Just Engaged and Proposals

Cold Feet NEED ADVICE

Hey so I have been engaged for about 8 months now and I am having major cold feet. I love my fiance with all my heart, he has helped me grow into a stronger person, being able to stand up for myself and identify what I want. But he has a habit of getting angry over the littlest things. I have tried coming to terms with this, thinking it is just me being over sensitive or the like, but it is getting out of hand, and quite frankly it is degrading to think like that, when my emotions are just as valid as his.

Right now the fiance got mad at me for forgetting to tell him I had a 9am workshop in the morning and he has elected to sleep on the couch for the night, accusing me of caring more about my job than about him. First off, I am still a college student. He just graduated. I am an all A student working on an honors thesis, and he was inherently average. The difference though is that he already has a future job and education lined up: he's an officer in the military. Whereas I plan to go to graduate school and even get a Ph.D., so I need to work hard so I can make it into a good school on a scholarship. Yet whenever I try to do things that he deems "unnecessary", it is me caring more about my future career than about him. In fact, whenever I want to do something that cuts into his time with me, I am ruining our relationship. He gets upset that I have to go to required advising (advising that he himself had to go to not even a semester ago), and if I plan time with friends during a time when he is at home, I am being unreasonable. I have to plan everything I do around his schedule. Frankly I am sick of it. My wants and needs are just as important as his. 

I work at a women's shelter and know that this is borderline emotional abuse. Yet whenever I tell him something, it is me being crazy. We were in couple's therapy for a little while and he would always agree if the counselor told him something instead of me. Often, I would say the EXACT same thing as the counselor. But I am always wrong. I always tell him that we need to communicate about how we feel and listen to each other, but he never listens and refuses to talk to me when he gets mad, even going so far as to call me crazy.

From my wording, it sounds like I have made up my decision. There is a lot more to the story: failing grades for him, leaving a job I loved for him, etc. But there are two things holding me back:
1) I know the issue here is immaturity. Part of my plan has been to wait it out and see if he grows up. He is going to officer training school soon and I am hoping that will make him grow up, but by the time he comes back, I might not have enough time to decide if I can live with him before the wedding. Right now I believe I will have the wedding re-scheduled to give myself time to decide this, but I am scared. 
2) Fear. I have given up so much for him. I fear leaving and having wasted all of my time, tears, love, money, hard work, etc. on him. I also fear leaving and regretting it. Then again, I DO NOT want to have to get a divorce down the road due to unhappiness. My family was broken up that way, and I will not do that to mine. So I have to be 100% sure this marriage is for me. The last thing I fear is being alone. What if I can't find someone as amazing as him?

So I just don't know what to do at this juncture. I really could use some advice.

Re: Cold Feet NEED ADVICE

  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_just-engaged-proposals_cold-feet-need-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:683Discussion:95978aca-1208-45d0-ab52-69d91b84de2cPost:95be2778-5feb-4c50-9cf2-4f4e0f914be9">Cold Feet NEED ADVICE</a>:
    [QUOTE]1) I know the issue here is immaturity. Part of my plan has been to wait it out and see if he grows up.
    Posted by MrMrsHolm[/QUOTE]

    This is not a good idea. He sounds like kind of a huge douche, so I don't see him changing that. Yeah, the military may whoop him and make him grow up some, but not in the way that you're hoping. If he's not supportive now, military training isn't going to make him change. I'd cut your losses and gtfo.

  • You work at a womens' shelter and are seeing signs.  Talk to one of the counselor's there.
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  • " I have given up so much for him. I fear leaving and having wasted all of my time, tears, love, money, hard work, etc. on him. I also fear leaving and regretting it. "

    I agree with the PP"s but have you thought that you have one life to live, only one. I was with one man off and on for 10 years, 18-28. Leaving him and his immaturity and antics was the best decision I could have ever made! I had the same fears you do but with only one life to live and knowing without a doubt that I did not want to take a chance on being treated almost the same way you are, I got out and I stopped looking behind myself. I was engaged last Saturday to a man who treats me like gold and who I thank God for everyday of my life for. It's either a leave and live or stay and pray situation.

  • RUN! RUN! RUN!

    He should be supporting your efforts to make a better future for yourself. Not make it harder for you to fulfill your commitments. He is like this now...imagine what his response would be when you are HIS wife...and HIS kids need tending.

    You know what needs to be done here.

