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Help me be a grown up and make the right decision

(28 Posts)
IronNeonClasp Tue 19-May-20 08:25:10

Asking for some Mumsnet wisdom. Please be gentle.

Started dating someone just coming up to a year, friend of an ex - no kids, good job house and 33. I'm 46, very good job house, divorced, 2 kids primary age. I've always had a bit of a problem with the age gap, posted on here etc and everything was ok for what I needed last year.

But last year I did a really stupid thing which had a massive impact on my life, a negative experience which started me heavily binge drinking last three months of the year (already nearly drunk-reliant) culminating in the worst Christmas I've ever had, handing kids over to Dad at midday and making a complete arse of myself over his Mum and Dads as none of them wanted me to be on my own.

This resulted in his mum and brother messaging him to say I was a drunk single mother with mental health problems after his money. Absolutely what I deserved. Sent a letter of apology a couple of weeks later and we broke up. For two days...

In January I turned my life on it's head, quit drinking and took myself in to a program which I need to be in for the rest of my life. Pretty life changing stuff. Work, parents, ex-hub and close friends aware. Addressing my deep stemmed issues. Feeling a very different person to who I was.

We carried on seeing each other, he comes over we eat, kids love him if they're here, we cuddle. It works but I still have a problem with the age gap; says he doesn't want his own kids, we laugh and support each other. There's just this.

He's very close to his parents and he hasn't told them that we're still seeing other. Because of my program call me an ex smoker who can't stand smoking etc but I can't stand lying now. He has form and I've caught him occasionally. But it's got to the point where I feel a bit of a lady of the night him rocking up at 9pm to eat and leave mid morning. I've raised it since Feb but he's terrified of their reaction and I find it all quite juvenile.

We were meant to be spending some quality time together this weekend just gone. I deliberately didn't have my kids so that this could happen. I really wanted to spend time with my daughter and dad have my son as we've been mixing up childcare whilst he is on furlough and I'm wfh.

Friday night boyfriend comes over all glum. Ask what's going on and his dad has invited him over for steak at 7pm. Why didn't you say no? Made the best of Friday eve knowing that we would not be spending quality time together, a little bit seething but I woke up so very angry on Saturday. I couldn't wait for him to leave and spent the whole day angry and I still am. Turns out he ended up playing poker until the early hours and watching boxing until 4am. Planned..? Wanted a boys night knowingly whilst I packed my kids off to Dads and spend the weekend alone?

This sounds really small fry but the last few months it's ground me down that he can't bring this up and it's making me feel like a dirty secret where I would hope he would be proud. And I guess what's worse for me is that if he can lie to them what is further down the line..? Also his brazen immaturity at still being scared of his parents.

Can anyone advise if I should just end this or am I over-thinking everything. I can't see whether he has his cake and is eating it. I'm really mixed in my thinking and obviously stuff like this is a Pandora's box but just from what I've said I'd be grateful for advice...

OP’s posts: |
Hopoindown31 Tue 19-May-20 08:37:33

Are you in the UK? If so why are you breaking lockdown?

Isadora2007 Tue 19-May-20 08:39:37

You just need to talk to him and make actual firm plans for His parents and what he is going to do about them. I’m confused as to whether you and he have firm plans either though wrt the relationship- it all sounds really quite woolly an uncommitted and you need to decide if you want an adult relationship with commitment and boundaries now or a casual let’s see where this goes thing.
Think back to your life changing work- I bet there were a LOT of boundary issues at play. Get firming your relationship boundaries and define what this IS and what it ISNT and what you WANT it to be- you’re floundering around as it’s not one thing or the other and Focusing on his behaviours rather than the relationship itself.
Good luck.

SunshineSmellsLikeSummer Tue 19-May-20 08:43:14


The age difference is only really a problem if it creates problems - eg differences in maturity; life stages; expectations etc.

Well done for taking responsibility for your own problems! That's no small thing. Lots of us have 'issues' - we wouldn't be human without them. It's how you respond to them that is important.

Lying? Absolutely deal breaker for me. My ex husband was a habitual liar - he lied about everything for reasons stemming back to his own childhood. He never once tackled those issues and thought inshould just accepted him. Lies n all.

