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Ladies (And Guys), What's Wrong With Me?


Jonah5678

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Hi everyone. This could be really long so I'll try to keep it as short as possible.

 

My girlfriend and I have been together for 6 years. We love each other very much, know everything about each other, and I know I can't picture myself in this kind of relationship with anyone else. I'm 23 and she's 26.

 

Well, for about the past 3 years, I think her internal clock has been ticking and she's really pushing the whole moving-in together and marriage thing. I know it may sound silly, but I'm just not ready for it. I have huge student loan debts that I want to pay off so I want to live at home for awhile so I can put as much money towards that and savings as possible. I also just feel that I'm not ready to be married. It's nothing against her, I just don't feel like I'm ready for that kind of life right now. I enjoy being with her, but I like being by myself often too, I like having my own room and my own stuff, and I like being somewhat independent. I'm 23 for christ's sake!

 

Well, one day she'll randomly start to pressure me about it, then I tell her that I'm just simply not ready, she says I'm just trying to keep away from commitment so I can leave at any time, then we get into a big fight about it, she cries, I feel like an a$$hole... then we make up and pretend everything's okay, until 2 weeks later, the same thing happens all over again.

 

It's a real shame, because the time we spend together (other than those times) are incredible. The idea of breaking up with her makes me sick to my stomach, but do we just want two separate things? Are we (or should I say, am I) just wasting her time? I feel like this terrible pattern will just go on and on unless I'm forced into a situation that I don't want to be in and will be miserable... so either way it seems that we just won't work.

 

On paper, it sounds like we should just go our separate ways. But like I said, I can't see myself without her, or especially with anyone else. UGGHHH... the whole thing gives me a headache.

 

 

So, in short, I'd like some ladies opinions on this subject. Put yourself in my girlfriend's place. Do you think it would be better to go our separate ways? Do you think I'd be making a huge mistake? Guys too, have you found yourself in a similar situation? Are there any solutions?

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Not being ready does NOT sound silly! It's better to be honest with yourself and her now than to jump into it and be miserable. And, given that I'm a student myself, the student loans sound like a very solid, reasonable argument. If she really cares about you, she should be able to understand. I, for one, would want to get married only when both people are financially stable. Does she know that reason?

 

Question for you now: although you're not ready now, do you want to marry her eventually? If no, we have a problem...But if yes, reassure her of that. I'm not saying get engaged, but make her feel like there is progress in the relationship. Induldge her a little and talk about married life every once in a while. Maybe buy her a little trinket with some kind of promise attached to it...

 

I would really emphasize the fact that you need to be able to stand on your own two feet before you join a three-legged race with another person. Make your reasons sound practical rather than emotional...

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Thanks, laboheme. Yes, she definitely knows my reasons about student loans and wanting to be settled in a career and life and whatnot before I do join that 3-legged race. She says it doesn't matter to her, but the debt is something I want to take care of on my own.

 

What if I get a job oppurtunity accross the country? I know she wouldn't want to move. It sounds selfish and it probably is, but I'm just starting my life on my own... I want to figure "me" out before it becomes "we". I've told her all this, but she doesn't want to hear it...

 

You know, I do feel like I could marry her someday, I just have no idea whatsoever of when that is. It could be 2 years, it could be 20 (no lie). I just can't keep feeling like I'm being cornered...

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Do not get guilted into doing something you do not want to do. Marriage is not a walk in the park with happily ever afters. It takes work. It takes stability. It takes really really wanting it to work. And if one of you is walking into this NOT ready.... you'll soon find yourself more miserable than you predict right now.

 

I give you credit for thinking.. and knowing you are NOT ready.

 

You tell her the truth. And you ask her to table this conversation for 3 years. If she can't.... then you go your separate ways.

 

YES.. it will hurt. Yes it will be heart-breaking... but think of how much more it would hurt 7 years down the road a a few kids... not good at all.

 

You commit when you are READY to commit and not before.

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What if I get a job oppurtunity accross the country? I know she wouldn't want to move. It sounds selfish and it probably is, but I'm just starting my life on my own... I want to figure "me" out before it becomes "we". I've told her all this, but she doesn't want to hear it...

 

No, it isn't selfish. You know what is important to you and what you need to do. Your priorities right now are: Work and finances/career goals first, then relationship. And I don't think that is wrong or foolish at all. It is honest, and she needs to understand it.

 

Wow. I remember that. Found myself in a similiar pickle except it had to do with moving in together.

 

You sound like a very mature 23, which may be one of the reasons she is pushing this. Kind of "well, he really does have his act together and I know I could marry him, so what is the hold up?"

