I totally agree with EllenS - it would seem really strange to me to not have addressed an issue that is a deal breaker. It's not about "giving notice" so much as it is "hey, you are important to me - this is bothering me - what can we do?" And if this isn't done it seems like the people involved don't communicate well at all!
But the very things I'm talking about are the things that I couldn't or didn't want to DO anything about. I'm talking about personality traits. Things that make people who they are, things that in my opinion no amount of "working on" will change.
I am enjoying the discussion, and hope it continues because it is very fascinating. However the insistence that there is some dishonesty going on continues to baffle me. I pride myself in always being honest. I don't give false compliments, I don't say things I don't mean. I don't pretend I'm happy if I'm not. If I say "fine", I truly mean fine, and little cliches about how you know you're in trouble when a woman says she is fine annoy me because I certainly don't participate in those kind of games.
I did online dating
and was always upfront right in my profile about kids, preferred age, location, religion, what I was looking for etc. Brutally honest. I would not continue to chat with anyone who didn't fall into what I was looking for, because I don't lead people on and refused to change my standards. I also wasn't there to find friends. Ironically, even though people claim they want honesty, I found that a lot of men were extremely annoyed when told things like "the age difference is more than I'm comfortable with" or "our beliefs just don't seem to match up". If I had a nickle for every time I got treated like I was a horrible human being simply for stating these honest, simple facts that were already listed in my profile....but I digress. My point was, no one was ever lead on or unaware of any dealbreakers before a relationship
After reading some of the responses, I think it's the duration of the relationship
that is influencing a lot of our differing opinions. I mentioned this before, but it may have been missed. I would never BE with someone for multiple years without a marriage decision, so I've never been in a situation where I broke up with someone I had been dating
for several years. (I have been divorced, but I consider a marriage break up to be a totally separate topic.) So I guess maybe that's where the disconnect is. People are picturing a lovely committed relationship
that's been going on for 5 years or more and I didn't think that was the sole situation that we were discussing. Yes, I would absolutely have dealt with any dealbreakers before 5 years! That was part of my point actually, that as soon as I know something isn't working for me, I will break up with someone rather than trying to change them or "work on it" for several more years first. I am baffled that that would be seen as dishonest. It appears pretty upfront and honest to me.
As I said I knew my current husband was THE ONE when I liked him exactly how he was. I didn't have to work on anything to get it that way, it just WAS. Of course we have our differences and arguments and have to work on things NOW, because that is the reality of marriage and living with someone for the rest of your life. It takes work and compromise. Again it may just be semantics, but now matter how wonderful things are, I don't consider myself "committed" to someone before marriage. Both people have every right to walk away before marriage. I am in no way judging anyone else's level of commitment before marriage, and I do know that many people see themselves as equally committed without marriage, and it's not my place or intention to say that everyone should feel the same as I do. I'm only trying to explain why I was never interested in "let's work on this" before marriage. It's just not for me, and I've watched too many friends throw away years of their lives in failed relationships
and their reasoning is "well I have to be willing to work on things, right?" No, you don't have to, not if you don't want to. None of us have a moral obligation to continue to date someone or put in a certain amount of work or time on any one person.
I was also thinking....of course I certainly have not always been the one to break things off. I've obviously experienced my share of being dumped. I've always felt at least SOME surprise. I mean, no one walks around thinking "I bet he will break up with me today". But, it happens, and I can't say that I've ever had the thought "yeah, no surprise there". I mean I can look back and do Monday morning quarterbacking and find signs after the fact, but I never knew it was coming before it happened. So I guess I just see surprise as one of the feelings that always accompanies breakups, along with other things like hurt, maybe some anger (depending on circumstances of course), grief etc, and don't see it as an indication of dishonesty. Certainly some people are dishonest, no doubt. But not all.