Should I break up with the man I want to marry?
October 15, 2012 7:35 AM Subscribe
There is a deal breaker and mismatched wishes about marriage to work through, but neither of us really want to break up. Can we, or should we try to work it out and stay together?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My partner and I have been together for 5 years and lived together for 3. I (female) am in my mid 20s, and he (male) is in his early 30s.
For the last year and a half, our relationship has been through some serious stresses, some on-going, but all resolvable and we continue to work through them together.
In addition, for the last year or so I have known I want to get married. I put off talking about it because I knew he wasn't ready and I hoped being more stable would change that. We have also both known from the start that he wanted kids and I do not, and I wasn't ready to confront that.
About 2 months ago, during a bad period, I brought it up. I was unsure about continuing to invest emotional energy when I didn't think we were on the same page w/r/t the long-term future. I got the answer I was expecting: not ready. I let it go, hoping he'd think more carefully about it now that he knew how serious I was, and because he sometimes seemed to waver about wanting children.
Yesterday I had a breakdown: I feel like we are delaying the inevitable. He said he still wants kids and is still not ready for marriage, though he can't articulate why. He doesn't want to break up because we are happy day-to-day and we love each other. He hopes things will work out. I feel desperately sad and confused. I think daily about whether I'm doing the right thing for both of us by staying. I feel sick when I think about leaving, but I feel like we're just putting it off.
He would like me to go to counseling to be able to live in the present and not agonize about the future. I would like him to go to counseling to work through why he doesn't want to get married, and I'd like us to go together because even if I stay the child/no child issue is something we can't ignore anymore.
My specific questions:
1) Are we delaying the inevitable? Is there a point to getting counseling over a deal breaker?
2)If I stay, how long do we keep hoping for the best?
3)If I leave, how do two people who love each other just walk away? How do I leave the man I want to marry?
He is aware of this question, and in fact suggested it. We will be reading your replies together.