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Six years and it’s time to part, I think...

(34 Posts)
takemebackto2014 Sun 24-May-20 16:28:32

I love my OH, I love the bones of him, but I am almost certain I should walk away...

Together six years, me 43 and him 50. I have a child from a previous marriage, he has no children, no previous marriage(s). We bought a house together (joint mortgage) almost three years ago. We split all bills 50:50.

We get along brilliantly, he is kind, caring, funny, warm, trustworthy, honest, decent and brilliant with my child. But, whilst he is so good at offering advice, comforting others and being very pragmatic and the voice of reason, our relationship is in big trouble. And it’s all because I’d like us to get married.

In the past he has said he wants to get married too, but in the past couple of years he’s told me repeatedly that we don’t feel ‘close enough’ and it’s just doesn’t feel right’. He has form for this, he once wanted a baby but then changed his mind.

As a result my self-esteem and self-worth is rock bottom, I am an emotional wreck... it’s all come to a head this weekend because, having gotten on amazingly throughout lockdown (together 24/7), I thought I’d raise the ‘m’ word to see if he felt that we’re closer and if the relationship feels right to him. Apparently, it’s better but not quite 100% for him. I’d like to add that the only thing we argue about is marriage.

I worry about our financial future, how I have no more rights than a flat mate, that in old age the inheritance tax bill will be huge and one of us will be forced to sell to settle the debt with HMRC... these thoughts and worries have consumed me.

I feel that what should be an exciting, happy, amazing conversation is blighted with negativity and whenever I raise it, I come away in tears, feel utterly bereft and heartbroken.

We have spoken a lot over the past 24 hours, I have told him that I think we should separate (I feel an overwhelming need to protect my child and get ‘me’ back into a happier place physically and mentally), he has asked for time to think and has come back with a suggestion that we set a provisional date (Sept 2021) for a small registry office wedding, but not tell a soul. Then we sit down every Friday night to chat through whether he feels closer to me, whether he feels like the relationship is on track. This sounds like an appraisal process to me with weekly reviews and I have told him no, that does not sound right at all. Worryingly, when I ask him what he thinks is needed to make it feel ‘right’, he can’t tell me.

So, I’m writing lists of things that need to happen to separate, my head hurts, my heart aches but I can’t live like this, to constantly feel like I’m not good enough to marry but good enough to share the bills with and be intimate with.

I’d like to know what you would do? I’ve tried not to drip feed, please be kind sad

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 24-May-20 16:32:53

I am so very sorry this is happening to you but I think he is not worthy of you at all.

I would continue moving forward with your plans to separate from him.

RandomMess Sun 24-May-20 16:39:05

Hugs thanks

There is clearly some reason he doesn't want to marry. That is incredibly painful.

I agree he is crushing your self esteem and you are right to put yourself and your DC first.

Herecomestreble1 Sun 24-May-20 16:39:48

The fact that he is making you sit through what feels like petty gradings of your relationship and it's closeness is cruel and horrible. Where does it end? This man will never marry you, moreover he doesn't deserve to. Pick up your self worth, pack your bags and move on. You are SO much better off without this commitment phobic dick head.

Lordamighty Sun 24-May-20 16:44:26

As much as it may hurt I think it’s time to walk away. Your self esteem is taking a battering & eventually the love will die off too. This is really shabby behaviour from him. You are worth much more.

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 24-May-20 16:46:02

So sorry this happening to you op

I think this sept 2021 bollox is to give him time to hide shit and get
His ducks in a row

So you have made a decision, you are half way there already
May I suggest you go grey rock now google it, stay as calm as
You can, and start making very discrete enquires on where your
Stand financially etc

Dont have any more long drawn out convos with him, let him
Think the dust has settled for a while. Making the decision is always
The hard bit, the rest is just planning your escape. 💐

AllyBamma Sun 24-May-20 16:51:58

Oh OP that’s so hurtful of him! You deserve someone to want to marry you because they’re head over heels for you, 100% sure of their feelings and want to shout it from the rooftop!

Not dangle a carrot in front of you after a lengthy appraisal process resulting in a secret registry office wedding. He sounds completely heartless and you are worth so much more.

