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I understand I can’t change her, but I’ve told her that she needs to show accountability for her behavior. We’ve almost broken up several times, but I get pulled back even though she appears to make no substantive changes to address my needs. I understand the pain of rejection that she feels when I’ve delayed the progress in our relationship, and this compassion keeps me hoping that things can work out for us.

 

You understand you can't change her, yet you keep expecting her to magically change with no effort on her part, just because you hope she will. She won't. The core of who people really are, rarely changes. People like your fiance who can never admit they are wrong, almost never change! So, you are telling her how you feel and yet she does nothing. Doesn't this tell you EVERYTHING about how much she values your feelings? So you want to stay with her to make her comfortable or what? I don't understand.

 

Anyhow, our small civil wedding is in a few weeks. Things are mostly lined up. I moved back up to work on the relationship, and I had agreed to marriage to continue working on the relationship. It just doesn’t feel like a mutual effort. I love her and I don’t give her enough credit for her good qualities. But it feels like I’m parenting an adolescent. Every sign tells me it’s a bad idea to go through with it. She’s repeatedly rejected the idea of more counseling after marriage. A

 

If it doesn't feel like a mutual effort, that's because it isn't. Stop fooling yourself and trying to convince yourself that she will do what you want her to. You can love someone and think they have "good qualities", that doesn't mean they'd be a good spouse. My ex-husband had a lot of "good qualities" but was a lousy husband. If EVERY SIGN is telling you it's a bad idea, then WHY are you still doing it??? She's rejecting the idea of counseling post-marriage because after you are married, she REALLY won't make any compromises, because she "has you". A LOT of spouses 'stop trying' when they think they "have someone"- sometimes it's after the marriage, sometimes it's after kids (I can treat them however I want cause we have KIDS now! They will never leave) You know this isn't right. Please have some self-respect and call this wedding off. There are women out there who will also have "good qualities" without being emotionally abusive to you. Please know that. 38 is still young, you have time, do NOT make this decision just because of your age.

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No 38 year old should be throwing tantrums, period. That's completely inappropriate and out of line. You're not being unreasonable here. Okay, maybe she wanted you to do the dishes and clean the sink, that's fine, but she needs to communicate that. Instead of realizing her error and saying "Hey, I actually wanted you to do these tasks as well, would you mind cleaning the sink/dishes as I start to make dinner?" she throws a hissy fit, you two get into a fight, and you lose your voice.

 

This woman is not marriage or mother material. I say take her line about walking away and say "okay, I will leave" and get out.

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One example: I was out with the flu and she planned to makedinner after getting home. I took a sickday and agreed to wash the vegetables to help her out. Turns out, I also had to clear the sink anddo dishes before I could get to her task. When she got home and saw that it wasn’tready, she got pissed and refused to make dinner. I offered to order take out instead, but thatjust made her angrier. We got in a huge fight, and I ended up losing my voiceon top of the flu.

 

I'd be THRILLED if my husband did the dishes for me, especially when he is sick. Most of the time, my husband just moans on a couch when he has a cold. She is incredibly immature, is emotionally abusive and has anger issues.

 

I’ve tried to address these issues early on, but she always tellsme that my expectations are unrealistic and that she isn’t going tochange. It’s my first serious relationship,so I think I’ve put a lot more effort into it than a lot of you would have. More recently our bigger fights have put marriageon the line, she hits back with “if you don’t like it, you can walk”, or “Fine,you can have your way if you make a million dollars, so I can quit my job.” I know it’s a bad dynamic, and I’ve run outof ideas on how to have a constructive dialogue.[/font

 

So, she's being controlling AND emotionally abusive. Ultimatums like this are emotional blackmail, you do realize that, right? She's telling you point blank that she isn't going to change. Do you really want possibly 50 more years of this???? You cannot have a constructive conversation with someone who refuses to have one.

Forget about the kids idea for a minute- Do you really want to be treated this way for the rest of your life?

