I’m involved with my boss, I’ve worked for him for 7 years. Our feelings grew stronger for each other over the last three and last year both of us finished relationships and he asked me out. Everything was wonderful, we had so much in common. We kept it secret for a little while but when it came out, a lot of people said they couldn’t understand what took us so long. We talked about marriage and he said he knew where and when he would propose and gave me his word we would marry this year, after his birthday.
We had a wonderful holiday together and when we came back, it all went wrong. He said he wasn’t ready, the year rushed by so fast and he didn’t think he loved me as he should if he was going to marry me. Now, when we’re together it’s as good as ever but he feels he messed it up and has got to fix it but he doesn’t know how. I’m even prepared to live with him. I’ve thought about Relate but I don’t think he’ll go.
People who have been let down in childhood sometimes find commitment scary. It’s as if they feel that whenever they trust and love someone, that’s the time when it all goes wrong. As long as relationship is tentative, they feel fine but when marriage and children loom, they feel driven to be the one to call a halt, before they can be abandoned once more. That could be one reason for his behaviour.
If he’s never really experienced unconditional love and warmth, another could be that he has unrealistically high expectations of love. He thinks he should be in a state of bliss full-time, and since life isn’t like that he feels cheated. Going to Relate would really help because a counsellor would help the two of you understand what you wanted, expected and needed out of this relationship and help you see if it’s the relationship that has let you down or your beliefs. Make an appointment for both of you and if he’s reluctant to go at first, take heart because he’ll probably join you later if you go along on your own.