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What to do about girlfriend - should I stay or should I go?

(69 Posts)
TicTacTony Thu 18-Aug-11 10:29:36

I'm a soon-to-be-divorced father of 2, aged 47. I've been with my girlfriend for 18 months and she's 45.

We met on a dating site and she's my first serious girlfriend since my wife walked out in 2008. During that 2 years of being alone I dated a few women I met online but it never came to anything, and I also had a much younger 'friend with benefits' who I had great fun with, was very close to, and loved a lot, but she did not want anything more. During this time I also worked on my relationship with my kids (boy 11, girl 13) and we were really close. My ex and I did mediation and everything was amicable. Looking back it was a good time but I am not the type to be single forever.

I was 45 when I met my current girlfriend and panicking about growing old alone. She seemed great online and for the first weeks, and I introduced her to my kids very early on, which I now realise was a mistake. My girlfriend has no children and is probably unable to have any due to various gynaecological problems, and she is very bitter about this. She cannot stand to be around my children and wants me to keep them entirely separate from her, if I try to meld the two worlds she says I am 'rubbing it in' that she can't have children. She really wants a baby with me but I don't because there are so many problems within our relationship.

She has a particular problem with my daughter who I was very close to. For example my daughter would come and sit on my knee, and my girlfriend would get very upset about this and say it wasn't appropriate - she is Asian so maybe it's cultural - but also I think there is territory marking and jealousy. Every time the 4 of us were together it ended in an argument with my girlfriend saying I'd neglected her in favour of the kids. It's now much easier to keep everything separate but my relationship with my kids is suffering and they feel neglected by me.

I am virtually living at my girlfriend's house now because she won't come to mine. I have to keep my rental up because I need somewhere to see the kids. It feels like I'm living 2 separate lives and doing everything but none of it very well, nobody is particularly happy with me. I get no me-time because I am now commuting much further to work and dashing around all the time between kids and girlfriend. I tried to finish with my girlfriend a few times early on but she got upset and we ended up agreeing to work things out. I have form for staying in bad relationships because I was miserable with my wife for the final 5 years but I'd never have left her, she had to leave me to make me do anything about it.

My girlfriend is also quite abusive to me - she criticises my appearance with snide comments, and does not want me to see my friends. She's having a bad time at work so I try to let it go over my head but it is affecting my confidence. I used to be very sexually confident but now I am often unable to perform. I did not tell my 'friend with benefits' about my girlfriend for a while and continued to sleep with her too, I know this is bad but at that point I didn't know if my girlfriend would last or not. I found that I had no problem performing with the FWB. Once the FWB found out about my girlfriend she backed off and I no longer see her. I miss her a lot, and my other old friends too, and my old life. I don't have much in common with my girlfriend but I was hoping that through shared experiences this would become less of a problem.

So now I'm 18 months into this relationship and I feel like we've invested too much time in it now to give up. This baby / biological clock thing is a big issue and I'd feel bad leaving her with no hope at all. I'm probably to some extent 'settling' for my girlfriend, is this normal? There are a few good points - I see her having no children as a good thing, and she is financially solvent. I also worry about the effect on my kids if they see a string of women coming and going from my life. I often wonder what else is out there, and if there is someone like my FWB who would be willing to settle down with me, but I'm not sure it's worth the risk as she was probably a one-of-a-kind.

So I'm just wondering what people think, should I cut my losses and finish it, or keep trying to work on it and hope these are just issues that iron themselves out?

ThePosieParker Thu 18-Aug-11 10:32:13

Why are you asking? Isn't it obvious? Read your OP again. You didn't give up sleeping with someone else, when you did you missed her....not really a FWB more like some you care about, your gf is abusive and is making you unhappy with yourself.

Finish it and move on. Get happy.

niceguy2 Thu 18-Aug-11 10:35:50

Life's too short. Move on rather than spend the rest of your life with someone you don't even like.

MyHipsHurt Thu 18-Aug-11 10:40:08

Go.

Otherwise you don't stand a chance of meeting a partner who is right for you whilst you're still seeing your gf.

Put your children first and be happy on your own for a bit.

Btw you are not responsible in any way for your current gf's gynae problems. If she can't stand to be around your kids, she doesn't exactly seem like mother material anyway.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 18-Aug-11 10:41:30

"So now I'm 18 months into this relationship and I feel like we've invested too much time in it now to give up".

