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Need the wisdom of your collective years(23 Posts)
Long time lurker/occasional poster needs help.
I am throwing this out for advice as I feel so confused.. I am 37, I have been with my DP for nearly 3 years hes 40. We do not live together. I have my own house and car and a good job.
It has been quite a fiery relationship at times. The first two years were fab. The last year not so much. We used to fight and then not speak for a few days until one of us would call the other. We split for a couple of weeks earlier this year because we were arguing so much. I suspect that the arguments were a symptom of my underlying frustration at our lack of progress with regards to moving in together or discussing marriage and children and I did tell him this.
We then got back together and we both committed to making things work which has been quite successful. I made it very clear when we got back together that it was only on the proviso that we were moving together in the same direction and that there would be some movement on commitment in the near future, which he agreed to. We have been getting on better, less arguing and resolving arguments quicker.
My problem is that I find as time goes on I have less and less respect for him. He is very unmotivated. He has a good job but does the bare minimum to get by which irritates me hugely and I dont know if this is a deal breaker or not. I am ambitious and conscientious and have been successful in my career to date. I am very sociable and am always meeting family and friends. He on the other hand has very little life outside work and me although he is devoted to his family and sees them very regularly.
When we talk about the future, moving in / getting married, he always always comes back to this one excuse that until your temper improves. I just feel like this is a hook to hang me on. I have lost my temper in the past during rows, but I have gotten much better at this (in part from coming off the pill a whole other thread).
The situation is more complicated because if I am utterly honest I like having my space to myself and as time has gone on, I discourage him from coming over as much. I was single until my mid 30s so think I have just got used to it. I also think I am trying to force him to see that he cant behave as if we are living together/married when we are not so limiting the amount of time he spends at mine, nearly like punishment??
Im just so confused. I am very keen to have kids and I feel this huge ticking time bomb in my head given my age combined with well meaning comments from family and friends which add to the pressure. For a long time until the last few months - was sure I wanted them with him. But as time goes on I feel like I am losing respect for him and I dont know if this is because there has been no progress or would it be happening anyway?
We were on holiday in September. I wanted to talk about the future. It is ALWAYS me who brings it up. I made a comment about people bringing children on holiday and would we do that and he dismissed my comment. I then brought it back round again and said I felt we should be able to talk about these sorts of things. He lost his temper and we ended up having a row. When I forced him to talk about it I asked him about marriage / children he said he did want to be with me, he didnt want to lose me and he did it see it in the next year or two. But this is just not enough for me anymore and I cant seem to make him see it.
I know some of you may say its time to leave him or give him an ultimatum. If that is the right thing I would do it, but I just dont know if it is! I dont want to end it and then regret it down the line. However I would also rather lose my chance of having children than be with the wrong person and be miserable.
He is a good, kind, man. Considerate and intelligent and funny and I enjoy his company and feel utterly comfortable with him and I love him. Even if the feelings are less strong at the minute, I think I could get them back. He loves me very much, I am sure. I just dont know if this is enough any more.
This would seem to be a case of opposites attracting... and then they repel.
If you continue in a relationship with this particular man and are misguided enough to have dc with him, there's no need for a crystal ball to reveal that your feelings for him will turn to contempt.
There's other ways of bringing dc into your life than giving birth to them but pay no attention to that damn clock until the 'time's up' siren goes, which in your case isn't going to be for another 10 or so years.
TBH I don't see you having a happy future with this man. You're quite right about love not being enough. It isn't. A successful relationship requires much more. You don't sound as if you're on the same page as each other at all and relationships classed as 'fiery' within the first few years and especially when a couple aren't even living together, always raise alarm bells in my book. It shouldn't be that hard that early on.
I think part of you knows this. You're already creating distance between you by discouraging him from coming over. And you obviously possess a fair degree of insight as you are aware that you may be hanging on to this relationship because of your biological clock.
If children are that important to you there is always the option of a sperm donor, but if it's the family set-up you want (which is what most people do, of course), then I rather suspect that you'd end up being a single parent anyway if you have a child with this man. All those things you find irritating now, which may be little more than niggles at this point, will be hugely exacerbated if you have children. Your different approaches to life and your greater ability to organise and motivate will inevitably result in you carrying the overwhelming burden of parenthood, domestic chores and possibly even financially given that your career is more successful than his.
I hope you find an answer.
If you feel this way before kids I wouldn't hold out much hope for how you will feel after having children, they tend to make or break relationships I think.
Thanks for your replies. Maybe not what I want to hear but what I think I know deep down.
