new here & wondering if it's me

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2014
new here & wondering if it's me
Mon, 08-25-2014 - 11:51pm

Hi. I am new to Ivillage. Hoping I am posting in the right area. Sorry this is so long.

Here's the situation. I am 48 years old. The man I am dating is 51. We have both been married before (20+ years for both of us). We both have children from our previous marriages. His children and grandchildren love me, and mine love him. We met a little over a year ago on a dating website. I have a full time job. At the time we met, he was not working due to an accident. He has recovered and started working a couple months ago.

Over the past year, there have been times when I have looked at him and thought 'good lord, what am i doing?!'. He is sweet, passionate, funny.... sounds perfect right? I thought so when I met him. 4 months after we met/started dating, I asked him to move in. Then about a month after that, I asked him to marry me. I was so happy....but then everything started changing. He started showing his true colors. As much as I hate to admit it, I was supporting him. I was paying for his cellphone, his meds... he was living with me. I was ok with it tho, because he was helping me... he would clean the house, do dishes... cooked dinner all the time. And yes, I made enough to support us both. But, after about 6 months of living together, I began to feel like he was using me. As I have said, he was out of work due to an accident. Many times, we have talked about his employment situation. He was waiting for a settlement. In February, his lawyer told him, that the insurance company has pictures of him carrying a table, moving boxes... stuff he did before we got together. It was then that I started losing respect for him. All I could think was that he was just looking for a quick buck. I kept pushing for him to look for a job. He kept taking his time and saying no one was hiring. McDonalds was hiring... it's a job. Anyway. Things got heated one night and I told him that he had to move out. He did. He went and stayed with his daughter. We were apart for about 2 weeks. I missed him with every ounce of my being. I cried all the time. I missed his laugh, his hugs... I missed everything about him. So, I called him, he came over and we talked. He said he would do whatever he had to do to make it right with me. He moved back in, but he hasnt changed :(
Here are a few things that have happened over the past 3 months. Please tell me your opinion....
His birthday. I bought him a necklace that he saw and liked. I took him to dinner at a nice resturant. When we got to the resturant, we ordered our drinks and dinners. I put the box on the table. I told him, that he had to wait til after dinner to open it. We talked, and laughed. Dinner was over, and the waitresses brought him his birthday dessert. I slid the box over and he opened it. He was so happy. We started to eat dessert and he took his cellphone out of his pocket and got on facebook. He was only on there for maybe a minute, but it still upset me. I didnt say anything then, even tho I just wanted to get up and walk away....and he knew it. He saw the look on my face and he knew I was pissed. After we left the resturant, I told him, that I was extremely upset. Told him that he made me feel as tho my company wasnt good enough. His arguement was, that he got on to look at something that he was thinking about buying for my grandson. I dont care what the reason was. It pissed me off. It could have waited for 1/2 an hour...til we left the resturant. He feels he did nothing wrong.
Sadly, his sister (not biological sister) passed away recently. On the way to the funeral, he reminds me about a girl that he had dated about 3 years ago, that remained friends with his sister (his sister and this other girl were friends long before he dated her). Anyway. when him and I got together, he described her to me as his stalker. She was constantly texting him and calling him (he wouldnt answer the phone to talk to her). One day, he finally told her that if she contacted him one more time, that he was going to press charges. She stopped. Anyway. On the way to the funeral, he told me she would be there. I said, as long as she has respect and doesnt start any shit, I could care less. We get to the funeral home and we were standing next to a truck talking to a couple of other people. His "stalker" pulled in, got out of her vehicle, and without missing a beat, walks up to him, hugs him and kisses him on the cheek. He hugs her back. She introduces herself to me and I politely said "yes. i know who you are". After she walked away, he turned to me and said 'wow. did you see that? she pulls in here and runs right to me?'.... what upset me, was the smirk he had on his face. And if that wasnt enough, he said it to me again about 1/2 later. Now, I am just getting pissed. I finally told him, " I saw.. I was standing right there ". I asked him why he didnt just turn around, or walk away when he saw her coming at him, or tell her to leave him alone. He had no explanation.
Another. The muffler fell off our truck. He called and was told to bring it in monday morning at 8am. Monday and came and went... he slept the entire day! Tuesday morning, I got up early, and as I am ready to walk out the door to take the truck over to be fixed, he says "wait. i will go with you". I told him not to bother. that if getting the truck fixed was important, that he would have done it when they asked him to bring it over....and not sleep all day.
The last discussion we had, he was saying that I am childish, selfish, over-bearing.... I just looked at him, and said "oh good. now we are into name calling". and I walked away.