    Also....it would never be a waste to have had this relationship.  It will be invaluable in teaching you what you want out of life and from a husband. And that is support and love. Not control and the need to prevent educational advancements. Sounds like he may have an issue with the fact that you are smarter and more academically accomplished than he.
  • This is my first post ever on this site after months of looking/reading, but I feel a strong urge to tell you to take the strength that is getting you through school and you are offering to women at the shelter and GET OUT.  I was divorced 3 years ago after only 2.5 years of marriage and I can tell you that I saw all of the signs like you have been--I just wasn't wise enough to even ask the questions that you are.  

    People can certainly change; however, they never will if it doesn't come from within.  Clearly, your fiance sees nothing wrong with his actions and words and you will not be able to change that...he has to want to see that.  I can remember a time when my husband sat on the couch after I approached him about wanting to see a counselor together and his words to me were "There is nothing wrong with me at all so you can go but there is no need for a counselor to tell me anything."  Sounds a lot like the same person you are with.  It doesn't mean that he is an awful person but simply that you aren't going to be able to fill his needs and he can't fill yours (at least not at this point in time).  

    Be strong and surround yourself with a supportive set of girlfriends and family.  That and prayer are what got me through it all and I've come out better in the end with a much more healthy perspective of what I can give someone and what I want them to provide me. 

    Hope that helps some. Take good care!
  • Someone with less than average verbal communication skills (your FI) requires someone with suberb verbal communication skills and patience (or the ability to mind read). You need to ask yourself if you are that person. In addition to the issues about whether or not his behavior is abusive, you need to think about what the motivation is behind the things he's saying/doing. Do the dreams he has about his future include a housewife? Does he have unrealistic expectations of who he wants you to be? Do you want to be whatever person he wants you to be? Etc. This might be a scenario where the two of you have grown apart and want different things. Or maybe there's a way to work it out. I hope whatever route you take it all turns out well for you.
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  • I can tell you this: Even though you love him, there ARE men more amazing than him because there are men out there who would not treat you the way you have described being treated. 

    You are clearly an intelligent person, striving to better your future, don't let anyone bring you down. And, incidentally, your fiancé should be supportive not demeaning. Can you imagine feeling less than for the rest of your life? If not, I would seriously remind yourself of the kind of life you want versus the life you are living right now. There is a man out there who can fill those shoes and it doesn't sound like your fiancé is that man...

    My heart goes out to you; I hope you'll make whatever decision is right for you and you alone. 
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  • My step-dad was almost just like your FI, if it wasn't all about him then you were not doing it right or you didn't care about him.  My mom did everything in her life according to how he wanted it to be.  She says she was happy but when he passed away 2 years ago she  realized the restrictions on her life that he had on her.  I love him so much but when I met my H I said I would never let someone control my life or not let me speak up for myself.  My mom knew going into the marriage how he was but hoped that one day things would change and after 22 yrs of marriage it never did.  Just remember that its hard for an adult to change once they've been that way for so long.  Best of luck in your decision!!

  • I agree with all the previous comments. Especially the ones saying get help, just by yourself. I was in a relationship with a guy from middle school until my last year of college, mostly because I kept going back thinking he would change, he would grow up, things would get better. My program director convinced me to go to group therapy, and I finally got the courage to leave him once and for all. It took a few failed relationships after that, because I compared them to what I had with -him-. But you know, it was completely worth it. I am now engaged to a man better than any I could have dreamed of. He would put aside his life dreams and aspirations, just to see me happy. He wakes up every morning, and I know he thanks the stars that I am in love with him, and only hopes for one more day. I'm a goddess in his eyes, and I still feel unworthy of his love because of that one guy. 

    I would have never found him and had the courage to take a chance to find him if it weren't for that group therapy session, where basically it was just me. Be honest with yourself. Think about the future in realistic terms, not hopeful terms, not dreams of what might be. Think about what you will have to compromise, what parts of yourself you will have to give up and live with later. Is it worth it? 

    Best wishes for you, and know there is a network of people all around you, your closest family and friends, who will support and love you no matter what happens. 
  •      I was engaged to a guy who I thought was great from every angle, and I blamed myself for his emotional abuse. I told myself that he was the one who was right, and that I was an awful person. He told me that I shouldn't do any of the volunteering that I loved or even study if he was around because it was his time. Letting go was the best thing I have ever done. I am alone now, but I'm about to be in a relationship with a guy who truly loves me for me. Everything gets better, and you will find happiness again.

