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End of a five year relationship.

(79 Posts)
RoyalWelsh Thu 08-Sep-11 07:31:55

I've posted things about DP and I on other places on MN. I have woken up this morning to an empty bed as DP has slept on the sofa. We agreed to split last night. I don't think it has properly sunk in yet. He says he will look for somewhere else to live and be gone by the weekend.

We love each other, but we want different things. I was clear at the start of the relationship that I wanted babies and a marriage and I wasn't prepared to compromise. He said he had never really considered them but he wanted to make me happy etc.

I have finished university now and have a job. We are both working and have a good relationship. I brought up starting a family and he said, let me think about it for a while but probably.

Yesterday he told me he's not ready for children, doesn't know if he will ever be ready. I told him I appreciated that he isn't ready, but I am and have been since the beginning and that I wasn't sure if I could continue in the same way for the next five, ten years without knowing for definite. So we decided that we had to end it.

It has all been very amicable, very polite. I know, though, that in a few hours when I stop feeling numb, that I will feel like m heart has been ripped out. I can feel it coming already as it's getting harder to breath.

I don't want to lose him but a marriage and babies... It's all I've ever wanted and he knows that. We have to stay apart, don't we?

maleview70 Thu 08-Sep-11 08:20:16

Yes you do. Sounds like to people with different ideas. If he won't change his mind then you have little choice.
How old are you?

LB1982 Thu 08-Sep-11 08:48:06

I have a friend who was in the same predicament as you. She is now a divorced 46yo woman. She never had any children and is very bitter. Her ex husband, to make her happy, agreed to marry her and think about having children.... Then proceeded to keep her hanging on for 10 years...... by which time it was too late.

I feel very sorry for her. She is a very good friend and I love her to pieces. I wish I knew her back then when she was going through that and I would have given her the same advice as I would give to you.

You age and career aspirations after finishing uni do come into it though. If you are early 20's, it could be worth seeing how he feels in another 5 years if you love him dearly and cannot imagine life without him but if you're getting on 30 then you absolutely have to end the relationship.

HairyGrotter Thu 08-Sep-11 08:59:34

Very sad, but you both have different ideas on the future, and if neither is willing to compromise their desires, it will end in resentment and I doubt either of you would wish that.

Such a shame, and it will hurt like hell, but time will heal it. Good luck

welshbyrd Thu 08-Sep-11 09:33:17

I really feel for you OP, I sure you already know the answer. Yes you do need to stay apart.

You both want different things in life, and you both seem keen not to compromise, tbh I do not think there is even a half way point to which you can met each other, you both want completely different futures

You stay with him, your future becomes his lifestyle choice, and eventually you will hate him for it

SansaLannister Thu 08-Sep-11 09:38:21

Don't wait! Don't wait another 5 years! You made it clear. It's been some time. Move on.

I divorced at 30 to a man who decided he, too, never wanted children.

Fair enough.

I was fortunate enough to meet DH and marry and have 3 children, but I wish I'd started younger.

There is nothing wrong with what you want and pursuing it. Nothing wrong with how he feels.

But you're both in different places in life and you're already growing resentful and feeling like you're having to compromise a huge part of who you are.

It's not worth it to hang on another 5 years.

NessCathy Thu 08-Sep-11 10:41:44

I would present a slightly different side to some of the others, but it depends on your age. If your DP is early twenties, that's very young for men to be considering fatherhood. If he's early thirties, I would say you'd be right not to wait.

mh85 Thu 08-Sep-11 11:49:31


How old are you? I'm in a similar situation at the moment, got rid of my horrid fiance but now i'm thinking.... babies... marriage... what if I don't get that chance again? But quite frankly sod it - YOU deserve to go for what YOU want. There'll be another man who wants the same thing that you do - all you have to do is find him! You'll look back in 20 years time, when you have your kids and are happily married... and think of what a fool he was x

SansaLannister Thu 08-Sep-11 12:51:36

'If your DP is early twenties, that's very young for men to be considering fatherhood.'

My husband was 23 and I was in my early 30s when we first had a baby, our first.

When we first starting going out, I thought, 'Oh, a younger man, he'll just want a fling,' but he was mature and sure of what he wanted. He wanted marriage and children as much as I did.

