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cant believe im here-should i stick it out or get out?


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im engaged to a man who i was initially madlly in love with, and who initially cherished me and treated me so nicely i wondered if it could be real. it was the first time anyone has treated me so well, and i found myself reciprocating with really nice and lovey-dovey treatment, which i have never been one to do. now, 2 years after we got together, things have changed drastically. i dont know how i feel anymore.


i love him but i have lost faith in us. our communication sucks. we are even in therapy, which is scary because we are engaged....shouldnt this be a happy and easy time?? what is going to happen if i do go through with marrying this guy??? we do all the 4 horsemen -- criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling. when we start fighting, the fights can last several weeks on and off. the difference is i am trying really hard to not do those things and make changes he has requested, and he acknowledges that there is improvement in me. although he says he is trying to meet my requests i dont see much effort or improvement. i cant trust that he is trying or will ever change his unproductive communication strategies. if he doesnt i will never be happy.


basically when i have a complaint or a request for something from him (eg, for him to be on time when we have to be somewhere, for him to be more affectionate), he refuses to meet my requests on the basis that he 'tolerates' things i do that he does not like, and feels that i should tolerate things from him too. i can see how that makes sense to him but i believe this is an unhealthy philosophy. i have every right to ask for changes if i am unhappy with something, so does he, i encourage him to do it but he chooses not to....and dont get me wrong i, i pick and choose my battles, limiting complaints to things that really bother me or things that are repetitive. when he doesnt get his way in an argument, he completely shuts me out with an unproductive statement like 'i dont care anyway, do what you want'.


on top of all this, we have a really stressful environment of problems, he is unemployed and searching in vain for a job that he has not been able to find for over 6 months, and i am studying, we live with his aunt in the town where my uni is located...he moved here to be with me and has no friends and no life except mine! its just one stressor on top of another.


i have reached a point where i have little hope that things can improve, based on his track record. at the risk of sounding unreasonable, at this point i believe most of the fault is his. i try and try and give and give, and i just dont get much in return. i am not happy!!


we are planning our wedding to be late this summer. i feel so confused about what to do. we have already put a lot of down payments and i know that should not be a reason to continue but it is!


my question is, should i hold out hope and work this out or should i cut my losses and call it quits now?

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I would definitely call it quits on this relationship. You may lose a few thousand dollars in down payments, but that is better than going through a wedding and making vows to each other in front of friends and family, and then soon after, going through a divorce. A cancelled engagement might be a bit embarrassing but it's sensible and leaves no lasting damage; a really short, failed marriage will leave a much larger mark on your life and be much more embarrassing. If your marriage fails (as it sounds like it will, unless you endure a lifetime of desperate unhappiness) then you will have lost ALL the money you spent on the wedding, and not just the down payments. Also your friends will probably tell stories about you as "the couple that naively married too fast and the marriage fell apart immediately" - I say that only because I hear people telling such stories all the time about their acquaintances and I wouldn't want to be the subject of such stories!


The reason I think you should call it quits is because you are already very unhappy, at a stage in the relationship when you should be elated, and critically, he refuses to change and has no motivation to improve the relationship and make it the best it can be. At least now he has something to lose if he refuses to change. Once you're married it will be a lot harder for you to leave and he'll know it and be even more set in his ways.


Stay true to yourself and your gut instinct and don't agree to marry this guy at this stage no matter how much he begs and pleads and makes promises. You have to see a substantial history of positive behaviour before you can believe that someone has truly changed for the better.


What do you even get out of this relationship anymore?

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Marriage is a big deal---not to be entered lightly for sure! However, I don't think the problem is with the two of you together. You're each bringing poor communication skills, insecurities, and defensiveness into the relationship. If you don't unlearn your part in this, you'll have the exact same relationship with somebody else. Think of this as your problem---not his or the two of you together. Obviously he's contributing to the trouble here, too, but you can't control what he does or thinks. You can only control what you do and you need to learn new ways to deal with conflict no matter who you're with.


By the way, I think therapy during the engagement period can be a great idea. Nothing to be worried about there! Everyone thinks you should be on cloud 9 while you're engaged. Well, actually, it's a very stressful time. You're contemplating spending the rest of your life with this person, bearing his children, becoming part of HIS family. It's scary and may make you doubt the relationship at times. Plus, there's all the wedding planning, getting your lives in order financially, etc. It's not at all easy and I don't know anyone who just floated down the aisle in an idyllic dream. This is real life. You two are starting to merge your whole lives and being able to communicate is critical! Sure, be cautious before you marry him (or anyone else!), but also remember why you love this guy. If you want to be with him, roll up your sleeves and put your whole heart into it.


One last thought: Even though you need to work on your relationship, don't let your whole relationship be about work. Try to have fun together 95% of the time. Don't fight every battle. Every relaxed, peaceful day you have together is money in the bank. You need lots and lots of good times to give you the strength and motivation to work through the hard stuff.

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you need to nip this behaviour in the bud as soon as possible because believe me it wont get any better. Take it from a woman that has been married for 20+ years to a guy that started out being the best thing since sliced bread and changed as soon as the engagement took place. Thats when the real guy shows himself!


On my wedding day i very nearlly didnt walk into the church but turned around and felt like running as fast as i could! I put it down to nerves but i know now it was my gut instinct telling me to cut free as quick as i could lol


I would lose the down payments and run for the hills unless this man is willing to get help and counselling as quick as is possible.

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