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Am I right in wanting more time?

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (23 January 2012) 15 Answers - (Newest, 7 February 2012)
A male United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I have been seeing my gf for 10 months now and it has now become apparent that she wants me to decide pretty shortly if I want it to be a lifelong commitment ie marriage and kids. Or not = end of relationship. We have lived together for around 6 months (at her house) and have had some huge arguments which is what makes me less than sure if I want to make that commitment yet. I guess all I can do Is yell her that and see what her reaction is but I'm just wondering what is the best way of handling this. She asks me if I see is as a forever thing and in truth I don't know yet. Should I after this amount of time know if it's what I want? Or us it fair to ask for sone more time. I think, I know that in her eyes needing more tine to decide is just a copout. But I don't think I'm prepared to give her the commitment that she needs yet. What scares the hell out of me is that she'll talk of marriage and kids and then well have an argument and shell say this isn't working or shout at me that I make her feel like shit at the top of her voice. This makes me worried that this could potentially happen when we're married and think she finds it difficult to reach compromise in an argument (if I defend my position she gets crazy and says why do I always have to be right). Help! What should I do.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2012):

You don't want to enter marriage under pressure and/or with misgivings. A long-term commitment to love has to be a thing you enter into of a free will, with your whole heart. Also, in taking marriage vows you promise to stay together "for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part". Would you stay with her in all those scenarios, considering the current situation?

There is also no reason to believe things would be better if you were married. Good communication is essential to any relationship; this includes understanding and respect, especially where are differences of opinion. Accusations, shouting have no place in healthy communication, especially if it's supposed to be a love relationship.

The telling phrase for me is "I guess all I can do Is yell her that and see what her reaction is but I'm just wondering what is the best way of handling this.", which seems to say you want to be honest, but are perhaps afraid of her potential reaction. I think you have to bite the bullet and tell her exactly how it is for you. I think part of the way she is reacting is because she is frustrated at the uncertainty as she sees it. I think it's only fair to her to communicate your feelings to her so she can pursue what she wants (marriage & kids) with someone who wants the same as she does.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 January 2012):

Everything you see in her now, will be exactly the way it will be if not WORSE when you're married and WORSE if you have kids. Why would she get any better? the yelling at you, the unstable behavior - what reason is there that marriage will make this all magically disappear? when you're married it's a whole new ball game that's all. Marriage doesn't make pre-existing relationship problems disappear!!! It brings out and magnifies the relationship problems, and creates new ones where none existed before!!

Still sitting on the fence now?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 January 2012):

"Am I right in wanting more time?"

No, you are absolutely insane, almost as nuts as she is. You should have bailed months ago.

"Should I after this amount of time know if it's what I want?"

No, you should known months ago it's what you DON'T want.

"What scares the hell out of me is that she'll talk of marriage and kids and then well have an argument and shell say this isn't working or shout at me that I make her feel like shit at the top of her voice."

If talking about marriage and kids scares the hell out of you, why are you even talking about marriage and kids with her, let alone actually considering it? You would actually

consider condemning an innocent baby to a life with her as a mother?

"This makes me worried that this could potentially happen when we're married and think she finds it difficult to reach compromise in an argument (if I defend my position she gets crazy and says why do I always have to be right)."

Potentially? That's exactly what will happen when you're married. That's who she is. That's why you shouldn't marry her. That's why you should have bailed months ago.

"Help! What should I do."

Dump her like you should have months ago. She's unstable and uncompromising. The psycho shrew you're shacking up with is the psycho shrew she is and the psycho shrew always will be. Why do you think marriage is going to change her? Why would you marry someone you wanted to change? Why would you marry HER?

Honest to God, just don't get the thousands of random starngers shacking up in unhealthy, dysfunctional,

miserable relationships of months duration who keep waiting for shack-up psycho to magically "change" into a normal human being.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2012):

Is she close to your age?

I ask because if she wants a marriage and then children (which are two perfectly normal things to want) then she may feel her time to achieve these things is "running out." I can see why she would want to know if there is any point in investing more time in a relationship with you if these are not desires you share.

