He wants to "take a step back"

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
He wants to "take a step back"
18
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 2:22am

Hello, Please any advice, sugestions would be greatly appreciated..IM 52 years old, divorced for 3 years after an almost 27 year marriage, ex was unfaithful. Anyway I married at 19 never really dated, and now I find myself trying to finagle dating, using OLD. My relationship of 9 months just ended about 6 weeks ago, I love this man, he is everything I have ever thought I wanted in a man. We hit it off well, Ibelieve we had it all, the chemistry, we got along so well, he introduced me to his family, friends, he met my friends, my daughter loves him, etc. He told me he has alot of fun with me, but feels like hes using me because he knows that I care for him a great deal nand he feels like he should care for me the way I care about him. He had been seperated for a year, when we first met, his divorce became final about 6 weeks after we started seeing each other. I held of becoming intimate with him until his divorce was final. He sobbed like a baby, because he never wanted to hurt me, and thats when I told him I loved him, he said he knew it, thats why he feels hes doing the right thing. BUt he says he wants to still date/be friends?  I dont get it. Im thinking hes jus confused. I wrote him an email the next day telling him I was giving him his space/ and I wouldnt contact him. ITs been 6 weeks..I did text him 2 times, once on his birthday and another time after he had gotten out of the hospital, other than that nothing initiated by him. He told me this a few days before my birthday, then he took me out for a birthday dinner, and we were intimate. I bought him a puppy for Christmas, we were going to be co-parents, he knows my  daughter and I love this dog, hes bringing her over tomorrow. I would love to discuss this further with him, but IVe decided I wont bring it up unless he does. IM going to be happy, and act like all is good when inside IM still hurting..I miss everything about "us"  I believe he was so hurt from his marriage ending, apparently she tore his heart up,because he loved her so much and she didnt return it at all, he told me he doesnt want that for me. Wow thats why I love him so much, thatts why its so hard for me to let him go. His family really likes me and thinks we belong together, his mom  put a picture of us on a wall in their home, one of us on a cruise..anyway..I want to be there for him, but at 52..Im not sure if I should wait...The on-line thing really isnt what I thought it was, hes the first one in the 3 years Ive been divorced that I can actually see my self with for the rest of my life. Thankyou for reading this long post, but any ideas or suggestions are welcome!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 7:16pm
Thankyou for your reply.....
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 7:14pm
Thankyou for your reply...yes I have been told I have a big heart, and I give my all to a relationship. I have learned some valuable lessons with each man I have dated...the lesson this time Is not to give so much, unless hes earned it. He just doesn't have much and hes a good man, I enjoyed giving to him, Id help him out anyway I could and not expect anything in return...yup another lesson learned...Thankyou again....
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 7:10pm

Thankyou all so much for your caring and thoughtful replies...Its so hard I know Im not the only one to ever go thru this...but I truly love this man,,,and I cant believe that its all come down to this....Ive cried everyday for the last 6 weeks, Im not typically a like this, I put on a smile to get thru the day, but my heart is breaking. I know I deserve better, I do want somebody who loves me as much as I love them, who will do anything to be with me. I think I will try the meetups?? How does one get into those?  When IM ready...in the mean time I have a vacation coming up and that will help me get my mind off him.Thanks again!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2013
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 6:37pm

Sometimes, we think the relationship was perfect. But in reality there was signs that he wasn't as in love as you were. It is very painful but the truth is you need to really look at your situation. I've learned that when a man wants something he goes after it. When a man wants to say something and feels something he also reacts. This sounds very One sided. buying a dog for someone is very hard but decisions need to be made , you might have bought the dog for him but your daughter might be the one that deserves this dog. The intentions of having a pet together was to take care of it together. But that's not the case. You either tell him you want the dog due to the situation, he shouldn't be coming over anymore or your giving him the dog completely. Age doesn't matter you will love again, but you need to protect your heart. You need to look at signs if something doesn't sound right. Remember stories we hear are all one sided. Nobody really knows what went on a break up or a divorce. You need to keep that in mind. Sounds like you have a big heart, you are caring and like taking care of people that you love. As far says his family goes, that's his family . They will do what he asks of them. They are his family. Only way to tell if he truly loves you is to let go. Don't text, write call nothing end it all. Have fun, spend time with your daughter . Take up hobbies anything to get your mind off of him. If he comes back it was suppose to be if not its his lose. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2013
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 6:36pm

