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Never sure if it's my own insecurity, or something else? How do you trust your own feelings?

(14 Posts)
WhippinPiccadilly1 Tue 10-Jan-17 01:23:24

I've been in a relationship for 6 months. Initially there was a huge spark, real palpable chemistry. He was quick to affirm the relationship, and our exclusivity.
He is attentive, in that he will message every day, sometimes call if he hasn't messaged (he dislikes talking on the phone). We see each other reasonably regularly. He lives right around the corner.

We both have young children. He has a baby who turns 1 next week. I have a 19 month old, 4 year old and a 14 year old. His contact pattern was every weekend, fri-sun. It's now continually altering due to shift patterns. (His hours and days were forcably changed in October). My oldest sees his dad one overnight per week usually. My youngest don't have any contact with their father.

We both work 12 hour shifts. I work 2 set days per week. He works a set 4 week rota, with either 3 or 4 consecutive 12 hour shifts.

So, we clearly have a lot of commitments, and our time together is pulled by this. At present we usually get one day a week (my children are in nursery 1 day a week) together. We get 2 evenings a week on average also. Evening being 7.30-9.30 if it's a work night for him, or til 11 at the latest if not.

Baring all this in mind, I'm torn over whether my expectations are reasonable or if I'm being selfish.

I feel, already, that the initial effort he made to fall in love, once secured, has stopped. There's no romance. No real effort from him. That alone makes me want to end the relationship. But we have 4 children, 3 of them very young! He's tired, his baby doesn't sleep well, he has one night a week of unbroken sleep, the rest of the week he's working or has his baby (he starts work at 6am, so has to be up at 4.45). I feel unreasonable to have expectations of romance. If we were married and the children were all our own, there would be little in the way of romance.

There are other issues, he's always late (hours late) with crap excuses, or no excuse. He doesn't seem to allow himself to emotionally connect (in that I feel there is a distance between us that isn't growing closer). Sex is infrequent due to the above. It's usually only the day we get together once a week.

But I'm constantly finding myself questioning my own feelings. I feel ridiculous for wanting romance, and fun, and to feel emotionally connected to someone. After 6 months? With such young children?

So I'm left with wanting to end it. But wondering if by ending it now, I could be missing out on something in the longer term when our children are a little older.

In short, I'm conflicted. It isn't even my head vs heart. It's head vs head. It's tying me in knots.

daisychain01 Tue 10-Jan-17 01:45:03

Even if you took away the shift patterns, having significant commitments with those DC of different ages and care needs doesn't give a relationship a good chance of success.

Add the working arrangements and honestly, it all sounds massively complicated. I expect that's what your DP is feeling, but not saying.

I would knock it on the head, but that's because it sounds less fun and more agro to me!

WhippinPiccadilly1 Tue 10-Jan-17 02:05:58

I have tentatively asked him how he feels about the relationship. I told him I don't think it will work. He was adamant that I was wrong. It would. And that it was a short term problem until he found a new job, meaning his work life balance would improve. He's right in a sense - it worked well until the new shift pattern started. We had 3 proper evenings either in, or on a date during the week, and one evening on a weekend where he would have a babysitter for the evening, or I would. He was nowhere near as tired.

But do I want to wait and see if it changes? I don't think I do. I feel unhappy. But I'm not sure if I'm making myself unhappy.

I think if I went in with a discussion on how things weren't working for me, he would keep insisting that it would work, and I was being silly. And emotional. I don't think he wants the relationship to end. He doesn't give me that impression. The opposite to be honest. I think it suits him as it is. It's just me who it doesn't suit.

daisychain01 Tue 10-Jan-17 07:18:22

I'd go on how you feel. In a sense, it doesn't matter what he says, if you don't think it's working, then that's your reality.

Soldiering on til the bitter end is nobody's idea of fun, just because he doesn't have it in him to recognise the arrangements are not viable.

LesisMiserable Tue 10-Jan-17 08:23:09

He's obviously not going to agree with you saying it doesnt/isnt going to work. If he doesn't give the diametrically opposed answer then it means he believes it wont either and if neither of you do why are you together. He obviously thinks its going ok. You don't. The ball is in your court entirely. Either put up or shut up as they say. But if you decide to continue, stop saying negative things about it, you'll kill it stone dead then wonder why. If its not working for you, you've every right to end it and find someone who fits better.

WhippinPiccadilly1 Tue 10-Jan-17 22:56:56

When you say, stop saying negative things, can you clarify? Saying them here? To myself? To him?

