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Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Recently engaged and seriously considering breaking it off...

My fiance and I have known each other since high school but just found each other online 15 months ago, started dating and fell in love...he was married before for 14 years has a wonderful daughter that just graduated from HS and has been divorced since 2001. I was married once before in 1987, have 2 grown girls and have been on my own for a long time. I have been engaged before but broke both of them off shortly after getting engaged due to finding out they weren't who I thought they were. So I have obviously been on my own for a long time now, have bought my own home, have been a successful career woman and have had a pretty great life before I met "G". He is a caring family man, successful in his career, has his own home etc. I feel that we really thought we found the best love ever...kind of like better late than never for us. We are both 46. We love the same music, have the same faith, love food, travel, have alot in common. We started talking future pretty early in the relationship. I had pretty much thought maybe I wouldn't ever marry again and he definitely liked being married and wanted to again someday. I started to consider the idea. There has always been a chemistry between us although I do remember saying to him when we first met that I thought he might be too conserative for me...haha

But then we have a very different outlook on past relationships and keeping in touch with those people. I feel once you are exclusive with each other, all those past girlfriends should change and go away and no longer be apart of our relationship unless I meet them and we do stuff with them if they are also in relationships. I had no problems with that but he has continued to talk to several girls over this time and it has gotten out of hand and it has greatly affected my trust in him and our relationship in general. I have never met any of these so called friends of his yet (its been 15 months) Also early in the relationship before we were engaged, I saw on his phone that he was still texting an old girlfriend sexual things between them that I felt was quite inappropriate. So this was the start of some strange things that I was worried about but confronted him on them. He said he would stop and they didn't mean anything to him and I was mad but ended up moving on with the relationship with him. Don't get me wrong,we have had alot of great times together as a couple and with our kids who all get along great so far.  But other issues with these other women keep coming up. They call him, email him, text him at times we are together and I feel that they don't respect our relationship at all or he doesn't tell them how serious we are. He claims he has been friends with them for a long time and says they are on facebook and he gets mad when I tell him it bothers me and he says do you want me to tell you who you can be friends with? He is always on the defensive when it comes to this subject. I feel once you get engaged to someone, you are each forsaking all others. At least the commitment means that to me. The difference between us is that he has met almost all of my friends already and knows that I have not dated any of them nor would I continue to be friends with someone I went out with before or slept with except for a rare few. He on the other hand stays in contact with tons of girls he went out with or has slept with and it gives me the impression he is keeping them hanging around in case something happens to us. He has alot of friends in general and most of the ones that are closest to him I have met but none of these women that he claims he is only friends that touch base with each other every now and then. I have never been in this situation before and maybe I am being insecure but I think its kind of ridiculous.
 Let me know your thoughts on the situation so far...there is lots more to it, I know...but I don't want to bore you to much but this is my life and I seriously need some help with what to do....

Re: Recently engaged and seriously considering breaking it off...

  • unplainjaneunplainjane member
    500 Comments
    edited June 2010
    wow sounds complicated. personally i wouldn't marry someone that i had such trust issues with so that's something you need to deal with. i think it's fine if people keep in touch with ex-es but you should be introduced to them and he should be open about his relationship with them. the fact that he is defensive is not good. if you've met his male friends, his female friends are no different. he is hiding them from you which is not good. the two of you should see a therapist/counselor before you get married to see if you can work this out.
  • thank you for your honest advice. We did go to counseling 2-3 times earlier in the relationship but he thought it was a waste of time and money so we stopped...I think I know that we probably shouldn't be engaged until we get some help on these issues. I think he would flip out if I told him that and gave back the ring for now...
  • Honestly, there  is the possibility that he could be a cheater and I'm not going to deny that but from only what you have told us, I think the problem seems to be more on your end.  A lot of people stay friends with their past boyfriends or girlfriends and it is not uncommon.  It does not immediately indicate that someone is cheating.  To accuse someone of wanting to cheat simply because they are still friends with a past girlfriend indicates to me that you have a lot of unresolved trust issues that you are forcing onto him.  Also, you've told us that you've broken off two prior engagements.  That is quite a lot.  Have you ever thought that perhaps you are just afraid? I mean, no one can ever guarantee to you that they will be the same person for the rest of their life.  People always change and grow and if you get married again, you can't guarantee that your next husband won't change.  Sometimes you just have to trust that you're doing the right thing.  

    On the other side of the coin, you did say that a long time ago, he sent a few girls some more sexual text messages.  This is concerning but have you noticed that behavior again?  Did it stop when your relationship got more serious?  

