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Old 02-07-2008, 11:56 PM   #11
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Sorry you are having to deal with this, but on the other hand, better that it comes up now. I was "thinking" all those things that she is saying to you before I got married at a young age. But I didn't have the guts to tell my husband to be - I just went along with it. I felt trapped and it ended in divorce 3 years later.

I think your idea to give her some space is a good one. You both are quite young still and need time to get to know yourselves. Heck I think I was in my mid 30'* before I really knew where I was going and what I wanted.

I wish you both much luck!
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:52 AM   #12
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thanks again to everyone whos contributed thus far.

we discussed it last night. im moving out for a week. when i get back, she will hopefully have decided how she feels about me [shes all-but certain shes going to decide to break up, everything shes saying is prefaced with "if we do break up"]. if she needs more time after that week, shell get another one and another one until she has figured it out. shes keeping her ring on until she decides one way or another [i wanted to take it with me, sort of a "remove all pressure" idea]. im rooming with a high school friend of mine. i plan to use this week gambling, getting drunk, watching movies, staying up late, oh, and going to class.

were going to dinner together monday [my idea], she doesnt know where were going [neither do i, but im picking].

i think shes getting claustrophobic. i figure a one out of ten chance ill come back friday and shell say "i dont want to get married, but lets still be friends" the still be friends card is not a very good alternative because it would kill me emotionally, and i told her that option wont work. her preferred choice as of last night was "friends with benefits" with me still living in the same house as her. i think she wants that option because its completely optional on both parties with absolutely no commitment. but i told her that option was as bad as "still friends" because it just protracts the pain of separation. but i have to wonder if im not shooting myself in the foot that way. our relationship started basically that way [on her end, on my end i never doubted that i would marry her], and i wonder if we went back to that relationship, if we might not have a good number of years left together and shed decide she wanted to get married a few years later.


but i still think she wants to be done with me when she graduates. she needs my support to get through school [emotionally, not financially].

ive been very emphatic that this is NOT a precursor to breaking up. ill be back in a week and at that time we will decide where we stand. but again, to her face im confident that she will decide she wants to remain with me [and to my face, shes confident that she will decide to break up].

i told her im taking her hairbrush and the TV. im taking neither, but i thought it was funny.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:49 AM   #13
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a little update for those who care.

im now thinking theres probably a 7 out of 10 chance when i go back she will tell me that shes ready to move on with her life without me. i dont know how im going to take it. i stopped by yesterday to shower and change for work, we talked for a bit. im going by again today for the same reason.

shes been re-reading through our old conversations and going to a local pool hall. when in the pool hall shes been taking off her ring [ostensibly to get other guys to buy her drinks, but i think theres another reason].

when we reconvene on friday with her decision, if her decision is that she wants to be done with me, im going to ask if she means now. if she will let me, i want to stay with her for the next year and a half, while shes still in school. when we met and got together before she could say she loved me or even knew anything beyond "i want to get to know him better", the thing i held on to was that i was going to get her through school. she had dropped out from the University of Florida and regretted it since. and unless shes spent this week sleeping around [which theres maybe a one in ten chance she has, not because she wants to cheat but because unconciously its an easy-out for her. she knows ill freak and that will be the end, she doesnt have to decide how she feels any more], im going to ask if she will let me stay with her to support her through school. she still feels like she needs it and i do NOT want to risk letting her quit. shes too close to success.

and who knows? with another 18 months anything could happen. of course, weve been living together 4 years already, i dont know what difference 18 months can make.

she is worth it. all this pain that im going through right now, even if we break up friday never to see each other again, she is worth it.

and as for what im doing . . . forget all that jazz. im spending my days playing board games, card games, electronic games, trying to forget that all is not right in the world. it works sometimes, but then i remember that i cant go home, i cant tell nancy about the game, and theres very little point in my continued existence for this week.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:20 AM   #14
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Aw I'm so sorry man, that would kill me too. It'* tough when things like that are out of your control. I don't know if this will make you feel better or not, but the fact that she wants to live with you even if you guys aren't "together" means she obviously loves being around you and hanging out, but is just scared of the commitment. Good call on the time apart thing, hope she doesn't forget what she'* got to lose
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:51 AM   #15
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Jeff ... ...get a shower somewhere else Dude! You are doing that only to keep tabs on her and to talk to her. That is not separating yourself. I know it'* hard. Trust me.

