Unsure of engagement/future with fiance

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
8071 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I think your gut is telling you this is not going to work out and you should listen to yourself.

Post # 3
Member
2166 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I couldn’t imagine being with a partner who doesn’t share my views on spirituality and the world, or at least has something similar.  I’m sure it is hard for you to want to raise your family Catholic and have him not agree.  It’s probably also hard for him to feel forced into practicing his spirituality in a certain way (I’m not saying you’re forcing him actively, but it’s bound to feel like that when you want something and he wants something completley different.  Not trying to fault either of you though).  

It sounds like you both need some time to figure out what you want.  This anxiety isn’t stemming from nothing, and it isn’t going to go away overnight.  If you both decide that you want a life together despite it all, I’d suggest some couples counseling to develop constructive strategies and an open communication style to ensure that both of you are having your needs fulfilled.

Post # 4
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

“It shouldn’t be this hard”

Actually, it’s exactly that hard.  After marriage, I experienced the shock of “Oh crap whaddya mean I can’t do exactly what I want anymore???!!!!”  Giving up my old life and building our new life was (and is) the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  

You could probably find a Catholic man who’s willing to live in your home town forever, that you would be more compatible with.  But somewhere down the line you will butt heads (maybe over parenting styles, when to try to conceive, what to eat on Saturday night) because no two people will ever agree on everything.  Good luck with whatever you do.       

Post # 5
Member
716 posts
Busy bee

I agree that marriage always involves compromise between two people.  However, the sooner you get married in life, the more you have to compromise.  My advice would be to finish school, settle in the geography that you want to live in and then consider marriage.  It feels to me that you are trying to do too many things at once and that is forcing compromises that don’t need to be made just yet in your life.

Post # 6
Member
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC

I agree with PPs. It seems like he’s changed his mind about some things, and that’s perfectly ok, but that doesn’t mean you have to change things that are really important to you. I agree with the thought that I couldn’t marry someone who doesn’t have similar views on important topics like religion and being open to go new places. I’m Catholic and my FI is not, but we are both spiritual Christians in some way. That’s big for me. What happens when you DO have children and he is vehemently against a Catholic upbringing? Whatever you decide, don’t let this particular issue go and put children in the middle!

How old are you? I’m early 20s, and I notice all the time that my opinions/wants/needs/feelings are changing. Maybe you’re just growing in different directions? 

Finally, I do have to agree with your FI on one point, and this is totally just my personal opinion so feel free to ignore it. Is it totally fair that you should be so adamant about moving back to your own home state and make him leave his family and where he’s comfortable behind? The city vs. country argument aside, he may feel like he has no control or say in where you BOTH get to live. He may struggle with being far away from his parents too, but seems (from what you’ve said) willing to do it for you. Given that, would conceding on the big or even medium town issue and letting him have a little comfort going to be that hard for you? Alternately, is 4.5 hours so bad for the time being? I lived 14 hours away from my family during college, and FI (where I will soon be moving) lives an hour or 2 farther. I’m still very close to my whole family and talk to them often and see them when I can. I don’t love living far away, but it’s what my fiance needs for his career. We’ll move back when we can, and when his career affords it. Could you try being a little flexible on state and distance from your parents, and maybe that in turn would help him be a little more flexible on the small town vs. big city issue? If you’re not willing to budge, and he’s not either, than maybe you should take some time apart and consider what you really need from a relationship. 

Either way, NOTHING you decide is wrong! It’s YOUR life and YOUR decision. Only you can decide what’s best for you.

Post # 7
Member
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I would agree with canadajane to a point. I am not sure if I misread her post but I think you can have your internal struggles but that the person shouldn’t be making it hard. Like they should make it so you want to compromise on things. There are things you have to do for a relationship and the things you can do when you are just considering yourself. Letting go of being selfish and only thinking of yourself is tough though which is what I consider to be the hard part. That being said my reality will be this- consider he moved to your home city and then ended up not happy what would happen? Would you be willing to give up family/friends to live somewhere else that he would be happy? If you can really only see yourself being there or in that area and no where else then that is something he should be aware of.

Post # 8
Member
1750 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think of either of you as “the bad guy”. I think the two of you simply aren’t suitable spouses for each other.

Yes, you get along well and love each other, but when each of you want such different things in life and don’t share religious views, love and getting along well aren’t enough. Eventually, these differing views of life will have to be dealt with. When/if children come into the picture, these differing views of life will conflict even more.

Some people think the solution for a problem like yours is compromise. I, however, don’t agree with that. Neither of you needs to give up having the life you want, and that is exactly what compromise would mean  in this situation. 

Your feelings are correct. These differing views will likely cause problems later down the line, and ending the engagement and the relationship is the best course of action. Each of you should have a spouse who wants the life you want, and each of you can get such a spouse if you go your separate ways. 

Post # 9
Member
2713 posts
Sugar bee

Audrey2_sings:  Audrey, I agree.  Religion would be a deal breaker for me personally.  The only way I would have been able to make it work is if I wasn’t very serious about mine…However, I cannot imagine raising my children NOT believing in God.  Just the idea makes me feel sick…it’s that serious to me.  To each his own but hey, if it is accepted, I think each person in the relationship totally has to be sure about this and how children will be raised.

All in all, I am a big believer in a female’s intuition.  OP, listen to your gut (that inner voice).  At the least, try to work out these issues before walking down the aisle.