What is she investing it this?. The above is a poor reason still for this sham relationship to continue actually. Its not working and the two of you are not compatible, infact the two of you should never have got together in the first place. I note you have form for staying in bad relationships and this latest poor and dysfunctional relationship is just continuing that pattern. You need to unlearn all this now through counselling for your sake and be on your own.

Put your children first before they start accusing you rightly of putting her before them.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships?. Currently you are imparting damaging lessons to them.

What are you getting out of this relationship now?.

If this is what its like after 18 months its pretty awful to be honest and it won't get any better. She is abusively towards you by making snide remarks and controlling you to boot. Controlling behaviour is abusive behaviour.

Love your own self for a change and work on rebuilding your own self esteem.

skidd Thu 18-Aug-11 10:46:58

Sounds awful - I would leave immediately and focus on your children

dangalf Thu 18-Aug-11 10:48:00

Get out! Alarm bells ringing. And i seriously think there is no point continuing a relationship with someone who wants no relationship with your children. They are an integral part of any relationship package with you now.

bushymcbush Thu 18-Aug-11 10:48:47

No. Do nit stay in this relationship because you're scared you won't find anyone else. That's not fair on anybody.

And why are you putting your girlfriend's needs above those of your children? You say they feel neglected by you - do something about that, please.

You will meet someone else. This is not your last chance.

TicTacTony Thu 18-Aug-11 10:50:45

Yes I know you are all right, but fear of being alone is making me stay. I think because everything else in my life has gone tits up (work, friends, family) I am clinging to the one thing that I 'know' even if it's crap.

But you're right I'm not doing anyone any favours.

MrsRhettButler Thu 18-Aug-11 10:53:38

Just get out! Do it! It's not that hard actually, you are not happy and neither are your children.

I was in an unhappy relationship for years until I saw the light and realised that I didn't want it so I left, one day, one hour is all it takes, just tell her it's not working out and you want to focus on your children then say goodbye

CalamityKate Thu 18-Aug-11 10:54:34

Get a bloody grip. There's no way on EARTH I'd consider staying with someone who had the attitude to my children that this AWFUL woman has towards yours.

Seriously.

She's horrible.
She's got a terrible attitude towards your children.
She's nasty to you.
You don't love her.

Bit of a no brainer really.

peacemoon Thu 18-Aug-11 10:59:06

Dump her now! How could you have stayed so long with someone who did't like your children in the first place?
Be a good dad to your kids you are young still and have plenty of time to find the "one".

annababy Thu 18-Aug-11 11:00:44

Dont stay,you also shouldn't worry about being on your own.maybe a but if breathing space would be good right now and give you time to start rebuilding relationships,personal interests that you feel are being overtaken.
Your children would probably love more time with you alone as well.you sound well meaning and thoughtful,the right woman for you will definitely appreciate that.don't waste your time in someone who appears to be so self consumed with her own issues that she doesn't appreciate what she has.

elastamum Thu 18-Aug-11 11:00:57

Please dont stay with anyone who doesnt like or accept your children. It would be the greatest tragedy for you if you lost the closeness with your DC because of this woman. Then you really will be lonely in your old age.

Your GF sound horrible. I would suggest you dump her and go and take FWB out for dinner. Meet up with your old friends and move on.

BTW, I am a LP of 47 who was single for 3 years before meeting my lovely BF online (e harmony). There are nice single people out there too smile

Eurostar Thu 18-Aug-11 11:04:05

Damaging your relationship with your children because you are scared of being alone? This is frankly wrong, wrong, wrong and you need to face your fears now.

What is so frightening about being alone? Is it so dreadful that you would damage your children and set yourself up to be abused?

Really, can it be that dreadful to spend some time in alone until you start to build up a new circle and re-establish some old friends?

Definitely get yourself some therapy to change these faulty thinking patterns!

elastamum Thu 18-Aug-11 11:06:03

If you are worried about being single for ever sign up for internet dating. Go on dates. If you want a LTR dont rush into bed with them until you really think you might have met the right one. Then really get to know her before you get serious. I would have never dated anyone who wasnt good for my children

TicTacTony Thu 18-Aug-11 11:06:35

I've tried telling her it's not working out (in the early days) but she is quite emotionally cunning and would talk me round. We'd end up spending weekends arguing and then making lists of pros and cons to stay together, and even though there were usually more cons we still for some reason stuck with it.

