My Fiance of 7 Years Won’t Marry Me! Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

My fiance of one and a half year will not commit to a date. He has postponed the wedding once (due to a very real financial crisis). We agreed on a timeline for us to set the next date and he is stalling again.

I want to be proactive about this but I don’t want to force him into a wedding he doesn’t want. We will have been together for 7 years in Jan 2008 and I know he loves me but is he waiting for the second coming to fix the date?

Sheena

Dear Sheena,

First of all, I want to acknowledge you for writing to me regarding such a sensitive topic. You’ve invested a lot of time with this guy, and I don’t want to gloss over your very serious issue. But it seems that since we can all be a little too close to our own problems, it might be easier if I give you one of mine to solve. The topic is a little touchy, so be gentle with me, okay? Okay.

So…

Dear Sheena,

My girlfriend will not give me oral sex.

She really loves me and said that she will one day be interested in performing it. It just hasn’t happened yet.

I try not to bug her too much about it because I don’t want her to feel pressured. But I’m beginning to think that, at this pace, I might never get sucked off again.

I know it’s possible to have a relationship without oral sex, but regular hummers are something I’ve always dreamed of. I’m not sure if she’s afraid of penises, had a bad childhood experience, or is just shy, but, after seven years of dating her, I’m starting to feel like a blue-balled chump.

What do you think I should I do?

Evan

First, a few things to note:

Marriage is more important and high-stakes than blowjobs.

My girlfriend and I have been together for 11 months, not 7 years.

She would not be my girlfriend if the above problem were true.

Despite the jokes, Sheena, I really, truly believe that our disparate situations have the same exact solutions.

Simply put, if you and I are not satisfied with the status of our relationships, we must have authentic conversations with our partners about how they’re not living up to our needs and expectations.

And if our partners tell us that things will change but they don’t, we’re faced with two choices:

Stay or Go.

That’s it. Two options. Nothing else.

By staying in a relationship that’s not meeting your needs, you become an enabler who allows your commitment phobic boyfriend to take advantage of you. And by threatening to walk and not walking, you establish yourself as a powerless victim and a doormat. That’s where you’ve been for seven years and that’s where you’ll be in seven years unless you do something differently. ‘Cause clearly, he’s in no rush to change….

By staying in a relationship that’s not meeting your needs, you become an enabler who allows your commitment phobic boyfriend to take advantage of you. 

Let’s establish a caveat: there’s nothing wrong with being in a seven year relationship and not being married, if THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT. Really. To bring it back to my made-up situation…I have a buddy who is married and NEVER gets oral sex. That pattern was established during the three years he dated his wife and he certainly couldn’t expect it to change after he tied the knot. For him, a blowjobless marriage was a bargain he was willing to strike in order to preserve the union. Works for him. Not for me.

So, for you, Sheena, it may well be worth it to stay in an unmarried monogamous relationship as long as you get to keep your “fiancé”.  But you’re not at all unreasonable for wanting a ring, and you’re definitely justified in leaving if you don’t get one.

Ultimatums are unpopular concepts because they seem pushy, but I’ll tell you: if you’ve been pushed around, an ultimatum is ALL YOU GOT. If you’re in your late 30’s/early 40’s, you want marriage and kids, and he’s been stalling for more than 2 years, you sure as hell better tell him to propose or move on.

At a certain point, it ceases being his fault for not committing, and becomes your fault for accepting his lack of commitment.

Whatever you do, good luck. I hope you find a decision that gives you peace and happiness.

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    BeenThruTheWars

    Sheena, I’m so sorry you’re in this situation. You must be terribly frustrated and hurt and confused. I imagine most women who have been in your shoes are nodding their heads in empathy at your dilemma.

    I’ve been in your shoes. And I can tell you the following truth woman-to-woman, flat-out:

    If this man hasn’t proposed by now, he isn’t going to. And even if he does, because you issue an ultimatum or actually walk, it will be under duress for him and he will carry that resentment into the marriage and make sure you are as miserable as he is every day of your married life. You will have a tense, crappy and probably short-lived union (unless you decide to stick it out and suffer for the next thirty years), then have the trauma and financial mess of a divorce to wade through before you can be free again. More time and resources wasted. Because this man doesn’t think you are The One. He doesn’t want to make a lifetime commitment to you. If he did, he would have about six years ago. And that is the honest to God, unvarnished truth.

