Marriage Builders®
repost, but I'm new and just realized this was the forum with the traffic, hate doing it but saw it suggested to two goes.

I was never sure of marriage, always carried doubt with my baggage, it didn't help she always wanted marriage ... it was seemingly *too easy* and I wanted to wait. well, 2.5 years into the relationship, after a week's breakup (followed by a month's bliss) just before the summer, and countless months of my going back and forth on the idea of marriage with her, a whole lot of not having sex, usually my doing, and even more boredom with each other, I finally wake up and see what *I* was doing to our relationship, and that I could fix by fixing myself, and that I could fix what I *thought* was wrong with her by fixing myself. Turns out I didn't realize it soon enough.

Details I can get into, and they are probably more important than I would let myself believe, but for a first post I'll get to the point, especially since I saw another post on mental illness here...

point being, a slightly rocky and largely mundane relationship where the fires of passion were there, but often ignored and usually by myself alone. I fell in love with her all over again after a realization that I am the problem in our relationship... or rather at the time, that I am A problem, and I can not only fix my problem, but hers too, by just fixing my own problems that need to be fixed for ME regardless of her. long story short, I started trying little things, baby steps, and after a week of it working okay enough, we had a magical weekend together! or so I thought.

On Sunday I awoke, made all my plans on how I was going to work on my own issues, how it would benefit us, and ... when the right time to finally seal the deal with her would come. she didn't wake up on the wrong side of the bed either, but she did something a little out of character, and went to church, but actually to register with one, a requirement she says for her to be the godmother of her brother's newborn. there was no indication whatsoever that she wanted my company nor that she would be returning to the church. (I'm agnostic and have have nothing against most religions, with an exception for catholics, she's catholic, or rather, her family is so she is.) we've always understood our difference and accepted it...

when she returned from church, I felt she was in a bad mood. she still says it wasn't so, but she was being pushy and short with me, not at all the girl that walked out that door earlier that morning (not to take a jab at catholics, or christians, but that's nothing new for me to see.) she asked me to go somewhere with her, well YES, I wanted to very much! But I needed a shower, because I took it I sat down and lit up one of my our habits, the deadly cigarette. I'm thinking about her mood and wondering if I should have went to church, but turns out I should have gotten in the shower. three puffs after I lit it she's standing in the doorway already almost dressed in a different outfit (wow 2 minutes? she usually takes 20+) and she snaps at me that I'm not moving.. I've never seen her in such a hurry, and on a SUNDAY with nothing else to do but be together... So I puff one more and go start to undress, not a minute later I'm still partially clothed and she's now yelling... correction, raised her voice (she's NY/Italian, I'm southern, to her yelling is normal communication ... she's not yelling she things, but to me it seems she's always communicating 'normally' and loudly only when she's angry.) Upset, confused, and feeling like my idea of a great day was being ruined, I snapped back for her to go by herself if she was in such a hurry to go (to Sam's Club, mind you, she doesn't even like going there!?) So she did go by herself.

I still spent the day thinking great thoughts, doing things for her. later she returned, and ignored me for the day, was in a horrible mood, etc.

It came to a head when I made her dinner and she finally went for a plate and came into the room I was in, hiding from her, and asked me what MY problem was! well, that was enough for me. anytime she's in a bad mood, it's MY fault. anytime something goes wrong with US, it's MY fault. I blew it, yelled "my fault?!" and left the room.

she's never one to back down from a fight, and loves to push and push, so that she did and chased me into the next room yelling. i yelled back for her to leave me alone repeatedly, and eventually got up and walked to the door and shut it with her standing right on the other side. so naturally she opened it again and walked further in, I put my hand on her shoulder and pushed her out, more accurately walked her out, but that's pushing to her... she must have never really been 'pushed.' but that wasn't good enough either and I said something very hurtful, for her to find another roommate, (an argument-ender that months earlier I had practiced in my head thinking I wanted out, before I realized that I was no angel and perhaps I caused her bad behavior...) but I don't think she heard me she yelled so loud, now calling me names and picking on my insecurities.... basically doing what she has to do for herself in that situation and I responded with a little of my own...

we've had some harsh fights before, and some passionate make-ups, but never near what happened next. I should point out now that there were no substances involved this day (or really any other time we've fought.)

then I got punched in the face, and time seemed to stand still... I put my hand on my jaw in slow motion it seemed, then looked up to see her arms flailing around, possibly drawing back for another. instinct set in and I attempted to grab her wrists, to stop her, and I did. She drew her wrists against her chest and started backing up and struggling like I've never see her. I got a little scared because to me, before my eyes, she was turning into that possessed woman in a horror movie and freaking out. I had no idea how, perhaps my momentum at going for her wrists and her backing up and struggling, but we started falling, her backwards with me on top. I put out a leg to try to break OUR fall, as I'd felt about it at the time, and she landed on her back but not very hard at all it seemed as I was hanging on to her wrists and she had them GLUED to her chest. I just remembered thinking "Oh God, please don't let her get hurt!" Then it was over, I was kneeling over her, still hanging on to her wrists and she continued to scare me and freak out, and yelled for me to let go of her! I stood firm and repeated (yelling) "Do NOT hit me again." after several of the longest seconds of my life and repeating that, and her continuing to do her thing, I let her go as I sprung up and backwards.

