He is a great guy who loves me truly. We have been together for 8 years. we're 26 years old now..... His parents had been arguing constantly and talking about divorce since he was around 15 yrs. So he has formed a negative belief about marriage.
He says if we get married, we'll start arguing badly and might get divorced. He prefers to stay unmarried for as long as possible.
I was too young when I met him first to realise it would become a issue between us. But now I desire marriage with him and his fears haven't gone away. He occasionally says he's sure he wants to marry, but starts fearing it again and changing his mind. This has happened a lot of times.
His parents actually got divorced few months back and he's broken down..... Now I've come to a stage where I want a definite answer and he isnt ready yet. He says he's confused.....
What do I do? I usually have faith in us and believe we'll get married. I know that he wants to marry me too but is too scared. I do not visualise us getting married because I'm scared I'll affect his free will.....but sometimes I do daydream about it without realising and it feels soooo right.
I truly want to marry him and I know he wants it too... how do I go about it? Can I help him heal?
I think (and this may be totally off-base) that marriage and being married is a lot more of a thing for women than for men. (I can hear the outrage out there beginning already, but oh, well...)
I think that if you relax about this whole issue, perhaps he will, too. That's the first item I thought of when I read your question. Nothing turns off the fire like pressure.
Secondly, perhaps you need to feel that security, but he sees what you see as security as a tangle of obligations and being-stuck-forever-ness. After all, all he has to go on is what he has grown up with: his parents. I would try, if you can, to completely back down from the issue, and let go of the obsession for a while. After all, It's not like you are eighty or anything like that!
Finally, perhaps you can make a list of stuff that would make you feel more "married" without actually being married. What do you crave? Is it the let's-have-a-baby-issue??? Well, that needs to be postponed. Or is it more like you just want to be seen as married, wearing a ring, being a Mrs. and all that? Figure out what will satisfy you in the short term while he settles down a bit. Perhaps if he senses no pressure from you, he will respond eventually with a more positive attitude.
Marriage is a huge step. Remember that. He is seeing it that way. Try, if you can, to understand and love him just the way he is.
Good luck, and Blessings,
P.S. This was written before Wade re-edited his original question.
My parent fought constantly. They were married for 30 years before getting a divorce. I was raised in strong Christian values. One of which was that you do not have sex unless you are married, or deeply in love and planning marriage.
To my chagrin I fell in love=lust with an amazing number of beautiful women! <sort of="" grin="">. Actually married five of them, at different times, not at the same time!
My dear Anne (number 5 and last) and I have been married longer than the total of all those other marriages.
I had a list of qualities that I felt necessary in a marriage partner. I showed it to my psychiatrist and he told me that a woman with the attributes I had listed would not be a suitable partner for me, nor anyone else. But I did not listen! I had my painfully developed checklist.
God was not on my list!
I had a big intown home, built in 1915 that had servant's quarters in a terrace level. Anne, freshly divorced, came to rent that apartment. I was dating several powerful business and politically oriented women at the same time. It wasn't working out. I did not want another marriage mistake!
Normally I keep a safe distance from tenants. I liked Anne, but did not see her as a marriage prospect because she did not fit my list. Gradually she became my friend. I began to lose interest in the other women.
One day I realized that she had no ulterior motives for wanting to be with me. She just liked being with me! And I liked being with her! She actually saw beauty in me and I saw beauty in her!
I, like your boyfriend, did not want to get married! But I wanted a life partner and a committed relationship. I enjoyed being with her more than anything. I also saw value in committing to one partner and building a monogamous committed relationship. But there are more than two people in a committed relationship!
I am not advocating this Path, just to say it worked for me . . . . we sought Christian counseling before getting married. This time I entered into a marriage relationship, for the first time, marrying not only Anne, but God as well. Marriage became a covenant relationship. It gained new meaning. New importance. New power. New strength. It really MEANT something to us both on a deep inner level.
We, the three of us, have never discussed divorce.
My advice with your boyfriend is to be his girl-friend. His friend. Relax pushing marriage, it can be, should be, MUST BE the natural result of friendship. See and praise his good qualities. See his beauty. Ignore everything else! Enjoy being with him. You will bond through Source. Seek your Source, seek God however you may see Him/Her/It!
Here is a picture I took of my dear Anne.
