Author Topic: Commitment Phobic???  (Read 3445 times)

thejourney

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Commitment Phobic???
« on: May 15, 2015, 11:21:50 AM »
I have this great person that hits so many of the 'check boxes' that I would want in a new partner. On good days, it is great, really great!  But whenever she brings up any topic about moving forward with a more real commitment, my entire body churns with stress. We are in a committed relationship, I have said all the right things and intend to move forward and want to move forward. But when we talk about actually setting a date, internally I flip out. I keep thinking time will make it better. and when I think logically, it all makes sense to totally commit.  But any actual movement causes a big emotional reaction and I start thinking about all of the potential problems with blending and how I would live life on my own and with my kids.
Has this happened to anyone else?  Did you get through it?  I don't know if this is just about me or related to my loss or about us? 

FindingMyWay

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 01:05:20 AM »
I could have written your post verbatim.
I was in a relationship for a year and a half.  We loved each other.  He wanted to get married.  When he'd talk about it, I'd feel so flipped out on the inside.
I pushed myself to just ignore the internal flip out, thinking it would help to just make myself take the huge leap.  I told myself that it was the leap itself that was generating the fear and anxiety (because it IS truly a giant and scary leap to head toward marriage again!). I thought that once I just took that scary leap and agreed to get engaged, things would settle down and I'd adjust to this new and huge thing.   I, like you, would look at all of the good things and tell myself I was just scared, and rightfully so because it's so huge.  Id also cause myself to look at all of the wonderful things about him and our relationship.
I agreed to marry this man.  It did not get better.  It got worse.  WAY worse.  I was waking up in the middle of the night with terrible anxiety.  I had no peace at all, awake or asleep.  I tried to ignore it for months. 
I actually ended up ending the relationship completely.   It was very difficult to do. 
But honestly, once the dust settled, to my surprise, I felt a such peace  I dont know if the problem was me (I wasn't ready yet), or him (that he wasn't right for me) or what.  It's like my mind saw all the good stuff and thought 'what more could I ask for???..he's got all the check marks!  ( well MOST, and nooses gonna be perfect '  But my heart, or my gut' maybe ? was so terribly uneasy.
It's been a month since we broke up and I still feel such tremendous relief.  And another weird thing is that I have had absolutely no regret.  I keep waiting for the regret....he was a great guy in so many ways. There was ALOT of good. 
It's very weird and I don't understand it at all.  I just know that I did the right thing by the peace vs complete anxiety.  I've decided through this ordeal that that is going to be my new life strategy... 'Follow my peace'
Good luck.  This stuff is so difficult to navigate. 

SamNE

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 08:43:58 AM »
FindingMyWay, I could have written your post, the very same thing happened to me, except it has been over a year since I left the relationship. In some ways I missed him, he was a very good guy, but the peace I felt afterwards was enormous. Either I wasn't ready or he wasn't right, maybe I will never know which, but I will say this: follow your instincts and your gut, not your head.

Sam

anniegirl

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 11:52:50 AM »
Getting married again is scary and it's easy to give in to the "what ifs" and decide that status quo is better. Safer.

Have you discussed your fear with her? Because if you haven't, maybe you should.
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mawidow

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 12:47:17 PM »
Churning, yes.

I'm in a really good thing. But the idea of defining it or using the "m" word would absolutely send me over a cliff. I already had heart palpitations when he bought the jumbo pack of the kind of toilet paper I like.

I am scared to have another spouse die when I am at the peak of my love for them.
I am scared of things not lasting and going through an emotional split (like "getting punched in the stitches" as someone here described it).
I feel all kinds of triggers being in a partnership again. It stirs up a lot of ghosts from my loss, post-traumatic stress, etc.
I fantasize that it is simpler for me to just become a monk.

But I am a fool for love, and it is beyond my control that I fell in love again. We are not alone in this. I know another young wid who has had to put the brakes on her (divorced) boyfriend's desire for things to move faster and lead to commitment, living together, etc. She has to keep telling him, "I love you, but I'm not ready to discuss that yet." It's tricky for both of them.

Sending much care.

look2thesky

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 03:17:17 AM »
There's nothing wrong with not wanting to get married after losses like ours.
It will always be a very personal thing.
I personally am not looking for another marridge but have always been devoted to one person at a time.
You shouldn't have to feel if you talk to this person that if you don't agree or seal a deal, will she (he) run away ?
Then it's not a comfortable feeling about communicating.
Just a thought.

singinmomo4

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 05:47:21 AM »
I have this great person that hits so many of the 'check boxes' that I would want in a new partner. On good days, it is great, really great! But whenever she brings up any topic about moving forward with a more real commitment, my entire body churns with stress. We are in a committed relationship, I have said all the right things and intend to move forward and want to move forward. But when we talk about actually setting a date, internally I flip out. I keep thinking time will make it better. and when I think logically, it all makes sense to totally commit. But any actual movement causes a big emotional reaction and I start thinking about all of the potential problems with blending and how I would live life on my own and with my kids.
Has this happened to anyone else?  Did you get through it?  I don't know if this is just about me or related to my loss or about us?

