- 6 months ago
Cold feet?posted 6 months ago in Engagement
- 6 months ago
That’s a solid do not pass go from me bee. You’ve been together six years. You know this man. You know that in those six years that you’ve broken up multiple times with him. That he is capable of acting out of spite. That he makes fun of your culture. These are not good qualities in a partner let alone a spouse. Your anxiety is warranted and it sounds like more than cold feet. You don’t need a reason to break off an engagement. Not being happy or feeling like the relationship isn’t right is more than enough to end it. It might be difficult to break an engagement, but it’s a hell of a lot easier than going through a divorce especially if you entangled living spaces and finances.
- 6 months ago
Hi, I am also a first generation Australian whose family is from Serbia, and I am in a relationship with a non-Serbian guy. In fact, he is not of European background at all. My situation is a little different in that I have never liked or gotten along with Serbian guys, but I did always imagine myself being with another European. It is still a little sad to let go of that dream when it’s what I always pictured, but I always remind myself of the many amazing qualities my SO has that I have never encountered in another man.
And I’ve actually really enjoyed being introduced to his culture, foods, traditions and family. I also do my best to teach him about Serbian culture and he is quite enthusiastic about it. So I don’t feel like I’m losing my Serbian culture at all, I just gained another culture and family as well.
That sounds like the main difference here. Is he involved in Serbian culture? Does he like the food, attend holidays and respect traditions? I can see that if he doesn’t speak Serbian or he is another religion he might not want to go to weekly Orthodox church, but going on special occasions to show support wouldn’t be so much to ask, for example.
And are you involved in his culture? I know you don’t like his family very much, but do you also enjoy his cultural traditions? I think as long as you both respect and are involved in each other’s cultures then no one should feel like they are losing anything.
I think the bigger issue is that you haven’t really said anything positive about marrying him and the fact that you have broken up many times is a big red flag. The fact that he’s not Serbian isn’t the problem, it’s that he’s probably not right for you.
Edit: Just read your updates and yeah… This is not the guy for you. If he thinks your culture and all the things important to you are irrelevant then I don’t think he deserves a place in your life. If you marry him it will get worse because then you will be “trapped” in effect. It takes much longer and a lot more effort (and money) to get out of a marriage than an engagement. I’m not seeing anything positive here, so I would suggest ending the relationship. It’s hard to end things after so many years but the fact that you don’t live together makes it a lot easier to make a clean break. You don’t necessarily need a Serbian guy, but you need someone who respects you and actually deserves to be with you.
- 6 months ago
- Wedding: May 2021
With a list that long, I’m surprised y’all are together! To be years into the relationship and still have such huge, nagging doubts.. that speaks volumes and reminds me of my previous relationship.
About him not being Serbian – I don’t think that is the issue here, but rather that 1) you have a very specific expectation in your head that may set you up for failure and 2) it sounds like either he isn’t interested in learning about your culture or you feel uncomfortable even trying to share it with him. Both problems. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to be with someone who is not Serbian BUT invites you to share things about your culture, learn some, and be open minded and happy to include some of those values and traditions in your home with your children in the future.
Breaking up several times is weird. If you met him at 25 and have been together several years now (based on the amount of time you mentioned, we’re around the same age), either of y’all having issues enough to break up (and more than once!!) is a huge red flag! It may be that one of y’all isn’t ready, has a gut feeling that it isn’t the right fit, whatever. But something sounds seriously wrong.
After 6 years, have decisions related to your culture not come up already? Have y’all never talked money and budgeting together? Has he expressed that you won’t have time to go visit your parents? You mention a LOT of fears that have me thinking this sounds more like a 1 year relationship than a 6+ year one. I’ve been with my fiance about 3 years now and we’ve made budgets, shared expenses (though we keep seperate accounts), planned trips together, discussed things about raising our kids like religion, found ways to create new norms as we join our lives together (such as how often we see our family), etc. For example, my parents like to host a weekly, weeknight dinner to see their kids. Once covid has subsided enough, I do intend to pick back up with that, maybe anywhere from 2-4 times a month. I fully expect my fiance to be cool with this, but I don’t expect him to join me every time. I have a bigger family and love spending time with them, but maybe he just wants to come once a month. That would be okay with me! Similarly, I think you should be able to still see your parents roughly once a month, and it would be reasonable to me to have you budget that into things, if y’all live together and share expenses. That emotional support network is SO important. Although that has me wondering – you mentioned you moved 2 hours away for the previous guy and stayed there. Are you still in the same city, like 10 years later? Have you not made any friends in that time? If not, it sounds like high time to consider ways to branch out a little. I know it is NOT easy with covid, but even virtual meetups could be good. I do agree that relying only on your partner can easily become unhealthy and it asks a lot of them.
