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So I'm posting this for two different reasons; one of which is to get all of this off my chest since I don't have any close friends that I could discuss this with, and second of which is to ask for advice on what I should do next. I could easily write a book about my current feelings as well as all of the itty bitty details that make up the entire story, but for the sake of the readers I'm only going to provide the most important points/highlights of the story. With that being said, here we go and thanks in advance for caring enough to hear my story.

My fiancé and I started dating back in 10th grade (we were both fifteen at the time). Things started off great, besides a minor mishap where she broke up with me three days after we first started dating, but we soon got back together just a couple weeks later, and have been together ever since. Anyways, we stayed together through high school, during which time I more or less gave up all of my friends and dedicated nearly all of my free time to my then girlfriend. I'm not really sure who was at fault for that, so I'll just leave it at that. When our senior year of high school rolled around, we made college decisions. I was debating between going to a local university and one that was a couple states away, but one that would have probably given me a much better education. It's not her fault, but I chose to stay local. It was my decision, but one that I currently sort of regret. We stayed together through three years of college, at which point I proposed to her and she happily accepted. We bought a house together that summer. It was a tough decision because we were both full-time college students, but the government helped fuel my decision due to the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. I finished college a year later (just about a year ago), and my fiancé is still in college, slated to graduate this summer.

As an aside, but still worthy of mention, we were actually scheduled to get married this summer, but my fiancé failed her program last year, which forced her to need another full year to retake the necessary class(es). This is also a long story in itself, but we ended up pushing back the wedding date until next Spring/Summer.

Now, everything to this point sounds great, but I haven't put much detail into it other than just basic info and a timeline. So my issue is, I'm really feeling that getting married to my fiancé may be a mistake. Obviously this would lead me to the conclusion that buying a house together was a mistake as well, but obviously not a choice that I/we can take back. Now, my question that I keep asking myself is, am I just naturally nervous, do I have a serious problem with commitment, or are my feelings legitimate and maybe I've just been in denial of them for far too long. With that being said, here are my actual feelings along with issues/occurrences that make me feel this way:

Part of me feels like I love this girl, but the other part of me feels that we've just grown together so much over the years, that no matter what she would say or do I would be convinced that it didn't matter since we are "in love". For example, there have been countless times throughout our relationship where she has made me feel awful -- as if I treat her terribly and I should be doing a much better job. Truth be told, I've been more loyal to her and treated her much better than I've ever seen any other couple treat each other. Sometimes I may be a harsh critic, but it's out of love, and also the fact that I tend to be a perfectionist, which probably plays a partial role in all of this. Anyways, she typically (not as bad in the last couple months) has pretty bad mood swings, and more often than that a downright poor attitude in general. Sometimes she's really happy and makes me feel the same, but all it takes is one minor thing to be said or occur and she practically flips out. A couple of times it has been so bad that she refused to sleep in the same bed as me until I talked to her and convinced her that I don't feel I was being out of line (for example by me not showing her enough affection sometimes, she makes me feel like I'm a criminal and gets extremely angry). Typically I end up forcing my self to apologize, even though I don't feel that I did anything wrong. As of late, I admit that I may not have been treating her as well as I used to, but when I'm having feelings like I am right now, it makes it hard for me to properly show affection.

As an additional note on her attitude, although her parents love her dearly, they have asked me (probably jokingly because they say it in front of her, but maybe in such a way that they say it as a joke but deep down inside might actually mean it a little) why have I stayed with her so long and put up with her attitude. Obviously it's because I loved her and didn't want to lose her. After a while I started to understand why they'd say those things, it's like I was either in denial for the longest time about her attitude, or I just had an unusually high tolerance for it.

So, to be extremely honest, I actually slowly started to become bothered by her attitude (and some parts of her personality) even before I proposed to her. To be honest, I thought a lot of her frustration came from her home life because she constantly complained about it. Part of me thought that giving her what she'd been wanting for several years (a ring and an engagement) would make her a happier person and her attitude and other issues would go away after I made her happy. Right after we got engaged we went full throttle and we decided to buy a house together. The process went fairly quick, during which time I noticed her attitude wasn't any better, and if anything, it was worse. I ignored it for a while, and eventually sat her down to talk about it (probably after we had been living together for less than a year). She got upset and tried to give me her ring back and in the end she had me feeling like the bad guy. Nevertheless, we pressed on. Things really didn't get any better, and just a few months ago (can't remember if it was right before or right after Christmas), I had to sit her down again for a serious talk. I told her several things that were really bothering me that NEEDED to change or I wouldn't feel comfortable marrying her. The three things were;

1. I needed to be able to have some free time to be able to hang out with friends. It seemed like every time she wanted to go out with friends I encouraged it and told her to have fun and not to worry about me, and she did. But when it came time for me to do something with my friends, she'd get angry (even if she didn't outright say it, you could tell that she was unhappy about it) because I wasn't spending time with her.

