FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Question for those of you who are married/engaged

   
Author Topic: Question for those of you who are married/engaged
Eruve Nandiriel
Member
Member # 5677

 - posted      Profile for Eruve Nandiriel   Email Eruve Nandiriel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Most of you probably don't know/remember me...I was around Hatrack a few years ago, and haven't really been back since I left for college. I need some advice, and I thought this would be a good place to turn to.

I'm not very experienced in relationships, but I've been seeing this guy for about a year. It was getting really serious, and we just decided to step back and take a break, so we could figure some stuff out. We both love each other, and want to be together, but we don't know if we're right for each other. I want for us to be right for each other, but I'm terrified of waking up one day and realizing it was all wrong. I know everyone probably has these doubts at some point in a serious relationship, and it's somewhat normal, but I don't know if that means I'm not ready to settle down yet.

My question is: How do you know if you're right for each other? And how do you know when you're ready?

Posts: 4174 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think marriage is a commitment to work together to continue to be right for each other, to do what the other needs over your own needs. If each partner in the marriage is thinking of the other before him/herself, it will work the way it should.

If you're not ready for that commitment, you're not ready to be married.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Artemisia Tridentata
Member
Member # 8746

 - posted      Profile for Artemisia Tridentata   Email Artemisia Tridentata         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Forget about that "one best mate" stuff too. Most sincere intellegent humans could be happily and successfully married to any another sincere intellegent human if they were both committed to the success of the relationship and if they worked at it together.
Posts: 1167 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It could also be that you're willing to do that, but not with him. If it doesn't seem like something you want to do with him - build a single life together rather than two separate ones - then maybe it isn't right.
Posts: 26076 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FlyingCow
Member
Member # 2150

 - posted      Profile for FlyingCow   Email FlyingCow         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm a person who gets bored easily - both in my career and in my geographic location. I've always had temptations to flee to new cities and countries and to quit jobs to try my hand at new things.

My mind tends to wander to what I *could* be doing often - rather than what I am currently doing.

I knew that that I had found the "right" person when my thoughts of quitting my job and moving to Oregon focused on how "we" would get along there, rather than how "I" would.

My flights of fancy became "we" propositions - and I knew then that she was the one for me.

Fittingly, I proposed in Oregon at the treeline of Mt. Hood - though I haven't quit my job, and we haven't moved there.... yet. [Big Grin]

Posts: 3960 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Knowing you're right for each other is a heart thing. If you let your head get involved too deeply, you might let all the nitpicky things stop you from going ahead with what your heart knows is right. Being in it with all your heart is the only way to weather all the hard times and trials; it also lets you appreciate and build upon all the good times. If you're not in it with all your heart, that's when the inevitable hard times can wedge their way in between you.
Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RackhamsRazor
Member
Member # 5254

 - posted      Profile for RackhamsRazor   Email RackhamsRazor         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with the cow. I knew that I had found the right one when all my future plans became plans for two people, when every adventure seemed better if she would be there to experience it with me. As for what is the right time, that may be more complicated, as it tends to involve many more practical things than the question of love. We aren't quite ready to get engaged despite having been together for over 6 years now. Well, I should say that I am ready, and she is not quite there yet. But again, this is more for practical reasons involving schooling and finances and job searches.

--ApostleRadio on her account

Posts: 306 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Artemisia Tridentata
Member
Member # 8746

 - posted      Profile for Artemisia Tridentata   Email Artemisia Tridentata         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But again, this is more for practical reasons involving schooling and finances and job searches.
You are missing all the fun stuff. Some of our best (and most often recalled) memories have to do with the "hard times" when we were in school, counting pennies and looking for that first job. (Our Four years when I wore a blue suit with silver buttens to work and made $185 a month were priceless.)
If you wait until its all done, you have nothing left to do together.

Posts: 1167 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AvidReader
Member
Member # 6007

 - posted      Profile for AvidReader   Email AvidReader         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you can't manage to stay apart, then you should work on being together. My boyfriend and I broke up frequently and often after high school, but we couldn't stay away longer than a few months. We needed to be together.

