always think back at my dating life... and my long-term ex.. and although I feel my fiance is wonderful, I really can't imagine going back to my ex although I do miss him alot sometimes.

I feel like if I went back to my ex I would miss my fiance.. and being with my fiance I miss my ex..


I really HOPE I don't have a problem.... I just often wonder if maybe there is a perfect soul-mate out there for me... Maybe I have not met him yet?


I get scared when I think about leaving my relationship to start all over again... What for?

I feel like I am searching for a needle in a haystack and feel I need a slap in the face to smarten up and just get married and do this already!!


Is this normal? In regards to the questions above... I could use some shared experiences on what you think about the lifelong commitments you have made..



Thank you!

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Well I have been married for a long time and although there have been the usual difficulties along the way we are happy. I think the main reason is to accept the fact that no one, including ourselves, is perfect.


But I will say that if you are not ready for marriage you should not marry because you feel you should. But it is really unfair to be engaged to a man for two years and not set a date and be thinking of leaving him. He deserves to be with someone who loves him enough to commit and if you don't, then he should be set free to find someone who does. To keep him tied to you with an engagement when you don't want to commit to him with a marriage would be an incredibly selfish thing to do.

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I do agree.. but the thought of leaving my fiance makes me really sad.. I do love him alot, we always want to spend time together.. and most of our fights are when we spend time apart... When we used to fight regularily it was getting quite bad that I broke up with him. My fiance is a great person and loves me alot... but he does have some issues.... He has improved alot (probably due to me being VERY honest about his issues made me fear marrying him) He has issues with his temper, control, jealousy and shows alot of abusive behaviors.

I am reading the book right now called "Why does he do that? -Inside the Minds of angry and controlling men"... And it sounds ALOT like him. My fiance is not physically abusive, and he goes through stages of verbal & emotional abuse.. BUT it always stops for awhile or has been improving. I know many would say DO NOT marry an abusive man or leave right now... but I always justify things because he isn't 100% abusive... I don't think he could get worse... He is basically on that thin line where it is BAD at times yes.. but it's not HORRIBLE. I would say he is 40% this "abusive" person and 60% not.

And from my reading, I do agree he is NOT a terrible person.. He loves me a lot... I can honestly say it would tear him apart if I left him.

But this unhealthy side of him I see it as a disease.. like he can't help it. And I have been able to control him to a point of it getting too bad. It certainly drains me at times, but I feel like we love each other he just is the way he is.


Don't get me wrong, if he EVER got worse or even slipped up once (cheating or hitting me) I would be GONE.

I guess it's just probably why I am so on the fence of marrying him..... I am taking a huge gamble........... Marrying a man with slight abusive tendencies is a total risk... I could accept him as he is with his flaws... but there is always that chance what IF he gets worse...

At the 2 year mark, I feel safe to maybe say he wont get worse... But one never knows...


That is my reason for not marrying him right now... not because I am selfish.

I am just totally on the fence whether I am being foolish to take a gamble with my life and put everything into a potentially unstable husband (behavior wise).

But the way he really is now, I honestly love him alot and if I KNEW it wouldn't get worse I would marry him.

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A person should have an abusive persona 0% of the time. You feel like you have to control HIS bad behaviour? He should be able to control it on his own.


I think you have a good reason to worry about marriage.


Before you even think about marrying him ask yourself:

- Why do I want to marry someone I have to "control"?

- What would he have to do to make me feel like he is marriable?

- What stops him from becoming worse when we marry and its harder for me to leave?

- Why is my gut telling me not to marry this person?


Abuse is more likely to get worse after marriage, not better. I think you are right to feel doubtful.

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That's a tough situation. I'm not married, but I was in a long term relationship of almost 8 years with a guy who sounds like your fiance. He wasn't the jealous type but he did have an anger problem. I finally ended it with him. It was by far the hardest and scariest thing I've ever had to do, and I regretted it for the first while. BUT then I met my current guy, and I realized how happy I could be, how much easier and more fulfilling a relationship can be when you are not dating an angry person. It's so amazing. I've been with him over a year and i think about marrying him, and it actually feels right. I have no doubts, doubts that I always had with my ex are not there with my guy.

ANYWAYS, back to your question, I don't think you should marry him. I think that if you wanted to, you just would KNOW it, and you would do it.

Can he get some help for his anger? Maybe the two of you going to some counseling could help. Otherwise without help, I can't see the situation getting better.

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From personal experience, I would say you should not get married for two reasons...you, yourself are not ready; these doubts alone tell you that and also because of your fiance's abusive tendencies. Don't knowingly commit to someone like that. It's more likely to get worse than not, especially once you're married.


Also look at Evan's book, the Verbally Abusive Man.


If anything, require counseling to see if these issues can be resolved, but do not set a date and move forward with things as they are.


I got married even though I had the same exact doubts as you, both personally and with him. I wouldn't have done it if I had the chance to do it over.

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I have just read some of your other threads. I wouldn't marry this guy. The problems you guys have are only going to get worse. It does NOT have to be this hard when you are in a relationship. You know this from your previous 5 year relationship. Don't marry an angry passive aggressive guy, you will be miserable. He does not sound like the right person for you. And trust me on this, guys like him do NOT change.

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Sounds like you need to figure out what you want.

Why is it about marriage that scares you so much ?

Keep in mind, if you are looking for a guarantee that things will always be great, that you won't have problems down the road or that there won't be someone out there better for you- You may never get married.


No person you are with won't be without their adjustments. No marriage is perfect. It comes down to what you can live with and what you can't.

But please, give up the search for "The perfect person" - they don't exist.

Even the best marriages aren't without their issues and hard times.


But if you don't want committment, then you need to be honest with your fiancee, 2 years is a long time to wait and not set a date.

If you aren't ready, you need to let him know.


Moments of doubt are normal. But if you question even wanting marriage in general, then you need to take some time to seriously reflect.

I recommend talking to a counselor, someone who is unbiased and might be able to help you pinpoint your fears regarding marriage and your goals.


I will tell you though- With milestones in life- Marriage, children, etc- There really is no way to be fully prepared for everything. And there will never be a perfect time or situation. It's feeling ready to take a new step in your life accepting that there will be risks involved.

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