Scared of Commitment
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The breakup of a relationship and especially a marriage can be quite unsettling and can lead to relationship problems down the road. One or other partner may encounter difficulties moving on to the next stage of the relationship. Unfortunately they may not be aware of the problem but the other partner may find them distant or avoiding certain situations or topics. This can be a very frustrating experience for both.

I am ready to commit to this relationship, to get remarried but my partner says they are not ready. What do I do?

It is not at all unusual for a couple to be in different stages of commitment to the relationship. If your partner is divorced, they may find it difficult to commit to marriage again especially if the divorce was difficult or there is an ongoing bad parenting relationship with their ex. Assessing your own needs and expectations as described below may help. Being supportive of your partner to help them feel security and comfortable is also helpful. However in the end, you cannot change the other person and if they cannot move forward, then you need to look closely at your own options.

My partner is ready to get married again but I feel nervous and do not feel ready to commit to getting remarried right now. What should I do?

Again this is not an unusual feeling. Be clear with your partner about how you are feeling at the moment. You will need to sit down and think  about how you are feeling and what is prompting these feelings. Using the self exam below may help identify the feelings you are having. If they are blocking you from enjoying your relationship or for achieving your goals for the relationship, you will probably need to do some work to overcome them.

Letting your partner know how you are feeling and that you are taking action will help them support you and decrease their anxiety about the future of the relationship. Get professional help if you are not making progress. Identifying what you want from a relationship and clearly communicating that will help the relationship move on whether it be to marriage or a decision to split and find a new relationship.

Be aware of your feelings about the relationship

If you are harboring feelings of frustration or even anger at the pace of the relationship, it is time to sit down and do a reality check. Talking to your partner straight away may cause them to deny such feelings and cause them to distance themselves further.

Relationship self exam

One way to approach this is to examine your own feelings. Putting a pen to paper is a good way to get started.

Step 1

Write down the feelings you are having

Step 2

List the hopes you have for the relationship e.g. kids, marriage, time-frame, step-kids

Step 3

  • Look at the list from Step 1 and see if there are any underlying common themes
  • Ask yourself if any of those are fear based e.g. I am afraid that .....
  • Do any of these match anything on the list from Step 2 which is a list of your expectations of the relationship?
  • Have you had these feelings before in other relationships? Are there patterns to how you feel?