I know he is not a motivated person (I wish I had known it sooner). I know he is insecure (he whines when I dont acknowledge him on facebook... it just facebook). Our sex life is great!! but even with that... I told him when we first met, that I have had a hysterectomy, and that sex is not that important to me. that I did not want a relationship based on it. I am happy with it once a week... he wants it every other day (literally). And he literally pouts when he isnt getting it... I told him, that is just sooooo not attractive.
I just cant take it anymore. I love him...but at the same time, dont see a future for us. I just dont know what to do.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 4:36am

Are you asking how to break it off with him or if you should break it off? I assume you've reconsidered about marrying him?

It seems like you moved in together too soon before you really got to know him, to see all sides of him. Now the honeymoon phase is over and you're seeing the real deal. He's rude (FB at bday dinner), disrespectful (incident at the funeral), irresponsible and lazy (truck issue), willing to commit fraud (is the insurance company going to press charges against him?), should I continue? You're having to be the adult in the relationship and when you call him on it he gets defensive and acts like a bratty teenager. Don't be surprised if you start feeling like his mom, except for the sex part.

He is how he is, maybe some woman will want to put up with it but it doesn't have to be you. It doesn't sound like there's enough good in the relationship to make it worth continuing. If you're not sure, make a list of pros and cons. Include some points about his financial situation---does he have a pension or retirement fund or is he thinking that you will support him in his old age?

The problem seems to be that you get lonely and miss the affection. I think you're going to have to tough it out for a while until you get used to being alone again. In the end it will probably be a relief to not have to deal with his numerous bad traits.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 7:12am

This won't necessarily be the most popular opinion, I'm sure.

Can I ask, would you put up with this man's negative traits you mention in the post if he had a good job?

It's completely different here in the UK. Unemployed or not, you will have 1 - roof above your head paid by the dole office (limited amount)  2- free  full medical coverage under National Health Service and  3 - some money (not a huge amount ) each weak to live on. And not just for the first 3-6-12 months after you've lost your job either. So..not many 51 y olds here in this country would be too keen on working in McDonalds. And you would certainly not have to support him. 

If this was his set up, would you still not want him in your life? 

The other things you  mention really should not matter at our age. So he used fb for a second at the bday dinner. So what? We're not kids. We know to choose our battles. Same goes for 'stalker'/ex, whatever she is. These things are inevitable in the past of a 51 old man. If your r-ship becomes real and long term, she'll disappear. I could tell you stories and stories of my now dh's 'baggage' from when we first met ten years ago. I know exactly what I'm talking about.

Sex thing, hm.. lol. I'd find this very difficult, if not impossible long term. Again, surely, some compromise can be reached between what your and his needs are IF the r-ship matures and if both people are willing to compromise in order to have each other in their lives. Have you mentioned to him that you can't have that much sex and remain happy?

See, you can respect or not respect him for not being work-mad, lazy, whatever, but this is what he is. You won't change who he is at the age of 51 - you will just make him resent you and eventually not want to be around. You know as well as I do that people don't change at this stage in life and it's a waste of effort, of live even, to try. My bottom line is.. only you know what the answer is here. You've listed a lot of good things about him. You also mentioned that you missed him like mad when he was gone for 2 weeks. I can't tell you what to do. I can only say that absolutely NOT ONE person on this planet will be perfect at 51, not have baggage - you know what I mean. The decision is  up to you...

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 9:59am

I agree with Remdamma. Never make a major decision like moving in with someone until you've been together at least a couple of years. As you have found out, it takes time for skeletons to come out of the closet, if there are any. It takes time to see how a person behaves in all situations, and how he will treat you after the high of the new relationship settles into a routine. The dealbreaker here is his work ethic and sense of responsibility. Everything else you've spoken of is normal stressful stuff by flawed human beings that can be worked out with communication and teaching people how to treat you and what you will not stand for.