She jumped up and threated to call the police, and I yelled in return why would she do that, just for me to press charges on her? (I wasn't realizing at the time what I've always known, the man almost always goes to jail.) I couldn't believe how crazy she'd become. she had the phone in hand but instead called her father, who naturally wanted to talk to me, and threaten me... understandably so, I tried to calmly explain to him that I was NOT going to be physically abused even if it meant restraining her. He didn't argue, just left it at that. She ran around talking to everyone she could on the phone, and constantly repeating "He put his hands on me!" In the middle of it, she continued to insult my every insecurity, accused me of cheating, never loving her, etc.

She packed a bag of clothes and I didn't see her until the following night, around the same time. our relationship was over. another day and she'd found a new place to live though she didn't move out until the weekend, and slept there in the same house until then.

two nights later I poured my heart out to her, tried to make her understand my intentions, how I'd felt, how I'd fell in love with her again, but her only answer is "then where's my ring?" which I had none. I had just THEN before the weekend decided that was my goal with her, a ring, a marriage, 2.5 kids.. not decided, KNEW. I always knew, but this was different because I saw myself as the problem in our relationship (mostly.) well I barely got it all out, every opportunity for her to insult me she did, and bring up our relationship problems. I mentioned her "yelling" and our culture differences, I come from a place where you call little girls ma'am, and you respect other's space, she comes from a loud, pushy, obnoxious background (which she used to freely admit, and warned me about even when I first went to visit her family in NY) .. somehow she took this, which she brought up in the first place, as me insulting her recently deceased uncle from NY who committed suicide! I'm still trying to figure out that one!?

(but we've always had communication issues, I say one thing, she completely misunderstands it or outright heard something different. I used to blame it on the cell phone until it started happening in person... I never paid attention to the fault with her stories of confrontation with coworkers or others in public until one day I witnessed it.)

when I tried to recount what had happened sunday, and to make sense of it, she told me a different story. She told me that I pushed her out of the room, chased her into the hall, grabbed her and threw her on the ground, THEN she punched me in the face which enabled her to break free of my grip (see the flaw in that logic, I don't look it but I weigh 220 and all my leverage was positioned on her wrists if I needed it.)

So for the last almost two months of us being split up, I'm still insanely in love, and going over every possibility of what went wrong in her to make her create the scenario and imagine such a scene in her head. I thought of that question I didn't answer, or perhaps she asked it because she emotionally checked out of the relationship long ago, something I was guilty of also... perhaps there was another feeding her emotional needs and the question was a permission for her to leave me? how could she create such a scene, was I that bad? yeah, I probably was. She still holds firm to her beliefs of that day, and after our first real talk two nights ago, she holds firm that she was 100% committed to me until I "put my hands on her." all her friends, my friends who she felt comfortable talking to, her family, and her coworkers, hear that I've physically abused her. she's justified her decision to leave me..... incidentally she insists she's not with anyone else, but she portrays herself as if she is... she has previously refused to talk with me at all about the relationship, the events of that day, or anything else.

By the way, I still plan on marrying her... despite all my best advice to myself and from others, I'm completely in love and regardless, have always wanted this but been afraid, i'm seeing my commitment issues, my baggage as causing most all of our problems, even if indirectly, and I now see specifically how to fix it. I've learned so much in these last few weeks about myself, about us... I've been a bad person by neglecting her and our relationship and I now know why, and I'm still learning all the time what drives my behaviors and how easy they could be to change, and by changing my bad behavior which I want to do for ME regardless, it would affect her as well. I'm talking about all the small things that go wrong in a relationship that are never a big deal until they add up. major issues we've always overcome, and the small stuff is EASY to change. I have shared my soul with her and her with me, we've been best friends though I pushed her away so much I failed to see that. I resolved that no matter her problems, insecurities, MENTAL issues, I want to work for us and for her, to help her and make myself the happiest man alive by making her unbelievably happy, and prevent all of this mess from ever starting by focusing on the issues from the ground up... from the little things that irritate people about their partners, the small gestures that could be made, which in turn put the other into a better mood, which in turn make everyone happy. I've always been devoted to her, always felt we were meant to be but let my own insecurities and baggage get in the way, and never saw it. I'm ready to let go, and I've got a ways to go before I heal, and before I'm worthy, but I'm determined to win back my true love... the one who also showed me, ever inadvertently, the error of my ways.

so the other night, I start to wonder, because I don't really know how we ended up on the ground that SUNDAY.. everything else is CLEAR, but that is FUZZY. action too fast, or my brain really is the fault one? is it possible? if not the whole story, LOGIC stops from believing that, and last I checked we both agreed about the part of me being over her restraining her at the wrists (though she doesn't used the word restrain) ,,, but is it possible that it's partly true? did I put her on the ground?

I fully intend to seek some professional help but reasonably speaking, I'm BROKE and the insurance which does include mental, doesn't kick in until next month. speaking of, I tried to get her to go to a counselor before about her anger issues, and our communication issues, a full year prior. she told me it was I that needed to see one and refused to go. despite what I felt, I did present it to her as "we" need to go, and eventually got a visit out of her under the guise of pre-marital counseling. that worked great for us and even the counselor said she hated to take our money, we just weren't in a time of crisis. we made plans to go back but never did.... I surprised myself by the growth I made myself after that one session, expecting it to all be about her.. in any case.....

whether it was her or me, I've not spent the last two months trying to argue about it with her, or bringing it up, or spreading the word around town as she's done, or posting about it on myspace, or any of that she's done, and rallied quite a large bit of support for herself while at it...

the truth is, (and I did tell her this eventually) though I don't believe it, I RESPECT HER for leaving me based on what she saw. Therein lies the problem. I respect her for it because it's how I was raised. my father was abusive and violent. that's her largest argument for proving she was right about that SUNDAY, her basis for clinging to the idea that I abused her sunday, not the other way around.

but... my father got droppend when I was 6 because my strong mother wouldn't have it for us, and she got away. good for her! of course I now respect my michelle for leaving me considering her belief about that day. the catch also is, at least my father never laid a hand on me or my mother, but it was still no excuse.

I grew up with my mom's new husband, a sweet silent type that lets her push him around all he wants too. I know both father figures have given me my own issues and behaviors. I spent a great deal more time around the [censored] cat father, and honestly I feel his influence caused me to bottle my anger, back down from my conflict in MY relationship, and keep my mouth shut about it. michelle realizes none of this.

but, what's done is done. now, I'm just grasping at any way of winning Michelle back. I know that only she can decide that, and despite the best advice of friends, that I deserve better... despite all my analysis of the events and our person traits and differences, she's the most special person to me and really a good person all around. I always felt that she carries conflict with her wherever she goes, and I'm mellowing in my old age (hah, 29, we both are) and am more willing to let things go. she's the most beautiful person to me in body and spirit, and recently I realized she's my favorite person, always the one I want to tell about something funny that happened to me today, or seek comfort in my problems (even when my problems are her and I feel I can't confide in her, and really, I've tried in the past but have always met with resistance and anger from her, though I quit trying and for a good year and a half, never tried again.) part of my initial attraction to her was her kindness and altruism. her life's ambition is to teach autistic children, which is what prompted US to move to another city two years ago, for her to realize that dream and take her first job as a teacher of these kids. despite our differences, though she believes they are a problem for us, I believe they are a glue. I cannot imagine a better person to be with.

so now I'm left with the bottom line. according to her, and everyone around her, that sunday is the sole reason she will not come back, (and again, I can't blame her for it though I don't believe it.) she even started to come running back to me a few weeks after our separation, but surely it was her friends and family that kept that from happening, and now she's on a "strong person" kick, that she's being "strong" by denying her feelings for me and staying away from an abusive partner. I can't blame her for that, but the problem is this, IT'S NOT TRUE! Not in my head, not by anyone who knows me. all of my friends save one I've picked up in this new city, all have 10+ years of knowing me, they all think she's nuts. I'm starting to wonder now, but it doesn't change the events of that sunday. I believe she was abused in the past and I was told from almost day one that was the one thing that would make her leave someone no matter what was at stake or no matter the consequences. I respect that, and I've accepted that she may ... WILL never believe MY side of the story and I've not pressed the issue.

you see my situation. I guess I want to know, HOW could I convince her that it didn't happen? I honestly gave up on that. Now I just want to convince her that "it won't happen again" which is what she is afraid of and supposedly the only reason why she won't come back. I realize that there are still other possibilities, that she IS in fact at least emotionally involved with someone else, attracted to someone else, and I honestly don't care. Truth is, I believe her when she tells me she's not dating, not trying to move on, had no other reason for leaving me, still wanted to marry me through all the BS we went through together, and is still crying all the time over our breakup. I believe she still loves me deeply. she says she wants to be friends, but in reality she won't let me close to her at all until she feels safe, or according to her, until she feels safe from our emotions getting in the way.

Initially she wouldn't let me have her new address, and I didn't press it. weeks later, she wanted me to have it, but I held firm in her initial rule that I wasn't to know until I moved out of the place we lived together and was locked into a lease at an apartment... thinking she was afraid of us getting back together, which I find out now was in fact true. she initially said the week after, that if we both changed ourselves and our bad habits, if we found ourselves again that had gotten lost in our failed relationship, and if we were still friends in 4 or 5 months, she saw no reason why we couldn't get back together. SWEET! I coasted by almost a month into the breakup on that hope alone!

now she's changed her mind, and insists that it won't ever be with us again, but that she'll never be with ANYONE again. I know that'll change, and I'm a patient guy, but I also know that when it does change, at the rate we're going now with her not wanting to talk with me, give me her address (which I'm not pushing it, but she has a recliner she's trying to give to me and can't get it moved by herself, so there it sits) I feel time is slipping away and when she does snap out of it, it's some other dude she'll fall for. maybe hurt herself worse this time, maybe come back to me after, which I'll wait for and suffer silently, or maybe due to her own issues, and maybe any acceptance she'll pick up between now and then, maybe she'll stay with that other dude...

but still, she insists she's hurting, but she's not the only one hurting... and she doesn't want to hear of my pain but has no problems asking me what's wrong when I'm lethargic or emotional and she calls about something... now she's quit calling, but will answer my calls (but not my emails) we went out "as friends" twice over a week ago, which really crushed me and I think it affected her badly too, pretty much since then she's just not talking. I know she goes out a lot with her friends now, but I don't know how much she is running away from something, or towards something else....

I wrote her a letter earlier this week, hand written, with my feelings and some confessions about my issues and how they've messed up our relationship, and that got her to talking to me, only enough to argue and tell me all these things, about her being done with not only me as a partner, but anyone. how she's changed her mind and now believes the marriage she once wanted so badly can never happen for her, how she no longer wants to have children because she has her students, etc., how she only wants friendship from me. I know she's hurting badly, but I believe it's bad for me too, because I still believe what I remember about that day, not her. I feel like it's all been thrown away on a lie. I've lost two inches on my belly since the breakup, retreated in to all kinds of self-torture both mental and physical, come to some shocking discoveries about myself, and ... well now it's time to straighten up and work on my future and my health, and I will. I just can't come to terms with what happened to us, and what I can possibly do to turn it around for us. to me, maybe there shouldn't be, but there still is an "us."

What can I do... or rather, what should do? It took 4 people last weekend to talk me out of selling some very important stuff to buy her a ring. I know now perhaps I'm starting to become unhealthy about my determination, and I've backed off, and I realize I can and will live without her if I must, I will move on if I have to, and I will work on the problems I now know I have regardless of what happens with us.... but that just isn't the outcome I want when I had planned on proposing to her in NY over thanksgiving in front of her family that she seems to think I hate so much. She doesn't know it, but it was going to happen. I know I can, but I just don't know if I should let go of someone so special to me, over what I believe is A LIE IN HER HEAD ... when she still insists that she would marry me tomorrow if only that didn't happen! why would she torture me with that if it wasn't true? I also feel the possibility it's me who is the crazy one..

I also feel that if I presented her with the ring, proposed... and I got rejected, it would crush me and I'd just never talk to her again because I couldn't handle even being friends with her. maybe that would help me to just move on? and if she accepted, though I know the chance is less than 1%, especially with her strong support group thinking I'm an abuser, and her family (a hard obstacle in my future if she did accept) but I would work through that gladly. if she did accept and make me the happiest man alive, then GREAT. yes, I am aware that if there's a mental problem, and it's her, that it could surface again later in life with the stakes higher, and she feels the same way (about me supposedly being abusive, of course) but I am willing to work my butt off to prevent that and never give her a reason to get upset or be anything less happy with me, with us... I've also considered that she also has a self-defeating prophecy, and happiness is exactly what drove her to that... but I'm over analyzing the situation I think. I just feel that if I don't propose, I could never have her again and regret it every day of my life always with the "what might have been" punishment. I feel I must at least try, not just for a future with her, but for my own personal health and happiness later in life, knowing that at least I actually gave it my best shot, instead of running away like with so many other times in my past. with the tiniest bit of worry creeping in that I might become obsessive, I don't think I'm there yet and I don't think I will be after a rejection... but, then there's the MAYBE she could say, or the not now, etc. then the rejection later on..

and I think, either way it could happen, should I put myself through this? will I certainly push her away, ruin my chances in 4 or 5 months with us after things have calmed down? or will I ruin those future chances by NOT showing her now what she refuses to believe, that I AM willing to marry her. (you see, she still doesn't believe that I ever planned to propose, she things my emotions now are due to the breakup, and fails to recognize the efforts I made only a short week prior to the breakup, and fails to see that I fell in love with her all over again then... it just happened too quickly, too soon, and from her perspective it is a convenient lie I'm telling, and I don't blame her! I realize how it looks!) So I'm afraid I would ruin my future chances by not at least showing her now that I'm serious which she still fails to believe...

ok I'm just babbling now, so take what you will from this, please excuse if I'm incoherent at times, I'm tired and an emotional wreck most of the time.

any advice? I might not like it, but I'll certainly appreciate it, and I'll try to keep future postings smaller
Neither of you qualify as marriage material right now.
Best to take time apart until you both learn to appreciate each other. Granted one of you appreciates the other more. Still that is NOT enough to make a M work.

Bad foundation for an M at best and that's not good.

If you love her, don't marry her. She is not treating you well now and will not later. If you marry her, you will only leave yourself legally responsible for her and if she needs help she will use you as the punching bag.

She already needs help but at least you can walk away so she is forced to get the help. As long as u r around, she can use you as her excuse NOT to get help.

I agree with Orchid.

You would be building on sand if you married.


You both need professional help.

In spite of what you think you want, you are probably too different to make it.

I tried to have a LTR /engagement/planning marriage with an affair partner. I am a conservative Catholic multi-degreed man who had been with 2 women total. She was an ex-hippy liberal spiritual but not religous woman who wouldn't admit how many men she had bedded.

The biggest thing we had in common was being bi-polar, (and liking sex). But two crazy people are not an ideal couple.
Someone needs to be in touch with reality at all times.

We were actually building a house together. Then it all came apart over my waking her up early on a Sunday.
Now she says she regrets even having a relationship.

I believe that some people are just not meant to be together. I'm just glad it ended before we got married & built the house.

Right now marrying this woman spells nothing except absolute disaster.

That’s why you are experiencing such extreme difficulties right now.

As the previous posters have indicated; you need to get tons of pre-marital counseling along with some individual counseling for the issues that you two already have.

She needs some help too, and it’s the same kind as above.

Knowing what I know now I support “dating” any potential mate for about three years. This is long enough to know what the potential mate is really like as it’s fairly difficult to maintain a sham for that long of a period. But that’s just my opinion.

Being up front about the intrinsic aspects of courtship is important though!
If I hear these things enough, I may just start to believe them!

I need to point out that while I want to let her know my intentions, and I do want to propose but am unsure how it will affect us in the future if I do so now, no I do NOT want to get married tomorrow, next month, possibly not within the next year... not that soon after this. I realize it will take time to start working on our issues, to rebuild trust...

I'm a patient guy when it comes to that, which is why I insisted on about 3 years before I wanted to propose, pretty much from 6-8 months when she thought she was ready ... truth is we've been inseperable since we met; I can count on ... two fingers the nights we've spent apart within the first year since our first kiss. It was never about the sex, either, which I held out on her at first, actually... I realize that might be a little unhealthy but it's done. I don't feel we could be that incompatible...

BUT, if it's a bad idea to begin with, all I can say is minus the attitude she's the woman of my (realistic, not fantasy) dreams; she'd say the same for me minus the abuse ... :|

I realize we both need to work on some things and that will take time, but we are in the situation now of trying to be friends. We ARE best friends and she doesn't want to give that up... myself, I don't want to be around her and not be able to get a hug and say what's on my mind. I can't *not* comfort her or want that from her, even about this. Well, I can, but it causes those sleepless nights...

I like what was said about her needing help and not getting it as long as I'm around to use as an excuse, but I will say that as far as everyone who knows her, like myself, she's so normal and well adjusted that no one much less herself will allow her to believe otherwise. I don't know that if I wasn't her friend, through some understanding and patience and by getting help myself, that I couldn't convince her (even in an indirect way) that she needs to get some counseling by showing her that I'm not whacko and supporting her... or something. I have the bad habit of wanting to help her no matter what she thinks of me. My friends say "hey, you're a guy, you like to fix things," but it's so much more than this...

I feel if I bail on her now, deny her the request for continued friendship, she'll take that as a sign that I am the looney one, especially if I'm getting help myself, and that she's perfectly fine and will continue to be so. I'm also afraid she'll move on and not look back. Not that I'm just afraid she want move on, if it took someone else to show her that she has problems, or that I really am better for her, then I'm fine with that. What I'm afraid of, is she'll move on and not come back... or worse, she won't come back because yet another guy she's with has his own issues, she blames it on him, or doesn't see it until too late, and has a [censored] life because of it -- while I'm sitting here feeling like hey, I've been through this with her already, I know how to treat her now in a relationship, too bad it's not me, I'd make it better... and really, I love her so much I feel that if she *were* to be happier with someone else, I'd be happier that she was even if it left me in the cold! Only problem is, despite my new understandings of her and myself (though they aren't enough yet,) and that the next guy will likely be too clueless to make her happy, I believe that won't happen for her with someone else mostly because of HER own issues... the same ones I'm willing to tackle because I love her so.

on the other hand, I don't know how to treat her when we're NOT in an intimate relationship... I want to be there for her, and I want to be nice about it, independent, and strong -- but I know her well enough to know that it just might reinforce these feelings that I never loved her, that I don't care for her in that way... ? then there's still what to do about that SUNDAY and someone's dilusion be it hers, mine, or both of ours, and how it will affect us as friends now in addition to our future whatever that may be.

hmm, I probably should get back to work for the moment, the boss is only so tolerant with the lack of work I'm been doing lately, snapping at him in front of others, the loan so I could stay in this city and continue to be their star worker, (only because initially, she really wanted me to stay for us having a future together, else I could've (and likely would've) ran one of three distant places with my tail between my legs trying to forget after the initial shock and pain of the breakup.)

thx so far. I knew I wouldn't want to hear it, but it's definitely something to chew on. But I must say it's hard, I found this site and the can-do attitude of the articles here, that anything can work when two people love each other, provided the right attitude is formed and the effort is made in the right ways. I'm a hopeless romantic and it's just want I wanted to hear. There has been no infidelity between us, and despite the differences that I believe allow us to stay interested in each other, nothing earth shattering evern happened until that sunday that ended us. I know many in these forums may not be able to say that; I was told once to take advice from those who succeed, not those who fail. I see many here have sigs that explain their status, but these acronyms are killing me! Do you guys have a manual or a definition book?! hah. Not to downplay anyone's advice here who I see may have failed, because I honestly believe that success is in the eye of the beholder; but I'm a hopeless romantic as I've said, and I'm just confused at the moment so forgive me if I have a hard time swallowing the advice that I as for, and that I *need* because I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want it and appreciate it. If I just wanted to talk, I have plenty of other outlets but too many people see the situation from just my perspective. :\

thx again
I think that if you want any chance for a future with her, you have to just tell her that you can't be "just friends" with her because it's too painful for you. You can tell her you'll be there for her if she wants to try again at a relationship, but as long as she wants to be "just friends," you need to move on with your life and open yourself up to other relationships. She's basically asking you to put your life "on hold" and just be friends with her while she decides what she wants to do. That's unfair to you, and if you agree to that it makes you look desperate... and let's face it, you being desperate is not going to be attractive to her in any way. If you instead move on with your life, she will start missing you. Maybe she'll miss you enough that she'll want to try again ... but maybe not. You have to be ready for either outcome. Still, even if she doesn't come back to you, at least you'll be well on the road to recovery (instead of being crushed after being in limbo for months and months).

When I look at what I'm recommending, it looks an awful lot like what people here call "Plan B" - which is cutting off all communication with the WS (wayward spouse) until such time that the WS is ready to come back and work on the marriage (and completely relinquish any relationship with the affair partner). I think it could be the best strategy for you at this point. The purpose of plan B is to preserve whatever love you still have for her, and not continue to have that love be chipped away by her non-loving and non-committal behavior towards you.
I'll take one step further and tell her that you realize you need a partner in life not someone who can't meet you 1/2 way. That is the LEAST you will accept in your life. An R leading to an M puts one on their 'best' behavior. If this is the best she can do, you ought to RUN!!!

My H's BIL should have never married H's sister. She was and still is a very very selfish creature. That's the nice description. My MIL should have never married nor had ANY children. Yes, that may have meant my H would have never been born but the angony MIL brought on the family makes one realize she was not a fit mother then nor now.

You could have a family like that IF you choose to be with your GF. Talk about regret. Once you are legally married, getting out of it could screw up your life forever. You have the chance now to make a good start for yourself.

If she really loves you, she will NOT turn sweet then sour. She will make permanent changes that WILL with stand the test of her love for you. That's right, test your love is NOT to be given freely to one as selfish as your GF.

Think about it. If you were my son, I'd WANT to slap you silly and I'd be crying knowing you are headed for disaster.

That's probably just how my mother feels. (She's visiting for the weekend to try and help me through.) I should go ask her.

As for an R leading to an M putting people on their best behavior, well it was just starting to for me, which I realize didn't say much about me previously in our relationship, but that *did* change and I guess it's just when I realized that I *would* marry her that it did... I still feel the answer to her question on that friday, is yes I would be the happiest man alive. I'm foolish I know.

As for her, honestly she may have always been on *her* best behavior :| but I just have an issue with how (not to insult anyone, mind you) how women behave. I have this idea in my head that too many women grew up being conditioned by bad or insensitive men, and society's view of men, that they act the way they feel bad and insensitive men expect them too. Case in point, her idea of trying to get me to pay her attention or be intimate was to show of parts of her body while walking around the house or in front of me. I believe to her it was a learned behavior, but to me, it just makes me want to acknowledge her, maybe take a picture or two, and continue doing what I'm doing. She doesn't understand, that yes while I *am* sexually attracted to her body, (READ: she's a little heavier than my *dating* preference and past partners, but still has the curves that I find attractive and sexually exciting and I was never embarrassed of her for her extra weight around my friends or in public, in fact I was proud to show her off, and though I'm far from ideal magazine material too, I see her as perfect for me) BUT I don't want to feel like I'm in a strip club when she's requesting my intimacy, (clubs I've been to in the past are for fun but I never got fixated on the women there,) instead you turn me on showing affection in touch, a stare, a facial expression, a caress, by being close to me physically and showing me you're close to me emotionally... otherwise I'm just usually not in the mood. I don't just "have sex." If that's all I was interested in, then I'd probably be unfaithful, I don't know. She thinks my lack of sexual interest in her was because of her body, or infidelity, or that I didn't love her... I see that now, and I figure it's all conditioning. But I can explain away most of her behavior to things like this. Perhaps I'm wrong...

Regardless, I do truly believe now, after she finally spoke with me recently (though she hasn't since, and likely because I'm still bouncing back and forth in the denial phase,) that she really was true in her feelings and intentions towards being my life partner. I really feel now that she still feels that way, at least about what she wanted *then* ... since now she thinks she no longer wants a marriage and children after me; obviously she's afraid. I really feel she had a bad experience in the past; she'd told me from almost day one that I would have to be the one to break her heart and leave her because she would never leave me, unless there was physical abuse then she was out no matter how badly she loved me or what the stakes may be (i.e. marriage, kids.) How did I not see that as perhaps her self-defeating prophecy showing it's ugly head that early in our relationship... Regardless I agree with that resolve to not take physical abuse, (which is why I still can't help but respect her now, even though I feel it's based on a lie she's telling herself.) My mother left my father over his violence, though it never came to physical harm she saw that it could. Michelle knows about my father and she's seen my rage (though she refuses to see her own,) and she holds this as her proof that I will be this way. I can't help but think that she created this scenario in her head as an excuse to leave, not just because of all the ways I ignored our relationship but because she was afraid that it may progress to that stage with me, and perhaps because of her own past experiences which helped to build her own self-defeating prophecy, which may not be very unlike my own. Yeah, she'll not believe it, not now, maybe not ever.

She's asked me before something like "Well have you told your friends MY side of the story, or do they still think you did no wrong and that I'm the bad guy?" and my response was "Both." which just confused her and angered her beyond belief. She really believes what she says happened, to the point it's making me question myself finally. I still don't believe anything that what I remember, but I've found myself putting that all aside and wanting forgiveness for what I did do (argue, show violent behavior, restrain her from hitting me a second time) but also for what I didn't do, I'd take forgiveness for what *she* thinks I did. I'm feeling a little pathetic but in the name of true love... My mother knows this, and aside from my friends, Michelle also loves and respects my mother, thinks she's the sweetest person ever, and my mom still likes her very much and that's probably why she won't let me quote what she has said about the situation, but further, mom is sweet and she sees what it's doing to me and I suspect she won't even give me her full opinion, because she also knows just how hard headed I can be, and just how serious I am about making her my best friend and partner for life. But I'm sure you're right, she probably does want to slap me silly for being so blind, that maybe we are just a bad match. I think I'll have to be more blunt with mom. Excuse me while I go try that.
update on that: Orchid, told my mother what you said about slapping me silly because I'm headed for destruction, and she just nodded her head in agreement. Seems no one strikes anyone in any relationship in her view. She argues that if she strikes me now, she'll not hold back in the future and I might as well join a "Battered Husbands" club. (how ironic Michelle thinks she could be on track to being a battered wife.) I don't know if I have some John Wayne or Eastwood attitude where it's okay to let myself be smacked around because it doesn't hurt, not as bad as I hurt now. I guess I didn't have that self esteem issue on sunday when I thought I was stopping her from throwing another punch (be it in my own mind or not) but I sure can see myself letting it happen in the future no matter who starts swinging at me be it her or some OW. Yeah, I realize now I've got more baggage to pack.

But as wise and "been there, done that" as my mom should be about it, she still likes her and wanted to confirm her phone number, she might call her on my behalf, then again who knows; she's just as confused as I am. At least I do know she's the one person in this world I can trust to really want what is best for me, not just for me to have what I want.

As far as time for change, looking back I honestly can't say (yet) what it was she really needed to change, she'd changed a bit already for me -- I admit I had time for change once already in our relationship, in the past, but it didn't seem so serious at the time, so urgent. I assumed it was *her* that needed the change and that I was cool. I was wrong. I see that now. I had a relapse and don't tell me it's because I didn't truly love her, but I never had to face myself before, my fears, and what I've become. I spent some time after that wanting to live alone, separate from her, but never had that talk with her and ended up acting as if I was though we were still under the same roof. I wanted to live alone and DATE HER again because I didn't recognize myself anymore, and not because of HER, but because of our relationship and my own baggage. She had the same identity drain, but probably just because of ME and my issues... Now I see that we never lived alone, (I never lived alone, period, always had a roommate and wondered what that would be like,) yet WE never lived apart since our first kiss... it WAS love at first sight and we were together always, perhaps our personalities collided and skewed off course together. perhaps they could do so again? I'd like to think not...

though don't get me wrong, she's screwed up big time (in my eyes) in the past, but long ago I let it all slide, I just never checked back in with her to see if she'd changed as we grew closer to the ideas of marriage. I felt trained, to keep my feelings to myself and to give her space - I liked solving conflict before bed, she would rather me leave her to be upset and get over it herself; once I had a problem with myself and my behavior in our relationship but she didn't want to hear it, I was "dragging her down" and needed to work it out myself. Yeah, those were moments of anger on her part and I never checked back in with her since, so for the last 1 - 1.5 years of our relationship I kept to myself as much as possible. I never checked back in with her when the issues weren't "hot" anymore, never opened up to her, or anything. I didn't expect that from this relationship, but I'd learned to keep my distance well in a previous one while I was trying to alter my smothering behavior from yet another previous relationship. I've had some bad ones I guess and everyone's to blame... perhaps I'm just not cut out for it... then I wonder, is anyone? Thriving in a relationship seems to me to be a learned behavior, but it also seems everyone has learned the wrong lessons from some other screwed up partner and it keeps snowballing until you find the one relationship that counts, the one that matters, THE ONE, and you're screwed before you get it underway and don't even know it. hmph. Maybe that's why she doesn't want marriage or kids all of a sudden.

speaking of screwing up, whadda ya think of this? in her conversation with me earlier in the week, her guy friends were mentioned, that she used to hang with at the bar where we met. This one jerk bought her a round, probably didn't realize he was buying mine too, but he certainly saw her hand me the beer. she tried maybe three times to introduce me, and he talked right over her each time until (maybe?) he finally heard "this is my boyfriend," turned to look at me, I stuck out my hand and said "Hi I'm John" but he didn't offer a gesture, he looked right through me and without batting an eye, turned back to her and continued his conversation. How could she let him disrespect HER, let alone ME like that? She went on like nothing happened, and to this day she says her friends didn't like me because *I* was "weird" towards them! Not to mention this same jerk, a DJ there later, always sang a duet with her and talked her into it one night (while I was sick and needed to leave) when she went to say goodbye to him. She told him to hurry it up several times over the next 1.5 hours or more because I was sick and she had to take me home (supposedly, she told him) and he still put it off, and she still waited. Finally I convinced her to take me home, we're in the car and this jerk runs out the door saying they are up next?! To her, it's only 5 minutes, to me, it's a slap in the face like I've never been slapped before, but she went back in and did the deed! She counters this time with "You never stopped to think it was YOU I went home with." HAH! I forget the reason, whether I couldn't drive or I didn't have my own car there, but she wouldn't have went home with me that night if I had the means to leave her there! I've left other relationships for less, but not her. So that's why I've always felt 2nd to her friends and her family. We never resolved that issue and a few others and I know it affected my behavior in our relationship in a major way, but I never sat her down later to talk about it, or maybe I did and just met with anger. We didn't resolve it our problems like that, they just went away when we moved to another city so she could start her career.

Along those same lines of me feeling as if I come in 2nd to everyone else in her life, her mother has the longest umbilical cord I've ever seen, and no one's cut it yet! They talk 10 times a day. At one time I would have been exaggerating a little on that until I found out they talk throughout her workday as well, and in the hours prior to my coming home! I never had a strong sense of family with my messed up clan, it's strange to me, but after getting used to it and knowing her family I admire it! It's just that how can you feel respected and loved when she takes her mothers call over a hangnail or something equally insignificant, when I'm trying to tell her about my new raise or some wonderful thing that happened in my day. How is it that I can be expected to hear about her day by only listening to her conversations with her mother? I always moaned and groaned when her mother called 4x a night and never really talked about it with her, and once I scarred myself with a bic lighter over it after she'd been on the phone an hour with her mom in one of their 3-5 insignificant calls per night while I'm still stuck half way through telling her about my day and trying to listen to hers. But now, her response is, FAMILY COMES FIRST and if I ever put a ring on her finger I'd be family too and then I'd come first (too? like, but there's still a 2nd place so who'd go there, her mother?) We're not talking about something important like when her father left her mother for another woman later that first year we lived here, that I understand... but .. that's not the issue.

I responded then by not getting close to her. At the time I was almost always immersed in my work for the benefit of my job (and it always paid off, I started part time here as a computer tech and ended up replacing not one but TWO people within three short weeks after my hire date.) I had things to do! But when that wore off, because of all of this coming in 2nd over insignificant things, I stayed in front of my computer, night and day nonstop, because it was the only thing that gave me the attention I wanted so much from her. Sad, huh? That ended up being her largest complaint about me, even over her being an extrovert but something is wrong with me because I'm an introvert, and I need to work through that myself. Once I went to her with something related to this, and some strain it put on our relationship (and honestly, her behavior) and she told me, IN ANGER, that I needed to work it out myself because it was MY problem, and I was "dragging her down." How's that for insight as to why I spent my time ignoring her.

Guess reliving these past experiences are putting things into perspective. I still feel I must have done something to start it all…. But that's me, and funny how she says I always blame her for everything. Since I've known her, I haven't known her to take responsibility for one bad thing that has happened to her -- not at least that I can remember. Yeah, I always blame her for starting fights, because I never start them at least consciously, but I've no doubt I did something to start it all to begin with many times because of my poor behavior. It doesn't help that we're both angry people (though she doesn't see it in herself) and we're both jealous, and we're both stubborn. Well, keeping with that stubborn behavior, I know we still share a love that could conquer it all, if only we were both willing to make the proper changes in ourselves and work together. I admit, I was not previously. I blamed everything on her and maybe I was justified most of the time but that was certainly the wrong attitude --- BUT IT TOOK HER HAVING THE SAME ATTITUDE TO SHOW ME HOW BAD MINE WAS.

Actually, in the days since our breakup, around the time she quit wanting to talk to me (and not fight) was about the same time I started to agree with her on things, and take blame for things. She pretty much sounded surprised, didn't believe it, and well, then didn't seem to want to talk with me ANYMORE about anything relating to our past and our problems. She'll still have everyone believe that I blame her for everything, though she wrote in a myspace blog that she *might* have been at fault for half of it, (HAH never said that to me, I was at fault 100% of the time is what she always told me.) Think maybe it's like this "babbling" tactic I've read about on these forums? Perhaps she's getting the message, maybe starting to look at her own behavior?

So what now? I'm still wanting to buy her a ring. I know I won't be able to propose to her in NY on Thanksgiving in front of all of her family anymore like I'd wanted to do (provided my little introvert didn’t take control,) and this time I also have *almost* zero hope, and logic tells me I shouldn't have that much. The plan, if I can get the remainder of the cash I need fast enough, is to just do it in the best way possible, but so much for a romantic proposal and if she doesn't freak out, run away immediately, (or make me really, REALLY happy,) it'll have to end with something like: just keep it, (I really could care less about the money, it's about her) and in 6 months (or whenever) when you've straightened your emotions out, found yourself again, or whatever, if you think you might wear it for me one day, then find me and tell me, but until then it's too painful for me to try and remain your friend.

Well, that's what is in my heart. I can only hope it's a little like Orchid said, at least in the future, that while we make the changes we need in ourselves, and can make permanent, they will stand the test of our love for one another. Bad plan? I'm having a hard time with any other…
So why shouldn't there be hope for her, too… and us? Am I still *that* blind to believe in love this way? Isn't everyone incompatible? Isn't that what a relationship is all about, learning together, understanding, and helping each other, the big C word of Compromise? At least it's good to get it off of my chest.
John, walk away. From what you've described, she ain't worth it. She's obviously selfish and self-centered, and will likely be an absolute nightmare to live with after the ring is on and the gloves have come off.
Yup, I agree.
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