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Long term partner won't commit, tempted by another man?

(56 Posts)
d0ttyparker Fri 05-Dec-14 01:16:34

I am in my mid 30's and have been in a relationship with the same man for about 16 years. I do love him, we get on well and our sex life is good. He has been with me through my depression and stayed with me when I was very fat for a few years although he wasn't always nice about it. It is a fairly normal, good relationship with the usual ups and down but then I should tell you that after 16 years together we have never lived together. He lives with family and I live in a tiny studio flat. He does always talk about us buying a house and moving in together but while he sometimes looks at houses online he never wants to go and look at any, there is always a problem with them. He has a lot of money in savings so a deposit isn't the problem. Also I've tried to talk a few times to him about marriage and sometimes he humours me and says yes soon, sometime, next year, in a couple of years whatever then other times he gets annoyed that I am puting pressure on him. Its the same with children, I just get the feeling that he feels he can put it off for years yet but I'm getting older every year. I am ok not having any but if he were to leave me down the line because I was too old to have kids I'd be furious.

Written down like that it looks bad but he says that we will never break up with me and that he still wants to be with me when we are old etc etc. He is a very slow moving person it takes him forever to do anything even things he really wants to do so I don't automatically take his lack of action as an indication of his feelings for me but there has to be a limit somewhere.

I can feel myself getting pretty uneasy these days about my future, I have friends who say I need to force his hand but its not in my nature and if I were going to do that I should have done it years ago. I kind of feel now that if I get all "if you like it you better put a ring on it and buy a sodding house" he will show me the door, after all he is man in his prime with a good job and I am now and "older woman". I feel I don't have much to bargin with in such negotiations.

Its come to a head for me because I have met a man I really like and who seems to like me too although nothing has been said or done, when we do see each other socially in passing, the sparks fly big time. I never really noticed him looks wise but its him, his charater and personality that really do it for me he is just so sweet, intelliegent, kind and funny as well as really hardworking he has his own business and house! Unlike my partner he doesn't have a degree or anything after high school but he reads a lot, is interested and curious, he has opinions and we can talk. Thats a big difference to my current partner who never has much of an opinion about anything, I used to think it was deep but I realise now he doesn't think much about anything beyond football and whats on TV. Sometimes I feel large parts of who I truly am are totally lost on him, while this other guy really sees that part of me.

I guess I have a crush and am spending a lot of time day dreaming about this other man even at times I think, I should leave my boyfriend because I am "fated" to be with this other man and about how perfect he is for me (which is silly as I hardly know him). But I have no idea if this other man sees me that way at all, I feel bad that these fantasies are affecting how I feel about my long term partner, maybe I just want the validation of being noticed again. I realise that I often think about other men and imagine being with them and I don't know why. maybe because I am still on my own a lot during the week when I don't see my partner. Maybe if we did get married and lived together I would be able to stop doing this.

I am just on edge because this other man seems like a real prospect and I could let him slip away and find myself still waiting for marriage and home in another 5 or 10 years. I could be wasting my life on a man who will never commit to me or worse who might leave me.

What should I do here?

Walkacrossthesand Fri 05-Dec-14 01:23:54

While you are 'waiting for marriage and home' you are wasting your life. Life is now, and it sounds like what you have now is deeply unfulfilling - a man who turned out to have hidden shallows, who is pleasant enough but does not share your vision of a future.
Could you contemplate sitting down with your partner (you were young when you met, yes?) and saying that this isn't what you want so you're planning to leave? If you realise that this is what you want to do regardless of sparkly man (because singledom is better than a life of quiet desperation) then go for it.

Have you come close to breaking up before?

Darkesteyes Fri 05-Dec-14 01:24:12

"he stayed with you when you were overweight but wasnt always nice about it"

And you are supposed to be eternally grateful for this? He sounds like an arsehole.

Walkacrossthesand Fri 05-Dec-14 01:27:33

I was reading back my post and wishing I'd put 'mostly pleasant' because of that very comment, darkest!

WhatsGoingOnEh Fri 05-Dec-14 01:32:08

SIXTEEN YEARS. S I X T E E N. God yes, ditch him and move on ASAP. Mid-30s is hardly "an older woman", is it?! This isn't a Jane Austen novel, you're not deemed an old maid if you haven't married a rich cousin by the time you've turned 20.

