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Dating a tortured soul

(24 Posts)
BonneMaman77 Thu 22-Dec-16 10:14:33

Any advice welcome please!

I'm in a relationship with a lovely man. His situation is: two teenage kids, divorced 8 years but no financial settlement yet because ex wouldn't accept what he gave and what she wants was too high. He is working on a new startup for the last 2-3 years and it is moving forward well now. To do this his day job is levels below what he used to do and a resulting paycut.

He had a very conservative Christian up bringing and no divorcees in the family. Therefore he sees like he has failed in all aspects of life.

He is a warm loving and thoughtful partner and a very hands on father. A pretty decent folk of course not perfect.

He goes down the hell hole of being a failure in the eyes of his family and beats himself about it. He is very hard on himself. He can't afford a psychologist now. I hate seeing him down but don't know how to help him. He also doesn't beleive or understand that I would want to be with him despite him having nothing (material that is) to offer me. Cant take it that I am with him because I love him and i know he loves me. I Am recently divorced but "sorted" life.

Can I help him? What can I do?
Does it get easier? This is getting me down.

jeaux90 Thu 22-Dec-16 10:58:30

You aren't responsible for "fixing" him.

All you can do is be a kind and supportive partner but unless he takes the steps to forgive himself or work on his lack of self esteem then it's a thankless task.

Maybe over time his issues will lessen but then you know that people don't change.

I would be slightly confused at his financial settlement not being sorted yet though after all that time!

RockStonePebble Thu 22-Dec-16 11:03:36

This will sound harsh. Brace yourself OP.

You cannot fix him. He is a grown man. If he wants to, he could take the time and necessary steps to sort out his own issues. If he can't afford to do this privately, he could acesss CBT via his GP (and a significant waiting list admittedly) or try the self help route. Since he hasn't done so, he presumably doesn't think it's worth his time.

8 years? For a financial settlement? Why haven't they gone to court and let a judge sort it?

Cricrichan Thu 22-Dec-16 11:49:45

Hmm. He's a bit woe is me, isn't he? Plenty of us have had upbringings where there were no divorces etc but yet have failed relationships and children with different men etc. Yes, there is lamentation but ultimately happiness that we have that choice now.

By all means support him but don't be scared to tell him that he needs to pull himself together and be glad that his business is picking up, he has a girlfriend who loves him and kids who are ok etc. His financial situation should only be temporary as his business either picks up or he can go back to concentrating on his job.

Merriment Thu 22-Dec-16 12:25:42

He's dragging you down with him. As pp have said you can't fix him.

Newbrummie Thu 22-Dec-16 12:27:23

Bugger that, first sign of it I'm out

expatinscotland Thu 22-Dec-16 12:29:32

Too much drama for me. He's an adult. He's responsible for fixing himself.

Every1lovesPatsy Thu 22-Dec-16 12:32:25

he sounds draining.........poor me....Jesus no-one's life is's all in our mindset's.

Maybe tell him to go to the Doctor but other than that don't take on the burden of his mental health. You are not a crutch.

Pickanameanyoldname Thu 22-Dec-16 12:32:41

No financial settlement, doing a job levels below what he should be doing with a resultant pay cut, and trying to start his own business. Are you sure he's not trying to stiff the ex financially?

He's very woe is me, isn't he. With a big emphasis on the finances. Has he asked or hinted to borrow money from you yet? Does he pay his way when you're out together?

You do know he could have got his shit together quite easily in the past 8 years if he'd wanted to, don't you?

Saucery Thu 22-Dec-16 12:34:57

He sounds like bloody hard work.
Tortured Souls may seem like a challenge but you will probably never change him. He needs to do that for himself.

HerBigChance Thu 22-Dec-16 12:39:10

Agree with pp. He is presenting himself as a project, rather than equal partner.

singleandfabulous Thu 22-Dec-16 12:42:05

Oh god, I got rid of one of these about three years ago (after much posting on here).

It was exhausting. This guy sounds similar. You can't save him. He can only save/help himself. Given the fact that it's been 8 years, I'd assume that he's enjoying revelling in his misery and blaming hte ex for all his woes.

Avoid. He won't suddenly become the man you want him to be.

ChicRock Thu 22-Dec-16 12:43:14

Tortured soul, fucks sake, the only thing tortured would be my ears listening to such a whiny gobshite.

