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Will I ever find what I want?(24 Posts)
I'm 28 and have been with my current partner for the last almost 7 years. He's everything I want in a man in 75% of the things - he's a family man, wants a family, he's great with money, career focused, his family are totally amazing, he pushes me (in a weird way) to be a better person and the best I can be.
However he's so unsupportive at times. He's cold and Unaffectionate (not just to me but to his mum) but I know he has it in him to be loving and affectionate but he's impossible. He never has any sympathy for anyone because he had a poor upbringing and thinks everyone should just suck it up and get on with it. He never talks about ANYTHING to anyone so it's impossible to ever have an adult conversation about anything serious.
We have a home together and are considering splitting after trying for a baby for the last year... it's going to be messy and I'm 50/50 split whether it's the right thing to do. I appreciate that no-one is perfect but would I be settling? I've had previous partners and honestly none of them have been amazing as him but the lack love at times is hurting me.
What if I don't find someone else, early 30's who's got all the qualities I want? Who doesn't want kids? Who doesn't already have kids? I'm so worried about being alone forever, that time is ticking and I'm hardly getting any younger! None of this at all is what I had planned...
The emotional side of a relationship is a huge part of the basic structure to be missing. And what sort of dad would he be if he's got no empathy?
@category12 this is exactly my worry. Not only for the kids but for me, like can I really rely on him to support my extra needs during pregnancy and after. The sad thing is I know he has it in him he just chooses to be cold and heartless sometimes for whatever reason. He won't ever accept any wrong or break down the barrier to release the man I know that's in there. When I was pregnant last time (no baby) it all came out and he was amazing. But as times gone on, the cold unloving side has creeped back again.
Nobody is perfect, including you and me, but never settle.
75% isn’t actually that high either.
Cold and unloving is a dealbreaker for me - don't you deserve better than that? Affection and empathy are what get you through the tough times.
And yes, god, you're only 28 - you have time to find someone who makes you feel great and ticks all the boxes. You've been with this guy since you were 21 - you haven't really had the chance to see what else is out there! Grab your life with both hands.
No. Do not have a relationship him. My ex had very poor empathy/ emotional intelligence/ a strong belief he was always right. Being with someone like this is so wearing, it corrodes you. Bitterness and resentment creep in. By the time I had finally emotionally detached from him, I had nothing but utter contempt for him. I still do.
Don't do that to yourself. And don't waste your time 'trying to get through to him' , hoping he'll change, thinking you just have to find the right way to bring out the man you want. Really, really don't waste your time on this.
"he pushes me (in a weird way) to be a better person and the best I can be."
I think this is his way of being emotionally "there" for you.
It can be easy to forget that people see emotional needs differently, for him he may be giving you the emotional support he see's as correct, but you may feel is hurting you, I'm not saying he is right and if you want that support you definitely need to tell him, as long as you know that this may not be coming from a place of negativity but positivity.
"it all came out and he was amazing. But as times gone on, the cold unloving side has creeped back again."
This tells me that he can be there when it counts, I just think a serious conversation is needed, make it clear you need that sort of affection, but I would not be combative, as realistically he has not done anything wrong.
Right, so the question here is are you willing to accept the risk that he will always be distant to secure an otherwise acceptable relationship? Could you live like that for the rest of your life?
If so then I guess it’s a question of how much you actually want a relationship. You may find someone perfect/better you may not. Is finding someone better worth the risk of ending up alone/with someone worse?
If you’d rather leave him than take the risk of living like this permanently then you need to tell him so and cut your losses.
@ArthurBloom you've hit the nail on the head there!! He has all the right intentions but they way he deals with things (me) is really not the way I want. He is impossible to talk to about this kind of thing because he thinks he's doing no wrong and I'm just unappreciative (not the case). He has financially helped me and supported me A LOT but then he punishes me for it/constantly reminds me about it.
@Reginabambina exactly the question I am asking myself. I remember always thinking wow this guy is something else, I've never been with or around a man like this. He's foreign and I find their values a little different to ours (in a good way). He's extremely loyal and family orientated and wants the best from everyone. He never speaks a bad word about anyone and will totally lose if I try and bitch (which I actually like). It's hard. I don't want to be one of these people that thinks the grass is greener because I know it isn't. But maybe it actually is? I just don't want to make a decision I'll regret.
Thing is, this bothers you and is an issue now. You have this big incompatibility that is extremely unlikely to change - he doesn't/isn't able to meet your emotional needs in a way that works for you. If you have dc, you'll likely to become more emotionally vulnerable and more financial dependent. If that would require him having a personality transplant to cope with together, then you'd be very foolish to go ahead. The fact that he does try occasionally but always reverts tells you he won't magically transform. And neither will you.
Also, he "punishes you"/constantly brings up his financial help and support?! Hold the phone, red flags ahoy.
I have NC for this. I was wondering whether I had written this myself!!
Except I have already had a baby with mine....we've also been together 7 years.
I am also on the fence. DH has said he finds it very hard to feel empathy. Throughout my pregnancy he showed no interest or emotional support when I needed it most (there were also lots of other things going on at the time)
He doesn't show me any affection, barely touches me, we don't have sex unless I initiate.
He is a fantastic father, hard working, great around the house, we get on really well and share the same sense of humour.
I can't get over the lack of emotional/physical connection. He says that's just him. I know deep down that won't change.
I've just started therapy to decide what to do....deep down I think I need to leave
He won't ever accept any wrong or break down the barrier to release the man I know that's in there
You seem to be thinking that how he actually is all the time is an aberration, and the side of him you have seen once (?) in SEVEN years is the real him. I'm sorry but you are deluding yourself because you want this to be true.
