break up and break out

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
break up and break out
15
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 11:44pm

My bf broke up with me two weeks ago.  It happened over something I didn't think too much of but this is his pattern. Anyway, I was at his house and brought him dinner. We watched a movie that I wanted to watch. After that I told him about another movie of the same genre and that he could just see the trailer to see if he liked it.  Instead he surfed around. I don't remember the exact sequences but he told me

"I spent 1 1/2 hours watching a movie with you and now you don't want to watch this with me (or something like that).

I said I've spent countless hours watching movies, video games, etc... with you (for some strange reason, it's really important for him that I watched these things with him. In return he would go pretty much where I wanted to go and eat where I wanted to eat) 

He said "that's what a woman is supposed to do"

I said "what if I told you you don't do what a man is supposed to do?"

He: then why do you stay with me then. Leave.

So I got up and left. Because I didn't want him to always be the boss. Either I agree, I apologize or I go. He's not willing to talk/discuss anything anymore. While I was in the car, he called and said "let's break up once and for all, time to move on and find someone more compatible". I said "OK" and that was that. 

This is the bf that I've had an rocky R/S with since May 2009. His main problem is finances. And the worse thing is we can't even talk about it. He's 61 now, works as an attorney in solo practice. My best guesstimate of his takehome income hovers around 80K/year on average. That is without any benefits and practically no holidays and he's not able to put anything aside at all for retirement and no cash reserve. The only thing he has is his house which has a 20 yr mortgage on it. 

I, OTOH, am a doctor, 46 yo, never married no kids, and while not rich, on track financially (no kids, no ex-husband, good income allow for this to happen)

Since very early on in our R/S this was a redflag but I was lonely and I've always been grateful to someone who is kind to me so I kept an open mind and went along with it. I was hoping that his finacial setbacks (two prior marriages that ended badly and left him in bankruptcy the first time and debts the second time and having to support a son all these years - he was responsible and pretty much shelled out whatever the 1st ex-wife wanted for his son).

His son is in medical school now and able to get full financial aid (loans to cover everything) so hopefully he won't have spend too much on him moving forward. But since we broke up a few times and each time, I couldn't stand the loneliness, would come back to him. Each time I came back, I had even less leverage. In recent times, we stop talking about his finances so I have no idea if he's able to save anything for his retirement and what his debt situation is. He didn't have more than $1000 cash and $900 of it was spent on having the trees cut in his yard recently.

We stopped communicating about other things as well b/c he would always shut me up with the attitude that there's nothing wrong with him and I was too sensitive. Overall though despite his disagreement with me, I noticed he slowly over time stopped doing things that annoyed me. But the biggest elephant in the room, the finances, was untouched. I pretty much gave up on it and felt quite hopeless about our future together. Along with the hopelessness, I lost all sexual attraction for him as well. So we were basically companions in the last 7 months or so since we got back together again after broken up for 8 months.

I find it hard to move on. I keep asking myself do I want too much? Is having a good man good enough? I've heard of women who have men who leech off of them, who cheat them, not attracted to them. Here I have someone who accepts me for who I am. My depression doesn't make me the best person to be around either and many times he had to cheer me up and get me out.  And yet when we were together, I felt hopeless about us and resentful for not being able to communicate.

But why doesn't he see that I'm a good woman and try to work things out?

Anyway, I'm so tired and pretty much given up. I saw what some of you said about giving people a chance and breaking out of the mode. I put  a profile on OLD site OKcupid today and got my first email w/i minutes. The guy is average looking, a cop, but the profile sounds like a cool person. But I thought I give it a try so I emaled him back.

there's also another dr. an acquantance at work who appeared somewhat intersted but never asked me out so I don't know. My friend said maybe not intersted enough. There was another man that was intersted ( subordinate to me in position), and asked me to come to his house in front of the clerk. I was not attracted to him althugh he seems nice. I got weirded out that he asked me within hearing distance of the clerk. Never took him up on his offer.

Don't know how to feel what to think/do anymore. I've been praying for insight. Any thoughts?

  

 

 

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 11:51pm

I would say with this R/S I've gained some compassion for people with children. They cost a lot of money. We grew up poor so we all just fended for ourselves. Things turned out alright eventually but any parents would give their best so that their children would have a headstart and that cost a lot of money. My brother and and SIL don't have much money either b/c 1) they're not savers like me and 2) they spare no expenses on my little nephew. To be honest, I would not spend that kind of money on my own kids. I take the view that I would spend more time teaching important values to my children than spend money on all sorts of lessions,, private school, brand name clothes, etc...which is how a my SIL and my ex-bf's ex wife raise their kids.  These women are very pre-occupied with status, brand name, showing off even when you don't have much. I'm the type that doesn't wear brandnames or frequent posh places, but I have money in the bank.

And b/c my ex-bf didn't want to deprive his son of anything (and the son lived with the x-wife), has shelled out large amts over the years. I'm pretty sure she's found plenty of ways to gouge him so as to have some extra for herself as well.  

