Problem Point: Why Is My Fiancé Pretending We’re ‘Just Friends’?

Photo by Michael Fenton

Question. We are in relationship for more than a year now and we have already planned to get married. But I was taken back when he introduced me to his friends as his ‘good friend’. Why should he hide our relationship? Why he has not introduced me as his fiancee? It hurt me so much because it’s totally unfair. Any advice from your side?

A. That is not good or appropriate behaviour, if you are getting married. This is the time you would both want to shout your relationship to the world. It shows a great deal of fear or a desire to live a pretend life, especially regarding his friends.

Let’s take the fear first. Sometimes when people fear commitment they will drag out the plans for settling down, like the way the plans for the marriage is going; they will make all kinds of excuses about why the time is never right to settle down, and they will be behaving differently from their partners. People who fear commitment also fear the responsibility of love: the caring, sharing and partnership side, though they love the idea of it, the excitement and the sex that might be attached to it. They do not live in the present and enjoy the moment. Instead they tend to fret about the future, and what effects taking that final step might have on their life. They also dread the consequences of their actions, and any ‘mistakes’ that might come from what they do today. Hence they live in fear of what could happen to pin them down to one person, which then affects everything they do, especially living in a kind of denial.

It means that one partner is having to walk on eggshells to preserve the relationship, always having to go by what the other person desires instead of it being a mutual friendship. One person is always calling the shots, which leaves the other party feeling insecure, vulnerable and often unhappy, yet feeling impotent to do anything about the situation. As the other party is never in control where commitment-phobes are concerned, such a relationship is likely to be fraught with difficulties.

Secondly, if he is living two lives – a pretend one with his friends where he probably acts the eligible and available bachelor, while acting the potential groom with you – of course he would introduce you as his ‘good friend’. That is what he probably told his friends when he is with them, that he has no real girlfriends. So when he is with you, he has to keep up the pretence and appearance of being single, otherwise he will lose credibility with his friends. Worse still, he could have another girlfriend/wife already which the friends know about so he has to explain your presence in a non-threatening way.

Either way, his action shows disrespect to you and your feelings. The only answer is to break off with him and let him know that you are prepared to take him back only when he is ready to commit or to acknowledge who you are in public. Otherwise you really should be seeking someone else. 

Relationships that start off badly do not get better on marriage. In fact, they get worse, so you would be better off out of there. If he has so little love and respect for you that he would not be proud to show you off in public, to acknowledge what you means to him, or he is being deceitful, that is no relationship at all, and it does not augur well for your future together.


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