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Feedback please... my 6 month relationship

hereagain2 posted 1/3/2019 22:11 PM

You were all so helpful in the past to help me wether I liked the advice or not. :). And, I appreciated it. Now Iím back.

I have been dating a nice man I met online for 7 months. He has 3 kids. Youngest is 14. We really are a great match in every way. We have so much fun together and just really enjoy each otherís company. Our families have met. We spent Christmas together.

We see each other exclusively. There is no game playing between us. Itís been an easy relationship. Until now... I knew going in there was a lot of drama with his xw. Also some custody stuff -actually very messy custody stuff. I will add...Heís a great father. But all of this has become very consuming for him. I understand some... but more than i care to hear about anymore. Iíve been very patient. I realize itís not his fault but he talks about it a lot. To the point heís not asking about me or my day, etc.
heís introduced me to many of his friends. They are great people. But his family - Mom, sister etc is less than thrillled heís dating so he really keeps it under wraps if heís with me. Maybe to the point of lying or not telling. That bothered be so we talked about it. But it still bothers me. Cause i know now he just doesnít tell me what he tells them when heís actually seeing me. So in turn Iím also the one making a 1 hour trip one way to see him a lot more than him for various reasons. And itís starting to weigh on me.
Anyway, help me sort this out. Am i overreacting by feeling that Iím being ďfit inĒ? Is it just temporary until custody junk gets figured out? Iím just kind of lost and Iím venting.
I love him. I care about him and our relationship but i donít feel like a priority. I just worry if i place another ďdemandĒ on him he will just crumble.
Thanks everyone.

Superesse posted 1/3/2019 22:40 PM

Happy New Year and New Beginning, hereagain2!

Well, sometimes people need to work out some heavy-duty issues like your sweetie is going through, and it is so easy to turn to one's emotionally closest confidants....(instead of professional help, even).

Here is where good relationship boundaries can be so good for you. You already recognize that his needs right now are overriding your's, for what should be coming your way in your relationship. So, having good boundaries, you take a healthy step away from HIS issues, to let him sort them out for himself, and you don't even allow him to use you as an emotional crying towel...

It doesn't have to be harsh, or confronting, at all! Just, you get busy doing something ELSE for YOU, while he deals with this...the cool breeze of distance will soon let him know that YOU aren't there for the purpose of mopping up his life crises...the best lesson anyone can learn!

Meanwhile, enjoy anything you can enjoy on your own! You have an interesting life, too! Do not allow yourself to get sucked into anybody else's drama...and believe me, they will so INVITE YOU to go there!

[This message edited by Superesse at 10:44 PM, January 3rd (Thursday)]

shakentocore posted 1/4/2019 06:05 AM

Superesse has some great points.

So in turn Iím also the one making a 1 hour trip one way to see him a lot more than him for various reasons. And itís starting to weigh on me.

Stop making the trips! Tell him the drives are long for you and the effort has to be more even. Let him know Itís fine if you donít see each other as much, since he has so much going on in his life, but you wonít be the only one making the trip. You might have to let the chips fall where they may with that....the relationship may fizzle, but if you need to put out 75% of the effort for it to survive, is that what you want?

I will point out that his way of dealing with his conflict with his mom and sister is unhealthy. I can understand family telling someone in your soís position that he needs to focus on custody vs. a new love interest, but he should stand up for himself.

EvenKeel posted 1/4/2019 07:39 AM

There is no game playing between us.
I think you have to trust this aspect of your R and be straight forward with him. For example:
I realize itís not his fault but he talks about it a lot. To the point heís not asking about me or my day, etc.
Maybe respond with something like "It is really important for you to have someone to talk through this with, but it is also important for you to be able to let go of it for just a little while too" Maybe suggest a time guide for this sort of stuff. Like lets talk about it for 20 minutes and then concentrate on something fun to help your soul?
But his family - Mom, sister etc is less than thrillled heís dating so he really keeps it under wraps if heís with me.
How long has he been D? My SO's previous GF passed away and folks felt he started to date me to soon. They felt he should have taken more time. I actually told him not to even tell them for awhile but he did. Is it possible his family thinks he is dating before he is ready? That the static they are giving him is really about that and nothing personal about you?

I would not be concerned about not being part of a new BF's family get together, etc. I usually didn't even think about introducing someone I was with to anyone until around a year.

Am i overreacting by feeling that Iím being ďfit inĒ?
When dating someone with children, I did not expect to be #1 on his priority list and I do not think you do either. But I did expect to feel valued in the relationship (and they did make me feel that). I think this is where your guy is faltering? How long have you felt like this? If it has been the majority of the relationship, then I think it is not temporary until the custody is over with. But if you can attach it to this issue his is having, then maybe he is just overwhelmed and has little left over to give right now?


hereagain2 posted 1/4/2019 08:44 AM

Thanks everyone. I ask Agree with letting him make more of an effort.
As far as value, Iím not sure I even know what to look for regarding that. As sad as that is. He calls, he texts, everytine he says he will and more. Says i love you.
But i just really feel like Iím being ďfit inĒ to his life. Maybe thatís normal. But yet, Iím feeling something... I canít quite put my finger on ... and just donít know if I should just ride it out a bit...

