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Some background. My girlfriend and I have been dating for about 18 months. We have grown very much in love. Some background on us -

Me - 41, divorced (my ex wife cheated on me and infidelity is something I cannot tolerate). I have two wonderful little girls ages 10 & 7. I am Catholic.

Her - 44, single, never been married, no kids. She is Baptist.

Early in our relationship we began taking about the future. Marriage is something that were not keen on. We wanted to ensure that we can a committed relationship.

Fast forward to now. We have decided that we want a life together although she struggles with it. Some days she is upbeat about it, some she days she is scared. She wants to make sure she does what is right in the eyes of god.

Several months ago we started christian pre-marriage counseling. It has been quite great. We've learned a lot more about each other.

However, I have begun sensing that she is putting up walls. We had decided (against God) that we would live together. Then we stepped back and said we should at least be engaged and live together before marriage. Now she has taken a further step back and stated we should not live together before marriage. I can respect all that, and frankly am somewhat ashamed that I should have thought about it.

She still has doubts and commits then backs away. She is fearful of the future. I've tried to reassure her.

One of the things we did early in our relationship was to have sexual intercourse. Again, I realize pre-marital sex is against God's law. Last Tuesday she stated she does not want to have any more sex until we are married. However, she is not fully committed to being married. She is still scared.

I did something last night that perhaps was wrong but needed to. I told her that the relationship must move forward. I understand and accept her desire to stop sex. But if her goal is just to return to a casual dating (seeing each other on weekends) I see that as a step back. Without it being called an ultimatum I said that we either move forward or end this. I am not comfortable staying in the same place. She said she wants to move forward.

I know there is more to the story but this gives the main points. I would appreciate your thoughts/prayers/advice.

Thanks.

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Wow, that's a lot to adjust to. To have found the one you want to be with, and she goes back and forth. But I think that she's sharing these fears with you is a really good sign. What are her concerns about getting married? Is she concerned about you, whether you are marriage material, or more concerned about marriage in general?

What is your assessment, are you marriage material? How about her, what makes you confident in her? What happened in your first marriage, that it ended that way? How long ago was that?


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mnbikingguy, I think you are on the right track by moving on. It doesn't sound like she is the right choice. Dr Harley typically recommends dating ALOT of people to find the one who does the best job of meeting your needs. If she puts up walls, as you say, then she fails that test.

You did the right thing in backing away from living together. That ruins relationships [marriages where the couple lives together have an 85% divorce rate] and sets a horrible example for children. So you did the right thing.

One other idea would be for you to date her AND date others. Its not like you can only date one person at a time as long as you are open about that. But keep looking until you find someone who does a GREAT job of meeting your needs.

Good luck.. smile


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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NewEveryOtherDay - Her concerns are whether or not she can adjust to being married. They are largely founded on her having been alone for her whole life and adjusting to sharing a life, including with someone who has children.

I am confident she can adjust but I also realize it will take work and perseverance. If we all knew marriage was a sure thing it would be boring. The ride makes it worth while. Regarding my first marriage - to be honest I look back and realize that we didn't spend time to invest in the marriage. She was a stay at home mom and worked. She discovered a desire to write pornography, went to bondage shows (participated in them as well) and eventually started a bondage relationship with someone. These were sexual tendencies I had no idea she had and I could not meet them. It was very difficult to discover all that.

MelodyLane - I'm not moving on. Sorry if my post led you to believe that. I may, but we love each other very much. I do agree that living together will not happen. I cannot date others as I am in a committed relationship with her. That's just me. She does not want to date others as well.

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Here's an excellent thread on how relationships work. It's based on the book by Dr. Harley "Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders." Here

People often say that marriage takes a lot of work. In reality, building new habits that accommodate each other takes some work until one gets used to it. Negotiating through conflicts can be work at first, until one gets used to it.

Dr. Harley has said that in relationships like yours, where the man has the children, and the woman comes in with no children, it's often more doable than the other way around. She would not be the disciplinarian; you would.


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It sounds like you are a buyer (read Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders) and she is a renter.

You can't make her a buyer, if she is not ready to be a buyer.

I would back off, and indeed go see/date others.

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**edit**

Last edited by Fireproof; 04/04/13 06:47 PM. Reason: TOS non MB material
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geroldmodel - it is not a fear from God issue. It is a realization that we are doing something that God does not condone.

We went to church last November and the sermon was regarding living before marriage and subsequently just this past Easter Sunday the sermon dealt with pre-marital sex.

