Post # 1
So I’m not really sure where to begin, but I thought I’d come here because you bees are always so supportive, and I need that right now.
I’ve been with my guy for almost 5 years, and engaged for the past 6 months. He’s a great guy, very supportive of me, and kind – he never critizies me or has ever made me feel bad about myself, and we have fun together. But for the past year or so, I’ve been having doubts, with them getting much worse these past few months. I worry what others think of him so much that I think it’s affected what I think of him. He sometimes comes off as egotistical, and can be a little bit abrasive in how he states his opinions. And sometimes I feel like he’s not very intelligent (as in he’s not book smart. He’s smart in other ways, like he could build just about anything – which I do appreciate, because I’m not smart in that way!) But I always worry when we go out with other people that he’s going to say something embarressing. (Like yesterday he was going off in front of my sister about how he’s a cop, so he doesn’t need to worry if he doesn’t call for Jury Duty, and he just sorta sounded like an ass – things like that). I’ve brought this up with him once before – he said that he would try to be better, but he didn’t fully understand where I was coming from. But I’m worried that this is his personality – I can’t go in trying to change him, that’s not fair to either of us. It just makes me wonder, because I’m sure he was like this in the first few years we were dating, but it never bothered me. But now it’s all I see, which I’m sure magnifies it more. I’ve had a couple of friends agree with me, so I know it’s not only me.
I still love him and I can’t imagine my life without him, but at the same point, this is driving me nuts and I’m not sure I can be with someone like this, and I keep wondering if I’m making a huge mistake marrying him, if I already feel like this now. We’ve already begun planning the wedding, and the thought of calling it off, and not having him or his family in my life anymore is heartbreaking. And I can’t imagine breaking his heart like that. We’ve planned so much together. But I don’t know if I can keep feeling like this.
I know no one else can tell me if I should marry him or not, but does anyone else have any similar stories? Or are there certian flaws your partner has that drive you crazy, but you tolderate? I’d love to hear how you went about it, because I feel so confused right now.
Thank you, loves <3
Post # 2
You said it best when you said only you can really determine if you should call it off or not.
I will add, if you’re having serious doubts, I would at least postpone the wedding and try counseling if you think he’s just tonedeaf to how he communicates with people. I think you’re right to not ignore your gut and get to the bottom of WHY his arrogance or style of communication bothers you.
Post # 3
Maybe you’re just looking for an “out”? Fixation on flaws isn’t going to do either of you any favors.
Post # 4
Gosh, this is a tough one. I think the first thing you need to do is decide if you’re with him because you truly, honestly love him, or if because the thought of ending a five year relationship and an engagement is too scary for you (which is a totally understandable way to feel).
My Fiance has lots of little quirks that bug me (for example, he misuses and mispronounces words a lot, he will sometimes go off on rants about politics or religion that don’t make sense, and sometimes he can’t tell when he should stop talking). I’ve learned to live with them because the amount and scope of things that irritate me don’t compare to all the things I love about him.
Could it be cold feet? Getting engaged and planning a wedding is a major step, regardless of how long you’ve been together.
Post # 5
Ugh, this is a tough one, because it seems like the lack of book smarts and rough way of speaking cause you to respect him less. And respect is very important for a successful relationship.
I can’t think of anything that annoys me about DH aside from his sleeping quirks, which are also not changeable. What you have to ask yourself is considering what you see is what you get, can you deal with the things that annoy you for the rest of your life?
I took a relationships class in college and it mathematically defined a good relationship as “pros/positive interactions outweigh cons/negative interactions 5-1” which equates to being 80% or more satisfied with your relationship. I found Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love to be helpful in gauging the overall health of my relationships:
I hope this helps you find some clarity.
Post # 6
Thank you so much. I completely agree – I need to figure out why it bothers me so much. Especially since it never did until I started worrying what others were thinking. Not sure if it was just the honeymoon stage ending or more, so I need to do some thinking.
Post # 7
A few months after Fiance and I got engaged and when we moved into a new apartment together, all of his flaws were suddenly 10 times worse, and it was like I couldn’t stand him. He chewed too loudly. He had gunk on the corner of his mouth when he talked. He talked too loud. It took a few months of feeling this way and a few months of me picking really dumb fights to realize that I was just scared in general about getting married, so I was becoming hyper-sensitive to his flaws.
I realized that although I really want to marry him, it was kind of a shock to my system to go from being single for about three years to engaged to someone within a year. Knowing that I was moving into a more adult stage of my life and that he was the one I’d have by my side for all of it made me pick the poor man apart. I was also terrified of the idea of divorce. Both of our parents are divorced, so sometimes I worry that we’re doomed. Me looking for and amplifying his flaws was part of me looking for divorce “red flags” as well. I’m prone to anxiety and have BPD (black-and-white thinking is super fun when you’re picking a life partner!), so that contributed to my worries and confusion. Ultimately, my Fiance is a flawed, but wonderful human who I am lucky to be with.
