I have a very intricate and long story i am looking for insight on. So I am apologizing now for the length. But in order to get the full picture, I have to give a lot of info and back story.
I am in a relationship with my boyfriend close to a year and a half. we are 28 and 29 and we live together.He has 2 kids with a person he was on-and-off with for a while, but never serious with.I have no children. He has had several girlfriends, relationships and flings. That I know of, he's only had one somewhat healthy realtionship that was more long-term. From what he told me, she was a great person and all but she was more or less good for the kids and not much else. Apparently there was not much spark even initially and he wasn't even really that physically attracted to her.
I have had less in the way of quanity when it come to relationships and more in the way of quality. I have had 2 major long-term relationships and a handful of boyfriends/flings. I am a very devoted person and I have to think logically with my head AND my heart in my relationships. so our experiences in our romantic pasts differs a bit.
I was on my way out of my last relationship of 4+ years when we started communicating kind of randomly through social media sites. My relationship with my ex had been dragging on for far too long before we even started talking. It was dead and over, but I couldnt just ditch him since we still lived together and shared an apartment (so it was very complicated). I contacted him first and he was aware of my 'relationship status' and all the complications, but he was interested. I didnt expect for our reconnection as friends to blossom into a real attraction. Things started getting more intense when I asked my ex to vacate our apartment, we were texting throughout the day with eachother and talking on the phone and would spend hours on skype with eachother. He lived more than 500 miles from me and so we had a considerable amount of time and space as we began developing a relationship.
we planned visits as soon as we realized there was a connection we wanted to explore. and so we began flying back and forth to gain quality time with eachother in person. we talked about everything while we were apart: moving to be with each other, getting married, kids, futures, deep intimate things.We ended up deciding together that I would move to be with him because it wasnt fair to expect him to leave his kids, and 6 months later I did just that: I moved over 500 miles to be with the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I gave up my job, and left my family and friends to pursue what spoke to me on the deepest levels.
Prior to my leaving we had talked seriously about marriage, about a wedding, what we wanted and had even went ring shopping together. We found what we liked and planned that It would be on my finger, promise and all, before I left my life behind. But he ran into problems and money was an issue: he wanted to come up with the cash for it and needed more time to do so. he didnt believe in putting an engagement ring on credit. he told me it was in the very near future and that he was sorry he wouldnt have it by the time I moved, but assured me it was a done deal.
after my move, I found a job fairly quickly. we had a small one bedroom apartment that we planned as a temporary living sistuation, we figured wed live there for a year then get something bigger and nicer, maybe save for a house or condo. I was nervous about all my new suroundings: new family, kids, a new job with new coworkers, new friends and people to meet, new schools to look into for finishing my degree, and this new partner that I so adored and felt would be there for me to help me adjust.
The first few months went by rather uneventful, but i was overwhelmed by the debt I was left with from my prior living situation ( I had been slammed with all the bills and expenses when I kicked my ex out of my old apartment and things snowballed). I was frustrated and my anxiety and depression kicked into high gear- especially when things started to not go very well with my new job. with all the stressors combined I was really comming undone. and my new relationship was feeling the stress. his expectations were rather unrealistic for me: he expected everything to come natural and easy-breezy in respect to my acclemation to my new home, my new everything and I fear I disappointed him. he expected for me and his kids to have an automatic connection even though many weekends we didnt see them because their mother would withhold them from him in an attempt to play games (very immature). And they began a legal struggle involving child support and custody. He was frustrated and I was frustrated and it wasnt helping matters much that he started drinking more, smoking more and spending more money on those habits on top of gambling, sporting events and going out for meals.He even stopped going to his any classes for a while that he'd started before we even started talking. It was like I moved to be with him and he went into 'vacation mode', which he realizes and acknowledges. and a year after my move, still no ring. He claimed I had some stuff I needed to work on before we go there, that Id get a ring when he knew I was ready. I was disappointed but I felt that he loved me.
