Wedding Woes

My FI is afraid of marriage

We got engaged in July and have been together for 3 1/2 years. We both were very excited in the beginning and did most of the big planning together. We have the date October 2010), hall, church and photographer set but the last 2 months have been rough for us. He is afraid to get married because he comes from a broken marriage.  We have had daily conversations about this and I have suggested counseling but he doesn't want to go.  He says he loves me and doesn't want to lose me but just needs time. I have decided to stop planning and give him some time but am not sure at what point we need to consider calling off the engagement. My heart is broken, I am not sure if he will ever get over this fear or what I can do to help.

Re: My FI is afraid of marriage

  • TheDuckisTheDuckis member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Did he tell you why he proposed if he wasn't ready yet to get married? If he doesn't want counseling and he doesn't think he believes in marriage, I think you should cut your losses as move on.
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    So...why did he ask you to marry him?

    Honestly, refusing to get help would be a dealbreaker for me.  He knows he has a problem but expecting YOU to suck it upa nd deal whhile he does nothing?  refusing to admit it's a problem big enough to need help?  Yeah, I'd not wait for that.

    But for now?  You quit planning the wedding.  Until he's 100% ready.
  • RaiKaiRaiKai member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am not going to ding him for asking before he was ready, as maybe the "reality" of it has made the fears really come out for him  Fair enough. However, I would personally not be willing to marry someone who was not open to counseling (individual or couple) for issues like this which are clearly having a negative effect on him, you and your relationship.

    He is essentially refusing to take responsibility for himself and shifting blame around.

    Many, many people come from "broken" marriages, myself and my FI included. The difference between those who go on and have healthy relationships, and those who do what your FI is doing are the former take responsibility for themselves, are honest and open with themselves, their partners and even their counselors about their fears or anxieties, and they work through them. Others, like your FI, use their fears and anxieties as a barrier, refuse to work through it and expect their partners to just sit around and wait for them or "fix it" for them.

    It is also quite possible that he is not sure anymore if he wants to marry you and is not ready to be honest with you about it. He may have asked as he felt it was "the next step" or what he was supposed to do. I only say this as it does not even really sound like he wants to "work through it" or at least not put the work into working through it, which I think he would if he was really quite sure about you and your relationship.
  • edited December 2011
    I am so sorry.  He may be actually having doubts about the relationship and not know how to explain that yet.  He may just be having fears because of his childhood that have little to do with the quality of your relationship.  Either way, I think it's fair he have some time (that doesn't mean forever) to figure it out.  Maybe if he sees you're supportive of him, he will feel more confident about things.  I think it would definitely be a good idea to suggest he speak with a clergy person if he has one.  Some men think therapists are only for people who are "crazy" and might feel like he was saying he was "sick" if he saw a psychologist.  I think it's ok to insist the two of you seek counseling, from clergy and/or a therapist, if he is still in limbo in two months. If at that point, he won't go with you to counseling, take it as a bad sign and consider giving him an ultimatum.  For example, "I can't go on like this.  If you go to therapy and are willing to work on moving this relationship forward, then I will stand by you. However, I need you to be supportive of me by going to counseling.  If you can't, I (need to move on, take a break, spend some time alone, find someone who can be suppportive of me, etc.)"
  • dianenjnjdianenjnj member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    hopefully you are not living together...if you are, you'll need to move (much more traumatic for you i know).  if not, cancel everything and cut your financial liability while there is still time for your vendors to rebook...and hopefully return your deposits.

    if he isn't ready...he isn't ready.  many people come from broken homes and manage to have good marriages.  his unwillingness to get help and to find a solution is the reason i have responded this way.  you need to free yourself to be able to find the person who wants what you want.  this is not a way to go into a marriage worried that he'll back out at the last minute...these things happen every day, doesn't make it easier for you, but you are not alone.
  • KatrinahopeKatrinahope member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all for all your advice. I have completely stopped the wedding conversations and planning all together. We are going to wait until after the new year to make a decision on where our relationship is headed. I do not live with him and am allowing him to have his space to clear his head. I told him counseling may be the only option for us to get through this and if he is not willing to try everything to save what we both say is a great relationship that we will have to call off the wedding and go seperate paths. We'll see what ends up happening.
  • dianenjnjdianenjnj member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    good luck to you katrinahope
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