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#2259036 05/10/09 10:59 PM
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My Christian bf and I have been together for 7&a half years. I'm struggling because I want to move on. To the next chapter.
To marriage, he wants to but he is not ready. He compromised and said two years time. But I have needs, desires I'm at my wits end. We love each other very much and ending it is not an option. Threatening/making him oblige/pressuring him has only caused quarrels. I know I'm in the wrong too ): pray for us.

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We need more details to be able to offer any suggestions.

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Just my opinion, but the fact that after 7 and a half years he still can't decide if he wants you for his wife - that alone speaks volumes...

Just based on what you wrote, ending it may be the best option for you.

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Chanelin,
I must be very honest up front, Seeking is right. 7 years is way too long for a man to "be ready." Honestly, most men know before 7 months unless there are some Major personal issues. Like Catperson said (who is an AWESOME support person who I have listened to over the last year and a half), we need more details of your relationship and background.
Are you living together or being physically intimate on a regular basis? What type of career does he have? Does he spend a great deal of time with his friends or family? When you bring up the issue of marriage how do you start? And what is his instant spoken/non-spoken reply?
Why is ending it not an option? Is not marrying but having a relationship for the next 50 years an option? There are so many questions...

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thank you very much catperson, seekingtruth527 and DrKynes. I tried replying earlier but it failed. Shoot away with the questions and I'll answer as many as I can.
I've been having mixed responses.

A Pastor's reply:
Thanks for writing. I can fully understand your frustration. You are in a
situation that I don't need to describe to you, but what I can say, is that
it is not unique. Many women find themselves in this situation. I can
imagine, if you have been together for 7 years already, that you are not a
teenager anymore and it is typical that you want to plan your life, set your
goals and begin to see that you are moving toward them. That is mature and
right.

The question is why doesn't your boyfriend want to get married (or even
worse... why doesn't he want to get married to you?) Are you having sex?
Are you doing wifely things for him? Do you fulfil his needs for
companionship and company, do you respect him and acknowledge his manhood?
I am asking, because it would mean that you are giving him what he needs and
he does not return the favour. Security and commitment is a basic need for
a woman and if you want to plan to have children, which is very basic to the
nature and desire of a woman, you want to do that in the confines of a
family consisting of husband and wife with home and safe place to raise
these kids. I don't care what people say and how modern they think we all
are... these are basic to our human nature and there simply is no better
place for children to grow up secure, happy and successful, than inside a
family. Kids deserve to have their own father and their own mother in their
own home, loving and caring for them.

If you are fulfilling his needs he does not have to get married to you. He
already has what he needs without having to give you what you need. This is
one of the reasons why God wants us to keep sex for marriage. The Bible
says it is better to get married than to burn with desire... this definitely
implies that outside of marriage, you are not having sex and if you want to
stop burning for it, get married.

You are indeed in for a difficult decision, but you are going to have to
make a very serious choice. If your discussions on this topic turns to
arguments, it must make you feel really undesirable and unwanted. Think
about it... you have a man who says he loves you, but FIGHTS the thought of
being with you and committing to you. He does not want to marry you, so
that he is free to walk away. That is the horrible reality. I would
seriously question his love, his motives and his commitment. And think
about it... how does that make you feel? And how would it make you feel if
you finally prevail upon him and he 'gives in'? You want him to want to
marry you right? You want him to love you so much that he wants to give
himself completely to you and make sure no one else gets you. You would
love for him to plan a proposal and make you his wife. These are normal
things. And you want it to come from him! What is not normal is a guy who
is wasting your time, not fulfilling your needs and also preventing anyone
else from doing it, because he is just...there.

Perhaps he simply has fear of making up his mind and that would be evident
in everything else in his life. How does he make other decisions? If this
is the case, perhaps the fear of loosing you would be worse than the fear
that he marries you and find it was a mistake. But for goodness sake...
after 7 years he MUST have some picture of you.