    A man who is serious about marrying you will almost always propose between 18 months to 2 years, if not sooner (unless you both are very young, in which case it’s a good idea to date for several years before any life-altering decisions are made). If no proposal is forthcoming after a year and a half, you have every right to ask what his long-term intentions are. If you get a lot of hemming and hawing and excuses, then you have your answer. (“Financial crisis,” my foot. Poor people get married every day. They find a way to make things work.)

    If you want to get married and have children, then no matter how painful and disappointing it is, now is the time to leave and start fresh. And as Evan says, if those are things you want there is nothing wrong with wanting them! The only bad thing would be recognizing in your heart that marriage and a family are what you want, then NOT taking steps to achieve them. It’s a form of self-sabotage, staying in a relationship that clearly isn’t going anywhere. And, sadly, yours isn’t. It’s stuck in “park” and will remain so until you take action to get what you want for yourself.

    As an actor friend once told me, “Babe, this is your life. It’s not a dress rehearsal.” And after seven years, you shouldn’t still be auditioning for the part of this man’s wife.

    Men do what they want to do, and don’t do what they don’t want to do. When a man finds his dream girl, he can’t wait to be with her and capture her for himself. No obstacle is too great to overcome, no distance is too far to travel. Conversely, if a man does not want to be with a woman, the apartment next door will be too far to bestir himself. This man “has” you, Sheena, he knows it… he has stalled things out because it’s easier for some reason than cutting the ties, but trust me, he is just waiting until “something better” comes along at this point. If you stay with him, despite not having your needs and desires met, not only are you punishing and hurting yourself but you risk being dumped for some other woman. Now THAT is pain, honey. Men like your “fiance” often marry the very next woman they meet, often within a few months’ time. It’s one of Murphy’s shittiest laws, but seems to come true far too often.

    My very sincere advice to you would be to break things off NOW, this instant, before you waste any more precious years on a man who will never commit to you in the way you want him to. Simply say (or write) to him:

    “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about us, and this relationship isn’t working out for me. I want a husband and home and children, and I have come to realize I won’t find it here. You and I don’t want the same things. We aren’t meant to be together. So I wish you all the best but I’m moving on. I hope you find happiness in your life, as I know I will in mine. No hard feelings. Goodbye and good luck. I don’t want to be friends. I prefer a clean break. Please don’t call or contact me.”

    No, I’m not kidding, Sheena. And yes, I know whereof I speak. I, myself, had to make such a decision shortly after the 7-year mark with my own “reluctant fiance.” I had to face the unhappy fact that we would never, ever be right for each other and had zero chance of a happy, monogamous marriage, so had to suck it up and walk away. It was hard as hell but I knew I was doing the right thing and have never looked back. Okay, I lied — of course, I looked back. But I did all my looking back within the first six months after leaving him. Let’s just say, I have never regretted it. I had a “no contact” policy after I broke things off with him — boy, was he stunned. But he let me go without a fight, which told me a lot, you know? Within days, he was out trolling for someone new online. My biggest regret is not having left him about five years prior to that. My recovery time as well as the damage to my self-esteem would have been far less than it was. Always listen to that “little voice” inside your head telling you what’s what. That “little voice” is on your side and always, always tells you the truth.

    Take my advice, and you will thank me five years from now, when you and the fantastic new guy you married after you healed from this disappointment welcome your first baby into the world together.

    I am now married to an absolutely fantastic guy — the love of my life — and I never would have been available to meet him had I stuck it out with Mr. Can’t-Commit.

    1. 1.1
      Andrea

      Thanks so much for giving your advice and experience! I’ve too been in the same situation except for it’s been 9 years for me. I met him when 19 Im 28 now. It’s hard but I’d rather find someone who is crazy about marrying me and having children. it’s been a month now and boy am I lonely and bored but I keep telling myself this will only make me stronger and I will find someone better

      1. 1.1.1
        Johnny

        I am 29 years old and I refuse to get married because i wont give a woman half my money.Let me ask you this! Would you get married with him if he would say ill marry you but everything i have, everything i worked for on my own is mine and you have no right to it? For example, I own over 1 million in property and have my own half a million dollar home, and i will marry a woman only if she signs a prenup why? Because its my stuff, my investments, i shed tears, sweat, and spent sleepless nights making something of myself without anyone’s help way before i even knew she existed so why would i not protect what i worked so hard for? Nothing is forever so i refuse to fall for that lie! Now if she really loves me why would she not agree? Now before you start criticizing me let me make it clear that anything i accomplish and any money i earn while we are married she has a right to but not to anything before even meeting her. Now i ask is this fair? if its not why not?

