Peace, Myradorn, Kathleen, Lynn, other old friends: I need advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010
Peace, Myradorn, Kathleen, Lynn, other old friends: I need advice
23
Sat, 07-20-2013 - 12:42am

Hey ladies, its GW. I need advice/help from someone who knows what I've been through and who I trust. This isn't exactly a BS situation but I "know" you all and the advice you give and I value your input. So here goes.....

Since Jan. 2010, I've been dating a man who totally accepts my disabled daughter, has been good to us all, but I'm not happy with him anymore. He wants to get married and I don't. For one thing, I would lose my alimony and I absolutely need that to care for my disabled daughter. (My ex is completely out of the picture. He hasn't even seen her since Oct. 2012) Its nothing he's done, its just that we never go anywhere. Maybe out to eat 3 or 4 times in the last year and camping 2 or 3 times for a weekend and that's it. I've told him over and over that I NEED to get out sometimes, more than 3 or 4 times a year!

You may remember that the 20 years I was married, my ex worked out of town and I had everything to take care of by myself, never went anywhere other than the usual errands, kids to school, drs appts with my daughters. I was almost completely isolated for all those years. I rarely had help from anyone to babysit or provide me with respite from the demands and stress of caring for my daughter, house, yard, horses and farm. In 20 years, I went to lunch with one friend one time. And that was basically "it" for getting out for a while.

He was laid off from his job and so money was tight for him and I totally understand that. So I would ask him to go out to eat, go places, etc. and I would pay 9 times out of 10. But he's been working now for the past year building up his own home business (that is mostly seasonal in summer months) and still we go nowhere. He was coming over every single night for quite a while and I had to tell him this had to stop. It was interfering with my taking care of my daughter (her disability requires 24/7 care) + he would stay til 12am every night.  During the school year, this was very difficult. She doesn't sleep well as it is, which means neither do I. Ok, so finally after telling him 3 times, he got it and quit coming over so much. I hated to hurt his feelings but I had my daughter and myself to think about, too.

He's really a good man and very caring but he doesn't associate really with anyone but me. If we camp or ride, he doesn't want to be around other people. All the friends that he made through the years he's lost touch with (plant they all worked at closed). He has no family except for his son and a few cousins that are much older than him and some nephews.  So I know he's lonely and because of that I feel obligated to him. He helped me out with moving and things around here when I first moved in after the divorce(NOT moneywise, I pay my own way). When my older daughter was in an accident, he drove us to the hospital 2 hrs away. Again, the obligation. But then I remember that I also fed him nearly every night for 2 years, did his taxes, took care of finances for him, etc. so its not like I never did anything for him either.

I hate to hurt him but I feel trapped and my stress level is through the roof. I've only been getting about 3 to 4 hours sleep for the last 2 months. I'm completely worn out. A few nights ago, he texted about coming over. I told him it just wasn't a good day, I'd been up all night.  So then he texts this long message "do we need to talk? you hardly ever text anymore, we hardly ever talk, etc." I went off. He knows that I have almost no signal here, that my daughter is out of school on summer vacation and as I said, she requires 24/7 assistance and supervision because of autism and several other disabilities.  I told him I needed to focus on her and everything I had to do around here for a while. So then I got the "thanks for all you've done for me but i never thought it would end in a text" speech and then the "I won't bother you again" spiel. WTH ever. I'm worn out and honestly, he's just added stress. I feel like a horrible person for saying that because he is such a good person. So he made me feel guilty ( I really hate hurting anyone) and we got back together. Totally wrong thing to do I know. I'm just so mixed up, sleep deprived, and going through menopause on top of that!

ANY advice would be appreciated!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008

It appears as this might have been a rebound relationship for you .. was it?? if so then maybe you needed time for yourself and to sort things out and do some soul searching on what you wanted in a mate.. I am not judging you because I have been there myself so I do understand this..

Or you could look at it if this man was like this in 2010 then what did you think would change?? Like all of a sudden he would become the man you thought he was?? I got into a rebound thing while I was getting a divorce and it had its moments but after awhile the man i was with never really wanted to do much and the sex was waning and it was going downhill.. I knew though why he and I were together though. We were both a mess from our previous marriages.. I got out of it when I realized I was worth more and loved myself more but the relationship did have its good points.. Just not enough to stick around...

You are either going to have to accept him for what he is or move on.. Sorry but I think its that simple..