I need you to think about few things....

1 ) ....would you be able to live in the same house with her if she had another boyfriend? ....if she were to have her own social life (without you) and if she were to not come home some night?

The answer is no way in hell. Honey, it would tear you up inside - you would be living a hell - do NOT do this to yourself.

2)....people do not become "unhappy" overnight. In fact, most people take years to finally own up to their feelings. This has been nagging at her for a very long time.... maybe even for most of the time.

3) ....people do not give up on relationships without having a back up plan. If she'* hanging out in a pool hall...there is already someone there she is interested in. I'm not saying she'* already cheated, but I am saying that she wants to explore a new relationship.

4) You can't fix other people.... and most people'* inability to have a longterm healthy relationship is due to their vices - low self-confidence, lack of self-worth, abuse growing up...etc. You know what her issues are, or at least sort of. You stated in the beginning something about her not being able to be in a longterm relationship. You Can't Fix Her....only she can. Nothing you do or don't do will make a difference. Not now, not in 18 months.

I hope my advice doesn't seem harsh, and I know that you have to learn these things yourself. But my credentials are trustworthy...I learned these things hard way - I was you, in my case. In fact, funny this should come up right now. I thought I was totally "over" him....it'* been 2 years since we split. But I ran into him on Friday. Turns out, I will never be over him....and he will never be able to commit to anyone.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singscountry1967
Jeff ... ...get a shower somewhere else Dude! You are doing that only to keep tabs on her and to talk to her. That is not separating yourself. I know it'* hard. Trust me.
to be fair, my clothes are there. i told her id take them and clean them elsewhere. my work clothes were still dirty, and she insisted that she clean them. but after today, im good on clothes. ill see her again tomorrow for dinner and we have a class together tuesday [which im thinking very seriously about skipping]. but yes, my urge to keep tabs on her is painful and eye-opening. i wanted to go to the pool hall where shes been spending her time and watch the parking lot. i didnt, but i wanted to. i also wanted to IM my roommate and ask him to tell me when she got home and if she was alone. i didnt, but i wanted to. i feel like a stalker right now, and i dont like it one bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by singscountry1967
1 ) ....would you be able to live in the same house with her if she had another boyfriend? ....if she were to have her own social life (without you) and if she were to not come home some night?

The answer is no way in H***. Honey, it would tear you up inside - you would be living a H*** - do NOT do this to yourself.
you are precisely correct. and thats why i havent agreed to do that. she claims she wouldnt date other people while i was living in the house, but my question then becomes "how is that fair to you, and how is that much different from now?".

Quote:
Originally Posted by singscountry1967
2)....people do not become "unhappy" overnight. In fact, most people take years to finally own up to their feelings. This has been nagging at her for a very long time.... maybe even for most of the time.
i have no doubt about that. my question though is how much of this is just because of fear? that can crop up overnight, or at least, come to a head overnight. but the points in the relationship shes unhappy about . . . i know all thats true and i can only hope we get to work it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by singscountry1967
3) ....people do not give up on relationships without having a back up plan. If she'* hanging out in a pool hall...there is already someone there she is interested in. I'm not saying she'* already cheated, but I am saying that she wants to explore a new relationship.
honestly that hadnt occurred to me. it occurred to her though, because when we were discussing it she said "i dont know why im feeling this way, i dont even have my eye on anyone else this time" [almost her exact words]. i think shes hanging out at the pool hall to try to pretend shes single for a while and compare it to what we have. see how happy it makes her [and she seemed pretty happy when i spoke to her]

Quote:
Originally Posted by singscountry1967
4) You can't fix other people.... and most people'* inability to have a longterm healthy relationship is due to their vices - low self-confidence, lack of self-worth, abuse growing up...etc. You know what her issues are, or at least sort of. You stated in the beginning something about her not being able to be in a longterm relationship. You Can't Fix Her....only she can. Nothing you do or don't do will make a difference. Not now, not in 18 months.
again, i agree. id love to fix her if i could, but i dont think shes broken. i think shes afraid. but it always comes back to which of the two it is. if its fear, then we can get past it. if its inability, then im just banging my head against the wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by singscountry1967
I hope my advice doesn't seem harsh, and I know that you have to learn these things yourself. But my credentials are trustworthy...I learned these things hard way - I was you, in my case. In fact, funny this should come up right now. I thought I was totally "over" him....it'* been 2 years since we split. But I ran into him on Friday. Turns out, I will never be over him....and he will never be able to commit to anyone.
it doesnt seem harsh at all. youve managed to touch on most of the issues i find most central to the problem.

thank you . . .
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:23 PM   #17
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You know what...no matter how this ends up, you'll be fine. You have a good head on your shoulders about this....the emotions are what messes things up.

