Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “He’s Not Sure I’m the One”

Welcome back to work on this Tuesday after a holiday weekend! I’m catching up on emails and spending some time with my sister who is here for a few more hours, and I just got some terrible news that a good friend’s local business — the coffee shop where I always work on DW — caught on fire overnight, so I’m running over to lend some support and see if there’s anything I can do. Sorry to throw another Your Turn up again so soon after a recent one, but I’m sure you’ll make do. There are also some new letters up in the forums, and oh, check out this cute pic from the DC meetup over the weekend.

I’m 56 years old and have been living with my fiancé for seven years. We have never had any problems and as far as I was concerned, all was great!

Last year, he came out and told me he wasn’t sure how he felt about me anymore. He said I was cold and unloving and rejected him on many occasions over a period of a year. I was stunned! I wasn’t even aware of my actions because he never communicated them or told me I had hurt him. So he bottled it all up and then exploded! I felt I was just hit in the knees and totally fell apart.

We had many sleepless nights, went through much stress, and finally decided to get married and put it all behind us. This decision was made three months ago. Our lease was coming to an end and so we decided to move together to a different home and province. Things seemed good. We were excited to be in a new environment and were setting/furnishing our place until the subject of marriage came up.

He now says he’s not sure he wants to go ahead with it. He’s not sure if I’m the one. I’m really confused and not sure what this is all about. He doesn’t have cold feet.

We are both 56 years old and were married for many years before we met. I was married 32 years and he was married 23.

I would really appreciate any input or advice! — Maybe Not the One?


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15 comments… add one
  • dinoceros July 5, 2016, 8:48 am

    First of all, it’s a good thing that he brought this up now. If you are having problems with a partner, the answer is not to get married. You need to actually deal with the problems and figure out if they can be solved.

    Did you do that? When you think of his complaints, did you see truth to it? Did he give you specific examples or ideas on what he needs you to do in order for him to be happy in the relationship? Have you done those things?

    My thoughts are that either what he said is valid and your behavior has been a problem for him. Either you can decide that you can make changes or you can decide that you two aren’t compatible. The other option is that if he’s using those as excuses for why he’s just not into the relationship anymore. You need to figure out which scenario it is and whether changes can be made so that the relationship works for both of you. If so, make those changes and revisit. Then and only then, should you get married.

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  • MoeP July 5, 2016, 8:52 am

    It doesn’t seem like getting married is the best response to signs of struggle in the relationship. I think it is important to work on the things that you are having problems with and then get married later when they feel more stable. It sounds to me, though, that he is feeling like it might not last.

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    Addie Pray July 5, 2016, 9:21 am

    “We had many sleepless nights, went through much stress, and finally decided to get married and put it all behind us.” … I am no expert. Actually, I may be the most non-expert; I’m an expert in my non-expert-ness. But I don’t think getting married is the solution to this problem. I’m assuming right before marriage was decided, you decided to stay together and work on your relationship? Maybe just sit with that and let time pass and see how the relationship goes? Or maybe considering where you are now, you take some time apart?

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    • zombeyonce July 5, 2016, 10:30 am

      WAPS. When I read that line, the first thing I thought of was people who have relationship issues and decide to have a child to fix them. Marriage won’t fix any problems and, as the LW should know since she’s been married before, can actually magnify issues you’ve got.
      The time to figure out if you’re really right for each other (even after 7 years since people grow and change) is BEFORE you get hitched. Especially if there are any unresolved issues. I can almost guarantee that the fiance didn’t just magically get over the things he saw as an issue and those are contributing to why he now doesn’t see her as “the one.” And LW saying that he doesn’t have cold feet indicates that it doesn’t seem to be a small issue about him just being nervous, he’s actually got bigger problems with their relationship.
      I feel bad saying this, but I really think it’s time for the LW to move out, cut ties, and leave. If he wants “the one” then he’s no longer in this relationship for the long haul, and the sooner LW can move on, the better off she’ll be.

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  • Hazel July 5, 2016, 9:43 am

    Have you two thought about counseling, either pre-marital or marriage (since you’ve been together for seven years)? If he’s reluctant, tell him that it doesn’t mean that you have to get married–it’s to help you determine if you should. No matter what the two of you decide, it sounds like your communication could use some help. In any case, “putting it behind us” isn’t the best way to solve a problem–you have to work through it one day, and it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.