If I was you, I would tell him that I believe it is better to separate for a
while so that he can make up his mind if you are IT for him and that he
could get an idea of what it is like when you are not there to fulfil his
needs. Either he is going to come to his senses or you are going to drift
apart and you will be free to meet someone who is not fighting the idea of
spending his whole life with you. Don't sell yourself cheap. You are worth
it and it is about time your boyfriend sees this. You say he is
Christian... then he needs to take a hard look at the Bible and see that his
behaviour is very unscriptural indeed.

God bless and keep in touch

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It's really difficult as both of us are 24, and we're still studying. I have sufficient
savings to have a small ceremony (to have a proper solemnization in God's eyes) and to
ROM (go to the Registry of Marriage) as well.

However, he says he's not ready - and that he will be in 2 years.
That we will get married in two years. To trust him and all -
He has his reasons, one of them is financial - and he has plans of a big
wedding/proposal/ring etc.

I want to be able to live with him as distance is putting a strain on our relationship.
We're not sexually intimate - he has pulled away thus far - cutting down on affection a
lot because he doesn't want to lead both of astray - because it feels guilty to go beyond
french kissing and all
now he's cut down affection to a lot less. hand holding, pecks on cheek, short hugs. and
i want to have all of that. one of my top love languages is physical touch followed by
time & attention, then words...but they're all linked frown

as you said, i've quoted for him too - i don't want to burn with passion anymore that it
is better to get married - and i told him proverbs 13:12 also - about hope being deferred
and that my spirit's getting crushed.
i spoke to my mum abt it - my mum asks me to wait for him to be ready, to respect him.
his mum n i are also close, his mum said no point rushing him - because he will - do it
out of obligation (and even he said so himself)
and so is there nothing else i can do but wait? i've been crying on and off and it's been
a rollercoaster.

I really don't know what to do. I believe I have been at some fault as well. Separate for
awhile? I don't know if it'll work - and I think it'll be harder on me than it is for him
- but I might be wrong. I am definitely the dependent/needy one in the relationship. he
says he wants to marry me most definitely, but not at this point in time...2 years is all
he asks for. frown
thanks for praying

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Exactly what details? (:
I've posted 2 replies. I'm not sure if that answers it all.
Relationship: Friends for about 2 years before getting together. Was water baptized in the same church.
Together for 7.5 years. so altogether knew each other for 9.5 years. Both currently studying overseas.
Background?

Not living together, not physically intimate.
I want to - on both accounts.

I'm working part time, studying full time, he's studying full time. Yes he's spends a great deal of time with family and friends when possible, and is active in church. I do not want to end it frown

His reply is just wait. 2 years is all he asks. He wants to marry as well. I'm not sure how to go about saying
"I can't wait" Now, or never. Ultimatum?

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If you're still in college, you have no business marrying. I'm sorry if that sounds rude, but you are in college for a reason - to prepare for your future. It sounds to me like he is wanting to ensure that he does everything right to set up a sound future for you and any kids. Sounds pretty admirable to me.

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is that it then? i know it's admirable.
our education system goes, 6 years (6-12yrs old), followed by 4 years, (13-16), then 2 years tertiary (17-18) i met him at 16, and started University at 18. Completed a Bachelors degree, and an Honours degree. I'm currently doing my Masters. However in the past 5 years I have also been working and have saved up enough.
We are both 24. We do not plan to have kids in the first-second year of marriage as that is meant to save up for kids. He has completed his Bachelors degree, and finishes his Honours end 2009.
So basically, what do I do now? Just wait, like everyone else has said?

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what do i do? if i have no right to get married now?
is it either WAIT or BREAK UP?
I know he wants to ensure everything will be right for the future for us and if kids come along. But we can do all of that together right? no? frown
:'(
i'm really sorry. and thank you everybody.

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Ask yourself why you need to be married NOW? It is likely some internal issue of yours, rather than any external issue (lose your grandma's will if you're not married by 25, etc.).

So ask yourself what exactly are you looking for by marriage that would 'fix' your life. Save money? Look good to someone? Start a family? What is the motivation?

Once you know that, you can ask the real questions on why your two views are not currently compatible.

