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OK, deep breath..

(56 Posts)
lovetobeatpeace Thu 16-Feb-17 12:33:06

Sorry, this is going to be long.....

I think I'm coming to the realisation that I need to end my 8 year relationship on the basis that it isn't giving me what I need.

The very real struggle I'm having though is that he is a decent and kind man and on the face of it, there is nothing actually "wrong" as such. We rub along OK but there is virtually no intimacy, we see each other for maybe 12 hours per week on the weekend (this is not a long distance relationship btw) and speak on the phone sporadically during the week. I ALWAYS go to his place - he never comes to mine and I feel like the relationship has evolved on mostly his terms.

We holiday together and are lucky in that we both have high paying jobs so are able to enjoy nice places, hotels, experiences etc and he's been incredibly supportive and kind during my cancer battle a couple of years ago and issues with my mother & ex-h. We do have some lovely times for sure. On the rare occasions I get a glimpse of intimacy or we share a special moment, I literally want to weep.

He took me out on valentines night - had sent flowers and a card to my office, came to collect me for a surprise meal - all very thoughtful (which he is). During said meal we were loosely discussing him retiring in a year or so & we got onto the subject of planning/commitment (I'm sure I brought it up but can't properly remember). His response was that all I'm concerned about is how much money he can put my way. What?! This is an ongoing issue in our relationship - him thinking I'm some kind of gold digger & looking for a free ride. I am perfectly able to pay my own way (& do) I am not intending to retire for another 9-10 years at which point my mortgage will be clear and I have my own pension.

I ended up getting upset & went to the restaurant loo to have a cry.... he didn't really speak much after that. On the drive back to my house, he said it was the worst valentines day he's had other than when he was single (he's late 50's). I said I did appreciate the effort he's gone to but the sad look on his face as he drove away from my house made me feel bad. On paper, I should have been happy shouldn't I? Lots of people didn't even get a card.

So, since then I've really been thinking about whether this relationship makes me happy & overall I would say it doesn't. BUT, I'm questioning the validity of my own feelings. After my cheating ex ran off with OW I should be glad I'm with a good, kind, thoughtful man shouldn't I? What about if I never meet anyone else who's kind to me? Then I remember all the things about the relationship which I have come to accept as normal & wonder why I accept these things?

He thinks I'm after his money, sees me as intellectually inferior/stupid, doesn't fancy me (my post cancer body is different & that's pretty much when the sex stopped), we sleep in separate rooms as I snore/he's a light sleeper and I feel little I do is good enough to meet his (very) exacting standards. I wonder why he's still with me actually.

I am coming to realise also that I'm co-dependant in some way and have compromised myself almost out of existence. I know I'm a people pleaser, that I bend & flex to what others want to keep the peace. I saw my mother do it when I was growing up, I did it in my marriage & I'm doing it now. Not being honest with either myself or my partner/s and saying what I want/don't want for fear that they may not like it.

I was very clear last night (when I was journaling) on the facts as they are re my relationship, but in the cold light of day, my resolve is weakening. It's not so bad is it? I should be grateful that he's a good man, I could do much worse?. I feel frightened about ending things because my future would have nothing in it and perhaps I'd regret letting him go.

Can anyone help me unscramble my jumbled thoughts? Do I listen to and trust my inner voice or AIBU?

I could write loads more, but I feel so completely torn atm I need to find some clarity from somewhere.


Youallpissmeoff Thu 16-Feb-17 12:40:08

Love - it isn't fine. Sorry.
He thinks you want his money
He sees you as his inferior
He does not want sex with your post cancer body - he doesn't even want cuddles or touching.

In fact I think one of those alone would be a deal breaker for most people. You have all three of them.

I can't post for long as have sick kid to look after but I wanted to say that you aren't wrong. This isn't a good relationship. The good think is you are financially independent and have realised you are co-dependent. Now you have to take this forward.

Leave him and his precious bags of gold and fussy cock.
Work on yourself. A bit of therapy would be a good idea so you don't fall into the same trap again.

I've never felt lonelier or sadder than in bad relationships. Being on my own has been a breeze in comparison.

Onwards and upwards Love. This is not the life you deserve or should settle for.

lovetobeatpeace Thu 16-Feb-17 12:50:12

Thanks youall.

I feel terribly lonely a lot of the time and although I am very grateful I have my own house & security, I crave a relationship where talk of the future is "allowed" and (pathetically) I want commitment in the form of living together etc. I now realise this is mainly for self validation - but it's been incredibly hard to get over my abandonment issues after ex left me for OW. I just want to feel someone loves and wants me enough to be happy to plan a future with me.

This sounds pathetic for a 50 year old professional woman doesn't it - I definitely need therapy I think because I feel so wobbly & uncertain.

my partner thinks that not arguing is a good thing in our relationship but the real truth is that we barely talk & so much is "off limits". If I try to raise sensitive issues, I'm stonewalled because I'm "ruining" his weekend just by bringing it up. Then he gets focussed on how many nice things he does for me which ends up with me getting upset or feeling even more confused.