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    Raccoon eyes July 5, 2016, 9:49 am

    Notwithstanding the math that appears that you moved on, and in with this guy VERY soon after your 32-year marriage ended (and having gotten married at what? 16?), if a man you have been living with for 7 years says he isnt sure you are the one, YOU NEED TO MOA. Right now. You all are not “spring chickens.” If anything, he is just a chickensh*t.
    This must be killer on your self-esteem/self-worth/etc. Get out while you can. There is nothing you can do to convince him that you are worthy or The One or what-have-you. MOA

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      Diablo July 5, 2016, 12:11 pm

      Just playing with you here, RE, but ain’t it a little bit chickenshit not to type out the full word? We all know it’s an “i.” It’s 2016, the world is full of terror and mass killings and Kardashians, so swear, for fuck’s sakes. PS – Agree totally with your c*mment.

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        Raccoon eyes July 5, 2016, 9:39 pm

        Ppppffffttttt, Diablo. I prefer my cussin’ in real life, not on the internets. (Beware the Internet Police!!! Bewaaaaare!)

      • SpaceySteph July 6, 2016, 12:12 pm

        Some websites (although I don’t think this one is one of them) send all cuss word comments to moderation. I always think twice before typing a curse word out, because I don’t want my comment stuck in purgatory while all the good discussion happens without me.

        Also, yeah, the timeline here is fishy. Whats the chance she moved in with her fiance before her divorce was finalized?

  • Anonymousse July 5, 2016, 10:59 am

    Getting married is the opposite of the right answer here. A few steps back would have probably been a better solution, at his advanced age, it’s really a huge issue that this is how he chose to share his feelings with you. He’s an adult. He should be able to tell you how he’s feeling.
    Counseling? Maybe. I’m not sure I’d want to try that with someone who spoke of you so callously.
    But one thing is for sure…do not get married. Do not move in.

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  • _s_ July 5, 2016, 12:04 pm

    Um, hello, the solution to the bombshell of one partner saying they are unhappy, have been treated badly, and don’t know if they still want to be in the relationship is NOT to just forget it ever happened and get married. The answer is either to break up or to try counseling to determine if the relationship can be saved or not.


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    Diablo July 5, 2016, 12:07 pm

    Yeah, WEES. At your ages, you ought to know what you want and be able to make decisions about these things with clarity and openness. The time for “freshman roomies” level BS should be long gone. The fact that he is equivocating at this point only illustrates he has lousy communication skills, and is kind of douchey. Likewise, you yourself need to make a clear-headed decision. At age 56, with lots of marriage experience behind you both, if the answer isn’t yes, it’s no. MOA, and for pete’s sake, don’t marry the whiny little part-timer.

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  • wobster109 July 5, 2016, 12:42 pm

    I don’t think you should get married right now. Getting married may make you feel close for a day or a week, but it won’t change your long-term communication patterns.

    It sounds like there are a couple things going on.
    – He is bad at communicating, with the bottling and exploding thing. He should work on that.
    – You two may be settling into a routine (romantically, socially, or sexually) that he finds cold or unloving.
    – For example, I’ve heard that sex drive goes down for some people in long-term relationships, and he may misinterpret it as you not being into him anymore.
    – Also, instead of talking about why you like each other or how your childhood affected you, you talk about the grocery list.

    I think you should try counseling or therapy to help you communicate with each other. I also think the 30-minute meetings once a week could help you, in that your boyfriend would say what’s upsetting him at those meetings instead of bottling/exploding.

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  • Sue Jones July 5, 2016, 4:15 pm

    There is no such thing as “the one”. Anyone too immature to still believe in “the one” is hopelessly immature and you should MOA. By the time you are in your 50’s he should know better and if there is someone nice on your life, appreciate the hell out of it. Otherwise MOA.

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  • T July 5, 2016, 5:15 pm

    Calling you “cold and unloving” doesn’t really sound like something that can easily be fixed so that the relationship will get back to being great in his mind. That’s a pretty late stage of bitterness. I’m curious what the “rejections” were and what all this is about. I’m thinking sexual differences may be at play here — but do you even know what it is? If you still want to try to see if this can work, you need to find out if there is a concrete issue that in his mind has potential to be fixed, or whether he’s just over it and has devolved to name calling. The only way to do that is to have some very real and honest discussions (and if he’s not willing to do that, MOA).

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