I'm assuming that your boyfriend's view is that he wants to be established first. Many men feel that way; it is NOT a fault, in fact it's honorable. Why do you not see that aspect?

Or is he wanting to go out and party without you? That, too, is very common for people as young as you.

You need to know the truth before you can move forward.

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I think I understand your situation much better now. You both have been close since high school and approached the relationship with honor and respect. You know your own love languages which is AWESOME and will help. From what you have said, I am assuming that he knows your love languages is touch and quality time. If this is true, he is thinking with his head and heart. As the time gets closer to end of college, there are much more demands of your time to focus without distractions. Please I don't mean to sound like that is a bad thing, but it does make it hard to finish. So there are a few ways to approach the situation.

You approach marriage the way he is asking. This will be hard for you and, yes, to him as well. But he will appreciate (or should at least) your sacrifice. I don't mean leave him alone completely, but just be content with the time you do have together. Then when you do get married (which I don't really think a huge wedding is important, but at least get a photographer - you can't get photos later) you will not have the stress of college burdening your time together. Also I suggest at least 3 years of marriage before children for time being married to strengthen your relationship (it is much different than dating).

You can get married now. This will cause him a huge amount of stress as a man. He will not be able to be the provider as God has commanded. You MAY have your love languages filled if he gives you the time you will want (and probably demand), and this will cause him more stress and loss of sleep to focus on his degree. If he doesn't give you the time you want as a wife, then you will feel even more lonely/frustrated than you do now.

The third approach is where you were physically closer (romantic affection). This can be very difficult (and yes, PAINFUL) for men. I would not be surprised at all if this is why he asked to refrain to minimal affection. It is not that he doesn't love you or want to be close to you. But if it was causing him pain (have you heard of blue balls? Some have not) or impure thoughts than it was good that he asked this of you.

I am not going to suggest a plan for you or him; just want to bring the logic that he may (I do not know him, this is just what I would be) be thinking.

I have seen all three approaches, and the married one (although right for some people) is very tough to go through. The stress of not knowing how to balance school, work (maybe), and marriage can get crazy.

If you know his love languages, what are they? Does what I say kind of fit his personality or am I way off? Is he very responsible with money and school? Does he ever make promises and then not fulfill them? Also do you talk about having children with him after being married 1 year. Is this something you want or you both want? That can be stressful to a man as well. When he isn't even standing on his own two feet yet, having to think about providing for alot more feet can be overwhelming. Even if you are both planning to work, it is our nature (as men) to be providers.

I will be praying that you get the guidance you need. But so far, time seems to be what may be needed. Personally I think Catperson is right, and marriage should wait for college to end - it will be less stressful in the long run.

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Another reply I got:

I don't really know the reason for the very very long engagement you are in apart from the financial reasons. Mine was six months but I knew her before that. Some universities have married couples quarters where you can actually live cheaper than you are now. Two can live as cheap as one as they say.

We have a couple in our church who married young. She is in Cambridge University while he works in a bookshop in Cambridge. When she has done her degree he will see if he needs to study although he is being promoted as manager of the bookshop and helps the other branches get sorted. So a little job turned out quite lucrative. They rent a tiny house but they are very happy for now.

Although it is a trial I cannot see that it is unscriptural the way you are now. You are waiting until you are married if you know what I mean. I don't think it is a good idea to seperate as you are engaged to be married.

The problem is what is in his mind? Who knows what that is? In only a year you will need to be planning the wedding as it is hard to book churches. I know that from experience as my son got married last August at 22 yrs.

Is he afraid of the responsibility of looking after you with not enough money? Just a thought.

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Catperson: yes perhaps it is me and my internal issues, but aren't they valid too? is there some kind of compromise that can be reached?

I am seeking commitment - i know that it does not fix my life.
it makes financial sense as we would be saving over 10K a year immediately by staying together - and i've mention it before - to be sexually pure as well.

We're not on the same page and hence his views and mine are not compatible? just at different levels of "readiness"?

