How do I leave?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2011
How do I leave?
8
Thu, 01-03-2013 - 6:23pm

Hello, I am a 46 year old woman in a relationship with a 54 year old man.  We have been together for 6 years now, in a rekindled relationship from 17 years ago.  We dated when our kids were younger, but there were things about him back then that are starting to creep up once again in our "new" relationship.  For example, he his very angry with his ex wife and has estranged relationships with both of his adult children.  Deep down, he is a very sad person (while I have a very sunny disposition).  Although there are many good qualities about him... he was very successful in business (now living on a great retirement plan) he is good looking and sweet to me in many ways.  We travel lots together and are interested in many of the same things.  The problem is, he is slowing down, wanting to live the life of someone in retirement while I am still going to work for several more years.  I too have a very successful career and am very financially stable.  He asked me to stop drinking and partying (which I did) and to pretty much settle down so we can grow old together.  This way, he has all of the benefits of being married without actually having to commit.  We live in separate homes, but he comes to mine (he lives an hour away) every weekend for good home cooked meals that I pay for, and all of the extra benefits of my cable, heat in the winter time, etc.  He pays for nothing and I rarely visit his house.  He says he prefers my comfortable home to his.  Basically he is having his cake and eating it too.   During the week, we lead very separate lives.  Here is the dilemma... do I want to stay in this relationship and just live my life like this forever?  I do have a lot of freedom, and I'm not sure I can be in a relationship that I would have to constantly answer to someone.  He has become like a comfortable old chair that you just can't throw away.  Part of me is afraid to leave, but there definitely is no passion in this relationship for me.  I'm starting to miss hanging out with my girlfriends, drinking and having fun.  Plus I think I might like to be married again some day, and he has made it very clear that it's not even an option.  Lastly, we have 3 very expensive trips planned (through August) and we own my house together (he invested in about 30% during the housing crisis to keep me in my house).  I will not be able to buy him out for about a year, but I am not sure if I can make it work for that long.  Any advice?  Sorry this was so long!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 01-03-2013 - 9:52pm

First I think you have to be clear about what you want.  You say you think you might want to get married again, but could you see yourself married to this guy? Somehow I doubt it.  You say that he wants to live in the retirement lifestyle, while you still seem to want to party a bit, there is no passion plus he's kind of depressed or angry.  As someone who was married to a guy who was depressed & angry,while I am generally happy, I wouldn't want to be in that kind of situation again.  He doesn't sound like that good a match for you.  If you do decide to break up, then you have to come up with a plan.  First of all, I'd tell him now (no matter what you decide) that it's not really fair that he comes over every weekend and you pay for all the food & cook and he doesn't contribute--either he should take you out to dinner sometimes or he should pay for some groceries.  Plus if you want to go out with girlfriends sometimes, you should tell him in advance not to come over that night.  I think it's a big mistake when women put all their time into being with a man and neglect their GFs--then if they break up, they have no one around.  I got divorced & found out I only had 2 friends--it has taken me a few years to get a group of GFs to go out with.

If you do want to break up, then you should make a financial plan--just because you won't be able to buy him out of the house for a year doesn't mean you have to keep dating him for that long on false pretenses of wanting to be with him.  Be honest and tell him that you have every intention of giving him back his money.  As far as the trips--are they all paid for?  If you tell him far enough in advance, could he get someone else to go with him?  Could he cancel some trips and get some money back?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 12:09pm

The guy kept you from losing your house and you begrudge him food and (I presume) heat that would be on anyway and cable that would be paid for watched or not?

