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Do I need to let him go? Apols - it was meant to be pithy but....(22 Posts)
Have had bf for 2.5 years. We have been through an immense amount together. He's wildly younger than me however, and it's pretty incredible that it's lasted this long. I'm extremely in love with him.
My life has been somewhat traumatic during the time we've been together, and has hit another very turbulent period, involving a lot of sickness both with both my kids and another close relative. I'm exhausted and stressed and it's unrelenting as I can't use any childcare at the moment (long story) but am trying to work f/t at the same time.
He has just started a 3 year university course as a mature student and is understandably completely excited about it, as well as being surrounded by many pneumatic, young, and stress free women who also happen to share his obsessions.
When we spoke earlier in the year, I suggested that we should split when he started the course, as I didn't want to cramp his style. And he was adamant that he didn't want to.
However, I'm worried that I'm going to lose him anyway, but in the worst possible way, in that he will gradually lose interest in this highly stressed, time-stretched, frankly shattered older woman when he realises that he's surrounded by other younger shinier women who would have more time and energy for him, and who aren't constantly downtrodden by caring - our relationship always had a timelimit as I don't want any more kids, and he desperately wants some of his own, despite loving mine. I'm thinking about my kids here - at least if I butt out of the relationship now I won't be a total trainwreck as I will have some control over it - but the thought of gradually seeing his interest fade, as I am terrified it will, is unbearable, as is the thought of changing into someone needy who requests reassurance all the time.
I'm aware that I'm probably mildly depressed as a result of exhaustion and stress and that I could just be pushing him away, but the facts are the facts - I'm 15 years older than him - and I don't know if I should just count myself lucky to have had this joyous, hilarious relationship at a time when I really needed it and call it quits before I get really hurt.
An honest opinion ?
get off the rollercoaster. Your life sounds exhausting. Even your one post there had my head reeling with the talk of massive highs and massive lows.
You have your children to think of. Put them first, and stop putting yourself through this shit.
you've been through an "immense" amount, your relationship is "incredible", he is "wildly" younger than you, you are "extremely" in love with him
if I were listening to your description in RL, I would think you were crazily OTT, and actually going through some sort of crisis
step off the roundabout, and find some equilibrium on your own account
has nobody else any words, wise or otherwise, for this lady going through a rough time ?
far far too much for you to deal with.
You don't want anymore children, he wants them.
I believe we can be with someone for a time, and then life changes and we move along.
You don't want his interest to wain, and i do think you are quite far along in this separating process than him, and should do it.
Being a parent, you are responsible for the children's happiness, but that hugely depends on YOU being happy and sorted.
I feel op is aware that it has no real future.
I think you're second-guessing a split would be best based on your own insecurities and feelings of depression rather than for any more concrete reasons. This is unsurprising as you currently see yourself as the rank outsider in a beauty contest and seem to feel huge pressure to be something you are not.
Rather than splitting up, therefore, I would send him off on his course with a cheery wave, and then spend your time working on the various stresses in your life, making it work better for you, getting some rest, getting the depression treated and developing a sense of self-worth, self-respect and independence that doesn't necessarily involve him.
If he remains faithful throughout his course - and there is no reason why not - I think you'll gain something as a couple for you being more independent. If his interest wanes, you'll also gain.
I find it always a bit strange when people make arguments for ending relationships that are all "you'll be so much better without me". This is a bit controlling as if he is an adult capable of making his own decisions it is his decision to make not your decision to make for him about where his boundaries are and what he wants out of life.
It also is lacking in bollocks because you haven't had to explain why you have actually chosen to end the relationship.
If you want to be with him then be with him and don't make it into a big serious thing just because everything else in your life is big an serious, that is just ruining it IMHO.
If you don't want to be with him end it.
Most relationships end sometime and the end is never pleasant. If you see him detaching and are not happy then end it but I can't see the point in ending it because he might detach IYSWIM.
Is this not all a bit jumping the gun and unecessarily pre-emptive? He doesnt seem to want to have to go at the moment. Or are you hoping to avoid getting hurt by giving him the boot well in advance of him going of his own volition?