    I think you really need to emphasize to your fiance that you need to meet the women that he calls/texts and that it's very important to you to develop trust.  If he still absolutely refuses, I would be suspicious.  But, give him a chance first.  See how he interacts with them in person.  Perhaps he will show you through his body language, etc, that he is interested in only you.  
  • I think that if you are having doubts now then you definitely should talk to him and be honest about your feelings.  If he continues to not take your feelings seriously, then I'd consider breaking off the engagement.

    That being said, I do agree with PPs who are asking you to look at yourself.  Two previous broken engagements, some potential trust issues (although your FI sending sexual texts certainly would warrant that!)...sounds like maybe you need to focus on yourself and see what is are the heart of your worries.  I'm curious to know what ended your FI's previous relationship?  Maybe some similar behaviors?

    Thirdly, and this is just my .02 cents -- IMO, social networking sites like Facebook prolong contact between people that should end when their relationship ends.  People enter into and exit from people's lives for a reason...if your FI had a relationship with a woman, and then they broke up, communicating with her regularly through FB does not allow them to find closure in their previous relationship with each other.  My FI and I are not on Facebook for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that we both realize that communicating with ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends only continues to pour salt on open wounds, no matter how platonic one may think the friendship is.  Clearly your FI's friendship with these women is affecting your feelings about him, and that is something you should address before getting married.
  • If you are having doubts, you definitely have to talk to him. You mentioned that you are worried about him flipping out. If this is the case, do you really want to be with someone for the rest of your life that you have to tip-toe around and not be completely honest with? To me, without trust, there cannot be a healthy relationship. Any doubts deserve a discussion and if he's not willing to talk about it, that says a lot.
    Happy is what happens when all your dreams come true!
  • Yea, I know lots of people are friends with their exs, blah blah blah.  Sometimes you just have things that are important to you even if they aren't totally logical.  My cousin's marrying a guy who keeps porn in the bathroom.  I could NEVER be with a guy that did that.  I think it's disrespectful and crass.  Does it make sense - absolutely not.  But you know what, that's okay.  If talking to his exs bothers you, he should stop.  We all do stuff to make our SO happy.  My FI gets upset if I don't call before bed if I'm travleing somewhere.  Is the call necessary?  Not really, but I do it to make him happy.  What is so important about these girls that he HAS to talk to them, even when he knows it bothers you?  It's not just about his exs, possible cheating or trust issues.  I think it's also his lack of willingness to try to make your life better and happy and filled with love and respect.  Your significant other should significantly improve your life (and yes that goes BOTH ways), otherwise, what's the point?
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Sounds just like my ex FI. Obviously I'm biased, but if he doesn't respect you or the relationship and won't listen to your feelings - it's time to move on!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks- it matters what YOU think.  Whether or not WE think your fears are rational is irrelevant- they are YOUR fears and YOUR fiance.  If you have ANY fears or doubts about marrying him, you have every right to voice them (to him) and insist that you not be married until you've sorted them out.

    That being said, in my opinion, ex's are always a tricky subject.  Some ex's come with baggage that is better left checked at the door.  Others are people who were probably better meant to be your friends in life, and at some point it became more than that until the two people realized their value to one another as friends.  There are a few men like that in my life.  However, they are people who respect me, my husband and our relationship.  He will always come first to me, and if any of them crossed a line the choice would be easy to make.  If you think these women have been disrespectful toward you or your relationship, you have a right to lay some ground rules with your fiance.  However, I'm inclined to think that it's hard for another woman to disrespect you if she's never MET you... so this is really about your fiance.  Shouldn't he have introduced you at this point?  I don't support controlling or obsessive behaviors, but when there is a history of "mistakes" (AKA the texts you referrd to), I believe you have a right to make some demands here.
  • "I feel once you get engaged to someone, you are each forsaking all others."

    Honestly, this sentance is crazy scary to me. I'm going to be a little rough for a minute. This mindset that I"m getting from reading your post is the same that teenages and children have. When people grow up, they forge bonds, they realize that ex's can be friends, they learn to move on and not hold grudges.

    I am still in contact with a handful of men who were ex's and now are good friends, my DF knows about them and is confident enough in himself and in his trust in me that it is not an issue. If it were, we wouldn't be together in the first place, because I am not someone who thinks its ok to be controlled. It is wrong to ask him to break off platonic friendships because of your insecurities.

    This whole "he should do it to make you happy" stuff is crap. 50 years ago, a woman should stay at home, keep the house clean and have dinner ready by 5 "to make him happy" and that was wrong then too. Now if this is the dynamic of the relationship, by all means go for it, but since you are fighting over it it clearly is not.
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