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Stay or leave?(38 Posts)
Hi there. I've been in a relationship with J for around 18 months. Things have been rocky for quite a while now. Basically he lives on his own, doesn't like change and finds it really hard to commit (he's 38 whether that has any relevance). We've had many arguments in the past about not spending enough time together, about him going out drinking with his mates and me just generally feeling insecure and unsettled. I would really like to settle down with someone, yet he's not even talking about us living together let alone marriage or children. He said it's all the arguments we keep having is a reason for us not to move in together - which I get up to a point but the reason we argue is usually because I feel down and insecure about him being so noncommittal, which ends up with me being hypersensitive and getting into arguments with him a lot of the time, usually with me in tears. He's not cruel or a bully and he tries to be understanding when I get upset but I know he's at the end of his tether. His main point is "I can't take all these arguments, I can't change who I am..." I've tried hard to be patient and to not get so anxious about this situation as it's only making it worse, but it just feels like all the effort being made is on my side. I love him dearly but I don't want to risk losing him altogether but I don't know what to do. The situation came to a head this morning when he caught me looking at his phone. I've never done it before and don't have serious trust issues but I just wanted a reason why he's so noncommittal i.e. maybe there is someone else? I know I was in the wrong but that's what my insecurity has led me to, I don't want to be that person so I think the best thing to do is end things. But as I said he's not a bad person and if I was patient and caring enough I could bring out the best in him. I'm just torn between trying to be patient or just cutting my losses and hoping he'll either see sense or I'll meet someone more suitable.
To give you some backstory, we first met at a party two years ago - I was head over heels, madly in love more than I'd ever been with anyone before. We started dating, everything was fine but he said he wanted to take things slowly and not have sleepovers etc. One evening we'd had a bit to drink and ended up at his place (just spent the night in bed together cuddling, things happened but not full blown sex). It must have freaked him out as he stopped getting in contact or meeting up as frequently but hadn't broken things off. I tried talking to him about it, he said he was scared of getting into anything too serious after his last relationship. Eventually I stopped texting him and started dating other people, he didn't get in touch. On a whim I texted him again about 7 weeks later and suggested meeting up. We ended up back at his again, but I assumed he wasn't looking for anything serious so I started dating someone I'd met online. Then he started texting me persistently, wanting to meet up. I eventually did a few weeks after that and he said he really liked me and that he wanted to get serious with me - that he was really sorry for blowing me out the last time but he'd freaked out and 'was in a weird place.' But assured me there wasn't anyone else involved and that he was serious about me, together with being really apologetic. Things were going well with the guy I was dating, so I wasn't sure. But then I realised my feelings for him were too strong to ignore, so I ended up breaking things off with the guy I was dating and getting into a relationship with him and for a few months was completely happy. It was only 6 or 8 months in, after the 'honeymoon' period I began to feel cold-shouldered. He tries his best to be caring and affectionate and attentive. But he's admitted it doesn't come naturally to him. He's solvent, he's trust-worthy and he's kind. There are plenty worse than him out there, I'm not sure I can face trying to date people again. But then again I can't stay in a relationship where I'm insecure and miserable. I feel utterly ashamed for looking at his phone - he was more disappointed and hurt than angry but I know this is going to create even more of a gulf between us. (FYI I didn't find much, just a few non-flirtatious messages with some female friends.)
Why are relationships so hard? You just want someone to take the pain away, but the one person who's meant to is causing it all. I don't want to burden my friends with this and my mum suffers with her nerves so can't confide in her. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
I haven't read your whole post - I just skimmed the beginning. I thought I would post a gut feeling though (I will then go back and read properly).
You have been together 18 months. If you are not sure this relationship is the right one for you then it isn't.
Yes, having read in detail - this stands out to me. "But then again I can't stay in a relationship where I'm insecure and miserable."
You can't. there is no reason why you should. You are not getting the things you want and need from this relationship (I am assuming that your demands on his time are not excessive and that you are not ultra demanding). After 18 months (and assuming you are approaching a similar age to him? Or not in your early 20s, anyway...) it is time to either get more serious or accept that it never will get more serious.
You want different things .
You want to move in together, get married and have kids .
He doesn't .
You are not well suited . So either end it now or spend more miserable years trying to change him into who you want him to be .
Thank you. It's just that when I put distance between us the first time, and then we got back together, he was ultra committed and serious about settling down and made me believe he really cared for me. He went on and on about it, that's why I took him back. Part of me just feels like we're at a stale mate, the more upset I get, the more he retreats and I just don't know what to do to reverse it.