I do believe that 10 months is long enough to have some idea, at least, of whether you could spend your life with a person. Especially if you've been living together for 6 of those months. You've seen her at her worst (angry) and know what she is like. If you've been together that long and still have no idea if you could someday marry this woman then I have to say she's probably not the one for you. The kindest thing in the long run would be to let her go so she can find someone that does share her desire to settle down. Best wishes.

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A female reader, mizz.butterflies United States +, writes (23 January 2012):

mizz.butterflies agony auntshe wants marriage, not you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2012):

I think the best solution for you both is to head to a couples counsellor to learn together how to communicate effectively.

As it seems most of your arguments are circular and that there seems to be invalidation occuring on both sides of this relationship.

With counselling; you both work together to LEARN and GROW together as well as pick up the tools to learn to listen to one another and problem solve with a WIN/WIN. Also you will both realize that if you both STOP reacting and take the time to listen to what the other is saying, you most likely may be wanting the same thing or common goal, just a different time line. So that is when COMPROMISE will work which is a win/win situation.

You will also learn that sometimes there is an agree to disagree on things. A Counsellor will help you both recognize when an agree to disagree situation occurs and when one must apologize.

Do this and maybe you BOTH will be better able to be what the other needs.

Best of Wishes!

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A female reader, 1sunshine United States +, writes (23 January 2012):

1sunshine agony aunt** Don't let her rush you into marriage!!.... If she is yelling at you now? Just imagine how things will be for you if you proposed & dealing with her planning all the wedding craziness!! Let alone her temper for the rest of your life... If she can't respect how you feel now with wanting to wait? Like TELLULUH posted, RUN FOR THE HILLS!! I have been with my bf for almost eight months now and would not even DARE of even asking him about marriage! I don't want to put pressure on him & scare him off. We don't even live together because of the fact that we just started dating and there is so much more to explore in our relationship. Make sure first that you want to be with this girl for the rest of your life before commiting. Be smart and wait ;)

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A female reader, TELLULAH United Kingdom +, writes (23 January 2012):

TELLULAH agony auntBlimey! I am a female but if I was you (and what you say is true) I would run for the hills! You can’t put a time limit on when you should make such an important decision. You can know if you want all this, in a week after meeting a person, or it could take years. Sometimes it takes breaking up just to make you realise what you want. I hope this helps, but I can’t help thinking it’s not right for either of you, because she would not be nagging you, and you wouldn’t be worried that it’s not right. I wish you and your girlfriend all the best though. xx

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (23 January 2012):

Honeypie agony auntHonestly, I would say that 2 year is kind of the timeline to figure out if the person you are with is someone you want to be married to or not, 10 months is (IMHO) too soon.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2012):

I agree that 10 months isn't very long, even if you have been living together for 6 of those months. You do have the right to ask for a bit more time.

Many (not all) relationships get close to the 2 year mark when the next natural step is to get engaged if not already, or just go with the flow, or end it depending on the couple.

It's clear your girlfriend wants to get married and have children, and does not want to waste time if you don't feel the same.

I think she just needs reassurance. When you are both relaxed and calm, tell her you have been thinking about what she asked of you, and express everything you feel for her. Since you met her, the reasons you are with her, what you love about her, how she makes you feel, everything.

Then after that, also share your fears - how the arguments make you feel, how her saying it's "not working out" when in the middle of an argument doesn't give you confidence in the relationship long term, and that it's only been 10 months and you would like to keep exploring what you both have, and building each other up, helping each other achieve your respective dreams.

Let her research some emotional intelligence articles, conflict resolution and other sources of literature that will help her when there are arguments. Usually someone who is "relationship immature" does that: in the middle of an argument, they will walk out, or say it's over, or not working out, because they don't know how to deal with the conflicting ideas, thoughts, feelings and words. They just need security and assurance.

So aside for the future of the relationship, you also need to work on the arguments/dealing with conflict.

Some people know the moment they meet their SO they are THE ONE. Other people realise it weeks, months or years later. There is no rule that says you should already know what you want. You can certainly determine how you feel about her, why you want to be with her, and as you spend more time together, determine if it's what you want forever, or not. You will know when you are ready to take it further and surprise her one day, or whether you already know it's not how you envisage it, or what you want, and give her the freedom to find what she wants too.