I'm talking like we need to feel soil under our feet and see the sun shining in the sky above us kind of need. A deep, primal attachment that can't be denied, even if the other person is being a massive jerk at the time. [Smile]

Sticking together can be tough. Putting in the effort has to be more appealing then breaking up. So if you think you could live without each other, you can and probably will.

Posts: 2283 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 8594

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When you ask how you "know" you're right for one another, it implies that there is a definite yes or no answer and one person that is right for you. It implies, also, that if this is not the right person that you might miss your opportunity to get together with THE person.

There is no happily ever after. Every day of a relationship, you need to wake up and ask yourself, "What can I do to make my partner happy?" If it's a good relationship, they'll be asking the same thing.

You need to be able to talk about things. Everything. There are books of topics you need to make sure to have discussed and worked out before you get married -- religion and children are at the top of the list. It's not that you have to agree, but you have to be able to work out a compromise. (A good pre-marriage counselor can also help ask the right questions.)

I can't honestly stress communication enough. Successful marriages work because couples know *how* to argue. My husband and I argue, but every time that happens one of us kind of takes a step back and, realizing where we are, makes a peace offering. The other person accepts this peace offering and uses it to work through the problem. I recently heard a speaker describe this phenomenon with technical words (that aren't important and I don't remember), saying that this is a sign of a long-lived marriage. In marriages that fail, the other partner takes the olive branch and throws it in their partner's face.

The point is that you don't really want to know if this man is THE man for you -- you want to ask yourself, are you willing to work to be the woman for him and is he willing to work to be the man for you? Because if the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you may be ready for marriage.

If you leave him, you'll find someone else, but the questions won't change.

Good luck!

Posts: 2392 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd echo what ketchupqueen and Artemisia Tridentata said. Marriage works if both partners make it a priority to work. If you love your spouse more then yourself and they do likewise it will work out.

Marriage is a big step, having anxiety about such a final decision is important and perfectly normal. Although I myself have never believed in trial separations so as to analyze how things are from outside. But it might work for you, my belief is you don't get trial separations once you are married, don't rely on them now.

Unfortunately there isn't much *I* can do to help you. I do not know what specifically makes you apprehensive about marrying this guy, so I can't say whether its just the jitters or very valid concerns. All you can do is think about him very carefully and consider how you imagine life would be if you were with him everyday. Consider the question of children, and how good of a father he would be, and how good a mother he would influence you to be.

Don't dwell exclusively on what's negative, think about why you think he would make a good partner. You can only make a good decision when you've weighed both sides equally. I know more then a few relationships that needlessly ended because one or both partners let anxiety and baseless fear overwhelm them.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSI Teleport
Member
Member # 5545

 - posted      Profile for PSI Teleport   Email PSI Teleport         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I remember you! Hi!

I agree with those who said that the commitment itself is more important than the exact person. That said, in order for the commitment part to work, you have to find someone who shares the same values as you do. Meaning, someone who cares about commitment as much as you do.

Posts: 6366 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My litmus test for love is that when I am happy, this makes him happy, and when I am sad, this saddens him too (and vice versa). I think that's a minimum, and when there are habitual problems with this -- e.g., someone seems to get a rise out of "paying you back" -- then it's a red flag for problems. I hold to this for all love, including family and friends. Even if we argue, it still hurts to see one another hurting, and one another's successes are only cause for celebration (not jealousy or vindictiveness).

Another general test for me is that when I am with someone that is good for me, the other areas of my life tend to go better too: I have more focus at work, more energy for play, more joy in creativity, more pleasure in myself and my environment. A person who is good for you will enrich you and your world, not generally make it a smaller, more constrained, or more chaotic place.

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
twinky
Member
Member # 693

 - posted      Profile for twinky   Email twinky         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eruve Nandiriel:
I'm not very experienced in relationships, but I've been seeing this guy for about a year.

You're probably still in the "dopamine rush" phase of the relationship -- identifiable by that "head over heels" feeling. If you still love him when the rush wears off in another year or two, then it's much more likely to be for real. [Smile]

At least, that's my philosophy, but I'm 26, unmarried, and my girlfriend and I have no plans to get hitched.

