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Question
Posted by: JADE | 2012-08-30

HOW MUCH TIME IS ENOUGH?

My friends and family all feel I am wasting my time with a man who is never going to commit. We have been together for 5 years and still stay in seperate homes. He says he wants to get married oneday but he has to be 100% sure as he had a bad marriage and doesnt want to end up in the same boat. He always uses that as an excuse. He has become very set in his ways staying by himself and I dont know what the big wait is all about. This is driving me insane as I can see he really loves me but he seems to just want the good times and not the baggage and hassles that might come with living together. He says things will happen naturally - we have been discussing this topic since we were together after 3 years. Sometimes I feel so darn empty inside as I love someone who just doesnt seem to love me enough to make a change and to put himself " out"  He loves his home, his own comforts and I think he is scared my children and I are going to mess that all up.Financially I do not need to live with him we are both financially fine. We also see each other most nights of the week and weekend.

I need help to handle this situation. Do I not bring it up? Do I set a date? Do i just back off? I have so much going for me and have a lot to offer someone and he sees all that but he just doesnt want to take any extra steps - he says not yet I must give him time!.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

People who have had a marriage or relationship end painfully, are understandably cautious about future relationships, and would want to avoid being hurt again. But if after 5 years he still doesn't know whether he trusts you and wants to commit, further time isn't going to answer that question.
It does indeed sound as though he has become very set in his ways, and such folks are reluctant to change. Maybe he loves having you as a friend, in your own place, but not as a potential wife.
What he already has, is what he wanrts. If you want more than that, you're really not likely to find it with him.
He's comfortable, and doesn't want to disturb his comfort. If you want anything more, or different, it'll need to be with someone else.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Karin | 2012-09-04

You say that you know he loves you, and that you love him! How does he treat your children? That should be the only deal breaker. Don''t put undue pressure on your relationship, and what ever you do, don''t be pressurized by your family to solidify your relationship because you are the one that will have to live with that decision.
How much is enough? If you love him, there is no time limit. Don''t spoil something good by adding a time limit. just enjoy each other.

Reply to Karin
Posted by: Rashieda | 2012-09-03

I''ve been in relationship with a guy for ten years. I was the one not ready to get married,and yes we lived together had a son. I think same like ur guy i knew we would never get married. I was in a comfort zone we had a good relationship why mess it up with the whole married stori. Sadly my boyfriend passed away in a car accident 3months ago. But we were happy n all i remember now is the Love and good times we had.

Reply to Rashieda
Posted by: MsFloza | 2012-08-31

Sisi, honestly you will never find a man who will give you everything you want, you can leave him and get on with your life but chances are very slim that you will get a better man than you have. You might find a man who will marry you but who will make you unhappy, or you might not even find a man who will marry you etc..etcso at the end of the day if you are willing to gamble leave him and hope for the best...

Reply to MsFloza
Posted by: Lady Luck | 2012-08-31

Hi Jade,

Women want security in a relationship. I would feel the same as you after 5 years. 5 Years are a very long time.

I don''t see it change soon.

You want the commitment of marriage and you are entitled to it. You will never be happy living apart and it will eat you up.

Give him an ultimatum.

Reply to Lady Luck
Posted by: Hanna Sakyi | 2012-08-31

My dear lady,
You know exactly what you need in a relationship, you know exactly what you want. If only the man who makes us happy in part would bend, twist and turn to fit the mould completely for us!
Well you know the answers to what you need to do now and in the future as far as this man is concerned really don''t you?, it''s just the fear that no one else is going to come along syndrome isn''t it? You are either at the opinion that anything is better than nothing, or I''m worth better than this.
however if the man is involved in you life, will pick the kids up, , and take them places if you need him to. Volunteers to do activities with the kids, is the first to appear on the scene should you need help, be there when you need him and all that is wonderful in a relationship,,,,,,, why change it? That sounds brilliant to me, I''d want it to stay the same if he is that good but living apart.
Work it through lady, because only you know the answer to that question. What do you need, what do you want, is he providing it, and do you deserve more or less?, what is driving your decision, is it what friends and family will think of you or what makes you happy?

Reply to Hanna Sakyi
Posted by: MaFloza | 2012-08-31

I think you should be happy with what you have Sis, being married is not the end of everything I tell you, if you are happy and he is happy and you spend most of your time together, I promise you be happy and content, marriage does change a lot of things and you are better off the way you are. If you force it, one day you will wish you had not, just relax, let him marry you when he is ready and for now, just enjoy each other, I''m sure you can even get pregnant and have a baby, why not, but marriage is never forced  let it happen naturally....

Reply to MaFloza
Posted by: Anon | 2012-08-30

Also curious about how old your kids are? Does he spend time with you and the kids or just you?

If it''s important for you for the relationship to move forward, simply leaving it won''t help. Right now it seems like he is getting everything he wants for the relationship while you''re obviously not and it''s not really fair of him to expect from you to continue waiting for him to eventually make up his mind. After 5 years he should have a pretty good idea about whether he wants to fully commit to the relationship and after a failed marriage he should also know that things do not just happen ''naturally'', it takes some effort and compromising from both sides.

Try to convince him to join you in couples counselling, maybe some advice from a professional can help with his fears of having another failed marriage. If you don''t do this already, perhaps suggest that you and the kids spend the weekend at his house sometime, that way he can atleast get a partial feel for what it would be like having all of you around, maybe it won''t be as bad as he assumes?

Reply to Anon
Posted by: JADE | 2012-08-30

My children are 11 and 13

Reply to JADE
Posted by: Maria | 2012-08-30

" he seems to just want the good times and not the baggage and hassles that might come with living together" 

You said it. After 5 years, why is that likely to change? You seem to want different things from this relationship which doesn''t appear to be compatible. How old are your kids?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Sandra | 2012-08-30

Then give the poor man time he will do it when he is ready. As long as you believe he loves you then he will one day. Be happy and loving for as long as you are with him. Imagine ending the relationship and if you do you says the next man you leave will marry you? What if you are going to meet someone who is the same as him and worse only spend 1 night with you once a week. Or you meet someone who will marry you after a year and treat you like kak. Be happy honey marriage is not everything. But love is. marriage is just a bonus if it comes. I have been with my boyfriend for 9 years now and we have twins together. They are on his medical aid and he takes good care of them but we are not married

Reply to Sandra
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-08-30

People who have had a marriage or relationship end painfully, are understandably cautious about future relationships, and would want to avoid being hurt again. But if after 5 years he still doesn't know whether he trusts you and wants to commit, further time isn't going to answer that question.
It does indeed sound as though he has become very set in his ways, and such folks are reluctant to change. Maybe he loves having you as a friend, in your own place, but not as a potential wife.
What he already has, is what he wanrts. If you want more than that, you're really not likely to find it with him.
He's comfortable, and doesn't want to disturb his comfort. If you want anything more, or different, it'll need to be with someone else.

Reply to cybershrink

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