All in all. So many red flags. Everywhere. Sounds like your gut is telling you the answer, but your head is stuck in that ‘but I’ve invested so much time already’ state. Good luck. My ex had some similarity (his parents were great though) in that I’d have to move and feel very isolated, I felt like I had to give up way too much, we were somewhat on and off with his ‘breaks’, etc. Ultimately I was too committed and had blinders on, and he was the one that ended it. I still feel a bit bitter towards him for some of the crap he put me through, but I am definitely grateful he finally cut things off. It wouldn’t have worked. Maybe we would’ve stayed together for years but I’d have so much anxiety, we’d have too many fights, etc. We wouldn’t be happy.
- 6 months ago
I think if i was in a somewhat similar situation to you then i might not feel this level of anxiety.
Although my fiance is of european background, his family has not cultural ties to their homeland eg: they only speak english at home, they do not have any customs or traditions that they follow, for anyone that doesnt know them would think they are normal Australians so i do have not really made much of an effort to learn about his culture because he doesnt really have one. To me he is more Australian more then anything and obviously having grown up in Australia myself i believe we are on the same level in terms of that.
I feel like my fiance picks and chooses what he likes about my culture, he likes the food, he thinks the over the top weddings/functions are ridiculous, when it comes to holidays he doesnt really acknowledge them but he likes that i am raised to be a little housewife so to speak.
- 6 months ago
I feel that you are 100% correct in saying that i do not feel comfortable to share my culture with him because i have felt that when i have in the past i can sense based of his responses and reactions that he isnt exactly enthusiastic about it.
Personally i think he is a little jealous that he has no culture and thats the reason behind it as i have noticed that when it suits him and his family that are “such europeans” but in my opinion they are sooo far from being european.
In relation to us breaking up several times, i believe that has more so to do with personal things in his life effecting him/causing depression (his unwell parent) and he in turn then has a short fuse and picks fights with me to mask the real issue.
We have discussed future things like finances and expenses, sometimes we agree and sometimes we dont. Due to past conversations about those topics with him where he would jump the gun and make assumptions about things that never eventuated, i have tried to keep these conversations to a minimum as i feel like we discuss topics so far in advance, argue about it but then it never comes to fruition.
We have planned many trips together and everytime he allows me to pick where we go, where we stay, what we do during the trip so thats not so much an issue. For me the issue is more so that i get worried in the future i wont have a say when it comes to things like where we will live, how to raise kids etc.
I will also say that alot of the time the topic of finances is a difficult one as my fiance likes to remain very tight lipped about the topic due to not wanting to be made to feel as though someone only is interested in him for his fianances. This is something i know he is very hush hush about with many many people and often if we do go somewhere and we are around certain people such as his work collegues he will prewarn me to not discuss what large purchases he has made as he is very private with that topic
So yes i still live in the new city which is 2 hours away from my hometown. I have made SOME friends most of which i work with, outside of work i dont really have many friends 🙁
I know i might make him sound bad and as i said he can have a bad side (dont we all thought??) but in saying that normally he does initially kick up a stink about most things but always comes around and agrees with me BUT in saying that i have been told by some people close to us that this is the case as he feels that ”if he gives me an inch i take a mile”
I always laugh and tell him, why do you need to fight me on the topic when we both know in the end you will end up agreeing with me. He can be very soft but i also think he doesnt want me to just make every decision which is why he behaves like that which i can understand i just dont agree with how he goes about it at times.
I think i am the one who is more so hesitant then he is (or maybe he is but is not letting it on i dont know) but i definatly get anxiety very badly and then in turn i will cause a small arugment and the end result will be me saying ”just go find someone else”
I don’t know if i do this because im just VERY scared of change or if its because he is not right for me, thats what i am trying to find out.