         

        Finally! What do you bring to the marriage other than sex and blow jobs? What have you accomplished ? what makes you so special as to feel you have the right to steal someones hard earned money? i say steal because thats exactly what it is if you never earned it  or worked for it!This is how smart successful man feel! They love you but are not willing to risk getting ripped off! You can have family and be together forever without marriage so why even get married?

        1. Anonymous

          Marriage is what is what everyone wants. It could be for many reasons. Because it’s every girls fantasy or religion. But it should never be for money! I have been with my boyfriend for 7 years and we have a son together. I have heard so many excuses on why we can’t get married including yours. I agree with you completely what your is yours! I have worked while he is a full time student to chase his dreams of becoming a helicopter pilot. I will still sign a prenupt. I think alimony is bull shit and he shouldn’t be paying me if our marriage doesn’t work. The ex wife should get her lazy butt up and get a job! But a prenupt still isn’t good enough.  So again I think it’s just enough excuse!

        2. TJ

          You are young and ignorant. Yes,  if a woman loves you truly. ..she wouldn’t care if you lived in a box! Sound like you are a very very self centered guy with only what you can gain in a relationship by asking what the woman beings into a marriage. .if you fully love someone s spirit and who they are as a person. .materialistic crap wouldn’t even be on your list of essentials in you road for true love and happiness. The heart wants what the heart wants,  your heart seems to desire materialistic or financial gains to be happy? That is not genuine love of spirit. .it is the false belief that money buys happiness.

           

    2. 1.2
      Miriam Kaige

      Wonderful advice BeenThru The Wars…perfectly said.

    3. 1.3
      Dorene

      Thank you!!! This made me cry!

    4. 1.4
      De Elle

      Thank you “Been Thru The Wars”.

      What you have shared is perfect, painful in the present but perfect for the future we want. The six months of “no contact” and his inaction says so much that is hard to hear and a message I wish I had heard in the months before the years before I invested myself in him.

      Thank you again for generously sharing your experience with all of us in such a clear manner.

  2. 2
    JB

    Ahh..Evan…I’m sure the women on here will “rip you a new one” for comparing marriage to blowjobs….lol Let’s watch and see. Ladies ??

    You know what ? People that WANT to be married GET married people that don’t ….DON’T !!
    Sheena, YOU want to married. Your guy does NOT. At least not to you. Like Evan said you have to say “I’m leaving” and then DO IT.
    Do you really want to marry someone you have to “beg” to marry you ?? I know I wouldn’t.

    You don’t say how old you are, and I know it’s tough to start all over after 7 yrs. but if you really want to be married you have to find someone that does also. And proves it by DOING IT,not just talking about it. Good luck with that though !

  3. 3
    BeenThere2

    Sheena – I too was in a 7 year relationship and had to leave because guess what – he didn’t want to get married, at least right then. Like everyone has said, if he wanted to marry you, he would have by now. It is a hard truth to hear, but truth nonetheless. You don’t want to marry anyone that was forced into it. It should be a natural progression that everyone is excited about, not a situation where everyone is left feeling shitty.

    Do what’s best for YOU, because he certainly is doing the same. I was 29 when I left and 30 now. It is scary to be suddenly single at 30, but thrilling to have taken charge of my own life without waiting around for someone else to figure out if they wanted to be with me.

    Good luck!

  4. 4
    Lisa

    I had to laugh Evan, because the last guy I’ve dated didn’t like oral sex. He said “he just has issues about it.” I totally couldn’t believe it.
    But Sheena, I also was in your shoes. I waited 10 yrs until we got married. I should’ve dumped him years before. After 17 yrs of being together, I knew I deserved to find someone that treated me better, and divorced him.
    The dating world is hard, but I’ve met alot better men than my ex, and I’m holding out for one that treats me wonderfully.
    Remember Sheena, you are deserving of love, and someone out there will treat you the way you want to be treated.
    Best wishes.

  5. 5
    sallynyc

    “At a certain point, it ceases being his fault for not committing, and becomes your fault for accepting his lack of commitment.”

    Amen Evan! It would be great to hear some more male opinions on the issue above. As a woman it is my belief that it doesnt take a man more than a year to figure out whether he wants to marry the woman he is currently dating. Based on this belief I would say that Sheena – he doesnt want to marry you. He’ll keep “dating” you for the next 7 years if you let him. Dump him and find the man that WANTS to marry you!

  6. 6
    sheseizereason

    I think your question is kind of being misinterpreted and blown out of proportion. He’s not your fiance of 7 years; he’s your fiance of 1.5 and boyfriend of 5.5 before the engagement. It’s not that he won’t commit; he’s already asked you to marry him. He just won’t be pinned down to a date.

    This is not uncommon for men who are engaged. Often times, it’s not the fear of commitment that’s holding them back so much as the feeling of being intimidated by the wedding planning process, which is very stressful. If I were you, I’d be using the multitude of wedding planning and bride-to-be forums (not a dating blog) to talk to women similarly in your frustrating situation. I think you’ll find you’re not alone and learn that your fiance’s reluctance to set a date doesn’t mean he’s reluctant to spend the rest of his life with you. More importantly, you should be trying to learn more from him, what his concerns are.

    There are any number of barriers he may have in his mind that could be causing his waffling on the date issue, and not one of them necessarily has to do with his feelings for you. Whatever you do, please don’t assume that just because he won’t write an entry in his calendar, it means he doesn’t want to marry you.

    1. 6.1
      nicole

      Just because other women put up with men who also do the same crap to them doesn’t make it socially acceptable. Don’t cow tie.

    2. 6.2
      Marie

      This is the best response I have read yet

      1. 6.2.1
        Marie

        That is, what sheseizereason had to say

  7. 7
    Selena

    The thing about giving ultimatums is that you are not just giving one to another person, you are giving the same to yourself as well. If you say, “If you don’t marry me, I am leaving you” then you need to be prepared to leave. Otherwise, the ultimatum is just meaningless.

    But you need to decide if marriage itself is more important than what you have now. Are you willing to walk away from what you have? Truly? If so, then perhaps what you have isn’t so great and marriage license wouldn’t make it better anyway. And conversely, after 7 years, why wouldn’t your fiance want to get married?

    I think you need to get down to the real reasons your fiance won’t set the date. Does he know how important this is to you? Are you sitting idly by waiting for him to make all the decisions? Why not try being proactive and getting out the calendar and stating unambiguously that you want to be married in this particular month and you want to start planning now, so everything will be ready. If he balks, really listen to his reasons why. Talk to him about it from there. If it’s a matter of money, do you really have to have an elaborate wedding? A wedding is one day, it’s wanting to be together that matters.

  8. 8
    Selena

    JB-
    Yeah, I thought having a fiance stalling on setting a date, to having a gf who wouldn’t do bj’s was an odd comparison. But I have to agree that in both cases after 7 yrs. the partner knew what they were getting. (Or more accruately–not getting). If you accept the status quo, at some point you need to give up whining about it.

  9. 9
    Steve

    I’ve found the comments from the women to be interesting and educational. In particular, the one about using a maximum of dating for 2 years ( for all but the very young ) as time to decide if someone really wants to be married or not.

    My sister dated her exhusband for 6 years before her marriage of 2 years fell apart. I wonder if she had the wherewithal to use the “2 year rule” if she could have avoided a lot of pain.

    The comments in this article and some others made me realize that past a certain age women do not see themselves as having as much time as men to find someone they want to spend their rest of their lives with.

    As a result, the next time I find myself in a relationship lasting for at least 2 years I will be asking myself if she is “Ms Right” or “Ms Good-Enough-For-Now”.

  10. 10
    Marc

    Neither party should have to force the other to marry or blow them. This guy may indeed set a date at some point, but do you want to be with someone who had to be given an ultimatum before he did?

  11. 11
    Jura

    This goes to Steve. Interesting take, can you maybe elaborate? I remember Evan saying that he wouldn’t have dated beyond 3 months if she clearly (at that point already) did not qualify as a lifetime prospect.

    What do men expect to actually find out more what they haven’t during two years? If a woman’s dearest wish is to be with someone who can love her that much as to marry her, would guys be happier to be given that piece information very early (so that there is no time waste indeed)?

    I refuse to believe, regardless all the sex-revolution and marriage strike issues, that numbers of men who desire to be married are so low, am I so completely wrong in my thinking?

  12. 12
    Selena

    Women have just as much time as men to find someone to spend the rest of their lives with. But since fertility for women starts decreasing in the 30’s and dramatically decreasing to nil in the 40’s, if a woman wants to have a child with someone she is married to, then getting married becomes a priority.

    If parenthood is taken out of the equation, then what are the other factors for wanting to marry? Some people want to be married because they “Just Do”. Others don’t see what a marriage license would give them that they don’t already have in terms of love and companionship.

    Because marriage is a cultural norm, it’s not surprising that people feel the subject should at least be discussed after a year or so together. But what if it wasn’t a cultural norm? What if there weren’t any formalization of romantic partnerships at all? Then there would be no evaluation of people on a marriage-minded basis. And no ultimatums. Might make for an interesting world.

    1. 12.1
      JJ

      Yes but people should also keep in mind that in some places a long term relationship has no legal ground. Such as if one person has to have certain types of medical care or when they are older and have to be placed in a nursing home. Their partners will not be able to make any medical decisions for them.

  13. 13
    downtowngal

    Evan I totally agree with your advice but your comparison of marriage to bj’s is crude and tasteless. If you want to maintain credibility for your advice try showing some class.

  14. 14
    Evan Marc Katz

    Sorry, Downtown. I meant marriage was like anal sex, not blowjobs.

    Kidding.

    Your point is well-taken, though. I realized I was pushing it with the racy metaphor, but I’m not just writing to educate, but to entertain as well. Sorry I lost you on this one.

    But, as always, thanks for reading – and for keeping me semi-politically correct. 🙂

  15. 15
    Cindy

    I truly enjoy the opportunity to read your advice Evan and the feedback it brings. Sheena you need to move on. Don’t lose what you want for yourself in any man. Always have those goals for what you want in a relationship clear in your mind and if after several months you don’t find them happening, you need to move on. I agree with the time frame of if you aren’t engaged AND WANT TO BE within two years of a serious relationship, move on. I’m 45 and divorced for three years now and having great dating experiences where I am making my choices for what is good for me; unlike when I was married it was all about him. Women need to keep a part of themselves and remember what they want/need is just as important as pleasing her man with a great blow job….LOL!! Gotta luv ya Evan….

  16. 16
    m

    “I remember Evan saying that he wouldn’t have dated beyond 3 months if she clearly (at that point already) did not qualify as a lifetime prospect.”

    That’s because Evan is an empathetic guy, as guys go, and is actually AWARE that women and men are generally on different timetables.

    (Men tend to exacerbate that, with their seeming ignorance about science, the ages at which women can/can’t make babies, and denial about their OWN infertility/parenting abilities at 35+, but, whatever.)

    Most men don’t seem to be as empathetic or aware as Evan, but if you as a woman try to wake them up/make them aware and they STILL don’t give a damn what you need (or, put most gently, that your needs aren’t compatible), that should tell you something.

    OP. sheseizereason is telling you what I think you WANT to hear.

    I waited 5 years.

    Get rid of him.

  17. 17
    Steve


    Jura Jan 4th 2008 at 01:33 pm 11
    This goes to Steve. Interesting take, can you maybe elaborate? I remember Evan saying that he wouldn’t have dated beyond 3 months if she clearly (at that point already) did not qualify as a lifetime prospect.
    What do men expect to actually find out more what they haven’t during two years?

    Jura I don’t think it is the case for all men or even the majority of men. I think it might also vary by age, the life experiences they have had, and what they want. I just don’t think it occurs to some men to think about dating in terms of goals and time tables as much as it does occur to women to do so.


