- 3 years ago
Hey there, I wanted to broach a topic that I think people really don’t talk about enough.
I am not the hugest fan of the phrase as I feel it misleads people and causes many to think it is about small things that are easily overcome. However, my guy has been having doubts feel more overwhelming recently, as I double down on my job search to move to him and just told him that I finally feel READY for that step of leaving here (sad about family still, but other factors are not feeling as big anymore). A similar thing happened in the fall, when I think he was already feeling nervous as he was thinking about proposing over Christmas. That time, we had a disagreement and all of his doubts spilled over and overwhelmed him and caused him to suddenly not be so sure. It was a surprise and very upsetting for us, but this distance only lasted a few days and we talked through it and he was okay (we saw that we were on slightly different pages with the proposal timeline but because of his extra stress about it all, it was blown out of proportion and now we are even stronger than before). However, I think that as a big relationship step looms again (me moving to him), he is starting to feel doubts again. He is scared of ignoring these doubts and things ending badly down the line that could’ve been avoided, essentially. And while I do think it’s incredibly important to address his doubts together, as I of course and scared too, I think I have a different perspective regarding what is and isn’t possible to prepare for, or what is in my control.
Mind you, not necessarily doubts about me. Doubts about whether he’s suitable to ever be someone’s husband at all, if his military career will put too much strain on our relationship, and what would happen if I became pregnant. I think those are the three main things.
He’s pretty hard on himself and his past and sometimes feels darkly about whether he is even husband material. I’m trying to talk him through how it’s not that easy and how his thinking is a bit distorted (after all, what makes a good husband? Who hasn’t struggled in their marriage or with balancing career at some point?), but it’s tricky to walk the line between showing him that doubts are common and normal without falling on the side of belittling his feelings and fears.
For the military career – we already agreed that this is the perfect time for me to move there. Good time in the relationship, I’ve gotten good experience at my job that I can take with me, we are at good ages, he has an apartment (when usually he has barracks) so we can actually live together before getting married (with engagement happening around the time I move), etc.. I don’t KNOW just how I will handle moving every few years. I can’t predict my feelings for that. But I’ve been pretty steady thus far and, while deployments SUCK and will suck more when I am stuck away from family, I’m not quaking in my boots. We have discussed ideas for meeting people when we move to each new place, ideas for social activities, ways to keep in touch with friends and family, and that depending on my employment status at the time, we could maybe fly me back home for extended visits while he is away. I feel like we have done what groundwork we can, though I’m very open to additional suggestions on that.
Lastly, the pregnancy thing. He does shy away from religion now but was raised VERY Catholic and while he wholeheartedly is pro-choice, a past fling did have an abortion and it has forever weighed on him. We both are not sure whether we want kids – we are open to it but also like the idea of a family of us plus pets. We know we don’t have much desire for kids at this time. The issue if that if I became pregnant, he would absolutely want me to carry it. Absolutely. I, however, am open to alternatives, though pursuing those would be a HUUUUGE risk to our relationship. That said, I can’t possibly know what I will prefer at that time. While I think I would be okay without kids, I also feel that if I have kids, he’s the guy I want to raise them with. I feel that, while it is a HUGE and important topic people NEED to discuss before getting married, it also sucks that ultimately since it’s MY body the decision falls to me – at the risk of our relationship. We have discussed it many times – each time, the conclusion is that while he supports women having the choice, he does not feel HE could go through with the alternatives for his child, and I do respect this. We also agree every time that we are open to children but have no desire to start a family at this time. For me I think, the more time that passes, the more okay with kids I would become – after he has been promoted again, after we have gotten married and have a routine for our finances, etc. I know there is never a ‘right’ time for kids because life is always throwing curve balls.
We as a couple have a really good foundation. We have great communication, respect, and trust, we talk about money and budgets and bills despite living in different states, we are on the same page with values, and love each other to bits. I have been there for two returns from deployment and as he has broken off ties with exes and worked to better his sense of self worth, and he has been there for me through anxiety, changes in jobs, and other life events. We discuss morals, politics, what pets we want, timelines, life and career goals, we know each other’s families, and we often discuss how we would raise our kids. We tease each other, indulge each other, and are on similar wavelengths with sex, intimacy, affection, etc. But still he has seen so many couples not work out and now as his close friend’s marriage seems to be in trouble after only a year, I think he lets his over critical views of himself play too large a role in filling him with worry.
We had already agreed that we want to attend some pre-marital counseling after getting engaged as we both want to utilize available resources, but I don’t know if what he feels would maybe be worth speaking to a third party sooner? I am of course somewhat biased when I try to comfort him and reassure him that I have faith in us, and we both know that. I’ve already encouraged him to reach out to his 3 most trusted advisors – his parents and a particular friend. He chuckled and had already beaten me to it with messages left for all of them, and I was really glad to hear that.
I was wondering – what doubts have you and your partner go through? What sort of big life topics were they regarding? What ended up happening with those doubts and your relationship? I’d love to hear if others can relate, how they felt at the time, and how they feel now. Suggestions on how they handled things, and how they wish they had. Advice on what they’ve learned to be most important and lessons they learned about those struggles as you enter marriage and join your lives together.