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Cold Feet or Is Something Really Wrong?

Nina wrote:

I have been with my fiancée for three years but we have been engaged for two. In the beginning it was a little shaky when we decided to tell our parents about each other.

My family, who I thought was going to be absolutely angry, responded in a less aggressive manner and I was very surprised. My fiancée is 12 years older than me and since I am foreign and have only lived in the US for 15 years it doesn't mean the old countries ways and traditions, beliefs and values have gone away. My father in a calm manner told me I could be making a mistake and I told him to give us time to show him that he is a great person. Since then, my father has been terrific after getting to know my fiancée and he actually treats him like his own.

My fiancée convinced me that his family was loving an welcome, but in fact, we found out the exact opposite. They had a problem with my age, told him he was just having a mid life crisis (which is impossible to have being in his mid thirty's) and that the love I had shown towards my fiancée was fake and that "nobody could" love him that way. We were both shocked at their reaction and I was so angry about their disrespect towards me. This didn't change how we felt about each other.

This guy is what I would call, the sweetest, caring and most kind hearted person I know. It sounds great doesn't it? Well it's good at times, but his family has tortured us to no end making him choose, in a passive manner, to either be with me and conform to their ways or to go his separate way and in his fathers words "you can have each other". I have tried very hard to make this work between us, to explain to them the comments and behavior they portrait towards us are unacceptable and we cannot live like that.

We are less than two weeks from getting married and I am having more than cold feet. I am having frozen feet. It is not his family that is deterring me, because we can deal with that, even though right now he is not speaking to any one of his family members. It is the fact that every night I lay down to sleep, and something deep down inside tells me that this just doesn't feel right. There is something making me feel like I am making a mistake of a lifetime. My parents love him, and they think were great together, he is such a sweet guy to me, he is on my side and he is very hard working. In fact, many of my friends and even my mom and sister said that he is one of a kind.

If that is so, then why am I feeling this way? I am being hard on myself about these feelings by telling my self that I am just being stupid and that he is a prince so I should stop being so picky and just go on with this. Another factor is my guilt of the wedding being paid for and ready to go. We will be marrying alone on a beach because we felt that the situation has caused us to enjoy our ceremony alone. My parents think its a great idea. He loves me very much, but I am sensing that this hostility between us and his family is making him have less love and respect for me even thought when I talk to him calmly about it he says he is on my side and I have nothing to worry about. I came to the conclusion that it may not be the family issues that are making me have second thoughts.

After living with someone, you have an idea of what they are like and from the things they say they are like you expect that to be true. He is very impatient, becomes frustrated quickly (mostly about work, driving, people, etc.), he is a clutter bug and he makes rash decisions without thinking them through. I am the complete opposite of that and it has made me think, "how am I going to live with this man?". We argue about his clutter issue, I ask him to weed out the things he doesn't need, I ask him to take deep breaths when he gets cut-off, I ask him to think out-side-the-box, and I even ask him to put him self in my shoes. He is willing to do these things but often he gets angry. These issues never came about until the past year. The more time goes on, the more worried I get that I will just break down at the ceremony and say no but I know that I love him.

I cannot change him but for some reason I cannot accept him. I have fallen into depression about this, and I have even gone to psychologists to seek help and medicine. None of this has helped me realize what to do. I want a man who knows what he wants, who can stand up to people and protect his wife (more than he already has), and I want a many who is willing to learn discipline and start thinking logically and methodically. I thought he was this man, and now the more time goes on the more I see he is not, but that doesn't mean I should hate him. I love him but just because you love someone doesn't mean their "the one".

Every time I bring this up, he starts getting upset and I tell him that this is a learning experience and we can come out of it knowing what we want and don't want in a man/woman. He cannot see this my way because he only thinking about being hurt, I think about the future and often I sit around and wonder where that "man" of my dreams is. This is truly sad. If you have any sort of advice it would help because I have nobody else to tell this to and I always feel like who ever I try to talk to is not seeing it my way.

Dear Nina

Thanks for giving such detail; with all the pressure, it must be hard to make a decision about anything!

But on the issue that counts, you know the answer, and I can quite understand why you need others to give you support and courage ... you cannot marry him.

Beneath the parental pressures, and everything else, there's the clear message that you simply cannot face living with him for the rest of your life. You'll find it hard to tell him - and it's harder, because you've survived so much together.

But facts are facts; you are too honest to even try to convince yourself that he will change - and you care for him too much to nag him for 50 years.

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