A man with low empathy is hard enough. A man with poor empathy who cannot admit he is wrong is impossible ( you yourself described him as impossible). If he can't accept he is wrong he will never have the motivation or self-insight to make any steps to becoming the man you need him to be. He just won't be able to understand why that is important to you.
Things. will. get. worse. when. you. have. children. That really split things apart for me and my ex. Because all the problems were magnified 1000x when kids turned up. I am so sad for my kids that this man is their children. He will never be able to be the father they deserve because he can't be, if you have low empathy and a belief that you are always right. He can't understand them, or why they are upset or angry - because he can't empathise. He makes them worse when they are upset because all he can see is how it makes him feel. Please don't do this to yourself and your future kids.
It's been seven years. He won't change. And he isn't enough for you and he certainly won't be enough for your kids.
are you willing to accept the risk that he will always be distant
It's not a risk it is a certainty.
I'm sorry, but I think Regina's advice is terrible. You cant' make your decision based on 'never never' speculation. Whether or not you will find someone else 'better' is not something you should factor in. You can't know that (but at 28 you have an excellent chance). The only question is: is this man, as he is now (NOT as you would like him to be), is this man as he is now, filling your needs from a relationship? From your own post the answer is no. Emotional connection and understanding and empathy is not an add on. It is the absolute basis for the deep friendship that all relationships need to survive.
@beeinmygarden no I saw the 'good' side of him for the first 2 years of our relationship and other times between. A few things happened between us (nothing major) and he's just closed up. He holds a lot of pain inside from his upbringing but refuses to talk about it. For this reason he pushes away the people he loves. I know I sound like I'm making excuses here. I know there is no excuse!! He is impossible in the way he's impossible to get through to.
@Toogoodtoleave I'm sorry you are going through it too, even harder when you have children. We had been trying for a baby but a few things have made me go, hold the phone. Is the a man I really want to be tied to for the rest of my life? The other half of me thinks I am just being complacent and thinking the grass is greener. If we split, I'd relocate back to my uni city where all my friends are - part of me thinks am I just blind-sighted by THAT prospect or am I really ready to walk away from pretty much, my entire life. My parter who throughout his faults I love, my family, my home, my dog. Potentially my job and work colleagues. It's hard
@beeinmygarden you are 100% right, I cannot deny that.
The hard part for me is knowing he IS the man I want/need him to be. I've experienced it for so long. But for so many years he hasn't been. It's like a rollercoaster. Some months he's perfect. Then he's shit. Then he's perfect again. There's just no consistency. If he was constantly shit then my decision would be easy
But for so many years he hasn't been. It's like a rollercoaster. Some months he's perfect. Then he's shit. Then he's perfect again. There's just no consistency
Sounds exhausting. It will be even more exhausting when you have kids. He will be like that with the kids too. That emotional inconsistency is really bad for children.
Why would you have to leave your family, dog, colleagues and work if you split up with him ?
I have to say he doesn’t sound like a very nice person. His only good qualities seem to be that he earns a lot, is good with money and wants children.
@0DETTE he doesn't earn a lot? I never said he did, we both earn equal and pay equal. He does have a lot of good qualities, I cannot deny that. He's generous, kind, selfless, doesn't speak bad of anyone, ambitious, pushes for the best for both of us, strives for a stable comfortable family life. He just lacks emotion, a lot!!
I would lose it because I simply could not stay around here if we split. It's a small town, I don't want to bump into him. There's nothing around here, I have no friends. My job I can probably relocate so quite honestly, I'd rather have a fresh start in a city where my friends are and I have the support, I can go out have fun enjoy myself. I couldn't do that around here and quite frankly, there's no-one AT ALL future relationship wise...
He has financially helped me and supported me A LOT but then he punishes me for it/constantly reminds me about it
I took it you meant he earned more than you and had supported you.
But now you say you are equal, so I’m confused.
He’s not generous if he punishes you after he has helped you. That’s control, not generosity.
He’s not self less if he doesn't act in a loving way towards you.
I think it’s a really bad idea to stay with him in the hope that you can turn him into the person you want him to be. I know that you think that’s who he is deep down, that you have seen tiny flashes of it and your true and steadfast love can bring that back.
But that only works In the movies. What he’s really like is how he is now, every day. Only stay if you love him just the way he is.
Otherwise pack your bags and head off to the new town, new job and new life.
I know what I’d do in your shoes.
A man with low empathy is hard enough. A man with poor empathy who cannot admit he is wrong is impossible ( you yourself described him as impossible).
This. It's a ticking time bomb - I've been there. What happens when you hit one of the rough patches all couples go through? The times you absolutely, both have to compromise? Will he compromise? If not, you're either looking at a relationship with a massive power imbalance - because he'll always get his way and you'll have to sacrifice your own needs - or he'll get sick of you "challenging" him and eventually go looking for someone more compliant (and I know you say he's loyal, but you also say he never thinks he's wrong - so if he decides to cheat or leave you there's no way on Earth he won't find a reason to defend his actions and say it was actually all your fault...)
PS: I'll echo 28 gives you plenty of time to find someone better - which, quite frankly, doesn't sound that high a bar. I know so many people who didn't have kids until their mid-thirties. A fair few in their late thirties/early forties even.
From what I read and what I've been through in my own life (51 now) this guy is a covert narcissist. Cold, distant, controlling, bringing up money issues, never at fault. Do not have children with this man and try to escape ASAP.
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