How Long Is Too Long To Wait For Commitment? And...He Wants Kids ASAP

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DEAR CAT: I’ve been on/off with a guy for almost three years. We now live in different states and we love each other, but he won’t commit. He says he’s scared – I know his ex wife really hurt him when she cheated on him. He tells me I’m the one, but he’s scared, and he gives all these different reasons why we can’t right now. Does he really want to be with me or is he just trying to be nice and not hurt my feelings? Should I be patient and see if there’s anything? We still talk all the time, and go and see each other when able to. We’ve been through a lot together. I have never felt the way I do for him for anyone else, and neither of us can seem to let go of each other. – CAN’T LET GO

DEAR CAN’T: How patient are you supposed to be? Three years is more than enough time for him to choose to be with you. That’s what this comes down to, after all, a choice he can make. The fact that you’ve stuck it out this long, tiptoeing around his fear, proves this almost-relationship is not based on love, it’s based on his fear. I understand his ex-wife hurt him but that shouldn’t determine your romantic life. Do you date other people? I sure hope so. Don’t close yourself off from the rest of the world because of lingering feelings for a man who gives excuses for not being with you. If a man really wants you, he’ll make it happen. If he doesn’t even try….Cat’s Call: That’s not a man worth waiting for.

DEAR CAT: My husband and I got married last year. It has been a wonderful year but I noticed a change in him almost as soon as the honeymoon was over – he immediately wanted us to have kids. We had agreed before we got married that we would enjoy our first couple years together, build a nest egg, then have children when we were financially ready. Then we got married and pow! he won’t stop talking about it. I feel somewhat duped and also like I seem unreasonable or unromantic for wanting to wait a while longer and stick to our original ‘agreement.’ I told him all this and he says, “there’s no time like the present.” That isn’t a real reason to put baby-making above all else. What’s his rush? Nobody seems to have any answers. — NOT READY TO BE A MOM YET

DEAR NOT READY: I wish I had a definitive answer about your husband’s sudden change of tune. My hunch…it might be an ‘age’ thing and he’s worried if you wait much longer he’ll be too old and creaky to toss a football or get up for late night feedings. Dreaming about married life is one thing while actually getting married might have changed his sense of mortality and prompted a rush to procreate. I don’t know your ages but it’s a reasonable assumption. In terms of appearing unromantic, there are few things more romantic than wanting time alone with your spouse. Talk to your husband and tell him the pressure is getting to you. My hunch…Cat’s Call: He will understand.

What’s YOUR call? Share it below! Submit questions to: or click here!.

  1. Don’t ever wait around for a man. Period! If she didn’t cheat on him he’d still be with her and you have to remember that. He’s nursing wounds for another woman and you’re wiping his tears. Cat is right, get out there and see other people. I say dump him but you won’t.

    For the second question, you and your husband had an agreement and he’s backing out of it. Put your foot down and don’t discuss the subject until a couple years have gone by and your bank account is good.

    — Josh, Pittsburgh    11/15/2011    Reply

  2. To Can’t Let Go – My best friend has been “dating” someone for 20 years who was afraid to commit after a failed marriage. If he really loved you, he’d wouldn’t think twice. You deserve the best, so go find someone who is a stand up guy.

    To Not Ready to be a Mom – Speaking from many years of married experience, he’s apparently not really listening to you, so no matter what you say, it won’t make a dent. Get a third party involved, like a minister or counselor. Don’t give up!

    — Kathy, Pittsburgh    11/15/2011    Reply

  3. Can’t Let Go – DON’T let go! I am happily married to a man that had the same issues. We were together for 7 years before he was ready. I was ready by the 2nd year, but I never pressured him. Finally after 7 years together, he proposed and we were married a year later. It was worth the wait. We know each other, we love each other and we know that we’ll be together for the rest of our lives. Seriously, if you love him, then he’s worth the wait. The divorce rate in this country is astronomical because everyone is in such a hurry to marry. Take your time, enjoy life, enjoy each other. He’ll come around eventually.

    — Jen, Pittsburgh    11/16/2011    Reply

    1. That is the worst relationship advice I’ve ever heard. “He’ll come around eventually” is not true in most cases. You waited 7yrs, well good for you. If he broke up with you six years into it you’d be singing a different tune. Listen to Cat here, not Jen.

      — Matthew- California    11/18/2011    Reply

      1. Matthew, do you really think that someone should “put out or get out”? That’s exactly what you are saying – “either marry me or I’m leaving”. That’s not a way to start a marriage. Maybe he needs someone who will stick with him through thick and thin rather than take off when she doesn’t get her way. Once my husband knew I wasn’t going anywhere and there was no pressure, our relationship progressed. As I said, the divorce rate in this country is above 50%. If he gives in to her, they’ll be another statistic because he WILL resent her.

        — Jen    11/22/2011    Reply

  4. @CAN’T LET GO,

    Two issues here-distance plus three years. If you both truly love each other, why after three years are you both not living in the same area or at least making arrangements to do so? Also, where does his ex-wife live? If where he lives, that plus your distance and years equals a huge red flag!

    — LeBron from Pittsburgh    11/16/2011    Reply

  5. @NOT READY,

    I would have to believe your husband really and truly loves you. Therefore, the next time he brings the issue up, get serious with him. Take his hand, sit him down with you and tell him how much you love him, but as planned, you are not ready to have a child yet. Reassure him that when the agreed time comes, you will be more than happy to have his and your child, and can begin to plan appropriately.

    If he shrugs you off or keeps pestering you…. Red flag! And, too late!

    — LeBron from Pittsburgh    11/16/2011    Reply

  6. I’m with Cat and Matthew. Jen, your experience is atypical. And length of engagement has no correlation to marital success, nor is it the issue here. The man is not asking for more time to get to know each other better.

    Can’t Let Go: Read the book “He’s Just Not That Into You” – it’s a real eye-opener. Judging by your signature, your heart knows what you need to do.

    Of course pressuring someone into marriage by threat is ridiculous. He is free to choose not to commit. And she is free to choose to leave him and seek a partner who shares her desire to commit. There’s a huge difference between saying “Marry me or I’m out of here” and “I’m sorry you don’t want to commit, but I’m not satisfied and have decided to leave and get on with my life.” One reflects the desire to control someone else, and the other reflects respect for the fact that every person makes their own decisions.

    There’s something else – if the two of you sit down and talk about the situation honestly, sharing thoughts and fears and the feelings of both parties, without arguing or trying to convince, you might have a better feel after this talk. Express your sadness honestly from your heart, and each strive to understand what the other is worried about (don’t forget to tell him YOUR fears) and really LISTEN to each other. If you can both communicate honestly and constructively in this way, it will help you decide. And it is a blueprint & rehearsal for dealing with tough issues as a couple, which is the biggest skill you both will need for the future. Practice it now and you’ll have even more information upon which to base your decision.

    — Nancy in Pittsburgh    11/22/2011    Reply


You must preview your comment before submitting.

Back to top