[This message edited by hereagain2 at 8:46 AM, January 4th (Friday)]

traicionada posted 1/4/2019 10:48 AM

Have you tried just telling him how you feel? I am known for being completely oblivious to other peopleís feelings when I have too much on my plate

marji posted 1/4/2019 17:30 PM

hereagain I think superesse has given great advice. I think you cannot go wrong in following it. If this is not the guy for you then by following her. advice you' be doing just the right thing to make life good without him; if he is the guy then things should get better once he's got his complications resolved but in the meantime your doing good things for yourself and not establishing a door mat relationship.

I do however, here that you are less than happy in this relationship; that you do not feel important and cherished; that you do not feel you are a priority and I wonder if it's wise to stay in a relationship when you do not feel that way.


Phoenix1 posted 1/4/2019 19:00 PM

So here's my worthless two cents...

YOU have to decide if you can live with what he is willing to give at this moment. That means knowing he is going to be consumed with this until it resolves. Knowing you are going to be his sounding board. Knowing he is not going all in about you where his family is concerned. Do you enjoy your time that you have together, and is it enough? Are you looking at long terms prospects and, if so, can you enure the short term to achieve your long term goals? Is he on the same page with that?

I am coming at this from my own situation, because it is similar in many ways. My SO and I have been together for over five years now. We live an hour apart. I do most of the driving because he hates the drive. I don't mind so it doesn't bother me.

SO also travels a lot. So we spend long spells apart, unless we happen to travel together. But I also travel for work and have my own stints away from him as well.

SO has a vicious ex. Not only did she drag out their D, contesting anything and everything (she basically wanted everything), but she has now hauled him back to court for a Rule 60 request (i.e., "Post-Divorce Relief" - which means she wants more). Just when it looked like everything was finally over.

However, he doesn't talk about it much. Wouldn't bother me if he did because I talk to him about issues with me ex.

He keeps me at arm's length from his family (which is large), and I am PERFECTLY content with that. He is actually protecting me by doing it. He knows I don't like idle chit chat or inane socializing, and that is exactly what would happen. He also doesn't want his sisters (whom he refers to as "a bunch of old, busy body ladies with too much time on their hands") inserting themselves into his life. As the youngest (by 20 years) and only boy, they tend to want to dictate to him, and he hates it.

I've met his oldest DD (both live in other states), and she wasn't exactly the warmest person (which he warned me about as that is her personality), and the youngest one is, well, let's just say that SO doesn't even like her as a person (bends over backwards as "dad" though). SO I would rather NOT want them to know the depth of our relationship. The less they know, at this point, the better! For all his family!

On the flip side, he has met my DD's several times, and my father. But there is not a lot of interaction beyond that. Everyone lives too far apart.

All that being said, if I was looking to get married or something more substantial along those lines, the current set up would bother the hell out of me and I would have to question if it was "enough." But since I don't want anything more than permanent part-time at this stage, what he can give is absolutely perfect for me. I don't WANT his family all up in my business! Ugh! The thought makes me cringe!

The time we spend together is enjoyable, and it is enough for me. As a matter of fact, we have a travel trip planned for later this month as well as one tentative one in February and May. So it's not like we don't spend good quality time together. It is just not being tied at the hip 24/7.

Hence, the reasons I asked all those questions above. Ask yourself to honestly answer - is it enough for you, deep down? If it's not, you need to have a very serious discussion with him about that or resentment will grow, which sounds like it is just starting to take root.

hereagain2 posted 1/4/2019 21:06 PM

I do enjoy our time together. We both always wish we had more of it.
Iíve brought it up a little...but may need to be more direct. I just donít want to add pressure to the situation. I want to support him but I also would like a little more attention. And, i want to make sure Iím justified in asking for that... not being needy or or inconsiderate of his situation. He has full custody of a young teenager. So i understand itís a lot for him to leave him home and come my direction but yet i have a life and kids too. It started out with me going there more often cause it was his busy season. Well guess what- heís still busy!!! I know heís a bit stressed about money... court costs are crushing him.
I love him. I want to support him but I still want more attention. What do I do? If feels like we are a crucial point in the R. Or maybe not ? Am i being needy or pushy? We have talked about M .... but in my heart I think his situation needs to be cleared up more ...
I donít know... Iím rambling. Maybe feeling a little sorry for myself...
Heís been D for 2 years. S for 5. But I do know if i donít carefully word things if wioo trigger him. So thatís why Iím discussing here first... Ave if I say something... what/how do I say it?!

