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New Beginnings :
Four years in, and something is amiss

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 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 12:31 AM on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Hey everyone -

I’m really appreciating everyone’s input, and nice to see some old faces!!

StillLivin I was just wondering to myself if it’s wrong to go prepared with a list. I want this to be a productive conversation, not a fight, and I want to be careful not to put him on the defensive, balanced with not acting like a needy wimp.

I’ve literally been feeling stressed about this all day. I think to myself that I should be able to go to him and talk about anything and feel like I’m going to be listened to, not have things turned around on me. I feel like I’m going to be met with a list of my transgressions thus steering the conversation away from what my concerns are.

I do think he’s an 80, and I also think I would want the opportunity to improve something about myself if it was a healthy change and would help the relationship, so I’m trying to keep that in mind. That said, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I’m 51 years old and I don’t plan on changing.” About various topics.

As to the issue with his son, his son is quite short tempered, and it was a bit of him trying to pit G5 against his ex, his son was storming out and going to live with his mom because the rules were better there kind of thing. (He was an adult at this time, not yet in school). He said some very hurtful and awful things, did property damage, etc. So I get that some folks are toxic and you need to not have them in your life, but G5 has said in the past that the ball is with his son to apologize. He didn’t even tell me his son had reached out until last week or so.

As it relates to my son, G5 talks and visits with him when he’s here, has asked him to play cards when it was just the two of them (can’t even believe that happened, as G5 avoids being alone with my kids at all costs), etc. He doesn’t ignore him or anything like that.

One weird thing that happens is that after the kids are here, G5 will give me a recap of sorts of whether or not the kids asked him any questions about himself, will point out that he asked question x,y,z. Many times I’m thinking “ this is normal, why are you acting like you just did something outstandingingly above and beyond?”.

So, just so you think I’m not making it up, his 80 includes things like the same twisted sense of humor that I have, makes me laugh, we have interesting conversations, both like puzzles and games, he is so kind and gentle with me, he cares for me and watches out for me (ie - if I tell him my wrist is bothering me, I can guarantee he will be massaging it within the hour if he’s here), we travel great together, we like to binge the same things on Netflix/Hulu, did I mention the sex is awesome (obviously not factoring into the relationship decision, but still... )? We are champion relaxers together, like to go for long walks, like to explore new places. Idk, there’s just a really long list, which is why I want to have a discussion and see if these items are something he thinks he can work on.

I do feel like the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and I certainly don’t want to be treated the way I’ve seen him act with his son or parents (again, pretty sure they might be toxic).

UGH.

Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5697   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8624918
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phmh ( member #34146) posted at 2:47 AM on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

I left my WXH because I was determined to be in a loving relationship or alone. This guy sounds exhausting. I've been with my partner for over 5 years and never once has either one of us done something intentionally unkind toward the other person. Disagreements? Of course (we are opposites, politically). But every interaction we have with each other has been with an undercurrent of respect, love and kindness. (We don't live together but have done multiple 2 week international trips, see each other often during the week, and text throughout the day.)

I know I mention it frequently, but have you read "The Science of Happily Ever After"? Only about 30% of people in long-term relationships are relatively happy. Another one of my favorite is an article in The Atlantic called "Masters of Love" - if you google you will find it. The dynamic you describe does not sound healthy, and I so want you to find happiness.

I worry that you are settling and making excuses for his bad behavior. I truly can't imagine being treated like how you describe. Walking on pins and needles is something I will never do again. You are fabulous and should be with someone who recognizes that, appreciates it, and loves you for who you are, not who they think you should be.

Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny

posts: 4981   ·   registered: Dec. 8th, 2011
id 8624959
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Karmafan ( member #53810) posted at 8:08 AM on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

I worry that you are settling and making excuses for his bad behavior. I truly can't imagine being treated like how you describe.

Well said phmh.

It looks to me as though your 80/20 should be reversed to be honest. And yes, you might be trying to convince yourself that these are little kinks and they can be ironed out, but seriously?

He doesn’t like your son. Children are part of the package Nekorb, and that doesn’t just mean tolerating them, it means accepting them fully and loving them as an integral part of you! This in itself would have had me running. In fact, it was one of the contributing factors for my recent break up. X was polite but cold with my kids, and when he was around, he always expected them to make themselves scarce.

He can’t abide you being civilised with your XWH. Would he be more amenable if the two of you were still fighting, and you were letting resentment chew you up inside even after all these years? I thought he didn’t like drama!