I don't know. B/c of my background, I was so determined to be somebody and love and marriage wasn't my priority, now I'm just so bored. When I look at the men that responded to me so far on OKCupid, I get so bored Already don't feel any excitement or motivation to push forward.

BUT, I must keep busy with other things and keep the profile on. Experience showed me, keep chugging along and at some point, someone interesting will surface.

I'm glad that you ladies understand my need for financial security. So many people equate that with being greedy or superficial but I'm not trying to find someone to support me. I've worked very hard to get to where I am now and I'd hate for someone to drag me down.

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 10:56am

I do think you know that at this point, his financial condition isn't going to change and I think it's very difficult for an older man especially to have a woman try to offer financial advice.  I just don't think most men would like it.  As you said, I think it's different when you are both younger & starting out in the work world and you're kind of on an equal footing, you can work together about your finances, how to save money for the future, etc.  You know, I'm 56 and a lawyer and for various reasons, mainly because I was a divorced mother w/ young kids who just had to take a lower paying job so I could take care of my kids, I really have not that great a financial situation--certainly not what you would expect from a lawyer.  I'm looking for a better job but ironically in law it's harder to get a new job when you're more experienced unless you work for maybe the government or a corporation--otherwise you are expected to bring a lot of clients with you.  Now if I had all those clients myself I wouldn't have to work for someone else's law firm cause I'd already be making money.  but they don't want to hire someone and have to pay partnership type salary when that person isn't carrying his weight.

So by now I just think that your (ex) BF is at the point where he's just hanging in there for a few more years til he can start collecting social security and he's accepted that he's not rich, will never be rich, and will have to work past 65 and he just doesn't need a younger woman who's making more money telling him that he basically screwed up.  It's probably a sensitive subject and he doesn't seem to be very open to criticism or suggestions from you.  But that's no way to have a relationship either when you can't talk about sensitive things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 10:26pm
White Satin, you needn't apologize for wanting a man who is financially stable. It doesn't even need to be a professional. My brother is a mid-level government worker, yet he has no debt and has close to 1 million dollars saved for retirement. It is not how much money one makes, but how they manage it. I am not looking for a man to cater to me, but I most definitely want someone who has his financial house in order. Please move on. There are no guarantees in life, but I would not settle. It just is not worth it!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2005
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 8:14pm

I think no matter how much you know a breakup is the "right thing" - it still hurts!  I definitely agree with those who encouraged you to grieve.  For better or worse, this relationship was part of your life for a long time.  You're going to be sad, and probably do a lot of thinking, but I think it's important to take that time.  

It sounds to me like regardless of how much money he had, you didn't have the same financial values.  Having been single for so long, and valuing financial security highly myself, this is something I look for in a guy.  Of course, it takes a while to flesh that out I think.

Hang in there, and stop by for support as often as you need it!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 7:22pm

Freeatlast,

Thank you for your encouragement. I enjoy reading posts from you all b/c it's sorta therapy for me. I don't know about hanging out with rich people. I'm not from a rich background (educated, not rich) and have gotten as far as I have from working hard (thanks to this country's generousity and ample opportunities for those who want to go for their dreams making it possible) and living frugally. Never picked up habits of the rich. A few times I splurged on something, it's from influence from family or friends. For some reason, I don't find myself wanting much except beautiful furniture and cute clothes, but even then I enjoy bargain hunting.

I like saving money :)

Initially with him, it was the money. After I found out about his dismal financial condition (only 1 1/2 months into the relationship, I felt like someone has just bursted my bubble, litterally. I had a sinking feeling in my heart. I don't need rich really. I need to be on track b/c I never believe in supporting a man, at least at this stage in my life. It would have been different had we been together for a long time when I was still struggling. For better or for worse but I feel in this situation, I'm only in it for the worse really.

But with time, I've come to accept where he was and was willing to work together with him to budget, figure things out, ect...but then we couldn't even do that b/c he pretty much shut me off. His attitude is he's doing the best he can, I have no right to interfere in his finances. That's the beginning of the end there. Besides that I couldn't communicate about anything else. When he did something to bother me, and I tell him, he took the attitude I'm the one with the problem. Or when I tried positive reinforcement and complimented him when he did something I liked, he would get sarcastic and made fun of me. Over time I just don't say anything. My only response is silence to show my disapproval of what he does. He probably somewhat got that, kinda laugh and we changed the subject.

He did after all these  years slowly steered away from behavior that annoyed me but boy it took many fights. Each time I had to apologize. I'm so tired of a screwed up with a big ego. Still the big issue, his money, is now off limit. Big black box. Don't know how much he's able to put aside, how much he owes, ect...I can't have any future with such a big unknown

Back to what you say about the rich. I'm not in that category. I'm a stable professional. I like to be around someone like me really.

.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 10:29am

Well first let me say that your ex is 61 . I am 59 and not going to be starting over and finding more money or a career or whatever.. Those days are over and what is ahead is social security and surviving if one is not rich.. Guess what?? I aint rich just like your ex... (LOL)

He is fine where he is in life and so are you.. You two just are not on the same page as they say.. You are trying to fit a round peg in a square hole because you dont want to be alone.. Yes.. I get that.. None of us here want to be alone but some of us are... Its just what it is... Yes it sucks for sure but if you keep on a yo yo relationship  you will get more of the same and instead of being 40 something and more dateable now you will be 50 something and older and less dateable.. KWIM???

