we broke up ...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
we broke up ...
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 5:23pm

OK - so this isn't actually related to a 2nd marriage - because we didn't actually ever get married - but we were dating for a while (under a year), and talking marriage - and we've now broken up. And ... I think I really hurt his feelings :-( I think he's very sad - and that makes me cry :-(

I don't want to HURT him - but I just don't want to marry him, either. I HATE hurting people. HATE IT. So now I just feel like a big jerk - but I was overwhelmed with the relationship!

It's just so much, with the kids and everything, and the ex-wife and ALL of it! And he's amazing and wonderful, sweetest guy I've ever dated. But ... it's just all too much :-( And my emotions are so conflicting, but I know ultimately - it's just too much and I'd end up resentful because of all of the demands. Maybe I'm just a big, callous, selfish jerk.

I do feel very selfish right now. Those kids need a good stepmom :-( I'm just not in a good place to BE that to them right now. Guilt, guilt, guilt :-( I just can see I was starting to be "touchy" with him. Agitated, irritated - and I was just overwhelmed. And I think he wants to be with someone VERY low-maintenance - he's got enough to deal with, with his ex-wife and the kiddos.

I feel like a jerk. Do you think he'll still be my friend and let me see the kids every once in a while? Maybe meet them at the park or come out and play somehow???


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 6:09pm

Oh gosh sweetie, don't feel bad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 7:09pm

Thanks Serenity. One thing I keep running over in my head is ... he said to me (last week when we were arguing) that he doesn't want to be with someone argumentative. He said, it's kind of like how I never want to be with a drinker again - he doesn't want to be with an arguer.

And I think to myself ... but sometimes I argue. you know? People argue sometimes. And then he brought something up from a past argument and I just really HATE that.

Do all men do that? I mean, I know HUMANS do that - we all do that kind of stuff. But I just thought, Why would he bring that UP right now?

And I just don't think I can live up to his expectations of not arguing, and I feel overwhelmed by the relationship and I HATE that his style of conflict is to bring up OLD stuff. That SUCKS. But, you know, GOSH I care about him. SO SO SO MUCH. He was Sad and I HATE THAT. He doesn't deserve to be sad.

He deserves to be happy and loved.

I wish he was the right guy for me. I wish the situation was the exact wonderful situation. I'm so sorry that I hurt him. Am I just giving up too soon? I'm not a quitter, did I throw in the towel too soon? Should I fight harder for this? Should I just not ruminate so much on his flaws? Am I too picky?

And you see, this is me, just second-guessing myself. But I just have to know that in my soul, I've been frustrated with feeling tied-down by the relationship, and overwhelmed. How do I learn to trust my gut? It hurts me to hurt another person.

My mom tells me about my aunt Mary and uncle John who are in marriage counseling, Mary is the step-mom to John's kids and he's the step-dad to hers. And ALL of the struggles they've gone through and how it's just been HORRIBLE - and I think - how can I go through that? I'm not ready for the fight? Marriage is a fight - and already there are signs that I'd have to put my own desires and needs on a shelf to serve the family - which is a noble thing. So why am I so selfish?

I wish him so much happiness. I wish I could find the exact right girl for him - so he could find his perfect love that adores him. He deserves to be loved.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 7:52pm

I wonder what he means by "I don't want someone who argues." In a healthy way, that would mean that he would prefer to have a discussion about differences in opinion (which are always going to occur in any relationship) but no yelling or bad behavior. But I just have a feeling that he means "I just want you to do what I want." Because if you 2 were having an argument & he was brining up things from the past, then that doesn't sound very mature or healthy to me as far as communication goes. I didn't like arguing either, so for years, in 2 marriages, I just gave in most of the time to avoid arguing, but instead I felt resentful inside, which isn't good either.

I don't think you are being selfish, except in a good way, by realizing that this isn't the relationship for you and you don't want to have to deal w/ stepkids & the ex, when you aren't in that situation yourself. I think that people who have been divorced and who have already had kids may find it easier to be a stepparent. Second marriages are WAY harder than first--in the 1st marriage, you don't have to deal w/ any exes and their demands and when you have kids together, even if you don't always agree about every decision regarding the kids, at least you realize that the other parent probably loves the kids as much as you do, so things are easier to accept. It's hard to take care of someone else's kids all the time, where even if they like you, you are still not the mother.