Wow.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 2:38pm

ditzygirl66 wrote:
<p><span style="font-size:small"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-family:Calibri">Hello, I am a 46 year old woman in a relationship with a 54 year old man.<span>  </span>We have been together for 6 years now, in a rekindled relationship from 17 years ago.<span>  </span>We dated when our kids were younger, but there were things about him back then that are starting to creep up once again in our "new" relationship.<span>  </span>For example, he his very angry with his ex wife and has estranged relationships with both of his adult children.<span>  </span>Deep down, he is a very sad person (while I have a very sunny disposition).<span>  </span>Although there are many good qualities about him... he was very successful in business (now living on a great retirement plan) he is good looking and sweet to me in many ways.<span>  </span>We travel lots together and are interested in many of the same things.<span>  </span>The problem is, he is slowing down, wanting to live the life of someone in retirement while I am still going to work for several more years.<span>  </span>I too have a very successful career and am very financially stable.<span>  </span>He asked me to stop drinking and partying (which I did) and to pretty much settle down so we can grow old together.<span>  </span>This way, he has all of the benefits of being married without actually having to commit.<span>  </span>We live in separate homes, but he comes to mine (he lives an hour away) every weekend for good home cooked meals that I pay for, and all of the extra benefits of my cable, heat in the winter time, etc.<span>  </span>He pays for nothing and I rarely visit his house.<span>  </span>He says he prefers my comfortable home to his.<span>  </span>Basically he is having his cake and eating it too.<span>   </span>During the week, we lead very separate lives.<span>  </span>Here is the dilemma... do I want to stay in this relationship and just live my life like this forever?<span>  </span>I do have a lot of freedom, and I'm not sure I can be in a relationship that I would have to constantly answer to someone.<span>  </span>He has become like a comfortable old chair that you just can't throw away.<span>  </span>Part of me is afraid to leave, but there definitely is no passion in this relationship for me.<span>  </span>I'm starting to miss hanging out with my girlfriends, drinking and having fun.<span>  </span>Plus I think I might like to be married again some day, and he has made it very clear that it's not even an option.<span>  </span>Lastly, we have 3 very expensive trips planned (through August) and we own my house together (he invested in about 30% during the housing crisis to keep me in my house).<span>  </span>I will not be able to buy him out for about a year, but I am not sure if I can make it work for that long.<span>  </span>Any advice?<span>  </span>Sorry this was so long!</span></span></span></p>

the house is a business arrangment. the relationship is not.  You don't need the relationship in order to keep the business arrangement of the house.

Make raising the money to buy him out your unflinching priority, even before friends and drinking.  You must get your neck out of that yoke.  Cancel the trips and use the money to pay off what you owe him.  Why pretend while on the trip that you want to be with him when you don't?  It's clear from what you've written here that you are done with him.

I have to agree with Glenn... considering what he did to help you to keep the house, it doesn't seem to me that him spending the weekends with you should be that mountainous of a deal as you're making it out to be.  IF it weren't for him, you would be in a worse situation--like without that house altogether.

If you dont' want to be in a relationship with him, then don't; but make it your number one goal to pay off what he paid to help you keep your house--over and before everyone/everything else. That is what would be fair here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2011
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 4:34pm

I thank you all for your advice, and you are right about the weekends.  Its the least I can do for someone who has been a very good friend to me above everything else.  As for the trips, I paid for the trip coming up in March and its gotten to the point in which it is not refundable.  I'm just going to have to tell him ahead of time that we will have to travel as friends and if he decides he does not want to go, I will have to find someone else or go by myself.  I worry a little because he has a tendancy to be very vindictive, and he might want to end our business arrangement (the house) now.  He has made it very clear that he wants his money back with interest, and I would have to dip into my daughters college fund for the money I have not saved up.  In the end, I know what I have to do and it won't be easy.  I truly care about him and I know that besides me he has no one.  He doesn't even have any friends or close family ties.  Thanks again for your advice.  I will take it to heart. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 01-05-2013 - 8:02pm

I worry a little because he has a tendancy to be very vindictive, and he might want to end our business arrangement (the house) now.  He has made it very clear that he wants his money back with interest, and I would have to dip into my daughters college fund for the money I have not saved up.  In the end, I know what I have to do and it won't be easy.  I truly care about him and I know that besides me he has no one.  He doesn't even have any friends or close family ties. 

That he is a vindictive person is even more reason to break up.  If I were you, I won't go on a trip with him as "friends".  You would just further complicate things and prolong the separation process.  Also stop worrying about him.  He has chosen to be who he is (no friends, not close to family, etc.) and he has to live with it.  Besides, some people actually like to be alone.

Is it possible for you to get a home equity loan to pay him off?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2011
Tue, 01-08-2013 - 11:18pm

I can see what you are saying about worrying about him.  A friend advised me to read, "women who love too much," and I'll be damned if I don't fit the profile of someone who picks men like my boyfriend and tries like crazy to fix them.  All the red flags were there loud and clear, but I just didn't listen to them.  For such a smart lady, I make very bad decisions when it comes to men.  I've tried and tried to get him to reconcile with his kids, to no avail.   His kids are very smart, successful young people, but he resents them for "choosing" their mom in their bitter divorce.   Anyway, I started trying to have "the talk" with him this past weekend, but he has a way of making me feel so guilty.  Since then, he has been so nice to me that I can't even think straight.  I start thinking that things aren't so bad, and that the last thing I want to do is end up on the dating scene again.  Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach. Bottom line, I think it's time to invest in some much needed counseling.  As for the home equity line, I've never had one before but I will definitely look into it.  Thanks! 