Sometimes, we think the relationship was perfect. But in reality there was signs that he wasn't as in love as you were. It is very painful but the truth is you need to really look at your situation. I've learned that when a man wants something he goes after it. When a man wants to say something and feels something he also reacts. This sounds very One sided. buying a dog for someone is very hard but decisions need to be made , you might have bough

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 12:11pm

Mas41-

Hi. Break-ups are painful. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the others. Nine months is plenty long enough for a man to know if he loves, as opposed to merely likes, a woman. I am a 50 year old man and would know pretty fast myself--typically within a couple of months. I'm sorry to say but it's just not going to happen with him.

I wish I could take away the pain you're feeling.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 10:14am

Yes that is very disappointing but in a way the guy is doing you a favor--if he can see that you're in love with him, but he knows he's not in love with you, he probably can't see how this will work out in the future if you want things to end up in a more serious relationship--like maybe you would want marriage or at least living together and as you said being together for life.  He knows the longer this goes on, the more attached you will be & the harder it will be on you to break up.  I really don't agree with trying to keep on being friends--if he doesn't want a serious relationship with you, then it's better to just end things completely.  He obviously doesn't care that much if he hardly has contacted you.  A long time ago, I dated a guy for about 1 1/2 yrs--we were young & not ready to get married but we talked about marriage as being a possibility for the future.  Well then after being exclusive for all that time, he said he wanted to see other people--I reluctantly went along with that cause I just wanted to keep him around, but then I assume he found someone else he liked better cause he said that he only wanted to see me once in a while--well at that, I said don't bother calling me.  I knew I'd be miserable waiting around & hoping he'd call--I was pretty miserable for a while after the breakup but it would have been harder every time I saw him and hoped he'd change his mind.  Oh and I'm in my 50's and don't like OLD.  I think it's much harder for women over 50--somehow the guys just assume we're "too old" even if they're older, bald and decrepit.  I think it's a lot better to go to events where you can meet people in person--I think meetup groups are a lot of fun.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 9:35am

I'm sorry you're hurting. You took a risk and it didn't pan out. Unfortunately, none of us have crystal balls. He's never said he loves you because he doesn't. I'm sure he cares about you and has enjoyed your company, but he's telling you you're not the person he plans on a lifetime with. No. Don't wait around for him. If a man doesn't love you after nine months and is willing to let you go, then he's not going to magically do a 360 in the future. A man who loves you and is crazy about you would never let you go. He would put forth daily effort to keep you, the treasure, in his life. Women always try to give reasons and excuses why their man isn't emotionally available. It doesn't matter why or how. What matters is he's not emotionally available and no man is worth waiting around for.

You're not going to have closure unless you break all communication with him. He's getting what he wants. He doesn't want to put daily effort into a relationship, and it's fun for him to have a booty call. On the other hand, you're not getting what you want--an exclusive relationship and a man who uses you for a booty call. He knows you're settling and he doesn't care about your feelings. He knows you're in pain and doesn't care that it's bad for you to be kept dangling on a line like a worm.

Decide who has custody of the dog. No more joint custody. Tell him for your own good, you're moving on and must stop communicating with him. He will try anyway, because men can be jerks. Change your number if you have no will power. Be your own best friend and do what's best for yourself. Love yourself more than you love him. When you are over him, try meetups.com. This is a site where activities are posted, some geared to singles in a particular age group, and some open to everyone. Go to the ones like hiking, kayaking, bowling. It's less pressure than a one on one date. Get yourself out in the world by taking cooking lessons, dance lessons, landscaping classes, etc. I did online dating for over two years after my divorce and know how difficult it is. I did meet my future husband there, but had to go on about 30 dates with other men before finding a decent one. Be strong and keep searching for the right one. It takes cutting the wrong ones loose, though, so you can allow this to happen. Good luck.

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