I likened it to the story of the house build on sand vs on the rocks. My whole life was a house built on sand. That's no way to live. If he lies, you can't trust him so what is the point?

Menora Tue 19-May-20 09:06:30

I just don’t think this person is good for your recovery and journey. I don’t think he is ready for all the responsibility either

I think you need a frank chat about whether this is really ever going to be more than an exclusive but casual hook up once a week (seems to be what he thinks it is) or whether you will ever be partners, in a full relationship.

IronNeonClasp Tue 19-May-20 10:41:27

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Really appreciate it

OP’s posts: |
roarfeckingroar Tue 19-May-20 10:46:16

I really don't think he sounds a good long term prospect OP. He's immature and has form for lying. You don't need that; least of all when you're taking on - and winning - your own battles.

PinkMonkeyBird Tue 19-May-20 12:35:25

Yeah, he sounds immature, especially having to defer to his parents. Also the lying about seeing his friends, not acceptable. What's the matter with being open and saying he's got arrangements.

The whole relationship sounds like it won't work.

Where the hell do you live btw, because it sounds like nobody in your scenario is in lockdown?

IronNeonClasp Tue 19-May-20 14:57:51

Sorry yes he is breaking lockdown seeing his parents and coming over here. I don't see anyone but my kids and him. He played poker with friends online I should have said but I get the law breaking etc. That's not what I'm talking about here anyway.

Thanks for the replies. Yes I think I have to prioritise my program and leave him behind. Very sad but the lying and withholding this from his parents is very immature and no idea what could be further down the line. Very sad but need to put my big girl pants on and draw a line in the sand..

OP’s posts: |
IronNeonClasp Tue 19-May-20 14:58:17

ETA and I am I mean.

OP’s posts: |
PinkMonkeyBird Tue 19-May-20 15:49:02

You are doing the right thing. I know the breaking lockdown isn't what you wanted to focus on, but he's clearly lying by not just seeing his parents and you. Meeting his mates for poker puts you all at more risk.

Definitely get rid.

PinkMonkeyBird Tue 19-May-20 15:49:39

Oops saw he played online - apologies.

Either way, still get rid!

Menora Tue 19-May-20 15:53:37

I think it’s for the best OP

Good luck to you

Peggysgettingcrazy Tue 19-May-20 15:58:47

You are both breaking lock down. You sre aware he is seeing his parents. You are aware he doesnt live with you.

I am not normally a lockdown fanatic, but you seen eager to say he is breaking it. You are too.

Just sounds like the relationship isn't for you. Might be the age gap or might not be.

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Tue 19-May-20 16:02:57

This isnt healthy, you are prioritising him over your kids (seeing him instead of spending time with your dd as you wanted to do, introducing him to your children after hardly any time after the difficult year you had last year) you're allowing yourself to be treated as a secret, he is embarrassed to let his family know hes seeing you because of christmas, and can drop you like a hot potato when he gets a better offer.

It sounds like you're in a much better place within yourself now, so stop clinging onto something that's going to hold you back and damage your self esteem.

