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Do I marry him? (Long post - sorry)

(30 Posts)
WeatherWitch Tue 21-Oct-08 16:07:06

I work in an almost entirely male environment and have no female friends so am turning to this in the hope that I'll find some adveice here. I am engaged to a man who is caring, loving and with whom I share many interests. We have a similar outlook on life, want the same things and have lived together now (joint mortgage) for over 2 years without any problems. However... I am worried that there isn't sufficient in our relationship to keep me involved for the rest of my life. Physically I have never been strongly attracted to him, although he is to me. Our jobs both take us away a considerable amount of the time, and neither of us would want a change in career. While apart I miss him only in a fairly mild sense, and sometimes dread seeing him again as his delight in seeing me is far more than mine. After a couple of days I tend to settle back into the relationship but there is always a period of adjustment for me, although not for him. Professionally I am probably more successful, and am in general probably the more accomplished one at everything we do, which I find frustrating - I would love there to be something at which he excels and for which I admire him but I tend to take the lead in most things. I do feel that I rely on him emotionally, but I'm becoming increasingly aware that I'm entirely capable of succeeding on my own.

An added complication has arisen recently; a long standing close male friend of mine has become rather closer. Although we are strongly attracted to each other we have very deliberately stopped short of a sexual relationship on moral grounds as well as on the grounds that it is unlikely to help my main relationship. He knows all the difficulties I'm facing and has been a sympathetic ear as well as someone whose company I enjoy and with whom I have always had a lot of fun. I regard him as my best friend, but increasingly I'm becoming aware that he holds my interest in a way that my partner doesn't. I don't see it as a question of leaving my current relationship and walking into one with him - we've discussed the possibility, bizarrely, and concluded that it would be unlikely to work for a variety of reasons - but the fact that, before even marrying, I'm strongly attracted to someone other than my partner gives me cause for concern.

However, I'm in my 30s and rather feel that, given the lack of opportunities for meeting men in my job, this could be my last chance if I want children (although that would be tricky with our careers...) and while my fiance doesn't excite me he's unlikely ever to hurt me. We live together in a house that neither of us could afford to buy the other one out of, and selling in the current climate is not an option. The idea of hurting him breaks my heart, but I view marriage as a life commitment and don't want to get it wrong. On the other hand I am slightly afraid of ending up old and alone because I can't commit. I suffer from mild depression, although I have always been able to control it, and am afraid of triggering it by breaking the status quo. The thought of selling our house fills me with particular fear as I have been rootless for much of my life and hugely value having a stable home. I suppose that my real question is: are stability and security in a relationship enough to get me through the rest of my life without excitement being there as well?

MrsMattie Tue 21-Oct-08 16:09:43

Don't marry him. You clearly don't love him. Why settle?
security and stability and friendship are rthe key ingredients of a relationship - but if you have this many doubts about him now, what's the point? Marriage won't change that. kids will only make it worse (children have a habit of throwing up a scary mirror that reveals all the flaws in a relationship).

I wouldn't do it if I were you.

expatinscotland Tue 21-Oct-08 16:19:37

Let's put the shoe on the other foot here and see how you'd answer your own question.

Let's say you were engaged to a man who felt the way you do about your fiance about you.

Would you still want him to marry you? Would you be hurt to read about yourself what you've written here about him?

WeatherWitch Tue 21-Oct-08 16:25:32

You're right - I think I already know the answer but don't want to admit it, or face the process of dissolving our relationship when so recently I couldn't imagine anything other than wanting to spend my life with him and have his children, and we were both crying at the airport because we were going to be apart for 8 months (which we thankfully weren't, thanks to the unreliability of British warships - but that's another story). I just keep wondering if it'll all come back to how it was if we just get to spend some time together.

TheBlonde Tue 21-Oct-08 16:27:27

why did you get engaged?

forevercleaning Tue 21-Oct-08 16:30:34

no

franke Tue 21-Oct-08 16:32:15

You say he's unlikely ever to hurt you, but unfortunately you are very likely to hurt him if you remain in a relationship to which you are not 100% committed. You may well end up feeling trapped, limited and thus resenting him. I'm sorry this is happening to you, but you are right to question it now before the point of no return. From what you say, being married to this man will not make you content.

WeatherWitch Tue 21-Oct-08 16:34:03

Because we felt that we could see ourselves spending the rest of our lives together. Actually we're technically "engaged to be engaged" as we've been calling it for the past year - he didn't want to get properly engaged when, thanks to work, we couldn't see an opportunity to actually get married in the near future. In reality he hasn't actually asked the question, just said repeatedly that he does intend to marry me, and admitted last time I saw him that he'd been planning to ask me that week but the appropriate time never arose - in fact I actually told him not to because I was not in a position where I felt I could say yes.

LostHorizon Tue 21-Oct-08 16:56:08

So you reckon you could do better. Are you sure you're right?

MrsMattie Tue 21-Oct-08 16:58:47

What's missing? What do you feel like you need that he doesn't provide?

Helsbels4 Tue 21-Oct-08 17:03:44

I think you should sit him down and be honest with the poor man. He's in love with you and thinks his life is mapped out before him, not knowing that you don't feel the same. He needs to know. You may love him but you're clearly not in love with him. You need to establish where you are and address it from there imo.

WideWebWitch Tue 21-Oct-08 17:04:48

Don't do it. I married a very lovely, kind, intelligent, moral man who wasn't right for me. I thought I could settle for friendship but no passion and it turned out I couldn't. I am now very happily married to a man who is all the above AND about whom I feel passion.

