Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a woman whose fiance won’t agree to set a wedding date.
“My fiancé and I have been going out together for eight years and have been engaged for the past three. In spite of this it seems I’m no nearer to actually getting married as, whenever I try and suggest a date, he says he’s not ready to settle down yet.
“He doesn’t seem to understand why I get so upset about it, but I’m 31 now and I want to be married and have children. I pointed out to him that, when we got engaged, he did ask me to marry him, but he just says we’re fine as we are for now. What really hurts too is that he spends so little time with me – he’s always out with his mates.
“He’s even arranged to go on a golfing trip to France with them after Christmas – without me, of course! He never even asked if I wanted to go or if I had other plans that might involve him, he just assumed I’d be okay with it. I don’t have a lot of friends and there’s certainly nobody I could go on holiday with.
“I’m feeling hurt and rejected, but he says I am overreacting. I really don’t want to break up, but I can’t go on like this – not knowing where we are going. Is there any hope for us and anything I can do?”
“What worries me most about your email is not once do you suggest you love this man! I don’t like to suggest to people that a relationship may be over, but I think you’d be the first to agree that things are not good here.
“Even after three years of being engaged he is still being evasive about when you will get married. Furthermore, excluding you from holiday plans is not the sort of behaviour you’d expect from someone if they really cared about you.
“Sadly, it seems you are no nearer to getting to grips with what your fiancé wants from life than you were three years ago. Possibly further away in fact because, at least then, he appeared to be certain that he wanted to marry you. He says you are overreacting, but I don’t think that’s true and, if his behaviour is hurting you, it’s hurting you and he needs to accept that.
“He may be fine as he is, but you are not. He’s probably quite happy to be seen by his mates as having a steady relationship with a devoted fiancé without any real commitment on his part. He’s got his cake and he’s eating it!
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“You say you don’t have a lot of friends and I think this needs to change – even though I suspect it’s not something you’d find easy to do. Please don’t sit around waiting for him to make up his mind; you need to develop relationships outside of this one. I’m not suggesting you two-time your fiancé, just that you need to build a social circle that doesn’t depend on him. He goes out and about with his mates and you need to do the same – don’t sit indoors waiting for him to return; build a life for yourself that doesn’t depend on his company.
“You don’t need to break up if you’re not ready too, but you do need to make new friends and develop outside interests. This will not only help you to deal with your loneliness, but will also show him that you are not dependent on him for all your social activity. It may also give him the wake-up call he needs and make him realise you won’t wait for ever.
“Once you feel more supported and have more confidence in yourself, you can decide if he’s still the man for you. If he’s still treating you as selfishly as he is now, then reconsider. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who values having fun over you and a family – and he needs to realise that.”
:: If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.