"I'm assuming that your boyfriend's view is that he wants to be established first. Many men feel that way; it is NOT a fault, in fact it's honorable."
Don't get me wrong - i do see it and i do know its honorable as well. But i believe we can do it together.

and no he's not that kind of party type, but perhaps he misses his singlehood after 7 long yrs?
we're both each other's firsts...

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Thank you for your considered reply DrKynes,

"If you know his love languages, what are they? Does what I say kind of fit his personality or am I way off? Is he very responsible with money and school? Does he ever make promises and then not fulfill them? Also do you talk about having children with him after being married 1 year. Is this something you want or you both want? That can be stressful to a man as well. When he isn't even standing on his own two feet yet, having to think about providing for alot more feet can be overwhelming. Even if you are both planning to work, it is our nature (as men) to be providers."

I've asked him that before - he didn't answer me and didn't want to do the Gary Chapman quiz.

We're both on the same page about children.
We will establish and save up enough first. Yes I understand that the men be the providers - but it can be a joint thing?

Thank you very much for praying as well.
I really do pray that I will know what to do.

My mum has also said that finances should not be an issue and that it does not have to be stereotyped into career first before having a family...

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Well, my first instinct is that he is wondering what he's missing out on. That's why I don't recommend people get serious at least until they're in college and preferably not until after graduation. IT is so very common for people to hook up in high school when they 'know' they're in love, but before they're done maturing. No offense, but I honestly think you just don't have the experience and wisdom at your age to know if you're doing the right thing. And I think it's working itself out in your fiance.

Quote:
Catperson: yes perhaps it is me and my internal issues, but aren't they valid too?
Yes they are valid, all feelings are, but I am asking you to allow yourself to see OTHER viewpoints than yours. Can you? Or are you so deadset on being married - this year - that nothing else will suffice. So what if he balks? What if you push him away with this insistence? Are you just going to look around for any other guy to fall in love with, to make sure you get to be married now?

I'm asking you to do the hard work - look honestly at yourself to see WHY you have to be married right now.

Because from this side of the screen it just looks like you are desperate to fulfill some notion of who you are, where you are at this point in your life, and what you can say you've accomplished.

You're in love, you plan on getting married, but he doesn't want to right now. So if you force the issue, he is going into it under duress. Is that really what you want? What a person who loves the other would do?

Or will you do as I'm asking, and find out what is driving this insistence?

How about a concrete pros and cons list on a piece of posterboard? So you can see what you're actually discussing?

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Thanks catperson again! (: I guess, if he really is missing out then perhaps he should not be in a relationship.

I'm at University and this is my 5th year - at age 24 I might not have the wisdom and experience but I believe I have a certain level of maturity to know what I'm doing as well.

Perhaps I feel that at this stage we've stagnated for too long and it's been causing problems...He's not even my fiance yet, he hasn't proposed or anything. Don't get me wrong, I'm not just fixated on getting married now. I already know the fact that I will probably have to wait another 2 years, but I'm wondering if there's any possibility of shortening it to remove the strain between us. Not necessarily you need 2 years to get financially stable right? I'm not forcing him as well.

Pros & Cons of getting married?
The pros outweigh the cons...
What if at the end of 2 years he tells me he's still not ready?

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catperson, my boyfriend will be very happy with you. perhaps i just have to suck it up and he gets his way. i'll have to suffer and wait. but perhaps it'll make everyone happy in the process. i guess i'm back to square one but that's the way life is.

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Originally Posted By: chanelin
catperson, my boyfriend will be very happy with you. perhaps i just have to suck it up and he gets his way. i'll have to suffer and wait. but perhaps it'll make everyone happy in the process. i guess i'm back to square one but that's the way life is.
Now you're sounding like a 16 year old. You completely ignored everything I said except 'wait' and are now pouting and using passive aggressive speak so you can be the victim and he the bad guy. How is that working for you?

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Look. How about you read up here about Love Busters and Emotional Needs and incorporate that into your relationship?