IronNeonClasp Tue 28-Jul-20 06:08:45

I'm still sober and I'm still seeing my boyfriend. I suppose it suits me too if I'm honest. We eat, watch crap on tv, walk up a mountain. He's good company. We laugh and support each other.
But I saw his mother with her mate the other day in opticians. I had been thinking about asking her to go for afternoon tea to make amends and explain that what happened at Christmas and the week following effectively changed my life as he still hasn't told her. I was walking through town on Friday and stopped like a rabbit in headlights when I saw her and also needed to make an appointment for my daughter. Was outside arranging with a guy who worked there outside and she whispered to her friend and the friend looked me up and down. It was pretty grim. I felt about 12. I was angry he still hasn't said anything to her. She goes abroad until December on Saturday.
Last Saturday I cooked, we sat down to eat and he was on his laptop. I asked him what he was doing and he was adding to one of his many lists (bit OCD) and shooshed me with his hand. Like wtf!?
I've finished with him so many times since January that he doesn't take me seriously anymore and comes back into my life.
We get on really well and I am so fond of him and think we could make it work, but he's mentioned stuff that makes me go back to square one. Like "when I'm older, if I haven't got kids I'm going to..." or the other day when I was talking about my 6m sobriety within 10m he was talking about getting a bag - just the one bag to keep him awake when he goes into town on the piss with the boys in the future. Perhaps I should be grateful he's honest and feels like he can tell me.
I just don't know what to do anymore. I really could do without the mum-shit on my mind. I'm hyper-sensitive and don't know how to take his trivial comments as before I would have self-medicated if that makes any sense.
It's not a toxic relationship but I just don't know whether to go with it as he seems to be willing to settle for me ending it every other week when he's pissed me off or I don't feel it's working. Maybe he likes the chase. I know you never know what's going on in another persons relationship but maybe this is good and I over-think everything because I'm sober..
I've asked him what he wants and he says me but I think he'd settle for anything like the old cow I am. IDK - I'm very stressed with work as I'm chained to my desk most days with the kids fending for themselves so I think that's not helping.^^ I feel like I'd pick holes in any relationship right now tbh and we have something good. But my mind works overtime picking at the scab. His mother is not my mother and it's none of my business really.
Should I just pull up my girly pants and stop overthinking it all? Stop focusing on the odd trivial or negative comment? He's already talking about going away camping with the kids in August.. I feel a bitch picking away at the relationship and I have no idea what a good one is as I've always been a hedonist and got with people who aren't good for me. Just reaching out for someone who may have been here before I feel like my heads going to implode 🤯

OP’s posts: |
SortingItOut Tue 28-Jul-20 06:22:05

Honestly you need to end this relationship and work on your issues, putting up with his atyitude and finishing with him every other week isnt what people do in relationships.

He might like the thrill of the chase but i think you are addicted to the adrenaline rush of this relationship, there is so much drama that it feeds this constantly.

Him ignoring you when you finish with him means he doesnt respect your boundaries, him making snide comments is abusive.

What do you get out of this relationship really?
At 46 you need a calmer life for you and your kids.

Your kids are in the middle of this toxic relationship as well.
If you cant think about your own needs please consider theirs.

Why dont you think you deserve better than him?

category12 Tue 28-Jul-20 06:29:18

It seems a pretty toxic relationship to me.

Either a. he intends to hurt you and make you anxious by talking about a separate future, or b. he is telling the truth.

Neither is good.

OliviaBenson Tue 28-Jul-20 06:36:42

If you are in a treatment program I think you need to talk to the professionals about him. You seem to be clinging onto him but there doesn't sound like much of a relationship. Are you scared of being alone?

Mydogisthebestest Tue 28-Jul-20 07:03:41

If he’s using he’s not the right person for you.

Do you really think that’s sensible to have around your kids?

Spinakker Tue 28-Jul-20 07:08:30

I can see this all ending badly sooner or later. I'd take control and end it now before you get massively hurt and end up drinking again.

IronNeonClasp Tue 28-Jul-20 09:14:01

Cheers for the replies. I'm not sure if I am coming across properly here or my messages aren't being read fully. He's not using. He's talking about potentially using in the future, on a night out away from me and the kids - a one off. But it was literally ten minutes after I'd mentioned my 6 months being sober. He's not doing anything around my kids; hardly sees them when they are with me.
I'm not on a treatment program with professionals; I'm on a program that supports my decision not to drink.
I was asking for advice from anyone who may have experienced the potential MIL issues and possible age gap.
Please don't jump to conclusions or get judgy. He's a lovely guy albeit young and there is absolutely no toxicity at all. I'm hyper-sensitive to everything since I gave up booze and listed a couple of things here that aren't ott
Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
User50000999788887876655 Tue 28-Jul-20 09:44:24

He may be lovely but it’s clear you’re not right for each other. Let him go now and find someone who doesn’t hide you and wants the same things are you. It’s no ones fault it just doesn’t sound like a good match.

Menora Tue 28-Jul-20 09:50:48

WHY have you concluded this is not toxic and how on Earth have you come to this decision? You are so defensive of him yet you come here and tell everyone all the things he’s doing to hurt you, but you don’t want anyone to agree it’s not right. What do you actually want?

OliviaBenson Tue 28-Jul-20 11:22:07

You are minimising op.

You need to get professional support with this.

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