I will say though, the times we have not been together and i think of moving on, i compare every other guy to him and then i think to myself ”youre crazy, this guy loves you so much and you think the grass is greener on the other side but its not”
We have alot in common, he puts me first and always makes an effort to spend time with me, he always tries to include me in everything, he does not treat me like a sex object, he does not smoke or do drugs, if i was to tell him to spend the day with me doing something that most guys hate like shopping for gardening supplies, he would still come just so he can spend time with me.
My ex was non of those things BUT was Serbian and we see how that worked out. I guess my point is that he does possess alot of qualities i have wanted in someone except the fact his not serbian and his family is weird and at times we do not always agree on things so i dont know if maybe i am the issue
- 6 months ago
- Wedding: June 2019
This sounds very tough. I think that you definitely should not get married until you have at least worked through all this and feel better, and if that doesn’t happen, you should separate- for good this time.
My husband and I are from different cultural backgrounds, and it is really tough at times. I don’t always understand his viewpoints, and his whole extended family speaks a different language that I am barely intermediate in. We have had clashes based on this but we always work through them and come to a compromise. Often, we have to revisit those compromises and adjust very regularly. But we have similar values and are well suited for each other in many ways. We are both stubborn, especially him, so we butt heads a lot but we ALWAYS work it out. Before we got engaged, we had a big fight over chore distribution (this is a big issue for us) and I cried saying maybe we were just too different. He got really quiet and hugged me and said we would be ok. I said if it was that hard already how would we ever work things out when they were harder in the future, with kids and the like. He just said we would do what we always do and figure it out together. And so far, we have done just that!
I was scared to get married because I was very scared of divorce and didn’t want to be stuck in an unhappy marriage. But I don’t think you can ever be guaranteed it will work out. I think of marriage as jumping out of a plane and hoping your partner will catch you when you need them to (like a parachute). Before getting married, you should examine the parachute carefully- make sure there are no obvious holes, check that the harness fits right, etc. But you will never know for sure until you’re falling.
If these are your worries now, you do need to try to figure them out. Have you talked to your fiancé about these things? What does he say? When you say “I worry we won’t see my family enough and I’ll feel isolated” he should listen to you and you guys can come up with a plan together (maybe you will move closer to your family, maybe you will make a plan to go see them at least once a month and for important holidays, etc). If you can’t even tell him how you feel, then do not get married. You have to be able to figure it out together. And it’s also worth talking about how you’ll raise your kids- if your culture is very important to you, will you want to raise them mostly in that culture? Will it be half and half? Will it be both? Etc etc.
Finally, just know that whatever you guys fight about now will likely always be an issue for you. Couples tend to argue about the same issues for life. So if it’s a problem now, know that you’ll likely have to live with it to some degree in 20, 30, 40 years. I knew what I was getting into with my husband and none of it was a dealbreaker for me. Frustrating, yes- just as I still frustrate him. But the good very much outweighed the bad, and the bad was tolerable, especially as we have worked at it.
- 6 months ago
For some reason your comment made me very teary as i feel thats very much how i feel and very similiar to my situation. Your comment about being scared to get married and being scared of divorce or being stuck in an unhappy marriage really resonates with me.
My fiance knows that i really miss my family as everytime we visit, i cry in the car ride home, obviously there are times this annoys him but there are also times when he tells me but look now because of covid i can work from anywhere so we can go more often when we are married, that made me cry so much with happiness when he said that to me
An issue with me expressing my feelings to my fiance isnt so much about me expressing my feelings rather then his reaction. My fiance comes from as i have mentioned a very weird family. Growing up he was always told his not good enough by a parent and this has caused him to have very deep rooted issues with ”being good enough for someone” so at times when i express my feelings i think it reminds him of his childhood and he gets very defensive as that is the defence mechanism he has used his whole live dealing with his family
I understand where you are coming from about mentioning that whatever we fight about now is something we would more than likely fight about for the rest of our life. Sometimes the way i look at it is even if i married someone else, we would stil fight about something right??
Also i think its important for me to mention the following:
With my previous relationship, whilst yes i was quite young when we got engaged i remember immedately getting anixety to the point that i was vomitting. Alot of the reason why we broke up was because i felt very pressured immedately by his family to be a certain type of person, at the time i felt like when i got engaged everyone kind of changed and became very controlling, i am not sure if that was actually the case or if it was all in my head due to me being anxious.