I think you desperately want him to be the right one because you don't think you've got enough time to start over, find someone new and fit in marriage and kids... If he was right he'd want the same things you do, sadly. Any element of forcing his hand and giving ultimatums might get you the result you want short-term but whether that would work long-term looks doubtful given what you describe.
From what you have written, it sounds like this man does not want to marry you or have children with you.
Yes of course he is good, kind, considerate, intelligent, funny and you love him. Not wanting marriage or children does not make him a bad person.
The question is - do you want to stay in this relationship without marriage or children? Or is having children more important to you than staying in the relationship?
Blimey OP how exhausting things sound.
He's not the right one for you.
*My problem is that I find as time goes on I have less and less respect for him.
He has a good job but does the bare minimum to get by which irritates me hugely*
I think you know that he is not right for you. In my experience, there is no way back from losing respect for someone and/or from being hugely irritated by them.
Thanks again everyone - it's been really useful to get some impartial views. While I know you are only hearing my side I have tried to be fair to him and me. Friends and family are as confused as I am. They like him but can see his flaws. I just hope I have the strength to do the right thing.
If only life were so simple!
Relationships are a minefield and they need a lot of work invested in them. It's like a job - you don't expect your job to be a daily breeze, there are as many crap days as there are good ones, but if you know deep down that is what you want to be doing then you buckle down and make it work. The same goes for a relationship. I have had so many ups and downs with my dh I am amazed we are still together (by the skin of our teeth!) we have had times when we thought we'd fallen out of love and separated and got back together again and it's been like this for 20 odd years!
However, the fact that you two have kept living separate lives in different homes and not moved in together kind of tells me that neither you nor your partner are completely committed to making a go of it. I'm wondering whether you might not be hanging onto this man because of your worry about ticking clock etc when really you yourself are not entirely sure of what it is you want...
Don't feel pressured about the kid thing. First sort out out what it is you really want from your life then the rest will fall into place.
I don't think he is interested in being in a committed relationship with you, he is probably quite happy as things are and to alter them would involve effort on his part. I have watched several people I know in their 30's in long term relationships break up for similar reasons of "non commitment", only to see them a year or so down the line with other partners having settled and having children.
My instinct is that had he been serious about you, he would be insisting that you lived together long before now or would have marched you up the aisle by now.
You really have to want to be together above all else and enjoy being together - dcs or no dcs - and this doesn't seem to be the case for you, sadly. You can't be in a relationship just because you want kids. Not fair on them for starters and not fair on you or dp. End this now and look elsewhere or just be single - nothing wrong about that. You can have kids on your own maybe or be an auntie/have a godchild? Better than being in a 'wrong' relationship which seems to have got onto a bad track.
Thanks again. I appreciate you all taking the time to reply.
sassy I am an auntie and godmother many times over, babysitter extraordinaire. It's just not the same. :-(
And the problem is I did want to be together and did enjoy being with him immensely, but it's almost as if I have got weary waiting around. Or maybe the honeymoon haze has worn off and the reality is the relationship wasn't all that golden to begin with....
look at it this way, breaking it off will give you both some breathing space and if you then both decide you do want to be together, accepting each other warts and all, you can get back together/get married/have kids etc.
But it sounds like he's not right for you, I think you know that. You're still young enough to meet someone else to have a family with, even if that's in a few years. If it were in a couple of years say, that's the same time frame he's offering you for marriage/kids anyway.
I wanted to come back and update everyone who took the time to give me advice back in October. It was food for thought and I reread the advice on a couple of occasions since then. After giving it another real go over the last few months, I finally ended the relationship over the holidays. It's very sad at the minute, but I am sure it's the right thing. I have great friends and family who will help me out over the next while and I do feel quite positive about the future.
Thanks again everyone.
You've done the right thing. You would have been worn down by someone with his lack of ambition and motivation. I've been in a similar relationship in the past and you end up sharing out your own ambition between two people and filled with resentment and anger at having to instigate everything. Best of luck for the future.
Thanks both of you. You're absolutely right Belle. I was just getting angrier and angrier. And I did have to instigate and organise everything....why do we sell ourselves so short?
Onwards and upwards.
"I am ambitious and conscientious and have been successful in my career to date. "
People with that kind of psychological make-up often find admitting defeat or mistakes very difficult. They will persevere with a lost cause long after they should give up. If that rings a bell at all, just be conscious of it in future.
Wow... I will Cogito. I thought I had a high level of self awareness, but that's something I had never realised before but absolutely rings bells....Thank you.
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