Dating 8 Years Not Married
By Frank Kermit
There are times when people will come to me for coaching, feeling very frustrated that they are in long term relationships, but as yet, are still not married to the person they are involved with.
Sometimes it is a matter of the person promising that they will get married at a particular point in the future (when the kids are in college and out of the house), but then once that time point arrives, there is no future planning on getting married.
Other times I have seen people who told the partner that they do not believe in marriage and never plan to get married to which the partner says, “I understand”, only to have the same partner be frustrated because they secretly hoped that he or she would change their mind in a few years.
Finally, there are those cases where someone is too afraid to bring up the topic of wanting to get married out of a fear of potential conflict, so they stew in their frustrations of waiting for the other to bring it up. When the other does not bring up it, the person finds themselves erupting out of frustration and having a major fight that threatens to end the relationship.
None of these situations is acceptable.
Let me be frank with you and make it clear that if getting married is important to you, then it is best to find someone that already thinks the same way you do and to screen every date you have to find someone that is compatible with your beliefs.
In today’s society the resistance to getting married actually makes sense. Depending on your income level (the higher income partner risks alimony and child support payments), your status (if you are previously divorced and financial compromised), and your history of being a lousy judge of character, or a repeating behavior pattern of self-sabotage, then the risks of getting married can be very real. Not everyone aims to get married, even if they want to date, live together and even have children.
If you happen to be dating someone that tells you that they will marry you once a certain point of time happens, it comes down to whether or not you trust your own judge of character if you believe the person. I often mention that even if you have to wait for marriage, you do not necessarily have to wait to get engaged. This conversation tends to lead to any others reasons that someone might be holding back, and can be a very effective tool to finding out if the person means it, or is just using it as an excuse.
The bottom line is this: If you want to get married by a certain deadline, be sure to communicate that deadline to the person you are involved with. There is nothing wrong nor demanding in saying that if you are not married by (insert # of years of being together) then you will end the relationship. The key is to stick by your own words when you issue any ultimatum. If you do not stick by your own ultimatums, then why should your partner take you seriously about anything else you might claim is important to you? You cannot have it both ways. You cannot complain that something you want is not happening and then refuse to take action when what is so important to you is not being fulfilled.
Speak up for yourself, and be clear about your needs and expectations. Otherwise, you will not get what you want, and the only person you can blame is yourself.
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