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My ex-wife came from a background where virtually all of her examples of marriage were bad. When I met her, she was quite up-front about her intention to never get married. We developed a friendship anyway, and that relationship grew into something more...

I married a sweet and loving and wonderful girl. But she never got over her fears, and she chose not to confront them. In the end, her fears were stronger than her love and mine, and she fled.

Time does not heal all wounds. Love does not heal all wounds. Sometimes the wounded one has to do some very hard work in order to heal, and in order to that, he or she has to want it very badly.

Each person and each relationship is different, of course, but...frankly, Lexxxy, I'm not optimistic about your prospects with L.

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My ex-wife came from a background where virtually all of her examples of marriage were bad. When I met her, she was quite up-front about her intention to never get married. We developed a friendship anyway, and that relationship grew into something more...

I married a sweet and loving and wonderful girl. But she never got over her fears, and she chose not to confront them. In the end, her fears were stronger than her love and mine, and she fled.

Time does not heal all wounds. Love does not heal all wounds. Sometimes the wounded one has to do some very hard work in order to heal, and in order to that, he or she has to want it very badly.

Each person and each relationship is different, of course, but...frankly, Lexxxy, I'm not optimistic about your prospects with L.

This is nearly the same script I had to live out!! Married a sweet, young & awesome girl who had buried deep inside the scars of anorexia, mother abuse, boyfriend sex abuse, etc.

Same deal. She chose not to confront them. Our MT said "she plays her cards closer to her chest than any client I've seen in 20 years!!"

In the end, just as with you, my love, her love, MT and $$$ spent big time was not enough. She fled....

And not unexpectedly, she's still single. She is quite bitter, won't date, just keeps to herself. When I have to hear her voice on voice mail etc., she has a very harsh bitter tone to it. VERY angry sounding.

Gone is the sweet girl I once married. She dramatically changed as life went forward and she refused to confront her demons.

Being this afraid of commitment & marriage going in is clearly a HUGE RED FLAG!!! Lexxy, do this with your HEAD...not just your heart!! OK?

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AGG -- I will respect his position, I just want to understand it.

Of course, no problem. What I am saying is that you may hear the words, but still not "understand" him - sort of like a liberal explaining his views to a conservative. To you, there is no rhyme or reason why anyone who is in love would not eventually want to get married; to him, the reverse is true. I doubt you'll ever really get over that difference.

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the "L" word was a big huge deal for us too. It does not come naturally to him whatsoever (even now). It takes a lot of time and patience for him to get used to some ideas.
I totally pursued him last year. Getting him to go out for our first date took some coaxing!

Oh, I remember that alright, and I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I guess the optimist might say "oh, ya, that's just him, it takes him a while to agree to a date, say 'ILY', or decide to get married". The pessimist (moi) would say "Yikes, this guy has deep issues - takes pursuit to get him to go on a date, takes him forever to utter the 'L' word, none of this normal stuff comes naturally to him, and oh ya, he does not ever want to get married".

I guess in my view, you have already stretched him to the very extreme of his comfort range - you may think that the next step is a small one, while I think that the next step would snap him back into his old habits. JMO.

AGG [/quote]


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Lexxy

AGG is very perceptive, and keep in mind that using rational words to explain emotional reasons that may not be very well understood, given his background and his environmental learnings, may be pretty difficult.

i wouldn't rely much on the words as the final, absolute, reason, as his emotional perception may not be very good.

wiftty


Learning from your own mistakes creates experience, learning from books creates knowledge, combining the two together creates wisdom => You start with a full bag of luck, and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
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AGG and wiftty -- you guys are the best. Thanks for your wisdom!

And AGG -- I got the book, already 1/2 through it. I took their test, way extreme on the Buyer scale -- go figure! LOL

I'll be gone until Saturday -- thanks everyone for your thoughts and well wishes!

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He wants to NEVER get married. He can see himself with me forever, eventually living together but **never** getting married.


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I have tried to talk myself into staying in this relationship. But I can't. Because it would slowly drain my self-esteem.


Be true to yourself, your answer is within that truth.

I do have a question though, how old is he?