 

OP, you deserve SO much better than this. Please please please please please call off this wedding. Love her or not, this woman is not in ANY way ready for marriage or children. Not even close.

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Wow, thank you for all the feedback. Please be assured, I am not willing to have kids in the current situation. I have told her many times that things don’t get easier with children, so we need to resolve things now before I am willing to proceed. I would not do that to my future kids. It just feels like I am outof runway to try to resolve the issue.

 

I kept the details short and I know I may come off as over-critical or judgmental toward my GF. I’m not perfect and I share the blame in how things have developed. It doesn’t help that she is anxious to begin with, but she is prone to tantrums when things don’t meet her standards or throws her off her self-imposed schedule. Every minute counts and she is easily annoyed by unplanned setbacks. It started with small fights that could have been easily resolved by a simple apology or understanding.

One example: I was out with the flu and she planned to make dinner after getting home. I took a sick day and agreed to wash the vegetables to help her out. Turns out, I also had to clear the sink and do dishes before I could get to her task. When she got home and saw that it wasn’t ready, she got pissed and refused to make dinner. I offered to order take out instead, but that just made her angrier. We got in a huge fight, and I ended up losing my voice on top of the flu.

 

I’ve tried to address these issues early on, but she always tells me that my expectations are unrealistic and that she isn’t going to change. It’s my first serious relationship, so I think I’ve put a lot more effort into it than a lot of you would have. The glue that holds us together is our ability to make each other laugh easily and her short memory (I'm the one who holds on to grudges longer). Things are ok on a day-to-day basis, but it feels like the partnership is lacking. More recently our bigger fights have put marriage on the line, she hits back with “if you don’t like it, you can walk”, or “Fine, you can have your way if you make a million dollars, so I can quit my job.” I know it’s a bad dynamic, and I’ve run out of ideas on how to have a constructive dialogue.

 

You are blaming yourself -- you are NOT being over critical - you are being realistic. The only thing not clear-eyed is your intent to marry her.

 

She told you she is not going to change. Believe she will be exactly the same, but possibly worse when married.

 

As far as putting effort into a relationship - you have to put an effort into a relationship that is worth the effort. You should have to put NO effort into basic getting along. I am questioning whether this woman even LIKES you. She may love you, but i don't think she likes you. Its like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. If two people match, the "work" happens when a parent dies, someone is downsized, someone receives a diagnosis, and what have you -- not the basics --- in other words that person would never threaten you with leaving, they care about you when you are sick - they would't have to act like a nurse but certainly wouldn't expect the sick person to prep food! If you want to be a hen pecked or beaten down man for the rest of your life, then go ahead.

 

There are lots of people who can make you laugh. My abusive ex could make me laugh. I am glad I didn't use sense of humor as a criteria for begging him to stay. Our relationship was LOTS of work because he was not the right person for me and he always threatened to leave.

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QB, I'd suggest you either do something about those grudges and end it or stop holding grudges. It's not making you look good. I think you have a habit of telling yourself that you're generous and forgiving (the "nice guy") and that you will put up with a lot of bad situations but you're not fooling anyone. Pretending to be the nice guy and then having a plethora of bad things to say and reasons to break up with your fiancee, asking her to marry you and gathering dutch courage on a forum to badmouth her is just unbelievable.

 

You may have a good idea of what she's about but have you really taken a good look at yourself and what you've become?

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Wow, thank you for all the feedback. Please be assured, I am not willing to have kids in the current situation. I have told her many times that things don’t get easier with children, so we need to resolve things now before I am willing to proceed. I would not do that to my future kids. It just feels like I am outof runway to try to resolve the issue.

 

I kept the details short and I know I may come off as over-critical or judgmental toward my GF. I’m not perfect and I share the blame in how things have developed. It doesn’t help that she is anxious to begin with, but she is prone to tantrums when things don’t meet her standards or throws her off her self-imposed schedule. Every minute counts and she is easily annoyed by unplanned setbacks. It started with small fights that could have been easily resolved by a simple apology or understanding.