I think you’ve absolutely done the right thing, leave and don’t look back.

angelaEhen Sun 24-May-20 16:53:16

God that's awful he is really messing with your head trying to bide for time I think. I would continue with your plans to separate it's like he wants to reward you for 100% behaviour, which doesn't even sound like it would happen anyway

wegoatdawn Sun 24-May-20 16:57:49

I think when someone tells you who they are, you should listen. He doesn't sound like he wants to marry anyone. I think he's insulting you by suggesting a progress report every month, you're not his employee - you're his partner. He's committed enough to have bought a house with you but doesn't feel strongly enough to get married? I don't understand his rationale.

You sound so lovely, and you deserve someone who wants what you want and know when they have an amazing woman by their side.

BumbleBeee69 Sun 24-May-20 16:58:08

Get him to Fuck OP... flowers

madcatladyforever Sun 24-May-20 16:59:50

What on earth is that all about. It sounds like you're sitting some kind of exam which I'm sure you will fail at the end.
Unless he can give you a solid non stupid reason for not getting married you have to leave.
You cannot let him dangle the carrot like this forever. It's either that or never mention marriage again just settle for what you have.
Personally I could not marry someone who treated me like this.

wegoatdawn Sun 24-May-20 17:04:49

And actually OP, you're only 43. Please don't waste another year on this man. Can you imagine if you're still having this same conversation in 10 years time? No, just no.

BrightYellowDaffodil Sun 24-May-20 17:08:46

The relationship appraisal alone would be grounds for separating (and I assume it would always be him appraising you, no scope for you to feed back on him? No, thought not).

But the secret engagement is just as shitty - I’d be willing to bet that he wants it kept secret so that when he backs out (and he’ll use his ghastly appraisal process to do so) no-one else will know what a scheming, selfish bastard he’s been.

You deserve to be happy and if this man isn’t making you happy then it sounds like you’d be better off without him. Get your life back.

ClementineTangerine Sun 24-May-20 17:11:27

Wow I'm so sorry to hear that OP, it sounds like you have a good relationship in general anyway so if he doesnt want to marry you now he never will.

As the above poster said he should want the world to know he wants to marry you, not to have a potential secret wedding.

And you're right that the weekly/monthly reports does sound weird.

At this point I think its him that needs to do the work to make you feel closer, not you. Otherwise I think you're right and you should separate as you and your DC deserve to be happy flowers

Beautifulbutterfly Sun 24-May-20 17:12:35

He wants to keep you on the back foot and for him to be in control, hence the “relationship appraisals”. I would look to end your relationship with him asap and find someone in the future who is worthy of you.

Kraejka Sun 24-May-20 17:14:12

he has asked for time to think and has come back with a suggestion that we set a provisional date (Sept 2021) for a small registry office wedding, but not tell a soul.
Yup, they say that when they have no intention of going through with it. It's to keep you quiet.

Then we sit down every Friday night to chat through whether he feels closer to me, whether he feels like the relationship is on track. This sounds like an appraisal process to me with weekly reviews and I have told him no, that does not sound right at all. Worryingly, when I ask him what he thinks is needed to make it feel ‘right’, he can’t tell me.

Fuck that. Absolutely ridiculous. If he needs to do this to decide whether to marry you then he can fuck off. He either wants to marry you or he doesn't. It sounds like some kind of employer setting performance management targets with the "reward" being promotion to a new position - in your case, promotion to "wife".

I don't think he is as invested in this relationship as you.
He's already said this it just doesn’t feel right. You are not the woman he is going to marry. You are someone he is happy to be with on his own terms but not prepared to commit to. If someone else comes along who it does feel right with he'll be off.
After 6 years he should know if he wants to marry you or not.

GilbertMarkham Sun 24-May-20 17:15:25

Get engaged (if you perform well enough in your ongoing appraisal, even though you don't know what your goals are) but not tell a soul ..... There's something really off with him here.

Do you think there's something you don't know about him/his history etc.?

Had he definitely never been married (and not fully divorced)?

Does he have an expected inheritance he doesn't want you to have a share of?

It's all v strange.

GilbertMarkham Sun 24-May-20 17:16:24

Would any inheritances be subject to him not getting married on the directions of the person he'd be inheriting from so it stays within the family as such?