I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Robert McCloskey
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Dr. Phil's words say it better than I tried to:

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"One of the things I talk about a lot is personal truth," he explains. "It's what you believe about yourself. And everybody has one. It's what you believe about yourself when nobody's looking. You know, you can put on your makeup, you can dress up, you can go out, and you can put your face on. But we all have that voice inside that talks to us. And I think that's so important because I think you generate the results in your life that you believe you deserve."


I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Robert McCloskey
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Nothing is resolved, but we did talk. Here are his points:

1. Marriage means growing up. He says he lives like a 20 year old.

2. Doesn't want to be responsible for another person.

3. He likes to "disappear" from time to time. This one is a little hard to describe. He has a very large circle of friends, but none of them is a daily part of his life. He might see them every few weeks. What he didn't really think about until we talked about it is that I am part of his daily life. He calls me an average of 3 times a day.

We had just an awesome time together this weekend.
So, while I realize that breaking up is inevitable -- I am having an impossible time doing it.

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Didn't someone post that you should believe what someone says? So if BF believes he is 20 YO, then believe him.

I do better by considering my X as a 17 YO, it fits.

I'm so sorry. Be true to yourself. You deserve so much more.


It was a marriage that never really started.
H: Conflict Avoider, NPD No communication skills (Confirmed by MC) Me: Enabler
Sep'd 12/01, D'd 08/03.
My joys and the light of my life: DD 11, DD 9
*Approach life and situations from the point of love - not from fear.*
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Nothing is resolved, but we did talk. Here are his points:

1. Marriage means growing up. He says he lives like a 20 year old.

2. Doesn't want to be responsible for another person.

3. He likes to "disappear" from time to time.
Ok, so we're down to the real reasons here, not just the "oh, I've seen too many of my friends marriages fail" excuse......

What I don't get is why he would be ok living together given the above reasons. Would you not be sharing a home? Responsibilities? Building a life together? Or would it more like "roommates" in his mind, where he doesn't answer to you, b/c you are not a "wife"? <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Living together is no less a commitment in my mind, but I guess not having it officially on paper means he can bolt at will.....like AGG said, keeping that one foot out the door.

He is very much acting like a 20 year old <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

I know it's must be soooo hard finding out that someone you enjoy, are compatible w/ and who is good to you, yet does not share your view on commitment.....I'm so sorry! ((((hugs))))

One thing I wanted to ask of you.....your desire for marriage......why is it important to YOU?

I only ask, b/c this came up fairly recently b/w BF and I....

BF and I have been on the same page 100% as far as marriage etc.....we both were opposed, big time! Obviously, it's carry over baggage for us both. For me, I was loving the freedom of my life and I was burned pretty badly, so no, had NO interest of some man coming on in and stinkin' up the joint, kwim? For him, his marriage was never a good one. They just weren't really compatible. He and his ex knew each other a mere 3 weeks before she got preggo and the rest is history.They made a go of it, but never had a good foundation. So his view of marriage is not so good.

Ok, so here we are 20 mo's later (w/ a 4 mo break in there) and things are good. I mean really good. We are IT for each other. No doubt. We speak in long terms, speak of a future together, etc etc.....

So all of a sudden, my mind gets a little swirly, and I start thinking, hey, I could see myself marrying this guy sometime in the future. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> Wha????? When did THAT happen???? Before I was like, nope, don't need or want that....I'll live w/ you, MAYBE, but marriage? No way. Well, my stance on living together changed too. I figured, I don't want to do that w/o marriage...main reason being the kids. I want my daughter to value commitment and marriage if she chooses that for herself. I think it would make her feel more secure in that this person is in her life for good and can't just walk out on a whim, kwim? Admittedly, that shouldn't be the only reason, but I'm being honest. So, if we are going to live together, we need to be married, otherwise, we keep going as is. So BF and I had this convo, he says, he'll never say never, but he's not sure about marriage right now. It's just a piece of paper blah blah why do we need it? Our commitment is no less to him, loves me still, I'm IT for him, we have a future together, but to him, marriage is like the end....the end of the journey. I reacted like I'd been punched and worse yet, FLOORED by my own reaction! I was so upset! Were'd that come from?? I mean, I felt the same way too about marriage right??

What I realized was that my head knew what he was saying, I understood what he was saying, that it was a byproduct of his failed marriage, but all that my heart could hear was that I don't want to marry YOU. Guys, it triggered all my baggage, all my feelings of rejection and abandonment and I was pissed! How dare he not want to marry ME!! How dare he not love me enough to conquer all his own fears and marry me! How dare he not want to PROVE to me how much he really loves me by WANTING to marry me! Never mind that I'm not a 100% on marriage myself AND blending families and all the inherent issues scare me to DEATH. That's not the point!

Well there was my light bulb moment....I realized this was about my past and about my ex-WH, who DID, in fact, reject me, who did abandon me. I realized I was equating a marriage commitment to validation that I was worthy. Ugh. Pretty difficult stuff to admit but there you have it. Once I admitted that to myself, I was able to let it go, and really hear what BF was saying, that he wasn't rejecting me, he's just not sure, as am I. I know we are in it for the long haul....what remains to be seen, is how it will play out and I'm perfectly comfy w/ that.

So my question really was more about why marriage equates respect to you? Did you feel disrepected in your marriage?

Last edited by devastatedwife; 08/21/06 04:28 PM.

DW--BW....separated/divorced since 2003
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I'm not intending at all to pass any sort of judgment here. ONLY wanting to help all think through to the obvious...

Deeeep Breath...so here goes.

I have NO IDEA nor is it any of my business, but if in our relationships, there's already SF outside of marriage commitment; then there's the crux of our problems. It's more than SF too. It's the whole approach to relationship that says let's live like we are married committed, but really we're not.

For example:
So we expect undefined terms into the indefinite future....
So we spend inordinate amounts of time living together.
So we start to comingle funds & expectations of financial support.
So we begin to take up regular domestic chores & tasks for each other...not just favors & nice gestures.
Some begin to treat the other's kids like they are theirs to discipline & instruct, etc.

It goes on and on. Psuedo married life...but without the commitment.


It's a completely dead end street emotionally, psychologically, and above all spiritually.

Why?

Intimacy is the reward of commitment......

I think of it this way for me: Without commitment, I have no business opening myself up to the levels of intimacy that marriage brings. It just isn't safe. It isn't sound. It isn't healthy.

Hope this helps as we all think about our futures.

{{{Hugs}}} for the pain we all share as we wrestle with this VERY difficult post-divorce recovery period of dating and learning.

High Flight

Last edited by High Flight; 08/21/06 08:31 PM.
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You bring up some interesting points HF. Definitely some food for thought. I appreciate your input......

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It's a completely dead end street emotionally, psychologically, and above all spiritually.
Hmmmm, I don't agree w/ this. SF outside of marriage aside (b/c my views are different than yours) I think of couples who've been in long term relationships, we're talking decades here, who are not married, yet share a life together....I do not view their relationship as any less of a commitment. To me they just made a different choice. Person that comes to mind is Oprah. So, ok I don't know her personally nor her relationship intimately, but she's been w/ her SO for 20 years. 20 years! She seems to be thriving, emotionally and spiritually, seems like a woman who's shown tremendous growth personally (is it obvious I"m a fan?), and appears to be very successful (and I'm not talkign about just money and career). I listen to what she says, the types of shows she does, and she seems pretty with it. And she did all this w/o being married but in a committed relationship outside of marriage. I find it hard to believe that they lack the true intimacy you speak of....

*disclaimer* I realize we only see what she chooses to put out there, but i'm just sayin'..... <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I also have 3 other very good friends who are in LTR of 10+ years (some w/ children) and I didn't think of them any less committed than I was when I was married. Interesting that their relationships have endured and mine didn't.



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DW -- you can read my mind! When he says he doesn't want to get married he says it generically. Its all about the institution of marriage.

What I hear is he doesn't want to marry ME. Its all about my failure to overcome his objections.

A year ago, I remember saying to myself that I LOVE being single, and I should stay completely single for the next 10 to 15 years! I was having the time of my life! Then he comes along and changes my whole world.

HF -- I want to talk some more about the topic you brought up. I'll be back later today. Maybe it even deserves its own thread.

DW -- what you have made clear to me is that I have my own issues to battle too. I need to think more about why I need marriage.
And I need to really think about High Flights comments prior to considering any living together arrangement.

Thanks for being here for me!

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I understand your frustration DW with the seeming failure rates of the marriage institution these days. It is dismal.

