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Relationship help(39 Posts)
Hi, I'm looking for some help with where I am and thought the best place would be here.
I am a 37 year old Father of 3, a 6 year old (from past relationship) and twin boys aged 2yrs 2 months with my partner of 3 years who is 22. In November 2011 we moved 30 miles away from where she grew up and had all her family and friends to be closer to my job - at the time she wanted a clean break as none of her 'friends' bothered with her because of the twins and her family were all pressuring her about various things.
My partner and I are now "on a break", her words, as she has reached breaking point. She has had post natal depression for about 18 months but only started medication at the back end of last year for a few months before stopping. She has felt neglected and lonely for some time but because she is bad a communicating I didn't know how bad things had got - I told her I loved her pretty much daily and always kissed and cuddled her, but she was off sex completely for the last 6 months but I didn't know this as she "gave in to shut me up". Which sounds bad but I wasn't forcing her or anything. I was basically too focused on working to earn us money to enjoy our life together and didn't see the signs until we reached a point 3 weeks ago where it all came to a head.
Since 3 weeks ago my eyes have been truly opened to what has happened and I realised could have done so much more for her. I have apologised and told her I will change, but she doesn't believe me as whenever things have boiled over in the past I have been different for a couple weeks tops and then gone back to my old bad habits - this time it is different as I risk losing the most important thing in my life.
For the last 2.5 weeks I have done everything round the house had all the children all the time when not at work to give her a break and have put her first - which has been noticed and appreciated. I've moved her back into a house near her parents and friends (we were moving back anyway and had found a house before all this kicked off) but she is now there on her own with just the twins. I am staying where I am for the next 3 weeks with my eldest as he is at school until we can change him over in half term. The current plan is for me to stay with family temporarily a couple miles from the new house to give her some space to think.
Now here's where I need some advice. I have devoted my life to her and always have been and always will be and desperately want this to work. She has said that she wants to make a go of it, but I know for a fact she has been chatting to some lad and there has been a lot of flirting between them - which must be making her feel excited and good about herself. Now that she is in this new house, as of Friday just gone, I am really worried that she's going to be led astray by some smooth talking guy who only wants her for one thing - I'm worried that because she has been depressed and felt so bad about herself for so long that the attention she has got recently is all she is focused on and she's not thinking about the bigger picture.
So what do I do? Do I confront her about this lad or just continue what I'm doing to prove to her that she is my world and leave it up to her?
Any help, suggestions or insight into her thoughts and feelings would be gratefully received. Thank you.
Things sound a bit delicate for a confrontation. Maybe she needs space and support while you both work things out.
I wouldn't go in with accusations as she sounds at the end of her tether. She is very young and has a lot on her plate. I think you need to back off a bit and give her support while she digests what she wants to do.
The space bit is what i am worried about, because I'm not there and I know for a fact this lad is on a out visiting in the next few weeks.
She is unaware that I know about this lad and the communications they have been having.
You can't dictate who she talks to and going in all hurt and implying you don't trust her is not going to help the situation. Can the two of you get some counselling organised to help you to communicate better?
Either she will end up back with you or she won't and spying on her chats or being reluctant to give her space won't help. I think you need to back off and just be there. She will not come through all this in five minutes.
If I said that she has sent pics of herself in underwear to this lad and he's sent pics of his "bits" to her and is telling her what he'd like to do to her - that would be entirely accurate.
I've suggested RELATE for counselling but she has flatly refused as she has a few "issues" from her past and is embarrassed by them. Basically she was treated very very badly by previous blokes emotionally and physically abused - so she seems to focus on the good feelings she gets and the attention because it makes her feel better about herself.
sorry your going through this, from where Im from "on a break" means you are not single but simply taking time away from the relationship to think about your own thoughts and wishes so you aren't bombarded with your partners thoughts/behaviours..... others take it as a hall pass and act single, if yours and your partners idea of a break is similar to mine I suggest you DO bring this other bloke up with her, obviously do it in a gentle kind of way, explain it how you have here.
I'm a very similar age to your partner, I have a tantruming 2 year old and a 10week old baby...oh and a very unhelpful, uncaring, unthoughtful, self pitying, unsympathetic partner! we too have recently moved away from all family and friends, it's bloody hard and a lot of the time I feel like packing a bag and running so I know how she feels! Ive had the conversation you probably need to have with your partner and after every attempt my partner reverted back to old ways, thus meaning in the long run I know my relationship is not going to be forever.
you sound a lot more understanding and caring than my partner so I'm sure you'll work it out and it'll work for the long run, please do being up this other man, no matter how bad she is feeling there's no excuse to be bringing another man into the mix, just tread carefully
also I'm almost positive if you'd stated you were a woman and your male partner was doing this you would have got a different reaction about discussing the other person than what advise you've got so far :-/
good luck! you Sound lovely!
just read your post about pics....BRING IT UP!!!...still gently/nicely and so she knows your concerned.
She's taking the piss isn't she? Sorry but I think she wants to leave your relationship.
I think you need to consider your own future away from her and to plan how you want this to be. You will need to work out where each of you will live and the best care for your tiny DC. I would tell her whaat you know regarding her new 'boyfriend' and start to stand up for yourself.
I'm so sorry. It sounds horrible for you. Make some decisions and regain some control. You have nothing to lose, and she may even suddenly realise what she is losing in you.
Thanks for the support.
NandH you sound like just the person I need for an insight into what's going on, thank you for taking the time to reply.
My partner has said she doesn't know where her head is at, this last week now that all the emotion has settled we've got on great and it's been like "US" again. She has said she wants to give it a go, but I know that if some lad is sniffing round she will just be confused.