2. the most important thing that I told her was that her attitude was making me extremely unhappy, and that it HAD to change. This has been the biggest frustration ever for me, and of course she slightly retaliated and blamed part of it on me, which as I mentioned before, might very well be the case because I haven't been the happiest person because of the way she has acted. It was kind of a chain reaction and I don't think she understood that.

3. The final thing I told her was that she had to try harder to get along with my family. I am aware, and fully understand, that no two families are ever going to be the best of friends, but we've had several fairly serious family feuds in the past couple years, none of which have ended pleasantly. Part of it is my family's fault, some of it is her family's fault, and some of it is just plain her fault. I'm always caught in the middle and I don't ever want to have to choose between the two, it's really just not fair for anyone I don't think.

So in the past few months, #1 has improved just barely. I was able to get out once a week while she was at school to hang out with friends. Other times when I would hint about spending time with them on the weekend, she would tell me to go ahead, but I never really did because I could easily tell that she wouldn't have been happy about it. The only time when it seems acceptable is if she already has plans with a friend, that way I'm not "ditching" her.

#2 has had better improvement than the other two issues, but over the last few weeks I've seen the issue resurfacing. I honestly believe that her attitude is a core part of her personality and that she'll never really be able to turn it around, but only time can tell and unfortunately that's not something I want to waste any more of.

#3 has had no improvement. The very first time (after our last serious discussion) my fiancé and I got together with my family, I felt tension, and definitely a bad attitude from my fiancé. One of the biggest problems with this is that every holiday turns into some kind of problem, again not entirely my fiancés fault, but she doesn't do much to help the situations. We always end up participating in her family's functions first and my family's second. There are probably too many details for me to discuss here about this, but I'd be happy to answer them if requested. Let's just say this family issue is one that may never be properly solved, just due to the nature of all players involved.

Since this has already turned into a book by accident, let me go ahead and state my last few issues, some of which I've only really been thinking about recently, but are really core.

One core issue is that my fiancé is going to want to have kids fairly soon after marriage I believe. We've talked about it and never actually came to a solid conclusion. She wants to have kids while she's still young, but I (on the other hand) don't feel comfortable having kids anytime soon, and to be honest I'm really not a huge fan of them (yet). I say "yet" because I feel that at some point I may want to have kids, but as of now I don't feel ready for them, and I don't see me being ready for them anytime in the next 3-5 years. Probably more like 6 or 7 years (probably around age 30) but I'm really just guessing because as of right now I don't have ANY interest in kids.

The second core issue is that I'm honestly not sure if I even want to stay living in this state. I hate the weather and the area also isn't very rich in the kind of jobs that I'll be looking for. Part of this depends on my current employer -- if the next couple years go really well, I might see myself staying here because I have a high chance of being successful in my career. If the next two years don't go well, I'd have a much better chance at career success moving to a totally different location, which I'm not totally opposed to doing. My fiancé definitely doesn't want to leave her family and friends, so I'm not sure if she'd be willing to make the move or not. I've discussed this with her in the past and she doesn't seem happy about it, but I think she just doesn't get too upset about it because she doesn't realize how seriously I'm considering it. She probably thinks it would never happen.

There are more issues as well, but they might just be me being picky because as I've mentioned, I am more or less a perfectionist in many ways. Some of these (possibly silly) issues include; my fiancé tends to be much messier than I am as far as the house goes. When she cleans she does the bare minimum job that needs to be done more than half of the time. We've had a lot of issues with our house since we bought it, and when it comes time to address them it's almost always me that gets stuck taking the initiative. Most of the time she doesn't show proper appreciation for what she has in life (I've helped her emotionally and (especially) financially more than anyone else). Also, as I mentioned she is about to graduate from college (well, with an LPN license that is, which is something like a 1-2 year equivalent), and the only reason she's really been determined to complete college is because of me, and she's even recently acknowledged that if it weren't for me she wouldn't have been motivated enough herself to go through with it. She doesn't have anywhere near the drive for success like I do. She more or less went to college because I "pressured" her. I told her when we were in the early years of our relationship I didn't want to be with someone who couldn't provide for themselves in times of need, or who didn't have a college education.

There are also a large amount of good things about my fiancé that I have obviously not mentioned here, some of which include; she's great with kids and I'm fairly certain she'd make a good mother. She's very caring to those in need; more often than not she is too caring. She's supportive of me most of the time.

Unfortunately, she used to make me an extremely happy person, but I don't feel that way anymore. It seems like all of her faults have taken over and become much more apparent than anything, and it bothers me because I can't figure out whether or not I'm to blame for the way I feel. I want to come to a conclusion on whether or not to try and make this relationship work, or break off the engagement now before it's too late. She is ready to pull the trigger on a hall for the wedding reception and I don't even have the will to think about planning a wedding... and I know that obviously isn't the kind of feeling I'm supposed to be having right now. In addition, her parents are ready to put down money on the hall to reserve it, and I don't think it's fair for them to do so if this relationship isn't going to last.

Again I'm really sorry for this book, but I felt it necessary to provide as much detail as possible. I welcome any and all comments and suggestions, thank you so much for reading this all the way through!





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