Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I need some perspective please!

(19 Posts)
acarnamedwanda Tue 11-Apr-17 01:01:48

Please help me get some perspective! NC as previous posts may have outed me.

I came out of a physically and abusive marriage early last year. I had the number of a contact of exDH's who I needed to contact late last year regarding my car (I had issues with it and it was actually exDH who gave me his number so I could call him if need be). Despite being married for 10+ years, I had only seen this guy a couple of times by this point at most. He himself got divorced in 2014. I need to say that my turbulent relationship with the ex was unfortunately public knowledge- I took out a court order against him in 2014 but pressure from his family meant I gave him a second chance.

Upon first contact, it was exactly what it was meant to be- a couple of things altering on my car and that was it. It then started getting flirty and one thing led to another. We were/are FWB. We would meet up every week for sex, casually text each other in between the week etc. He then told me that if circumstances were different (he didn't know my ex), that he wouldn't give it a second thought about being with me. He told his sister overseas about me, and said he would give anything to have met me years ago and have married me instead.

Fast forward a few months. He has had a rough time with a business partner and found out a relative was seriously ill. He said he needed some space to clear his head. The following day he went abroad to see his family. I didn't contact him for the best part of a week as I respected his need for space. We are contacts on snapchat and I knew he had been looking at what I had been posting for days after he left. He then messaged me to let me know how things were with his relative and since then, a week ago, he seems to have become so much 'warmer' than when he left. We have chatted about how hurt we've been in our marriages, that we are scared of getting hurt again and things became flirty like they used to be.

I jokingly said that if he was abroad in the summer, he would have to join me for a few days (I was planning on going away for a week on my own to the same country, different resort). He then suggested we go somewhere completely different, just the two of us together.

Today he has travelled from abroad since 10am this morning and got a connecting flight where he was waiting four hours. He has spent two hours on the train, but messaged to tell me he had landed and would I like him to come over to see me. He said he understood if I was too tired, and he would see me tomorrow instead.

So, at the risk of sounding like a teenager who has had the biggest grin on her face for the past few days, am I right in thinking that this may be more than just a FWB? We're both so busy in our own lives that for a while, it would still be very casual, but wanting to see me after travelling for 15 hours, and suggesting we go on holiday together is good, right? I need to be careful and not open my heart up too soon to the wrong person. I am only just able to find the real me again, but is it wrong to love the feeling of having someone who wants to be in your company after years of feeling like you're not good enough?

noego Tue 11-Apr-17 02:29:33

Its becoming more than FWB. Tread carefully.

Isetan Tue 11-Apr-17 02:29:41

I think you could be sleep walking into another unsatisfactory relationship.

What lessons have you learnt about yourself from your last relationship? The not feeling good enough is something you need to resolve yourself, it isn't something you can delegate to someone else and by doing so, you're repeating a dynamic that made you unhappy last time.

Personally, this has FWB written all over it and given your history, I don't get the impression you're ready for one, especially with someone connected to with your Ex.

Enough101 Tue 11-Apr-17 06:41:18

Well I think he has been away and has realised that he missed you and wants a bit more? That's how it comes across to me. I would say take it slow, but you have hung back, he is the one pushing forward. Maybe the relative being ill has given him some perspective, he thinks life is too short to be worrying about what your ex might think?

Ellisandra Tue 11-Apr-17 06:55:11

You absolutely have to put your foot down here.
No crap about "I've been hurt before and if only I'd married you years before instead". It's all words and words are cheap.
And - sorry - I know plenty of men (people, but more men) who would happily see a FWB (or someone they were stringing along hmm) after a long journey if it meant guaranteed sex.

I'm not saying he isn't genuine, but I'm saying that nothing you describe is a guarantee that he is.

I would say "all this talk of holidays together, and finding I missed you when you were away - I've realised I'd like to try a proper relationship with you".

If his response is anything less than him grinning like an idiot and saying "YES!" then walk away and keep walking - no more sex on a plate and definitely no more listening to words words words.

Good luck!

HappyJanuary Tue 11-Apr-17 07:47:54

I agree with Ellissndra. You sound excited and I don't want to rain on your parade, but talk is cheap. Anyone can say anything.

