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.
Boyfriend too set in his ways(146 Posts)
I have been going out with a really lovely guy for six months now. He is a truly lovely boyfriend and treats me incredibly well. He is ten years older than me(30/40).
I have always been a really independent person who loves to travel. I have been happily single for a long time.
When I met him, I fell hard for him, and am so in love with him-a first for me. I have never felt so strongly about anyone before.
He works in my home city, York, but is from another town, 4 hours drive away. Although living here years before I met him, he never liked living here and was constantly going home every weekend. His life was completely at home-he just worked and slept here. Due to his work, he kept living here as it would be so difficult for him to get a job in his home town/area. So really, moving home has never been an option for him. Where I live is really lively and beautiful-he just preferred to go back home constantly.
When we met and fell quickly in love, it was clear that I had made him much happier-he said I changed his life. In so many ways things are going so well-from the beginning, he talked about a future for us living here together, marriage etc. He talked about how he would obviously go home less and build a life together here- he said he would maybe go home once a month.
At the beginning, I was not used to being in a relationship and very independent so was happy for us not to live in each other's pockets and do lots of things independently-when we were together, things were so fantastic. He went home a lot still for different reasons, and was always eager for me to go with him, which I did several times.
Lately though, things have got more strained. He started going home every two weeks but now sometimes goes home almost every weekend as there is always something on that he has to go to at home. He is incredibly close to his family and it is obvious how happy he is when he is there. I have never known anyone who loves his home city so much. He knows I am not happy with him going so much but we haven't yet had a big argument about it.
I am usually a very laid back person, so never wanted to make a big deal of it, and as I said, I do like doing my own thing too. I did make it clear that if we were going to be living together etc in future, he couldn't be constantly running home, which he agreed with. I also feel that if he stays, he is only doing it out of duty and for me, that would ruin the joy of spending weekends together. Even when talking about romantic weekends away, he talks about hotels in close proximity to his home city!
But it's started to make me resentful when he is gone away, and I feel really teary so often now which is not me at all, and I can't stop thinking about it. I know that he would like for us to move in together at some stage soon but I am now hesitant.
I am worried that he will never settle and actually be happy living here, even though I know he loves me. Part of me thinks he is just too set in his ways now and will never change, despite the things he said at the start. During a conversation lately, it came out that his ex-girlfriend had problems with him going home so much. He said she had told him to choose between her or his family. Reading between the lines, my guess is that she wasn't meaning to be that extreme, she was probably just feeling as I do now but its made it clear its something he is quite defensive about.
I am wondering if I should just end things now even though it would absolutely break my heart, as I am so sure he is the love of my life. Lately, I am just feeling so sad and in bad form and I was always such a happy go lucky person. I had decided that I will give it a bit more time, as pushing it would make him resentful and I would detest coming across as needy which I really don't think I am.
He is such a wonderful guy who treats me with such love and respect, and would do anything for me...except spend weekends with me. Has he just been alone so long, he can't or won't change?
I would really love some advice on how to deal with things. I think its pretty early on in the relationship for an ultimatum and its never been my personality to 'lay down the law'. I do make it clear I have a good time at weekends, going on girl's nights etc. as I do not want to be the kind of girl that pines for him all the time he is gone and just waits around for him. But so unsure what to do to change things.
Hm, I had one like this, full on much too early and living in another town. I never worked out if he was just a rampant future faker or was still living with his wife.
Is it Liverpool?
I don't understand. He works in York - presumably he has his own place there? So when he goes back to his home town, where does he stay? With his parents? Does he have children?
Why hasn't he tried to get a job back in his home town?
Is he married? Sounds like you could be the ow.
It does sound like he is very set in his ways (which I think is quite normal if you are 40 and have been living on your own for a long time).
I don't think this warrants an ultimatum. But you do need to have a serious chat about it. For example, if you've discussed marriage, are children on the cards? If you had a baby then he couldn't bugger off and leave you on your own at the weekend, and you wouldn't want to be taking a young baby on an 8-hour round trip with you very often either. You could bring that up and see how he reacts? Make sure you don't present it as an ultimatum, but more as something that has been on your mind.
At the end of the day, don't stay with him if he doesn't make you happy.
It sounds very strange. Why does he have to keep rushing back to his family? Have you ever met them? Has he ever invited you? Hate to say it, but is there any chance he is married?
The OP says he often invites her to go with him and she has done so several times.
It's unclear as to whether the weekends spent in his hometown are at a hotel or his home though.
Can you clarify op?
He sounds very immature! It's like someone going away to university or something but always running back home and never really embracing the new adventure.
It's not as if York is awful either!
What is this amazing draw for him back home? Is it friends? Children? Does he have any friends in York?
Usually a girlfriend/boyfriend would be enough to make the person stay in the new town so it is wierd that this isn't happening.
Does he see himself living this wierd kind of life forever? It sounds so unsettling. How does he have the nerve to be your boyfriend but to keep disappearing? It all sounds very odd. I feel for you.