How on earth do I go about even broaching the subject of this lad? I've thought about talking to her about her and me and getting a commitment from her to say she's not going to contact anyone - but part of me wants to get it all out in the open so we can deal with it properly.
The only thing I am certain of is how much I love her and what she means to me (bit even thinking about the effects on our twins or my 6year old).
And yes I know she's taking the piss, if the roles were reversed she would be going mental and it would be over.
But I understand how the depression would have affected her and made her feel worse about her life, coupled with her own self-confidence issues and past (bad) relationships - all that leads to a confused young girl who just wants to feel good again.
Oh dear it isn't looking good is it? The pictures are hardly a bit of a chat and a friendly flirt. It sounds like she is checking out of the relationship and looking for attention and flattery elsewhere.
You do need to bring it up as this is serious and, frankly, if I were you I would start consulting a lawyer. Perhaps if she realises that you have been messed about enough to start extricating yourself she will change her behaviour.
If she doesn't, then that will tell you something.
Sorry, x post as I hadn't seen the update. I wouldn't keep it secret that you know about the pictures. Nothing destroys a relationship like secrets. Bring it up calmly and say how disappointed you were. See what she says. Ask what she would do if she were you.
OP, I'll try and put this sensitively.
You are 37 and she's 22, right?
You come across a bit like a concerned parent - but what you have here is a man who is texting your DP who is a grown woman and not a confused young girl.
How did you find out this information?
Confused young girl? You "moved her" to another house? You spy on her communications? (Sounds like her phone?)
OP, you sound controlling. I don't mean necessarily in the sense of controlling that you often see on this board, abusive controlling... But tbh, your language made me feel very patronised on her behalf. Perhaps because I'm 38 and no-one would "move me" anywhere - I would make a decision.
I know this sounds harsh but - does she love you? Those timescales sound like a very quick pregnancy, so perhaps an accident?
Tbh, I would avoid being in separate houses - I think relationships are better worked out together.
I would tell her that if she wants to stay together, there needs to be counselling. You can promise not to dig about past issues, but talk about current ones. OK, that might lead back to old ones - but she can dictate pace of that, in counselling.
If she won't go, then I think this is over.
And you need to back off the spying on her. Did that start because you had fair suspicions? (hands up - I spied on my ex, after innocently finding some damning stuff)
You need to speak to her about this other man.
At the moment she has a choice either:
1) stay with her partner, be around 2 demanding, screaming toddlers, plus another demanding young step child. Be with you whom she may see as boring, continue to do all the mundane things in life.
2) have an affair with a guy who will show her a good time, no strings attached.
You are in serious danger here. You need to confront her and tell her that you will not tolerate her texting another man in this way. Hard as it is you cannot compete on those terms. Yes eventually she may decide that actually the grass isn't greener but don't sit back and allow it to happen without putting up a fight.
Make life at home more exciting and continue to take the pressure off your partner. stay calm but confront her. Tell her what you know, if she asks explain how you came across the messages. Tell her you want her back, that you will move forward and make the relationship work and mean it. Tell her you won't mention the om again as long as she stops contacting him.
In your earlier relationship, you mention frequent 'boiling over and tou promising to change but it only lasted a couple of weeks'; not noticing that she was only engaging in sex to shut you up; and now, as PPs have said, you use 'ownership' language about arrangements, and seem to know a lot about details of her life/communications even though you're living apart. I would be very interested to hear your partner's version of the story of your relationship.
So basically it is only when pointed out for the last 3 weeks that you have helped a depressed woman around the house and given her a break?
Things used to boil over before until you got your finger out and helped to shut her up before then going back to normal?
In the mean time she has looked after a step child from age 3 and twins for the last 3 years and gave in to sex to shut you up.
How could you not notice she didn't want sex? There is a world of difference between not forcing her and mithering her or going on until it is easier for her to give in.
It has taken for her leaving you and being on a break for you to see the light?
But some smooth talking guy after one thing may lead her astray as she is not thinking clearly? Perhaps she is thinking this is how she deserved to be treated?
Does she use mumsnet?
It's always sad if a fixable relationship breaks down, but TBH I'm really not hopeful for your relationship.
At 22, having had PND and coping with twins largely without your input, I'm not sure she can ever come back from where she is. She may well be able to appreciate what you're doing now, but she needed your support back then. You didn't notice, and she chose to deal with it by cutting off the emotional connection to you. After a while, it's irreversible and that sounds like where she's at now.
Unfortunately, the only way you can win this is to give her the space she needs, while being aware that space is the very thing that could be your relationship's undoing.
I'm sorry. It's hard.
What I'd like to do is to sit down with this young woman and advise her to stop choosing really dreadful men.
22, twins, a step child, PND, no support. You have only pulled your weight for 2.5 weeks. She's been having sex to shut you up.
You have form for not taking her seriously and reverting back to type after a couple of weeks of changed behaviour. You snoop through her things. You are 37 and have been here before I suspect.
I agree with badinage...
Can I ask what do you mean you neglected her? What has she done for you?
Why does she complain about her friends and parents?
You sound like a lovely person.
Wouldn't be surprised if she has gone a bit bored (she is 22) and she is now blaming you for everything and you are finding yourself at a place you can never do right.
Have a back bone and leave her.
At the moment she's playing with your head, no doubt she'll be off if another man comes 'sniffing' round her.
Stop whining and have a backbone.
You obviously snooped cos you suspected something of which you were proved to be correct..
Don't see why people are blaming you.
You GF sounds like a twunt who's messing you about.
Have no doubt once someone comes round the corner she'll be off.
Why stay in that sort of relationship.
It's over and move on.
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