Whiskeylover45 Sun 24-May-20 17:18:53

I'm sorry your going through all this OP. I had an ex like that, agreed to get married to shut me up but like you we couldnt tell a soul. He also liked to give appraisals, not on our relationship but on my "faults". He also said he wanted more children but could never be arsed. Like with you six years in and I'd had enough, I kicked him to the curb and within a year met my now DH, had DS and I've never been happier. My self esteem and worth has rocketed from finding someone who actually cares and respects me. You know what you need to do, the provisional date is just bullshit because he likes the status quo, the appraisals he wants to give are just to lower your self worth so you wont leave him. If he was such a kind and caring man why would he continue to make you feel this way? Your halfway there, stay strong for you and your child and know that you deserve more than hes dangling in front of you. All the best

TwentyViginti Sun 24-May-20 17:24:06

But the secret engagement is just as shitty - I’d be willing to bet that he wants it kept secret so that when he backs out (and he’ll use his ghastly appraisal process to do so) no-one else will know what a scheming, selfish bastard he’s been.

That's what I thought. Dangle a secret carrot to keep you up to par, to watch you 'fail' his weekly appraisals (ffs) so this covert wedding won't happen, ever.

Anydreamwilldo12 Sun 24-May-20 17:29:06

I would get out. He's stringing you along, using delaying tactics. Why should you wait and have bloody meetings to see how he is feeling. What about how you're feeling.

Happynow001 Sun 24-May-20 17:32:26

Hello @takemebackto2014. How hurtful your partner is being trying to our life with him through a performance appraisal process. I think you know that anyone who could consider treating you this way has no right to be in your life.

He does not want to marry you because he has things just how it works for him but he will not be honest with you. This date of Sept 2021 is, I think, just a place-marker to maintain the status quo until he moves the goalposts again as the date for commitment approaches.

I think you are wise to make (discreet) plans to leave and make a separate life for yourself and your child. No need to tell him you are making these preparations until you are absolutely ready to leave or you may find the pressure from him intensifies.

Hopefully getting legal and financial advice is at the top of your list. I'm unsure about your finances/job but you may find www.entitledto.co.uk useful and maybe also Citizens Advice (I'm unsure if they're currently working in lockdown) and there's also the 25% single occupier discount on Council Tax in your new home. I'm sure there are suggestions other Mumsnetters can let you have also, which may help.

Good luck and keep planning OP. Sadly I don't see this relationship going the way you wanted it to. 🌹

Tappering Sun 24-May-20 17:37:40

he has asked for time to think and has come back with a suggestion that we set a provisional date (Sept 2021) for a small registry office wedding, but not tell a soul. Then we sit down every Friday night to chat through whether he feels closer to me, whether he feels like the relationship is on track

This is so fucking patronising and humiliating, I'd be dumping him on the spot. Who the fuck does he think he is - some kind of prize for you to earn? hmm

Either he wants to get married or he doesn't. And if he doesn't then he needs to accept the fact that your relationship is over, because you do want to re-marry.

TBH the whole secrecy/appraisal thing sounds to me like he wants to have his cake and eat it. Sorry to be blunt, but this screams that you are Miss Right Now rather than Miss Right. He's keeping you sweet by dangling a promise that he has no intention of fulfilling, whilst giving himself 18 months in which to find someone better.

Even if you did marry, would you ever feel secure? Would he expect to go through a monthly performance review with you to list all the ways in which everything is your fault because he's not that into you?

Dump his arse, get the house sold and find someone better who thinks that you are awesome and wants to marry you because of that.

MoMagic Sun 24-May-20 17:42:25

No, you don’t need this in your life. Basically, he thinks you’re not good enough for him and wants you to work on being what he’s wants you to be, with weekly progress updates. That’s massively disrespectful to you. Honestly, you deserve to be with someone who loved you the way you are. Cut your losses and leave him.

Tappering Sun 24-May-20 17:42:30

To answer your question - I'd be devastated and hurt. Then I'd get angry. I'd do exactly what you are doing, organising a split.

Then I'd move out, block him on absolutely everything. I'd buy new bedding that he hasn't slept on. I'd decorate my house exactly how I wanted it. I'd have a cathartic post-break-up haircut (once lockdown is lifted).

And I'd focus on rebuilding my self-esteem, so that if and when I do meet someone new, I've got high standards and expectations for them to meet in terms of how they will behave and treat me, because I am bloody worth it and I will never be anyone's second best or good-enough-for-now girl.

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