Gotten myself into a huge mess and don't know how to get out of it.

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Gotten myself into a huge mess and don't know how to get out of it.
8
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 4:37pm
I'm in a big mess. 

First, a little history: I've been with my boyfriend for five years, many of which have been filled with some great and some not-so-great times. I found out six months into our relationship that he had another girlfriend, broke up with him, and eventually ended up taking him back. A few years later, we broke up again because he told some serious lies to me, but we got back together shortly after. We were in our early 20s when we met, so I chalked a lot of our problems up to immaturity and we've grown together over the years. 

Still, we've had other issues that just have not gone away. One is that he absolutely refuses to accept my daughter's (from a previous relationship) father and stepmother into our lives, even though I have a very amicable relationship with them. He would not come to a single one of my daughter's sports games because they would be there, or any events they would be at for that matter. 

He's also still in school, so I hardly see him between his working and studying, which is hard on our relationship and hinders the relationship I'd like him to have with my daughter. He also lives at home and would like to live on his own first before we move in together, but with school fees he hasn't been able to do that and it's really held our relationship back. 

He also has a terrible temper and says very hurtful things to me when we argue, which is often, because he is set off very easily. 

Why have I stuck around this long? Because despite the bad, there has been a lot of good as well. He can be very thoughtful, attentive to my needs, and he's great with my daughter (when he is actually around). We have lots of fun together and he "gets" me like no one else. Not to mention we still have amazing chemistry after so long!

Still, I've had a nagging feeling in the back of my head given the bad in our situation. I wanted a future with him, but didn't know if it was possible to fix our many issues, as nothing had been fixed despite the many times I've been told they would be. 

Then guy #2 entered the picture. He was a coach for one of my daughter's sports teams (oddly enough I likely wouldn't have been chatting him up if my boyfriend had made the time to come to her games). It started out friendly enough, just out of my frustration and figuring it couldn't hurt to get to know him better, giving me another perspective on things. But it's now gotten to the beyond-friendly point. We've been spending a lot of time together and getting closer and closer. 

I told my boyfriend I needed time to clear my head and figure out what I want (however he does not know about guy #2). So although I have not seen or been with my boyfriend while I've been seeing guy #2, I'm not entirely unattached. 

As far as guy #2 goes, I thought this was okay in the beginning, as we hadn't talked about being exclusive and I figured he could have been dating other girls for all I knew. But it's become clear I'm the only one he's dating. He's the polar opposite of my boyfriend--a parent, so he completely understands and supports my situation with my ex, lives on his own, cooks me dinner, takes me out, takes an interest in my life and actually makes an effort to spend time with me as much as he can. It's like dating a man vs. dating a boy, really!

I've gotten in way deeper than I ever intended to though, and don't know how to get out of this mess. I'm doing exactly what my boyfriend did to me in the beginning, which was very hurtful and upsetting, and I hate that. I don't want to hurt anyone. I just feel beyond confused about which direction I should go in.

It seems guy #2 is exactly who I need in my life, but I can't bear the thought of not being with my boyfriend, either. I miss the good we shared and wish there was a way to fix the bad, but I am not so sure there is. I laid all our issues out on the table and he's promised me up and down he would work on some of them, but I've heard all that before--I'm scared that if I gave him a chance to prove it to me, we'd be right back where we are now two months later, and I will have missed out on something potentially good with guy #2. And even if I did give him a chance again, I'd still have this other relationship nagging at me as he would leave me for sure if he found out. 

I just don't know...if my relationship with my boyfriend can be fixed, if he really can change his ways...or whether I should end it completely and go for guy #2, yet how I would cope with losing "the good" and missing my boyfriend in the process. I know my boyfriend is trying so hard to be the boyfriend I wish he was before all this happened, because he is scared to lose me, but I don't know if that can last. 

How do I un-tangle myself from this mess? I don't want to be this dishonest person, and I know I need to make a decision soon before I lose both of these people that I care about. 
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002

To be honest, if your bf were "the one", I don't think you would have gotten involved with someone new.  You may have history with your bf, but obviously there are a lot of issues needing to be "fixed", and who is to say they will be?  You have to give yourself a chance to find someone compatible with your life, needs, goals, etc. 

It seems like your bf is basically doing his own thing, and every step in your relationship is based upon what he wants, not the two of you deciding together.  That he cannot accept the father and step mother of your daughter is ridiculous, they are not going away, and inevitably you all will need to be there in support of your daughter, that he cannot do that is actually very selfish of him.

 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2007
This is where you decide to grow up. On one hand you have a boy who you have some good times with and on the other you have a man who is responsible and who does what he needs to do. You have a daughter also - who would you rather be the man she see's her mother with? You need someone who is along the same path as yourself not someone who crosses your path when it is easy for them. Man or boy.
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Alexis,

You want your cake and to eat it, too. Can't be done. You must choose.

My frank advice? Breakup with your long-term "boy"friend and be done with it. He's selfish, immature, and isn't it nice you've gone along all these years and made it easy for him to do exactly as he pleases? Trust me, he won't be moving out of momma's house any time soon, nor will he finish school any time soon, nor will her put anyone else ahead of HIS needs any time soon. Haven't you wasted enough time on this guy? Keep the good memories and let him go. The sooner you do, the better.

As for the new guy, well two things. First, you've obviously been presented with a mature example of what it means to be a man. Refreshing isn't it? So back to my opening comment that you can't have your cake and eat it too. You have to choose. If you want to be fully involved with this man, ethically i.e. you're "free" to be with him, it  means breaking up with the old boyfriend. Second, if the only reason you can give yourself to breakup with the old boyfriend is a new boyfriend, then all you're doing is running from one relationship to the other. What do you know about yourself? Maybe a break is in order so you concentrate on yourself, discover what it is you really want from life, a mate, and for your daughter, instead of filling the void with another boyfriend.

Good luck. This is when you truly crossover from adolescence to adulthood - when you have to make decisions that hurt.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
You started dating BF#1 when you were very young. You have changed and matured since then and will continue to do so. You have grown apart from BF#1. This is why BF#2 looks more appealing, he is more inline with the adult that you are. BF#! and his attitude toward your EX really brings out the immaturity in him. Doesn't he realize these people are going to be in your daughters life forever?

I agree with the others that have said you need a break from both of them right now. Give the air a chance to clear. It will be better for your daughter if you can regroup and come at the dating with a fresh perspective, she doesn't need more instability in her life.
Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
I guess the problem I see is, are you going to have to threaten to leave him every time you need him to listen to you and your concerns? Is that how you want your life and relationship to be? No one wants that kind of roller coaster existence.