Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Not sure if this is the end...(23 Posts)
My partner and I have been together for ten years. It's complicated, as we have lived apart for a lot of this time but lived together in the early stages of our relationship. We have been talking recently about the future and plans to move together and have children together. This is very difficult as we both have careers that would require a bit of compromise, but is doable. He instigated these conversations about the future.
However, in the process of these discussions, it's now becoming clearer that he really doesn't want to move to be with me (his work is much more flexible than mine) and, he is saying now, he is not sure he loves me enough to make the relationship work. This is a new thing. His main evidence for this is that he is often inattentive and uncaring towards me and that is evidence that he doesn't really love me.
The other factor here is that he has, around eight years ago, got really attached to someone he met online. I'm pretty sure nothing happened and she is now married with a baby, but he has continued to email her. In the conversations we have had recently he has been comparing me with her and with one of his work colleagues and saying that he doesn't think we have the depth of emotional connection that he has with them. He thinks that his work colleague has feelings for him, and he has mentioned this now because he has been feeling things for her. I think that the reason he is not getting emotional intimacy from me is because of these intense friendships which mean he is taking his feelings elsewhere.
I'm a fairly undemonstrative person and find it very hard to talk about my feelings. I do my best to make him feel loved, but I am never going to be dramatic, needy or over the top in my emotions. The flip side of this is that, ever since I discovered that he was having this emotional relationship a few years ago I have been really wary of fully and wholeheartedly giving myself over to being in love with him. I have never pushed, never wanted to look too clingy, often avoided talking about my feelings and my hopes for us, and I think this has fed into the problems now.
I'm feeling very humiliated and like I just don't want to beg him to be with me. On the other hand, I love him and think he is amazing and want to have a life with him. He has been my closest friend and there has never been anyone else for me: I haven't felt anything for anyone else. I don't think I can go through the pain of trying to make this work, only to have him decide later on that he wants out. But I am worried that if I don't show how strongly I feel about him he will never realise how much I care.
Is there any way that I can salvage this? Thank you in advance.
He's checked out of your relationship. I'm so sorry.
I don't understand why he instigated a conversation about the future and about planning it together just a few weeks ago when he was not interested in following it through? I'm worried that everything I do from here is just a bit more of a wound to my dignity.
.....in the process of these discussions, it's now becoming clearer that.....
He was (probably unconsciously) setting a stage for himself, I reckon. After 10 years, it's not always so easy to just cut someone out without a 'reasonable excuse' and in a way which will allow him to still think well of himself - so he's allowing some excuses to develop via the discussions.
I would agree that he's checked out and would finish it fast and cleanly.
I don't mean to be rude but...
How old are you? If he is hmming and haaing after 10 years I am going to guess 30s?
If you really want children you have to have a dead line of when you either say enough is enough and get out and find someone else to have a child with or accept that it may be too late and you are still stuck with someone who isn't sure he wants to be with you.
He got really attached to someone online 8 years ago and had an EA. He is really attached to someone he works with now. He is having another EA.
I personally would not accept staying in a relationship when he is telling you that he has deeper feelings and emotional connection to another person.
Several EAs means he is an emotional cheater. He is now telling you he loves you but is not in love with you.
He wants out but is too much of a coward as he is used to you and this would be a big change that may not work.
Thank you cozie. I can see how that would make sense. I don't think he would deliberately be cruel but he might be scared and a bit selfish and that would make him act this way.
OP, I hate myself for saying this, but I can't believe that you question whether or not it's over - it's long over. for him anyway. and you shouldn't accept so little from him emotionally. the things that he is saying to you are very hurtful and unkind. love yourself more. there is so much life out there for you - have faith in yourself to move beyond someone so unkind and believe that there is so much better oout there for you. he is effectively gone anyway - as the previous posters have already said. protect yourself!
Thank you Xales. We are thirty. I think I need to wake up and hear some hard things so I'm glad for straight talking.
OP - he sounds like a massive twat. Get rid, move on, meet someone worthy of you. Let him continue his deluded fantasies involving a woman he only knows via the internet and another who probably barely acknowledges his existence at work (because, y'know, he's a massive twat). You deserve so much better - go and get it.
OP if you are as emotionally distant as you've described could he be testing you?
Maybe he wants to see how much you care or how far you'll go to fight for him. In other words...do you think the EAs are the cause or result of your inability to demonstrate your feelings? Either way I wouldn't put up with him admitting to having feelings for other women.