She has also mentioned a couple of times in the relationship that she does not how she feels about having sex before marriage. One thing that is odd is that at age 44 she is obviously not a virgin. We shared sexual history with each other and she has been with seven other men before me but none in the six years before she met me. Obviously at some point she realized she needed to make a change.

I am 100% sure she is not having an affair.

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A reminder to posters that the purpose of this forum is to help posters with Marriage Builders concepts. It is not to share conflicting personal philosophies. If you can help this poster with MB, please feel free to help. If not, kindly refrain from posting.

Thank you

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FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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BrainHurts - thanks. Actually we have taken the PREPARE inventory. That is what our counselor had us do. It was an amazing inventory...and revealed we are a true match and very compatible. I appreciate the articles.

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Originally Posted By: mnbikingguy
BrainHurts - thanks. Actually we have taken the PREPARE inventory. That is what our counselor had us do. It was an amazing inventory...and revealed we are a true match and very compatible. I appreciate the articles.

Did you read this that LongWayFromHome posted to you?

Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders

Listen to the radio clips that are in there also?


FWW/BW (me)
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Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I read it. I am a buyer. She is partially a renter but shows signs of being a buyer. It depends on the day but there is hope.

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Originally Posted By: mnbikingguy
I read it. I am a buyer. She is partially a renter but shows signs of being a buyer. It depends on the day but there is hope.


I'd worry less about being in a dating relationship when your girlfriend is in the "Renter" stage .... Instead I'd concentrate on something else .....

My advice:
Work to deliberately make as many love bank deposits as you possibly can for the next 6-8 months. At that time, she will be deeply IN LOVE with you and that would be the time to pop the question. If she says she needs "more time" ask her for a specific amount of time. If she cannot answer you, then stop dating her. My best guess is that she would be so in love with you and miss those delicious love deposits so much she would have a change of heart/mind.

It's like the old question asked to the bank robber.
"Why do you rob banks?"
His response was, "Because that's where the money is."

You be "where the money is" .... and unless she is a life-time-forever freeloader/renter .... she will be drawn to you.

That's how my H of 32 years drew me in.

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I would agree with Pep.

I would add it sounds like she wavers because it sounds like she has lovebank deposits but sometimes her lovebank runs low. She may not be being entirely honest with you about how to meet needs or avoid lovebusters.

Sometimes politeness and concern for hurt feelings prevents people saying 'I want more of this and less of that'. Make sure you encourage and welcome complaints so you can get the best information on her needs.

She could also just simply have the natural fears associated with such a big commitment.

Either way, a few months of solid love bank deposits will solve it.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Thanks for all the advice. I'm not 100% sure I agree with the love bank issue. I invest...a lot and she agrees with that. I actually went to see our counselor today. I had a solo session. Remember this is a Christian counselor. Basically she said she has observed Pam in our sessions and sees fear and apprehension of the unknown. Sadly, she said that after 18 months dating, Pam is either sure she wants this or not. Since my anxiety has risen so much I am at a point in time that I need to force a decision. I realize many on this board will not agree but I will propose. Again, if after 18 months this woman is not ready, and we know each other so well, she never will be, no matter how many deposits go in.

I'm at peace with this approach. My heart feels more peaceful than it has in a really long time. I am prepared to end the relationship if she says no but hope the answer is yes.

I've said a prayer....not one that asks God for her to say "yes" but one that asks him to guide her answer to what is best for myself, her, and my two girls.

Say a quiet prayer for Fernando (that's me), Pam (her), Jackie and Sabrina (my girls).

Thanks for all your great advices and thoughts.

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OK, and what are you going to do when she says 'yes', but isn't ready? You'll be in the same boat, nothing would have changed.

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If she says that, then she's ready....else it is a no. I need to know where this is going.

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I prayed for you as you asked
However you need to get right with God.
As the man you should be the moral lighthouse, not the serpent.

Don't ask or demand her to sin.
Also I encourage you to pray with her for Gods guidance

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Originally Posted By: LongWayFromHome
Here's an excellent thread on how relationships work. It's based on the book by Dr. Harley "Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders." Here

People often say that marriage takes a lot of work. In reality, building new habits that accommodate each other takes some work until one gets used to it. Negotiating through conflicts can be work at first, until one gets used to it.

Dr. Harley has said that in relationships like yours, where the man has the children, and the woman comes in with no children, it's often more doable than the other way around. She would not be the disciplinarian; you would.


Where does Harley state this?

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