Posts: 10886 | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eruve Nandiriel
Member
Member # 5677

 - posted      Profile for Eruve Nandiriel   Email Eruve Nandiriel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the separation is helping us think some, but I don't know how long I can do it. I've already realized some things that I didn't before. I was being pretty clingy and needy, and we were spending too much time together. He wasn't getting his space, and I was kinda driving him nuts. I need to learn to let go a little, but it's really hard. I know I could eventually move on and live without him if it came to that, but I don't want to...it wouldn't be worth it. He makes my world go 'round. I don't think about other guys, and I can't imagine myself with anyone else (and he admits that freaks him out a little because it puts pressure on him to live up to that). I want him to be the one, but I'm scared of being wrong about that...and those two feelings are conflicting, and I don't know what's the right thing to do.

Honestly, I think I'm ready for a relationship to head towards marriage, but I'm not actually ready to get married yet. I don't really understand why we need to figure this out now, but it's just kind of gotten to that point in the relationship. But that's why you date someone for a long time before marrying them, right?

Posts: 4174 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How old are you? I think most people in their early 20s are still figuring out exactly who they are, so it makes sense not to be sure how you fit with someone else if you're still young.

If you're seriously considering it, but want extra help to be sure, consider pre-marriage counseling. A good counselor can help you both lay out what your goals are, what your desires are for your partner, and so on.

If you really love each other, but one of you won't be happy without having a gaggle of kids in the next few years, and the other can't be happy without traveling the world for 5 years and then only wants one child, you're going to have some problems.

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eruve Nandiriel
Member
Member # 5677

 - posted      Profile for Eruve Nandiriel   Email Eruve Nandiriel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm 20 and he's 22. Personally, I don't think people need to be a certain age, or have a certain amount of relationship experience first. However, I do still think it's serious, and not something people should rush into. As far as stuff like kids go, we're pretty much on the same page.

Right now, we're both wondering some of the same things: Do we really want to be with each other, or are we just afraid of being alone? Do we really want to be together the rest of our lives?

So is it really just a conscious decision that you will be right for each other, and make it work? Or is it something that you can sense, and know deep down inside that you were meant for each other?

Posts: 4174 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ElJay
Member
Member # 6358

 - posted      Profile for ElJay           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Listen to twinky. Then go back, and read his post again, and then a third time. What you are describing here:

"I need to learn to let go a little, but it's really hard. I know I could eventually move on and live without him if it came to that, but I don't want to...it wouldn't be worth it. He makes my world go 'round. I don't think about other guys, and I can't imagine myself with anyone else"

at 20 after dating for a year is totally what he's talking about. You don't need to make any decisions now, and you probably shouldn't. Have fun.

Posts: 7954 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkw
Member
Member # 3264

 - posted      Profile for dkw   Email dkw         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also him "needing space" and you "driving him nuts" = not ready to be talking about marriage.
Posts: 9866 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eruve Nandiriel:
Honestly, I think I'm ready for a relationship to head towards marriage, but I'm not actually ready to get married yet. I don't really understand why we need to figure this out now, but it's just kind of gotten to that point in the relationship. But that's why you date someone for a long time before marrying them, right?

I believe that it is exactly that point in the relationship where you need to evaluate if you aren't ready to marry in general, or just not ready to marry that person. It is that point in the relationship where one of my best guy friends asks himself "Am I in this for the long haul?" and if he isn't, he ends the relationship. Otherwise he's just being selfish.
Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:


Don't dwell exclusively on what's negative, think about why you think he would make a good partner. You can only make a good decision when you've weighed both sides equally. I know more then a few relationships that needlessly ended because one or both partners let anxiety and baseless fear overwhelm them.

While this is wise, also remember that every problem you've been ignoring will become blaringly obvious once you are married, and you may become resentful of what you were once able to push aside. My mom once imparted this to my best friend, and she subsequently dodged an enormous bullet in the form of a completely unacceptable fiancé. They had dated since high school, and while all the circumstances were right, and it looked good on paper, he had grown up to be quite the wrong person for her. Marriage will not make these problems or concerns disappear.

Now she's met her match, but under all the wrong circumstances. [Big Grin] It's fabulously entertaining.

Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eruve Nandiriel
Member
Member # 5677

 - posted      Profile for Eruve Nandiriel   Email Eruve Nandiriel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by porcelain girl:
I believe that it is exactly that point in the relationship where you need to evaluate if you aren't ready to marry in general, or just not ready to marry that person. It is that point in the relationship where one of my best guy friends asks himself "Am I in this for the long haul?" and if he isn't, he ends the relationship. Otherwise he's just being selfish.

I think it's kind of the same situation. I'm perfectly fine with waiting another year or two before getting engaged (in fact, I would prefer to wait). But I need to know whether the relationship is headed that way, or if we're wasting each other's time. My boyfriend/ex has come to a point where he needs to figure out if we're right for each other, and if he can spend the rest of his life with me. And it's made me wonder the same things, myself.
Posts: 4174 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, sweet pea, what ElJay said.

Best of luck.

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholar
Member
Member # 9232

 - posted      Profile for scholar   Email scholar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I got married at 20 and have been happily married for six years. I don't think age is necessarily the important factor, but you do need to know yourself and your life plans. Ultimately, marriage is a commitment to being there for each other when you are not "the one." There will be days when you can't stand each other, there will be times when you have to sacrifice something that means a lot to you (like the job promotion or going to your first choice school) and you have to just deal.
Posts: 1001 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sterling
Member
Member # 8096

 - posted      Profile for Sterling   Email Sterling         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's a little hard for me to say. I think what others are saying is quite valid for most intents and purposes, but I also know that when my wife and I married, she was in her medical school residency... And if I wasn't a fairly self-sufficient person, our long absences from one another probably would have driven us apart. Which doesn't sound quite like what some of the others describe.

I think a big part of it was that, learning more about each other, we continued to want to know more about each other. And that despite inconveniences of distance and time and scheduling, we kept finding ways to see each other, first as friends, then as more.

When I have what I think is a neat idea, whether it's a song parody or something someone ought to invent or a story, my wife is the first person I want to share it with.

And we wanted most of the same things and agreed about them long before we started talking about marriage- children, where to live, which necessary chores we each hated (admittedly, that took a while to sort out.)

When we argue, getting to the point where we can both get back on an even keel is more important than hurting the other person or scoring some sort of imaginary points.

We're whole apart, but we're better together.

Posts: 3825 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tt&t
Member
Member # 5600

 - posted      Profile for tt&t   Email tt&t         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How do you know? You wait & see [Smile]

There's no rush to get married. My fiance told me he was going to marry me the first week that we dated (we'd been friends for ages first, though); but then he didn't actually ask me to marry him until 2 years later.

I agree with the planning the future for both of you thing, too, but not in every instance - some people are just more prone to that sort of thing by nature. [Razz]

Until it feels right, it's probably not. But don't worry about it too much, just have fun, and it'll either work out or not.

Good luck!

Posts: 1431 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AvidReader
Member
Member # 6007

 - posted      Profile for AvidReader   Email AvidReader         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As for you clinging to him, I recommend getting a hobby. Chet likes going to the bar with the guys once in a while, and I can't stand all the people, smoke, and loud noise. But it gives me quiet time to do something I want. It might take a while for that to feel good, and I still want to have him with me when I try something new, but it can be comfortable.
Posts: 2283 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
quidscribis
Member
Member # 5124

 - posted      Profile for quidscribis   Email quidscribis         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While I think love is important, it's not the only important factor. Compatibility must also be there, IMHO. Each of you knowing yourself well enough is important so you know what you need, what you'd like, and what you can't stand - not just today, but for the long haul.

No one is perfect, but the perfect mate will have a package that includes traits that you absolutely must have in a mate, at least some things that you want but don't absolutely need, and as few of the things that you absolutely cannot stand as possible. If you can handle his entire package, including his irritating traits, and they won't drive you nuts, then you're doing okay. [Smile]

I'm not sure that I'm being entirely as coherent as I would like, but I hope I got across enough of that to make sense. [Smile]


And yeah, you guys, get your minds out of the gutter, eh?