It will improve your relationship, and it will give you something to keep busy on so you stop obsessing on whether he's going to marry you.

fwiw, if he hasn't even proposed yet, it's a pretty good bet he doesn't really want to. Maybe you could ask him about himself, instead of about the relationship. Like what he's expecting out of life, if he is where he thought he'd be, if he's missing out on anything, what he would change...stuff like that. It sounds like you may not really know what he wants or thinks, you've just been in a rut for so long that you're taking each other for granted. Work on that, and then see if you really should be together.

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I don't think I've ignored everything else you've said, I believe I've answered your questions as well. In the previous post before that, I also asked out of fear, that after 2 years if he still says he's not ready and still hasn't proposed, what do I do?
I've prayed about this for so long. It isn't just a one time thing. It has been ongoing for more than a year, and I've read heaps as well. How long is needed to be "financially stable"?

Ask him about himself? What do you mean? His dreams & plans? I've supported all of that and will continue supporting it if that's what you're wondering. Why would marriage change anything?

Yes perhaps we've taken each other for granted at times, but we're both striving very hard. Perhaps you're only seeing somethings you wish to see as well. My love tanks are dry. I've been lonely and I have always felt that I'm not good enough for him and you've made me feel that way in your past few posts...

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You didn’t answer these:
I said:
Ask yourself why you need to be married NOW?

You answered why you WANT to be married, not why you NEED to be married. The closest I can find in your posts is this:
My mum has also said that finances should not be an issue and that it does not have to be stereotyped into career first before having a family...So you’re either seeking to win her approval, or you’re using her words to justify what you want.

I said:
So ask yourself what exactly are you looking for by marriage that would 'fix' your life. Save money? Look good to someone? Start a family? What is the motivation?

You said:
I am seeking commitment –I can see why you’d want this after 7 years of no plans. But…

it makes financial sense as we would be saving over 10K a year immediately by staying together - and i've mention it before - to be sexually pure as well.
So you want to be married to save money and have sex? Cos you don’t want to wait any longer to have sex?

I said:
I'm assuming that your boyfriend's view is that he wants to be established first. Many men feel that way; it is NOT a fault, in fact it's honorable. Why do you not see that aspect? Or is he wanting to go out and party without you?


You said:
i do see it and i do know its honorable as well. But i believe we can do it together
and no he's not that kind of party type, but perhaps he misses his singlehood after 7 long yrs?
if he really is missing out then perhaps he should not be in a relationship

And that is the point I first made to you. If he is not ready, he should not be in a relationship with someone who needs to be married RIGHT NOW. So you have some hard questions ahead of you. You can’t MAKE him want to be married right now. Therefore you are incompatible at this point.

Unless…you find out why you NEED to be married right now. What difference is it going to make if you marry in 2009 or in 2010? Honestly? The point I’m trying to make is that you are making an EMOTIONAL plea, not a logical one. You feel unloved because he hasn’t proposed, I assume. So address THAT! Not pushing a marriage. Would you feel satiated if he proposed and gave you a ring and said ‘let’s get married next April’? Then tell him that’s what you need!

You said:
Ask him about himself? What do you mean? His dreams & plans? I've supported all of that and will continue supporting it if that's what you're wondering. Why would marriage change anything?
Wrong. You have NOT supported all that. You don’t even seem to know what his dreams and plans ARE! You don’t know WHY he has not proposed. You don’t know WHEN he wants to be married. Because you’re not asking him! You can’t support what you don’t know. What you ARE doing is sitting in silence and passive aggressiveness and anger, and heaping all the blame on him. Are you expecting to guilt him into marrying you? Blame it all on him so that he feels obligated to make it up to you by marrying you? What kind of marriage would that be?

You said:
Pros & Cons of getting married? The pros outweigh the cons...
YOUR pros outweigh the cons. That’s what I keep trying to get you to see. You are talking about what YOU want. He obviously doesn’t share your belief system! So why would you keep pushing something on him that he doesn’t want? Because what you want is more important? Honestly, I’m trying to understand why you refuse to even look at his feelings in this, despite us asking you to.

