VERY Confused, need advice!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2014
VERY Confused, need advice!
4
Thu, 03-13-2014 - 11:59am

I’m very confused right now and need some advice.

About a year ago I broke up with my best friend and love of my life. We had been dating two years and I was ready to get married. He, on the other hand, was unsure of our future. Sadly, we parted ways.

About three months after our break up I met someone else and we started dating exclusively. I have been seeing this man for almost a year. For the first 8 months I was happy and content to be with him. This relationship is not as exciting or fun as my last one but this man is very sweet and loving to me. We have told each other we love each other, however, we have no future plans and I’m beginning to think that we never will do to situations (below) and timing.

For the past three months I have been unsure of my feelings for this man. The first 8 months he worked locally but for the past 3 months he has been out of town a total of 6 weeks for his job. I am a teacher, have set hours and am free on the weekends. I am finding myself alone, with nothing to do, or having to do things by myself more than I like. I have always been active and like to be on the go, try new things, and be adventurous! I try to stay fit, run in a few 5Ks, bike, hike, camp, etc. Although my new boyfriend would like to do some of these things with me his life doesn’t allow him the time. So, instead, he seems to be getting unhealthier and less fit. I feel like a bitch for saying that but its true.

I’m 46 and my new boyfriend is 41. My son is 19, grown and away at college. My boyfriend has two kids from two different marriages. His 16 year old son lives with him (mother is not in the picture) and his 5 year old daughter visits every Thursday and every other weekend. When my boyfriend is not out of town working he has responsibilities with his kids. So, we don’t get to be spontaneous, its difficult to make plans or we are doing things with his kids. I totally respect his time with his kids and feel they should come first. Initially this didn’t seem like a big deal to me but I’ve been thinking a lot about it recently.

Also recently, his son got in trouble at school for having a small bag of pot in his backpack. His son was expelled and has to go to an alternate campus. This has taken even more time away from my boyfriend and has worried me about our future together, especially since I‘m a teacher and have never experienced such an issue with my own son. Like I said before we have no plans for our future, as in marriage, however, if I WAS married to this man this 16 year old, in trouble, would have been left with me while my boyfriend is working out of town.

So, I have had different conversations with my new boyfriend and shared all my thoughts and concerns. He basically told me he understood and asked what I wanted to do. I told him I was unsure. He said that he was going to be working out of town, that he is tied down with his kids, that his life was the way it was and I had to decide if he was worth waiting for or not. He said he would do his best to try and make more time for us, however, all the same issues have come up again…..him working out of town, can’t make plans, etc.

Then, to complicate things, I ran into my old boyfriend at a mutual friend’s party. (Of course I was ALONE at this party L ) I talked to my old boyfriend and he said that he’s been thinking of me and still has feelings for me. I told him that I was seeing someone else and he said he didn’t want to interfere, however, he missed all the activities we use to do together and if I found myself available to call him so we could catch up more.

I’m confused! I don’t want to hurt anyone and I sure don’t want to be hurt myself. I just don’t know what to do. Does anyone have advice or has been in the same situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 03-13-2014 - 12:15pm

You really have to think about what you want for yourself in the future.  I'm 56 and my youngest one is going to college next Sept.  I know that I would not even think of dating someone with a young child.  I will finally be free to do things when I want w/o considering a child's schedule and I really wouldn't want to be very limited by the guy's visitation schedule with his kids.  If they were at least in high school I might consider it because you can see that it's not going to be forever, but with a 5 yr old his attention is going to be on this child for a long time.  If you & he were to get married, that means that you are going to be a stepmother and having to take care of a child every other weekend--is this something that you are ok with?  Is marriage important to you or would you be ok with seeing him on his current schedule of whenever he can make it?  It seems with this guy a more casual relationship would be ok but it would be hard to be serious unless you want time with him to include his kids.

I also find it worrisome that when your BF is away you have nothing to do--don't you have friends? (I don't mean that in a mean way.)  The way my life is right now as a single person, I have a group of friends and I have things to do with them every week.  If a guy came along, I would not just give up all my activities and friendships and then have nothing to do when he's not around.  If you like to do these sporty or outdoorsy things, how about joining an activities club for people who also like to do those things, a running club, a gym or whatever.  You need to have a life that is not 100% working around what he is doing--I know in the past when I had a guy, it's not like I would neglect my friends but I only saw my friends when the guy was not available--I think that's not a good thing to do because when I got divorced, then I had hardly any friends and had to start from the ground up.  And realistically teachers have a lot more time off than other people.  If you can see that his time is consumed by his work and taking care of his kids, is it realistic that he would have time to do activities with you?  I think he's right--this is his life right now and he's probably too busy to do more than he is doing.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 03-13-2014 - 5:13pm

If you need to ask total strangers whether you should stay with your boyfriend, then what you SHOULD do, is break up with him. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Tue, 03-18-2014 - 10:55pm

From what you have written,I can see that you need to follow your heart and you too still have feelings for your ex and although you do care about this other man in your life currently..You don't love him nearly like your ex. Does your ex bf have any kids?Was that also an issue with you or no?

I say you need to follow your heart and it's with your ex still.You need to be completely honest with your current guy because just like you...he too needs to be with someone who loves him the way he deserves to be loved too..kids and all.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Fri, 03-21-2014 - 9:57am

You were with your ex for a fairly long time, and according to you, you were in love and ready to tie the knot. You only allowed 3 months before you again began to date your current guy exclusively. There is no relationship bible that I am aware of but 3 months does not seem like all that long to recover and refresh and find yourself after a long term relationship. Maybe it was enough for you, maybe not. I just caused me to wonder whether you sort of jumped in with both feet a little too quickly. I hate to use the word "settling" for someone, but the thought starts to come to mind with your situation. Also with the idea that you seem to not be as happy with the new guy, again its making me wonder about jumping in too quickly.

So with that said, and you have not been dating quite a year yet, I am leaning towards saying you have now been together long enough to start to see some of the cracks through the new coat of paint. It's normal of course for this to happen and it's part of the process of figuring out the long term viability of things.

You are probably feeling like maybe it would be selfish of you to think that his 5 year old is cramping your style, but you need to think about it a different way. You are dating, not even a year yet, not married, figuring things out, and it is OK to decide that a man with a 5 year old is just not something you want to commit too, not something you want to go through again at 46 years old.

He sounds very understanding of what you are thinking and would probably understand if you decided all of this just was not for you.