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My boyfriend (27) and I (25) have been together for about a year and a half with about a two years long distance where we see each other about every six months. We’re both in the military and stationed apart now. Before he left he asked me to marry him and I told him yes of course. I was happy and he seemed happy. But the more I talked about the upcoming wedding the more I could see that he was not so happy anymore even though he said over and over he meant it. So I stopped talking about it.
A little over a year later we brought up marriage again and agreed that we both wanted to get married and have been thinking about it. Also it’s certain we will not be stationed together without being married at this point which means we’d have to wait until the end of my enlistment in 2014 to be together. But we decided to plan to get married 6 months later on our leave. It was very exciting. He said I could plan everything since he didn’t really care too much.(About the plans)
Our leave came and for the first three days he ignored me. Nothing more than kisses and maybe holding hands. Which is odd since we hadn’t seen each other in 6 months. He took off his ring when we went to his hometown saying he just hadn’t pulled it out after security. Eventually I knew this was not true. So I asked him what was wrong. He told me that he wasn’t ready to get married and that we wanted two different things. He was scared about messing it up and messing up our future children or having them too soon. I told him that we could wait a couple years to have kids if he wanted. (Yes I want them but I want to have them together.) So we decided to see if it was just anxiety or if he really couldn’t go through with it since the wedding was scheduled to happen in a few days.
A couple days passed and I brought the subject up again. This caused him to get angry saying we already discussed the subject. I was confused and hurt. I told him this. We went through this cycle for a little over a week. In the end I gave him four days to think over everything and get back to me with a definite answer.
By the third day I was thinking it was all okay. I was thinking if we don’t get married right now we can always get married later. Before this day came I noticed messages from a girl like ‘i miss your touch’ and started to ask about her first indirectly then directly. And on this day I was sitting next to him and I saw him message her ‘mm i love your kisses.’ I first asked him if he loved me and he said yes of course. Then I asked if he still wanted to marry me and he said yes. He said “That’s why I asked you, but I’m just not ready.” So then I asked about his message. This made him defensive and he tried to break up then. After a few minutes he changed his mind and promised to get me a new ring and that he wouldn’t talk to her anymore.
Prior to my departing back to my station we decided to think about the whole marriage thing and in December we would come together on the subject and decide to maybe set a date in the future and tell our families. (This time we were just going to elope). All good.
A couple weeks after I got back I found out I was pregnant. I was excited and he was scared. (Which is normal I guess.) But he started coming around and we could talk about the baby together and the future. At my appointment just shy of ten weeks I found out I had lost the baby. Since then I’ve been in a very depressive state and we have been arguing a lot now.
Now it’s been about two weeks since we lost hope for our baby and he says we need a break…then that we are breaking up…then that it’s not breaking up but a break. After 2.5 hours of talking and crying he agreed to give us a chance to fix things since it wasn’t fair and he didn’t really want to break up. He just was tired of the arguing and making me cry.
At this point, I don’t know what to do. I didn’t think we were so close to the breaking point. I can see how though. We’ve been lashing out at each other and I know we’re both hurting. I think our biggest problem is communication. We’re fighting because we can’t find out how to communicate how we feel to each other. He’s not very open with his feelings and usually I am not either but I’ve been very open with him because I love him and don’t want to lose him. He says he loves me very much and has never loved anyone like he loves me and wants us to work.
Really I don’t know how to move on or how to help him. I wish I did.
Thanks for writing to us.
First of all we want to say how sorry we are for your loss. Losing a baby during pregnancy is a traumatic event for a woman and a couple to go through. And it’s especially difficult if the relationship itself is a bit uncertain or strained.
And overall, that’s how we feel about this. You keep imploring him to make decisions that he’s not ready to make. Or maybe he is ready to make some decisions but he’s so worried about your reaction, that he’s not willing to tell you what’s really on his mind. You need to pull back and start letting him make some of his own decisions. You need to listen to what he truly wants, because in the end, you want him to be honest. Because if he’s 100% on board with this relationship things will be great. If he’s not 100% on board, eventually you’ll grow resentful and at some point the whole relationship will unravel.
The best way you can help him Gloria—and help yourself—is allowing him the freedom to make his own choices. Which means if he doesn’t want to get married you need to honor that. We’re not saying he doesn’t, but you’re not getting honest answers from him because he is under emotional duress—you’re crying and he doesn’t want to hurt you. And it’s possible he’s just not ready to even think about marriage right now, but he might be open to it some time down the road. The two of you are relatively young still and it sometimes takes guys a little longer to understand what they truly want.
We understand how difficult it is to be separated from the person you love. And we can see how much you want to be with this man. Being in a long distance relationship is trying and can cause even the most confident person to feel insecure, especially if their partner is not that communicative. But as difficult as it may be, you can’t let those feeling of insecurity invade your relationship. We get the sense that this marriage—in addition to finally being stationed together—is a way for you to be sure about the relationship. It’s a way for you to guarantee you’ll be together. We get this. We really do. It’s totally normal to feel this way. But even if you do get married there are no guarantees it will last, especially he feels forced into it.
We think you need to sit with this a bit and think about what you really want. Is it this guy? And is it this guy even if he’s uncertain about getting married? Or is it marriage in general? Or is it having security? Be honest with yourself and really give it some thought.
And at the same time you need to give your guy some space to think about what he really wants. He needs to be able to make that decision while he’s apart from you. There’s no way he can make an honest decision if he’s with you and you’re upset. It’s obvious he cares for you a lot. But this doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to get married to you.
So when is your next visit?
We think you both need some space to think about all of this. And then come together in a few months or so and really have an honest talk with one another. It may turn out that this is all a timing issue and that down the road the two of you will be together. But you’re not going to find out anything if you don’t give him some space and time to do some soul searching and see what he really wants. And you’ll be happier either way, even if it’s more difficult now.
Please feel free to ask us a follow up question now, or in the future as this progresses. And/or leave us a comment here in the comments section. We’ll respond here as well. And keep us posted please. We’re pulling for you no matter how this turns out.