You said:
Yes perhaps we've taken each other for granted at times, but we're both striving very hard. Perhaps you're only seeing somethings you wish to see as well. My love tanks are dry. I've been lonely and I have always felt that I'm not good enough for him and you've made me feel that way in your past few posts...
First, I can’t MAKE you FEEL anything. That is YOU. The first key to happiness is to stop being someone else’s victim. I am not hurting you. I’m not criticizing you. I’m observing you and giving you my assessment. Which is why people come to forums like this – to LEARN. If you’re not open to learning better solutions, then you’re wasting your time. If you only came here to get people to pat you on the back and commiserate, well, that’s not what happens here. We look for solutions. Your solution is to talk to him. So that you will KNOW what he wants, if he’s happy with you, if he even has any plans with you. So that then YOU can make decisions. You can’t make decisions with only half the evidence. But what I see is two people who are not even talking about it! You’re coming to an anonymous board complaining about a guy who, from my view, is doing all the right things, except maybe for being clear about his plans.

Remember that you can’t change anyone else but yourself. And you can't fix something you don't know. If you don't start communicating with him, any marriage you DO get will not work anyway.

Talk to him. Ask him what he's feeling. Tell him it's safe for him to be honest with you, and tell you if he wants out, or wants to experiment, or whatever it is he wants. You can't get what you want until you know what he wants.

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Thanks catperson. I'll try my best.
I spent the weekend crying...
Was arguing & quarreling about all this, and more.

He says that a ring does not mean anything,
an engagement still can be broken off...

He used to be more affectionate - and him wanting to be upright he withdrew almost all forms of affection.

Hand-holding, hugs and pecks on the cheek.
For now, he's alright with nothing at all even.
Really hurts. I guess he thinks a proposal should come perhaps about a year before marriage and not 2 yrs...like engaged just before getting married.

I really don't know what to do. Suggest a break?
Not sure if I can handle one :'(
Unless - I come to a "we need to talk"

*Yes I admit I have desires, that I wish to be fulfilled. I do not want us to be quarreling about affection, and time etc.
Being incompatible - what do I do?
If there are things that will be resolved only in marriage, what should I do about it? About intimacy, about affection...

He plans to finish his studies at the end of this year. He plans to work for 2 years before settling down. Because he thinks he's too young and hence has not proposed. So I do know all of this already. He does have plans for us, but it's going to take time to unfold. What do I do in the meantime? When I feel insecure and unassured?

So if he has shouted at me and pushed me over the weekend and said hurtful things and all...what should I do? Is this the end?

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Do you really want my honest answer?

Ok...I think you are too immature to be married.

I think you are too needy to be married and if you got married, you would be divorced within 5 years.

I think you need to learn to be ON YOUR OWN for at least a year before you even consider getting married.

I think you are pinning your own happiness on what HE will do, not how you can be happy for yourself. Thus, you said:
Quote:
Suggest a break?
Not sure if I can handle one :'(
If you say that, then you most definitely HAVE to learn how to handle a break. I hope you can see that.

I think you both should have been dating other people, and that most people who start dating in early teens do NOT belong together, at least not before seeing the world separately.

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Okay, I understand.
I accept that, but find it hard to accept that you just say that we'll be "divorced within 5 years"

on my own, being? single?
okay, i will definitely work on it, and be happy for myself.

we've already had ONE break. and i just don't wish to go through another one because of the position i'm in and at this point...

thanks once again. if you can, keep us in prayer
esp me, since i know i need more work

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I'm glad you're not just throwing this out cos you don't want to hear it.

Divorced in 5 years because...you need to be approaching a marriage from a position of strength and courage and honesty and happiness with yourself. The way you are describing your relationship - you needy, clingy, unyielding; him indifferent and possibly just fed up - marrying now before BOTH of you are happy is just like a married couple having a kid cos they think it will bring them closer. Sure there may be a cute kid around, but the problems the marriage was having are all still there.

Fix yourself first. Finish school. Start your career. Make friends outside of your bf. Have a life. Learn to like yourself and trust yourself. THEN see if you are both still compatible.

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