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Why does he talk about the rest of our lives and then says-- he is afraid of being married? What's up with that?

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Question - (27 September 2006) 6 Answers - (Newest, 28 September 2006)
A female , anonymous writes:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 2 years and have decided to get married (though there is no ring or formal engagement yet). We have lived together for about a year. He tells me he loves me and wants this to work and wants to be in a relationship. But he also tells me that I'm smothering him and controlling his life and he doesn't want to have to ask me permission for everything. He says that I make him afraid of marriage. both of his parents have been married at least 3 times and I don't know if that is where his phobia comes from or what. He is faithful, kind, funny, and wonderful. But he has been away for a few weeks now and has suddenly come at me with all of this stuff. We've had this conversation before and I changed and we were doing better but now the topic has come up again.

I really don't know what to make of all this.

Does he really want to be in a relationship?

Why is he so quick to talk about the rest of our lives and then say he is afraid of being married?

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A male reader, 2old4this United States +, writes (28 September 2006):

2old4this agony auntUs men worry about things sometimes that we think women wouldn't understand. Even though we are often wrong, we still worry and have a hard time telling you about it.

When it comes to marraige, we worry about whether we can provide for a family. Where were gonna live with children. Whether or not this is gonna work.

Ease his mind. Tell him as sincere as you can that you worry about those things too and you will work through them together. And reasure him that you love him and "want him as much as he wants you". Guys need that.

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A female reader, Toria +, writes (27 September 2006):

Toria agony auntIf he feels you are controlling him and he has to ask your permission on everything then marriage will scare him as he will see them things as only going to get worse with the ring on your finger.

You need to talk to him and ask him about these controlling and permission issues and try and work through them together.

Also I wouldn't be surprised if his parents have made him scared of marriage I know alot of men and women that now refuse to get married due to the fact they've seen so many marriages fail.

Good luck :o)

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 September 2006):

He's being sincere. Just because someone says they want to join the army, doesn't mean that s/he's not scared about it. Just because someone wants to pursue a career in a high profession, and travel half way around the world to go to school or go to work, doesn't mean there aren't reservations and anxiety associated with it.

Marriage/civil unions, to those who still believe in it, isn't something that you toss around. Supposedly, it's the stepping stone to create and continue a family.

For example, when I was in a relationship, we can talk about our futures together, building a new house together, design it together, plant our gardens, possibly have children, put them through school, talk about how I would like to help them achieve things, etc, etc, but there is a lot of anxiety and even worrisome and fear.

There's something not quite right about this - with you. It seems like you're not perceptive at all. He's expressing his sincerities, and yet you question whether he wants to be in a relationship or not. The missing perception is that he is feeling insecure with the idea of marriage, though he can also feel he wants one.

On your end, you should reassure him that you are indeed worth it all the way to "Til death do us part". You just have to be yourself, and continue the relationship in a way to support his emotional setbacks. He's been through break-us in his family which considerably effected the way he thinks.

You just need to talk to him about everything - tell him what you want, and ask him what he wants, what you two can do together to make it work. Remind each other that there will be hardships, ups and downs, and possible fortunes.

A relationship is never perfect, even if it feels perfect, but that's the oxymoron - it should be like that. 8]

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A female reader, baadgrlz117 +, writes (27 September 2006):

baadgrlz117 agony aunti know exactly what you mean. i was with a guy that did this to me all the time! I really believe that his parents getting divorced causes him to have a negative view of marraige, on the other hand he loves you very much and probably wants to be w/u forever. After the trauma of what his parents went through it is hard for him to view marriage positively. He is afraid that what happened to his parents is destined to happen to him.

Also all men are weary about marriage because if there is a divorce, the woman usually gets everything. Its not that he doesnt trust you or love you, but people do change and marriage is a very big risk for most men.

Good luck!

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A female reader, smileyhugs +, writes (27 September 2006):

It sounds like he is confused too. Perhaps his experiences relating to marriage have heavily affected this potential commitment phobia?

People do spend their lives together and not get married, although it sounds like he does want to marry you.

He clearly wants to be with you, but maybe marriage will take a while for him to get used to? Most people get a bit of 'cold feet' at the idea of being tied to someone for the rest of their lives.

However, this is natural, and will pass away, especially if you have solid foundations on your relationship.

Remember, it is always important to talk all this through with him. All the best

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A female reader, Donnah +, writes (27 September 2006):

Donnah agony auntSounds like he's getting cold feet. Be patient with him. No pressing. Marriage is a very deep commitment. It is supposed to be until death do you part. I got cold feet and even postponed the wedding after the embroidered linen napkins were already done.

Send me more info on what you've been dealing with and we should probably work on that on your part. Plus the history, he has obviously not seen marriage at it's best.

If there are any smothering and controlling issues we'll need to work on that to. It's like building trust. He may need to know that he is still the man of the house and ultimately is the head of the household. Sounds like the male ego is hurt here. That will take time to heal. You are aware of his concerns and have made changes. That is great! Time is the answer here.

You've got challenges! If you love him, hang in there! We'll work this one out. Do find out where you stand as of now. Being in a relatioship and being married are two separate status. You could still be together though. Find out what his expectations are of you and of being married. He'll be glad that you are interested to know what his thoughts on this are.

Take care,

Donnah

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