I also think of comments that mph has made about romantic love, which I tend to agree with him about, at least in the general sense. One thing I think tends to go wrong with at least some of the marriages that end in divorce (and I'm not including marriages that end due to abuse or infidelity or that sort of thing) is people's expectations that they'll forever remain "in love", and if they don't, there's something wrong and the marriage is dead. Uh, no. Romantic love, while nice, is not the end all and be all - it's a stepping stone in the relationship. There can be deep, lasting trusting love after the romance is gone (or is much quieter), and it can be even better, just in a different way.

Posts: 8355 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
twinky
Member
Member # 693

 - posted      Profile for twinky   Email twinky         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eruve Nandiriel:
I think the separation is helping us think some, but I don't know how long I can do it.

To be clear, I wasn't suggesting that you stop dating for a year and see if you still love him. My experience with that is that it's pretty unhealthy and not conducive to mental well-being.

No, I think that if you love each other and are happy together then you should stay together, but don't drive yourselves crazy asking if you want to spend the rest of your lives together -- at least, not until the rush wears off, which will probably take at least another year of dating. To be honest, I don't understand the attitude that a relationship "isn't going anywhere" if it isn't leading toward marriage; a healthy relationship should be pretty fulfilling in and of itself, without being overpowering or overwhelming. I get that marriage (and often children) are a goal for many people, but that doesn't imply that any relationship that isn't moving toward that goal is not worth pursuing. I certainly don't regret my past entanglements and relationships.

Also if you do stop dating, go your separate ways and get over him. Don't try to "stay friends," at least not initially; that's a recipe for someone getting hurt. You can reconnect and be friends later on once you've both dated other people and are over one another.

Posts: 10886 | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kama
Member
Member # 3022

 - posted      Profile for Kama   Email Kama         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Romantic love, while nice, is not the end all and be all - it's a stepping stone in the relationship. There can be deep, lasting trusting love after the romance is gone (or is much quieter), and it can be even better, just in a different way
I wonder which stage of love I'm in...
Posts: 5699 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
El JT de Spang
Member
Member # 7742

 - posted      Profile for El JT de Spang   Email El JT de Spang         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eruve Nandiriel:
I don't think about other guys, and I can't imagine myself with anyone else (and he admits that freaks him out a little because it puts pressure on him to live up to that). I want him to be the one, but I'm scared of being wrong about that...and those two feelings are conflicting, and I don't know what's the right thing to do.

I'm sure there are people here who disagree with me, but I don't believe in 'The One'. Mathematically, it's just not that likely. I had this talk yesterday with a married friend of mine. He's been married five years and he just got his first crush on a woman who's not his wife.

He loves his wife, and wouldn't even think about pursuing the other woman but it was just a shock to him that such a thing was possible after all this time together.

Your guy's not the only person you could ever be happy with. He might be one of them, but there could be dozens or even hundreds of guys you haven't even met yet who could also be great for you.

Cheer up, though, this is good news. It means you don't have to put so much pressure on the both of you -- this isn't your one shot at true happiness. I recommend you take a step back, get out on your own, and start doing some activities without your guy. Neediness and dependency are rarely attractive.

Posts: 5462 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eruve Nandiriel:
I'm 20 and he's 22. Personally, I don't think people need to be a certain age, or have a certain amount of relationship experience first.
...
Right now, we're both wondering some of the same things: Do we really want to be with each other, or are we just afraid of being alone? Do we really want to be together the rest of our lives?

You think these two things don't have a direct correlation, but I would suggest that maybe they do [Smile]

Give it a few years, and you'll both have a much better idea what you really want. As other people have said, there's no rush. If you're right for each other, waiting several years isn't going to make any difference.

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 8594

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Who are you? What do you want?

Divorce statistics do show us that couples who marry young (usually before 26 or 27) are more likely to get a divorce. Of course, this doesn't mean that there's a magic age. What it does mean is that it takes most of us a while to know who we are and what we want. Many people who gtet married young find out later that what they really want can't happen with their spouse.

Your age doesn't raise any special red flags for me, but your assertion that you can't imagine life without him...that you cling to him...that you need to know now if this is forever...