We started fighting more. and the stress just kept buliding. I realized we were going through a tough time and I chalked it all up to the stresses in his life and the stresses in my life (all temporary) were clashing and making us more argumentative. I still loved him and wanted to make it work, I just knew we were in a storm that just needed to pass. All relationships have ups and downs and all relationships go through challeneges and stages and phases, I had been there before. I knew what to expect from all of this, the honeymoon phase was over, we were now being tested on our strength and commitment. I thought we had enough connection, chemistry, history, passion, attraction, love, and power to get through it. But I guess I was wrong.
We found a new apartment and shortly after we got into a fight and he told me that his feelings had changed towards me. That he wasnt 'in-love' with me. He said he cared for me and loved me, that he couldnt help that, but that the passion was gone.He said he couldnt picture spending the rest of his life with me. I was devistated. I was a mess of panic. I moved and changed my whole life for this person so we could have a real future and a real relationship and now Im being told it was all for nothing. It got tough, and instead of showing the world what he and I were made of, he just gave up. so much for 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going'.
I was in this all the way, playing for 'keeps' as they say. I was willing to hear him out on all the things that had displeased him, and offer my insight and perspective. I defended myself when necessary and I owned up to my mistakes and apologized for my contribution to our relationship problems. I told him how I felt, how hard things have been on me, how I wished I had done somethings differently, and how much I loved him. He told me that he admired my passion to work it out. and that he couldnt change his heart or his mind, that I have to be the one to change them, I had to show him.
since then, we are still living together and are still together. I have been doing everything in my power to impress him and show him that I cant change and that I want to. I cannot change his behaviors or thoughts that hurt our relationship, but I have to start somewhere and I am starting on myself for the betterment of my partnership. I am in midst of getting another job, be it supplemental, or a full-time change altogether. I have prioritized my finances and debt. I have have been busy moving forward on the school thing to finish my degree. I have been extra mindful of the space we share and have been trying my hardest to appear as a good 'homemaker'. I have been trying to step it up with his kids, even though I have only seen them once since we had our fight. I try to do nice things for him to show him I am thinking of him. I try to show my affection often and iniciate intimatcy when he doesnt.
But all my efforts feel like they are failing and I know he's aware of these attempts. He tells me he thinks we are not compatible, not a good match, when that was not the case before at all, we have always had enough in common and wanted the same things. We even balance eachother out quite nicely in other aspects. When I tell him I love him, he says "I know you do", instead of "I love you too baby" like he used to all the time. He pulls away from me, and hates my touches and sex i only really on his terms now. I dont know what has happened.
I am getting mixed signals too all the way. we spent 2 nights apart a few weekends ago and we started 'text' flirting and when he came home we had a very passionate evening. He told me "I really know how to make him fall in love with me". I didnt quite know where it was all coming from, but I was thrilled none the less. I thought hes really giving this another chance, hes fighting for us. that next morning he kissed me and told me he loved me whent he left for work and I was feeling so hopeful.
Now we are back to the same-old-same-old. Hes been telling me we are a bad match again and pulling away from me. Hes back to even nitpicking at me and pushing me away. I am at a loss....I really, really, love this man. we are so great together. But I dont know what is going on, and I dont know how to get through to him. I feel like anything Ive been trying isnt working and the mixed signals continue. I dont know if its his lack of experience in longterm relationships that working agains us? (because those 'honeymoon' mooshy lovey-dovey feelings go away, no matter who you are with, it evolves and changes- which Im not so sure hes really experienced or fully aware of). I dont know if hes just been smoking so mujch that hes affected his own judgement, interpretation of feelings, or mental clarity ( I know he smokes everyday -history of an addictive personality and substance problems)...I wonder if hes just 'weeded' me out of his heart and life? I wonder if he just a quitter and quits relationships when challenges pop up?
end of story: I dont want to move back home. I want this to work and I love him. I knew going into this that loving him meant loving all of him and his kids were part of the package. I love him dispite his short comings, mistakes and our problems. I would not have changed my life for this man if I didnt really love him and believe whole-heartedly in us. I just dont know what to do. I really am at a loss. I dont know how to even talk to him about it anymore because hes difficult and needs time to think about it. and Im so tired of crying. I need some nonbiased help.