Superesse posted 1/4/2019 21:35 PM

Well....I gave you my take on how to handle it, which was not to belabor things verbally with him (most men I know tend to dread that kind of conversation, and in my experience, no good has ever come of it...) So that is why it seems you'd be better served just finding yourself having your own things to be busy with, as you are not engaged. In the old days, it was called letting him chase you; I guess I am just old fashioned. But I can tell you that once a pattern of relationship over-functioning is established (as in: one person doing more of the giving, one person trying to be overly understanding, or one person being overly available) it becomes much harder to shift out of that dynamic towards the kind of balance you say you are seeking.

I would simply shift gears, like immediately. Make it easy for him to miss you! But say nothing negative! You are not even engaged.

Best of luck.

twicefooled posted 1/4/2019 21:37 PM

Have you each defined what you want out of this relationship?

I dated a guy for 14 months.....he wanted more than I did. We parted ways, on decent terms, due to that. I cared for him but we weren't on the same page.

7 months isn't a long time. Maybe you just want different things. It's ok to care for someone but not be totally compatible.

hereagain2 posted 1/4/2019 21:55 PM

We both want marriage. We really are a great fit.

Superesse- thats what my gut is telling me to do too.
I just wanted to explain more of what was going on hence my last post. But yes, Iím going to get busier. Like I was before we met.
But so then when he asks me to come there - how do I reply? How do I switch those gears without saying anything confrontational? :). Thank you everyone for weighing in.

Superesse posted 1/4/2019 22:27 PM

Change is always challenging. Of course he will expect no sudden change in the terms of your "relationship dance."

But that music can shift, and it doesn't have to mean "the party is over." Seems to me some of the Menz opinions would be helpful for you about this, but what I am suggesting is that if you "suddenly start taking night classes" or something else you can get involved in, compelling enough to make your traveling to him "inconvenient," it could serve to break this pattern, while giving him room to maybe think about what he has been getting from your relationship, and decide how much he is able and willing to give, if he is inclined to think about it at all.

It just sounds like some old, familiar roles are getting played out by both of you. As formerly married people, that is so easy to do. Saying you both want marriage, and that you already feel you are a good fit, doesn't necessarily mean that you and he are "destined," know what I mean? It simply says you have a desire for that, and he is saying he does, too. But don't set yourself up for any more heartbreak by assuming beyond what you are really seeing, okay? I guess just "live your life" and value hereagain2 for herself; if he is meant to be, he will find that time to meet you half-way.

Phoenix1 posted 1/4/2019 22:56 PM

If you jump in your car to drive over there every time he asks, he will continue to expect it. There is nothing wrong with saying, "Sorry, but that doesn't work for me as I have another commitment. But you are more than welcome to come see me on XX night if you can pull away!"

I've declined many invitations to SO's house for numerous reasons. He isn't offended, but he knows I don't say, "how high?" if he says, "jump!"

Remember, people treat you how you let them treat you.

If you are both talking marriage, then you need to decide if you can deal with the (hopefully) short term upheaval to get to that point. It is perfectly okay to tell him you understand he is stressed and has his hands full right now, but you are feeling a little taken for granted and neglected, and you hope he doesn't lose sight of your relationship while this resolves itself. That's just being honest, in a non-confrontational way. He's not a mind reader, so don't expect him to somehow intuitively know how you feel.

marji posted 1/5/2019 04:46 AM

It just sounds like some old, familiar roles are getting played out by both of you. As formerly married people, that is so easy to do. Saying you both want marriage, and that you already feel you are a good fit, doesn't necessarily mean that you and he are "destined," know what I mean? It simply says you have a desire for that, and he is saying he does, too. But don't set yourself up for any more heartbreak by assuming beyond what you are really seeing, okay? I guess just "live your life" and value hereagain2 for herself; if he is meant to be, he will find that time to meet you half-way.

hereagainI would read this over and over several times; I think you would not go wrong by copying it and posting it in several places where you can easily read.

You say that you and this man are "a great match in every way." But when one person in a serious relationship does not feel he or she is getting enough attention, when they don't feel they are the priority, when they feel afraid of triggering the other, afraid of saying the wrong thing, afraid of alienating the other, that is not normally considered a "great match in every way."

Different people have different needs and wants; there is nothing wrong, unnatural, nothing neurotic or "needy" about wanting companionship, about wanting a serious and strong life partner. But if the person you are with is not making you happy, if that person is not giving us the attention, the affection, the adoration that makes us feel really good, then it's better to step back and away then to constantly try to figure out how to make things better.

You are not married to this man; you say you have a full life with many friends; you have children. This guy has issues and from all you have said he is not a source of happiness; if he were you would not be here asking how to make things better.

You've said you cannot afford counseling. Have you looked into all possibilities? There are counseling programs through universities; there are clinics that offer counseling for lower fees. Have you looked into group programs? A good counselor might help you to refocus on yourself and to stop trying to accommodate this man. You seem to be putting in far too much energy into a project that is not giving you joy.

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