 

But,...if you were to commit down the line in that way, you'd have to be working on the same page regarding priorities and working together as a team. She's not showing you that right now, she's refusing to listen and trying to push her own priorities first.

 

I'm not seeing where she is showing she would support you in your goals? I mean, if she wants to get married so bad - why could she not move for your work? Does she have a full time career too and does that come first for her?

And why is she not listening to you when you telling her what is important to you (so the two of you could actually discuss a plan to meet the needs of both of you?)

 

There's lots of questions here. Maybe you could start by asking her about how she sees things panning out and how life would be different if you were to get married? What her vision is, what you would be doing and what she would be doing. You might get a better idea of where she is coming from with all this.

 

Every relationship that lasts a good while come to the point where there is a crossroads:

Can this work longterm for both of us, do we have a solid foundation of communication, do we have similiar goals and dreams?

 

I think you should discuss this with her and hear her out. Let her explain EXACTLY what she wants needs and is willing to do. Then you explain what you see for the future, your wants needs and what you are willing to do for the relationship. If there is a strong conflict of interests: it is time for the sad parting. And I KNOW how goddamn hard they are, but it saves years of misery.

 

Don't feel like an ahole if she starts pressuring. That is her *problem* in a way, because she is basically just trying to get what she wants in an immature indirect way. She needs to be firm in what she wants, too. If she really wants to get married now then she should leave bc you have been clear you are not ready for it. (right? you have been absolutely clear? no 'maybe we will get married someday? no 'i don't know right now so let's just wait and see?') Shizzy that she would put the burden moreso on you.

 

You will have to make a difficult decision. I do not envy you. I do think you are smart and strong and will do the right thing here. Good luck.

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This is an expression of her insecurity and is a form of a test. Basically she's looking for reassurances that you won't leave her. Now common thought would tell you that you need to reassure her, tell her everything's gonna be ok, blah blah blah. But obviously that's not working, so you gotta look a little deeper into the situation and see how this is reflecting on you. When she starts talking like this, you need to lay it down quite flat that her accusations don't please you and you don't appreciate her accusing you of not being serious about her and that you would just up and dump her one day like some immoral SOB. You gotta defend yourself in that way because she's insulting your integrity as a man and all of that comforting stuff is just reenforcing her belief that there is a problem here.

 

Something similar happened to me a few weeks ago where I was being wrongly accused of checking out other women. I started to do the nice guy defending thing, but she wouldn't drop it. So then I had to think about it for a bit and rip into her about how I trust her when she's not around and I know guys hit on her but I trust her to do the right thing, but she doesn't give me the same respect in return. Then I accused her of not trusting me and she said "no i do." The I said "so what's the problem?" And she says "nothing." And then i was like "exactly." Silence, end of conversation, her apologizing to me a few minutes later for not trusting me. My brother handled a similar situation the wrong way and subsequently got dumped.

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I think you may need to re-evaluate your relationship. Are you the type of guy who needs something to be perfect before they can make a move? Like after you pay your student loans, are you going to have another excuse as to why the relationship can't move forward, like you just started in your career and you want to wait till you get that big promotion? Nothing will ever be perfect. If you don't see yourself wanting to marry this girl or make a commitment soon, you should just go your separate ways. Your giving her just enough to make her think this will go somewhere and thats selfish. Really sit down and think about what you want. I agree that she's being selfish too, by pressuring you, which she shouldn't do, but come on, six years? Your still young, but she's 26, thats closing in on 30 and if she wants to have children, she may feel like she's running out of time. We all have timelines set up and maybe yours and hers don't match up. But don't sugar coat it for her, let her know what you really feel and give her the option of continuing, or moving on to find someone who will commit to her.

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I appreciate where you're coming from. Yes, you're 23.

 

She's not. She's 26. You may hear alot about women who are having babies in their forties. That is not how women are supposed to have their children. It's possible; we have better medical advice now, and vitamins, but in reality, the optimum time to have children is still prior to turning 30; 35 at the latest. Let's say you commit to be engaged now, married in a year. She'll be 27. Then, is she going to get pregnant right away, or be married for awhile? Let's give you guys a year to adjust to being married. She's now 28. Okay. Time to get pregnant; let's say it takes the average, four months, for you to conceive a child. By the time the baby is born, she's 29. Ready to have another? You better be, because if she wants to breastfeed or space them out by a year, she'll be 31 or 32 before she can have another. After age 35, complications in childbirth start to go up. Plus, you end up having to raise little children when you're older and perhaps running into health problems, like menopause, breast cancer, etc.