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Being in a relationship with someone cause you feel guilty and don't want to hurt him is definitely not the way to go.  I'm confused if you say that your DD needs 24/7 care how can you go out?  Do you have someone who can take care of her when you go out?  The thing is that you want to go out, the guy doesn't like going out, so that's one incompatibility.  Plus it's not your fault that he doesn't have friends.  I am wary of people who have no friends--it's too much of a burden to be everything to someone.  My exH (2nd DH) introduced me to a group that was his siblings and other friends he had known for years a few months after we started dating--I thought, wow, this is great--these people are all nice and fun & we can hang out with them--well it turns out he was happy being with them 2-3 times a year on holidays.  They used to go camping all together and he never wanted to go--I don't really like camping but I wouldn't mind going down during the day to hang out & go swimming.  We did that occasionally but it turns out he was really on the fringes of this group.  It's like he couldn't make any effort to be with people and I think it was because he was kind of screwed up himself.  Ironically now that we got divorced, I see from Facebook that he seems to be doing more things he likes, like riding his motorcycle & photography, but I think he's really a loner.  I don't think a loner meshes well with someone who is very social--most of the time on weekends I'm with a group of several friends, which is what I enjoy.  When you look at your BF as "added stress" that's when you know the relationship isn't working for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010

I think you are correct in that this was a rebound relationship. He wasn't this way for the 1st year we were dating, as far as never going anywhere I mean. You are correct and I can't accept this sitting home never getting out. I did that for 20 years and for my own sanity, I need to get out more than 3 or 4 times a year. He proclaims his undying love for me but I don't know that he loves me as much as he thinks he does. I think its more that he was lonely and had divorced in 2006.  My divorce was final in Oct. 2009 and he and I started dating in Jan 2010. I had dated some but not alot. Thanks so much for your input!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010

I do have someone who can care for her occasionally so that I can have a break. Or she can go with us as she has done in the past, as she needs to get out sometimes, too.  I am a very social person, love being with people, I just never have the opportunity. When my DD has a good day where we could get out and go for a walk or go anywhere, it seems like he shows up. Once he told me, "You act like I"m holding you back." You think? When he was here til 12 am, 1am, 2 am some mornings knowing I had to get her to school in just a few hours, darn right you're holding me back. I put a stop to that. But it will just be a matter of time before he falls right back in to coming over every night again.

I agree with your comments on a 'loner'. He even says that's what he is. He doesn't like crowds. He will even take off to ride horses at a very popular riding area here and purposefully avoid riding with other people. My daughter's BF told her " Your mom stayed home for 20 years and she's STILL staying home! Does he ever take her anywhere?".

Thanks so much for replying. I know what I have to do. I just don't know how to go about it without hurting him. I don't suppose there is a way to eliminate it completely.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

Hey GW long time no see on here. Well from an outsiders point of view this relationship sounds like it has a lot of problems #1 He wants you to get married. Okay so what happens IF you did marry him and it didn't work out? Do you get your alimony back? Or lose it forever when you remarry? #2 He is a homebody and you like to go out. Not a good combination there. #3 He doesn't have any friends which means he is going to depend on you for a LOT of attention. Now it would be okay if you had the time to give him your undivided attention, but with your daughter being disabled and needing constant care, you just can't give him the attention he needs. It sounds like he's a good guy but maybe you need to ascess whether he's a good guy for you, and you did say yourself that "you know getting back together was the totally wrong thing to do"  Really it just sounds like this relationship is stressing you out more than it's worth being in anymore. Maybe you just need to take a break for a while and see if you feel a lot less stressed on your own.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008

Oh, after reading that, one message came thru loud and clear.  You do not really need to hear our thoughts - you already know what to do.  He may well be a good guy, just like you're a good woman.  You're just not the "right" guy and woman, it's not a good match here.  You lived a life in the past that was not fulfilling and you want something different now - it's unlikely to happen with him.  He sounds content to "do" very little, it sounds like he has truly made you "his everything" - something all of us who've had to visit these boards know is not wise.  It can sound oh so romantic....for awhile, then it either gets suffocating or just doesn't feel right.  That this guy cannot empathize or grasp that your daughter has to be your priority is important - she's your child, for heaven's sake.  Even after you let him know that you just didn't have the amount of time available that he seems to need, he'd still stay until midnight.  He just sounds very needy and seems to be wanting you to want exactly what HE wants, and I think that's usually fairly unrealistic.  You sound like you tried as kindly as you could to help him understand, but you have ended up feeling trapped and guilty.  I don't know him, of course, but his "spiel" to me sounds like a spoiled brat who was showing you exactly who he truly IS down deep - and by that I mean someone who may never be a good match, and from knowing a few manipulative folks thru the years, I have a sneaky suspicion he is now thinking "there....now the ball is in your court!!!"  And....he would be right.  He's like all of us, he has his own issues, but the key is your relationship is causing even more stress in your life than you were already experiencing.  If you are also going thru menopause, sheesh - you have more than enough on your plate.  Relationships often end, some just do, some run out of steam, and some need to come to a halt.  You have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to feel guilty FOR, and I think the one you need to be kind to right now is YOU.  We all hurt people at times, we really do, even people we characterize as good people, but if this is making you feel guilty, stressed and tired, then do some homework.  A therapist recommended this years ago and you may already have done it already, smart woman I know you to be.  Take a piece of paper, draw a vertical line down the middle - on one side write down all the positive things you know about him and the negative on the other side.  I have a feeling one list will be a great deal longer than the other, or at least open your eyes.  Lots of us here learn the hard way the person we care so much for is not the right person.  You already went thru that.  If that's the case here, don't do that to yourself again.  You're a good mom, an exemplary mom, don't let some guy make you feel guilty for that or anything else.  Life's too short.  And don't we know it.....