But can we blame the institution? Has "Marriage" somehow failed? I don't think so. Human beings have failed to live up to their commitments, the institution has not failed at all.

It would be very helpful for us in this discussion to re-visit exactly what Marriage is??? And isn't???

And then, what living together ala Oprah is??? And isn't???

When we begin to unpack these things, then I think we'll begin to find that the Oprah's of the world are not automatic heroic role models for us....and neither are those who've suffered through failed marriages automatic Zeros who should not be emulated.

This should be an important and helpful discussion!! I'll be back after I listen a bit to some others chime in.

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Lexxxy,

Even though I am a married man, I must remind you that: MEN SELDOM MARRY THE WOMEN THEY HAVE BEEN COHABITATING WITH. Like my W says with regards to these men with benefis "why should they buy the cow when they alrady getting the milk for free?" So choose wisely.

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Thanks TMCM -- I'm not contemplating any living together arrangement.
Sadly, I am more leaning towards ending the relationship entirely.
Right at the moment, I don't have the energy to start a dialogue about marriage or living together. I'm feeling very "checked out" of the whole process.
If/when this relationship ends, I'll probably just take a break from dating for awhile.

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I understand your frustration DW with the seeming failure rates of the marriage institution these days. It is dismal.

But can we blame the institution? Has "Marriage" somehow failed? I don't think so. Human beings have failed to live up to their commitments, the institution has not failed at all.

It would be very helpful for us in this discussion to re-visit exactly what Marriage is??? And isn't???

And then, what living together ala Oprah is??? And isn't???

When we begin to unpack these things, then I think we'll begin to find that the Oprah's of the world are not automatic heroic role models for us....and neither are those who've suffered through failed marriages automatic Zeros who should not be emulated.

This should be an important and helpful discussion!! I'll be back after I listen a bit to some others chime in.

OK, got a few minutes to share a bit more of my thoughts on this.

Marriage as an institution hasn't failed. Human beings have failed to keep their commitments!! Marriage, like anything else can either be used by the fallen human ego, or it can be guided by a Higher Power! It is a living organism that continually reflects the constant daily choices of the 2 individuals involved.

Why is marriage a more profound commitment than other forms of relationship - such as living together? Because it's an agreement that when the "for worse", "in sickness", "for poorer", in essence - when the great negatives of human existence comes around, and there's a whole lot of shaking & screaming & anger & raw emotions going on --> Neither of the partners to the forever commitment is going to leave the room!!!

Both partners are safe to go through whatever emotion is called forth from deep within, to be true to one's self, to be upset & straight up about everything. No game playing. And all the while it is safe to do so because no one is leaving!!!

Marriage is a publically declared commitment before God and mankind. It invokes the presence & blessing of the Almighty Creator God. It honors His stated purpose for marriage by blending two lives into one. So that true synergy might occur and the two becomes better than what either could be alone.

~ High Flight

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Living together is a form of "renting". It is great that Oprah and others have made a longterm rental out of it, but it is still a rental. As long as it works, they'll keep renting. But if it doesn't, well, the deal may well be off.

Of course, with the mockery that divorce has made out of marriage commitment, I don't know if marriage is the "purchase" that it used to be - people seem to be treating it in the same way as rentals nowadays - "for better or for worse or until I get bored".

But in principle, marriage creates a commitment that living together or "dating" do not. That is why someone who wants marriage, and someone who wants to only live together are actually miles apart in their outlooks.

AGG

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I've vacilated between the idea of re-marriage or co-habitation & I think the reason comes down to fear. Fear of trusting someone again so I can count on them not running when things get tough. Perhaps the idea of divorce is less appealling given the devestation VS walking away with not much upheaval for the person doing the walking.

Maybe the pause I'd like to think one takes when contemplating D gives them some incentive to work harded.

The trick is finding the person with the behavior to back the commitment not just use the words. I'll bet most of us thought we had that in our spouses. Actually, that was the one thing I thought I could count on with ex & one of the first things I asked when he said he wanted to D; what about our commitment.


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by the way AGG, I got the book "buyers, renters, freeloaders" and I took the quiz.
I am in the Buyer category (big-time) 10-1-1.

So now I'm going to try to find time to have him do it.

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