The relationship between parent and child can be very strong, often to the point where the child sees the parents in him or herself. Others may look at us and say, "You're just like your father/mother!" This is common. Also, very often we as children of our parents, make unconscious pacts or assume loyalties to our parents out of our love for them that we would never consciously make. An example of this would be where the child unconsciously decides to never make more money than their parents did so as to never "out do" them in lifestyle. This would be an attempt to never shame the parents by being "better" than them. Yea, we do stuff like this.
The fear we feel when we think of our life and the choices we might make or have made in relation to what our parents are like or that relate to anything like what our parents have done often comes from these kinds of pacts. We don't consciously know we made these pacts or have established these loyalties. Nor do we realize that our love for them can unconsciously make us feel obligated to be like them. The real problems come from fearing that we may fall victim to the same troubles as our parents because after all, we are just like them. There's a part of us inside that does not know that we actually have a choice. Yes, we are connected to our parents. No, we are not our parents.
Your boyfriend is very tightly connected to his parents. Whether he is close to them or not, he is strongly "attached" to them. He sees himself in them. Therefore he sees his life in theirs. The biggest problem with this is that he doesn't realize he has a choice. He thinks he's doomed to live his parents life. A fear based on a lie he has told himself and a pact he can break.
The strongest emotion involved here is fear. This is the padlock on the door to the jail cell he has put himself in. As a conscious adult, he may think this is a silliness. But the inner child is very much alive and living in fear of following in his parents footsteps. He needs help to realize that he is now the adult. He is now the one who will make the decisions in his life. Not his parents. They did the best they could with what they had at the time. But their time with him is now over. All they can do now is offer advice. He must make the decision as to whether he will follow it or not.
But the loyalty aspect can be very strong. If they give advice, the child can feel an obligation to follow it. And if the parents set a path for their own lives, the child can unconsciously feel a very strong pull to live the same life, kicking and screaming all the way. This battle need never occur. It will simply take removing the fear and breaking the unhealthy attachment he has to them, allowing them to follow their path while he follows his own.
My suggestion? EFT. It's going to take a willingness on his part to face the truth about his fears. They are unfounded, or in other words... made up. But they are his feelings and must be addressed. It just helps to have effective tools to eliminate the fears. EFT will do this and do it most effectively. Who to listen to? Brad Yates is my choice. He's one of the very top instructors in EFT and very prolific on YouTube. Here is his intro to EFT... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiD72cZ5mcU&list=UUiHZMZejDS4RIxDdBwoie9A&index=2&feature=plcp And here is his YouTube page... http://tinyurl.com/24avsx5 Notice at the bottom that you can click for ten more videos. Brad has dozens of great videos to help with all kinds of issues. Make good use of these and any other research on EFT you might do in YouTube and Google.
It is my recommendation you both explorer your fears together as this can create a new intimacy you never thought possible. Look for the unconscious pacts and loyalties and tap on them. Look for the fears and eliminate them. And if stuff comes up about each other that make either of you uncomfortable, tap on it. EFT is Very powerful - IF... you apply it. With it, your boyfriend can address his marriage fears and eliminate them. And in the future, you both can address negative emotions and live a happier life together. And when the children come along. teach it to them and anyone else in your family who might have "issues" and needs help. With Love.
I edited your answer to be more grammatically correct.Capital letters at the beginning of the sentence and such. The thing that struck me was the symbolism of the small i . You use the word "I" many times in your question and every one was the small "i"
answered 11 Jun '12, 16:23
A wedding does not have to be costly. It can be the type you desire.....expensive and big, or small, inexpensive and private.
It sounds as if you are both adults now, and the issues his parents had no longer have anything to do with you. It doesn't seem to me that this should be a factor in your decisions. As adults, our lives are our own now, to live as we please.
My husband and I faced this issue a number of years ago. Both of us were divorced and living together with no children in the house. They were all grown. I felt he was the right person for me and that someday we would get married, but I was in no hurry to do so. There didn't seem to be any pressing reason and I was content with everything just as it was. In fact, I didn't want to rock the boat!
In time, he felt differently. He wanted a legal commitment. There were emotional reasons, of course, the commitment to staying together, the presentation of ourselves as a married couple to others, the public declaration of our love and more. Legally, he wanted to be sure we had the right to make medical decisions for each other, the right to inherit property, the right to share insurance plans and so forth. It was also embarassing to him, that we were not married.
