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I think my partner may have commitment phobia…the next step of getting Married


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We have been together for 6 years, had a few ups and downs like any couple but generally a good solid relationship, we have lived together for 5 years. However my partner is reaching her late thirties, and as she wants children and a good marriage is doubting if our relationship is right. These doubts generally come about when people ask her when is she getting engaged or talk of engagement rings. I think its the fear of the next step! She had an awkward upbringing where she witnessed her father regularly beating her mother and offloading lots of crap onto the family, her parents eventually divorced. I think she has the fear that the same may happen to her so wants her marriage partner to be the right one. She knows that I am a good person and I treat her well.


I love her dearly and would marry her tomorrow but of course I want us both to be happy. Her last long term relationship was 10 years ago where that partner also wanted to get married, ultimately that pushed her away and they split even though I believe they had a great relationship…so there is a pattern. I also have concerns for her, what if we split and she jumps into another relationship that's wrong or no better than ours...and what a waste that will be for us as we have a solid relationship base and our own house together…it would only leave me to pick up the pieces and may risk her finding what she ‘thinks’ is the right partner as in her words ‘she’s running out of time’.


She has told me she is going to see a councillor who will help her decide which direction she wants to go in, this just leaves me hanging.

I am also not sure how to act around her, part of me is confused and angry which isn’t helping my mental state and part of me wants to reassure her…however I also don’t want to push her further away.


Any thoughts and advice most welcome.

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Why not also try couples counseling, so that you can be a part of the process and be there when the counselor is giving his or her take on things? Yes, it's upsetting when a partner doesn't feel 100 percent confident about a relationship. Go ahead and communicate your feelings to her, keeping with "I" words which are less abrasive than blaming words like "you always," etc. She needs to know how her baggage affects you. If she ends up breaking up with you, vow to never accept a partner with baggage ever again. As you see, they possess a lower risk for success. Take care.

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Sorry to hear this. She already lives with you so fear of domestic violence, commitment, etc. is a non-theory. Refusing to marry you isn't about fear it's about she doesn't think she's in the right relationship.


Do you support her? Why does she bother living with you if she doesn't want a future with you but claims she does, just not with you. It seems the communication is way off . You seem quite out of touch with each other.


Is she having an affair? that often leads to this 'confusion', until they make the final decision to leave.


Unfortunately it sounds like there's more to the story such as she's on her way out the door. Stop treating her as if she is "sick" and has imaginary diseases such as 'commitmentphobia'. Get to the heart of the matter which is does she want the relationship?


Why is there so much conflict and apathy? How is the affection? Or the relationship in general?

we have lived together for 5 years. she wants children and a good marriage is doubting if our relationship is right. what if we split and she jumps into another relationship that's wrong or no better than ours. our own house together…it would only leave me to pick up the pieces
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5 years living together is proof that she doesn't fear commitment as such. Also, after 6 years in total of being in a relationship.....she already knows everything there is to know about you, so the whole idea that she is afraid of you because of her past is nothing more than you trying to make up excuses because you don't want to face the truth. The truth being that she will happily coast along in a comfortable relationship until more is asked, but then run away because it was never the right relationship for her. It doesn't make her a commitment phobe, it makes her relationship lazy, as in too lazy to get out, be single and actually find the right man for herself.


Anyway, whatever her idea of marriage and husband material is, maybe counseling will help and maybe not. All you can do is give it some time and see what shakes out. Do give yourself a time limit and do mentally prepare to walk away once the limit has been passed.


Six years together, she is panicking about her age, desire for kids and family BUT she won't marry you and instead is panicking about her limited prospects at her age??? I'm sorry but in your shoes I'd already be walking out the door on that. It's such a callous slap in your face.

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As it isn't your partner asking for advice on here, my first concern is for you.


You clearly care very deeply for her, and have a great deal to give the right woman. It doesn't sound as if she's the right one for you though. Many women would give everything to be in her position! Instead you are left hanging and wondering if you're going to be left to clear away the debris from a situation which is not of your own making.


Stop worrying about how she feels about you, and whether you're pushing her away. Concentrate instead about how you feel about HER, and take better care of yourself; get out and about more, and stop regarding your relationship as the source of all the good things in your life. If she will consent to couples counselling, that could be good in that it should resolve your situation one way or another. As you are already aware, this situation is having a very negative effect on your own wellbeing.


My message to you is concentrate on yourself, and let the relationship take care of itself. You can't change another person, and no relationship is going to heal the pain from her past; that's something she needs to do for herself, but you need to make sure you don't catch the fallout.

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I think you should have talked about marriage and kids before you moved in together or even thought about it. You moved in awfully quick. Lots of couples crash and burn moving in together where one partner thinks it will lead to marriage and for the other its just living together. I agree that you need to get straight with yourself and stop making excuses for her. You shouldn't have to go to counseling to fix yourself if you just simply don't want to get married - plain and simple. Ten years is a long time and I don't blame the prior guy for wanting to get married - wanting to get married when you have been together for 6-10 years as an adult - or wanting to be on the path - is NOT PUSHY - its reasonable. after 6 months is pushy. If she feels cramped and being pushed after 10 years, then she clearly does not want to get married. He played house and so did you.


My guy and I knew that we wanted to get married eventually to someone when we met. it was just a matter of finding out if we were a match, not finding eachother and then figuring out how long we could poke along and avoid the topic.


I think that you should end the living arrangement. And next time, find a woman who is open minded to marriage and wants to if she meets the right person, just doesn't know its to you yet because she just met you. That should be a baseline starting point at this point.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank You for you comments. I most certainly agree that I need to concentrate on myself and 'Fill my own cup up first', I think allowing this to effect me has taken its toll and maybe my neediness has shown. I'm trying to remain strong and positive and focus on myself. My partner is still very up and down, one minute we talk it through and agree on counselling...the next morning she says she needs space and takes off to the other side of the world for a week with friends. Then she returns all happy with affection and starts positively talking house again and big investment purchases together...the very next day she is down again and questioning the whole relationship. Its all so confusing! I know what I want but she's literally all over the place with her thinking.

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