You are right that he deserves to be happy & loved--and so do you. It's not terrible that you realized that this relationship isn't the right thing for either one of you, as much as you don't want to hurt him. It's better to end it now than getting married & getting divorced later. I think you should step back for a while and think about your decision and figure out what you really want in a relationship and see if this one was meeting your needs. We had a nice young woman on this board (Missjen, I think) who was struggling over her relationship w/ an older divorced guy (she had never been married and didn't have kids). Her BF had a lot of ties to his ex that bothered her and she kept hanging in there hoping he would change, but he never did so she finally broke it off and in the end, it seemed like she was happy she did it because the relationship was not fulfilling--it was like she was making all the effort.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Thu, 04-08-2010 - 6:36am

I have to agree with both of previous posters.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 2:54pm

Hi Laurena! What you wrote keeps running through my head:

"the "relationship" with him was kinda secondary to your "job" as coparent.......you didnt apply for a job as a nanny.........he never put forth any effort to "court" you.................IMO, that's what was missing"

Yeah - I definitely do feel secondary. It's so hard to sort this all but. But when I go over there - it's like a half an hour drive for me - and I feel like I get very little of his attention! Cuz it's all about the kiddos! And I know I'm secondary to all that right now. But I guess I have needs that I need met as well. I'm just not feeling very "special" I'm feeling very second.

And I guess that is how it SHOULD be and how it is SUPPOSED to be! I don't even know if I can express that to him - because it sounds so SELFISH! You know? I can imagine him paraphrasing that to others (his mom and SISTERS) - and it just comes off wrong. But it's TRUE THOUGH.

I drive over there all the time - and he doesn't come over here much at all. I live with my mom and dad right now (still picking up pieces from my divorce) so it makes sense that they are not over here - but still.

Thank you so much for your reply. It really helps when someone phrases what I'm trying to say in a new light! It seemed to really clarify a lot for me!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 3:50pm


FOrgive me for not remembering.....but didnt you say that he has his kids on one week then off one week?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 6:29pm

You have a GOOD MEMORY :-) Yes - on his off-weeks (without the kids), he goes out of town to work. So I don't get him then either :-( I guess he and I are just so busy trying to get everything done, and take care of everything.

I guess it's just tough to raise kids and have a job and try to show the other person in you're life that they're important too. {sigh} I know he's got a lot on his plate. I know he's trying to be a good dad to his kids. He's told me that all he ever wanted in his life was to have kids. It was his ambition.

Isn't that crazy coming from a guy? Cool though. Weird because it was NEVER my ambition at all.

I think I'm resenting the whole situation because I'm terrible at boundaries. I know he wants me over there all the time - and I'm just worn out. And then when I don't go over there (because I'm worn out) I feel like he's getting short-changed and he could sure use my help. Then I feel selfish and that makes me resent the whole situation. And it's so sweet he wants me to be there so much. he wants me around because he loves me. {sigh}

At the root of all of this is just being Overwhelmed. I don't know how to manage my overwhelm without feeling guilty and selfish.

:-) Thanks for listening Laurena!!! You are fabulous!!! I have a feeling this break-up thing won't last. I think he and I like each other too much, even with all of these life-struggles.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 9:05pm
You have to be careful that he doesn't want you around all the time because it's too hard for him to be a single dad, work, take care of the kids, cook, etc. and he needs "help." Well it's not your job to help him raise his kids--if he needs help, he could hire a house cleaner, or even a teenager to help watch the kids after school while he cooks dinner or something. You know plenty of moms manage to do that. And my 2nd exH was a single dad 24/7 (widower w/ a 3 yr old DD) and he managed to work full time and do everything w/o much help, so it can be done. He should be concentrating on his relationship w/ you, not expecting you to be the unpaid nanny/helper. (I know i"m repeating myself.)
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Mon, 04-12-2010 - 9:43am

It is NOT selfish to expect to be a priority in an intimate relationship.

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2006
Mon, 04-12-2010 - 12:27pm

Aw hugs. As I used to tell the women on my divorce board....just because you love him like no other, and just because he's a good guy....doesn't mean he's the guy for you. Please don't feel selfish nor guilty for putting yourself first. And I mean in that in a healthy way. Too many women put their life on hold for a man or children and don't live.

If he wasn't willing to try to make you a priority, then it's okay if you chose not to be with him.

I know it'll hurt and it'll take time to heal. Just remember what I wrote above. Loving him and him being a good guy doesn't mean he's the right fit for you. He and YOU BOTH deserve someone who loves them the way they feel they need it.

More hugs.


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