Is a woman who wants to be married just being emotional and crazy when the man she is with keeps promising, but won’t actually follow through and marry her?
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a woman who has been dating and living with a guy for the past four years. She told him when they first started dating that she was only interested in dating him if he was marriage minded. He said he was. They dated for three years, but he never proposed. After she broke up with him, he proposed and moved in, but still has not married her a year later.
They are both thirty-four and she has a child from a previous relationship. Now she has told him to move out, and she wants to break up with him again. She makes four times what he makes, so it’s not about money, but she wants to have another kid and get married before she turns forty. She says the sex is great, they get along and have lots of fun together, but the only thing missing is marriage. She asks me if she is just being emotional and crazy, or if she should find another man. I talk about her outcomes and what questions she should really be asking. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of her email.
I LOVE your channel, and have been watching religiously this week. I would love to see your video response. I have just recently broken up with my fiancé as of last week and asked him to move out.
Culture: Him, Arab, U.S. citizen of 10 years, me American Born
Dating: 3 years
Engaged: 1 year, 1st engagement for us both
Age: Both 34
Children: I have 1 (10 y/o), he has 0
When I began dating him 4 years ago, I was frank that I was only interested in dating men that were marriage minded, and he said that he was. He is an amazing guy, romantic and generous. We were best friends, and we were always so open with each other. He was persistent in pursuing me, constant courtship and dates, and even still holds doors open. He is a responsible, hardworking man, he spoils me and I am still in love with him. We have a great sex life!
I am also a very independent, attractive woman, work a great job, making about 4x his salary, which does not bother me, and take care of my child. We had a great first two years, traveled together, I plan the trips, he pays, and got to know each other extremely well. (So far so good. He sounds like an awesome dude.)
I discussed with him in August 2015, while on vacation, about our future as a couple and asked him if he saw marriage in our future? (What guy is not going to say, ‘sure?’) He said yes and talked about how wonderful it would be to live together, as he never lived with a woman before, he had roommates, and I only ever cohabitated with my child’s father almost 8 years ago. I told him then that I did not want to go into 2016 just being his girlfriend anymore, and then I dropped it. We had other events, trips, he treated me to a trip on my birthday in November and surprised me with amazing gifts I didn’t even ask for. December 2015, our relationship was great, and I explained that I did not want to give an ultimatum, but that we needed to take a break so he can decide what he really wants. (He seems really happy. It’s not about what he really wants. I think it’s about what you really want.)
He stalked me for 2 weeks with flowers and gifts until January 2016 and told me he would talk to his parents overseas to ask for their blessing to marry me. He did not have a ring, and did not propose at that time, but reassured me he did not want to break up. (I coach a lot of guys from the Middle East, India and Pakistan, and the familes, especially the parents, are very involved in dating and marriage decisions. Especially in India, what you see is a patriarchal society where most marriages are arranged by the parents and the families, so people don’t date. The families get together and introduce their kids. Then the kids get together and hang out, under the parents’ supervision, and if they like each other, there’s a wedding. There’s no dating or courtship. However, today with women’s liberation, it’s completely different. Now the society is having to learn how to date and meet women. They have to get out and approach women, ask them out and go on dates. The society is slowly having to learn these things.)
I explained to him how shitty it was that I communicated from the beginning of our relationship in 2013, and even August 2015, that no marriage was a deal breaker for me. (The question is, why do you want to get married? You make four times what this guy makes. Where did the idea for marriage come from? Is it because you really want to do it, or because it’s what your family wants or society wants? What difference is a legal contract going to make? I understand if a woman gives up her career to have kids, or if she doesn’t work. It makes sense for someone like that, because if it doesn’t work out she gets alimony and child support. Always know your downside risk. What outcome are you going to achieve by getting married in the first place?) It was unfair and inconsiderate that he did not talk to his family until I broke up with him. (He did talk to them about it. If he didn’t give a fuck, he wouldn’t have talked to his parents, so obviously he cares about you deeply.)
Needless to say, we are still not married, I have a beautiful engagement ring, given to me after one of the many breakups last year. Six months later, he is now living with me, my idea. (Well, he did say it would be nice to live with somebody and see what it’s like. What’s the fucking rush? What are you going to get from a marriage that you don’t already have right now?)
He still has the lease with his roommates in his name, I recently found out, and gets all of his mail there. (Well, it’s not good if he was hiding that from you, but it sounds like he was doing it to make you happy. Have you asked the guy what he actually wants? Maybe he’s not moving at the same pace. Maybe he’s taking his time. Maybe his parents are giving him a lot of shit because you’re an American, he’s an Arab and they might prefer he marries an Arab girl. They might not be happy about that.)
I love him, but I don’t feel ‘together.’ I feel as if he has stolen the joy and excitement of the engagement, hence ruining the desire of marriage, and he has not mentioned or made plans for a wedding. (If you have to keep asking him about it, he isn’t ready to do it. You should ask him, “What do you want? If you don’t want to get married, why don’t you want to get married? And if you do want to get married, what are the conditions that have to happen before you walk down the aisle or the courthouse steps?”)
He is very wishy-washy, and I feel like his Mother. He is not proactive and literally does things when I say I’m done and break up with him. (Well, the strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it, and really you’re negotiating with him to try and get him to give you what you want. Each time he gets a little closer, but quite frankly, if you look at statistical studies on relationships, when one or both people in a relationship are constantly threatening the other with the end of the relationship if they don’t get what they want, 99% of the time those relationships don’t work out.)
Should I work things out, or stay broken up? (It’s not my job to make your decision. It’s to give you information, tools and skills to make up your own mind. I teach self-reliance. Again, I say, what’s the outcome you’re going to achieve by getting married? What do you perceive that’s missing from your relationship a marriage could give you that you don’t have now?)
I do not want to be with someone that I have to beg for a proposal or marriage. I mean who proposes without a wedding date in mind? I have not even formally announced my engagement.
I have become resentful, (What about what he wants? Have you asked him?), because I wanted to be married and have another child by now. I will be 35 this year, and I DO NOT want to be 40 with a 2-3 year old, especially since my child will be in or on the way to college. (There’s no reason why you can’t have a kid now if that’s what you both want, but that’s something you need to ask him about as well. Does he want to have a kid? Does he want to have children with you? Do you both want the same things? Do you share the same goals and values? That’s important to know before you demand he put a ring on your finger.) Now I have stopped caring, and I have told him I do not want to marry him or have kids with him, that it is too late.
Am I being emotional and crazy? (I understand you want what you want, and you’re taking the proper negotiation tactic, but is it really improving the quality of your life and relationship by demanding he marry you right now? If you get married and it doesn’t work out, you’re probably going to be paying him because you make more. You have to think about that downside risk as well. You’ve only been living together for about six months or so. What’s the fucking rush? If you want to have a child and he wants to have a child, what’s the problem? It sounds like you’ve done pretty well on your own raising your kid without your ex. What’s the big deal?)
I am tired of planning and pushing for everything. (Remember, women tend to take little things and blow them up to these big things. It’s not everything, it’s just one thing. It’s just a legal contract. That’s the only thing that’s missing.) I feel that he is reactive versus proactive, (If you look at movies from 30, 40, 50 years ago, he’s acting pretty consistently with how most guys were. They got dragged, kicking and screaming, to the altar. Again, what’s the outcome? What are you going to get out of it? How is your relationship going to change or be better if you’re married? Do you even know why it’s so important to you?), and I do not want to be with someone that did not respect me enough to plan ANYTHING. (What about what he wants? Have you asked him? Does he want kids? If he doesn’t want to have children and you want to have another child, and that’s really important to you, then there’s no reason to stay with him, because you’re not going to achieve your outcome together.)
He is a great person, but I feel shafted. (I can understand why you’re not getting what you want, but you have to analyze, why do you want what you want? You should get married for the right reasons, because you both want to get married and you want to merge everything together. I would say the first step for you is to talk to him and find out what he really wants, because nowhere in your email do I see anything where you mention what he wants.
Besides the fact that you’re not married, everything else sounds spectacular. It sounds like the two of you really need to sit down and talk. The whole purpose of relationships is you go there to give. You’re there to meet each other’s needs. It sounds like you’re focused on getting your needs met, but I don’t see anything in here about what the dude wants, so talk to him and see if your goals and values are aligned.)
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Marriage is not required to have a great relationship. Most people are nowadays putting off getting married and starting a family until much later in life. With women’s liberation and women entering the workforce over the past century, women often are focused on their own careers and don’t need a man to provide for them anymore. Both genders are more independent and self-reliant, and this has completely changed and upended the traditional relationship between men and women. The purpose of all relationships is that you go there to give, meet each other’s needs, help each other grow and become more. If you are considering getting married or think you want to get married, you should consider what outcome would be achieved by making it a binding legal marriage contract. Is it really your idea to get married, or are you simply trying to conform to what society, your family, friends or religious tradition says you should be? Whatever you decide, it should be a personal truth that both you and your partner believe in, not what others or society have scripted for you.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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