Marraige phobia

9 Jun

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half.  He was married for four years, and from what I’ve been told, it was a pretty bad marriage.  I’ve never been married.

I have a daughter, 2, from a previous relationship.  I now have a 5-week-old boy with my current boyfriend.  We act like we are married, but marriage doesn’t seem to be getting any closer.  I want to get married so badly, but anytime I bring it up he gets defensive and ignores me.

I’m starting to think it will never happen.  Why can’t he just commit?


Dear Daryn,

It sounds like the real problem is you can’t have a conversation about marriage.  I mean if you can’t even have the conversation it’s difficult to know what’s going on.  Does he know that you really value marriage?  Have you thought about why that changes things for you?  What does it mean and why is it important?  These are questions you should know the answer too in order to have a productive conversation with him.

On his side he should try and talk to you about why he doesn’t want to get married.  Is he scarred from his earlier marriage?  It sounds like it was a terrible one.  Perhaps he can see a therapist to work through some of those issues?  Does he want to live the rest of his life with you?  Hopefully he does and the issues are his and not ones with the relationship itself.  A lot of guys are hesitant to commit to relationships where they aren’t as happy as they would like.

Finally when you say, “Why can’t he just commit?” it dismisses his feelings and behaviors as trite.  You need to adjust your mindset to help him (and you) figure out what the real issue is behind him not wanting to get married.  It’s difficult to provide a space where he can do that if you have an aggressive or accusatory tone.  Good luck.



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