What To Do When He Won’t Marry You…
by Sheryl Smith
I had been with Jake for four years and we had formed a bond of closeness that I had never before experienced with a man. I could tell him anything about myself and he accepted me. He was my closest friend, but yet he kept a small wedge between us, which left me feeling often on the outside of his world. Every time marriage came up, he spoke of his fear.
He had come from a broken home, and he viewed marriage as two people caged together. Since I was a product of a wonderful home environment, I sympathized with him and tried to understand his fear. I fooled myself into thinking that with the proper love and understanding from me, his fear would dissolve and we would live happily ever after. But the more patience I exhibited, the farther he got away from making a commitment. I loved him and I tolerated the relationship despite my desire for marriage.
One day when I was sitting around moping about him, my sister advised me to end my relationship with Jake.
“You are in a rut. Jake is not the only man out here! And as long as you stay with him on his terms, there is no reason for him to consider you. Sometimes a guy needs a woman to help him make up his mind. Give him up and find someone else. If he’s yours, he won’t go far.”
I didn’t even answer her as I buried my head in the couch pillow. She just didn’t understand. There just weren’t enough good guys out there to go around. And I didn’t feel like starting over with someone new. I had invested too much time in Jake and I wasn’t about to set him free for some other female.
Two weeks later, I was sitting outside of his office waiting to surprise him for lunch and I overheard him on the phone talking as he neared the outer door.
“No baby, I ain’t married. I am free as a bird. I ain’t tied down to nothing.”
I got up and left without even acknowledging my presence and walked calmly back to my office and called him. Overhearing that conversation was the push I needed to pull myself out of the relationship. Without mentioning my being at his office, I told him that I felt we should stop seeing each other.
Though I was trembling in anger, I spoke calmly about our differences concerning marriage and my need to seek other avenues to have my desire met. After a long silence, he told me he understood and he wished me luck. I was already hurt, and I was hurt even worse by his nonchalant manner. He seemed totally unaffected by my decision.
Two years went by and I never saw or heard from him. Out of the blue, he called one day and said he couldn’t go another day without me. I still was uninvolved, but I was content with my life. I listened quietly as he professed his love and how miserable he’d been. When I heard his voice, I knew I still loved him, but I was leery. He said he had been miserable ever since I left him and for the first time in his life he knew he was ready for marriage.
As I hung up the phone, I thought of my sister’s words. She had been right. If more women gambled on being alone for the sake of happiness, when they’re unhappy in a relationship, they would come out better. I learned that sometimes you have to give up something to get something. Jake and I were married four months later, and he has been a model husband.