He likes things the way they are . He will say anything to you to keep them that way . " Yes I'm sorry, yes I'll change"
@Kr1stina I know what you mean, just part of me feels like he genuinely does care and wants those things but needs to feel 100% comfortable and we just need to get to that place in order for it to happen. Maybe I'm just being delusional or naive...
You're 31 and you want someone lovely who's ready to move into the next stage of your lives and get married and have children.
He's older and he doesn't know what he wants, but it's not what you want.
Move on. I know it's hard but we don't want to be here in five years time when you're worrying that he still doesn't want to commit and you are desperate for children.
There are lots of lovely men your age - pack this one in.
@ImperialBlether Thanks, yes you're probably right. Just feel too world-weary to get back on the 'singles market' at my age.
He won't change because it's in his nature to be this way. He doesn't seem keen on even moving in together, so what hope has this relationship. Do you want DCs? Cos he doesn't sound like he does. Is he on the spectrum? The lack of eagerness to have sleepovers etc and the reluctance to change the relationship up to the next gear make me think he is. Either that or he just isn't interested in settling down. Maybe he has doubts about being with you long term and that's why he's so reluctant to push ahead? Dunno, but he doesn't sound like he's the 'one', OP.
Do you have any single friends or family you could go on holiday with this summer?
1. His behaviour that first time u crashed at his suggest he has issues. Big issues from his last relationship and has clearly not come to terms with them in the last 18 months.
2. U have given this guy 18 months. He knows u want to make some kind of commitment and at least move in together. U ultimately I guess would like to have kids. He doesn't seem ready to do that but he wants to carry on dating on his terms. Which shows that he hasn't thought about ur best interest. He is wasting ur best years without being willing to offer u a future or hope of a future or marriage and kids.
3. At 31, you don't have many years to waste on someone who can't offer u commitment at some point. How long r u willing to wait it out? Do u really think he will change in a year? Then what if he doesn't? Start dating again? Why waste time?
If I was you, I would write him a note and explain that you love him and would have liked to have a future with him but its clear you both don't want the same thing for the future.
Apologise for looking at his phone because that's inexcusable and u shouldn't have done it.
Maybe suggest taking a break?
Start looking at your options?
It seems he's turned u into an insecure person. U clearly had no problems dating. Being away from him will be hard but at least it's the summer and u can go out enjoy urself. Don't waste ur time on someone who doesn't appreciate your true self or value the love and commitment u r willing to offer.
Yes you are delusional and naive. You are also manipulative. You are plotting ways to say and do the right things to make him change into your ideal partner because the real him is not acceptable to you. Not OK.
If you are having lots of arguments in an 18month relationship, then that is a bad relationship no matter what the reason. Having arguments because he isn't behaving like the boyfriend you want to have is very bad news. You split up and seek other people who actually are what you each want.
@ImperialBlether I met this man through friends at a party. I live in London and it's so difficult to meet people, besides from sleazebags on Tinder. He just seemed like a breath of fresh air compared to all of them. Part of me thinks I was so lucky to meet him and whether all those things (marriage and kids etc.) are really all that important, maybe I'm being to demanding...?
Seems like he is afraid of commitment, doesn't want his life to change so much, seems like you want more than he is prepared to offer right now???
Accept it or don't.
You are "world-weary" at 31?
You will be if you pursue this dead-in-the-water relationship any further!
a grip out and live your life FGS!
@Gide Thanks I think everyone's been pretty much unanimous on here. It's so difficult because on paper that's what I would say to someone too. A lot trickier when you're living the situation and want to try and save it because you love that person and can't imagine being without them.
@ImperialBlether Not really, all my friends are settled down pretty much.
I would say, too, that you should be alone for a while rather than plunge straight back into dating, so no need to fear that treadmill.
You sound like you could do with liking yourself a bit more.
@Alpies Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes he definitely has quite serious issues. Do you really think writing a note is a good idea instead of face-to-face?
@CharlotteCollins Thanks. Yes I have major self-esteem issues which doesn't help matters. I feel like this is going to crop up in every relationship I have...
Oh, you're still young!
Plenty more fish in the sea (& frogs in the pond)
If it ain't right, it ain't right.
Sounds like you'd benefit from some YOU time. Get to know yourself. Have some fun. He doesn't want what you want & you can't make him.
Good luck OP. I'm in a very similar place & it's exhausting.
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