And there’s a pattern of bearing grudges here that I would be very uncomfortable with. And it’s always about someone doing wrong by him. His own child disrespecting him, parents neglecting him in favour of ‘failure to launch’ sister, your son not running when he snaps his fingers...does he actually like anyone? As in truly like and respect someone..... I sense an anger problem here, tinged with paranoia, that hasn’t been addressed before. Certainly, he doesn’t seem to score very high in the EQ department.

Finally talking, about owning the house sounds a bit control freakish to me. If I were you, I should like to explore the motives of this a bit more.

Treading on egg shells is no way to live Nekorb, and I think the time has come for you to start asking yourself the hard question: is this better than nothing? Or is nothing better than this? That tipped the balance for me.

[This message edited by Karmafan at 1:52 PM, January 13th (Wednesday)]

Me 47
XWH Irrelevant
D-day 23 Feb 16
3 amazing, resilient kids

You are not a drop in the Ocean, you are the entire Ocean in a drop

posts: 632   ·   registered: Jun. 23rd, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8624981
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 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 5:04 PM on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

The situation is beginning to cause me a lot of anxiety, so something definitely needs to change.

My hope is that he will be open to addressing things, and if not, I think it will have to end. The thought of that is nauseating , but I know that two people loving each other does not necessarily equal being able to meet long term needs.

My goal at this point is an open, honest, loving, compassionate conversation. I hope it is received in the spirit that it is intended. Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated!

Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5697   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8625058
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deena04 ( member #41741) posted at 12:15 PM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

My first instinct is this sounds like my ex and it gets worse. Run! He was surrounded by drama within his family and still has that drama. It ends up trickling down to you if you get too close. Run!

Me FBS 40s, Him XWS older than me (lovemywife4ever), D, He cheated before M, forgot to tell me. I’m free and loving life.

posts: 3187   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2013   ·   location: Midwest
id 8625446
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lieshurt ( Moderator #14003) posted at 1:46 PM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

I want to have a face to conversation with him about these things, clear up any miscommunications/misperceptions on both sides, etc. I’m afraid what will happen is I will get “cut off” just like everyone else he has conflict with.

Really think about this. Is a relationship where you are afraid to express yourself for fear of retribution really the type of relationship you want to be in?

No one changes unless they want to. Not if you beg them. Not if you shame them. Not if you use reason, emotion, or tough love. There is only one thing that makes someone change: their own realization that they need to.

posts: 22519   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2007   ·   location: Houston
id 8625460
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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 8:09 PM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

Not liking your kids should have been an automatic red flag. I wouldn't put anyone im dating above my children.

Being afraid of being cast aside for speaking your mind would also be a big red flag. If you cannot communicate, what do you have?

posts: 1312   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8625624
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 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 1:42 PM on Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Thanks for the input everyone.

I’ve decided that regardless of what I say in the body of the conversation, I am ending with “If these things do not change, this relationship is going to be unhealthy for me, and I can’t continue to be with you.”.

I plan to say that this has become an unhealthy situation for me. Honestly, I feel like I’m tip toeing around him like I did with my ex and ignoring things that bother me because saying something will be useless.

I plan to say these things. I’m prepared to be single if that’s what it comes to. I plan to stay calm, even through tears, and I plan to say I love you because it’s true. But I also can’t continue like this.

Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5697   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8625741
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josiep ( member #58593) posted at 2:42 AM on Sunday, January 17th, 2021

I’ve decided that regardless of what I say in the body of the conversation, I am ending with “If these things do not change, this relationship is going to be unhealthy for me, and I can’t continue to be with you.”.

I plan to say that this has become an unhealthy situation for me. Honestly, I feel like I’m tip toeing around him like I did with my ex and ignoring things that bother me because saying something will be useless.

I plan to say these things. I’m prepared to be single if that’s what it comes to. I plan to stay calm, even through tears, and I plan to say I love you because it’s true. But I also can’t continue like this.

You have an excellent plan. And after your talk, wait a bit to observe his behaviors and don't rely on just his words.

I'm hoping he'll rise to the occasion and realize what a gem he's lucky enough to have within his reach and all he has to do is put in a little effort to fix a few things.

BW, 70 YO; M 45 yrs., T 49 yrs.
DDay#1, 1982; DDay#2, May, 2017. Divorced.

posts: 3095   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2017
id 8625855
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 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 6:15 AM on Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Just a quick update to say G5 is ill and we weren’t able to get together this weekend. He offered to talk by phone Sunday, because he knew I wanted to talk, but I told him it will keep.

