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Old 03-31-11, 11:06 PM   #1
jccaclimber
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Please dispell my cold feet (relationship advice wanted)

Ok Foo, I'm after some advice from people who don't know me (already have plenty from a select few who do), and you all seem to fit the bill. I'm getting a bit nervous about this whole wedding thing, and I'm looking for you to knock that silliness out of my head, or suggest ways to do so.

The problem isn't that I don't specifically want out of the engagement, but that I really don't remember why I want in. Sure, she's a nice person and all, but that seems to be the extent of it. My theory on marriage is that you shouldn't marry someone unless you can't picture the rest of your life without them, which has been true for the vast majority of the past 5.5 years. It isn't that I want out, more that I don't really feel any connection at all to her currently. Is this the usual cold feet, or am I finally realizing that this might not actually be right?

Background:
I've been in a relationship for 5.5 years with my now fiancee. You may remember a thread a couple months back anouncing our joyful engagement. The reasons it took me roughly five years are:
1) For some reason I didn't want to be part of the zillion people who get engaged right before graduation (4 years)
2) I needed to come up with a cool way to propose
3) I needed to make the ring, which took several revisions, etc.
As Now, we had a couple fights here and there during the first four years, some major, some minor, nothing that resulted in breaking up, nothing said that we forever regret. Honestly, we haven't had a real fight in years.
I should point out that she is a PhD student (Mech Eng), so that is sapping a lot of her time, and will continue to for quite some time. We've been living together for all but the first year or so, other than one summer, so no recent changes there.
She's still all in, and for all the right reasons. I think if we were both waffling on this it would be easy, but I feel like a [synonym for donkey] for going this far and considering turning around.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 03-31-11, 11:31 PM   #2
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" My theory on marriage is that you shouldn't marry someone unless you can't picture the rest of your life without them,"

Or the another way to look at it is - Before you marry this person, can you picture yourself spending the rest of your life together?
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Old 03-31-11, 11:45 PM   #3
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You have been with her five years and you are still very young. People CHANGE. People grow into different directions. Yes, you get along, things are going smoothly and yes, you love her. But at this time in your life you are both going through many changes very fast. And change affects peoples ideals, directions, thoughts, dreams and goals.

Sometimes people, they just don't change together....but that's all a part of who you are and who you are growing into. Nothing wrong with that. And there's nothing wrong with her growing into somebody different too.

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In times like this, when you cannot find an answer but you do feel SOMETHING holding you back, I always say to myself: If there's doubt, there's a reason. I may not know it now but I have to trust MYSELF.
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Old 03-31-11, 11:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
" My theory on marriage is that you shouldn't marry someone unless you can't picture the rest of your life without them,"

Or the another way to look at it is - Before you marry this person, can you picture yourself spending the rest of your life together?
Yes, I can picture spending the rest of my life with her, but I'm not entirely sure that tells me much as I can picture my life without her, and I'm not broken up or enamored with either version.
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Old 03-31-11, 11:59 PM   #5
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You have been with her five years and you are still very young. People CHANGE. People grow into different directions.
Or, if they are together in marriage, they grow in complementary directions, coming together. I got married at 21, still going strong 26 years later. My theory is that if you wait too long, you become too set in your ways and so does the other person and you can't grow toward each other.

Also, cold feet is only natural. I think it is an indication of how seriously you view the institution of marriage. It is not something that should be entered casually, and giving a good, hard look at the what-if scenarios is smart. In the end, though, there is the other person. Do you love her? Does she love you? Good. Go for it.
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Old 04-01-11, 12:04 AM   #6
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Or, if they are together in marriage, they grow in complementary directions, coming together. I got married at 21, still going strong 26 years later. My theory is that if you wait too long, you become too set in your ways and so does the other person and you can't grow toward each other.
Also, cold feet is only natural. I think it is an indication of how seriously you view the institution of marriage. It is not something that should be entered casually, and giving a good, hard look at the what-if scenarios is smart. In the end, though, there is the other person.
I think that might be part of it, I'm terribly concerned about getting it wrong as I don't really plan to do this twice.
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It is not something that should be entered casually, and giving a good, hard look at the what-if scenarios is smart. In the end, though, there is the other person. Do you love her? Does she love you? Good. Go for it.
1) If you had asked me that any time between around a year in to our relationship and a month or so ago I would have said "yes" without need for thought.
2) Yes, very much so. If she was waffling this would be a much easier call.

I should add before someone asks, this isn't a case of "I think I can do better" or "There's this one girl I've known for years and always wondered about".
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Old 04-01-11, 06:20 AM   #7
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Cold feet are normal, believe me I know. You are getting them because you are afraid of losing yourself as an individual and the easy out of simply breaking up if there is a problem. I knew it was time to get married when I could picture my wife and I together at 80. It is not "I can't live without her", but "I don't want to live without her".

One key thing to remember is that it will not be "happily ever after". A good marriage takes a lot of work on both sides but is incredibly rewarding. We have been married now for 17 years but it sure doesn't seem like it has been that long.
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Old 04-01-11, 08:11 AM   #8
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Cold feet are normal, believe me I know. You are getting them because you are afraid of losing yourself as an individual and the easy out of simply breaking up if there is a problem. I knew it was time to get married when I could picture my wife and I together at 80. It is not "I can't live without her", but "I don't want to live without her".

One key thing to remember is that it will not be "happily ever after". A good marriage takes a lot of work on both sides but is incredibly rewarding. We have been married now for 17 years but it sure doesn't seem like it has been that long.
I agree with this whole-heartedly, it definitely isn't always unicorns and rainbows, but worth it in the end. 17 years for us as well.
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Old 04-01-11, 08:42 AM   #9
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My experience is that long term relationships have hot and cold spots. Sometimes you can't wait to get home to see the other person, and other times your attention is diverted by life in general (job, kids, other family members, etc.) and you are on auto-pilot and sort of forget the other person is there.