Stalker mode....yea, that sucks. Sometimes you find things out, other times it blows things out of proportion. I hate stalker mode...I think it'* because you almost feel out of control when you're in it.

Let me clarify the "can't fix broken" part.... we are all broken in some way - I didn't mean to tag her as something other than being human.

If what you feel is true, that this is about fear, and I trust your judgement more now after your last reply then the need for a person to "find themselves" is crucial. It has to happen at some point...better now than after 15 yrs of marriage.

I wish you the best...the road ahead of you will not be easy...but it'* a road that we all have to travel and have traveled.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:28 PM   #18
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Wow. That really is a tough situation. But its definitely a good thing to give her space. But maybe a bit more than you are. As in, do not see her AT ALL for about 5-7 days....talking on the phone? maybe, keeps some connection...but seeing her in person may not be helping the claustrophobia. I am sort of in the beginning stages of something myself...and I've thought about this exact thing happening to me...and I honestly can't fathom life without her if I screwed it up. So I'm definitely trying to work out all the solutions in advance. I hope this separation works for you. If it doesn't, then it wasn't meant to be. Theres no point in staying around her if she doesn't feel just as strong a connection to you. Thats a waste of your time, and could really put some serious pain on you if it progresses much further in that mode.

I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:40 PM   #19
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Tracy offers excellent advice as always.

if you think her fear is the root of the problem then remove it. Cancel the wedding plans and you don't bring up the subject again. Just be BF/GF until one of you wants out (or she proposes to you). Not everyone wants to be married nor needs to be. It IS a pretty scary thing if the only view you have of it is from your childhood memories; the yelling, the screaming, things being thrown, the hitting, the cops... repeat the next night...Btdt
My 2 cents fwiw.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:08 PM   #20
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thank you again to everyone whos offered support and advice.


small update.

i went and showered there yesterday morning, i was careful that she knew exactly when id go and for how long id be there so she could be absent if she wanted to. she wasnt.

she asked me to go to lunch with her [and im thinking, "oh god no"], obviously i accepted the invitation. she only touched on the subject once the entire time [i didnt go near it], and that was to say "but if we stay bf/gf then how is that fair to you? i dont even know if ill ever be able to marry. . .." and then i sh'd her to silence. i tried to make it plain to her that right now whats fair to me should be the last concern of hers -- her goal should only be to find out how she feels. to which she responded with a typical "why is it always about what i want?" -- to which i replied "because i know what i want. we can discuss what were going to do once you can say the same" (or something similar to that). through the course of the lunch i did tell her i owed her an apology for growing lazy over the last four years or so (any time she wanted to do something, i found it easier to not to it -- if she wanted to go to a museum or something i almost always said that id rather not. not because i didnt want to, but because it was easier. i wasnt even aware of this until i reflected on it saturday night). other than that, we discussed her "nights on the town" (completely friendly, no jealousy), and work.

when i left that, i left feeling more upbeat than i have since thursday. of course, from her end thats not really an indication of which way shell choose -- she was hungry, no more and no less. but now im trying hard to bring my expectations back down to where they were before.

were still going out tonight, i got reservations at a sushi place (well not really, its a japanese steakhouse across the street from the sushi place -- same owner as the sushi place but helluva lot less expensive for sushi). dress for the place is business casual, so im going to shave and look nice, but no more. i thought about doing the whole "date" thing what with the opening doors and the flowers and crap like that, but decided that it would only add pressure to her. itd be nice on one hand because ive never done that for her (and to my knowledge, no one else has either), but now isnt the time for it. maybe in a month or two or even three -- but not now.


oh, if she wants to cut it down to bf/gf and rid the wedding from the picture, im okay with that. she doesnt know it and i didnt want to skew her decision by letting her know it, but to me its infinitely better than losing her because she isnt ready for that commitment right now.
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