 

You see, it isn't about you, and your inability to commit. And it's not about her, or her insecurities. It's about reality. Reality is knocking; it wants to know: What do you want?

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With all due respect, your statistics are highly inaccurate. Absolutely it's better to have children before age 40 for a variety of reasons, but your draconian scenario and the level at which you describe all these so-called problems is simply out of touch with reality (based on all that I have read, my physician's advice, etc). In my own circle of friends, many are having healthy babies in their late 30s early 40s, three of them got pregnant on the first try within the year. In contrast, I have friends who have had complications and children with special needs when they were under 35 and of course getting married before you're ready might let you have children at a younger age but then there is divorce, etc or simply not being ready to be parents.

 

To the OP - if her reasons are that she wants to have children by a certain age - for whatever reason - she is entitled to that and you are entitled not to be on the same page with her. My guess is she is watching certain of her friends settle down (and a percentage of them likely will be divorced in the next 10 years) and her concern is more about wanting to be married just like them as opposed to a real concern about having children or never finding someone to marry.

 

I don't think 23 is necesarily too young - but I do think you are 100% entitled to feel too young, not ready, whatever it is. Continue to be honest with her and you will figure out in your own head and heart whether your need to wait is more important than being with her. It's not an easy decision but the answer will become apparent - might mean taking some space for awhile from her to see what life is like without her.

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You don't like my opinion; that's okay. I chose to have my children as young as I could, for a variety of reasons. All of those reasons were sound. I'm sure your reasons for choosing as you have are sound. I wrote as I did because I think practical realities sometimes are overlooked, and years are involved in preparing to marry and planning and having children. Just addressing the question.

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You don't like my opinion; that's okay. I chose to have my children as young as I could, for a variety of reasons. All of those reasons were sound. I'm sure your reasons for choosing as you have are sound. I wrote as I did because I think practical realities sometimes are overlooked, and years are involved in preparing to marry and planning and having children. Just addressing the question.

 

I understand. My friend met her husband in February 2005, got married in June 2006 and is expecting her first child in March 2007. Several of my friends have similar time spans from first date to first baby - it doesn't need to take "years" as far as the couple's time line (problems conceiving of course is another issue entirely). Also it's not a "choice" to have children young if the person only wants to have children in the context of a stable marriage - then it takes two people who both choose that at the same time. So, given my choice to put the best interests of the child above my own self-interests in having children young, I do not have the choice when to have children - it depends on circumstances that are not entirely within my control (meeting the right person at the right time who wants the same things I do in the same time period). You apparently were lucky enough to have all of that come together in the timing you desired. Not everyone is so lucky.

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Thank you, all. I greatly appreciate your thoughts. It'll be tough, but I think my plan is to just wait until the situation comes up next, and then just tell her that I can't deal with the pressure, and we need to decide right then and there if it's going to work. I'm not looking forward to it, but I am looking forward to a clearer future. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Again, thanks!

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  • 4 years later...

How did you resolve the "restlessness" problems you mentioned in another thread? I was in a similar situation some years ago - I was with a girl i wanted to grow old with, but I didn't want to be sexually limited to her. So I had to break up, after long and painful reflections (I also, first, discussed the possibility for an open relationship with her, but she didn't want that.) Still, she got very sad when I broke up, and I got even sadder than her. I cried for practically two years, and I didn't dare to go into serious relationships, as I feared I was an emotionless bastard. I slept with eight different girls during that time, some ridiculously beautiful (one of them, the second I met after the breakup, was so amazing that I fell in love, but even with her, I knew I wasn't ready to go monogamous). After a while it settled down to a lover, and then my lover broke up, sms-ing "I don't think I can take more of this sex thing" and I answered "ok". So even with her, it was a conflict between the wish for tension and the wish for safety (but we kept being friends, even though we may have too much sexual tension between us still).

 

Well, I was still afraid to commit to girls I really liked, simply because I was afraid I would cheat. So finally I went mountaineering with a cute psychology student, and she told me i should quit thinking of myself as a morally superior being, and that I should quit whipping myself for not being superhuman. This made me relax ... she also said that she felt it was natural not to share everything with one's boyfriend/girlfriend.

 

So we got together - and I put in a clause that I could perhaps come in the situation where I slept with someone else. And then she said that she'd prefer not to know if such a thing happened. So when an actress/model I know came visiting me, drunk, and we both had had a rough time in our separate relationships, something happened. We slept together for one night, and it was not even a one-night stand, it felt like love. Which of course is very weird and much more troubling.

