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Thinkking of leaving a 'good enough' relationship at nearly 32, but desperately want kids, am I mad?

(13 Posts)
qumquat Sun 09-Jan-11 13:18:32

My BF and I have been going out for a long time now, but I have always had niggling doubts, and was never madly in love with him, just thought he was great and we got on well, I guess I would say we love each other but are not in love. He is wonderful and for that reason I've always tried to suppress my doubts, but now I'm seeing all my friends having babies and getting married and wondering why I just can't bring myself to do that. I don't know whether I'm just being a perfectionist and should be grateful for what I have, or if I should be brave and make the break, in the (vain?) hope of finding someone I'm crazy about. I know it seems very very selfish to be thinking this way, and I am messing around a wonderful man, but I just can't seem to make a decision either way. He is confident that what we have is great and that we shouldn't sacrifice it for the possibility of a Hollywood dream, I wish I could feel the same way, and sometimes I do, but then the doubts creep in again. Has anyone been in this position and can offer any words of wisdom?

wildstrawberryplace Sun 09-Jan-11 13:30:07

It depends.

Are you otherwise perfectly happy and just hankering after some "Oooh Mr Darcy" moments?

Or have you stayed in the relationship because it was easier than calling it a day?

Are your needs being met by the relationship? Are you happy? Sexually compatible? Emotionally supported?

I think your instincts definitely need to be listened to, but on the other hand I have friends who have missed out on having kids etc because they were waiting for Mr Perfect and the Perfect Relationship, while plenty of Perfectly Good guys slipped through the net.

Is your relationship just "Good Enough" or is it "Perfectly Good but not Perfect"? I suspect that a fair number of marriages fall into the latter category.

woolymindy Sun 09-Jan-11 13:36:06

I would have to say if you have doubts then I would not stick with it - you are very young so that is not a concern. But really compromising is seldom the thing to do especially if you don't have children already. I can see why people stick with a 'good enough' when there are children involved but honestly doubts are doubts and I think maybe you should move on.

wigglybeezer Sun 09-Jan-11 13:37:24

How would you feel if he moved on and had kids with someone else?
I realised that DH was the man for me when I realised that I couldn't imagine having babies with anyone else and also would be very jealous and upset if he had them with anyone else (we had been together for a long time at this point and our relationship had its humdrum moments).

Folicacid Sun 09-Jan-11 13:58:01

Hmmmm.

I think Strawberry Place poses some very good questions which you need to have a good think about.

I read your post a couple of times and the warning bells were going at the fact that you love each other but are not in love and that you have always felt this way. I think that if it was just the bore and humdrum of a long term relationship that had started out as a big love then that's okay,...but if you have never been in love then maybe it is time to be brave.

I think that everyone deserves to be in love and be loved in that way.

That said, I don't actually think you are that young when it comes to fertility matters so I cna see the huge dilemma. But if you ahve resisted the kids thign with him for this long, then maybe that's telling you something.

Sorry- not sure i've helped!

Chocolatemolehill Sun 09-Jan-11 16:45:27

Adding to what wildstrawberry said - what is it that you think you are missing in your relationship? Could you name it? Ir is it the general, romantic, deeply-in-love feel?

Relationships which start in this very romantic/passionate way most often, when the passion subsides, end up being what you described you have at the moment. And the romantic, crazy, passionate types are not always the best long-term partners/fathers (although this is of course no rule)

Given your age (only from the fertility perspective going back to being single now could be a bit risky if you want children. If you were to consider two scenarios: a) staying with your current partner and having children or b) leaving him and finding a romantic love of your life but not soon enough to have children with him - what sounds more appealing (or scary)?
If b sounds better then maybe it's worth taking a risk?

Adair Sun 09-Jan-11 16:55:29

I was a lot younger than you but left my 'good enough' fiance (after all the soulsearching you describe). I have found my total soulmate - I completely fancy him, and it is just 'right' in a way that the previous wasn't... I am sure it would have been fine with previous but not great. I have two lovely children now and one more on the way and we just click so much - that raising them is much easier. Children are hard work and if you don't 100% love the person you are raising them with, well, I think that would be very difficult. I would probably become very resentful.

