I have been struggling with this for months and I really have no one I can talk to about this so I hope someone can offer some advice.
Basically, I am being torn between 2 different desires: being with the man I have been with for almost 2 years and friends with for longer and having complete freedom and independence.
This is so hard because my guy is as perfect as they come! He is successful with his career, treats me wonderfully, idealizes me, we have so much fun together, he is my best friend, and is one of the most moral guys I have ever met. I am sure I am leaving stuff out because it amazes me how wonderful he is whenever I hear about all the relationship problems others have. Of course he is not perfect- everyone has flaws- but all his good qualities rolled into one guy is extraordinarily rare. I feel so ungrateful and crazy to feel the way I do! I enjoy being with him and I know we could have a great life together.
ButÖI really enjoy being free and spending time alone. I have so many interests and things I want to do in life that I feel like I canít do it when I am with him. We were planning to get married but for the last few months, I have been filled with anxiety at the thought of it. The thought of having kids makes me feel even more anxiety! At this point, I donít know if I would ever want to get married. I have a wonderful family, a great careerÖexcellent opportunities in other areas. I just donít want to wake up at 50 all alone with nothing left to look forward to. I just know I am going to regret not staying with this guy because he really is amazing and is my only close friend. I canít imagine another guy being able to live up to him. I feel like I am in an impossible situation and that I am going to be unhappy with either decision I make. I would love to hear if anyone has any similar experiences because right now I just feel so abnormal. I see so many people getting married and I just donít understand why I feel so differently. I really wish with all my heart that that was all I needed to be content in life. Sometimes, having dreams can be a curse.
I would suggest that the first thing you do is stop all talk of marriage. You didn't mention how far into the planning stage of that you both are, but it seems like a good idea to stop where you are so you can figure this stuff out.
This is a tough one because sometimes when we are with someone and something doesn't feel right, it may be something that is happening in our own lives that is wrong, as opposed to the relationship being wrong. Why do you feel like you can't do certain things while he is still in your life? What are the things you want to do? If one of those things is date other people, then I can certainly see your dilemma, but other than that, what else?
You also mentioned that he is your only friend. Maybe that is part of the problem? Have you tried branching out a little in that area to see if it alleviates some of the doubts you've been feeling? Does he even know you are feeling this way at all?
In order for a relationship to work, you both need to have full and interesting lives on your own. Do you feel like that is the case?
My gut feeling from reading your post is, unfortunately, this may not be the person for you. I think that when we find someone we want to be with, we aren't afraid of marriage. And it's not really fair to your boyfriend if you are having doubts about any of this and not being honest.
The best couples I know are the ones that grow together. They encourage each other to follow any pursuit. Do you know for sure that you can't do the things you want to do and still have this relationship?
I could be wrong, but it could be jitters about your upcoming wedding. That is a big change in your life. Right now if you wanted to you could throw in the towel at any time and walk away, no strings attached. Once you're married, it's a whole different ball of wax. And add kids to the equation it just makes the thought of marriage even more scary, since you can get divorced, but kids bind people forever.
You can still have a career, your own interests and your family will always be your family. You can have all of these things and get married as well.
If your fiance is as wonderful as you say and is your closest friend, talk with him about your feelings. Maybe he can reassure you that you will still be your own person after becoming his wife.
It sounds to me that you really are having the "pre wedding jitters". This is very normal. I can understand the advice from the second poster about stopping all wedding/marriage talk, but I do disagree with it. I'll explain why I disagree:
First, it sounds like you love this guy deeply, and that he returns those feelings in spades! It sounds like not only do you have a true and lasting kind of love, but that the love you share is based on a true friendship. VERY IMPORTANT!!
It also sounds like this guy loves you so much that he would support whatever you feel would be an interest for you as far as career, life, travel, etc. You don't find that quality in a man every day. You speak so highly of his devotion to you sweetie, so why not talk with him about the way you are feeling? If that friendship and love is strong, he will not only listen to what you have to say, but will actually hear what you are saying. I'm sure he will stand by you and support your desires to accomplish whatever you set out to do in life.
Who knows, he may have the "jitters" himself and might would be relieved that you two can talk about this and get things cleared up. It sounds to me that you two have the kind of relationship that can last. Communication is very important sweetie, and it sounds like you can talk to your BF about anything. Don't let this doubt eat you up inside, and don't make a rash decision to let this guy go because you don't at least give things a chance to be worked out by talking with him about your fears.
It sounds like he is worth the effort sweetie, and I'd hate for you to make a rash choice to call things off because of a few moments of doubt, and end up hearing about him walking down the isle with another woman in a few years.
Thank you all very much for your replies! Part of the problem is that I am not sure if I really love himÖ.I mean I love him as my best friend and I really care about what happens to him, but there is no romance or excitement. I also feel like Iím not really that into the relationship-sometimes I would rather be doing other things than be with him.
The problem with doing my own thing is that he is very clingy- he wants to spend every minute with me. He makes me feel guilty for wanting to do other things. He is okay with me having some time to myself, but not as much as I want. And if I wanted to spend time with any of my other friends I know he would feel hurt. He puts our relationship #1 and that makes me feel guilty for wanting other things. He claims that I am all he needs to be happy so I feel bad that I need more. He is not very social and does not like hanging out with guys too much. His only hobby is his career- which he is very passionate about. But he loves to do everything I like to do as long as I am there.
I have stopped talking about the wedding. We had no definite plans yet but we agreed to stop planning it for now.
In light of your latest post, I'd have to say that, stopping all talk of marriage would be in yours & his best interest.
After reading your first post, I thought you really were in love with this guy, however, after reading this last post, it sounds like there's a possibility that you aren't "in love" with him. If you aren't "in love" with him, and only love and care about him as a friend, then you should let him know this.
I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I know you don't want to hurt him and risk losing a wonderful friendship, but in all fairness to you and him both, if you are not in love with this man, it might be best to reassess the relationship and then have that dreaded heart to heart talk.
Good luck sweetie. I know this is a difficult situation for you.
Hi Michelle, you sound a little like myself. I am 40 and have never been married, I have been asked, but declined as they weren't the right person.
With myself I am very independant, I can survive without a man, but having said that have been with my current boyfreind for years.
The reason I say you sound a little like myself was you sound like maybe someone who enjoys their own company, and maybe a bit of a loner. There is a big difference between being alone, and being lonely!
Society makes us feels like we should get married, and be with that someone for life, but do we all really want that, or are we just made to think we do?
Sometimes if I am with my partner for any length of time, I crave me time, I can't explain it, but I do love to be by myself sometimes, and the thought of being tied down, and committed to someone, is like a suffocating thought!
Maybe as a partner he is too needy for you, and you need to have more space for you, which afterall is a far more healthier relationship.
I'm with Ozzybug, I thought you were just nervous. But if you aren't "in love" with him and there's no romance or excitement, the its best for both of you if you move on to other people.
It sounds like you two could be excellent friends and share a close bond in that respect for a good long time. And that would still be an important relationship in your lives, but I don't think that you guys are meant to be together in a romantic sence. With as great as he sounds, if he was the one for you, there would be romance and excitment for you just by being with him. If it's not there, it's not there.
You're right Brook65. Marriage just isn't for some people. You can still have meaningful and deep relationships, like yours with your boyfriend, and still not get married.