 

Uh yeah. So now I'm in my relationship, which is a good one, but I'm afraid it's destructive for my girl. I haven't told my girlfriend about the one slip-up - the model girl is still married, her husband is a great guy. I don't mind looking him in the eyes, I know I'm only human, and ... well, he knows everyone falls in love with his wife anyway ... the bad thing is of course that she fell for me too, but that's her business.

 

I don't like the thought of him suffering a divorce - I like him. And while I really love his wife, I know she is his wife ... and I have a girl too. And I've been through one break-up, and I know how painful it is. I think if the model girl would divorce, she'd be in much more pain than she'd imagine ... if not, she'd be pretty cold, and not the woman I think she is.

 

Ah. I wonder if I've just been manipulated by a pretty face, or if this is a sign that my relationship and her marriage are both doomed. But I have chosen not to take such fatalist approaches to reality. I have chosen to be strong. To say This is what I want. Right now.

 

Actually - my point is that the cheating thing didn't affect me much this time. The breaking up with my last girlfriend hurt much more, even though she said I did "the right thing", we don't talk anymore. I sometimes wish I'd just cheated on my last girlfriend to get it out of my system, so I could still have her in my life. I love her family, her sense of humor, her ability to love, and it was a classic case of "girl being so nice you forget how lucky you are". People will always have a tendency to wipe their feet on anything with "welcome" written all over it.

 

I hope I am not a bastard. I would like to stay in touch with you, Jonah, so we can find out if we are bastards, or just honest guys trying to do the right thing. I warned my current girlfriend about my adversity to monogamy - so the model cheat is within that. She asked me not to tell her - so I didn't. BUT - now she's changing the rules, I think. And I wonder if I should tell about it or keep my mouth shut. I still keep my mouth shut, and I'm still together with my girlfriend.

 

But - and there is a big but - I wonder if my ability, hunger for, need for intimacy has faded. I don't have the same urge to connect with my current girlfriends family as I did with the former. Is it just me being older, being more tired? Or is it her? I chalk it down as "it is me". This could be me not wanting to take the consequences ... but what is the alternative? I'm 31. Should I break up, and wait indefinitely for a girl I'll fall in love with as a teenager do? Should I work hard on the relationship I am in now? My girlfriend will not find out of my cheat - let's face it, no one will believe that I bagged one of the countrys sexiest models anyway ... model girl and me have an emotional connection, but she's married. And my girlfriend and I have an intellectual connection - I admire my girl, I think she's sexy and one of the smartest women I know - but I don't feel that warm and fuzzy thing. Have I become a player? Am I incapable of love? If so, I'd rather be faking it to have my girlfriend in my life - and I want to let model girl preserve her long marriage.

 

Something that happens once is maybe not such a crime after all. Unless you let the guilt eat you up, like thinking you're a bad person. I refuse to let myself be a "bad person" anymore, and I will follow the new rules my girlfriend has set, i.e. not cheat anymore, but I won't talk about the old one-time cheat just because she asked. If we are to break up, the break up will be because of something within our relationship, not because I happened to get hit on by a drunk celebrity one time.

 

Of course: With not punishing myself anymore for "being a bad person", I AM a much worse person. To get back control of my mental health, I had to accept that I was not as morally superior as I imagined. But my psychologist girlfriend saved me: She asked why I had to feel so morally superior at all times. What was it in me that needed to be so much better than the average person. (Come on, imagine Angelina Jolie sort of leaning into you and sighing contentedly. You may not be a bastard just because she is Angelina Jolie.)

 

So, I am a person who has trouble with monogamy, I have accepted it, and I have given up a little piece of my innocence in a trade off to get my mental health back. That my girlfriend the psychologist has changed the rules now, that is a problem. It might come from her being young and pretending to be more progressive than she is. And it will have to be resolved in some way. Maybe that will end in a breakup. As of now, I don't feel any urge to sow my wild oats anymore. Maybe because testosterone levels sink as one grows older, maybe just emotional.

 

But still - yes. There is still a catch. I would never have cheated unless ... well, with model girl, I felt I could have children. Not because she's hot (and sorry for the "model" name, it reflects my own fear of being controlled by beauty) - just because she made me feel safe and excited at the same time. But she's married. And I don't believe in breaking up marriages. But with my girlfriend now - I don't have an urge to have children with her. Just like model girl doesn't feel like having children with her husband. Okay, yes, so I love her. But she's married. So I stay with my girl. Cause I love her too. Or do I? Is it enough? Is respect and admiration enough?

 

I can see what I would have answered - and I don't live as i would have asked myself to live. I guess I'm afraid to be sad again, like I was after the last breakup. This new relationship has really gotten me back up, mentally - but maybe we're now destructive to eachother.

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