Or do you think actually the time has come to end it?
If it's the relationship with him that is exacerbating the rollercoaster then yes maybe you have to tell him it's over. (Rather than "letting him go", as it doesnt sound like he wants to go as yet.)
If it's all caused by other stuff then maybe he is a constant you could do with keeping while you deal with it all.
I think the issue re kids might be quite important here. You're written that he wants kids and you don't want any more. So, if he wants kids badly enough then that means it will be with a different partner. Therefore, you feel like a temporary measure in place until he finds someone else?
The reading of the rest of your post is that you keep telling him he should want to leave, but actually he's stayed with you through a lot already and is not going off with his young, exciting course-mates and he might be happy to forego having kids due to your circumstances.
Perhaps though, you realise you both want different things and it's you who wants out of the relationship. Maybe you would feel calmer on your own, or in time, with a guy who already has kids and doesn't want any more/doesn't want kids.
I'm sorry you are under stress and are envisaging your relationship petering out. Perhaps the concern about your dp wanting children has always lurked in the background. Is it just since he got accepted on his course that the age gap has bothered you?
Sometimes it seems kinder to our fragile self worth to jump the gun and push the destruct button before someone else does. I am tempted to say Raymondo, you can't predict what will happen in the next three years, why look for trouble before it happens? Unless he's the flirty type and you've always felt insecure, you've been together more than two years and he's not strayed - sounds like you've weathered a few storms and he's still with you.
Apologies I don't know how old (young!) you are, but there are plenty of older women who for all their baggage and laughter lines are more than a match for younger, superficially shinier women.
Students aren't at uni 12 months a year, plenty of time to see each other. You say he's starting as a mature student, yes there are sometimes girls who fancy older men but the majority will gravitate to their own age group. Maybe he harbours worries you could be swept off your feet by somebody you work with.
If you are both honest and upfront trust him and live for now. Please consult your GP regarding your own health, by the way, depression sucks the joy out of life and makes you brood.
I think the serious stumbling block is the kids issue. If he is 'desperate' for them, then realistically it's not going to last, is it? I can really see your point about watching his interest fade - and I really don't think it's due to younger women being more attractive to him than you are, but due to the kids thing.
OP did you talk about kids issue and that you definitely don't want any? I wonder what he said - is he secretly hoping to pursuade you to have at least one more child, or did you not make it clear that you won't perhaps?
I really sympathise as this inevitable problem stoped me dating much younger men even though there was a great attarction - it's sad really, having to narrow your options. The truth is, most younger men do want kids, even though one of my friends has been lucky as he P of 7yrs accepted not having own kids - but he was never desperate.
On the other hand, if you split and gradually deal with all your stress, you may well meet someone else closer to your age, he is not really the only man in the world for you theoretically.
There are a lot of cool points here, cheers.
I'm not actually depressed - clinically - I'm just overwhelmed atm.
Offred I agree with you about the passive aggressive nature of ending it if I was going to say "you'll be better off without me". But that's not what I'm saying - I'm saying - I'm under a great deal of duress and I don't know if I can cope with slowly losing him as well - or even the pressure of having to factor him in as well as everything else - so I'm tempted to cut and run now so that at least I can hold it together for the kids, and also I don't like him seeing me this overwhelmed. It's for me, not for him. And for my dds.
However, we spoke last night and he seemed aghast that I would consider cutting and running. So I'm reassured for now - but remaining sceptical about the longterm prospects - I literally have hardly any time to see him, so I feel extremely pressured. And whilst he purports to be cool about this, I know from experience that he's not really.
So yeh. Need to think about it.
Oh and the kids thing is an absolute thing. He's super family oriented. He definitely wants his own kids. I have two amazing dds both with quite chronic health issues, and I have a career that I love. I absolutely don't want any more kids. So it's a complete impasse.
OP, but you must have raised the kids subject before? does he not see the obvious problem? the way he is aghast at your suggestion to split shows he's got his head in the clouds or living in denial about the future re kids.
The kids thing has been openly discussed with us since the beginning, and neither of us has changed our position.