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Sat, 01-12-2013 - 9:50am

ditzygirl66 wrote:
<p>I can see what you are saying about worrying about him.  A friend advised me to read, "women who love too much," and I'll be damned if I don't fit the profile of someone who picks men like my boyfriend and tries like crazy to fix them.  All the red flags were there loud and clear, but I just didn't listen to them.  For such a smart lady, I make very bad decisions when it comes to men.  I've tried and tried to get him to reconcile with his kids, to no avail.   His kids are very smart, successful young people, but he resents them for "choosing" their mom in their bitter divorce.   Anyway, I started trying to have "the talk" with him this past weekend, but he has a way of making me feel so guilty.  Since then, he has been so nice to me that I can't even think straight.  I start thinking that things aren't so bad, and that the last thing I want to do is end up on the dating scene again.  Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach. Bottom line, I think it's time to invest in some much needed counseling.  As for the home equity line, I've never had one before but I will <span style="font-family:'Calibri','sans-serif'; font-size:11pt"><span style="color:#000000">definitely</span></span> look into it.  Thanks! </p>

So now, he's gaslighting you...  no wonder his children chose their mother instead of him. I guess it never occurred to him to examine why he repels those he claims he loves.

People like him won't believe you when you say "on such and such day at such and such time, you said/did this to me"--they'll gaslight you and say "no, you're wrong" or "you misunderstood me..." or "I never said such a thing...", anything to deflect them taking responsibility for their actions.  Then they leave you feeling like "am I crazy? Did I get it wrong? Am I the one being the bitch?"  That is the nature of gaslighting.  I would even go further and say that the offering you the money to save your house was part of a manipulation in order to keep you in the relationship when your first feeling is to end it.  He probably knew that when he offered you the money.  Now I'm rethinking what I said about allowing him to stay there on the weekends--it's not really about using the cable, heat, etc.: it's about someone emotionally manipulating you that you don't want in your space.

Yes, look into that home equity line--it may be your ticket to freedom.

Don't feel guilty and dont' allow him to make you feel guilty. What you feel is genuine and correct and he is not allowed to define for you what your experiences are or how you interpret them.  You are old enough to do that for yourself without him drawing you his own road map.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2011
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 6:43pm

Kendahke1, thank you so much for your advice.   I have never heard the term gaslight, but it does seem to fit.  I do feel crazy most of the time because he always makes himself out to be the victim.  I know he knows something is up, because he has been bringing me flowers and loads of food since I broke down and mentioned that he needed to pitch in.  He has become the ideal boyfriend because when I inevitably break things off, he will say ... look at what I did for her, and she left me! 

You are also right about the loan.  Back when all of this was happening, my mother offered me the money, but he insisted.  I totally read it as us owning something together and moving toward marriage someday, even if it was just common law.  I even considered giving up my house and moving into his, and he was initially good with that.  I stopped paying my house note for a while because I was going to let the house go, only to have him change his mind about me moving in with him.   I think he was afraid that we would become common law partners and eventually I would leave him like is first wife did, and I would try to take him to the cleaners like she did.  Nothing I could ever do would change his mind, even though my amicle divorce with my exhusband ended nothing like that.  He came up with the bright idea to refinance with him as the co-signer with the lump sum of money down (which is what they required at the time).  My credit did suffer a bit, and I'm not sure if I could carry another loan by myself until it gets better. 

Anyway, my mother told me I was making a big mistake, but I did not listen and took the loan from him.   We had a very big fight last year and the first thing he did was tell me he wanted his money back.  This hurt me so badly that I broke things off and was going to repay him.   He really didn't think I was going to be able come up with the money, but when I did he fell on the sword and told me what a big mistake he had made.  He begged me to come back, and we got couples counseling and reconciled.  The counselor suggested that he try to make amends with his kids (because this was really hurting our relationship) and he agreed.  That was eight months ago, and he still has not done anything to repair their relationships. Even after hearing the news that his son would soon be having his first grandchild... nothing. 

 Even though I'm having all these epiphanies, it does not make any of this easier.  I have been feeling very spiritually low as of late, and I have told him for years that our relationship would lead to both of us being wrapped up in his funk.   The good thing is, I have the support of my family (mom and sister), my daughter (we are very close) and some of my girlfriends with whom I've recently regained contact.  I am also searching for the right counselor in my area.  This website has been a godsend so far, and I can’t thank you all enough for your advice.  Peace and happiness to all!