If you are seriously having doubts you need to talk to your fiancee.
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Old 04-01-11, 08:48 AM   #10
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One key thing to remember is that it will not be "happily ever after". A good marriage takes a lot of work on both sides but is incredibly rewarding. We have been married now for 17 years but it sure doesn't seem like it has been that long.
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Also, cold feet is only natural. I think it is an indication of how seriously you view the institution of marriage. It is not something that should be entered casually, and giving a good, hard look at the what-if scenarios is smart. In the end, though, there is the other person. Do you love her? Does she love you? Good. Go for it.
What these guys said. I don't post a lot and am somewhat out of the "usual poster loop" but somehow feel the need to comment on this one. Can't say we've never fought or disagreed, but after living together 2 years and married for 32 (!) it mostly feels like its gone by in a blink. And I still look at her like she's 23.

The commitment should be serious and should make you edgey, but take a breath ... when its right, its right.
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Old 04-01-11, 08:58 AM   #11
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My experience is that long term relationships have hot and cold spots. Sometimes you can't wait to get home to see the other person, and other times your attention is diverted by life in general (job, kids, other family members, etc.) and you are on auto-pilot and sort of forget the other person is there.
If you are seriously having doubts you need to talk to your fiancee.
Definitely doing that. Order of conversation over the past week has been fiancee, close friends, Foo. She's the first in the line of communication for anything involving the both of us. Unfortunately, she seems more shell shocked at the moment, not that I blame her.

Thank you all for the help so far.
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Old 04-01-11, 09:44 AM   #12
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Or, if they are together in marriage, they grow in complementary directions, coming together. I got married at 21, still going strong 26 years later. My theory is that if you wait too long, you become too set in your ways and so does the other person and you can't grow toward each other.

Also, cold feet is only natural. I think it is an indication of how seriously you view the institution of marriage. It is not something that should be entered casually, and giving a good, hard look at the what-if scenarios is smart. In the end, though, there is the other person. Do you love her? Does she love you? Good. Go for it.
Right, my wife and I were just kids when we got married but we grew together. 20 years later our marriage is better than ever. That doesn't mean she doesn't drive me crazy sometimes but knowing how to work through life's peaks and valleys together makes all the difference.
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Old 04-01-11, 11:00 AM   #13
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You have to be honest to yourself. If you are hesitating, there's a reason. Stop and listen. Trust yourself.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:30 AM   #14
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My marriage was a mistake and I knew it. We were together over 6 years and there was pressure from everywhere to get married. I knew she wasn't what I wanted, we grew apart but there was still enough there to keep us together.
The break is going to be a lot more painful and expensive after the marriage.
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Old 04-03-11, 02:14 PM   #15
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My marriage was a mistake and I knew it. We were together over 6 years and there was pressure from everywhere to get married. I knew she wasn't what I wanted, we grew apart but there was still enough there to keep us together.
The break is going to be a lot more painful and expensive after the marriage.
Does she know it?
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Old 04-04-11, 01:27 AM   #16
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Ok Foo, I'm after some advice from people who don't know me (already have plenty from a select few who do), and you all seem to fit the bill. I'm getting a bit nervous about this whole wedding thing, and I'm looking for you to knock that silliness out of my head, or suggest ways to do so.

The problem isn't that I don't specifically want out of the engagement, but that I really don't remember why I want in. Sure, she's a nice person and all, but that seems to be the extent of it. My theory on marriage is that you shouldn't marry someone unless you can't picture the rest of your life without them, which has been true for the vast majority of the past 5.5 years. It isn't that I want out, more that I don't really feel any connection at all to her currently. Is this the usual cold feet, or am I finally realizing that this might not actually be right?

Background:
I've been in a relationship for 5.5 years with my now fiancee. You may remember a thread a couple months back anouncing our joyful engagement. The reasons it took me roughly five years are:
1) For some reason I didn't want to be part of the zillion people who get engaged right before graduation (4 years)
2) I needed to come up with a cool way to propose
3) I needed to make the ring, which took several revisions, etc.
As Now, we had a couple fights here and there during the first four years, some major, some minor, nothing that resulted in breaking up, nothing said that we forever regret. Honestly, we haven't had a real fight in years.
I should point out that she is a PhD student (Mech Eng), so that is sapping a lot of her time, and will continue to for quite some time. We've been living together for all but the first year or so, other than one summer, so no recent changes there.
She's still all in, and for all the right reasons. I think if we were both waffling on this it would be easy, but I feel like a [synonym for donkey] for going this far and considering turning around.

Thanks in advance,
jccaclimber
I'm not going to read the entire thread, but I'll say a few things quickly here. Basically, you should only get married if you're 100% certain it's what you want. If you're only 99.9% certain, it's a bad idea. Remember that over 50% of marriages end in ultimate divorce (and that doesn't count the ones that end in separation without a formal divorce), and that's going to be a lot more painful down the track than it is now. I also believe that nobody should get married under the age of 25, or before they have the other aspects of their life sorted out (such as their career). Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but have a look at the divorce rates among people who marry under 25 and you'll see what I mean. I'm guessing from your post that you're still fairly young, so there's really no need to get married in a hurry anyway. After all, with life-expectancies at an all-time high, you could wait until 35 and still be able to look forward to 50 years of marriage, if that's what you really want. If you're having doubts, then wait a while, and just be glad you realised this *before* you signed the contract.
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