I think I love her, but not as much as I have loved other women in the past including my wife. I'm so unsure of myself now that I don't even really know what love is any more. If I left she would be humiliated and hurt, and she is having a terrible time elsewhere in her life (work, health), it would be like kicking a sick puppy I think. I know I'm a coward. She also has the potential to be a dangerous 'scorned' woman I think, she's quite immature.

Because she's so miserable at work, and I'm miserable generally at the moment anyway, we bring each other down and it's like a spiral of misery we can't get out of. I keep hoping that once she's more sure of her work situation (she's currently at risk) then maybe she'll suddenly be happy in all aspects of her life including the one with me and my kids. I think I'm probably hoping for a lot though. My kids are great and get on with anyone, but they must sense how she feels about them, especially my daughter.

She doesn't seem prepared to compromise in any way, it's me making all the sacrifices, and that doesn't bode very well does it.

I know I just need to make the jump and there'll be relief all round in the end, but the pain of going through the splitting process is putting me off and it seems easier to try and ride it out and hope it'll get better.

elastamum Thu 18-Aug-11 11:09:42

It wont get better, it will get worse, and I suspect that deep down you know that. You are unhappy, and you are not responsible for her life choices, she is.

Please have the courage to walk away as soon as you can.

Think about whats best for your children

DuelingFanjo Thu 18-Aug-11 11:23:38

leave her. Do it kindly.

thinNigella Thu 18-Aug-11 11:40:09

Go. Run for the hills.

She is not nice. You have your children for life. If you stay with her the rifts will deepen and as they get older they will not understand your pain and why she is so bitter, until they have their own children which is probaby quite a while off yet.

You will find someone else. You will not grow old alone, you sound nice. Be confident and get. rid. of. her.

MyHipsHurt Thu 18-Aug-11 11:40:42

Believe me, children DO feel it when the 'partner' doesn't like them. I'm a similar age to you and I still feel the hurt from my mother's boyfriend(s) not wanting me around; my mother never put me first. I no longer have ANY contact with her. Is that the relationship you want with your kids when they're old enough to make their own decisions?

Please do something now. Your kids deserve better.

Whatever the state of your personal relationship with her, the way you are allowing her to behave with your children is unforgivable and you must put a stop to it. I mean, just imagine if you two had a baby together, do you think they'd be any room for your own children in this happy little set up? No.

tethersend Thu 18-Aug-11 11:41:00

"the pain of going through the splitting process is putting me off and it seems easier to try and ride it out and hope it'll get better."

What you fear has already happened, I think. Your last experience of the 'splitting process' was with your wife, and that must have been incredibly painful. I think that is what you are afraid of; feeling like that again.

The 'splitting process' with this woman will be completely different and is as yet an unknown entity IYSWIM. It will not be a repeat of the split with your wife. You managed to cope with that and come out the other side. You can cope with this.

Speaking as someone who is very close to my father, when my mother left him and he met someone else (very quickly, did not want to be alone), she behaved in a similar way and he prioritised her needs over mine. I was a bit older than your daughter at the time, but I cannot describe how much it hurt to be told that I now came second in his heart to a woman he had known for such a short period of time. Please let your daughter know that she will always come first.

This woman is no good for you, and you know it to be true. You are scared of hurting her, but the choice you have is a simple one: Hurt her or spend the rest of your life with her. If the thought of spending the rest of your life with her sends your heart sinking into your shoes, then you really have no choice at all.

Good luck.

warthog Thu 18-Aug-11 11:44:36

run run run! she sounds like a nightmare.

you can't fix her. you can't save her. she has to do that, and you're not helping her by hanging around.

she is not your responsibility.

your kids ARE and they should come first.

overmydeadbody Thu 18-Aug-11 11:54:58

TicTac it won't get better.

You really DO need to end it with your gf. This is no way to spend a life and this is not a positive relationship to be in.

Find some inner strength and leave.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 18-Aug-11 12:12:12

You should go.

She won't accept your children.

If you stay, you are prioritising her above your children.

When you have children, you come as a package and someone who cannot accept that has no place in your life.

You will find someone else, someone who accepts your children as part of you and loves them and who is not abusive towards you.

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