One example: I was out with the flu and she planned to make dinner after getting home. I took a sick day and agreed to wash the vegetables to help her out. Turns out, I also had to clear the sink and do dishes before I could get to her task. When she got home and saw that it wasn’t ready, she got pissed and refused to make dinner. I offered to order take out instead, but that just made her angrier. We got in a huge fight, and I ended up losing my voice on top of the flu.

 

I’ve tried to address these issues early on, but she always tells me that my expectations are unrealistic and that she isn’t going to change. It’s my first serious relationship, so I think I’ve put a lot more effort into it than a lot of you would have. The glue that holds us together is our ability to make each other laugh easily and her short memory (I'm the one who holds on to grudges longer). Things are ok on a day-to-day basis, but it feels like the partnership is lacking. More recently our bigger fights have put marriage on the line, she hits back with “if you don’t like it, you can walk”, or “Fine, you can have your way if you make a million dollars, so I can quit my job.” I know it’s a bad dynamic, and I’ve run out of ideas on how to have a constructive dialogue.

 

Dude, this is who she is! She will not change! When are you going to accept this?

 

What a complete waste of time for you both!!

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Wow, thank you for all the feedback. Please be assured, I am not willing to have kids in the current situation. I have told her many times that things don’t get easier with children, so we need to resolve things now before I am willing to proceed. I would not do that to my future kids. It just feels like I am outof runway to try to resolve the issue.

 

I kept the details short and I know I may come off as over-critical or judgmental toward my GF. I’m not perfect and I share the blame in how things have developed. It doesn’t help that she is anxious to begin with, but she is prone to tantrums when things don’t meet her standards or throws her off her self-imposed schedule. Every minute counts and she is easily annoyed by unplanned setbacks. It started with small fights that could have been easily resolved by a simple apology or understanding.

One example: I was out with the flu and she planned to make dinner after getting home. I took a sick day and agreed to wash the vegetables to help her out. Turns out, I also had to clear the sink and do dishes before I could get to her task. When she got home and saw that it wasn’t ready, she got pissed and refused to make dinner. I offered to order take out instead, but that just made her angrier. We got in a huge fight, and I ended up losing my voice on top of the flu.

 

I’ve tried to address these issues early on, but she always tells me that my expectations are unrealistic and that she isn’t going to change. It’s my first serious relationship, so I think I’ve put a lot more effort into it than a lot of you would have. The glue that holds us together is our ability to make each other laugh easily and her short memory (I'm the one who holds on to grudges longer). Things are ok on a day-to-day basis, but it feels like the partnership is lacking. More recently our bigger fights have put marriage on the line, she hits back with “if you don’t like it, you can walk”, or “Fine, you can have your way if you make a million dollars, so I can quit my job.” I know it’s a bad dynamic, and I’ve run out of ideas on how to have a constructive dialogue.

 

I'm just going to stay on the same horn as the others, since we've got four years of denial to blast through here.

 

This latest post? Just more confirmation that you are in a nuclear wasteland of a relationship. Sorry to put it so bluntly—it's generally not my style—but sometimes you've got to reach for the bazooka instead of the scalpel.

 

I'll tell you straight up what you're getting by staying: You get to avoid the very painful wave that will come over you when you have to accept that this is how you chose to spend your mid to late 30s. Somewhere I bet you can feel that lurking at the edges—not the micro-questions of what's up with her to throw a tantrum over unwashed veggies, but the macro-questions of what's up with you, a warm, intelligent, fully grown man, to have made a home inside this crazy castle and to have been a co-architect of it.

 

Oh, I know that wave well. I know it at exactly your age, when I extricated myself from a wild knot of a relationship that I can now deduce to a shrug and a laugh line. Here's what I can say: pull the rip cord and face the wave. You'll flail for a bit, but you won't drown. The opposite. You'll build strength swimming through that wave, you'll learn things about yourself you're scared to learn but will feel like gems, and you'll learn what it feels like to really breathe again—not the radioactive air you're breathing now, but real air, fresh air.