So do yourself a favor and love yourself first and find out who you are and what you want.. Then put your intentions out there and see what happens.. In the meantime have fun and do fun things and date .. You dont have to look at every guy as a potential partner but just have some fun in the dating world.... Just go out and find out who and where people stand these days and find out their values.. Its not the money your ex doesnt have but his values and your's are not the same as his.. Find people with same values as you.. If that means hanging out with rich crowd then do it..There are some nice rich wine bars or cigar bars or martini places where rich hang out.. Go there and see what you find.. You never know...and it doesnt make you shallow or anything but will make you more specific about what you want...Just saying....

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 10:46pm

Thank you MusicLover, you're such a nice person to always be there for us online broken hearted.

I have some thought about the dynamics of my love choices. I seem to always settle for the nice but dysfunctional men. You see I grew up very poor. As the oldest child and a strong-willed one at that suffered the brunt of my caregiver's frustration and struggle to make ends meet. Along with it, maybe a biological vulnerablity for depression, it runs in the family, I developed depression and hopelessness around age 20 or so but never got treated until 20 yrs later. This has a big impact on me. Naturally I'm a saver anyway, but coupled with the poverty growing up, I have always placed great importance on financial security. It's so hard-wired in me that I can't let go of it.

Anyway, what attracted me to my ex bf was his confidence and his intellects. He would be considered the aceademic type that can't tie his shoes. But confident he is despite the fact that he's penniless. I consider his financial sense and choice of women lower-class mentality. Live hand to mouth, picking women who that flatter his ego and equate that with real love. I see now why it didn't work out with women like me. Women that are caplable and independent would not be kowtowing to a naive man. I was not good at catering to his sense of importance, of being coddled. Complex dynamics. I don't need someone rich. I've given up that desire since rich men are usually jerks and probalby wouldn't go for my type anyway, just someone who's on track. I was already OK with where he was b/c I loved him but I wanted him to get back on track and be willing to work together with someone that's going to share his life with him and would stand to suffer b/c of his problems. Either he didn't think it was important enough, or there's nothing anyone could do to change his finances. I guess is that he thinks he knows what his problem is and he's working on it and didn't need my interference. Just flat refusal to allow me to be involved is very unsettling to me and forver be a thorn on my side.

I value kindness so my problem with my major romantic relationships is not being with abusive men but kind men who have poor financial skill, poor communication skill, poor judgement, poor capacity for self-knowledge, nacissism, are just as bad, I'm afraid.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 9:01pm

I think your last paragraph says it all--you really need to be in a good frame of mind to do OLD because it's more likely you'll meet guys who you don't like or vice versa.  You need to be able to deal with that & take a lot of rejection in stride.  I also think that when you are down on yourself, that's when you attract the worst kind of men.  When you are happy & full of life, then you'll attract similar kinds of men.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 8:21pm

I have regrets when I'm alone and yet I'm not happy when I was with him. I think back about all the men I passed up in the past (can barely count them since I've never been a men's magnet), all of whom had more than my last bf. But I was immature and a bit of a prima dona. So whatever it is I can get at the time is less than what I want. I wonder if that's just self-sabotaging behavior. That's why I'm afraid if I pass this one up, I won't be able to meet anyone better b/c time is not on my side.

I've lowered my standards quite a bit b/c for the past 5-6 years, I live in hick country and along with advancing age, meeting educated people is hard. Before relocating out here, I would never in a million years go out with  a cop.  This one is kinda short (5'8), 50 something, chubby, and looks very average. But in the profile sounds like a down to earth, well-rounded guy. I thought about various posts here that reccommend going out with people who you don't have an initial attraction to to see if you're compatable. So, I wrote back.

another thing that kinda pushed me a bit was a friend announced she's engaged to a guy she met on OKcupid. She told me in the past this was a good free site. Anyhoo, OLD has been disappointing for me. But it's one way to meet men.

I'm not that keen on meeting men right now but like eating sometime you need something good to whet your appetite. But maybe just give it up already. Not in the mood and my bad attitude will just show through. Not fair to myself nor the man.  

 

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 6:33pm

All good advice so far.

I just wanted to add: money has been a bone of contention for you with this man from the start. As Musiclover says, at 61, how much longer is he realistically going to work? And even if he made big bucks for the next 4 years, I doubt he will ever catch up to you.

But even more than the money--it just sounds like you aren't very into each other to begin with. It sounds like a better-than-nothing relationship. 

I know you were alone a really long time before you met this guy, and believe me--I get it. But for better or worse, I think it's better to go it alone and leave a space for someone to come along who would be the right partner for you. My theory is that when you're in a subpar relationship, it blocks a good one from coming into your life. 

And I agree with the others: maybe take a break from men for a while. 

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