Get out and live. It might be with the new bloke, it might be with someone else or it might be with nobody, but at least you'd be moving forwards and in control of your own destiny.

You've given him your 20s and half your 30s, while you sit at home alone most of the week. Do you want to give him the rest of your 30s, and 40s and 50s too?

d0ttyparker Fri 05-Dec-14 01:33:05

I was 18 when we met. I would find it very difficult, although I have thought about it being free to try with someone else I can't imagine ever leaving him, not really. We have had fall outs before where he was almost left me this was mainly because he was unhappy with my weight or something I had done. I would always be so desperate to get him back.

I feel very powerless in the relationship, my self esteem is very low and I hate upsetting him because he can go into these big long sulks that last weeks and make my life a misery. Mostly as long as he is being happy and nice to me I am happy too.

I am not the best looking women, and still not thin. Its difficult because a lot of men are just not attracted to bigger women so I can understand his disapointment.

Darkesteyes Fri 05-Dec-14 01:38:50

dotty i used to be 21 stone. I got down to 10 stone 12 back up to 16 stone 10 and now back down to 13 stone 5 Im still not thin but in the past 3 months got asked out on two seperate occasions.
a. not all men expect you to be thin.
b. its about SOOOOO much more than looks. Its about sexual chemistry and having a connection with someone This is more than what you look like.
It sounds like there is a bit of a connection with the other guy that is on the horizon?

ArsenicSoup Fri 05-Dec-14 01:44:25

Its difficult because a lot of men are just not attracted to bigger women so I can understand his disapointment.

Pfft, horses for courses. You could say the same about blondes. So what? Not an excuse to be a wanker.

Now wankerishness is a trait that most people aren't attracted to. He's lucky you stuck around so long.

d0ttyparker Fri 05-Dec-14 01:47:21

Darkesteyes, perhaps you are younger than me? I am about 13 Stone 7 lbs, My highest was 17 Stone. I am trying to lose weight now in the hope it might change something for him. I am on the wrong side of 35 and not pretty. I am out of work at the moment and have a not serious but chronic health issue, no savings etc so I feel like a bad prospect.

Yes there was some kind of spark with that man unless I read it wrong, obviously I don't really imagine I will just leave my boyfriend and fall in love with him happily ever after. But its just he seems lonely too and I felt like he was someone I could talk to, connect with. I find him attractive but he isn't probably isn't considered a hunk to most women. Ultimately its a fantasy.

ArsenicSoup Fri 05-Dec-14 01:53:28

I am about 13 Stone 7 lbs

I weighed that when I met my DH and got married and he couldn't believe his luck (she says modestly wink )

I am trying to lose weight now in the hope it might change something for him

No, no, no! Stop that line of thought. You are good enough, thin, fat or middling. Idiotchops has messed with your head.

And there isn't a 'wrong side' of 35, my dear. You just need to rediscover your confidence smile

Tobyjugg Fri 05-Dec-14 02:00:45

Go for it. 16 years and what have you got? Some vague promises and that's about it. Give this new guy a chance he may be "the one!"

Darkesteyes Fri 05-Dec-14 02:01:18

Im 41 dotty. Im in a marriage where there has been no sex for over 18 years. After losing 10 stone i had a long term affair.
I also spent a night with someone back in October. My DH isnt affectionate at all but he doesnt expect me to be grateful that he stayed with me when i was fat.
Dotty i lost the weight and it made no difference to DH It is NOT your weight. Really it isnt. Im a size 16 at this weight.
DH is now disabled with heart disease and COPD At 64 hes 23 years older than me.

What im saying is it took me a long time to stop thinking it was me and i no longer let it define who i am or my happiness.

Please please do not lose weight for this man or ANY man. This one especially is not worth it. I am still losing weight but it is for ME nobody else.

If you want to carry on losing weight do it for YOU.

He is not worthy of you whatever weight you are thanks

ArsenicSoup Fri 05-Dec-14 02:01:51

Or he may just be some fun, but it sounds like you could do with some fun smile

ArsenicSoup Fri 05-Dec-14 02:12:07

Darkest I'm going to co-opt you into some kind of social enterprise wink grin

Darkesteyes Fri 05-Dec-14 02:14:18

Soup thanks smile

BOFster Fri 05-Dec-14 02:58:03

"I feel very powerless in the relationship, my self esteem is very low and I hate upsetting him because he can go into these big long sulks that last weeks and make my life a misery. Mostly as long as he is being happy and nice to me I am happy too."