Again, I would have been happy to keep things just as we were, for much longer, and I felt no lack in our relationship. But I agreed to the marriage because it was a small concession on my part to legalize things, and I also did it because it made him happy and left him feeling more secure. I could have stood my ground, but why? I did love him! That was three years ago and it didn't change anything in our day to day life. My fears about it rocking our boat of happiness were silly. Nothing of the sort happened. I don't regret it at all.
You can have a loving, lasting relationship without marriage and many do. But it seems that it is important to you. Visualizing the marriage will not affect his free will; that is not possible! Nothing in the universe can sway our free will without our permission. My advice is to be firm, as my husband was with me. Go ahead and visualize your perfect wedding. It will happen with or without him someday if you are consistent in your wishes. Stress to him that his parents failures have nothing to do with him. He is well into adulthood now, and able to forge his own life. You are both still young, so give it time, but be clear about what you want and do not waver, either on the physical plane or in your meditative state. Eventually you will reach an agreement.....or not. Make sure you want the highest good for the both of you. You can't go wrong!
answered 12 Jun '12, 21:32
I cringe when I hear questions like this...its the old "you can't win an arguement with a women"...because even if you're right you lose. But we need to look at marriage for what it really is...its an antiquated system of transferring property. It originally had nothing to do with love...especially the spiritual kind of unconditional love. And when you see that 50% of all marriages end in divorce...why do women get their panties in a bunch about marriage? I lived with my soul mate for 20 years before she died of pancreatic cancer...we weren't legally married...and we had a better relationship than all my married friends put together. I considered her my wife but that word was as bad as the "marriage" word in describing our relationship. Our respect and love for each other transcended any need to "be married". We live in a new age of spiritual awakening...please get over the need to be married.
answered 11 Jun '12, 09:03
@thehummingbirdie, This is NOT the answer you want to hear but give it a read till the end:
You mention, you are from India, your parents are conservative and the culture is different. Which it is. I am from India but have lived in U.S. for 14 years. So I understand both Indian and let's say 'Western' culture. First, unless you plan to marry whoever and settle abroad, forget other cultures. It's all relative. You obviously want to compare to 'Western' (as is referred to in India) culture, but if you compare to some Middle East countries, you probably are better off as is. So don't compare. You are here and now.
Secondly, from your comment you added to your own question, it seems you are equally scared of telling your parents about him (maybe understandably) and are scared of being married off to someone else. So what we have here is this:
-- You love a guy, he loves you, he doesn't want to marry you for whatever reasons, you don't want to tell your parents about him, they want to get you married to someone! (maybe understandably)Everyone is scared and one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. Now I don't know what your specific situation is, but this can be almost every other girl/boy's story in India.
I am not trying to be rude or discouraging here, but this is how I see it...
-- The guy doesn't want to marry you!!! Have you thought of that possibility? I know you don't want to even consider it at this stage, but it has been known to happen. It's called stalling. Face it, he will probably marry someone his parents will choose for him (yes, even his divorced parents). Meanwhile you find yourself in deadlock!
-- Let me ask you: What are you doing in this whole thing? Apart from falling in love, what have you done to bring a resolution? You want him to say yes so that your parents will be okay with it! You don't want your parents to initiate anything someplace else and without telling them about your love you expect them to understand you need more time! But if your boyfriend finally doesn't marry you, you WILL go and marry who ever your parents choose right? Do you see that the only person who is ABSENT in all the decision making is YOU and it is all about YOUR life! You definitely don't want to hear this, but it seems you want all your options open without taking a stand!
-- What is this boyfriend going to bring in the relationship? Do you understand that you are trying to go from one dependency (your parents) to another (your boyfriend/husband). If you think 'live-in relationships' are frowned upon, think 'divorce'! What if he says yes to marry you without himself completely convinced, then what?
Marriage is a huge step and is only the first. It is just a beginning. This is not a movie where at the end the girl gets the boy and they walk into the sunset holding hands. And I hope and pray you get to do that, but for that you'll have to BE bold and not be dependent solely on his decision.
Please understand, I am not dismissing his concerns/apprehensions and I am definitely not dismissing yours. But, it's easy to cast a wide net over parents by saying they are conservative. Compared to who? About what? They don't know you love someone, because you haven't told them. What would you do if it was your daughter?