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010

TYSM for replying Peace. If I ever remarried, I'd lose the alimony for good. If I truly wanted to get married and if there would be enough income to provide for my DD, that wouldn't matter.  But I don't and there wouldn't be and I have to put her needs first. She will always be with me until I die and then go to my other DD. Her father gave up all rights to her so my other DD is the stand by guardian, by her own choice.

I'm not a bar hopper or a party girl but I would like to go out for to eat, see a movie, go for a drive or day trip occasionally. He's older than me and has done things and went places. I think I'm entitled to do things every once in a while. My DDs mean everything to me, but being a caregiver 24/7 365 without a break is so wearing. And its not just that I want to get away from my DD. She can and has gone with us before. Its just now we never go anywhere. I think your advice about a break is dead on.  Thanks again!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010

What I meant in the 1st paragraph " I believe you hit the nail on the head when you said he wants me to want what HE wants. Its not even up for discussion and nothing would change my mind.  " is that he wants marriage and that is totally out of the question. I tried to edit my reply but it wouldn't let me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010

Myradorn, Thank you for the kind words.:) I believe you hit the nail on the head when you said he wants me to want what HE wants~marriage and staying home all the time. Marriage is not even up for discussion and nothing would change my mind. He is good to my DDs and does understand that their needs come first. But then again, seeing how stressed I am, knowing all that I have to do, one would think if he understands he would do more than say "we need to get you out more".

He's one of the sweetest people I've ever known and I do love him dearly as a person. But I also know that things aren't going to change and they wouldn't if we married. My life would be exactly as it was before, sitting home all the time, no vacations~only with 2 more people (he and his son) to take care of. I've got my plate full now as it is!

I just hate so badly to cause anybody pain. I know how it feels to feel rejected. But I think of his first wife who heard the same words from him that I heard from my ex when I found out about his A~"No, I don't love you."  Granted there was no confirmed A in their relationship (he thinks she did but from what I read into what he told me, I think he used that as an excuse, IDK...) He says she was a control freak but he left without trying to work on it, leaving a 6 yr old son crying. That was years ago and people can change but I don't have the luxury of assuming he has. He then lived with a woman for 5 years who bankrupted him. His second wife told him to choose between her and his young son. He chose his son. Of course, this is all just what he told me and his side of the story.

His whole family has passed away; both parents and brother. He lost his home, job and so much else. I know none of that is my fault.  Why do I feel this obligation and that I have to take care of everyone, make everyone's problems my own?  It certainly isn't because I had a bad childhood. I had 2 of the best parents and extended family anyone could want.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008

Hi GW!  IMHO you definately should not marry him if you will lose the money to support your daughter, but you know that.  I also would not consider marrying someone who is not financially supporting himself--been there done that-- with my cheating exh as you know.  That is a recipe for financial disaster!

I think you are a kind person and I can understand you do not want to hurt him but you also need to care for yourself!  You deserve time out of the house, dinners out, movies, whatever.   You give so much of yourself to others, it's time now to take care of yourself.

Perhaps you can tell your bf that at this point in your life you want to get out more, to spend as much time as you can socializing with others and that you are not in a position to get married.  Tell him that you need the alimony to care for your daughter. Maybe you could suggest that you just 'date'?  Like going out to dinner or a walk in the park or whatever once or twice a week. If he is not open to that then it should clearly show him how your differences would not make a good relationship.

 Personally I think some of what your bf said to you sounds kind of passive aggressive.  He is trying to present himself like a victim so you will feel sorry for him and keep him around and take care of him, kwim?  It is only going to stop if you stop it.  Don't feel bad about it.  You did not choose his past relationships or how he treated his son, his past family relationships and you are not responsible for his reactions to what others say or do or his happiness.  Any suggestion by him that you do have such control is passive aggressive, IMO.  He shouldn't be holding what 'he has done for you' over your head either.  Every nice thing he has done for you was of his own free will.  Please let go of the feeling of 'oweing' him.  You have done plenty of nice things for him too.

IMHO we are all responsible for our own happiness, how we react to others and the direction we can take in our lives.  I suggest you start getting out there, having fun, however you can and choose to.  Tell your bf this is how your life is going to be from now on.  If he wants to join in great, if not send him off with your love and wish him well. A relationship doesn't have to end in anger.  It can just be two people moving on, don't let him make you feel like the bad guy.  YOU AREN'T!

HUGS!

Ollie

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