- 5 years ago
Hi, all! I’m grateful to have a place like this to come to for advice. I’m sorry if this turns out to be long…
My SO and I have been together almost 11 months. We have an awesome relationship with very open communication. He is 48 and I am 37. He has 3 boys (20, 16, and 14), and he has been married twice before. All 3 of his boys are from his 1st marriage. Their mom left him because she thought the grass was greener on the other side. (Not so as it turns out!) My SO’s 2nd wife left him because she just wasn’t willing to work on the marriage. Marriages take work and are not always a walk in the park. He also thinks she got married for the wrong reasons and didn’t like dealing with the boys’ mom. He has been single (unmarried) for about 2 1/2 years now.
Anyway, he has had 2 women walk away from him when he would have never given up on either marriage. He doesn’t believe in divorce, and neither do I. He was so hurt by both of them that he is gunshy now with me…even though he knows I love him unconditionally and forever, that I would never do anything to hurt him or his boys, and that I would never walk away.
I am so ready to get engaged and be married to him, but he is struggling with the fear of getting hurt again. He loves me and tells me so sometimes, but not as much as he would normally (or as much as I would like) because he is still just not “all in”. He told me he was “all in” with his exes, and they just ripped his heart out. So now he’s scared to be “all in” with me and is “gunshy” (his words). I don’t think he has allowed himself to really fall in love either because he is scared, although he has been very romantic on a number of occasions.
He and I have talked about marriage numerous times, and he 100% sees us as being married and spending our lives together. The question isn’t really IF, but WHEN. He has told me that I am everything he has ever wanted in a woman and that he thinks I am amazing and that he would never want to lose me. I know he thinks about wedding stuff and where to honeymoon, etc because he brings it up in conversation.
I love this man more than life, and I know he’s scared. And I can totally understand why. I am scared though too. Scared that I will end up with a broken heart because he can’t get over his past. There’s no reason for me to think that he won’t move on and that we won’t go on to get married sometime this year even. It’s just so hard not knowing for sure and not knowing when. And it hurts to know that he hasn’t fully given himself to me. I sometimes feel like I give so much and get little in return because of his fears.
How can I be the best girlfriend to him possible? I have chosen and continue to choose to be patient with the process and to just love him and support him and pray for him. What else can I do, especially when I’m hurting and scared too (just for different reasons)?
I read somewhere that if you want to prove to someone that you are in it for the long haul, then BE in it for the long haul. And that could mean just being in a pre-engaged state for a while. I know some people will wonder what the rush is. I guess there’s not a huge rush. I’m just ready to start our lives together, live under the same roof, etc. Was just hoping to hear from some others who maybe have gone through similar situations.