 

You've got all the time in the world to find a partner, to make a family. Right now your bar is so low—just about every couple on the planet laughs, for instance—that you've lost complete sight of your worth and that there's a completely different dynamic to be found in romance—one where all these issues you're working through don't exist. It's just not going to be with your current girlfriend, ever.

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Again thanks for the responses.

 

@Rose, I thought your first comment was very reasonable, and I agree that humility, compassion, and respect are important in a successful relationship. I don't understand your later comment though. It's not my intent to badmouth my GF, as this is an anonymous forum. I am at a breaking point, and wanted to get people's honest input, particularly if it give me any new approaches that I have not yet tried. And you are right, I am not happy with who I have become.

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QB, I'd suggest you either do something about those grudges and end it or stop holding grudges. It's not making you look good. I think you have a habit of telling yourself that you're generous and forgiving (the "nice guy") and that you will put up with a lot of bad situations but you're not fooling anyone. Pretending to be the nice guy and then having a plethora of bad things to say and reasons to break up with your fiancee, asking her to marry you and gathering dutch courage on a forum to badmouth her is just unbelievable.

 

You may have a good idea of what she's about but have you really taken a good look at yourself and what you've become?

 

Who knows if he proposed or she insisted. Either way, they are where they are now and this relationship should not continue. I don't think this relationship can be fixed with his self reflection. The situation can be fixed by him looking at why he got himself into this mess, ending it, and not accepting a relationship that is constant battle again.

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Again thanks for the responses.

 

@Rose, I thought your first comment was very reasonable, and I agree that humility, compassion, and respect are important in a successful relationship. I don't understand your later comment though. It's not my intent to badmouth my GF, as this is an anonymous forum. I am at a breaking point, and wanted to get people's honest input, particularly if it give me any new approaches that I have not yet tried. And you are right, I am not happy with who I have become.

 

The reason for my last comment/feedback is in response to your account of the situation you are in. I'm indicating that your situation is no place to be in if all you have to say are bad things about her. In your posts, you keep coming back to examples of the way she treats you. How is this going to help you make a decision? Or perhaps you are using the forum as a place to vent your frustrations in the relationship? You're going around and around in a cycle of bad memories and not hitting the stop button or finding any solutions. You've mentioned you have a tendency to hold on to grudges. Why aren't you resolving those conflicts with your partner and finding solutions together? We understand you're having troubles with her. The work now has to come from both of you.

 

I fully support using the forum as a means to figure things out but at some point, you're going to have to do the legwork yourself and start creating more solutions with your fiancee if you want to make this relationship work. What any of us think about your relationship is really not the point. I think you know deep down that it's no one else's decision but yours and your fiancee's that matters. The point is you coming to your own conclusions about what you should do and whether you love each other enough to make this relationship work.

 

I hope you are able to cease the grudges or if you need to get it out of your system, please feel free to do so. Just know that at a certain point, you (as in YOU, an able and intelligent human being) are expected to figure out the problems with your fiancee. I don't feel it's appropriate to find all the answers on an anonymous forum. We can only show you or help with some hints on how to best resolve the issues with her but we cannot do that work for you.

 

Edit: I'm also going to address that you mentioned you have spoken to her about these issues but it also matters how these issues are brought up. Not everyone deals with critiques well and some more than others are prone to a range of emotions. I think you should leave room for that and neutralize any language you have regarding her shortcomings. She is clear about what she wants to change and what she doesn't want to change. It's up to you whether you can learn to put down your grudges and accept her for who she is (and vice versa). I think the games have to stop right here. Stop undermining each other, stop not accepting each other, stop putting each other down. Learn to appreciate more. From what I've read in the thread it doesn't sound like you both are appreciating each other enough even when you find fault with each other. It's fine to be pissed off. It's NOT fine being not being clear about it and refusing to come back to each other and appreciating each other/finding solutions that work. If you really feel she has severe behavioural issues (controlling her temper etc) or other serious cognitive drawbacks/lights are on and no one is home (unable to problem solve), figure out what to do next and make up your mind once and for all regarding your own personal happiness.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Let's reframe - you already own that you cannot have children with this woman because she is unstable and abusive. So if you truly want to have a happy marriage, a healthy relationship and a family, you know that you absolutely must end this relationship and find a woman who is healthy. You cannot continue trying and hoping when you've been to counseling and it still didn't do anything for her.

