Dear Miss Emily,
I lied to my girlfriend months ago about being ready to get married. We plan on getting engaged this coming January (2009) at least that’s what we planned. Im still not ready to get married, but I want to marry her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her and no one else.  6-8 months ago we were talking and she told me she was ready to get married and I agreed with her and said that I, too, was ready and wanted to get married. We have been making plans and decided to get engaged in January of 2009. We sat her parents down and sat mine down and started telling people. The only issue is that I lied. I wasn’t ready then, and I’m not ready now.  I confessed that to her Sunday night.  I crushed her, and I feel horrible. What should I do?
Fearing The Worst

--------------------------Miss Emily’s advice----------------------

Dear Fearing:

You are in a quandary!  “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”  But let’s look at the whole picture.  You aren’t ready, for whatever the reasons, and that is why it’s time, now, to spell out those reasons.  Have the courage to verbalize  your reluctance to move into marriage.  There is no right or wrong, here, but the larger issue is your inability to be honest at the time it was crucial to do so.  I don’t blame this woman for being crushed.  If I were her, I’d reassess why I would want to marry someone who, in retrospect, was led, like a lamb, to slaughter.  How many other times did you do things against your will because you were too weak to object? Shouldn’t you talk to someone, a counselor perhaps?  If you tell her you are willing to talk to a third party in order to unscramble your contradictory, “I don’t want to get married, but I want to marry her and spent the rest of my life with her and no one else,” she might go along with it.   Maybe, then, she'll see you as confused rather than a stranger who she once thought was a loving, committed partner. I think this angle is your only recourse.  Bite the bullet and make the appointment, today!