I am a 25-year-old woman and have been dating a man for two years. He is a wonderful man but I am not sure he is the one I want to marry. He is ready for marriage but I am having second thoughts.
First, when we got into the relationship, I was just not particularly interested but he seemed like a good man so I said, “Why not?”
However, there are things I have noticed about him which I am not sure I can handle.
For example, the way he relates with his family; I find them too attached to him and feel they are controlling, which sometimes makes me wonder whether they will continue controlling him if we get married.
Second, sometimes I feel that he leaves it to me to make most important decisions.
If I ask him about something, he either keeps quiet or ignores me, which makes me wonder whether, if we get married, he will continue avoiding certain topics because he is afraid of the outcome or because does not want to disappoint me.
I have discussed this matter with him because I would want him to be the head of the house.
Finally, I would like to know whether attraction is necessary in a relationship, or whether it is something that can be ignored.
It looks like you have analysed your relationship very well. A feeling of apprehension during courtship is common.
In some cases it is seasonal, depending on what is happing in the relationship. To some, it is a nagging feeling that does not seem to go away.
In such a case, your feelings are based on the way you are managing the relationship. This is key because if you do not feel fully involved, then the feeling of ownership will not be there.
You might feel the need to be with him but for totally different reasons, in which case it will eventually not make for a strong marriage.
You mentioned that when you entered the relationship you already had some reservations about him.
In many relationships, attraction serves as the entry point for building interest and, thereafter, growing a relationship with a partner.
I read in an article somewhere that the person we get most attracted to reflects the biology of our brain as much as the heat of our heart.
We can at times reason ourselves into a relationship based on certain facts. The truth is that the partners in a relationship can be attracted to each other for several reasons.
Questioning what attracted us to the other person is important, particularly when we’re dating. This is what adds to the stability of the relationship, or makes you reconsider your decision.
People who are attracted to others purely for their physical beauty might not have much to stand on when the relationship faces such doubtful moments.
Someone once told me that when you seriously commit to look for the good in whoever you consider an enemy, you will find it.
As relationships progress, they unravel both good and bad. It is up to you to weigh the good and bad. Is there enough good in your relationship to sustain a marriage?
For example, “Do I find my partner warm, inclusive, able to allow exhaustive communication on an issue, sociable and value-based?
This revelation is in itself fulfilling and will help bring out the best in the relationship beyond physical attraction.
As for the feeling of being constantly left to make most decisions, this should definitely raise a red flag.
I suggest that you raise these issues openly with him in a calm and free conversation. If his reaction is dismissive, know that these issues can explode later in the relationship.
I pray that he will be willing to listen to your concerns.
Secondly, I suggest that you look at what is disturbing you and ask yourself, “How many issues are core and critical to the making of a marriage that still hold me back and cause me concern in this relationship?”
Do not allow yourself to chase after the wind. Be sure that what you are looking for in a relationship is part of what make a relationship successful.
Will the baggage from his past burden our relationship?
I am 21 years old. I have a boyfriend who had a child and was married when he was 20 years old. We were living in the same plot and the marriage which was a come-we-stay one. It did not work out, so they separated. We met after nine years and he asked me out and I agreed. Our relationship has progressed considerably. He has introduced me to his family members and church and I have also introduced him to my family. My question is, am I committing a sin by dating a man who was once married?
Secondly, this man is not very financially stable and is sometimes very broke. We have dated for a year now and we don’t go out much. He doesn’t surprise me with gifts — yet we ladies just love that — and he often complains that he doesn’t have cash. I am also employed and earn slightly more than he does. He says he is broke because he has a child to take care of in addition to his personal expenses. He is a very good and hardworking man and I am okay with him but will his responsibility to his child be a burden in our lives? And is this kind of man suitable for me?
Marriage, whether it is a come-we-stay or formal union, has certain consequences. You need to be well aware of that. As much as this man and his wife separated, he has certain obligations.
Remember that every action has a consequence. Consequently, the child he had with his ex wife needs a father and a mother.
If you were to marry this man, remember that you cannot have him without his child.
A great man must know how to take responsibility for his life, as well as actions, or lack thereof. His responsibility is also to ensure that he deals with any baggage associated with his previous relationship.
You say he has introduced you to his church mumbers, and I believe your family and the members can give you guidance, depending of the facts they have regarding his previous relationship.
Remember, it is important for any relationship to be based not only on what makes sense, but also what makes a great marriage. Money is just one of those things.
There are many couples who have lived happily together regardless of their income.
Marrying someone for their money will to a great extent compromise the relationship. Consequently, you need to understand what is drawing you to him.
In fact, one question I ask those who want to get married is to tell me what makes them convinced they were meant to be together.
This is because, beyond the emotional and physical attraction are the core pillars on which a marriage stands.
You must convince yourself of this. When you know and are convinced about what makes the two of you a great future couple, you will be more stable in the way you relate.
The man fit for you is any man who fits within the key pillars that make a great relationship.
You have to discover for yourself what these are. Indeed, as an article I read in the Daily Telegraph recently put it, “Whether with your partner, family, friends or work colleagues, great relationships are at the heart of what enable us to thrive in life. Each of us has a choice in what we are willing to accept and what we give in return. Healthy relationships energise us and make us feel fulfilled and happy.”
In some relationships, these key pillars include: a) Shared values like commitment, mutual trust, respect, kindness, and openness in communication and dealings; b) A shared vision or dream for the relationship; c) Shared personal life or marital goals.
Knowing what you share as a couple helps you build common ground that will be essential in securing the relationship and making it more progressive and productive.
So, be the best you can by building around you those attractive attributes that will help you live a satisfying life.