Are you sure he doesn't have a wife/girlfriend back home? There are few places nicer than York , so if it's just friends and family he misses, why isn't he trying to get a job back where he is from or closer to it if it has that much of a pull?? I'm suspicious because most guys when they get a strong relationship they have strong feelings for often drop family and friends and can be very full on relationship wise
It was a Summer romance. He is fading it out now. Sorry.
Presumably he spends weekends at his parental house?
The things he said early on were “red flags” IMO and not real. You can’t be responsible for his whole life in York. If he wants a serious relationship in York he needs to spend weekends there and seek to build a social life there.
If he doesn’t want to do that he’s just not that into you.
Also, why are you pressuring yourself to be “laid back” when his not being around weekends bothers you. You want a relationship with regular time together at weekends: reasonable. You seem afraid to raise this with him.
He started going home every two weeks but now sometimes goes home almost every weekend as there is always something on that he has to go to at home
Could you explain what kind of events he had to go home for? Sports team playing for example?
I don’t think he is going to change now - I guess you have to decide if it’s something you can live with. Would there be any way you could (or would even be prepared to) live in his home town, with jobs etc? Because if not then I think you need to end it now.
Thanks so much everyone for your replies. I would feel too disloyal to have these conversations with friends about him but just so upset about it all.
In terms of him being married/cheating, I am definitely sure that this is not the case. He is really passionate about principles- and is really big on honesty, loyalty, being true to one person etc. He is a very genuine guy, and I am confident that he loves me and would never treat me badly. I have been to his home with him several times and I know he would love me to go more often but I am starting to feel a bit resentful that I am going there when he is not making the efforts to stay here.
The 'going home all the time' for years is definitely weird. When I met him, I thought that, but then felt that that was his business and it wasn't for me to judge.I feel he has wasted years instead of trying to settle somewhere. When he goes home, he stays with his parents, and has other family around also. His parents are not elderly but do not have a good relationship with each other. He spends a lot of time with his mother-I think he feels responsible for her. It does bother me a lot that he is a bit of a mother's boy-this would have made me run a mile initially but it is only in the last while that this became obvious. She depends on him a lot but I feel he is enabling that. That would not be the only reason he goes home though. He just seems so happy in that town where he grew up and knows everyone-when I am there with him he is so relaxed.
The thing is, I have lived abroad etc and am very independent, but I am also so close to my family so I do understand the loyalty, and the guilt involved sometimes. But he just takes it so far.
I think that point about future children is so relevant. I think he does realise that things would need to change-we had this conversation already in regards to if we were living together. and he agreed with what I said. But I am just worried that he will find it too hard to change when the time comes and it will end in arguments or him feeling resentful. I do fear that he is maybe too old to change and I am setting myself up for failure.
I feel I am painting him in a bad light. He is the kindest, most loving guy I have ever been, with-if it wasn't for this, he would be making me so happy.
Forgive me but it sounds like he has to do a lot of changing, you; not so much.
Just saw some of the other replies, thanks.
Events have been things like playing on a sports team, birthdays, nephew's football etc. Things that most people wouldn't deem urgent. He hates to miss playing on his sports team but in reality he can't keep that up if he lives in another place. Its like he is so set in his ways and has been doing certain things for so many years, being at every birthday/football match etc he finds it so hard to accept that things have to change. But obviously they do. Its like he won't accept that he doesn't live there anymore. He said a while ago, he was going to go home every 2nd weekend for a start, meaning he would eventually go less, but then other things have cropped up, meaning he goes more often. If he has something on the Friday, he says he'll come back Saturday but I can tell he doesn't want to and I think as its so far to drive for one night, he may as well just stay for the weekend.
He did try to get a job there many times but in his field, which is very specialised, it is too difficult. I do know that even if a job now came up, he wouldn't go for it-he wants to be with me, and has said from the start that he would stay here. But I know the wanting to go home on lots of weekends would not change and I am finding it hard to imagine a future if one person is not happy living somewhere. (But even if we were not together, he would still probably be here).
In regards to it fading/being a summer romance etc, I don't think that is the case. He is incredibly loving and seems very intent on a future-I think his dream life would be having me but still be consistently going to his hometown at weekends, often with me with him, but that is not what I want obviously. I can't just slot into his ideal life.
I can't work out why he doesn't get a job in his home town. Has he explained this?
Events have been things like playing on a sports team
Cricket? The season is over now and you could find he has load more spare time on his hands?
Is that he also hasn't integrated into any kind of social life [apart from with you, op] in York - and might he consider doing this so that the divide between the two places is not so wide?
Actions speak louder than words I'm afraid and his actions are not backing up his words. I think whilst you may see him as the love of your life, he doesn't see you the same, whatever he might be telling you.
If he's 40, his parents must be knocking on a bit, even if they aren't elderly. Maybe he's just very aware that they won't be around forever? But I agree, all that running home for nephew's birthdays etc, is a bit off. Can he not agree with you that he will go home one weekend a month, maybe put it on the calendar, and they could all celebrate everything when he's back home? Do his family expect him to go home and he just doesn't like to disappoint them?
I think you need to move to his home town or near to it .
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:
Please login first.