You remind me of me when I was about that age. I got engaged for the first time when I was 21 years old. I spent all my free time with him, dreamed of him when we weren't together, and couldn't imagine life with anyone else. I think I even drove him nuts with my clinginess. [Smile]

It was a long engagement. We planned the wedding for 3 years. Then, about 4 months before the wedding, he broke it off. The reasons are unimportant, though I would dwell on them for months, even years.

What went wrong? How could I ever trust anything else when the thing I was so sure of came to an end? How could I ever be with someone else? I was angry with him for wasting so many yeras of my life.

But what does it even mean to "waste" time? If you're living, loving, and learning, there is no such thing. I think I did waste a certain amount of time because I lost myself, but it wasn't because I spent time in a relationship that never came to fruition.

I've rediscovered myself. Before I went to college, I used to write. I picked it up again and let it become a huge part of who I am. Then, when I met my current husband, I knew what I needed to do to be myself and be in a relationship. I also knew what I needed from him -- someone who would support me as a writer. He compliments me. His support is a large part of the reason I have my first novel coming out in a few weeks.

The point is: I wouldn't worry about whether or not this is the guy for you. You're young...VERY young. Your biological clock is far from ticking. [Smile] The most important thing for you to discover right now is WHO YOU ARE. (And it is a huge problem if you can only define yourself by your boyfriend.) If you find out who you are and live your life and your dreams, then whether this lasts or not you will not have watsed any time.

Posts: 2392 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But I need to know whether the relationship is headed that way, or if we're wasting each other's time.
If you really love him, no time with him would feel wasted.

Well, that's what jumped out and grabbed me.

I married at twenty and it'll be 17 years in December.

Oh, and I remember you, and I can't believe you're 20!

I don't know what phase of love I'm in either. As I explained to someone recently, I was blessed to be married to someone who doesn't get bowled over by the same sorts of things that I do, so we're not usually down at the same time. He cares about how I feel, but he doesn't have to feel it. I think when we were first married we had some struggles over that, but I rapidly came to see it as an advantage. Believe it or not, there are ocassionally times that I bob to the surface when he can't. Or I've learned to breath underwater, hard to tell.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Liz B
Member
Member # 8238

 - posted      Profile for Liz B   Email Liz B         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I was being pretty clingy and needy, and we were spending too much time together. He wasn't getting his space, and I was kinda driving him nuts. I need to learn to let go a little, but it's really hard. I know I could eventually move on and live without him if it came to that, but I don't want to...it wouldn't be worth it. He makes my world go 'round. I don't think about other guys, and I can't imagine myself with anyone else (and he admits that freaks him out a little because it puts pressure on him to live up to that).
OK, space and independence are important, but this raises some red flags for me.

Do you make the world go 'round for him?

Is he sometimes clingy and needy with you, and you need some space? Or is it all one-way?

These are important things to think about, and only you know the answers. Just remember that you deserve someone who is just as crazy about you as you are about him!

For me, one key to successful marriage was finding someone who wanted to spend as much time with me as I wanted to spend with him.

Posts: 833 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't understand the attitude that a relationship "isn't going anywhere" if it isn't leading toward marriage; a healthy relationship should be pretty fulfilling in and of itself, without being overpowering or overwhelming. I get that marriage (and often children) are a goal for many people, but that doesn't imply that any relationship that isn't moving toward that goal is not worth pursuing. I certainly don't regret my past entanglements and relationships.
I agree to an extent, but only so long as that contentment is mutual. REALLy mutual. Almost* every woman I've ever known that said they were okay with things not leading to a monogomous/long term/marriage relationship to their significant other were lying in hopes that eventually the other would change their mind.

*there are exceptions, but very, very few. This is also a pretty common trend in women, assuming that they can single handedly change their s.o.'s mind- and then when they don't, they feel inadequate as women. You can't change people!

Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sharpie
Member
Member # 482

 - posted      Profile for Sharpie   Email Sharpie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Liz B said, "Just remember that you deserve someone who is just as crazy about you as you are about him!"

Seriously.

Posts: 628 | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by porcelain girl:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:


Don't dwell exclusively on what's negative, think about why you think he would make a good partner. You can only make a good decision when you've weighed both sides equally. I know more then a few relationships that needlessly ended because one or both partners let anxiety and baseless fear overwhelm them.

