Hello. I wasn't sure if this belonged in the "Why hurry to the altar?" thread, but since there are quite a few topics I wanted to talk about that are off-topic from that thread, I just started a new thread.
Well, to start off, my boyfriend and I got engaged in November. He is 22 and I'm 20. This month I basically freaked out about it. I think the head in the clouds post-engagement period wore off FAST and now I'm just feeling really scared. This is the same boyfriend that had trouble being sexually compatible with me, the one I had to break up with for four months last year due to that lack of compatibility, and the one that I had to fight with tooth and nail to get him to use safe sex practices. At this moment, all I'm feeling about spending the rest of my life with this person is BLIND PANIC. I still feel like a kid and am still discovering what I'm all about. I feel like I didn't get all the things I needed to done before I landed in the supposedly "last relationship I'll ever have."
He's very jealous and possessive and suspicious. For example, I went to a friend's band concert the other night and struck up a conversation with their friendly lead singer. When I got home and told my boyfriend about it, the first thing he said was, "Did you tell him about me?" My comeback was, "I'm sorry. I guess I forgot the huge sign that says 'I HAVE A BOYFRIEND. DON'T TALK TO ME.'" It was very very nice to talk to this person and for once NOT have the topic of my boyfriend come up because lately it seems like whenever I tell people I have a boyfriend that's ALL they want to talk about. I feel like I have no identity anymore separate from my exhausting relationship. I feel like I'm a portion of this me/boyfriend duo, but that I'm nothing on my own even though I want to be.
I love my boyfriend, but I can't help but wonder if these "the grass is greener on the other side" feelings have any validity. On another note, there is SO MUCH guilt feeding into all of these fears right now as well. From family, from myself. My stepfather is telling me that I can't break my boyfriend's heart and that I should always be wearing the ring he gave me. I'm trying to stay away from the thought process of "Why do you have to go and screw everything up? Why do you have to be the one to hurt him again? Why can't you JUST BE HAPPY." Anyway, I'm going to end this now because I can't type through tears. Any advice would be great. Thanks.
Posted by *Lauren* (Member # 25983) on :
Hey fallchild. I have to run to work shortly, but wanted to let you know I see this and will offer input later. I have a lot to say, and my brain just isn't working this morning. Hang on!
Posted by September (Member # 25425) on :
Can I ask why you you agreed to the engagement?
Reading this post, all I am seeing is a long list of obvious reasons why not to rush into marriage with this guy. Since you're trying to suss out your negative reasons, there is a good chance you simply left out all the good things and I am thus not getting a complete picture, but from the things you're describing here, it does not sound like a very balanced, healthy relationship at all.
Looking through your post history here, this partner made a huge deal over safe sex practices to the point of refusing to wear condoms. This guy also did/does not seem to consider your pov at all when it comes to sex and just generally seemed really inconsiderate when it came to taking your feelings and both of your safety into account.
And just from what you mentioned here, he also sounds fairly possesive.
So what I am wondering is - what are your reasons for wanting to marry him? Taking all of your feelings of obligation for him and your family out of the equation, can you make a list for yourself of reasons why this is a good relationship and why you want to get married?
Also, I am not sure whether you set a wedding date but I suggest that, at the very least, you two take some time to make sure this relationship is really going strong. As recently as last fall, you were having huge issues concerning safe sex and birth control, for example, so I really think it might be wise to just let things calm down for a while and let the relationship progress normally and naturally, without the added pressure of an engagement and an impending marriage.
I am not saying that you need to break this off asap (though I am hearing some distant warning bells) but I strongly suggest that you step back from this and really take a look at your relationship. Of course it's normal to feel overwhelmed by the idea of marriage - our society makes a huge deal out of it and it puts a lot of pressure on people in a relationship - but feeling a 'blind panic' and being in tears trying to think about this is a lot more than just nerves. You know, at this point, even if you're a little nervous, a feeling of happiness should really outweigh that, and if you're just plain terrified, it's wise to listen to that and at least try to suss out why that is.
Posted by fallchild (Member # 28780) on :
In the few weeks before we got engaged, he'd been dropping a lot of hints that he would pop the question and that he was so excited. I instantly starting freaking out, but somehow convinced myself that everything would be ok. The reasons I thought of were these. We are able to hang out and be stupid together like friends can because we were friends first. Even though he can be an idiot about issues I'm having with the relationship, after I've explained he usually comes around and really tries to work on it with me. Um, wow. That's all that's coming to mind right now. THAT'S IT???!!!! Oh god.
Well, I think there's a good chance that I'm only thinking of the negative things because I'm scared out of my brain to get married (come to think of it, I'm not sure if I "agree" with marriage anyway). If I can convince myself that I'm not a bad person for breaking off the engagement to just let things simmer for awhile, I think that would be the best thing. Ideally, a very small part of me would like "a break" (dun dun DUN!!!), but my boyfriend said that if I wanted to see other people he would break up with me. Which is valid, I guess. I don't know.
