Do I chill out and persevere or call it a day?(7 Posts)
Hi. I've name changed as I don't want to be recognised.
I've been seeing a lovely guy , whom I met off a dating site. My current issue is with our relationship. But I thought it might be useful to give you some background. Sorry in advance if it's too long and dull..
I am in my early thirties with three young children (we have shared 50/50 custody ) I left my emotionally abusive and controlling ex of 15 years, just over a year ago.
I realise I should have taking time to be on my own, but I literally jumped in to a string of disastrous 'relationships'. I realised on reflection, I just wasn't good at being on my own and my self esteem was so low, I felt I needed the attention of other men to prove I wasn't all the nasty spiteful things my ex would tell me I was. Also, I just wanted to feel wanted. But the nature and speed of these 'relationships' meant that these guys saw me for one thing and couldn't look past the physical side of things and appreciate me for the person I really am. My fault I can only assume.
One guy in particular was there for me almost immediately after I left my ex. Or so I thought. He was a shoulder to cry on, a happy go lucky kind of man, very good looking and made me feel positive about my future. I thought I'd filinally had a stroke of luck. And if I'm being honest, couldn't comprehend how a man like him would want me. I'm attractive, look after myself and am kind and down to earth. I see that now. But at the time, I hated myself and believed I was ugly and worthless because of my ex.
Long story short (ish) When this guy had me where he wanted me, it became apparent that he was very much like my ex. Un affectionate, un complimentary, distant and a cheat. I've read up on limerence and believe strongly that that was the case with me towards him. He remained in and out of my life over 7/8 months while I tried desperately to find someone else to cure me of my obsession with this man who was simply no good for me. I was so disillusioned by his charm and felt so let down... another huge dent in my self esteem.
When I met current guy. I went no contact with the limerant man. It was tough. But I wanted so desperately to have a shot a a normal life and relationship. This guy is lovely, kind and I had a great vibe about him from the start. A few months in and there is no question that he is nothing like my previous exes.
That said. I am facing a different problem. But I can't figure out if it is a problem, or normal run of the course because I haven't experienced being with a decent man like this.
My concern is it's almost a year into his separation from his ex. She left him for another man. He only gets to see his daughter every other weekend and is clearly struggling with not seeing his little girl. But part of me thinks that he is not truly over his ex. They were due to get married. He adored her.
I only get to see him once a week now. But initially in the first month of dating, we were meeting up 2-3 times a week.
He says it's because he's busy doing up his house etc and it won't be like it forever. But I struggle with it. I feel that if you really wanted to spend time with someone that you would go out of the way to make some more time. Especially so early on in the relationship. I know I would and equally, I am in the process of decorating my new house.
We text a lot but not phone. He always asks how I am and is genuinely kind. When we are together, he treats me well but not ott. I feel safe and happy.
The gaps in between make me feel insecure and unsure about the relationship though. I wonder how we can really connect and build something with so little time spent together.
He is due to meet my family and we are taking a mini trip away for a couple of days. I've been to his house and him to mine etc.
I've discussed my concerns with him and he says the last thing he wants to do is hurt me. But that's all he can be and give right now. And doesn't want to call it a day but doesn't want me to stay in a relationship if it's not making me happy.
He is the guy I want to be with and who is good for me. But guiltily, I admit to thinking about the previous guy a lot the last few weeks. I haven't and wouldn't contact him. But it scares me that I'm tempted. I just feel lonely and messed up.
For the record I do have an incredibly supportive family. But after my nightmare experience with the father of my children, it's easier for me to pretend to them that I'm finally on track and happy
Sorry this is so long. Thank you
I think you'd benefit hugely from some time on your own. You need to learn how to be single.
You're in your early 30s, right? You were with your ex from the age of 16 or 17? It's been a year since you split, and for 8 of those months you were in a destructive relationship and now you're in another relationship which, by your own admission you were desperate to get into so you could forget about destructive guy. You've been involved in destructive relationships since you were practically a child.
Get yourself in order. Concentrate on the wellbeing of you and your children. Create a functional family with them before you even think about bringing another man into your/their life.
When you can be happy and fulfilled without a man in your life, then think about getting one.
You said you were lonely and messed up. Well, you are. Get to work on tidying up the mess that's in your head. A man won't do it for you.
Fully agree with PP. End things with this guy, and just be yourself. Work out who Lenora really is as a single, adult woman. Think about what you want. Work on creating new friendships and support systems. Learn to love yourself without the need for external validation.
Thank you both. I know you are right. I agree fully.
Yes, I was 16 when I met the father of my children. My first relationship. My upbringing was normal and my parents adore each other. I can't understand how I got into such a mess. I kept a lot from them. They were not fully aware of what had happened until I finally fled.
I'm not going to lie though .. I'm weak. I don't feel capable of being on my own. How pathetic is that. It's a pattern with me. I know what's bezt , yet don't have the strength or guts to go through with it.
My children are my world. They have never come into contact with any of these men since I left gheir dad. Due to the 50/50 custody I have been able to conduct my personal life away from them.
I won't pretend it hasn't had a knock on effect with my state of mind when I'm with the kids. But I do try my best to be up beat for them and not let it show. But it is a struggle.
Start with finding a counsellor perhaps.
Confide in your mum. Ask her for emotional support. Make friends. Girlfriends. Good mates are worth their weight in gold.
You are not weak at all. It's just that the centre of your ok ness lies outside your own life. You need others to give you your self esteem.
No need to break it off with the man. Let it be slow with him. Meanwhile do things to bolster yourself. If you don't, you'll just go round in circles, only to face the same problem when you come out of that cycle.
Only you can heal your own heart. No man is going to be able to do that.
If I were you, I'd start looking at my own life. What do I like, want, need, fancy doing? Other people come and go, we are left with the contents of our own heads and hearts when all is said and done.
You don't need this man to bolster yourself. You need to bolster your own self, because you are an adult xx
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