What is her rush?  What does she consider moving forward, moving in together?  Marriage?  Engagement?  I highlighted in bold all things you said that made me think you aren't ready for that.  She hits the "check boxes", you get a nervous whenever she brings up more commitment, logically it makes sense to commit. What's even more important though is what you didn't say.  You didn't say you love her.  I can only assume you have told her you love her if she wants to "seal the deal" so to speak, but you didn't mention it here.   Love has absolutely nothing to do with logic.  You are ready when you can't imagine your life without her and you don't want to.  You are ready when logic doesn't enter into the equation and when the thought of something more doesn't make your stomach churn but makes your heart flutter and gives you a smile instead of anxiety.  I would say she either needs to slow down her expectations or you need to move on.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 07:20:36 AM by singinmomo4 »
Rick, an amazing husband, father, fisherman & fisher of men with a servants heart who served God every day. ReRe, miss your smile & twinkle in your eye.

Trying

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 06:11:38 AM »
I think that either you are not ready or she is not "the one" and it would be wise to take your time to figure that out.  Maybe you have some grief work to do, maybe something about this new relationship is not right.  Only you can figure out why the strong reaction to thoughts of moving forward.

I'm sorry it's not easier and more clear cut for you.  We all wish for life to be simpler and unfortunately it rarely is post widowhood.

Wishing you leave and clarity.
You will forever be my always.

anniegirl

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2015, 12:43:24 PM »
I am going to disagree with the ideas put forth that this about her not being "the one" or you not being ready. Or that she is pushing and the problem is her expectation level.

Since you've stated that she hits many of the "checkboxes" (no one can reasonably be expected to hit them all) and that on good days its great (and really that's what it's like in most relationships), then the issue really comes back to you.

It's perfectly normal that the person you are intimately involved with would want the relationship to move to the next level. That's not being pushy or unreasonable. Progression is what happens. And unless you've been honest with her about your hesitation and what you really want - this is not her fault. She can only work with the information you provide. She can't read your mind and if your actions are telling her that this is a viable relationship with a future, it's not surprising that she will bring this up - and often.

It's easy to lay the situation out for a bunch of strangers on the Internet but you really need to have a cards on the table talk with her. If you really don't want to marry again, she needs to know so she can decide if you are really what she wants. And if you need more time to settle your fears, she needs to know that too.

This is not just about you. Relationships are a dual thing.

This is, of course, just my opinion. And I understand the fear and the doubt. I just don't think you can solve this problem on your own. An honest conversation with your girlfriend is the most logical thing to do. For you. And for her.

Post widowed relationships are not really different from the relationships we had with our late spouses. We still have to communicate and allow our partners insight into us and input. That's how it worked before and that's how it still works.

It's perfectly normal to be afraid. It doesn't necessarily have deep hidden meaning beyond that.
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Sugarbell

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2015, 02:49:52 PM »
Agree AG.

I was never a marriage white picket fence kinda person. DH was equally as phobic about it. I wasn't commitment phobic-I was marriage phobic as was he. It took us 3 years of dating exclusively....and honestly it was the fact that we both wanted children that we saw the need for marriage (protection of the kids...weird kinda foreshadowing).

And really I am the same way now. Has nothing to do with being widowed-just the way I am wired. Luckily the man I am seeing is kinda the same way. We are exclusive-but like our own homes/space.

Different strokes for different folks...it's what keeps the world interesting.
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

mmg19

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 04:50:57 PM »
AG has put into words what I was thinking.  At 45 and with two children I am cautious.  Yet, I want marriage and total commitment again . However, there is no need to rush until we are sure it is right for us.  To me that means the rest of my life.  Growing old together.  Enjoying grandchildren together.  Being ready to physically and emotionally be there in sickness and health is something I want to be very committed to. 

Comments made on an internet site are usually made from the poster's perspective and experience.  We don't know you, but I can relate to your fear and think taking your time and thinking it through will help you make the right decision. 

look2thesky

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 05:31:27 PM »
Very insightful responses however I would add, at least in my situation perhaps it's age now as compared to age then, I'm much more hesitent to start a "future forever" with someone now.
And I think vastly different, about another till death do us part line of thinking.
I think it depends upon what specifically one is happy with, or searching, for.

Neverthesame

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2015, 03:31:22 PM »
I?ve read all the response and they all make valid points. Everyone IS different and may not be looking for the same thing, it?s extremely important to talk about things, and there is no rush. But for me it was this:

Love has absolutely nothing to do with logic.  You are ready when you can't imagine your life without her and you don't want to.  You are ready when logic doesn't enter into the equation and when the thought of something more doesn't make your stomach churn but makes your heart flutter and gives you a smile instead of anxiety.

The more we talked and I got to know my Chaper2 I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. It wasn?t something tangible?..nothing I can put my finger on, I just knew. Yeah, we both had our past and we had families to blend, but I knew there was nothing that we couldn?t work out together. We had a blast planning our wedding and honeymoon, and when she came down the aisle there wasn?t a doubt in my mind that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this woman (yes I realize death could prevent that again). And so far, in the 2 years we?ve been married, I?ve never second guessed my decision.

I guess that?s just my long winded way of saying what someone else said here; when all else fails, ?Go with your gut?.

Bill

anniegirl

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2015, 03:36:53 PM »
Yes, but all of the leaps necessary to remarry still made my stomach churn sometimes. It's okay to be afraid.
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nonesuch

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Re: Commitment Phobic???
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 07:39:14 AM »
Someone tried to rush me a bit, and it made me uneasy.  He had the boxes checked for interests, but not values.  And we weren't  so radically different, except I'm a theist and he was an atheist.  That's kind of a big one. There were other red flags, too. 

I felt no grief or guilt in ending that relationship.

Oddly, as an atheist, he was the one who was quickest to mention marriage was important.  He said it "codified the relationship and let everyone know where they stand."

A good attorney could do the same thing, I suspect.