Due to me getting very anxious we got into a big fight and he got very angry with me which lead to the break up
Also i know i have mentioned my situation with my sibling, i believe that this also causes me ALOT of anxiety as i feel it places alot of pressure on me as i feel i am an only child so to speak now and my parents are very reliant on me for alot of things. I feel alot of sadness and bitterness toward my sibling for placing me in this position whilst he is off living his life with not a care in the world and not recognising the amount of pressure his actions have placed on me (maybe this should be whole seperate post)
I guess what i am saying is, perhaps i have much deeper issues then i care to admit or even recognise.
In saying that i think my fiance has his own set of issues he maybe doesnt want to admit to either
I guess as humans we all have something that bothers us, causes us internal issues, causes us to be upset etc not everyone always has the right tools to deal with it.
All i know is that yes i clearly have many issues not just with my fiance but personal ones and i guess i do feel like i do not have many people i can turn to and be very vulnerable as i dont want somene judging me, i just want someone to help me through it all because i clearly do not have the answers
- 6 months ago
The list of good things about him sound like the absolute minimum standard for a relationship. Having some things in common, spending time with you, not treating you like a sex object and not doing drugs are really the bare minimum in my opinion.
If the thought of being with this man doesn’t make you happy (it sounds like it just gives you anxiety) then what is the point of marrying him? You will end up even more unhappy if you do because marriage doesn’t change people or solve problems, it just magnifies existing issues. It gets much harder when you have kids and you have to make tough decisions and have a unified stance, which it already sounds like you don’t. Plus if you don’t live together then it’s also a huge red flag that you are having so many problems because it’s much easier to be on your best behaviour when you don’t live together. Moving in requires a lot of compromise, discussions, etc. and even healthy relationships can find it difficult at first.
I think you make a lot of excuses about how his family is weird and he has issues because of his family, you are anxious about your relationship with your brother, etc. but none of this should have any impact on your relationship with your fiance. And the fact that you have broken up multiple times just shows that the relationship isn’t working.
Anyway, you should talk to him about these issues and see what he has to say. If he gets upset and fights with you then you have the answer… I personally think it would be best if you ended things so you can have the chance to find someone who better suits you.
- 6 months ago
- Wedding: March 2021
I struggled with cold feet and found a book that I read very helpful. It’s “Emotionally engaged” by Allison Moir-Smith. It helped me feel a little bit less crazy because she really normalises a lot of the cold feet feelings some brides feel. But the book also really helped me to work through my emotions and she has a lot of practical exercises and cold feet questions/thoughts to help you think through if it’s just being nervous or if there are good reasons to run. In the end you have to decide and you have to live with your decision for the rest of your life, so you should take some time to decide and figure out what is going on.
As others have mentioned pre-marital counseling can help the two of you to work through things but in your case maybe it would help more if you see a counselor by yourself to help you sort through your feelings.
What do you feel when you think about breaking up with him? Relief? Sadness? What is holding you back from ending it? Embarrassment, not wanting to hurt him, fear of being alone?
I understand what it feels like to have cold feet and having a lot of anxiety. Please take some time to figure out what causes the anxiety. For me it was stress caused by other major life transitions, relationship anxiety caused by old childhood wounds and a few other things. But it took time to work through this for me. Maybe it is the same for you. But maybe there are real concerns. Some of the things you are describing would definitely be a concern and a red flag for me. But in the end it is your life and your decision.
I wish you all the best, bee.
- 6 months ago
- Wedding: June 2019
Yes, I had a lot of anxiety if I was making the right choice. Not because he was throwing red flags, but because it was a huge decision for me and I didn’t want to choose “wrong”… I felt he was right for me pretty early on, but I always had a bit of fear that he would back out in the end, for some reason. Like, even the day before our wedding I had the tiniest bit of fear, like “what will I do if he bailed?” And then having that fear made me scared it was a bad sign. Lol. Actually since we got married, I feel a lot more secure. I’m usually the one who gets broken up with so I think that caused my trust issues… everyone else I loved eventually left, so surely he will too one day. Meanwhile, he had the opposite fears- he was divorced before so while I saw marriage as being secure, he saw marriage as being vulnerable to being left again. We had several arguments before I figured that out, but when I did it made sense!
