Hey OP. I’m going to be a bit blunt and a bit harsh but I’m giving you tough love because I’m of the camp that does NOT automatically tell people to dump someone if I see potential in a relationship
i really think he’s just a bad communicator. My DH is not romantic at all and says some pretty heartless things, but his actions are amazing. How is your FI’s ACTIONS?
There are some explanations for where he is at right now…
1) he’s possibly depressed from being unemployed and this is HUGE for men. It really changes them. What they need from their women right now is support, support, respect, and not getting put down. Stop telling him what he did wrong (leaving hair all over the bathroom, not taking out the trash – nitpicky). Tell him what he is doing RIGHT! When my DH was unemployed (for nearly a YEAR! granted he was looking very hard every day), I realized that the best thing to do sometimes was to pretend he was still employed. Keep things positive. I don’t hear a lot of respect in your tone for him and of course that would make him resentful!
2) I think both of you guys need to think what you need in a relationship and why you want to get married. To be honest, I don’t believe that a relationship / marriage means that you automatically make the other person happy. A good relationship requires work – LOTS of it – from both sides! You both need to make an effort when things get bad. I also highly recommend the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by Gottman and Silver which further explores this topic that marriages / relationships aren’t about happiness necessarily, but about mutual respect, work, etc. Head over heels love? That’s just emotion that will wear out with time – in fact, I consider “head over heels love” more akin to the puppy love one would have in their first relationships. A real relationship is more like a partnership. I think both of you kind of have a more hollywood/romanticized view towards love that you can change the other person’s bad habits, and that one should be head over heels, and you’re so focused on the fact he said a “chance”. Look girl, your relationship is not going to get better on its own, and you’re not automatically going to be the “one” for each other. That stuff is in the movies. In real life, people are imperfect, broken, and come with all their quirks. Neither of you can change each other, but you do have to learn to accept each other. Stop focusing on the fact that he says “maybe someone else would make each other happier”. Again, that’s just him wondering, communicating badly. Instead, focus on the positives in his email.
3) tis the holiday season right now and I’ve coached a lot of people through a lot of job changes. Assuming your man does a white collar type job (since he has 6 figures of saving), the holidays are a BAD time to get a job. Everyone is busy crazy pushing through the end of the year. Wait until spring when job postings are back up
4) Based on his sentiments that he is attracted to other girls, that is questionable. I guess we can be happy he’s honest, but I also think itwas just straight dumb immaturity that he said it. Also, the whole getting a rise out of another picture, I would forget it. Just sounds like it was a bad situation.
5) To men, Respect IS love. Telling a guy how much you respect him probably actually means a lot more than telling him you love him. You nagging him, and you being ambitious, is not helping. Respecting a man is not about being submissive – it’s about being the supportive person, the strength in his bones. I love the quote – behind every great man is a great woman – that great woman isn’t submissive, but she’s also not negative. I also highly recommend the book Love and Respect, but it’s a Christian based book and so if you’re non-Christian it might rub you the wrong way. But you have to understand that guys don’t receive love the same way women do.
6) Based on his email to you, I actually thought it was a really positive email. He is admitting he doesn’t know how to communicate with headstrong people. He has self-esteem issues which is why he needs respect. He sounds depressed from being unemployed. But the key thing is that he said “I know we can work”. The only difference separating relationships that stay together and those that don’t, is that both couples agree to work on the relationship. It sounds like your Fiance is willing to work. He HAS shortcomings no doubt. Are they enough to break up over it? I don’t think so. I think he’s immature, but at the same time, you’ve been disrespecting him and talking down to him, so you both are in the “catch22” he refers to. Again, don’t expect to “find” happiness on its own – it HAS to come from you working on the relationship – going out on dates… outsourcing chores to someone else… not making him feel emasculated by constantly telling him how to do chores right… focusing on the positive in his personality. I think it’s GREAT that you’ve been helping him with his job search and his business, but you do say that you feel like he doesn’t appreciate it. Then stop! You don’t need to help him. Ultimately the man has to help himself. He will also have to be working on his communication issues and getting back on his feet and getting employed (btw, the average unemployment period is about 36 weeks – 7 months! according to the BLS for the US). AND he needs to lay off about talking about the ex and other girls and learn to LOVE you better. It’s a two-way street.
Hope this is helpful! I really, REALLY want to encourage you and say that I think there’s a reason you guys got together, I see something in this relationship, and while there are rough edges, there can be growth.