Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

6.5 years, need advice and thoughts!

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  • #853610 Reply
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    janedoe
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    My boyfriend and I have been dating for 6.5 years, we started dating when I was 17 (he was 18). I had gone on dates before but he was my first kiss, my first real relationship, my first EVERYTHING and he is still my first and only person I’ve been with (he has quite a colorful past though). I love him with all my heart, but I find myself in a black hole of sadness recently. I want to get married (we are 23 & 24), but he has told me in the past that he doesn’t believe in marriage. His exact words: “Marriage is a bet that you’ll love someone for the rest of your life and WHEN you don’t, you lose half your shit”. His parents and grandparents have gone through bad divorces and I know that they have reached their bitterness out to him. His mom told him flat out that he would be stupid to ever get married right in front of me. I also want at least one child someday and he said he can’t handle the poop and snot so we can adopt a 17.5 year old if I want. He is very close minded and stubborn, and I do love him for it, but I have tried in vain to let go of what I want out of life and I’m afraid that one day I’ll resent him for it.
    I don’t think I could bring myself to leave him. Our future has been on my mind more this past year and I find myself crying in our bedroom alone at night more and more. We bought a house together and have an amazing pup. We call each other mommy and daddy when referencing our “child” puppy, but that’s not enough for me. He found me crying a couple times and I broke down and poured every bit of my soul out to him. I told him what I expected out of life and asked him to please open up to me for once and tear down his non-emotional wall that he has built up. He said that he does want to marry me someday (skipped right over the kids discussion, again) but I don’t know if he just said what would make me happy out of pressure. I want him to truly WANT to marry me. I want him to care about this and me as much as I care about him.
    Almost a year ago now, he actually broke up with me (thanksgiving night, classy). He was in a dark mood for about a week before, obsessively drinking and moody. I asked him what was wrong and he broke up with me because he said he wanted to be with other girls. Absolutely ripped my heart out. I moved back in with my parents and I tried to get on dating websites (because deep down I’m terrified of being alone) but every guy, no matter how cute, I found flaws with because they weren’t him. He called me about a week later bawling his eyes out (very rare for him) and begged for me to come home. Of course I did and he has never held me so tight in my life. He is honestly the weirdest person that I’ve ever dealt with emotionally, I don’t know how to get through to him to show more love and emotion to me!

    I’m sorry this is so long and choppy, It’s hard to fit 6.5 years in a short-ish post and he refuses to see a therapist because it’s “stupid”. At this point, I just want to see what any advise givers might think about our relationship. Please be gentle… lol

    #853611 Reply
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    Part-time Lurker

    Rather than give you advice, I’m going to ask you a question. Why is his life and what he wants more important than your life and what you want?

    #853613 Reply
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    janedoe
    Member

    I think what we both want out of life is important. I don’t think either one of us has a more important life plan than the other, our plans just might not be the same…

    #853614 Reply
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    janedoe
    Member

    BTW, this is my first time on this website, why can’t I see my post anymore? Is it still up?

    #853623 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Something only must have happened and your post wound up in the trash folder, but I’ve restored it so you can see it now.

    In response to your letter: your boyfriend does not want to marry you. If he’s telling you he does, underside duress and following years of saying he doesn’t want to get married, he’s only saying what he thinks you want to hear and he doesn’t mean it. He has zero intention of ever marrying you and even less intention of having a kid with you. If you do get pregnant – because, as we know, that happens even when it isn’t planned! – do not expect him to be a responsible co-parent. He has told you everything you need to know to move on. Loving each other doesn’t negate the fact that you want opposing things and, in the long run, you would be sacrificing so much to stay with him. The resentment will build and build and ruin the relationship. as much as it hurts, you’re better off leaving him. At your age, you have plenty of time to heal from this and find a better match to marry and try to have kids with.

    #853626 Reply
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    Part-time Lurker

    But you ARE living your life as if his wants and needs are more important. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be crying yourself to sleep on a regular basis you’d either insist on couples counseling or you’d be with someone who wants the same things you do.

    #853627 Reply
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    janedoe
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    I guessed that this would be the response, but do you think his perspective might change? I know we are both still young, I’m hoping he might realize in time that a wife and family is what he wants down the road. I also know it’s wishful thinking but it has happened before, right? I mean, he broke up with me last year. I was trying to let go because I thought that’s what he really wanted. But then he called me saying he couldn’t live without me, and he needed me more than anything and begged for me to come back to him. Maybe he will make this concession of his life plan because it’s the only way for him to keep me in his life? Now that it has come out of my mouth, it sounds so selfish, but I can’t help but wonder??