Happybunny19 Thu 16-Feb-17 12:51:14

This situation sounds soul destroying and I really don't think he's decent or kind in any way. You feel intellectually inferior and undesirable, nobody's partner should make them feel this way. Finish it and surround yourself with positive people who don't make you feel bad about yourself. You've survived cancer and it's now time to enjoy the extra life you have. He doesn't enhance your life in any way.

MatildaTheCat Thu 16-Feb-17 13:01:34

Hmmm, you aren't allowed to mention a LOT of things, are you? Important things like the future, your needs, your lives together, as a couple.

He wants someone to meet up with when he pleases and go on a few dates and holidays. Almost, I hate to say, an escort. He sounds as if he has major issues. I'm sorry but if you don't like this, (and who would?) you need to take a deep breath and finish it. Eight years is too long so don't waste any more time.

You are a successful woman and deserve better. A period of singleness and reflection sounds a good plan. I'd bet my last dollar that you can and will meet someone far more worthy of yo, probably when you least expect it.

Lastly, he may well try to talk you out of finishing and make out you are being unreasonable so possibly just say it's not working anymore and leave it at that.

PidgeyfinderGeneral Thu 16-Feb-17 13:02:33

God, what is it with some men who think all women, however solvent they are in their own right, must be after their money? It doesn't sound like a happy or fulfilling relationship and the occasional gesture of kindness couldn't erase the fact he thinks you're an inferior gold-digger who he doesn't even want to have sex with.

You sound like a normal and grounded person, don't waste your life with this man - he isn't worth it. Sorry.

CalmItKermitt Thu 16-Feb-17 13:06:53

Aaaargh! Finish it! Move on! You've loads to offer and you deserve a man who can offer you what you deserve! Not money - time. Love. Intimacy.

You sound so lovely 💐

Adora10 Thu 16-Feb-17 13:18:42

He's massively insulting you and I think you could meet someone far nicer. He doesn't sound good at all, in fact he sounds cruel.
1. Thinks you're inferior
2. Doesn't like your body
3. Thinks you're after his money

I think you are brainwashed by him, he has no good qualities whatsoever, in fact being with him would make me seriously depressed.

lovetobeatpeace Thu 16-Feb-17 13:20:17

Thankyou so much all of you. (getting a bit teary).

I've been doubting my own voice for so long, it's so lovely to hear that perhaps I'm not crazy, or hard work, or ungrateful. The funny thing is that he tells me that I haven't got a bad bone in my body & I don't deserve all the bad things which have happened to me (ex ex, cancer etc) but he completely fails to see that he might be just another person who's treating me poorly.

I agree a period of singledom & reflection is what's needed - although that's a scary thought given I've never really been single - I seem to lurch from one relationship to the other, being too trusting, too eager to believe I might have found my happy ever after then am afraid to pull the plug when I'm not happy, instead bending, compromising and putting my own needs so far down the list, I forget I have any.

The thought of starting over at 50 is bloody scary - I wish I could glimpse the future just to see that it's not so bad.

DeterminedToChange Thu 16-Feb-17 13:23:11

He thinks I'm after his money, sees me as intellectually inferior/stupid, doesn't fancy me (my post cancer body is different & that's pretty much when the sex stopped), we sleep in separate rooms as I snore/he's a light sleeper and I feel little I do is good enough to meet his (very) exacting standards. I wonder why he's still with me actually.

There are tons of reasons in there to dump this man. He must make you feel really bad about yourself.

Think about the flowers he sent - he sent them to work, didn't he? Now he could have brought them round to your house, but he chose to send them to work so that everyone could see what a great boyfriend you had.

And then within hours he's calling you a golddigger, so he's clearly NOT a great boyfriend!

He can't even keep up the pretence for a full day!

I think you'll feel great when you've got rid of him.

spankhurst Thu 16-Feb-17 13:23:37

Ask yourself if you want to be feeling the same way this time next year. I'm guessing not. I think your only option is to end things, sadly. You're only 50, you sound bright, sensitive and genereally lovely, and you are financially secure. You're a total catch! Good luck.

Adora10 Thu 16-Feb-17 13:23:52

50 is not old OP! Not anymore anyway.

Spend time on your own, it might give him the shock he needs, you are too nice for him but more importantly it will show you that you can be quite happy on your own, tbh, he'd make me feel shit about myself, that's not love or even a partnership, he should be enhancing your life, he's not.

tipsytrifle Thu 16-Feb-17 13:24:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OutToGetYou Thu 16-Feb-17 13:30:37

I am in the process of leaving an ex of seven years who, on paper, is lovely. But in reality has actually been pretty manipulative. Everyone thinks I'm the bad guy. But I've had my light bulb moment, I'm not the bad guy, I tried for long enough.

I'd suggest this chap is also being manipulative, not allowing you to talk about things, not validating your feelings, taking away your agency.

It's not easy, I am around the same age as you, also a well-put-together professional, but you can do it. I am having counselling to make sure I don't end up in this hole again.

It's time to stop relying on someone who doesn't give you genuine sincere and selfless support.

MrsMozart Thu 16-Feb-17 13:31:13

Walk away sweetie.

There's a man out there who'll think you're the bees knees.