Age is just a number. If you want what you want, go for it, don't compromise a fundamental part of who you are and want to be for a relationship. IME, that just never works out well.

NessCathy Thu 08-Sep-11 13:15:40

Ok, there are exceptions, but I'm only speaking from personal experience and those of the people around me.

The average age of the first time father in the UK is 32, so 23 (especially if you haven't finished education until around 21 or 22), I stick by the point that early 20s is young for men to be having children (obviously I don't know how old the OP's X/DP is)

NessCathy Thu 08-Sep-11 13:16:41

Sorry, that last sentence was a bit disjointed, I had two ideas in my head.

SansaLannister Thu 08-Sep-11 13:22:34

I'd not hang round for someone till I was in my 30s. I regret doing so, tbh. Think was, when we first married, we quite foolishly didn't discuss things concretely. I'd not have married him if I'd known he never wanted children, but at the time it was one of those 'in the future' vague ideas.

But when the future arrived, he did not want them.

Honestly, there are so many different kinds of love in the world.

Our divorce was very painful, heart-breaking. But it should have come far sooner.

When a man tells you who they are ('Yesterday he told me he's not ready for children, doesn't know if he will ever be ready.'), believe him.

SansaLannister Thu 08-Sep-11 13:23:48

And sine you have already ended it, stick to it.

RufousBartleby Thu 08-Sep-11 13:28:29

Hang in there OP - this is going to be tough on you for a few months at least. Its much easier to break up with someone because they have really pissed you off, because your anger gets you through. Much harder if you still love each other. However this does not mean you are doing the wrong thing, just that you need to be strong and hold on to your convictions.

I don't think its unusual for a man in his early twenties (if that is indeed his age) to not be ready to start a family, but I think he would know whether it is part of his plan at all. He has given you the clearest indication he can that this may never happen with him, and you have very wisely taken the hint. Don't doubt yourself - as another poster said you will probably look back in 20 years and breathe a sigh of relief.

RoyalWelsh Thu 08-Sep-11 13:46:19

Thank you everyone smile He is 26 and I am 23. I know this is young, especially for me, but it is something I have always wanted. Always.

I said to him this morning that it was no ones fault, that it was just two people wanting different things and he replied, "Not different things Slight, just different time scales."

I love him very much, I can't imagine being with someone else, but I am aware that that is only because it is recent. Six months down the line I probably won't feel the same way. But he also said "All I ever wanted was to be with you, but didn't stop to think that wasn't going to be enough." as well as "The only life I've wanted is one with you in it."

He is a wonderful man, and he loves me, but how do I know that he will change/make up his mind? If I go back on it now, does this mean I am saying that I can wait five/ten years, because I can't. I don't want him to go but I don't think I want to carry on in the same way. Not that there is anythign wrong with our day to day life, we get on really well, but I don't think that will be enough.

We had a similar discussion a bit over a year ago, where he said that he didn't see the point in marriage and I said yes I sort of see what you mean, but to me it isn't a religious thing, it is two people saying that they want to be together for the rest of their lives. I said that to me, if he didn't want to marry me then I will always feel insecure and that he wasn't secure enough and happy enough to know that he didn't want to be able to leave at any given moment. He ended up saying that marriage had never figured into his plans but that he would do it because he loved me and wanted me to be happy.

Over a year down the line and he still talks about marriage, in passing, as somethign stupid. There have been so many times when he could have proposed, I graduated, I got a job etc and he hasn't. I've told him before that I don't care about a ring, he can use a ring he has already given me or a £10 one from Argos, I don't care. It's not the wedding and the frills it is the commitment I believe in. But nothing.

I don't know what to do sad

RoyalWelsh Thu 08-Sep-11 13:46:54

I think you are right, Sansa, I have to believe him. But it hurts.

NessCathy Thu 08-Sep-11 13:53:49

I think the baby thing may be a red herring, he has said he would like children, and 26 is still quite young (not super young, but young nonetheless).

However, if you have different views on marriage, that's important. Also did you suggest he hasn't got a job, or have I misconstrued that?

SansaLannister Thu 08-Sep-11 13:54:16

Slight, his time scale may always be different from yours. All you have to work with is the present. And that's that he doesn't want marriage (it sounds like, ever) and he doesn't want kids.