    #853628 Reply
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    ron

    Do you not work for a salary? I ask this, because his belief, inculcated by his family, is that if you marry and divorce, you will end up taking a lot of his stuff. But… it’s only his stuff if he is the only salaried worker in your household, or he is earning way more than you are. Otherwise, it’s the collective ‘your’ stuff. He has a very paternalistic view of marriage and relationships.

    No. It is highly unlikely that he is going to change his viewpoint. It’s come from his family and he’s clung to it through 6.5 years of your relationship — he wants no kids and no marriage. You say you want both, yet you aren’t breaking up with him after butting your head for years against what are two huge deal-breakers for you. If you want marriage and kids, then you need to break up and find a new relationship with a more compatible guy, because his views are totally different from yours. A marriage is based on trust and a fundamental agreement on the things which are most important to both of you. You have simply caved to his wishes, hoping against hope that he will change. That’s a fantasy you have created. I hope you don’t look back after 15 more years with this guy and realize just how harmful this fantasy has been in preventing you from having the life you want.

    He now wants to marry you someday. What a neat way to try to kick the can down the road another couple years or more.

    #853630 Reply
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    Allornone

    We can’t tell you whether he will or won’t change his mind someday. Either outcome is a possibility. But what if (which is more likely) he doesn’t? What if you sacrifice years waiting for him to come around and he just…doesn’t? He’s been pretty clear what he wants from the start, so that seems more likely. Do you want to give up your youth, a possible loving and fulfilling marriage with someone who shares your goals and (if you wait long enough) the potential to have your desired children on a what if? Yes, sometimes (not often) people change. But you should never be in a relationship where you’re future happiness depends on that change. Trust me, I wasted years of my life wanting someone to want what I wanted. Now I’m 37 and, with my family history, children aren’t an option anymore. I’m okay with that because it was never a big deal to me (ideally, I would’ve had one though), but it hurts to think of all the other things I gave up waiting for him.

    #853631 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Jane, don’t wait around for that to happen. It won’t. What will happen is he’ll have what he wants: a relationship with you under his terms. And you’ll have a relationship with him under his terms. There will be absolutely no reason for him to change his mind.

    “I want him to truly WANT to marry me. I want him to care about this and me as much as I care about him.“

    He won’t. At best, he may at some point give in just to keep you, but he won’t mean it. it won’t work out. And also, don’t sweep under the rug the fact that he wants to sleep with other women. He did and still does.

    Listen to Wendy.

    #853632 Reply
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    golfer.gal

    Ok, but do you want to be with someone who chokes down marriage and fatherhood so he doesn’t lose you? You said you want him to WANT those things, and he doesn’t. He isn’t wrong, and neither are you. Although bullshitting you about marrying you “someday” to keep you around was really crappy and selfish of him. He may decide in 5 years that he wants those things after all, he may not. But sticking around hoping he changes his mind is going to close a lot of doors during the years of your life when it is easiest to find someone who wants all of those things with you. I think you know what you need to do. Frankly, even if he begs you not to leave and promises you marriage and babies I’d still advise you move on. He’s been really clear for a long time that he doesn’t want those things.

    Also, at 23 and only ever having had one boyfriend, I strongly encourage you to be on your own for a while. You admit you’re “terrified of being alone” which…isn’t great. Living alone is awesome, having to worry about no one but yourself is awesome, dating around in your early twenties is awesome. You’ll gain a lot of maturity and confidence being on your own, and you’ll attract a great partner when you’ve got those qualities. See a therapist on your own to figure out why you’d rather settle for life that includes literally none of the things that you want just to avoid being alone for a while. Take some time to rediscover yourself, date around, learn what you want and don’t want in a partner, and then find a great guy who loves you so much he can’t wait to marry you.

    #853633 Reply
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    janedoe
    Member

    ron,

    Yes, I do have a salary. He does make about double what I do, but I have always paid half of our bills with him. If I spend 5,000 on the house for a project, he does the same for the next project. We have always had separate accounts and our money only comes together for mortgage, food, and projects. I have never and will never depend on him financially if I can help it. I actually prefer it this way because I am a saver and he is a spender. We have never had a fight over money because of the system we have, as long as he pays his share which he always has.

    His mom is a bitter woman who went through a bad divorce where her ex took a lot of her money because he was a lazy POS and she makes big money. She is mad at me for taking her only child out of her house, so she constantly puts pressure on him to not marry (while sneering at me). Her and I had a great relationship until he and I bought the house together. It was winter and he got a couple days off to do the paperwork but I couldn’t so my name was never put on the title. When I asked him to do just that, his mother flipped out calling me a gold digging whore because I wanted my 50% ownership. I pay half the payments, I made my half of the down payment, why wouldn’t I be entitled to that?! I truly believe she is one of the major problems in our relationship with the hold she has on her “baby boy”.

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