 

There comes a point where you have to own that you are being abused, that it cannot continue, that you have to leave the abuse behind, that your world will not fall apart because you left an emotionally abusive person and that yes, it's hard to leave them because their constant attacks and constant poisonous drip drip drip have left you feeling so low, it's hard for you to imagine there can be anything better out there or that you deserve better and can actually get it.

 

What you are describing is abuse and abusers don't change, get fixed, or stop abusing. Say it out loud and admit to yourself. Stop making excuses and denying your reality. Before you try to defend, yes, no abuser is abusive all of the time. Of course you'll have some good times when you aren't being psychologically and emotionally beaten. That's what makes abuse so insidious and why people get stuck. They do get stuck on those few good times and cling to them for dear life, even crave them and turn themselves into pretzels in their effort to stay in the good time and not upset their abuser, but it never works out and the cycle of abuse never ends, just gets worse. Get out and get out now.

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I get that this is your first serious relationship so you may not know how to exit. From all of us on the forum from our outsiders perspective, you need to leave her! Honestly how much more dysfunction can you take? She’s not the only girl out there and life is too short to put up with this nonsense.

 

You’re by far from being too old to have children or even finding love again.

 

You can stay not be lonely and be miserable or you can leave be lonely but utilize the loneliness to your advantage to find yourself after four years and be happy!

 

 

Loneliness sucks, I get it, I would rather be lonely then in your toxic situation and I know you would too. Otherwise you wouldn’t be posting here.

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There comes a point where you have to own that you are being abused, that it cannot continue, that you have to leave the abuse behind, that your world will not fall apart because you left an emotionally abusive person and that yes, it's hard to leave them because their constant attacks and constant poisonous drip drip drip have left you feeling so low, it's hard for you to imagine there can be anything better out there or that you deserve better and can actually get it.

 

What you are describing is abuse and abusers don't change, get fixed, or stop abusing. Say it out loud and admit to yourself. Stop making excuses and denying your reality. Before you try to defend, yes, no abuser is abusive all of the time. Of course you'll have some good times when you aren't being psychologically and emotionally beaten. That's what makes abuse so insidious and why people get stuck. They do get stuck on those few good times and cling to them for dear life, even crave them and turn themselves into pretzels in their effort to stay in the good time and not upset their abuser, but it never works out and the cycle of abuse never ends, just gets worse. Get out and get out now.

 

OP, this is SO spot on!!! Please re-read this, especially the bolded part over and over. I know because my first marriage was abusive in the same way and this hits the nail directly on the head. Great post, Dancing and SO VERY TRUE!

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no abuser is abusive all of the time. Of course you'll have some good times when you aren't being psychologically and emotionally beaten. That's what makes abuse so insidious and why people get stuck.

 

YES>

 

Please read up on the "mean/sweet" cycle. And the wheel of abuse.

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Use common sense and logic. Be reasonable and sensible. Forget about marriage and heaven forbid, don't bring children into the world with unstable, unhappy parents otherwise it will be a recipe for disaster.

 

Both of you are obviously not in love with each other. Couples who are truly in love with each other, treat each other with utmost respect, consideration and sensitivity in mind. Your relationship with your girlfriend lacks all basic foundations for harmonious, smooth, compatible daily living.

 

You and your girlfriend have a very abnormal, toxic, dysfunctional relationship. Break it off with her and give each other permanent space. In the future, be with a normal lady and have a normal, loving, respectful, mentally stable relationship. After that, both of you can contemplate and discuss serious marriage commitment.

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