I actually feel your dilemma, I know how it can be in such situations. So, understand I am not trying to point fingers here. But it has to be you who should decide (and be willing to live that decision) How long should your parents wait for you to decide? How long you want to wait for him to decide?
Why not try this:
-- Try telling your mom or dad whoever you feel closer about your boyfriend. Parents have huge hearts, there is an equal chance they might want to talk to your boyfriend and lend him emotional support without rushing him (he may not like it but there's a leap of faith here)
-- Tell them to give you a year to resolve this one way or other. Involve them in consultative way. Tell them how you feel about him. Believe me, parents from all cultures want their kids to be happy. If you make them see this is what will make you happy, they'll try everything they can to make it happen. Don't underestimate your parents, they may not watch the latest episode of 'Friends' or 'How I met your mother' but they know what is going on. Have faith, they'll understand.
-- Finally, tell your boyfriend that you feel this cannot go on like this. It's time you both need to take concrete steps. Tell him you know how he feels, but that he must also understand how you feel!!! Tell him you cannot wait any longer. maybe that you need a 'yea or nay' from him by certain date.
-- Ask yourself, what is going to change in his life in near future (by which time you feel you should be married) that will change his feelings about his parents divorce and by extension (as he says) his views on marriage? But he loves me you say, I am sure he does, but what has that to do with marriage?
--- Ask yourself, if he is okay to 'live-in' with you but not ready to marry you, then (you definitely definitely don't want to hear this) he is probably just wanting to live out his fantasy! I don't know this person but culturally speaking, lots of men here have that fantasy. What will change during live-in period that will convince him to marry you? Ask yourself, what truly is holding him back? Ask, what if its still not a go-ahead from him after living-in? In India, coming out of a 'live-in' relationship is worse than being a divorcee. Why am I giving you these scenarios? because I have a feeling he is just stalling. I maybe completely wrong, but if you guys are 'dating on the sly' which is another difficult thing to do in this culture, he is putting effort there, but just not enough to go all the way. It is up to you do ask and answer these questions for yourself.
--- Ask yourself, has he asked you 'not to tell anyone' (especially to your parents) about your relationship yet because he is not ready due to his parents divorce? What do you make of that?
--- Ask him, what would he do in your position! He is also from same culture (I am assuming), he should understand how it is for girls here. If he says to you 'Don't wait for me, go ahead and marry anyone you want' and I have a feeling he might say that (reverse psychology), I would, in your place, seriously consider! You don't want to be caught in a one-sided marriage.
-- Seek advice from an aunt or senior whom you trust. or maybe an elder sibling you have one. Maybe a teacher or a spiritual guru whom you can trust.
I know I have been little tough on you with this answer, but understand that marriage is a different ballgame than love. If things don't click in a marriage, love is the first thing that goes out the window. Like any and all marriages, it takes equal effort (yes EFFORT) to sustain it from BOTH PARTIES involved. Please don't put yourself in a situation where you become just a bystander in your own marriage. (You know very well, that happens to women in this culture all the time).
Step back for a while and know your value. You haven't done anything wrong by falling in love. Expect equal reciprocity from your boyfriend. The onus is not on you just because you are a girl. Know that you are a beautiful human being, you are blessed and loved. Don't put all your eggs in one basket so to speak. Don't do anything drastic. Life is beautiful and ahead of you. Let it find you and trust me, it will. I understand how you feel of the situation as of now, but give some room for other solutions to come your way. Just my personal opinion, if it comes to that, don't dismiss your parents finding a groom either. Just like all 'love-marriages' don't end in happy, not all 'arranged marriages' end in hell.
I am not saying one is good or bad than other OR which one is right or wrong. How two people meet is not how life is made, how two people live from there onward is what makes life.
Just to give you a real life example: My parents have been married for 45 years by arranged marriage (as I am sure your parents were). By any definition their companionship is exemplary in terms of love, responsibilities and commitment. I lived in with a girl I loved for two years, before we got married. Four years later, we were divorced. I have the distinction of being the first divorcee of my entire extended family of 60 odd people:) Go figure!!
Feel blessed, feel positive and know that when God shuts one door, its for your larger good and he opens another at the same time for even better things to come.
Hope this helps, I have rambled enough, God bless and good luck:)