I think you should take some time out from this relationship. Space apart will make things much clearer.
Whatwouldyousay: he has admitted that he was trying to test me over the last few months. I don't think that's an acceptable way to behave and don't want to get into that kind of dynamic now. I feel like it would just be humiliating for me if he turned around and rejected me in six months or a year.
He has said that he thinks there is something wrong that I have never expressed anger about how he has behaved towards me. But I just expect him to behave like an adult and feel guilty if he behaves badly and change his behaviour in the future. I'm not going to nag him into being kinder to me. I feel like he is trying to make his choices into my responsibility.
Sounds to me like he's been stringing you along for years. He's had emotional affairs, compares you to other women ( ) and now makes it clear he doesnt love you enough to want to make it work. Of course this should be the end.
My advice would be dont waste another 10 years on this man. Let him go and string somebody else along.
.... I feel like he is trying to make his choices into my responsibility.....
I'd finish it directly.
Walk away. This relationship isn't working and isn't going to work. I think this man is manipulative and also someone who has unhealthy views about what women are 'supposed' to be like.
But I'm also concerned about how isolated you sound, given that this has been a long-distance relationship for 10 years. Is this to do with the job you do, or other family commitments like a sick mum? Or have you spent the whole of your 20s hoping that this man will suddenly 'love' you and make a proper commitment?
solidgoldbrass: Yes, we have spent ten years apart because of decisions we have made about our careers. However, I think that I have probably been a bit deluded about how this would turn out.
Thanks for all the responses.
I just want to ask one more thing. Does anyone know if there's any way to find out if it might be me rather than him who is the problem? Like, is there a book about being emotionally distant? I just want to find out if this is my fault or not and whether it is something I can change about myself. I thought this was just a character trait but now I am worried that it is something that I should work on for the future, whether we stay together or not.
I think I will need to think about all this a bit more, but I'd rather focus on myself first because at least that is something I have control over.
This bloke sounds like an absolute cock
Walk away now before you waste any more of your precious time on Mr Aren't I Fucking Wonderful
There isn't, actually, anything wrong with being reserved. It may be fashionable to be emotionally incontinent and prioritize couplehood over anything else, but it's not compulsory. I think you will be a lot happier if you bin this man, cut all contact with him and start looking around at the big wide world and all the possibilities in it. You may be one of those people who is happier single anyway. But a self-adoring headfuck like him is not going to make you happy under any circumstances.
Its not you, its really not. Whatever the reason he is no longer in love with you. That is what he has said. If he wanted to be with you then he would have been with you completely years ago. When a man wants you and wants to be with you then you know it. There are no questions in your head, no doubts, no going over and over things. Have you ever seen the film "Hes Just Not Into You".....well that's basically how it is. If he wanted to be with you he would. End of.
I've just finished things with him and cut contact for six weeks, when we'll have a brief conversation to sort out some logistical things. I thought I needed time to make sure that I wouldn't get sucked back in.
It turned out that he had actually had a physical relationship with the first woman from eight years ago and had forgotten to mention it. I am such a credulous idiot.
I feel like my judgement about everything is completely messed up. He won't even acknowledge that the infidelity is the reason I have ended the relationship, and is still insisting that it is because of our communication issues.
Thanks for all your help.
I'm sorry you're going through this. Well done for ending it. You asked upthread about a book - try Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Lundy Bancroft which might prevent you getting sucked in again.
" I feel like he is trying to make his choices into my responsibility."
This is the thought you should keep hold of because it's accurate. I don't think your judgement was messed up or that you are credulous either. When you think you're dealing with a decent person you're not automatically looking for clues why they're not decent. However, now that you know for certain he's an untrustworthy shit, you can reassure yourself that your wish to keep him at arm's length was absolutely the right one.
I am glad you have finally realised this guy will never commit to you, in ten years it's been more off than on, he had an EA with someone he met online, who exactly, some strange woman and you now discover it was sexual, most men are looking for sex in a relationship, not chats over cups of tea.
You need to stop taking the blame here, he knew you loved him, you were loyal, it was him who wasn't so stop wondering about you, you did nothing wrong, not all women are clingy and needy, far from it, you don't need to be to demonstate you love someone. You now have a chance to go out and meet a more deserving partner, good luck.
Join the discussion
Please login first.