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Expectations too high?

(9 Posts)
Olderkidsaremine Thu 01-Nov-12 10:20:55

I've started a relationship after years and years of being on my own bringing up my kids - who have all basically left home now. He is a lovely, lovely man kind, considerate and gentle - he's encouraged my to let my hair down and not worry what other people might think - which I throughly enjoy!

But and its a big 'but' I feel that I can't rely on him. He is very lovey dovey, calls me pet names which I like but I can't do the same to him especially if he is standing there in front of me (silly isn't it!). He wants to help round the house 'but' I can do it myself! I think he needs to be needed and I do but in an emotional way and not in a practical way. I think he has been out with very needy women and this sort of confirms to me that I don't want to be seen that way (as their relationships didn't work out). The father of my children let me down nearly all the time so the only one I could rely on was myself!

I think this relationship could go all the way - we have talked moving in together and marriage but we need to sort this out. And its a 'we' thing not a 'he should do' or a 'I should do'. Any advice would be welcomed, are our expections too high of each other?

CogitoErgoSparklers Thu 01-Nov-12 10:32:42

You're probably a bit set in your ways after so many years of managing everything solo. He's used to being with needy people. So you need to shelve your pride occasionally & let him do things around the house or whatever... he needs to shelve the 'knight on a white horse' thing & respect your independence in return. Talk about it openly. All relationships are a compromise.

dequoisagitil Thu 01-Nov-12 10:46:30

But why don't you feel you can rely on him? Has he let you down in some way? Is he not there for you? Or is it that you are so used to your independence that you find it hard to let him in?

If things are good and he actually is trustworthy and dependable, but it's that you're just used to doing everything then when he wants to help out, then you should try to accept that help. Do 50/50 rather than lstanding watching him do whatever - he washes, you dry or he cooks, you clear - whatever.

If he moves in, I hope you would be expecting him to do his share of the housework/cooking/diy/financial management?

BethFairbright Thu 01-Nov-12 11:10:51

One person's definition of 'neediness' is another's 'open and honest about needs' so I'd be careful about writing all his past partners off as 'needy' and consider that you might be overly defensive and putting on an outer shell to stop anyone getting in.

At some point in the relationship, if you're going to commit fully to it you'll need to trust him with your feelings and show him the real you, not some fake antithesis of previous women you seem to judge unfavourably. If he's a decent bloke, he'll challenge you to drop your guard but if he's intrinsically selfish he'll lap up your performance and thank his lucky stars that he doesn't have to do very much.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 01-Nov-12 12:01:52

But why don't you feel you can rely on him? Has he let you down in some way?

I read that as the OP not letting herself rely on a partner, rather than that partner having proved himself untrustworthy.

Olderkidsaremine Thu 01-Nov-12 12:16:01

Thanks all for the input - it is bringing home to me that most of this is me, you are right Hot he has done nothing to prove he is untrustworthy. Beth you are also right it that I am probably overly defensive and he is challenging me to drop my guard - which I think I am finding the hardest thing to do. And Cogito I have been accused of being set in my ways!

It's not that I don't trust him, I do, I have never felt so right with someone.

BethFairbright Thu 01-Nov-12 12:23:14

I think it's understandable for you to have defence mechanisms in place if you've been badly hurt but committing to a relationship means at some point you have to take a risk. Sensible to wait a good while before doing so, though.

But try not to judge his previous partners for being 'needy'. They might not have been hurt like you and so they were more carefree with their hearts. Above all don't compete with them and try to be something you don't really want to be.

Olderkidsaremine Thu 01-Nov-12 15:52:38

I think Beth that you are right about not competing with his previous partners and being something I don't want to be - but its hard to think that I could rely on him for everything (well not everything but YKWIM) and then it could all go bottom up and I would be where I was 20 years ago - which is not a place I want to revisit. And being a pessamist at heart I'm seeing that situation quite easily therefore I think I am being too cautious telling him how I feel.

CogitoErgoSparklers Thu 01-Nov-12 17:07:40

I think you're a long way from relying on him for everything - except love, that is - and you probably will never put yourself in that position anyway. I know how you feel btw... 17 years solo now and when the latest b/f offers to make supper or fix a lightbulb I still feel like either a) he's interfering or b) I'm being a bit feeble. smile Learning to let go the pride a little is not the same thing as being reliant.

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