We have never rowed, or argued. We get along very well. I've asked him once how he feels the relationship is working, and said that I feel long term things might not work due to our own personal circumstances. We didn't row about that, it was a civilised conversation, but one that he was adamant that I was wrong and that things would work out.

Still feeling conflicted tonight. I didn't much feel like talking today so I didn't message him. He messaged when we got in from work. I was putting children to bed. Within 15 minutes he'd sent 2 further texts clearly worried why I wasn't speaking to him (I wasn't not speaking, I just had nothing to say previously). So I replied, and we had a few texts. I'll see him tomorrow, but as always, he hasn't arranged a time. So I'm just to guess when he will show (and if he does give a time, he will show later than the time says). There's no point in me giving a time. He won't stick to it (infuriating!).

But regardless, I am looking forward to being with him. I always feel content when he's around.

springydaffs Tue 10-Jan-17 23:08:03

Gosh. You've SO MUCH on your plate! Most couples take years to gradually build up to that level of commitments. You've only had 6 months.

He's not really making an effort is he? That would piss me off tbh. You gotta keep the home fires burning, somehow - yet he's settled in and expects it all to just, well, work without putting in the effort. Eg being on time (that would send me round the twist!), giving you some attention. It's not enough to say, or insist, it'll be ok; he has to put in the effort.

You're not happy and that's that. Perhaps go on a break for, say, 6 months and see where you stand then.

WhippinPiccadilly1 Tue 10-Jan-17 23:30:18

Yes, that's something I have considered an option. Another 9-12 months would probably make a big difference for both of us.

I just feel.... Unreasonable. Like I should suck it up because of our circumstances. But then there's only so much sucking it up one can do....

I think I will broach the subject of romance. And see his reaction. Just a light hearted talk, to see if he thinks it's important in a relationship.

I need time to figure out what I want to do. But I need to be sure before I do.

It won't be this week. I've still not decided on a school for my 4 year old, who is quite likely to be autistic. That's my immediate priority. After that I need to put a lot more thought in to if this relationship will work for me.

LesisMiserable Wed 11-Jan-17 11:13:36

Negative things to him like you dont see it working long term, How would you feel if someone said that to you?

LesisMiserable Wed 11-Jan-17 11:15:37

Also if romance was important to him, dont you think he'd be being romantic already? Yes you could have a nice talk about it and encourage him to fit the romantic template you'd like. See how that works out.

LesisMiserable Wed 11-Jan-17 11:26:40

I can totally sympathise with the lateness though...my DP was routinely an hour or more late, fair play he lives an hour away but that just means he had only just set off at the time he said he'd arrive ! Used to drive me nuts. He's a lot better now that I pointed out the obvious - that my time is as precious and important as his and he was being extremely bad mannered.

cbigs Wed 11-Jan-17 11:26:42

This sounds tough op but two things stick out to me... him not agreeing a time wtf is that about ? He's not a child he needs to say I'll be there at 6 say and call if he's running late . That's not difficult . If he's not prepared to do this I'd bin him off anyway.
And the second thing is 6 months is still honeymoon period really... romance doesn't need to cost anything and he's capable of it because he was initially. So I'd maybe raise that with him. I don't think it's unreasonable to want romance full stop at this stage of the relationship no matter why the circumstances. It can be in why he says it leaving you notes , or doing the washing up for you if you're knackered etc!
This would bother me this early on so although you do both have a lot on your plate if he's not bothered at this stage I don't agree that this will change when his job does.. sad

Kidnapped Wed 11-Jan-17 11:32:49

"he's always late (hours late) with crap excuses, or no excuse"

That would bother me enough to finish it. It is disrespectful to you. You have a full-on life and I'm guessing that you would like to organise things so that you can both make the best of the limited time available together. If he strolls in unannounced just as you are trying to feed or bath the children then that would be annoying. All of that could be avoided if he'd just say "Let me make you lunch. I'll be over by 1pm".

Does he turn up when he hopes the children will be in bed?

ocelot7 Wed 11-Jan-17 11:35:20

6 months is still very new to be thinking too far ahead. Just go with the flow for now smile
You say the problem has been his new shift pattern which will hopefully change when he gets a new job - can't you hang in there for a bit?
With 4 kids between you I think you need to be realistic about the prospects for 'romance' for now - what do you expect him to do (& are you already doing it)?
And realistic about the prospects of finding it with someone else....
I think it is possible to be romantic in yr circs - eg candlelit dinner when kids in bed, stargazing.... - but only when people are not digtired!

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