Fair enough. You do.

You have only one life to live. There's no such thing as 'the one'. Some relationships have a natural end, for all kinds of reasons.

Sounds like this is one of them. You are wanting some really fundamentally different things out of a life, and have very different goals.

This won't change, it won't get any better if you hang around.

You deserve somene who feels the same way about what they want from teh future. What you want isn't wrong or abnormal or even uncommon and I can promise you, promise you, there are a lot of other men who want the same. And no, I'd never have believed that (but I kissed a lot of frogs!).

Set each other free. Because no one has their whole life ahead of them, what they have is the rest of their life.

RoyalWelsh Thu 08-Sep-11 14:14:32

No, he does have a job, a good one as well considering where we live. He has what my mother would call prospects in a way. I don't mean he would ever be wealthy, but he is good at what he does and is recognised for it and there is room for promotion etc.

The marriage thing isn't as important, as in, if he sat me down and said right, you can have one but not the other for some really practical, logical reason I would choose a baby, no question. What I don't want, however, is to stay and have him say oh yes we can have a baby in a few years and that to drag on to five, ten, fifteen and also not be married. I am not saying this is a good way to feel or logical or right, but it is how I feel and I can't help that.

Some of what you said Sansa is really profound (or it is to me in my current mood!) and I think you are right, but I am scared. I know that he is right for me and I also know that I may or may not meet someone in the next five years and get married and have children. If I don't, I got rid of someone nigh on perfect for me for no good reason.

Where is a magic 8 ball when you need one...

RoyalWelsh Thu 08-Sep-11 14:16:10

I have just read that back and I hate how wishy washy I sound. I am sure when he gets back from work tonight we will end up talking about it again and I will try and say what I have said in my first few posts here and see what he says. I don't want to force him into doing things that he doesn't want to do, but maybe he might have seen that he doesn't want to lose me by the time he gets home and have decided that children in the next two years wouldn't be so horrendous.

NessCathy Thu 08-Sep-11 14:21:18

Here's my chance to post one of my favourite poems, By Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"

You have a choice - stay with this guy or leave. If you stay he might be perfect, and at 30ish, decide he does want children and you live happily ever after. Or he dicks you around leaving for another 10 years and you might miss out on having children

If you leave, you might meet the perfect guy who does want children, or you might never meet someone as great as your current partner who you love.

There's no right or wrong answer here, and no-one can predict what will happen if you either stay or leave

SansaLannister Thu 08-Sep-11 15:28:41

'I know that he is right for me'

No, he isn't, because you are wanting different things out of life. And don't, do NOT, sell yourself short of marriage if that's what you want. I'd say, 'Gees, you're only 23, don't sell yourself short here,' but you know, I'd say the same thing to someone who's 40, because there is nothing wrong with wanting marriage and believe me, I've been married several times, there are plenty of men out there who are marriage-minded. One of my good mates here, now happily married for 15 years, it's the third time for both and they married in their 50s.

'What's for you won't pass you,' as the saying goes. Don't live your life based on what if's.

SansaLannister Thu 08-Sep-11 15:33:54

He sounds like he won't budge on the issue, either ('we're on two different time scales', repeatedly telling you marriage isn't for him), and he shouldn't.

But nor should you.

I have a good friend, male and gay. One night, when I was hemming and hawing about the divorce, he put down his glass of wine and said, 'Men will ruin their lives for sex. Women will ruin it for love. But if you don't honour who you are and love it, no one else will, either. I spent years not forgiving myself for being gay until I realised there's nothing to forgive about being gay because there's nothing wrong with it. There's nothing wrong with wanting marriage and children, either.'

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 08-Sep-11 16:10:53

OP, listen to Sansa, she's talking a lot of sense and from a position of experience. You and he are indeed on different timescales, biologically speaking. It would be terrible for yours to come to an end whilst he's still unsure.

It is hard when a long-term relationship ends, but so much better than if it continues into bitterness and resentment.

bamboostalks Thu 08-Sep-11 16:15:47

You may find it difficult to find a normal guy around your age who is ready for babies. You are very young. Why don't you travel and enjoy these years. You are not 33. Most men will run a mile from that sort of commitment in their early twenties.

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