Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ask Brian: My boyfriend is about to propose on our dream holiday to Bali, but I don't want to marry him - what should I do?

Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues.

Dear Brian,

I'm in the middle of a moral quandary. My boyfriend of five years has been acting strangely lately and I thought he was cheating, so I went through his phone. As it turns out, he is going to propose. The thing is, I don't want to marry him.

My 30th birthday is in two weeks and as a gift, he is treating me to a trip to Bali and that's where I think he's going to propose.

We've known each other since we're teenagers and I don't want to break his heart, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life with him.

However, I've been looking forward to this Bali trip for months now and it's the only thing getting me through the last few months of our relationship, which have been particularly tough.

We live together in a two-bedroom apartment but his friends are constantly over - and when they're not playing poker until all hours they're taking up the TV playing FIFA.

Should I go on this dream holiday knowing my heart isn't in it anymore or let him waste all of the money he's spent on the trip by cancelling?




Hi Anon,

Moral quandary is an understatement - you're deciding between your boyfriend's feelings (and money) versus your desire to get a tan.

I don't think you're unique in situation, many people sleepwalk their way through relationships.

Even though you're together five years, many people are a lot further down the zombie relationship route and in some cases, they're married and with kids.

Sometimes it takes things to come to a head to actually evaluate what you want and where you want to go in life.

Firstly, you shouldn't have checked his phone - even though you are in a relationship he has a right to his own space. Suspicion on your part is no justification for violating his privacy.

But that's in the past and we can't act like you don't know the information you gleaned through your snooping.

In a way you're suffering karma for violating his privacy. If you hadn't snooped, you would have gone on the holiday none-the-wiser.

But now you know and morally I don't think you can go on the holiday in good faith.

You say the holiday has been the only thing keeping you in the relationship the last few months - a relationship shouldn't be a constant carrot dangling to keep it on the road.

I think his friends constantly being over isn't really an issue here, the frustration is a symptom of a relationship that has run its course.

You need to maintain cordial relations here, you live together and will have some difficult times ahead de-tangling your lives.

Going on the holiday that he is paying for when you know things are over will only create a really negative atmosphere for what lies ahead.

You're better off having this conversation before the holiday - either letting him cancel it or invite somebody else.

Doing what's right isn't necessarily easy, but you'll look back in the months to come happy (but pale) with how you handled things.

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