    Selena Jan 4th 2008 at 06:30 pm 12
    Women have just as much time as men to find someone to spend the rest of their lives with.

    There are women who think that even with the fertility clock out of the equation that they do not have as much time as men. Their reasoning is that a large number of men value women more for their looks than who they are ( I’m not endorsing this and it bothers me ).

    “Women past _______ are invisible in our society”. I’ve seen that quote all over the media from intelligent and frustrated women.

    I don’t how attractive a guy over 40, 50, or 60 is to younger women unless his is rich or a movie producer, but there is a perception ( mistaken or not ) that older women have a tougher time finding romantic opportunities than older men.


    If parenthood is taken out of the equation, then what are the other factors for wanting to marry?

    Partnership, whether with marriage or without. There is something nice about finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with and doing so :). Aside from not having to date it is nice to have someone around who knows you very well, who knows your history very well, you enjoy being with and vice-versa.

    1. 17.1
      Mtn girl

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Your words are comforting to me as someone who is in a relationship with my boyfriend of 2.5 years, each of us with our own child (who get along great) of teen and preteen years. We are each in our early 40’s. He  does not want traditional matriage, as he was supposedly burned by his ex who attempted to take his child and house. He has said he would marry ceremoniously in a different country outside of U.S. law. He feels strongly about this. All the media messages about being married and articles saying I am being devalued affects me, but I wonder if this is due to my ego only. After all, what am I getting out of leaving a good relationship if he won’t marry me. At 42 and with a nearly grown son, not much. My point is that all these marriage “rules” (2 year limit, etc.) could cause someone to make a bad decision they don’t really want to make. Not every story is so cut and dried.  Your words here, as well as Selena’s above, are helpful because they validate that love may not always play by marriage rules, or need to.

  18. 18
    lorelei

    In response to m: Personally, I think sheseizereason gave one of the few level-headed responses with regards to Sheena’s situation. I liked Selena’s first response (#7) too – really on the money. Why is everyone jumping to the conclusion that the fiance doesn’t want to marry her? Just because you waited 5 years and it didn’t work out for you doesn’t mean that Sheena’s fiance, whom we know little about, is going leave her high and dry too.

    All Sheena stated was the fact that he, for some reason, can’t set a date. We know so little else about their relationship that I don’t understand how anyone can automatically assume the guy is stringing her along.

    Being able to give others the benefit of the doubt is a skill important to the survival of a relationship. I’d hope that anyone in this situation would sit down and talk it out before issuing ultimatums. (Of course, if the guy is unable to calmly discuss the matter without getting mad, that’d probably be a pretty major red flag too.)

    Sheena, one of my favorite sayings applies well to you in this instance: “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.”
    You have to really GET your fiance’s point of view first. If you can reach the point where you’ve had a thorough enough discussion about wedding plans that you can articulate> his side of the story, and if you still find his reasoning unacceptable, only then should you consider taking more drastic measures such as ultimatums or leaving him altogether.

  19. 19
    verbosity

    I find it interesting that nearly every poster assumes Sheena’s fiancee is automatically stalling without good reason. Sheena’s own words are conclusory and contain a lack of backstory that may omit important facts for providing accurate advice. Sheena wrote, “He has postponed the wedding once (due to a very real financial crisis). We agreed on a timeline for us to set the next date and he is stalling again. I want to be proactive about this but I don’t want to force him into a wedding he doesn’t want.”

    The only fact that may paint a more accurate picture is the financial crisis he had. It is quite possible that this crisis has not completely passed, and that this is the reason for the lamented delay in setting a date. It seems a lack of communication exists – from Sheena to fiancee regarding her frustrations, and from finacee to Sheena regarding reasons for not moving forward. I submit this may be the real problem. (Unless, of course, there has been perfectly clear communication that was omitted from Sheena’s post, which is entirely possible). If poor communication is the issue, perhaps Sheena should not marry fiancee.

    Even taking into account what I just typed, the other posters are correct regarding their take on ultimatums. I do wish that the posted questions contained more facts besides conclusory statements. It makes for more accurate and comprehensive responses.

  20. 20
    hunter

    to Steve,

    …a common practice all over europe, older women with younger men. There is a role reversal over 50. Older women no longer “bond”, they intellectualize…..

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