It’s funny that you mention your fiancé becomes defensive when you express your worries. Maybe not funny actually, but my husband is the same way. I know he loves me and just wants to make me happy. When I express that I’m unhappy about something, he thinks he’s failing. I think it triggers that fear that I’m going to leave. So he shuts down and doesn’t want to talk. This was extremely frustrating after a while!! I eventually sort of realized what he was thinking and basically said “look, I’m not going anywhere. That’s why I’m coming to you with this! If I was going to leave, I wouldn’t even bother wanting to make things better. Right now this is something that’s bothering me, and I’m not blaming you or saying you’re a bad partner. I just don’t know how to solve this, so I need your help and advice in us figuring this out. That’s all this is.” I think that stuck with him a lot because that was maybe a year ago and he doesn’t shut down now like he used to. He gets that we’re on the same team. Sometimes we both have to have some space to calm down before we talk things out but that also really helps us.
It’s also worth really thinking about where your fears may be stemming from. It sounds like you’re very close to your family- maybe you feel that getting married is ultimately you taking the step to leave your family and join his? Which could be why you pine for your family and are nervous about his. And if you’re scared of losing yourself in marriage, why is that? Do you usually change yourself in your relationships? In other words, is that something he expects you to do, or something you expect you’ll do? Is it just because of the traditional housewife role you might be expected to take up? Etc etc.
I also had fears about my husband leading me away from the life I want. As I said, he’s quite stubborn! We had lots of conversations about how our roles would be. He’s fairly traditional, the man leads the family etc. I’m more of the mind that we’re both equally leaders and partners. I thought of it like driving a car- if you both have a steering wheel and brakes, you may never get anywhere. It’s fine to have one person drive, but the other should absolutely help navigate and decide where to go. Maybe you even take turns driving. But I told him I had a fear that he would want to take me somewhere I didn’t want to go and I didn’t want that. I needed to know he’d listen to my wants and needs and prioritize that too. I looked carefully to see how much he compromised in our other life decisions, or even in small day to day things. When we bought our house, we narrowed it down to two choices. I liked house a more, and he liked house b. I told him all the reasons I liked house a more, but that it was his choice as I could be ok with either. He took several days to decide as I nagged him to decide… lol. In the end, he chose the house I preferred. We’ve owned it for a year and I still feel happy every day here! This was after we were married, so it didn’t help me make my decision, but reinforced that I had made a good choice. He has done a good job listening and honoring my wants and needs (which is a must have in any marriage), so I’m happy.
I’m also (ironically?) less scared of divorce now. I definitely don’t want to separate and really hope we never do, but I’m not as scared of it. I know if things ever take a huge turn for the worse, that would be what’s best. But we both work hard to make sure things stay good and we are both happy.
In the end, I won’t say yes marry him or no, don’t. I very carefully considered my husband and what kind of partner he’d be and what kind of life we’d have. I definitely don’t live the same as I would if I was on my own, but for us so far it has been worth it. I like the proverb that says “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Sometimes the things I want seem to take longer- vacations I’d like or things I want to do. Because I’m balancing them with things he’d like. But together we’re building a pretty good life, and I know I’ve learned a lot from him (and vice versa) and together we’ve achieved things we never would have alone. Take your time examining yourself and him to see if you think it’s worth the leap out of the airplane.
- 6 months ago
- Wedding: October 2019
The two of you need to learn how to communicate. A virtual couples therapist could help you work through everything and help you feel at peace moving forward in some way. But you need to talk about everything you’ve laid out here. I would also encourage individual therapy to talk about all your individual stuff.
There are concerning things but you need to be able to talk to him about your fears and anxieties and things you dislike to know if they can be resolved or not.
Like PP said, “It’s funny that you mention your fiancé becomes defensive when you express your worries. Maybe not funny actually, but my husband is the same way. I know he loves me and just wants to make me happy. When I express that I’m unhappy about something, he thinks he’s failing.” My H does the same thing. We’ve worked through it but his initial reactions to things left me like, wth you are taking what I am saying in a way I do not intend.
- 6 months ago
A lot of your fears for the future really should have been addressed within the past 6 years, so the fact that finances/differences in culture worries you, is a red flag. I think you need to try and imagine your life with him in 20 years. Do you like what you see? Your concerns are outside the range of typical marriage nerves. Live your life for yourself <3 I wish you the best
- 6 months ago
I had cold feet once. Married him anyway. Got a dissolution two years later.
Married again- years later.
Not a single negative nerve at all.
A really good emotionally based therapist would be able to help you sort through these types of things
I definitely knew the first time was the wrong time.