Posted by: NB | 2009/03/31

He popped the question, now I' m scared?!

I’ ve been divorced for 7 yrs and have 2 children aged 14 and 10 from this marriage. I’ ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4 yrs now and we have a 3yr old daughter. For years I wanted my boyfriend to commit to us because I was tired of being alone and more importantly was that I love him and I want us to start a life together. My ex and I have an amicable relationship because of the kids and our partners are courteous towards each other, so thankfully there is no drama or fighting. My boyfriend popped the question last week and I suddenly feel scared. I can’ t even imagine myself having his surname or being his wife. This is what I wanted and now it feels like I’ m betraying the vows I made when I married my ex, I’ m betraying my ex’ s family who is still very good to me, I’ m betraying my kids and myself. I’ m shocked that I feel this way. I wanted a future with my boyfriend &  now that he wants to commit I’ m running scared. Is this normal cold feet or am I making the biggest mistake ever? I’ m not inlove with my ex as he is more like a brother to me now…  but why this sudden fear to let go of my past and start a new life, when I’ ve dreamt of this so long?

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Our expert says:
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Interesting, in that the experience of marrying, being a wife, and having another surname is something you have done before. Maybe it's because it ended unhappily that you feel nervous ? I guess even with marriage, the surname is voluntary. The vows you once made with the Ex were formally ended when you divorced. Interseting , too that you did NOT feel this way about living with another man and having a child by him --- but the technicality of marriage seems more of a betrayal fo the vows ? Your relationhip as it is now, with your ex can of course continue, as can your relationship with his family. Has he expressed concern about your prospective re-marriage ? And he is in a new apparently lasting relationship, too. Interesting that one wants committment until it is offered to you. Why do you feel MARRYING your friend could be such a big mistake, while living with him and having a child by him, is not ? Maybe even a couple of sessions with a counsellor could help you clarify your thinking and emotions here ?

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