So yeh, we know it has to end at some point. He points out that we are both in love with each other and still enjoying each other's company so why would we want it to end? I agree - and yet I don't want to carry on with him for the next 10 years and then be 50 and dumped for a fertile woman when he can't wait to have babies any more. I believe in living - to be pukeworthy - in the moment, however - investing years in a relationship that has to end eventually - to be brutal, it's not him who's going to be holding my hand when I die, or vice versa -seems a little foolish at one level.
Is a hell of a mess.
All other issues aside, I would be concerned about the kids things also - especially as you are both so resolute in your views about wanting/not wanting any more.
He obviously loves you and wants to be with you right now, you've obviously weathered a few storms together and I'm sure you would be right through his Uni course too.
Like you, OP, I wouldn't want to invest time, emotion and energy in a relationship that is always going to end, where there is kids involved. I'm sure they are already attached to him in some way so it seems unfair to them as they aren't aware of the fact that this relationship isn't forever and he will eventually be walking out of their lives.
What happens if he is happy to wait another 5 years for kids then you've invested 7.5 years with somebody for them to bugger off to procreate with somebody else.
I'm sure he loves you but part of me wonders just how much if he's happy to carry on in a time limited relationship - surely when you realise that you fundamental values and wants are different the sensible thing is to cut your losses and move on and hope to find somebody who shares your hopes for the future?
it is a sad situation. I think you do have to end it, if not right now then soon, he responds to your concerns with typical optimism of youth and not thinking ahead seriously (and not thinking of your feelings of being eventually rejected), it's he who is living in the moment UNTIL he can't wait to have kids anymore as you say. In a way life has put you in a situation where it's easier to end it, as you have so much on your plate - it's a blessing in disguise to some extent, from this point of view. It'd be much harder if you had all the time for him and were getting more and more attached.
Can I ask, OP, whether this r-ship was initiated by him and did he chase you, or did you start it?
I think it's sad to be thinking of ending a relationship with a man you are wildly in love with who is adamant he wants to be with you. If you never take chances or risks you never have fun. I would enjoy the relationship whilst it lasts and take every day as it comes personally. Agree that you appear to have different long term hopes re children but at the moment I would just be happy with what I had and not cross bridges before I came to them.
Seems to me you have two options:
1. see him as a short term option that you enjoy and carry it on for a while, knowing that it has a shelf-life, enjoy it for what it is.
2. end the relationship so that you are free to find a long-term partner to whom you are suited longer term.
Both have advantages and disadvantages....and remember you can choose a different option whenever you like. You don't need to put pressure on yourself to make that decision and stick to it now. Give yourself a break. You sound like you think about what everyone else wants (your DP, your kids etc) but put yourself last. You'd manage fine on your own btw if it came to it.
Another factor that enables it to continue for a while longer is that my kids don't actually know we are together, they just think he's a close friend and colleague who stays over IN THE SPARE ROOM sometimes. He does, actually stay over in the spare room unless the kids are at their dad's. He's been putting up with this for over 2 years. So I feel my kids are somewhat protected - they certainly don't view him as a stepdad. I've been very clear about this as my kids have had a shitload of trauma to deal with and I can't have them getting overly attached to him in that kind of a way. At the moment they enjoy his company immensely but they have no expectations of him. He's never looked after them on his own, fi. I think he's really cool to tolerate this, but I'm unequivocal about it and don't see it changing any time soon.
In response to your title question, Raymondo - it's entirely up to you! My 'similar but not identical' relationship (long distance, met up every few weeks, daily email contact, him a few years younger than me & no children but said he wanted them @ some point, my children growing up & I'm not having any more, & besides he was always quite clear that I wasn't his longterm life partner, although it was very nice for now...) lasted 3 years, until I decided that if we were gonna break up eventually (according to him), eventually might as well be now - so I ended it, & he let me go without a fight so I guess it was the right thing to do. Better be sad for a while now, than invest even more years in it & then be dumped or accused of being the reason why he never had children...But ultimately we have to do what's right for us/our DCs, not second guess what is best for DP - he is an adult & can make his own choices. Not always easy to know what to do, though!
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