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Ultimatum: Marriage or Breakup

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The decision will most likely happen by default. You keep stringing her along and she will eventually leave. So just as passive and complacent as the rest of this relationship has been, so will the end of it be driven by the passive and complacent nature of it. The problem will solve itself through your inertia. She has no leverage. She's a fool to think moving in was a prelude to marriage when that was never explicitly discussed or the purpose of it.

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You're not being honest with yourself nor your partner to stay in this relationship knowing your heart isn't fully into it. It sounds like you're trying to wing it and that could be dangerous later on. You cannot wing your way into marital bliss; it's a recipe for disaster. Many people become engaged and forget that the engagement process involves evaluation (both self and of your partner). And without the qualitative data necessary, it's catastrophic to move forward with a wedding date.


For best results, you have to be 200% in and I'm not convinced that you are. Marriage is no joke; you will be tried and tested along the way. My wife credits my commitment to our marriage often and albeit I'm grateful, I don't get sidetracked into believing that my work is done. Marriage, to me, is a commitment to spend the rest of your life next to someone while also making a commitment to be your best self for someone else. That involves a ton of self-reflection and work that many people struggle to do over a twelve round fight; a lot of marriages these days fail to make it toward the final bell. Why? I believe, because we're in a new generation of "What can you do for me?" as opposed to "How may I serve you, my love?" And you can't serve someone that you aren't fully committed to. Now, add a child (or two), mortgage, health crisis or some other life altering event into the equation and you've got the makings of a painful divorce in the works.


My friend, at this moment, you should self-evaluate and do some genuine soul searching.

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we're in a new generation of "What can you do for me?" as opposed to "How may I serve you, my love?" .


I have a simple question maybe you or someone can open my eyes to.


What if you are doing everything you can imagine as far as serving your partner, but feel very little is returned. Shouldn't SOME type of reciprocity happen from someone who loves you the same, or do we just accept the other partner

as a taker, and not a giver and accept it?



I hear at the water cooler all the time "my husband doesn't help out around the house, I don't even think he knows how to run the dishwasher" or "he watches sports all day while I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, drive the kids to soccer".


I know if I was only doing 30%, I would work hard at bringing that up to at least 50%. Sadly, many couples don't have a 50% arrangement, and this is not just household duties, it's everything; nice gestures like buying flowers just because, or picking up a treat from the grocery store. Or a simply hearing "thanks for...".

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I went through twisting myself in a pretzel in wrong relationships because everything was more than right on paper. Including the first time around that my husband and I seriously dated and got involved when we were in our late 20s/early 30s. Here's what resonated with me because yes I get it- the doubts are crazy making.


What resonated was - I needed to feel reasonably sure and excited to be with my partner and I needed to feel that way about marrying him. Meaning -again for me -any doubts were fleeting/resolvable (or if they involved something he had done or not done AND that he could change or would want to change - then we talked about it - as far as "jitters" or internal doubts -I let them coexist and my litmus test was that if they didn't rock me to the core-make me question my love for him, my entire reason for being with him -I just let them exist on the periphery, and saw if they resolved/faded on their own). So yes I'm ok with momentary doubts/jitters or conflicts that either turn out to be no biggie or are resolvable with your partner.


The second time around - 8 years later - it was right. No, I didn't settle and neither did he. No, I didn't lower my standards and I don't believe he did either. Yes, I believe age/maturity/experience/increasing in confidence ,self-knowledge/pursuing professional dreams - all of this helped make us right that second time together. Yes, what I wanted physically in a partner changed too -again, not settling -not at all - just that people evaluate how they feel about things differently at different stages of their lives. At age 19 or so I declined to be set up with a guy who told me on the phone he was 20 pounds overweight - and in my 30s I fell head over heels for an obese man -go figure. (No, that wasn't my husband, he is not obese!). In my 20s I would have cringed if someone thought my boyfriend was a "nerd" and later I realized I preferred "nerds" and later I realized I didn't give a crap what anyone else thought with very rare exception (meaning a close friend who gives input on something that might be unhealthy for me, out of love/concern).


So this might be a timing thing OP - problem is if the timing is off then people can go and meet other people and you do need to set them free to do so. Or she just might not be right for you ever. If I were you I'd take the brutally self-honest path and sit with yourself and get to the bottom of why you're having these intense doubts. That also might help you in future relationships.


I'll tell you that I ended a 7 year on/off relationship where I couldn't get to the root of it during it but 6 months later someone who knew both of us made an offhand non-earth shaking comment about him/his personality/temperament and I had this aha moment and realized -from that vantage point of time and distance -why we didn't make sense together. I hope the same for you.

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You're not being honest with yourself nor your partner to stay in this relationship knowing your heart isn't fully into it.


For best results, you have to be 200% in and I'm not convinced that you are. Marriage is no joke; you will be tried and tested along the way. .


^^^THIS. I feel for you, OP. I married my 1st husband because we had been together a long time, and it was "expected" and partly due to fear that I wouldn't find someone else that wanted to commit to me. If things are not GREAT going in, there is almost NO way that you would have a successful marriage. Even in the BEST of marriages (my 2nd marriage is AMAZING!)- you will be challenged together and apart in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine. Throw kids into the mix and those challenges only multiply and escalate. If you are this uncertain now, you should NOT get married or have kids. Both come with enormous challenges in the very best of marriages and partnerships.


Marriage isn't for everyone. If it's not for you, that's okay. Someone pressuring you into something you don't want is never a good thing and IMVHO, makes me wonder if she's really in love with you or the idea of marriage. Ultimatums nearly always backfire. However, if you cannot give her what she feels she needs, end the relationship.


Regarding happiness (take it from someone on their second marriage)- NO one other person can make YOU happy. Your happiness is entirely up to you, no matter your marital status. That being said, the right person will bring out the best in you. You may love this woman and wish it could work out, but if it isn't the right match, it isn't the right match. Qualities that my first husband hated about me, my current husband LOVES. I can tell you that picking that right person for you is 98% of it.


I think you just need to be honest with her. Tell her you are not ready for marriage and don't know if you ever will be. If she feels like she needs to move on, that's her choice. But please do not make a choice out of fear. It will not make either one of you happy in the long run. In hindsight, I wish my ex-husband had just been honest with me instead of wasting years of both our lives spent in unhappiness. Best of luck to you.

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