You may not get the chance if she feels asking for more time is a cop out, then your decision is made for you, and it's HER CHOICE. She may be making a big mistake forcing your hand like that, but it's her choice.

I wish you much happiness and good luck with the future.

xxxxE

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A female reader, Domolovescookies United States +, writes (23 January 2012):

Domolovescookies agony auntWell... maybe its not a long enough time... maybe it is (i'll go ahead and admit i'm too young to really know)

What I think is that at your age... assuming shes around your age... women will start to think they're running out of time.

Women around that age have only a few short years left that they can be sure they will be ABLE to have kids... you know that I'm sure.

She probably regrets not being able to have any so far, and doesnt want the chance to pass her by. She wants to settle down with someone that cares for her before shes too old and its "too late" (though... of course... you cant ever say its too late)

But that's how I think she feels. What you must ultimately do, is of course up to you, Personally ... I think you're too old to be messing around for more than 10 months and not knowing what u want. It's not fair to her, who KNOWS what she wants, and apparently wants it badly.

About the yelling... thats never good... but then again, there are worse ways to show anger... sounds like one you could put up with to me.

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A female reader, AbigailBradbury United Kingdom +, writes (23 January 2012):

AbigailBradbury agony auntyou are right to want more time. You don't ASK for more time. you are your own person don't let her make you say what she wants to hear.

Do what YOU feel is best for you. You have your whole life to commit and if she loves you she'll understand. Like aunty bimbim said, she may take it the wrong way and leave...her loss at the end of the day sweety.

just don't be pushed into anything. It's a relationship so it's your life as well as hers.

x

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A female reader, chocoholicforever United States +, writes (23 January 2012):

You do have the right to ask for more time (though she can certainly say no to your request). But honestly from what you've written I think you already have your answer. I don't think the passage of more time will in and of itself change anything, which is your nagging doubts and concerns. The reasons for your present doubts and concerns - i.e. her behavior and attitudes - will still be there months or years into the future.

just tell her honestly exactly how you feel and she can choose whether to move on now or wait around and give you as much time as you want to see if your feelings will change. be totally frank about your feelings without concern for what decision your words will lead her to. She's asking you to give her honest information on how you feel towards her and the prospect of marriage so she can make decisions for herself, so do that, respectfully but honestly. Don't lie or be vague to keep her around in false hope (that would be stringing her along). But don't agree to marry her either, given your deep nagging doubts, because that won't bode well for you.

your feelings are there for a reason, they're telling you that you probably won't ever feel comfortable about marrying her unless she changes in her behavior and attitudes. But you have to make marriage decisions based on the person that they are today, not on a vague hope that they will change and improve in the future (they probably won't, or not soon enough for you).

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (23 January 2012):

Aunty BimBim agony aunt10 months isn't very long, and you moved in to her place after knowing her for only 4 months .... Ithink you need more time, but if she is a yeller, I don't know how she is going to react to that .... she may see it as a deal breaker, which might not be a bad thing for you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2012):

To increase the chances that a marriage will work well and not be something you later regret, both people should be fully mentally and emotionally ready to marry each other before actually doing so.

In this case, she's ready to marry and have kids. But you're not ready to marry her (and for good reason, given how you've described her...)

Therefore, this marriage is a no-go. Both people should be wholeheartedly ready, not just one.

To be fair to her you should tell her no, so she can move on. She's certainly willing to move on, so you should let her. I do think she's rushing things, but she has the right to decide her own terms and conditions, maybe her biological clock is ticking so she has decided not to risk waiting more. Maybe she has had past relationships where men strung her along for years which has heightened her desire for marriage now.

Therefore, if you truly need more time to decide if you want to marry her, and she truly wants a commitment now, then by default that means you should tell her no because based on the here and now, you simply can't back up the case for marrying her and she won't give the relationship more time to see if it improves.

and by the way, given how you've described her I think you're wise to have reservations about marrying her. it sounds to me like she's not really interested in building this relationship.... sounds like she's focused primarily on getting into a marriage and having kids, and only secondarily on the other person involved in that equation.

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