CatsAndCocktails Thu 22-Dec-16 12:44:35

I wouldn't get involved with him. Get out now whilst it is easier.

expatinscotland Thu 22-Dec-16 12:46:05

Yeah, sounds like he's trying to stall on the finances until the kids are adults. Cut back on paid work. Can't afford a psychologist but can afford to dump all of his girlfriend with his 'woe is me' act. Ask yourself why you think this is the best you can do? I think he's trying to fuck over his ex and kids financially.

AmberEars Thu 22-Dec-16 12:58:26

I agree that taking a lower paid job while trying to start his own business sounds (on the face of it) like someone who wants to avoid maintenance payments to his ex.

Saggingninja Thu 22-Dec-16 12:58:56


"Tortured soul, fucks sake, the only thing tortured would be my ears listening to such a whiny gobshite."


'Tortured soul' sounds like a teenage girl's description of the selfish prick that everyone else sees. I don't mean to be unkind to you Bonne but eight years with no settlement? Are you absolutely sure that he's not playing power games with his ex? Have you heard the ex's side of the story? And most importantly, is he paying his share of bills etc?

I was brought up in a Christian household and even as a child I was strongly aware that men were considered superior ('The Bible says so'). Also my dad had a very strong streak of 'poor me' and the combination of the two was absolutely exhausting to be around.

How do you feel around him? Are you happy and energised? Or do you feel you have to damp down your own feelings as you are always have to consider his?

fallenempires Thu 22-Dec-16 13:07:19

8 years is a long time to let this sort of stuff drag on,I can't get my head round that tbh & I speak as a divorcee.
All you can really do is let him know that you love him & are there for him.Encourage him to see his GP but don't be surprised if he doesn't as men are less likely to admit that they have depression than women.
I think that if he was taking AD's he would have the clarity of thought needed to address all these issues.

Newbrummie Thu 22-Dec-16 13:08:57

My divorce has been going on 4 years partly through circumstance and partly through in action on the other parties behalf but it's exhausting. 8 years down the line ic be thinking fuck it let the judge decide if we can't agree

TempusEedjit Thu 22-Dec-16 13:10:54

In eight years he could have sorted finances, the courts will only let things drag on for so long. How hands on as a father is he? If it's 50/50 with no child support changing hands then fair enough that he starts his business whilst his kids are still dependant. If not, then why now? Why not wait till his teens are older unless he wants to screw over his ex?

fallenempires Thu 22-Dec-16 13:11:44

That's the charitable/caring side of me talking,but PP's may have a point!

jeaux90 Thu 22-Dec-16 13:45:53

Chicrock gringringrin

BonneMaman77 Thu 22-Dec-16 13:55:20

Apart from this topic which comes up maybe once or twice a month, we have a good realtionship. It's come up more recently as he has been on holiday back with family and friends.

We talk about any and everything. He is very supportive of stuff I am dealing with re difficult parents and job change. We don't live together or any financial entanglement. Nights out are split equally.

He pays out for everything for the ex and kids. His kids go to private school he pays for it. His ex didn't work initially and now works as a teaching assistant. He started the business when his oldest daughter insisted on state school to spite her mother (daughter told me this).

I find it draining more recently as the frequency has increased. I don't know if it'll go back to normal levels once he is here which is manageable. But the point is I want him to get over it.

I am from similar cultural pressures and divorced. I don't feel the way he does and dealt with it so very much better and can't understand why he can't get over it. And then I think I am being insensitive and judgemental.

He is always very sorry for feeling this way and burdening me (his words). But it keeps coming up.
I just needed to know whether I am being unreasonable.

I get it tho. I can't fix it and if it becomes an issue for me then I need to do something about it. Thank you

Hermonie2016 Thu 22-Dec-16 14:07:05

This will sound harsh but you seem to be his rescuer rather than having a relationship with an equal.

How old are you? It's not healthy to want to make it better for him.I am having to learn that as 15 years ago I got involved with a lovely man who had not thrpugh his previous divorce well.

I thought I was in a good place, great job, own house, good friends but looking back I should not have even tried to help him.That was my baggage.

Secure people do not get into relationships where the other person is struggling.This will not end well for you but I appreciate it might not yet be possible to see it.

You are making a choice to have a relationship with a tortured soul (aka damaged, non recovered, emotionally unavailable person).
I'm not saying he's beyond help but it isn't your job.

Good relationships happen when both parties are in healthy places.

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