Flightattendant2 Tue 21-Oct-08 17:11:14

Don't. The 'dread' you describe can feel like a life sentence. Please don't punish yourself - or him. You need to get defiant about it, why are you letting him take your potential away - let go and live as yourself.

smile

cheerfulvicky Tue 21-Oct-08 17:11:19

Don't marry him, definitely. Whether you should try and work at the relationship with a view to maybe marrying one day, or leave him now, I'm not so sure. I don't believe you should 'settle', I think you know you would be settling for him, and your feelings for your male friend are highlighting that the way you feel about your man is not perhaps as it should be if you are to be life partners.

I completely understand the feeling of liking someone who isn't right for you and who you don't necessarily want to be with, but those feelings then awakening you and making you remember/discover what it is to really feel for someone. I'm sure you will get lots of women (and men, Hello LH! ) coming on here telling you that stability is better, bird in the hand, can't stay 'in love' for ever and I see where they are coming from. But I think if you settle down with someone who doesn't excite you/give you butterflies/make you miss them, etc (it is different for every person, so it's pointless to say: "If he doesn't make you feel like blah blah, then leave him") then you are going to eventually hurt you and him. Why? Because someone will one day enter your life, or you will seek them out, who sets you alight. With whom it clicks, and who you miss when they are not there.

It sounds like things are unbalanced in the way you feel about each other, plus you are thinking about another man in a less than platonic way. I agree with the other posters who ask how you would feel if he was talking about you in this way. And I agree with you that you probably do know what you need to do, but are scared.

So that's basically a very long winded way of saying : Don't marry the bloke! Sorry for the ramble. Good luck.

WeatherWitch Tue 21-Oct-08 17:13:55

I'm not at all sure that I'm likely to do better - there's nothing massively wrong with the relationship, apart from the fact that I don't really fancy him (I know it's adebatable point, whether after 3 years of relationship that's a big deal or not - unfortunately I never have found him that sexually attractive which does rather imply that it's downhill from here). What's missing is challenge, excitement and interest - and if that's not here now, I'm not sure I see it getting better over time. But then I get challenge and excitement in bucketloads in my job - aren't there benefits to coming home to the relationship equivalent of comfy slippers?

expatinscotland Tue 21-Oct-08 17:15:25

'aren't there benefits to coming home to the relationship equivalent of comfy slippers? '

Sure, but not for you if you're still considering men other than your partner.

WeatherWitch Tue 21-Oct-08 17:17:44

CheerfulVicky: Thank you - that's a really helpful summary. It's such a relief to be able to discuss it - the only people I've been able to talk to have been my mother (currently coping with a husband with cancer and a 90 year old highly demanding mother of her own) and my male friend (not an entirely dispassionate ear!). Thank you all for your support and advice - hugely appreciated.

Purplesplash Tue 21-Oct-08 17:48:21

DO NOT DO IT! A lifetime of mediocrity....is that what you want. You at least have to be excited and positive on your wedding day, which you won't because of the way you feel. Realise that you are going to go through a pretty upsetting time when you split up...he will be devastated, you will feel so bad at losing your dream, but you will eventually come out the other side thinking "thank god I did that." Marry in haste, repent at leisure - it's so true. Good luck...life is tough but you have an exciting life ahead (once you get past the splitting up bit that is).

cheerfulvicky Tue 21-Oct-08 17:52:17

No problem, I hope you find a course of action that's right for you whatever you decide. I know what it feels like to almost settle with the wrong person, and it's a horrible feeling. Sick, uneasy dread twisting in your stomach, and life stretching ahead looking faded and pointless. I'm so glad I didn't.

I don't know if you are in exactly the same situation, everyone is different after all, but I'd hate for someone to make the mistake I almost did. Besides, talking about it does help, it helps to clear out your head and work out what you really feel. If you cram your thoughts down inside and don't address them, you can spend ages ignoring your gut instinct almost without realizing it.
Take care.

cantpickyourfamily Tue 21-Oct-08 18:19:05

I really dont think you love him enough to marry him. It sounds like he is the safe option and you have ti want to be with someone for life to marry him. It would be cruel to carry this relationship on any longer.

warthog Tue 21-Oct-08 19:50:20

don't marry. you will regret

Horntail Tue 21-Oct-08 20:20:34

dont do it. You don't respect him enough. I did and I regret it now. But if its hard to uproot now because things are not-quite-right, ts impossible when you have children together. So in frort of me IS that mediocre, ok but dull relationship, for ever. And i have lost the chance of a passionate relationship with a man I could love forever and respect.

take the break and do it now

KristinaM Tue 21-Oct-08 20:34:08

i woudln't do it. and i dont read many other posters telling you to settle either

it doesnt sound to me like you "can't commit". it sounds like you haven't met the right man and you are both hedging your bets

Kally Tue 21-Oct-08 22:04:05

Its never a good one when you don't fancy, what you mean is he doesn't turn you on. You don't go to slosh when he gets near.

Passion is a hefty emotion and shouldn't be tossed aside lightly as tho we can live without it.

Just look how many miserable women post on here about their lack of this feeling and how desparate they are to get out. You're not 'in' yet. Think. Re read your own post and you know what you are saying.

Flightattendant2 Wed 22-Oct-08 07:40:44

I always used to wonder this as I had/ have a long term friend who has often asked me to be with him. I couldn't bring myself to fancy him enough, despite trying really hard to. It turns out there's a good reason for this, and my sixth sense is right, because he is actually not ready to be with someone himself and there are lots of incompatibilities.

I think you only really ever fancy someone if you have something deep down in common - a mutual understanding if you like. And from what you describe it doesn't sound like you really have that connection.

It's very precious when you find it and taking someone without it is a bit like - well it might not actually harm you but it doesn't do you any good either.

It's like doing any old job just to bring in the dosh, when actually you would really shine at something particular. It's a bit of a waste iyswim.

I'm sorry you're in this situation, I hope you can find a way to make yourself happy x

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