Post # 10
Member
1750 posts
Buzzing bee

I forgot to add some things that I think are rather important:

A lot of people fail to realize, or fail to acknowledge, the fact that loving someone and getting along well with someone does not automatically mean that they are a good person to marry. 

Because of their failure to realize/acknowledge this fact, many people’s marriages run into trouble once living arrangements, child rearing, finances, running of the household, and religious matters have to be dealt with. They come to find out that they and their spouse don’t work well together in these very important areas of life; this usually takes a big toll on each person as an individual, on the marriage, and on the whole family. Essentially, neither person is living the life they want to live. That is why this type of situation should be avoided.

If religion is important to a person, they should get a spouse who feels the same way. If living in a certain place is important to someone, they should get a spouse who wants to live in that place or who truly doesn’t mind it and will live there without a problem. The same goes for children, finances, etc. That brings me to my other point…

Many people say “Marriage is about compromise”. To some extent, that is true; compromise can be a good, healthy way to solve problems. However, the goal of marriage is not to be compromising all the time. When dating, you find someone who you are compatible with, who wants the life you want, who you love and can continue to love. That way, compromise happens only every once in a while and is not something that is done for nearly every decision that has to be made.

Compromise is a problem solving skill, not a way of life. Do not go into a marriage or set up a marriage where compromising is done all the time or for the most basic and most important parts of life. Doing so will likely lead to dissatisfaction and trouble.  

Post # 11
Member
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Cupcakenurse:  Sounds like you know you need to break off the engagement. The geography issue alone is enough to make you both unhappy, but the religion issue is an absolute deal-breaker if you plan to have children.

Religion, kids (if you have them/how to raise then), inlaws (how close to live and how to deal with them), and money are the big things you need to be in agreement on for a successful marriage. It sounds like money is (maybe?) the only thing you guys have going for you. You might still be able to work things out, but your chances aren’t very good. It doesn’t have to be this hard, you can find someone else you match with on these major issues. You and your FI will probably both be happier with a different partner.

Post # 12
Member
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Btw, I’m sure you know this but it’s worth highlighting, atheism is NOT a belief system — it’s the exact opposite. You and your FI might have a shot if he actually had a religion (there are many successful mixed-religion marriages), but the total lack of religious belief coupled with your Catholicism? Not going to work, especially if kids are in the mix. 

Post # 13
Member
812 posts
Busy bee

Religion is something that each person has to decide on their own. My FI doesn’t believe in God he is on the Spagetti Monster thingy (Not sure what it is), while I grew up in a very religious household. We accept these things about each other and don’t try to change each others views. As far as moving goes, what about a compromise of either moving so you can go to grad school and afterwards move to a place that is of equal distance to both sets of parents? Also you can move to the suburbs of a larger city so your FI doesn’t feel so claustrophobic, especially from him coming from a small town. Marriage is about compromise like the other PP’s have stated. Hell being in a relationship is about compromising. You need to decide if your FI is worth that fight. Can you see yourself growing and changing with him? Can you imagine yourself without him? Can he do the same?

Post # 14
Member
1336 posts
Bumble bee

Hmmmm you mention your tendency towards high anxiety and have worked on it, but has your FI done the same?  Even if he is not a highly anxious person, both of you will be going through a huge transition with your FI making big changes if he moves to your home state.  With all of this, it sounds like your FI is “freaking” out at the reality of everything and it’s hitting him hard.  Has he seen a counselor/therapist to work through all of his emotions?  

My FI and I were LDR our entire relationship, and throughout he’s always stated that he’s completely willing to move 300 miles away from his home town to where I was.  But as the day approached and it became more & more real to him, he freaked out and had a very difficult time making the change.  We fought a lot, and I used to feel ssssoooo hurt that it seemed our relationship wasn’t working out and that perhaps we weren’t truly compatible.  Even when he finally made the move and we lived together, it took minimum of 6 very difficult months before things began to settle and we all found our groove together.  What I’m trying to say is, perhaps your FI in his heart truly is willing to make the change, but now that it’s gone from just talk to actual reality, his fears are getting the best of him and he’s in super defensive/resistance mode as a result.

They say that of the top 10 most stressful events a person can experience, moving is ranked one of the top 3 as the most stressful event.  So please give  both of yourselves a break, you guys are going throuh a lot!  Based on how you describe your relationship, etc. I would not give up on your relationship just yet.  If throughout your relationship both of you have been so wonderfully compatible and happy, and it’s only with all these changes that it caused problems, than it’s highly likely you guys will be able to work these issues out together.  This is part of being in a relationship.  In a marriage, life will throw curve balls at you from all directions, and the couples who are able to adapt and be flexible to changes are the successful ones.  

If your FI isn’t already receiving counseling, I would highly recommend that he do so for himself individually, and then also couples counseling for both of you.  I also would recommend you continue your own individual therapy, especially in how to handle your own emotions around your FI’s anxiety and fear, and how that’s causing him to behave towards you. 

 

Post # 15
Member
2151 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you’re a logic driven kind of person, and that’s why you’re not sure what you should do. But sometimes, your gut just knows. It’s hard for logic type overthinkers (i’m one too) to accept it sometimes, but you’re feeling the way you do for a reason. You should be overjoyed right now, excited and maybe nervous, but mostly filled with happiness. Trust yourself, trust the way you feel. 

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