I do understand all the practical reasoning - and am a 'look on the bright side' person but... I am also very much a gut instinct person...

dualta Sun 09-Jan-11 18:23:19

Hi Qumquat
I really feel for you in this situation, a few years ago I left my best friend whom I'd been with for 6 years - we were talking about marriage. I left him because I realised that for years I hadn't really fancied him enough and couldn't happily envisage spending the rest of my life with him. I was terrified of missing out on meeting someone I really loved and fancied but racked with guilt about hurting him. In the end and after taking a deep breath and a leap of faith (plus some hard words by friends), I left him.
within a year I fell madly in love with the right man for me - and we're trying for a baby now.
My ex has also moved on and is delighted to be getting married soon.
My advice to you is to listen to your doubts. Never settle for just 'good enough'. And work bloody hard to find the right person - because you will.

FannyAdamsToo Sun 09-Jan-11 18:37:08

If you're not sure now then the answer is leave.

I married my 'good enough' and we have 2 children.

I am also having an affair and have been for a while. It is not my intention to ever leave my husband. The affair meets the needs I have from a relationship which aren't part of my marriage.

My DH is my BF too. This has never really been enough. I agree with Folicacid - 'I think that everyone deserves to be in love and be loved in that way.' But I think it goes beyond what someone deserves - if you settle for good enough, the relationship is broken before you begin.

FannyAdamsToo Sun 09-Jan-11 18:37:19

If you're not sure now then the answer is leave.

I married my 'good enough' and we have 2 children.

I am also having an affair and have been for a while. It is not my intention to ever leave my husband. The affair meets the needs I have from a relationship which aren't part of my marriage.

My DH is my BF too. This has never really been enough. I agree with Folicacid - 'I think that everyone deserves to be in love and be loved in that way.' But I think it goes beyond what someone deserves - if you settle for good enough, the relationship is broken before you begin.

Katyrah Mon 10-Jan-11 12:50:17

You don't want to stay in a relationship you're not happy in just because you want children! You both deserve to be happy, and although being in a 'hollywood dream' relationship 100% of the time is unrealistic, these niggling doubts surely won't get better if you have a baby with this man, it will just drive you further away from each other?

I hope you find happiness!
Good luck!

sneakapeak Mon 10-Jan-11 20:12:57

This is a tough one.

Its hard to sit on here and judge what to do as we don't know you, him or the relationship inside out.

You may have issues that are making problems where they don't exsist.

Or he could be the most boring man on the planet and every time he opens his mouth you may feel like stabbing him - or even yourself to make it all stop grin.

Do you feel unhappy when you are with him?
How does he make you feel?

I've been with my DH for 17 years. I was 17 (just turning) when I met him.

I had a horrible Dad. Verbally abusive amoungst a long list of everything else.

When I met DH I instantly fell for him on the fact he is such a nice person. He treats me so well.

He is not the best looking man, not overly funny, not the most intelligent in some respects (conversing mainly) but succesful in work so obviously intelligent in others.

A few times over the years I have had some real wobbles.
He doesn't make my heart race or excite me. Sometimes I can actually feel I have went off him (not sure if this is normal in long term relationships) but im glad I stayed with him.

I see so many of my friends being hurt and splitting up with Mr Exciting. So many still single and missing/missed the boat with children.

Im sitting here with 2 beautiful kids, 3 yr old boy and 1 yr old girl. Im happy and content in life and I couldn't live without my DH.

He is an amazing dad and always does so much for us. Im well supported with regards looking after the children (extremley important). I love him and I love spending time with him. That's what counts.

My best friend will be 40 next year - much older than me grin - and she has always been fussy with men.
She is now very lonely even though she is attractive and outgoing she just can't meet this Mr bloody Perfect who doesn't exsist.

I suppose what Im trying to say is, are the things that niggle you, his laziness, his attitude with you at times, his outlook on life, having nothing in common?

OR, is it that he doesn't make you want to jump his bones every 10 minutes?

If it's the first, run for the hills.

If it's the second, think twice about leaving him.

qumquat Tue 11-Jan-11 19:31:40

Thanks so much for all of your thoughts - I@m really touched by people taking the time to respond. (I'm very short of time at the moment hence the delay getting back here). Senakapeak, it is definitely the second rather than the first, and I do identify with lots you say. SO much to think about, must rush off will be back having pondered!

Thanks xxx

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