You are settling. If you cut him loose, this will give you the freedom to find a man who is affectionate, has a similar libido, AND has a good work ethic. Is a man like this easy to find? No. But it's not impossible. You have to spread your net wide to find plenty of fish in the see. Join Do volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity or environmental cleanups (picking up garbage by the beach, etc.). Attend workshops at Lowe's and Home Depot. Join a co-ed sports team or bowling league. Join a gym. I was single several years after my divorce and had to go on dates without about 30 men before I found a decent guy. It was frustrating but worth all that time and effort, since I've been very happy with the husband I chose. We've been together five years. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 10:29am

I think you DO know what to do, you just don't know how to do it, and/or you'd rather put up with his crap than be alone.  You aren't going to change him.  He is what he is.  You're enabling him to live the way he lives.  The facebook at dinner thing?  That's a load of garbage.  In the middle of dinner, after receiving a nice gift, he's suddenly got to check out a gift for your grandson?  As the other poster said, you sure didn't know him after 4 months, and you should NEVER have brought him into your home.  He's got family if he's so destitute!  It's tme to either accept that he's far from perfect, and learn to deal with it, or ask him to move on, and look for someone who is more to your liking.  You have many years ahead of you.....find someone who will make you happy, not someone who frustrates you at every turn.  And, being alone is NOT the end of the the other reply says, get out there and mingle.......and you won't have to be alone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2014
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 10:51am

I know I need to end the relationship. It just sucks, because he does have some wonderful qualities.
I know I jumped in to fast. I know it's going to hurt....but, I would rather be alone than be unhappy. It wasnt easy getting out of a 25 year abusive marriage, but I did it. And I survived. I will end this relationship, and I will survive.

As for the insurance issue. He didnt receive any money. So, the entire thing was dropped by him and his lawyer. I just couldnt believe he would do something like that :(
No pension, no retirement fund. I have a retirement fund through my job. But I will damned if I am going to support anyone but myself when that time comes.
It has been hard over the past 6 to 8 months, learning that he is lazy, childish, disrespectful.... hasnt been easy for me. He just seemed like such a great guy. And yes. A couple of times, I have felt like his mother :( most recently, when he was in the hospital. There were times, he would look at me to answer the doctors questions...even looked at me for answers when it came to ordering his meals for the day :( I finally told him, that I am not the one that has to eat it, pick what you want.

By the end of the week... it will be done. It just has to be. I cannot live like this.

Thank you for replying.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 11:11am

If he is not what you want, then of course you should break up with him.  I do have to agree more with Juliasuk that it's very hard to meet anyone when we are middle aged.  I know a lot of really great middle aged women who are single and not even dating at all because we have more or less given up on finding a decent guy.  I am not saying that no one can meet someone using the suggestions that Safire has posted, but it's still hard.  Most middle aged people come with a lot of baggage and I also think that middle aged men aren't realistic--they want young & beautiful, even if they are old and unattractive.  

I think the incidents about the ex GF at the funeral and the FAcebook thing are annoying but I wouldn't end a relationship over a minor disagreement.  Now that he is working, is he making enough to support himself?  If so, the fact that he wasn't working before is kind of a moot point.  My 2nd exH was out of work due to an injury for almost 2 yrs--it was a definite injury, he had a torn rotator cuff.  He was on worker's comp for most of it but then at one point, the judge decided he had some kind of earning capacity to do some job, even though he couldn't do what he did before, which was installing hardwood floor.  Now everyone would say just go get a job in Home Depot or Lowes, but with many years experience in the construction area, plus experience managing a paint store, they wouldn't hire him--the problem was that he was too experienced.  Through a contact he finally did get a job in a lumber store, but his hourly pay was low for someone his age--but he worked 55 hours a week so he made a decent pay, plus he got benefits.  But it was definitely a struggle.  But since he was not working when you invited him to move in, you can't really be blaming him for not working--I wouldn't be paying for someone's expenses if we were not married and I would expect him to contribute to household expenses, even if it was not 50%.

I think that the different expectations of how much sex you both want is something that will always be difficult in a relationship.  I don't really think that every other day is excessive, but if you want it once a week and he wants it 3x a week, you could just compromise on about twice a week.  

But again, if you have decided that the bad outweighs the good, then you should just break up with him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 11:44am

Well.. you know what you need to do. I do hope you won't regret it and that you find someone who's a much better match for you. Some of us were not meant to be 'mothers' to our men, some were. I always say to everyone, my bloke's my 'two for the price of one' - kid and husband in one, in the absence of actual kids, and I absolutely love it.  People are so different - I'd actually find it ..sweet. Him looking to you to answer doctor's questions and checking with you what to order for dinner. Retirement funds come and go. You have a job now.. what if 6 months from now you get long-term sick, get sacked and loose it? Winter's coming, days are getting longer, dark earlier etc etc. I wouldn't be so hasty but then it's your life.

Good luck - you may just need it when starting to date again! Attractive decent employed 51 y old men with pensions, own houses, cars etc are almost never single. And if they are there is  usually a good reason for it. Also, if they are, they very rarely look for women of the same age; just like Musiclover said, every single one of them, the 'sorted' ones, will look for someone at least ten years youger. That's  a FACT  - everywhere from LA to NYC to London to Tokyo...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 11:51am

'..... Do volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity or environmental cleanups (picking up garbage by the beach, etc.). Attend workshops at Lowe's and Home Depot. Join a co-ed sports team or bowling league. Join a gym.'

H***, Safire... picking up rubbish at the beach? Workshops at furniture stores..? LOL.. I don't even want to KNOW what kind of single man goes to these things, and with an idea of meeting a woman too.  I can just see myself, in my gladrags, sitting in this tiny stuffy room at my local B & Q glancing about covertly but hopefully... As for gyms, who's even come up with the idea that people go to gyms to socialise or meet a potential date? Gym rats go to gyms to exercise... keep fit. They stick headphones into their ears and get on with it, cut off from the world. At least that's my experience of gyms.

I met my DH at an alternative (goth/metal) night club in London. That's more my scene.

I was at a First Aid training course last week. On paper, perfect way to meet someone, or even just make a semi-firend. About 20 people,. men and women, all doing the same activity, talking, laughing, communicating. Yet, at the end of the day, all we wanted to do - each of us - is to get the course over with and get back to our respective husbands and wives and lives. Not one of the people on the course was single or interested in much more than very superficial chit chat. And it's not the first time I experience this at a 'mainstream' gathering, library, local 'entertainment' event etc etc.

The bottom line is, it is extremely difficult to, at the age of 48, meet someone who you physically and mentally connect with and who in turn is available for a r-ship and wants to have it with you. You were very lucky to have met your husband and so have I. Mine's not anywhere near perfect, but he's perfect for me. IMHO, cutting someone loose is not a step to be taken lightly at this stage in our lives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 12:39pm

Julia, here in the US there are gyms known to be places where singles hunt for mates LOL. I knew a woman who got all fixed up (makeup, form fitting low cut workout wear) before going to the gym! She did get some dates from it.

Some of this man's traits are things that can be overlooked, some seem more serious character flaws---attempting to defraud an insurance company? That can have serious consequences and shows a basic dishonesty. It would make me wonder in what other areas he is willing to cheat or lie? And not trying to find work and just letting his gf of a few months support him--especially when his injury was nonexistent. The two together look like a guy who wants someone else to foot the bill.

Its true that no 51 year old man or woman will come with some baggage and annoying traits. Everybody has to figure out which ones they can tolerate and which are the deal breakers for them, or how many bad traits outweigh the good traits.

Best of luck to you Jms.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2013
Tue, 08-26-2014 - 1:14pm

Jms, it's good that you're evaluating this relationship and getting some outside input. Sometimes when we're in a relationship we don't see things that our friends or family might notice.

It seems like your trial separation allowed you to get some space and perhaps inspire your man to make some changes. However, your emotions allowed you to accept him back without any new conditions. While he does contribute to the household chores, I question why your man isn't motivated to at least support himself. It's one thing to be injured and unemployed, and I know it's hard to find meaningful work at that age. But, I sense you are losing respect for him and resenting his habits and needs. Sometimes people fail to make positive changes because it's not demanded or expected.

I guess if you want to know how badly your man wants to be in a relationship with you, you'll ask him to move out and see if he pursues you, instead of the other way around. You already know you can live on your own. Can he? Or will he always be taking advantage of the generosity of others? His true character will be evident if you wait and watch.