Talk of future holidays means nothing and could be designed to reel you back in after 'needing space' and heading abroad; I believe it's called future faking.

Calling you for sex after a long trip means nothing, and of course he would flower the request up to make it more acceptable.

I hope he wants what you want, I really do, but it is actions that reveal motives and his actions do not currently suggest that anything has changed. I think you should ask him outright and you'll get your answer one way or the other.

No matter how much you like him, you need to walk away if he doesn't reciprocate or end up more hurt in the long run.

acarnamedwanda Tue 11-Apr-17 08:28:09

Now I feel a bit of a fool sad

Really hoped that I had found someone that I could have a laugh and a good time with without considering it could just be all words on his part.

Why am I so naive and easily led sad

Can someone slap me in the face with a wet fish please.

Ellisandra Tue 11-Apr-17 08:31:15

Both naïve and cynical people are both able to succumb to hope!

Honestly, if he was genuinely interested I think he would have told you so - so I say this with kindness not to get your hopes up.

But it's OK to tell him you want a relationship. Just don't carry on with him if he "isn't ready" hmm

Isetan Tue 11-Apr-17 09:41:40

Dont underestimate our abilities to listen to the things we want to hear and ignore the stuff we don't want to see and do not underestimate the bull that some men will spout in order to get a bunk up.

He could of course be genuine but it does sound like he's getting his excuses in early, as to why he won't pursue a relationship further after having sex.

acarnamedwanda Tue 11-Apr-17 09:55:13

A friend recently said to me 'enjoy it for what it is, you don't want to get to the stage where you're washing his socks and cooking his tea' and it rang so true. I've had 13 years of that, and I'm now at a stage where I don't have to answer to anybody or plan around someone else etc.

I think that's what I enjoyed/am enjoying- it is casual, he made the effort to get in touch when he was away which made me realise he was thinking of me. The plan was that we were going to meet up at his this afternoon, but I got all giddy when he got in touch yesterday that I just let my guard down.

He is planning on going back overseas again in a few weeks to spend some more time with his family as he said seeing his relative ill made him realise that life is too short. I don't have any surviving family so I know how important that is, but it was when he said that that I realised maybe just how lonely I am and that I may be clinging onto the slightest ounce of hope for that reason. My life is quite empty to be honest where he runs two businesses and so has a lot going on to occupy him each day whereas I tend to mull sad

I am far from ready to try any 'domesticated bliss' again. I'm not ready for a full blown relationship, but did like the glimmer of hope that it might have been more than just sex at some point in the future.

I think where I am confused is that we confide in each other regarding the crap in our lives. He spent a good hour last night chatting about his family and what he did whilst he was there. How do I ever get to a point in my life where I don't question the intentions of any man that I may come across? Is it a fear of being more alone than I already feel? Is it a need to feel adequate and wanted by someone because I didn't have that in my marriage? How do I learn to trust again? sad

user1477381393 Tue 11-Apr-17 10:04:28

Don't feel naïve.. only you know what you are actually like together and when you guys talk, the details you have given here are so brief compared to what it's actually like. Go with your gut feeling on this, once you label it as FWB it changes peoples perspective on your situation. Maybe it isn't FWB and you guys are just casually dating? I personally think him messaging you and asking to see you after travelling shows he's thinking about you and wants to see you. I do however think because you're so excited about it, you should explain that to him and get him to open up to you before you do get hurt.

acarnamedwanda Tue 11-Apr-17 10:16:58

Thank you user, and of course everyone else too.

He messaged me the moment he landed in both countries (he went via another country) and the smile on my face was huge- I haven't had that feeling in such a long time and it felt really good.

I had been doing some really big projects around the home and whilst away he messaged me to tell me that he knew I could do it and I've proved I don't need a man to be able to make a home for myself. I told him that the ex had taken that away from me- he'd made me not able to trust anyone because of the emotional and mental abuse I suffered and that I was scared of getting hurt all over again. He said that he too had had his heart broken and shattered and that he felt the exact same way. It's the little conversations like that. I know so much about his life that would be a lot to share if I was just some girl that he wanted to get his leg over with- or as a PP said, maybe that's his way of buffing it up? I'm questioning things again smile

He is 8 years older than me and quite obviously dotes on his family and is assailants about his work. I just hate the bastard that is my ex who has changed me from such a strong and confident person into someone that questions the be all and end all of everything ever since sad

HappyJanuary Tue 11-Apr-17 10:56:38

But it may all be genuine and moving towards a fuller relationship, it's really just impossible to say from what you've written so far.