More time for suggestions from my SI peeps!

Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5697   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8625869
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BigNoob ( member #75807) posted at 11:15 AM on Sunday, January 17th, 2021

nekorb

I am not sure if your a star wars fan but

I sense a disturbance in the force with this.

posts: 207   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2020
id 8625878
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ronjs ( member #51741) posted at 5:15 PM on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

Dear me.

So many red flags/warning signs.

Already a lot of conflict.

I believe he is holding back his true self - he is much worse.

So many problems that will get worse.

Don’t allow him to get any legal rights to your house!

Finish this.

Cheers

Ron

[This message edited by ronjs at 11:16 AM, January 19th (Tuesday)]

posts: 55   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016   ·   location: Australia
id 8626432
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newlife03 ( member #56527) posted at 11:15 PM on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

G5 avoids being alone with my kids at all costs

After 4 years this troubles me. What is it that makes him uncomfortable to be alone with them?

Me - 50
Kids 25, 22, 18
1st DDay in 2006, 2nd in 2007
D in 2009
Happily Committed to SO since 2011

posts: 657   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: ID
id 8626556
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Karmafan ( member #53810) posted at 12:03 AM on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

If these things do not change, this relationship is going to be unhealthy for me, and I can’t continue to be with you

Nekorb, you are an intelligent and mature woman. Do you honestly think, in your heart of hearts, that an ultimatum of all things is going to work? People rarely change because someone asks them to. And, more to the point, would you be happy with him changing his behaviour just to appease you but fundamentally remaining the same person?

You have seen enough red flags to end this ten times over Nekorb. If you can’t do it for yourself do it for your kids: don’t let them be collateral damage

Me 47
XWH Irrelevant
D-day 23 Feb 16
3 amazing, resilient kids

You are not a drop in the Ocean, you are the entire Ocean in a drop

posts: 632   ·   registered: Jun. 23rd, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8626568
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 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 12:52 AM on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

I’m appreciating the support and insight, even if I don’t like what you are saying!

I wish the good parts weren’t sooo good, because it makes it really easy to ignore the red flags.

He agreed that their was a lot of anxiety around the holidays, which makes me feel like he wanted it to go well.I do agree that if he fundamentally doesn’t want the same things as me as it pertains to family, etc, this isn’t going to work, and me asking him won’t change him fundamentally.

Idk what I’m babbling about here. I just don’t want to be heartbroken again, I don’t want to give up something that has a lot of really good things about it without giving it the opportunity to improve.

I do not want to be anxious and in an unhealthy situation.

Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5697   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8626593
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shakentocore ( member #46124) posted at 4:47 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Honestly, reading this I'm thinking

He doesn't get along with his parents.

He doesn't get along with his child.

He refuses to get along with your ex.

He doesn't like your son.

The common denominator here is him.

I think this 20% speaks to his values and how they are not in alignment with yours. That's pretty big. How would you handle it if he decided to cut off your children? He is already saying he won't attend their major milestones if your ex is there. That will cause resentment in the future.

He said I was snapping at him.

He was looking kind of downtrodden and when I asked what was wrong he said he felt like I didn’t want him around, I was snippy with him, and asked if I had him there to be my “whipping boy”.

Today’s issue that came up was that I was being argumentative with him.

I do not know your G5, but sometimes I think these remarks are manipulative and made to keep someone "in line." As if you will shut up to accommodate him in order to not appear to be "snippy" or "a b*tch." If he had a problem with your attitude, why didn't he bring it up then, when you could apologize immediately, or correct your behavior? By waiting, you have to rely on your memory vs. his.

I agree with the others - not liking my son would be a deal breaker with me.

Sometimes people who are fun and nice to date are not the right for a life long commitment.

DDay - Christmas 2014. Working on R.

posts: 3711   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2014
id 8626969
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 5:00 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Jumping into this late but yes, this guy sounds problematic. Sounds like maybe you've gotten the vacation version of him all this time because of distance and frequency. Now, that moving in together is on the table you're seeing more of the non-vacation version of him.

He doesn't like your son - this would be a deal breaker. Worse than that is that he accused him of lying about having to do his homework - that's a character attack, that puts you in a position of taking sides. Then there's the accusations of you being snippy with him and the "whipping boy" stuff - sounds like some misogyny and resentment towards being in service of your agenda for a few hours - also a huge red flag. Men who fear being a whipping boy have serious mommy issues generally.