I'm just really really sick of all the immaturity. That's what my thought process keeps looping back to. I'm sick of the statements like, "Well, I don't want to use condoms because I can't orgasm with a condom on" (which I proved him wrong on), "You better not wash them with MY clothes!!!!" (when I told him about Lunapads), "Well you're just addicted to alcohol" (completely out of the BLUE. I hardly ever drink), "I don't need to get tested for STD's because you don't have any. If I had anything you'd have it" (do I really need to point out the obvious idiocy here?). Anyway, I could go on and on. I'm just freaking sick of it.
Posted by September (Member # 25425) on :
You know, taking 'a break' does not automatically have to imply that you want to see other people. It can also just mean exactly what it is: taking a break from the relationship, not to hook up with others, but to evaulate where you're at, where you see yourself going with this, and whether the relationship is still one you want to be in. It just means getting some distance to be able to really think clearly. Ever heard of being unable to see the forest for all the trees? Sometimes you just really need to remove yourself from a situation before you're able to see it clearly. And that's what taking a break is all about. And, seriously? If your boyfriend doesn't understand that concept and is unwilling to give you that space, that should give you all the more reason to reconsider whether he's a good partner for you.
A break would also give you the opportunity to figure out what marriage means to you, whether you think it's a valid concept for you and whether you want to be in a marriage to begin with.
And you are not a bad person for asking for a break or asking to reconsider the engagement. On the contrary: if you're this unsure about all of this, it is the healthy and rational thing to do to really figure out what you're feeling or what you want. Rushing into a marriage you're not sure you're ready for out of a sense of obligation and duty to your boyfriend sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
I've got to be honest with you...based on what you've posted previously and in this thread, this does sound like a recipe for disaster at this point. Partners who are jealous, possessive, and suspicious are sending up red-flags all over the place. It's even more so when that is combined with a reluctance to use safer sex methods that protect you. None of those things really spell a genuine love or caring for another individual. And if you're looking at a long-term relationship here, consider how all of those issues will look in the long-term. You can't live (at least not in a healthy manner) with jealousy and suspicion for very long. If everything is a battle, then it's going to be a battle (whether it's the same issue or a different one) in the long run. I'm not saying that "healthy" couples don't have conflict...in fact, the opposite is true. You're always going to have conflict and that is sometimes necessary to get things worked out. However, you shouldn't have little cutting remarks. You should have to fight for every little thing. That's not healthy. It definitely sounds like your partner needs a healthy dose of maturity before he's ready for any sort of long-term commitment.
I'd agree that reconsidering the engagement is probably a wise thing at this point. You need to figure out what you want and rushing into things is not the way to get that done. These days, it's not terribly uncommon to have a broken engagement, so please don't feel like you're a horrible person or you'll be the only person who's ever done this. It happens, and in this case it sounds like a good thing. If you do plan to stay engaged/become engaged again to this person, I cannot stress enough the importance of getting some couples counseling before you make any long-term commitments. In this case, it sounds like that should be a non-negotiable. If your partner wants to stay in this relationship, the two of you need to start meeting with an unbiased, outside party to work on your issues and learn how to communicate with one another. It is better to start those habits sooner than later.
Posted by fallchild (Member # 28780) on :
Sorry it's been a few days. Full time school and two part time jobs takes up, shall we say, most of my time
Well, I'm not engaged anymore. My boyfriend and I had quite the heart to heart the other night where I told him I'd like to "step back" from the engagement and just let things progress a little more in the relationship before we made such a big commitment.
Surprisingly? He looked relieved. Confused, I said, "Wasn't the engagement what you wanted?"
Him: "Well, I would've liked to wait for awhile, but you kept asking me when."
Me: "No, I was asking you when as in WHEN. So I could try and be ready (because I knew it was coming)."
Him: "Oh. I thought you were pressuring me."
Me: "No, I thought you were pressuring ME??!!"
*RELIEVED LAUGHTER* lol
Yeah, so pretty much we both thought that the other wanted to get married right now, and weren't communicating AT ALL. Yes, we still have some issues to work out. I told him that the problem with the safe sex practices was a BIG CONCERN and that I would be watching out for any complications in that area. I told him his possessiveness is bothering me. I told him that if I don't feel better after stepping back from the engagement, that I may need a break and that he needs to be ok with that. He said he was, so we're gonna just chill for awhile and see how things turn out. Thanks for all the replies people
Posted by September (Member # 25425) on :
Glad that worked out so well for the two of you, fallchild. This is why we always make such a huge deal over communication: because it makes everything so much easier when everyone's just open and honest about their emotions and thoughts. Good luck with working on your relationship - you're off to a good start!
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