My fiancé is unhappy with our relationship.

Discussion in 'Marriage and Relationships' started by FatherOfIsrael, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. My fiancé and I have dated for over two years, and in the last few months, we have experienced a crescendo of arguments, stemming from her insecurities, that has caused her to reconsider our relationship.

    Although she is twenty-six, she holds a quixotic outlook on life instilled mostly by the saccharine stories of celebrated Christian couples, such as Heather Lindsey and her husband Cornelius.

    Since the day we started our relationship until today, I have told her that I love her for who she is. She also did, until not long ago when she expressed to me that she is "afraid" that I will not be a spiritual person, that she is "unhappy" about our differences, and that she "needs" a man like Cornelius—earlier she had read Heather laud her husband for his godliness and service.

    When she expressed to me that she needs a man to care for her spiritual life and needs, I acknowledged it and told her that I would do more than what I already do for her, and she immediately chastised me for it on the grounds that I should not do it to please her.

    Being a pragmatic guy, I am confused and need someone to advice me on how to deal with my fiancé; I love her with all my heart and am deeply wounded by her unhappiness.
  2. Sorry to ask. Are you also a believer in Jesus Christ?
  3. I am a second-generation Christian; I was born and raised in a Christian family and environment and take my relationship with God seriously. I also serve in the technical departments of my church and minister to prisoners.
  4. Is she from the same Church? May be someone like your Pastor can talk with you both together? Because you cannot grow spiritually for your fiance's satisfaction.. And she cannot expect a saint!
    svdbyJesus and Roads say Amen and like this.
  5. Being told you're not good enough by someone you care about... yeah. That's a big one to get over, especially if you're the sort of person who is easily accepting.

    The first thing you need to make sure you're doing is putting up reasonable boundaries to protect yourself from inadvertently establishing an unhealthy relationship. If you are satisfied, and have a clean conscience about the place you're at in your spiritual life, then don't let someone put pressure on you to appear to be at place that you're not (especially if that "place" is too perfect to be reasonably achievable). If you can't be honest without fear of being condemned, that can add a lot of anxiety to your relationship.

    Obviously we don't know the whole situation, but it sounds to me like she probably has some unrealistic expectations about what a relationship is, which is normal and expected for an engaged couple. If you haven't done any premarital counseling, it might be worth looking into. Even informal counseling, like having a mutually respected married couple as mentors you meet with, say, once a week, can be a huge eye opener. I really hate it when famous Christian couples put on a veneer of perfection, presenting a plastic, unrealistic relationship which seems to have no problems. If you can find a mentor or counselor/pastor who can be honest about their own marriage struggles, that should help prepare you both for what a marriage is really all about.

    Lastly, telling your partner that you'll "do more" is a start, but (and this is a hard-learned lesson for me), there's a better way to approach it. If you want her to be confident that you're serious about improvement (and it is reasonable for her to want to feel confident about that, given the risks of commitment), you need to let her know four things: your awareness of where exactly you are struggling, your goals for where you want to be, your plan and approximate timeframe for achieving those goals, and exactly what you need from her to get there. Make your goals reasonable, like you'll meet together every Tuesday for a 30 minute prayer time, you'll attend a weekly study group together, you'll commit to going shopping together once a month to buy $50 of groceries for the local food hamper, or whatever. She should also be able to say the same thing to you about her own spiritual walk. She's got to come to an understanding that to expect perfection is unreasonable, and only causes couples to hide the truth from each other. Having an honest, self-aware partner who knows where they want to be and how they plan to get there, and what exactly they need from you, makes for a much easier, very fulfilling relationship. We can't be perfect yet, but we are being perfected, and we can decide to be one another's partner along the journey.
    JG27_chili, New Man 78 and FatherOfIsrael says Amen and like this.
  6. We have attended the same church for as long as we have been together, and we already have another talk with the senior pastor scheduled for this weekend. Although your suggestion is impeccable, we have sought help from several people, including professional (paid) Christian therapists, for lack of a better term.
  7. Roads, your advice is sublime! Thank you for taking the time to write it!
    PeaceLikeaRiver and Roads say Amen and like this.
  8. i'm going to say this without giving advice,
    I avoid my wife when she 1. doesn't take her medication, 2. its a full moon, 3. its that time of the month.
    I have learned to say 'no', I often say yes but I will say no if I feel it compromises who I am.
    If my wife said lets see the pastor and get counselled I would say 'no', good luck your on your own, but that's me.
    Women seem to like it when they see you doing stuff, like digging or sweating or repairing things.
    Praying together is a good thing, do it.
    She most days watches joyce, benny and a couple others, I listen but read my bible instead, I feel what God is saying to her
    through them He is NOT saying to me through her, maybe He is.
    I think women need to focus more on other women rather than making men their friend? spiritual buddy.
    But i'm old and grumpy and don't really care much what other people think...I think.
    I often say to God "she, they, that, this situation, people, things, its in your hands, I give it you, work it out." Amen.
  9. Unfortunately, a vast majority of young men and women hold views I would classify similarly.... Far too many people hold beliefs where Happiness and contentment comes from OUTSIDE them - that their feelings are only Reactions to what others (including God) do....