Me: BS 58DDay 1 - 7/2019 DIVORCED - 1/2021

posts: 1208   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8626972
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JanaGreen ( member #29341) posted at 2:28 AM on Monday, January 25th, 2021

Really think about this. Is a relationship where you are afraid to express yourself for fear of retribution really the type of relationship you want to be in?

Exactly. This really bothered me.

A couple months ago, my daughter fell off a chair while goofing off and was being very loud about it. My bf said something to her at her for screaming because he thought she was being dramatic, and then after we dropped her off at her dad's he told me she really annoyed him because he said he thought she was faking. That really pissed me off and I told him that while she IS loud and dramatic, she's not a liar. So he apologized and said that maybe he was wrong. I picked her up 2 days later and she was sporting a pretty good bruise where she fell. BF felt terrible and apologized to her for being snappish at her. He fucked up. And he owned it. Accusing a kid of lying is a big deal IMO and I would be very upset at G5 for that if I were you. I will always vehemently take my kids' side and bf knows it. Also, he knows what's up with my ex and he's cordial. Because that's the father of my kids and it's better for them for ex and I to get along, and that's my priority. I'm sorry, but G5 sounds quite difficult and prickly. Also, "I'm 51 and not gonna change?" That sounds like something my ex would say. I'm like this, get over it.

I'm sorry, I know you care for him. But it's a lot. And I would not be able to get over the kid thing. Yours AND his.

[This message edited by JanaGreen at 8:31 PM, January 24th (Sunday)]

posts: 9497   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8627802
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sillyoldsod ( member #43649) posted at 9:27 AM on Monday, January 25th, 2021

I have to agree with others there are some potentially serious red flags here.

Is the possibility of couples counselling something you've mentioned to him? If not, how do you think he'd react to the suggestion? His reaction in itself might be quite telling.

Four years is a long time to invest in a relationship. I realise you must be going through a difficult time.

Best wishes going forward nekorb.

I've never met a sociopath I didn't like.

posts: 673   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2014   ·   location: UK
id 8627820
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 10:43 AM on Monday, January 25th, 2021

Nekorb, you wrote a post about these same issues at the three-year mark of your relationship. It seems obvious from your posts that you see red flags but don't want them to be red flags. I read this post from you days ago, and it really triggered me. I have thought about it a lot. I suppose the tension and anxiety I feel came from seeing in you all the things I wish I could have changed in myself, things like focusing on someone's positive qualities and making excuses for their problematic attributes. Why did I do that? Why did I stay with people who showed me they would emotionally hurt me and let me down? I have spent so much of my life not saving myself, not protecting myself. It's very hard to read you doing the same.

I found out a couple of weeks ago that this child reached out to him several months ago in advance of a big moment in this child’s life, and he ignored.

Narcissistic quality. Holding a grudge and being right is more important than any person, even a child.

I have also never met his parents

Cuts people out, compartmentalizes.

G5 doesn’t like my son, has verbalized this

Your son will always know you chose a boyfriend over him.

G5 states he hates drama. All of the above seems like drama to me for everyone else but G5 who just cuts everyone off at the quick.

Will you be next?

He has stated that he forgives hut can’t forget, and anytime we’ve had a disagreement he brings up things from the past, which I’ve asked him not to do, but he says he’s just wired like that.

If I had 5 cents for every narcissist that has said this to me, I'd have some serious cash.

I think if he never saw my kids again he’d be ok with that.

He's already working on isolating you.

He has often said he’s not going to tolerate drama. Well, when is some issue I want to discuss going to be considered drama and he’s just going to leave out? And why is the drama he creates ok?

Because narcissists are projectors and hypocrites. He only cares about himself.

You are already in an emotionally abusive relationship with a highly narcissistic man who is keeping you off balance and full of anxiety. Your abandonment issues and most likely narcissist FOO are keeping you attached to this person, but your gut is screaming out in pain and fear. You see the writing on the wall. You know the future you will have with him.

All of your complaints will be drama.

But not his.

Your kids will be irritating to him.

So you'll spend less time with them.

His name calling will get worse.

His sulking will get worse.

His selfishness will get worse.

Your sunk cost fallacy will feel worse.

Retiring with this guy? Planning a future?

Please, no.

IC instead.

Good luck. I just hate this situation for you, absolutely feel sick. There are far nicer human beings than him, people who are nice all the time.

P.S. Narcissists have good qualities, too. Of course. And the rest of the time they crush your soul.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 4:49 AM, January 25th (Monday)]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5474   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8627825
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