Need help breaking free from addiction?
1-888-993-3112
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Ad Info & Options

I Compromised And Gave In

Question:

I have been in a relationship for over a year and a half. Several months ago, we began sleeping together at his request. I was unsure about it because I believe strongly about waiting until we are married. However, I compromised and gave in for “special occasions.” Well, these days it seems like he can think of a special occasion for everything! I’ve tried to tell him how I feel and why it is important to wait. At times, I feel even very dis-interested in sex because of the guilt I feel after the fact. He, however, doesn’t want, or see the need, to stop. I love him dearly, and truly believe we have a future together. I, however, would like to move backward and slow things down sexually in our relationship. Some friends tell me once we crossed that line before marriage, we can’t go back. I don’t believe it. What would you suggest for solving this ongoing argument and compromise in our relationship?

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
  • ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

The marriage research literature does suggest that marriages tend to be stronger when partners have not cohabited prior to marriage. I’m not sure if that includes never having sex before marriage, but I am inclined to take the word ‘cohabited’ literally, and say that it is the act of moving in together prior to marriage that changes things. So don’t get too worried about the pre-marital sex part. My own humble opinion is that that, all by itself, is not going to have a lasting impact on your future happiness.

You do have a fairly serious issue here, however, and it is one you need to become crystal clear about right now, before you seriously consider marriage to this man. He is not sensitive to your desires when they conflict with his own right now, and there is no reason to believe he will act differently in the future. So, your relationship is uneven, or unequal in terms of how you get to make decisions. You compromise and he doesn’t. Let me repeat myself for effect: this pattern is very unlikely to change in the future if you two cannot find a way to change it now. My fear for you is that you will marry him and feel more or less permanently compromised for the rest of your days together. Don’t allow this to happen, please. Stand up for yourself and do not compromise your deeply held values. You don’t need to shout or scream or yell; you just need to learn how to say “no” and mean it when you mean it. If this means refusing to have sex with your boyfriend/fianc?e, then so be it. Then, carefully watch how he handles your new assertiveness. It will be normal for him to protest and complain, but what you want to see is that it dawns on him what you are doing, and he comes to accept that it is okay for you to have limits he can’t cross. If he becomes belligerent or otherwise will not stop pressuring you to resume relations, you will know he is not the one for you, because he is far more interested in the satisfaction of his own needs than in your happiness.

A word about compromise is in order here, I think. Compromise should not be a one-sided thing. You compromised something you felt strongly about to give him something he wanted, but what has he compromised? It is not clear from your communication. There is nothing wrong with compromise. Compromises are the bricks out of which relationships are built. However, in the future, make sure that you are both giving up something important when you reach a compromise, because only bilateral compromises ever feel satisfying.

More "Ask Anne" View Columnists

Close

Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.

Close

Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand