Why Did The Romance End After He Proposed?

Why Did The Romance End After He Proposed?

Evan, please help me with my problem. I was in a horrible marriage for 23 years. After a painful divorce I tried Match.com and met – I thought – a terrific guy. He swept me off my feet. We are in our 50′s. Sex was fantastic — it was like I was in high school. He texted me, wrote me notes, sent flowers, etc., etc. I think you know the story…

We have been together two years now. We are exclusive and he asked me to marry him 3 months ago. “Of course,” I said, but ever since that day, to me, our relationship has been horrible and I cry all the time. He never texts me, calls me, sends flowers or cards… no nothing. He now is telling me I demand too much sex and pushes me off him. He says we will marry when he is ready which is 2 years (once he has paid off his ex-wife’s debts).

When I ask him what happened to the texts, Facebook messages, and cards, he says he no longer needs to do that and that we will be married when he is ready. My heart is broken and I just don’t understand. Please help me understand how to deal with this. I am like a lovesick teen. I cry, try to hug him and he pushes me off. If he does not want me, why give me a beautiful ring? Please help me. Thank you. –Lee

Dear Lee,

I’m very sorry to hear your story. I am not going to say anything to make you feel better. I am not going to try to fix things. I am simply going to tell you (my version of) the truth.

Get out. Get out now.

I know that’s really hard to hear, because of three things:

1) He swept you off your feet and provided a spark that you so desperately needed after a horrible 23-year marriage.
2) You spent two years with him and got a proposal out of it. That’s a significant time investment and deep sunk costs.
3) If you get out now, you’re going to have to admit that he’s the wrong man, start over, and risk a few more years wandering the wilderness of Match.com. Not exactly an appealing option.

Except it’s a better option than what you have now.

No matter how good you may have once had it, your fiancé would make a terrible husband.

Empirically.

So instead of being focused on the three things I listed above, instead of longing for the first few months of your dreamy relationship, instead of fantasizing what could have been if he were only a different person, how about you pay attention to these facts:

1) He never texts, calls, sends flowers or cards.
2) He pushes you off him when you want sex.
3) He is delaying marriage by (at least) 2 years.
4) He believes he no longer has to be thoughtful to you now that you’re his fiancé.
5) He doesn’t seem to be remotely concerned about your needs.

This is all the evidence I need to say that, no matter how good you may have once had it, your fiancé would make a terrible husband.

And you’re far better off starting over to find a good man than to dig your heels in to try to change this selfish douche into a good man.

I’m not expecting that your road, post-breakup, will be easy or fun.

But I do expect you to make a full and happy recovery.

However, if you continue to suffer through this relationship and convince this callous man to marry you, I cannot say the same thing.

Good luck.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Cat5

    Evan has always said that if you want to find out if a man will commit, walk away and see if he follows you. 
     
    Karmic Equation said @15:  “Walking away is hard. I actually did it twice in 4 weeks with my guy. And each time, he did come back after me. Now we’re back together and the relationship is the one I want. It didn’t actually get better until I told him I loved HIM but HATED our relationship.”
     
    That got me to thinking…if you walk away and he follows you…how long should it take for him to do so?  A day? A week? A month? Six months? A year?
     
    If you are having enough trouble in your relationship that you walk away, and he follows you, should you immediately take him back?  How does that help?  When I read Karmic Equations comment, I thought you walked away twice in a month, and now you are happy?  The relationship is the one you want?  I couldn’t help but wonder, how does that happen so quickly?  Or is he just faking a future to keep you in his life? How could he have made any serious change or shift in his mindset so quickly?  Should you get back with him to give him time to prove it is a true change?  But how is that different that what you’ve been doing all along?  Isn’t it just the same old b.s. you’ve been putting up with all along with a different spin?  Shouldn’t he have to prove the change before you give him another chance?
     
    P.S.  This post is not directed at Karmic Equation specifically, I was just using the situation Karmic Equation described above as an example.

  2. 62
    Karmic Equation

    @Cat5 62

    Well, I have a unique situation in that the bf wanted marriage and I don’t. So my problem wasn’t getting a commitment. My problem was trusting that he would stay committed. Remember my bf is a refomred player, who actually has more red flags than “green lights” to recommend him.

    The short answer is that I think the length of time between walking away and walking back depends on the combination of nature of what needs to change and the expected shelf-life of the relationship. When I first got involved with him (March 2012) I was only interested in a transitional relationship with a guy that I knew wouldn’t require me to commit emotionally (e.g., “player”), so my standards were pretty non-existent, as I wasn’t looking for a bf (just ended an LTR painfully) and needed a distraction.

    I gave this some thought, and I think, for me personally, I have different standards for different relationships.
    1) ONS – (attractive, hygienic, not a serial killer/rapist)
    2) FWB – Something in common in addition to sex, plus all the standards of (1)
    3) BF – Good character, exclusivity, consistency, good communications, plus all the standards of (1) & (2)
    4) Husband – Good decision-maker, shared values, shared life-goals, plus all the standards of (1), (2), and (3)

    I never saw him as marriage material…and actually was skeptical that he’d be a good bf. He surprised me in that he was actually doing some BF things well and consistently. Calling everyday (twice actually); telling me he loves me; I give him credit for trying to be a good BF, but I always felt he was more of an FWB+ (“+” being exclusive), but our relationship was failing on the communications side. Being a narcissist, he’s never wrong, which is totally frustrating when you want to talk about something that is bothering you. And he wasn’t consistent on some other behaviors, which made me distrust him so he was failing the trust part, too, and I wanted him to change behaviors not mindset. So I actually HAD to walk away for him to understand that he’s not the center of my world.

    Behaviors you can’t see change unless you’re participating up close, so I went back and he did change the behaviors (though started to revert back by week 4, but not to the same degree that made me walk, so I put him on my mental short leash for the last two weeks).

    I’m speaking in the past tense because I’ve walked away a 3rd time (in six weeks) — and this time, the changes I want are mindset-related (how to be a “good guy” instead of a shady “bad guy”) in addition to the behaviors. I don’t have any confidence that he will change them. He broke a promise, and the breaking of this particular promise (not fidelity, in case you were wondering, although it’s possible he could have) — proved to me beyond a doubt how untrustworthy he was. So going back to him would require demonstration that he actually has changed…but untrustworthiness, alas, is a character flaw expressed by behaviors…so getting back is slim to none.

    As well, now that I’ve healed from my last LTR and am ready to “fall in love” again (I loved my player bf, still do, but I’m definitely NOT “in love” with him and never could be with him the way he is) — I will raise my standards back to “husband-worthy” (even though I’m not planning to marry again). I’m just ready for a “quality man” now, which my reformed-player bf was not.

  3. 63
    marymary

    Cat5
    my take on walking away that it can trigger a chase response in some men, but it can be more about wanting to win than wanting you. For me personally all it did was extend the relationship beyond it,s natural expiry date.
    real change take such self awareness, commitment, willingness, time and motivation that i just wouldn’t count on it. He has to want to do it for himself first and foremost, not because someone else wants him to. And sod,s law if he DOES change  he wants someone new to match the new improved him! Not that there is anything wrong with the previous person, i think he will not want to be reminded of what he used to be like. That,s my take on it as someone who did change. I reckon it took over three years to change my bad relationship habits though i admit i was a bad case. I wouldn’t want any of my exes back. Even the good ones. I couldn’t stand the embarrassment!

  4. 64
    Widow

    Can you go to a therapist together?   I don’t like how he pushes you away.  Maybe he has intimacy issues?  

  5. 65
    Rog

    Same thing happened to me but backwards. I felt that after a few months of romance it was pertinent to propose and have her as my girlfriend. There were some other factors involved like it was a long distance relationship but still things changed drastically after the proposal.
    She evaded her sister when she asked about me, she texted me less and less through face book, she stopped watching my fb profile even though I started posting more photos of me just for her, she skyped less and less also and also started making stupid excuses that she was “studying” and “sleeping” all the time. It didn’t happen before we decided to go serious even though she was studying at that time too.
    Like Evan says, she was nothing but a “selfish douche”.
    I continued texting her after she was my “girlfriend”. I kept calling and also making thoughtful notes but I never got to see any memorable gestures from her part. To some extent I was also fooling myself seeing that she didn’t respond like before and still making efforts for her. 
    9 months wasted in a dead-end relationship. But how was I to know? Before all this, she was a completely different person.

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