The man is 40, never been married. The woman is 46, divorced and living with her widowed mother in her family home near the ocean in San Francisco. They have been seeing each other for 3 years, and get along very well.
He wants to move forward and for her to move in with him; however, he has made it clear there is to be no commitment until a year and a half afterwards, as he will know by then if they get along well enough to make a lifetime commitment. She feels this is some trial period in which she must prove herself.
Does he not know by now whether he loves her? His reason is a fallout with a male friend back in college that he got along with great until they became roommates. He says she must accept this arrangement or they should part. She is apprehensive but can’t explain why. Your thoughts please.
She is apprehensive because she knows her relationship is about to end. She is angry at him because he wants to control everything and is attempting to rule over her like she is a child. Rather than face up to her fury and tell him how disgusted she is, she is turning it inward and questioning herself. In the back of her mind she is thinking that somehow she is to blame for all this doubt he has, as she analyzes the history of their relationship and wonders where she went wrong.
But really she knows he is stupid, and can’t believe she wasted so many years with a scardy cat control freak fool.
I would recommend that she sit his butt down and tell him that he knows very well by now if he wants to be with this woman and commit to her for life or not. She should tell him first that when people express fears and blame others in that fashion what they are really doing is projecting… knowing that they themselves are the one hiding things and setting up an easy out for themselves to bail — a ready made excuse.
See, not knowing the rules of his game, she would be foolhardy to agree to play them. She doesn’t really know what happened in his relationship with his roommate and why they fell out. She doesn’t know if her boyfriend’s behavior contributed to the split or not, which would be a convenient bit of information for him to leave out.
Shealso has no information on what the boyfriend is looking for to feel secure and stable in the relationship. She is also at the mercy of his whims in that he may create dozens of other hoops for her jump through before he consents to marriage. Really, when might the demands to “prove herself” change or increase? She is worried that she will be under pressure to be “perfect” or she will be dumped at any time, which makes her feel insecure and unable to relax and just be herself.
What I suggest is that instead of worrying about what he is talking about, she should flatly tell him that there is no way she going to offer up her love, fidelity, money, heart, commitment, and body to a man that is so wishy washy and that wants to have his cake and eat it too.
She should tell him that the only way she would ever live with a man is as husband and wife – nothing less because she deserves to have that kind of statement from the man she loves and has loved for 3 solid years. She should tell him that his excuse is weak and it makes his relationship with his room mate sound like gay lovers that split, not like a guy that had a friend and they kinda fell out. I mean, what normal guy compares a “friendship” he had with another man to a romantic relationship and marriage to a woman?
I’d be really suspicious of this guy if I were her.
She should tell him in no uncertain terms that there are no guarantees in life, and that if he wants guarantees to go and buy a stereo from a local retailer, or a new car. Only consumer items come with performance or replacement guarantees and have Lemon Laws to protect the buyer.
But the number one thing she should tell both him and herself is that she doesn’t HAVE TO accept anything, and that SHE decides whom she wants to love and commit to, not him!
Loving someone is certainly a risk, and it takes a great deal of courage to relax barries and to let love in. I’d be thrilled if she sat him down and told him to his face that an alleged “grown man” so weak and fearful of life and love is a coward and obviously not the man for her.
She should tell him that she is surprised, but very glad that he exposed this part of himself even if it did take 3 years to do it. And that she already knows, without wasting her time moving in with him, that it would not work because she doesn’t want to love, live with or marry a coward.
She should then tell him to get out of her face and stay out until he grows a pair!
This my dear, is called “flipping the script,” in which a woman turns the tables and leaves HIM with his mouth hanging wide open wondering what happened and why his little game didn’t work. She must rip the power from him that he thinks he has over her, and take her power and autonomy back immediately.
She should not cry, not mince her words, and not use timid, hesitant language when she delivers this message. She must stare him straight in the eye with a steely determination he obviously has never seen in a female before.
She must be firm that this is her LIFE we are talking about, not some childish game.