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Advice on this disatisfaction please

(35 Posts)
ElfLottery Wed 05-Nov-14 13:03:28

So, I'm 16 months into a relationship with this bloke. He is in his early sixties, I'm early fifties. I came out of a long term (20+yrs) partnership shortly before we got together. It was and is lovely to be in a warm, loving relationship. We get on like a house on fire, we have fun, lots of laughs and my mojo has returned bigtime!
But, he came with a lot of baggage which he told me about from the very start, some which I found abhorrent but could accept like previous infidelities. Some like ED due apparently to a back injury which I had absolutely no problem with and a lot of sympathy for him, over.
Other issues like smoking which I surprised myself over by not being bothered about in the slightest-he doesn't smell of smoke and isn't always rushing off for a fag. Drinking quite heavily, alone at home of an evening, which I worry about but figured it was under control and caused no issues to either of us. Extreme (to me) hoarding of loads of stuff in his small flat-car parts, equipment, broken electrical appliances due for the dump, ditto to be mended, old clothes no longer worn, models that he hasn't gotten around to making etc etc. Bad teeth and hasn't been to a dentist in years. Used porn- been on his own for a good few years.

We would get together at his place at weekends as I wasn't ready to introduce him to my children.

Occasionally these last issues have irritated me, but they weren't deal breakers however recently as we have talked about how our relationship could develop and we have had further complications with the erectile dysfunction, I have started to just want him to change his lifestyle. The smoking and drinking could be affecting the ED so perhaps he could consider cutting down/stopping. He has now met and gets on really well with my children but rarely stays overnight as he seems to prefer staying at home smoking and drinking on his sofa. He wouldn't want my children to visit his mess of a flat and neither would I, so......clear it up? Really bad dental abscess recently led to a very loose tooth but although he did ask me to find him a dentist, nothing has been done about it.
We've talked a bit about the ED recently and so I texted him about smoking affecting it possibly after posting on a thread about partners who smoke. This led onto me suggesting other possible improvements to our situation, which tbh were about him changing and he has flounced. Said sorry he's so disappointing and then text silence. I've said I love him but perhaps let's address the issues instead of taking the easy way out.
I don't know whether to accept our situation and carry on enjoying what we have or try and persuade him to work together on looking at these other issues.
Have I handled it really badly?

SageSeymour Wed 05-Nov-14 13:06:17

I'm sorry but he sounds absolutely horrendous! I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but why are you settling for this alcoholic, porn using, dental phobic hoarder?

I get accepting one of the above or whatever. But all of them? Give him a swerve and move on. Ugh

Quitelikely Wed 05-Nov-14 13:09:38

No I don't think you have. You have shown a lot of compassion for his issues and you, as far as I can see were offering gentle encouragement to help him solve them.

The thing with his ED, if he gets an erection watching porn, then I'm confused about that.

What is he drinking on an evening? And roughly how much?

In a way you sound too good for him IMO.

Plenty more where he came from though I do admire your empathy towards him..........

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Wed 05-Nov-14 13:09:52

What Sage said. He sounds revolting. Surely being alone would be better.

SageSeymour Wed 05-Nov-14 13:10:42

He sounds like the sort of fella that channel 4 base their documentaries around

PurpleWithRed Wed 05-Nov-14 13:13:00

So far you've accepted these 'other issues'. Now suddenly you want him to change. Why would he? He's obviously happy as he is. If you want a non smoking tidy man who can have sex, has a healthy relationship with alcohol and brushes his teeth regularly I think you're going to need to look for a new one.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Wed 05-Nov-14 13:13:02

Sorry but I have to add, this has put an image of Father Jack Hackett in my mind.

SageSeymour Wed 05-Nov-14 13:15:02

grin At father jack

Umm sorry OP

Hope you sort it! Him preferring to lounge about on his sofa with a bottle in an evening as opposed to seeing you, speaks volumes though. And how can you bear to kiss him?

ElfLottery Wed 05-Nov-14 13:18:40

No, he is lovely. He is intelligent, funny, very clean-I love that! warm and loving.
With the ED, he was unable to get an erection at all following his back injury. Then he had an operation and things improved. He can have difficulty getting and maintaining an erection and sometimes in coming. He recently got rid of the porn off his own bat after reading that it can affect these issues. I do suspect that his ED is at least partly psychological.
I do realise the negatives sound very bad and find it hard to reconcile the man I love with them.

holeinmyheart Wed 05-Nov-14 13:19:54

Oh dear. You can't change him. He is in his early sixties and if he hasn't made any effort to change for you during the first flush of the honeymoon period, he certainly is not going to change now.
You need to alter so much about him, as he sounds so horrendous, that I think it is hopeless.
Stop trying, and either accept him for what he is, or give up and find someone with a healthier lifestyle.
From the sound of him, he really does not seem to value you enough to want to make the effort to change. Sorry post, as you seem nice.

TheHobbit Wed 05-Nov-14 13:20:03

Give him a chance as he also deserves to be loved. My partner was had alot of baggage not like drinking or smoking but mental health problems. He was diagnosed with bipolar. I gave him a chance and have helped him in so many ways and literally changed his life. He is now the. Most kindest and loyal man I have ever known.

Start with small steps ie: plan romantic dinners away from his sofa lol so he gets away from the habit of drinking. Show him a different way of life as because he's been alone for so long he has developed habits but these can be curbed with perseverance. Do it subtly and he wont even realise it. It will take a while but will eventually happen.

It's so nice though that you love him. He just needs guidance towards a better way of life. Good luck x

SageSeymour Wed 05-Nov-14 13:20:25

If he lives in a house full of crap and doesn't look after his teeth, he can't be very clean

As he is in his 60s there'll be no changing him now I'm afraid. So, if you want to out up with all of this I feel it's a case of accepting him as he is.