GTS Thu 16-Feb-17 13:33:04

Congrats on beating cancer OP. Your body should be worshipped by anybody that cares for you.
I think you know you need to end it. No, on paper you should NOT be happy about a lot of things, least of all your valentines day. I'd rather not get a card than end up crying in the toilet and being called a gold digger.
You sound like you have had rather a hard time of it. Some counselling may be beneficial. You are not pathetic, you are worth far FAR more than this man is offering you.

Youallpissmeoff Thu 16-Feb-17 14:08:29

Agree with the others. I don't think you sound or are pathetic at all. Far from it.

You aren't allowed to talked about stuff, your views dismissed, you are stonewalled and branded a gold digger/unattractive/needy and and AND you still have the strength and insight to recognise this is not good. This is not kind.

That isn't pathetic. Of course you are going to be wobbly and teary. You have feelings that are surfacing. Use them to motivate you are make you realise he is wrong. A friendship shouldn't leave you feeling bad. A romance shouldn't either.

Get out and work on yourself (also super scary but brave). You are lovely and clever and insightful. He is a controlling arsehole.

CityMole Thu 16-Feb-17 14:10:13

You sounds lovely, he does not. He sounds really quite insecure and boy, has he done a number on you, making you feel so worthless that you think he is good and kind (he's not) or some kind of catch (newsflash- he's not).

Sounds like you've already decided that you deserve better than this (good girl).

The relationship you describe with him is really no more than a friendship anyway, and not a very rewarding or secure one either. I think you will be so much happier away from the influence of being beholden in some way to this person, and then you can start working on rebuilding your self esteem.

lovetobeatpeace Thu 16-Feb-17 14:29:09

thanks again everyone. This is really helping to tease out my thoughts.

He's on the spectrum (didn't mean to drip feed but it is relevant I guess) & because of the person I am, I've given him a lot of leniency because of this. I don't feel he deliberately tries to manipulate or be cruel - it just manifests itself this way. He genuinely does try to do the right thing but gets it wrong a lot.

Add to this that I feel a bit responsible for his happiness (he is naturally not a happy person so I spend a lot of time trying to encourage him to see the positives) adds weight to reasons why I've stuck with him.

I absolutely do feel beholden to him too - he reminds me often enough of all the things I get for "free" - even when they don't cost him anything either. There's just no need for it. I once said to him that if he couldn't give with good grace then he shouldn't give. That caused a row, us going home early & me getting in the car & driving back home.

OutToGetYou Thu 16-Feb-17 15:04:59

A lot of my friends have suggested my now-ex is on the spectrum actually. He works in IT so spends most of his time deep in code and works on his own much of the time from home (then tells me there is no sexism in the workplace, women just make it up, but anyway...).

I think even if this is the case people can learn the right ways of behaving in society. My ex was always very good at telling me all the things he did for me (which generally seemed to literally 'boil' down to "I make you cups of tea") but not so great at accepting when I was less than satisfied with his way of behaving.

When it comes down to it, you've got to think of your own happiness and it sounds as if this was your lightbulb moment.

lovetobeatpeace Thu 16-Feb-17 16:09:14

OutToGetYou, thanks.

My partner has, without fail, made me a cup of coffee every morning we have been together. He does loads of "acts of service" and every time I raise an issue about how I'm not happy with something or other, he gets a bit arsey and reminds me how many nice things he does for me. He makes me feel very ungrateful & I know he thinks I am too.

This is so bloody hard - yes, I have had a bit of a lightbulb moment but the thought of actually going through with ending our relationship fills me with dread. I suppose one of the good things about living on my own & not seeing much of him is that I can withdraw for a bit and sort my thoughts out in peace.

Thing is, I saw all the red flags right from the start but continually waved them away as, on balance I felt the relationship had more ups than downs. By doing this, I normalised the behaviour and slowly the balance shifted and I still thought this was normal. It's amazing what becomes acceptable when you have no reference point &/or doubt your own sanity.

To the outside world (other than those who think he's a bit "odd") he seems charming, caring and romantic. I talk to friends about the positives and they coo and say, "oh how lovely". I nod and smile. I feel happy for a short while & think "yes, he is lovely", then something will happen the next time we see each other & I'll be in tears again.

Oh dear...

Adora10 Thu 16-Feb-17 16:12:49

Forget what others perceive him like, nobody is in your shoes and what you see on the outside could be completely different to what's going on inside so taking their views is pointless.

The man has you in tears and by the sounds of it, you are only about tolerating this relationship simply because you are having some time apart - no doubt to recover from his spitefulness.

Life is short OP, do you really what to spend it being put down by an arsehole who I bet is no Brad Pitt.

tipsytrifle Thu 16-Feb-17 16:23:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

springydaffs Thu 16-Feb-17 16:35:26

After 8 years this is what you've got?? Him thinking he's doing you a massive favour as long as you keep quiet??

Girl, dump his sorry spectrum arse. There's no excuse for this.

Get into therapy, go to CoDA. You are worth heaps more than this flowers

ITCouldBeWorse Thu 16-Feb-17 16:39:22

He sounds an Arse. You sound fab.

Move on for something more real.

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