I don't think I've ever read anything more depressing in my life.

nooka Fri 05-Dec-14 03:11:50

d0tty what are you actually getting out of this relationship? Seriously, regardless of whether your other prospect turns into anything your relationship sounds dead. You have a sulky non committal not terribly nice boyfriend, who doesn't appear to bring much to the table, clearly doesn't care very much about you and your needs and is unlikely ever to do so.

Say goodbye to him and then see what life has around the corner. The only way is up surely?

WildBillfemale Fri 05-Dec-14 06:54:45

You'll wait your life away if you stay with your current man. 16 years and you aren't even living together let alone married etc.

Go for the new one.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Dec-14 07:05:48

Your current relationship is shit. It will continue to be shit if you keep plodding along with it. The bloke sounds utterly tedious and I can't see what's in it for you

I suggest you end it, whether or not anything is going to happen with the other bloke

Certainly, no decent bperson will act on any attraction to you while you are still in a relationship with someone else

LittleRedRidingHoodie Fri 05-Dec-14 07:08:06

Get out get out! I was with a chap for a long time who used to say all the right things. He loved me, wanted to grow old with me, make children etc. but he never committed either and we never lived together. In the end I forced his hand and he pulled out of us buying a house together on the day of exchange!

You're wasting your time with this chap. Get out while there's a fun fling on the horizon to take your mind off it!

Camolips Fri 05-Dec-14 07:20:40

Oh dotty, you're worth so much more! This man has taken your low self-esteem and is feeding it. When you are in this sort of relationship it is hard to take a step back and look at it objectively. It sounds like the relationship is dictated by him and solely on his terms. Do you feel strong enough to just call it a day? It could be the start of the new dotty! Once you get away from someone who is capable of bringing you down the world will immediately be a better place. Your confidence will grow, hopefully your health will improve, an amazing job may be on the horizon and an exciting social life awaits! Good luck in the future

Anniegetyourgun Fri 05-Dec-14 07:33:05

"my current partner who never has much of an opinion about anything, I used to think it was deep but I realise now he doesn't think much about anything beyond football and whats on TV"

Honestly, another 50 or more years of that? How soul destroying.

There may or may not be a future with this other man, but meeting him has shown you that a connection with someone on your wavelength is possible and worthwhile pursuing. If it doesn't work out with him there are still many millions of men in the world, some of whom are absolutely lovely and actually have brains. The one you're with now is not a soulmate but a habit. Like a carpet you've had for decades which is worn thin in places and doesn't suit your new furniture, but you can't imagine going into that room and seeing a different pattern on the floor. Or an old car that's always letting you down, but new cars are a bit scary because their controls and meters are in different places and the clutch feels stiffer and suppose you don't like driving it after you've bought it? So you suffer on while your friends despair.

OK, a man is not a piece of furniture, but it really doesn't sound as if he cares about you all that deeply. Have you considered that, just as you stayed with him when he was slow and grumpy and rude and dull, he stayed with you when you were (gasp, shock) fat out of habit? Maybe you should set him free. The love of his life may be waiting out there. (It's probably a football team.)

MaryWestmacott Fri 05-Dec-14 07:53:35

The reasons sparks fly so much with other man is you have mentally left your relationship, now actually leave it. It's going nowhere.

fluffapuss Fri 05-Dec-14 08:06:09


16 years ! your partner has had ample time to make efforts to move house & start a family


GOSH ! IF that is what you want break up & find someone who wants the same thing as you.

Mid 30's, want children, start looking now !!!

You only have one life, YOUR LIFE - SO START LIVING IT !

GO out meet new people, sign up to paid online dating, be clear about what you want, marriage, house, children

Good luck

LoodleDoodle Fri 05-Dec-14 08:15:28

Op, I've seen about 3 friends go through this, and decide to stay, only to watch their long term so called 'D'P get bored, be difficult, then suddenly meet, marry and start a family with someone else within 3 months. After 16 years, it's not commitment problems, it's being a dick.

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