I have seen so many friends bowled over by similar behaviour only to be left disappointed, would prefer you to keep your wits about you until there's some certainty.

I really think that, as you are obviously developing feelings for him, you need to make that clear and give him an opportunity to step up or bow out.

You have nothing to lose. If he feels the same, that's a wonderful outcome. If he doesn't, it is better to know now than be one of those women desperately clinging on and hoping he will change his mind, limiting your chances of finding someone else until he eventually moves on with a clear conscience because he always made it clear it was fwb.

acarnamedwanda Tue 11-Apr-17 11:26:06

I think that's the thing HappyJanuary, I'm not sure if I have anything else to go on to decide whether it could ever be anything more.

I gather that he likes the set up of it being so casual. He is out for work at 7am 5 days a week, 9am the other two, and running two businesses means he's not home until late (one if in hospitality). Maybe it's the fact he knows my ex, although he did once say that he wouldn't be bothered at the fact that he knows him if this ever progressed into something else, more worried that people would think he couldn't be trusted as I'm the ex of someone they know (there's a 'community' for want of a better word of men from the same nationality in the area).

He has found me a new car and is helping me get rid of my old one. He has knocked almost £300 off the price of the new car(he is a dealer), because he told me that 'if anything, we are friends, and he wants to help me if he can'.

It's little things like messaging me on Mother's Day saying 'happy mothers day to a great Mum x' buying me a gift at Xmas, telling me if I ever needed help financially that I could go to him. Telling me he practically threw his suitcase in his house last night before getting in his car and driving over.

I sound pathetic. I never had the attention from the ex. I never had this feeling towards him either. It's the feeling of someone paying me the attention and the compliments and everything else that goes with it. I'm scared it will all end in tears, but then can I have that feeling for the rest of my life because I'm scared to trust again? sad

HappyJanuary Tue 11-Apr-17 11:48:46

But all of those little gestures are baseless because it takes seconds to send a text or to say the right things to a woman previously starved of affection.

Anyone could get £300 knocked off the cost of a used car, it's par for the course and built into the price.

The gestures you want are : telling you he wants more than fwb, talking about exclusivity, introducing you to people in his life, giving up things that matter to prioritise you.

Real gestures, putting his money where his mouth is, moving the relationship forwards.

Until you see that, and while he's still referring to you as a friend, it's all just showboating because he likes the current set up and wants to see himself as a decent guy.

acarnamedwanda Tue 11-Apr-17 11:50:33

You're right HappyJanuary. Thank you smile

NearlyFree17 Tue 11-Apr-17 12:00:35

Hey OP this all sounds lovely. I wouldn't get too hung up on what the definition of "FWB" vs casual dating is. My words of advice are

"Never give away more of yourself than you can afford to"

Enjoy it for what it is but take care of yourself.

acarnamedwanda Tue 11-Apr-17 12:07:59

Aww thank you NearlyFree smile those are lovely words.

I've reached a stage in my life where the past week (none of this involving him as he wasn't here), I have finally started to feel control and in charge- it's a lovely, liberating feeling after an abusive marriage. I think the way I feel is almost like I need validation.

I don't want to push things and inevitably push him away. I also don't want to feel like a door mat. At times I feel alone, but I also like my own company and my own routine. A friend told me to enjoy it and stop questioning it all. The inner soul tells me to stop setting myself up for heartache.

I'm my own worst enemy smile

Ellisandra Tue 11-Apr-17 14:39:05

You won't "inevitably" push him away.
If he wants to be in a relationship with you, telling him you want that won't push him away.
If he doesn't want that, I think continued FWB is a bad move for 2 reasons:

1. You clearly want more, even if you're scared of a full relationship again - therefore you'll get hurt if you continue to see him casually

2. You sound like you actually would like a relationship again - so if that's not for him, you'll stop yourself getting back into it by using up time and headspace on him

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: