I would very much appreciate your opinion/advice!
My partner (soon to be my wife) turned to be so selfish and want to have her independence back. It all started when we moved to her country among her family and friends.
We met in Kuala Lumpur and we fell madly in love and we were inseparable. Our love life there was perfect for 2 years (include of course some arguments which only brought us stronger), but we struggled so much with the visa and work. Because of my nationality it was so hard and almost impossible to travel to a place where we can be officially partners.
We conquered the impossible and we managed to get me a special visa to her country where we can be partners and marry. Since we arrived here we hurried and finished all the paper work for us to be partners and guarantee my stay in here with here. But then she changed from a person who wants to stay with me and introvert (as she was in Malaysia) to a completely the opposite.
We talked about it and she said that now she enjoys going out with friends and meet people unlike in Malaysia and she was always like that.
When they called us to choose our marriage date. She broke and told me that she feels that she is not ready to commit, although that what we were fighting for 2 years!!
She said that she feels she lost herself for me and that’s not her she wants to be independent and she started questioning what if things didn’t work we will be divorced and so on. I contained her fears and I tried my best to comfort her while my heat was bleeding.
We agreed to take time and relax and think about this discussion thoroughly and that’s what we did. But now she like discarded her life from me (we live in her parents house) and as she intentionally doing it and hurting me to feel independent. I feel completely vulnerable in here. She chats all the time with her friends who she met at her new work and hide her conversations and her writing everytime I walk on her, now she doesn’t leave her phone more than 2 sec in the same room as I am, even though these conversations have nothing except normal and shadow topics.
She started do all these kind of actions which kills me. I know for fact that she is not cheating on me, but these kind of actions drove me crazy.
She stopped having sex with me and she said that she now loves me as a sisterhood or friendship love and she sees me in her live forever regardless we are together or no. Which I don’t know how to take that!!
She is the love of my life and sincerely hearing that from her is just tearing my heart. I’m trying to put myself together and stay strong for us till this cloud ends. But I see her living in denial and not even thinking about anything related to us. She is not just living her life if I don’t exist. I’m independent too but I just believe that discarding her or be selfish will not prove my independency.
I’m really in a tough situation. I would have never think this will happened to us. Everyone was so jealous of our love, commitments and how we sticked together in the toughest situations.
Please tell me how should I act/think.
Please answer me privately if possible here.
Thank you Lindsey for reading this long email, I really apologize for it.
– Desperately waiting for your answer!
** A general note to all readers: I don’t answer columns privately, so if you write to me, your question will be answered here. If that isn’t something you are comfortable with either leave a note to have me edit your question to remove any personal information or go run your advice needs by a trusty pal rather than write in. **
In what ways was your life different in Kuala Lumpur? Did you have joint friends, rather than her friends vs. your friends? Did you live together in your own place, instead of with roommates or relatives? Did you two do different things when you went out in public — for example, were you more or less openly affection than you have been since the move? Did she keep her phone on her all the time, or were you allowed to use it/be alone with it?
Your girlfriend feels like she lost a part of herself in the relationship. Right now it sounds like she is trying to reclaim that part of herself that was lost by putting the brakes on getting married and pursuing independent friendships.
That leaves you at her parents’ place waiting around for her to direct her attention on you — and rightly feeling frustrated. Unfortunately, nothing good is going to come from being frustrated or acting in anger. I think you know that.
She could have cold feet about taking the next step — cold feet that only manifested now, when the roadblocks to getting married have been removed. You’ve only been together for two years. That’s not a ton of time, even if it was an intense, the-two-of-you-versus-the-world style affair. There are still depths to her you don’t know, and vice versa.
It’s not surprising that after a major move, parts of her would blossom — especially if you were somewhere mildly to moderately homophobic. She could be more extroverted when she feels comfortable, as she does now. Moving frees up a lot of energy, particularly if she wasn’t happy in KL, or if she didn’t feel free to be herself.
Of course if she is less free and less happy where you are now, that could also be causing some of these behavioral changes.
In a strong committed relationship, it seems like she’d want to have you by her side for at least some of that — maybe not drinks with the coworkers but exploring your new city, dinner dates, and so on.
If she is worried about losing independence if you get married, talk about what your marriage would look like. You can pursue independent hobbies and have your own friends, make couple friends and do the same activities, or find a balance of couple time and alone time that works for you both. There are lots of ways to be married, and you don’t have to forsake parts of who you are to be together.
Ask her for more specifics. Tell her how you feel, and tell her you want to make it right. Then try to listen non-judgmentally to what she says.
I am sorry for your fiance’s change of heart, and I hope you can get to the bottom of it and move forward together. This all sounds very confusing.
We’ve talked a lot about her, but you should think about yourself, too.
Are you willing to wait for her to re-examine her life, and her commitment to you? If you are not willing to wait because you must be married now, then you can give her the now or never ultimatum. That’s not likely to end the way you want it.
If you are willing to wait for her to work through whatever is going on, then talk about what is fair for everyone. Should you put the wedding on hold for a year? Six months? How long are you able to be in the country on your visa? It sounds like not a ton of time, hence the pressure to move ahead. But if you can delay getting married, I would. You deserve to marry someone who is enthusiastically committed to saying yes to you — which isn’t your girlfriend, at the moment.
If she tells you she does not want to marry you or be with you romantically (something it sounds like she almost said when she said you are in her life whether it’s as a lover or friend), then it’s over between the two of you. I hope that’s not the case, for your sake.
Be strong. Stay well.
Need Lindsey’s advice? Write to our editor at email@example.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line!