While this is wise, also remember that every problem you've been ignoring will become blaringly obvious once you are married, and you may become resentful of what you were once able to push aside. My mom once imparted this to my best friend, and she subsequently dodged an enormous bullet in the form of a completely unacceptable fiancé. They had dated since high school, and while all the circumstances were right, and it looked good on paper, he had grown up to be quite the wrong person for her. Marriage will not make these problems or concerns disappear.
This in a sense is true. But I do have a problem with the notion that people won't change after a certain age and when you are married that is more or less the person he/she is going to be throughout your lives.

Since I got married both Tiffany and I HAVE changed many fundamental things about ourselves. Growing up I was pretty selfish when it came to tacking care of a household. I'd drag my feet when it came to things like dishes and taking out the garbage. I'm not lazy, if something needs lifting, or if its electronic related, or if it couldn't be done by one person I would often do it without being asked to. I just hate certain kinds of chores, and I felt justified in not doing them. Since getting married though I realized that for my spouse to be comfortable and happy in our marriage I had to be much more proactive in making sure everything was working. You can't just split the work 50/50, sometimes she needs you to do things 90/10 for awhile, and vice versa. I'm much more responsible then I used to be now , as well as more willing to compromise on many things I used to consider important.

Not that I think I am a special case, or am some amazing specimen of humanity. I just feel that if two people who are in love with each other try to effectively discuss what needs fixing, change is certainly possible.

Especially as a Mormon the idea of eternal progression clashes with the idea that the person you marry will always be just like that.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ludosti
Member
Member # 1772

 - posted      Profile for ludosti   Email ludosti         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But I do have a problem with the notion that people won't change after a certain age and when you are married that is more or less the person he/she is going to be throughout your lives.
There's a big difference between understanding that people change with time and thinking that you can change them. To me, being married means that we love and accept each other for who we currently are and we are committed to changing together. I won't change him, he won't change me, but as we change ourselves we do so with a careful eye to how these changes will affect each other. We are committed to being a team, basically.

It sounds strange, but for me, a part of knowing that my husband was "right" for me (I join the chorus of people who say that there isn't only one "right" person) was that we honestly enjoyed being together and wanted to be together. We are both fairly solitary people by nature, but we spent time together basically every day - not because either of us was clingy, but because we honestly were happier together (that is something that had NEVER happened to me before). We've been married 5.5 years and we still love spending time with each other.

Posts: 5879 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, the weather changes, but we can't change the weather. We actually have less power to change another than we have over the weather, if one believes appeals to God have any effect.

But that also depends on one's view of free will.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_raven
Member
Member # 3383

 - posted      Profile for Dan_raven   Email Dan_raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, just the big questions--how can I tell.

I mean seriously, in the movies its easy. You simply wait for the romantic music to start. Where is my personal soundtrack when I need it.

But the answer I came up with was simple.

When I considered marrying one woman I asked myself "Can I give up all my plans and dreams to be with her forever?" The answer was no.

When I considered marrying another woman I asked myself the same question. The answer was yes.

Fortunately, I did not have to give up those things. She's helped me to achieve some, and to find other dreams I never considered.

Remember, Love is the second most powerful force in the Universe.

Stupidity is the first.

All too often I have seen the course of true love totally obliterated by one person's stupidity. When asked why the love failed, they will freely admit it was their stupidity.

What kind of stupid?

1) Not having the nerve to ask her out.
2) Not having the nerve to say yes.
3) Not having the nerve to say no.
4) Thinking someone hotter was actually someone better.
5) Thinking "They won't mind if I lie just a little."
6) Being afraid to talk about a subject.
7) Being embarrassed to talk about a subject.
8) Thinking more about your job, your pride, your family, your image, your wallet or your friends than about the other person.
9) Assuming they will always be there, no matter what.
10) Out of sight, out of mind.