       You cannot rely on him changing for you or anyone else because those problems won't be fixed until he decides that you're important. And, honestly, it doesn't seem like he cares about you at all. Ultimately, this is your decision, but think about what those people that love you (really love you, not love you the way he does), would want for you, and what they would say if they knew. What would they want for you? Always know that you can talk to me and I really am here for you. 
  • My ex was exactly like your fiance... and when he went in the military I thought " oh good he'll grow up!" No... he came back more controlling, more insecure, and violent... 

    He never once touched me in all our three years together until after he came back from military training. I spent a month with just him after moving in with him. I never saw anyone other than him and his family and one day I sat up and said "I think I'm going to go shopping with my mom today" he tore into the whole "Inever get to see you because I work and you always see your mom at work and I should mean more to you than anyone." I stood up and said "I know but mom wants to spend some girl time with me shopping" and he threw the vase of roses he bought me the night before at my head! It barely missed but that was all it took to wake me up. 

    After that, as hard as it was I packed and marched out. I was terrified but being threatened like that snapped something in me that screamed get out before its too late.

    I missed him for a year, I wouldn't go out on dates, I focused on myself, I spent time with friends and family and I moved back to my dad's hometown where I had gone to school and met my now fiance. He was a childhood friend(my best friends step brother) and he asked me out several times and each time I said no he agreed to be friends. We continued to talk and after a few months I agreed to dinner when he said "one dinner, if  there isn't anything we're still friends" so I went. I laughed and I smiled and I completely forgot about all the bad things that had happened for once. 

    Trust took a while because I saw second meanings in a lot of stuff for a long time because of how my ex had treated me. Genuine affection was questioned for a LONG time.

    One day I just felt like he was tricking me like he was just like my ex and it was all a joke. I saw signs that weren't really there and we broke up. I felt like the love wasn't there because he had stopped telling me he loved me and all the sweet stuff he had once done.  We spent a couple days talking about it because at first he was stubborn but we got through it and now we are stronger than ever. I never feel unloved or unwanted, we still fight occassionally but that will happpen it just won't be huge fights all the time. 

    If you think you can wait and you think he will change and you can risk what could happen by all means stay. But do all of us women a favor and DO NOT sit there and tell yourself it could never happen to you. I did that and I got a glass vase hurled at my head and even though it missed I always think what if it hadn't. Your boyfriend may not get violent but I never saw my ex getting violent. i just thought he would be controlling and it would just be emotional. My family has been/is so  Ithought I could handle it. But they had never been violent. No one deserves that.

    Do what you think is best but if things get worse please get out. You work in a shelter you know the signs and you see the results. Be SAFE. :-) Best of luck.  
  • Because everyone here has commented on the abusive nature of the relationship (which is enough reason to get out while you still can), I just wanted to say that it sounds like the two of you are on very different paths. You will be in school for a very long time, and based on what you've said, your fiance does not seem to support your academic/professional goals. I don't see him being there for you when you put in long nights of research and paper writing. 

    I also don't think the military necessarily changes people for the better. And whenever we tell ourselves "I'll just wait until _____ so that he will change," we're just being hopeful. We have to be okay with who are partners are now, although of course, we all grow and change over time. Maybe he will change for the better, maybe not. But usually negative personality traits intensify with age.

    If you end up leaving him, know that you will be fine on your own and probably better off if he is causing pain, stress and possibily danger to your life. 

    Whatever you choose, do it for yourself.
  • I understand not wanting to leave because of the amount of time and energy you have put into this relationship, but you are not happy. The longer you stay the longer you are not happy and the more time and energy you waste. You should not be engaged to someone unless you are willing to accept them as they are now, not who you think or hope they will be in the future. I know it may be one of the hardest things that you do and it will turn your world upside down, but you need to leave him now.

    I broke up with my FI because after being together for 6 years he refused to get married. Just the logistics of leaving seemed overwhelming, finding a new place, divding up all of our stuff, packing and moving, paying all the bills on my own. This was hard and we had a "good" break up. We eventually got back together 6 months later but I'm happy I left and not just because we eventually got back together and got engaged. I'm happy that I had the strength and courage to leave. I know plenty of women who have stayed in bad relationships because they didnt think they could make it on their own. I was lonely a lot of the time but I reconnected with friends and had a lot of fun on my own. I went out and did new things, met new people, and was able to be completely and totally independent. I had lived alone before but I never lived alone AND was single and it was really fun at times.
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