Only you know if background things are making you more worried than you should be, but it could be worth considering–especially if these traits didn’t bother you as much before.
Post # 8
I think it’s very telling that you said you’re afraid that this is just his personality. Of course it’s his personality. I’m sure he’s always been like this, it’s just that you’ve had people mention it, it started to bother you, and now you’re fixated on it. It truly seems that you don’t think he’s as smart as you and your friends, and you therefore don’t respect him and are embarrassed by him. If that’s the case, let him go. It’ll be better for both of you.
Post # 9
You should definitely start with the assumption that his behaviors will not change. People can only change for themselves and even then, it’s hard—people seem mostly likely to change as a result of trauma. These traits that annoy you sound like part of who he is, so assume he’ll stay that way.
They say that contempt is the emotion that’s most likely to kill a relationship, and I have to say, I think it’s only a short jump from being embarrassed by your partner to feeling contempt for them. Personally, I dated a guy for four years and we loved each other a lot, but I was often embarrassed by him (he was bad at reading social cues and he didn’t know when to stop talking; I thought he was great when we were alone, but I didn’t think he was cool, like, at all, and coolness honestly matters a lot to me). Right around the three year mark I started to really fixate on that. I stayed with him for another year and was hoping to get engaged, because I hoped marriage would magically fix things, but I ended up breaking up with him. When I looked back at the relationship, I realized that time around the three year mark was right around when our relationship died, because I was so embarrassed by him that I stopped inviting him to all my social events and I’d started thinking he was somehow less than me.
It ended well, though! He’s married to a wonderful woman who thinks he’s extremely cool, and I’m engaged to a man I’m always so, so proud to be a team with.
If you think this problem might be worth postponing the wedding or ending the relationship over, honor your instincts and think long and hard about it, and talk to him! Don’t make a permanent commitment before you feel confident.
Post # 10
Thank you! I think there could definitely be a little bit of cold feet. But I’m trying to learn to accept these flaws, because there is so much about him that I do love, and for such a long time, this is what I wanted. And I think a large part of it is that I am so focused on it, that I magnify it in my head even more.
Post # 10
Thank you! You’re right, I think respect has a lot to do with it. I used to have so much respect for him, but it seems the more I notice his flaws, there seems to be less. Which I feel awful about, because he doesn’t deserve that. I’ll definitely have to check that out – sounds like some great information!
Post # 11
This was so helpful, thank you! I too have a lot of anxiety, particularly social anxiety. So I know that’s where a lot of these problems are stemming from, because usually I am so worried about what others think of me, and now I have a partner that I project all of those same worries onto. I fell in love with him because he never cared what people thought of him, and now I want him to change, which is ridiculous and totally unfair.
But I couldn’t relate more to where you say “he was the one I’d have by my side for all of it made me pick the poor man apart.” That feels like what I’ve been doing. Because I keep asking myself, is this what I want?
Definitely need to do some soul-searching, but thank you so much <3
Post # 12
What you described about your Fiance is a typical LEO personality (in my opinion). Confident, many dont like to mince their words (also known as abrasive), not afraid to speak their mind, usually stubborn, etc. I believe you said he is a police officer, right? If it is his true personality, you need to either be OK with it, or move on. I knew from the beginning that my Fiance was the man he is. He was training to be a LEO, extremely focused, not afraid to offend someone, stubborn, confident. But that is my Fiance, and I love him just the way he is. It doesn’t scare me that he offends people (in my opinion people get offended too easily).
From the way you describe him, it seems like you do think he is not as smart as you. I would never think that of my Fiance, and I think the fact that you do is very telling. That means you dont have the same amount of respect for him that you do others. I am book smart, and my Fiance is logic, street and act on your feet smart. We are different, but that doesnt make one of us smarter than the other, just different.
You need to take a long hard look at your relationship, and decide if others opinions about your Fiance really matter most. If you are embarrassed by him, then you are in the wrong relationship.
Post # 13
I really think you’ve said it yourself when you said you can’t imagine him not in your life, or his family. People will get on your nerves. It’s not always perfect, I’m sure you have flaws too that irritate him (everyone does).
Look at how he treats you and how he makes you feel. That’s what counts. And for what it’s worth, I did have some major freak outs during the engagement period as well. It’s a big step, but then I realized how much better of a person I am now with DH and all he does for me. Our relationship is easy, so I had to tell myself to quit trying to complicate it other thoughts or my own insecurities.
Post # 14
I was with my ex husband for about 5 years and started questioning our relationship and his personality during the engagement. I assumed it was normal wedding nerves and didn’t take it seriously. I got out final decree of divorce the day after our first anniversary. I’m not telling you this to scare you, but to show you that it can go really really bad by ignoring your gut.
No onecan tell you if you should go through with the wedding, but at the very least push it back until you know FOR SURE that you are ok with moving forward.