And maybe not visiting him too often or going near his mouth.

I think you could do better

DorothyGherkins Wed 05-Nov-14 13:21:07

It may not worry you now. I guarantee in another five, ten, fifteen years, every single little one of these things will wind you up belief. Life's too short.

ElfLottery Wed 05-Nov-14 13:22:32

He does brush his teeth! They just haven't seen a dentist for a long time. And are stained from the smoking......oh god, it's sounding worse.

ElfLottery Wed 05-Nov-14 13:26:26

TheHobbit thank you, I think that was how I was trying to approach it but have now come out with a few things and he's curled up in a defensive ball.

I'm hoping he'll come round and we can work together.

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 05-Nov-14 13:33:18

The thing is, you've decided that your shared issues are ALL down to him being wrong, and needing to change. 'Work together' - on him changing pretty much all his habits.

So from his perspective it's all been lovely and then suddenly you're saying:

"Right, I've worked out how to solve all our relationship problems: you have to change entirely, and I have worked out a schedule for you. Here's what you have to do! Brilliant eh? Come on then, get on with it. What? Wait! Why are you hurt and annoyed?!"

All the issues do sound insurmountable and I would not blame you at all for ending the relationship because of them. In fact it may be the best idea.

And his smoking and drinking no doubt is a big factor in his ED and other issues. And sitting and smoking and getting pissed and hoarding and never going to the dentist is very, very unappealing and negative. I'd hate that in a partner too.

But I doubt he will change and it seems a bit controlling of you to dump all your expectations on him and then get angry because he won't march to your tune.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 05-Nov-14 13:42:06

Why do you want to fix him to your own higher standards?. He was never your project to rescue and or save from himself.

Men aren't worrying themselves about fixing a relationship with us; they either accept us and the relationship or they don't. This perspective would also save many women the trouble of picking the wrong gentleman to marry in the first place, because she thought the famous phrase: ' I can fix that (him)' or 'he'll change', really meaning 'I'll change him'. Most of the problems men have with women is she wants to change him all the time.

Men also feel as if they're being treated like children when women try to fix them or the relationship. Women, don't waste your energy. Don't even waste the energy trying to get your man to see what he needs to fix. You can't fix someone (or a relationship) if the other person doesn't acknowledge the problem.

ElfLottery Wed 05-Nov-14 13:46:39

Atrocious I would like advice on how to handle it. I'm not getting angry. I know it is me wanting him to change and really I can't decide whether that's reasonable or possible. I think he knows some of it but like many smokers/drinkers/hoarders/dentist avoiders he minimises, ignores, denies, carries on.

ElfLottery Wed 05-Nov-14 13:52:01

Attila I agree with much of your post, if not all. So is it a case of put up and shut up or just end it?
I won't be ending it over any of these things but would be sad to have the limited relationship.

InfinitySeven Wed 05-Nov-14 13:54:16

I think you have to reassess the relationship. If he doesn't want to change, are you still interested?

If some of these are deal breakers for you, that's okay. You've suggested ways to change them and you're approaching it with him. If you can't make any ground, then the relationship has simply run its course.

He is avoiding and minimising. It sounds like he doesn't want to change. Which is fine, but a lot of these issues would be deal breakers to most people, and that could well be why he's been on his own for so long.

It takes a willingness on his part. Without that, you can either accept things as they are or move on.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 05-Nov-14 13:56:02

You won't want to hear this I daresay but I would end this relationship.

You limit your own self and sell yourself well short by being with such a person at all. All he will ultimately do is drag you down with him.

What's the payoff for you in all this, what do you get out of this relationship exactly?. You cannot really handle this at all, he has to want to put the work in and you simply cannot make him comply to your wishes for change.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 05-Nov-14 14:01:03

Biggest relatonship mistake anyone makes is going for 'Mr/Ms 90%' and thinking they can fix the other 10%. Within reason, you either have to love someone warts and all or decide the warts are too bad to live with. Because the sad fact is, and especially once someone is in their 60s, the warts are here to stay.

ElfLottery Wed 05-Nov-14 20:04:36

Today he came and looked after my two younger children while I attended a hospital appointment. He texted me to say he'd picked them up. I texted back when I was leaving the hospital. The arrangement was for him to go when either I or my eldest child arrived home to take over but today after our conversations I must admit I hoped he'd stick around to see me, have a hug, maybe have dinner as a family together. He left when my eldest got home.
I thought he was working tonight and had to get home and change etc. But later after some texts about a tv programme when he said no he wasn't working and he was missing me, I replied 'so you could be here, not missing me' No reply to that point.
Is it just me, to think that it's madness to text the missing each other when nothing is preventing him being here.

SageSeymour Wed 05-Nov-14 21:14:13

Why are you bothering ?

Re your last message - he's just not that arsed. He wants to sit in filth in his hovel and drink beer probably

LapsedPacifist Wed 05-Nov-14 21:44:18

Gosh, are you dating my ex-DP? grin He is my DS's father, and we split up about 15 years ago. His lifestyle nowadays, from what DS and I have seen, is pretty much what you've just described. And TBH this description fits the majority of my 50/60-something batchelor acquaintances.

Best Gay Male Friend (smugly happily married) told me recently that in his opinion ALL single men living alone, gay or straight, go bonkers and live in eccentric squalor after the age of 50. Single women seem to do just fine and travel lots and take up fascinating hobbies.

If you like him as a friend and enjoy his company, then let him be. He's made it clear he feels offended by your nagging criticisms of his lifestyle choices and doesn't appear to be in a hurry to get his feet under your kitchen table anytime soon.

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