    Honestly, it sounds like there are issues SHE needs to work out on her own before she marries.... That God needs to work on her one on one to develop her into the Woman that can be married to the Man that God is preparing for her...

    So... I would suggest honest to goodness Christian Counseling for both of you...
  10. It is a reasonable request for a woman to expect that her husband will connect with and care for her spiritually. It is NOT a reasonable request for a woman to expect her husband to meet some impossible standard based on an overly idealistic and unrealistic image of the "perfect" husband. Of course, men have unrealistic expectations of their wives, too.

    Is your fiance a chronic comparer? In other words, does she tend to compare things and people in her life to other people's lives? If so, she may be looking to all the wrong things (i.e., anything other than Christ) to give her ultimate fulfillment. This is an issue that she will need to work through or she will never really experience joy and peace. She will always find something else to blame for her own dissatisfaction.

    I would avoid the "Just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it" approach. That may make her feel like you're just trying to mark this off your list so you can get on with life. I would recommend hitting the pause button on the marriage planning until the two of you can talk about this with your pastor or a counselor.

    I am curious, though, has she ever mentioned any specific ways that you are not "spiritual" enough?
  11. For me, I think its something you and her need to do on your own. Once you bring other people into, she's going to get a different view on how your relationship SHOULD be when each relationship is different.

    When me and my fiance first got together, we were on the same page. We both believe but had no desire to practice it. We felt to much pressure from loved ones and from the church and just enjoyed our own person relationship. Now, I have become a bit more religious then she is. Yes, it is hard for me to grow on my own and it does get a little frustrating but I have channeled it (writing and here). So being where your fiance is, I would suggest doing something romantic and spiritual together. I would have no idea what that would be but it sounds to me she wants to be shown, not told.
  12. Since I wrote this, I have followed through with my word: we are praying and reading daily devotionals more often, we are attending more church events, etc. Nevertheless, her insecurities prevail; this time, she is afraid that we will not be involved in ministry in the future.

    This Monday, I took her to an introduction to chaplaincy course at church. Because I do not have the time for it, I could not continue with it, and she became distressed, almost depressive, because she loved it and chose to continue with it.

    Her attitude is increasingly exasperating me.

    New Man 78: She is vague, but her anxiety stems from the fact that I am not always "united in the spirit" or "in the same heartset" as her.
  13. Thanks for the clarification. I asked because we are only getting your interpretation of what she is asking of you. She might explain things very differently.

    It seems like she is realizing the lifelong commitment she is about to make, and she is worried that you might end up not meeting her expectations for a husband (whether they are realistic or not!). This is a good time to review Marriage Rule #1: "A person will not automatically change once he or she is married." She will continue to have these types of expectations after you are married. So unless you want to feel like a perpetual disappointment in your wife's eyes, you must discuss this as soon as possible. I think you will need to have an honest conversation with her and tell her that you are afraid you will never be able to live up to her expectations for you spiritually. Explain that you are not saying that you don't want to try to be a godly husband, just that you feel like you can't meet her expectations. Then you will need to see what her reaction is, and prayerfully consider what your next step should be. If you think the conversation will get emotional or heated, you may want to involve an impartial third party like a counselor or pastor.

    My wife and I faced lots of difficulties for the first 12 years of our marriage because we avoided the unpleasant conversations about our problems. Once we started talking about them in a non-confrontational, non-accusatory way, our marriage improved drastically. I will pray that God will give you the strength and wisdom to talk through these things with your fiance.

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