Posts: 11895 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Morbo
Member
Member # 5309

 - posted      Profile for Morbo   Email Morbo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I mean seriously, in the movies its easy. You simply wait for the romantic music to start. Where is my personal soundtrack when I need it.
No, in movies it's meeting cute. If you meet cute, you're meant for each other. If only it was that simple in RL.
Posts: 6316 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eruve Nandiriel
Member
Member # 5677

 - posted      Profile for Eruve Nandiriel   Email Eruve Nandiriel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you all for your input, it's really helped. I really needed to hear opinions from people other than my friends (who don't have that kind of experience) or my parents (who would just tell me to "pray about it").

At this point, it looks like we're trying to work on being friends for a while. Either we'll eventually move on, or it will get to the point where we can't stand not being together anymore. It could be a few weeks, or it could be years...I have no idea. But we're best friends, and we want to keep it that way. He told me that "Whatever happens, I want you to be in my wedding...either as the bride or the flower girl...because you're short enough". [Smile]

Posts: 4174 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Morbo
Member
Member # 5309

 - posted      Profile for Morbo   Email Morbo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"either as the bride or the flower girl..." [Smile]
That's funny.
Good luck either way, Eruve.

Posts: 6316 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 8594

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eruve Nandiriel:. He told me that "Whatever happens, I want you to be in my wedding...either as the bride or the flower girl...because you're short enough". [Smile]
This is kinda creepy. I don't mean the joke -- but the sentiment that you will be best friends forever, even if he marries someone else. If he marries you, great, but if he marries someone else this is so unfair to that other person that if that woman was a friend of mine, I'd have to caution her that there was another woman in her man's life.

I think it's great to be friends with your ex's. I've managed this myself, but it's a tricky thing to do and typically, involves some distance -- some time when you are nothing to one another before coming up with a new kind of friendship relationship. But my BEST FRIEND is my husband. I can't even imagine if his best friend was someone else or if I had to go outside the marriage to find a confidante.

I tried to be good friends with my fiance after we broke up. Wow. Was that a bad idea. As long as I was clinging to him emotionally (even as "just a friend") I could not move on with my life. Plus, it wasn't an equal friendship. I was friends with him because I hoped we could get back together (as I suspect is true in your csae). He was friends with me to ease his guilt about the breakup, but he had no intention of getting back together.

I don't know what the right answer is for you, but I did want to mention my experience and say that I don't feel a step down to best friends ever works. It's not time apart. It's not quite time together. It's endless stress where you neither heal and move on nor do you work together to move forward.

Posts: 2392 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I went through that with my wife--deciding to "just be friends" for a while instead of dating anymore. Precisely because things had moved to the question of getting married. We were friends for about 3 years and dated other people in the meantime. We kept in touch, but less and less as time went on. Then she called me one day, and we talked for an hour or so on the phone, and ended up going out for hot chocolate. I hadn't been expecting ever to get back together with her, but when I knocked on her door and she opened it that evening.... We started dating again, and the rest, as the French say, is histoire.

I gotta add, it was hard going to "just friends" status. Really hard to let go just enough. My instinct was to either try to get things going again or just cut off contact entirely. "Just friends" is a very bitter cup to drink.

Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Matt and I have tried to be "just friends" and I can't. It was like being exposed to a daily dose of radiation. I wasn't getting better because I kept getting dosed.

I would like to be friends someday - I have a few ex-boyfriends that weren't right for me to marry but I'm sad that they could probably kick the bucket and I'd have no idea. Not that I want to be best friends or exchange Christmas cards, but maybe a phone call once a year or so. I don't want that to happen with Matt, so I want it to be okay for us to call and say hi. But I can't be friends right now.

Posts: 26076 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noemon
Member
Member # 1115

 - posted      Profile for Noemon   Email Noemon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've generally ended up being friends with my exes more often than not, and in fact count my former wife and the most serious girlfriend I had before getting married as two of my closest friends (though in the latter case, we've become the "talk every few months, but when we get together it's instantly comfortable" type of old friend). But it's definitely something that takes time. It's like the relationship has to lie fallow for a while while both of you move on emotionally. If you don't, then it's necessarily going to be agony for at least one of the two parties, and moving on emotionally simply won't happen. And of course, continuing to have sex with an ex is a bad, bad idea in all but the most unusual of circumstances.
Posts: 16059 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like if you two are the only man and woman left on planet earth and the species will die out otherwise. Even then, I'd pray about it.
Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2