Almost Perfect

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2014
Almost Perfect
12
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 6:34pm

I'm 52 years old, and have been in a committed relationship with a wonderful man for over eight years.  We have many things in common and truly enjoy each other's company.  I genuinely love this man and know he loves me, too.  We both have demanding jobs and busy lives, but we plan to have a future together.  He has two sons and I am part of their lives - they've both told me that I'm the closest person to a mom they've ever had.  (He has raised them alone since they were babies.) 

 What is troubling me is that, of all his family other than his sons, he is closest to his brother.  It’s not a close family – we usually get together at the holidays and have a family gathering during the summer, but he rarely talks with anyone but his brother at other times.  Although I'm invited to these rare family get-togethers, when his brother invites him to, for example, go out fishing on his boat, I am excluded.  His brother has just invited my guy and his sons out on the boat this coming weekend.  I am not invited.  This has happened several times in the past, and the brother's live-in girlfriend is included, but I am not.  I have tried to explain why I feel hurt and excluded, but my guy makes excuses (from my perspective), such as, "but you don't like to fish."  No, but I love being on the boat and the ocean, and sharing in the fun.  We did go out as two couples one time and everyone seemed to have a great time.  I'm not sure if the exclusion is on his brother's part, his, or both.  He knows it's a hurtful subject for me and I'm not sure he's telling me the whole story.  When I’ve asked in the past, he’s told me that he’s not sure – maybe his brother doesn’t like me, maybe he just wants to spend time alone with his brother.  I have no reason to believe his brother doesn’t like me, as he is always kind and I get along well with the brother’s girlfriend, but it has made me feel very unsure of myself.

 I know this sounds cliché, but in so many ways what we have is great.  We can talk for hours, cook dinner together, and have fun just doing mundane stuff.  I just can't help but wonder why he doesn't even think it's odd to exclude me in these outings.  Whenever I have a family function, he is included.  My family understands that we are a couple and always includes him.  It's not just a male-bonding thing, because the brother's girlfriend is included.  Please help me - tell me if you, too, think there's something odd about this or if you think I'm overreacting.  I want to be strong and just shrug it off, but I really am feeling hurt and it’s hard to pretend it doesn’t matter.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 7:53pm

Sounds like this going out fishing is meant to be an activity for the boys to get together.  Could it be that they don't necessarily want her to go but she is insistent on going and he takes her along just to avoid any confict with her. Or that she really loves to fish maybe?

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 9:17pm

Since you say you get along well with the brother's gf, call her up & have a sister-to-sister. Ask her point blank why she gets to go, and you don't.  Ask if she has ever asked that you get invited, so she has womanly company.  You know, it may be that she doesn't like you as much as you think, and that she is the reason you are not invited.  Or it may be that the men think you spoil the fun somehow.  And if the reason she gets to go is that she has insisted, then you know what you have to do 

To be honest, the whole dynamic here is a little off.  You say you are planning a future together, but when, exactly, is that supposed to be??  He's fifty-friggin-two.  NEITHER of these men show interest in getting married.  I don't know how old you are, but do realize that "live-in-girlfriends" do not get to collect Social Security or pension, should your SO suddenly meet his maker.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2014
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 9:23pm

Both are likely.  But to me, not the point.  What I don't understand is why my guy can't (or won't) understand that I feel excluded and hurt.  That he doesn't care about how this makes me feel.  He's choosing to spend time, not just with his brother which I could understand, but with his brother and his brother's girlfriend, while I am not welcome.  Please tell me - would this not trouble you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2014
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 9:32pm

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  We both have very full lives and are content with our situation as is for now.  I'm not looking for financial security, I'm glad to have found someone who understands me, enjoys many of the same things in life, and appreciates both my company and independence.  I don't want to insist on being included - I want to be welcome.  If I am not, I want to understand why.  Is that so difficult to understand? 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 10:21pm
Since you have asked repeatedly for an explanation, and not gotten one, then the answer is obviously that you are NOT welcome, and your guy doesn't WANT to explain why. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson, You want the truth? Can you HANDLE the truth? Be careful what you wish for.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 10:33pm

You have every right to be hurt.  If it were just your SO, his brother, and his sons going fishing, I wouldn't think a thing of it.  It would just be a boys' outing, but since the brother's gf is invited, that's something else altogether.  I agree with Sabre and call the gf and find out what she knows.  Have you been VERY specific with your SO and tell him it hurts you not to be invited? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 11:05pm

I would normally think that if guys wanted to go out fishing it would be no big deal but as you said, the GF comes along--how long have they been together?  I think you need to be very clear (which a lot of women aren't because we just hint around) if you have not already and say that sometimes you would like to go out on the boat with him & his bro--all you can do is express how you feel and see what he does.  Why does he not want you around?  Not knowing him, I don' t know.  Maybe some of it depends on how much time you spend together--is this the only thing that he does that he does not include you in?  Do you do things w/ your GFs that you don't include him in?  Maybe he really wishes that his brother's GF wouldn't come along but since it's his brother's boat, he can't uninvite her--maybe he would really like to  spend some quality time just with his brother and hopes that if he keeps leaving you out that eventually his bro's GF will stay home too.  I'd say if you do everything else together except this, that maybe you just have to let this go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 11:06pm
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 11:22pm

I also notice you said, "...when his brother invites him to, for example, go out fishing on his boat, I am excluded..."  Does this mean you are excluded WHENEVER his brother invites your guy out?  Or just when they go fishing?  In either event, this smacks of the other girl going along with whatever shenanigans the boys get up to, while you would not.  I am reminded of "The Second Week of Deer Camp"...   http://www.songlyrics.com/da-yoopers/second-week-of-deer-camp-lyrics/

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2014
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 5:51pm

Sabrtooth, Obviously I am not welcome and, yes, I do want the truth and certainly can 'handle' it.  At my age, I don't want to spend time with someone who does not want me in their life.  On the other hand, I also know that there can be misunderstandings or misperceptions that can wrongly affect relationships.  Because this relationship matters dearly to me, and because his brother is his closest family member other than his sons, I would like to know if there is something I can do to enable us all to share more time together.  If the answer is no, he can't stand the very sight of me, then yes, I'd rather know that than wonder.  I don't fear the truth, but I am wary of dishonesty.

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