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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Trying to find the strength to move on

I met my fiancť almost 4 years ago while volunteering. We started hanging out together and became the best of friends. We had a lot in common, and just always had fun. It was so easy being together. We would tell each other things we never talked about with other people. People we didnít know would ask how long weíd been together or engaged. When weíd say we were just friends, people were surprised. After 3 months of friendship he told me he liked me more than just a friend. He said in all his life he had never had a friend like me, and never had feelings like he had for me; He could truly be himself. I felt EXACTLY the same way about him.

He had been married twice and had a kid by his first wife. While we were friends he talked a lot about his exís and he disclosed things to me he had never told anyone before. His first marriage was to a woman he had been dating off and on for 4 years. They had just gotten back together, but a week later he realized what a mistake he had made and broke it off. She told him she was pregnant. . .so they got married. Shortly after they divorced he got together with another woman that he dated off and on for two years. When he went to break it off with her she told him she was pregnant. . .so they got married. Long story short there was never a baby, and they divorced just a few months later.

Iíve never been married, and outside of my college years, have never dated anyone for long. I havenít really dated that much to be honest. I donít have children Ė kids are great, but just not for me Ė but I do have 2 fur babies. Iíve always been fiscally responsible, held a good job since college, and enjoyed hanging out with friends.

After the day we became more than friends, we spent almost all our time together. We moved in together after 4 months, and got engage after 9 months. It was right away that the troubles began. His first ex would call him all the time. Tell him to do this or that, or that she needed money, or to drop the kid at this time and place instead of the arrangement in the parenting plan. He was annoyed Ė and complained about her shenanigans even when we were friends Ė but always complied because he wanted to keep the peace and avoid drama. There is so much more I could add here, but I donít want to make this a novel.

I had big issues with this, and found myself becoming insecure. And this insecurity spread to everything about his past. I had never felt like this before and didnít know how to handle it. Iím embarrassed and ashamed to admit this, but in the beginning I would get so angry and judge him and ask him how he could let these things happen. I was no longer the supportive, non-judgmental friend. I was manipulating him with my judgement and the way I spoke. I didnít mean to, it was unintentionally, and at the time I didnít realize I was doing it. Things got a little better over time, but it never went away. He was so patient with me, and would talk with me (heís a great communicator) and tried to help me. He told me he knew I wasnít doing these things on purpose, but it hurt him and made him feel not loved and respected.

Of course I tried to change because I didnít want him thinking this. It just wasnít (isnít) true; I loved him (and still do) and I could see my issues, and I wanted to fix them. I even went to a therapist for a little while. He offered to go with me, but I thought it was best to go alone at this time. My actions did not match my words and I wanted to change and understand why. Iím afraid, I feel insecure, I feel like Iím not important enough - this always caused me to put my needs before his. All of this is ridicules for so many reasons. His words and actions proved me wrong every time, so why did I feel this way? I got a little better over time, and I would try to fix the things that were broken inside me. But my biggest issue was when the kid came to our home. Heís a good kid actually, and although he has his issues, he never gave us any grief or trouble. But it was difficult for me to have him around, and I would change even though I tried so hard just to be myself and act normal.

We called off our engagement a week ago today. I am still in our apartment for another two weeks. Thatís when the apartment Iím moving into becomes available. I was laid off last summer and still donít have a job. My family lives far away, and Iíve lost almost all my friends over the past few years. Iíve made a mess of my life and the life of someone I love deeply. I donít understand why I couldnít fix myself when I first started noticing this horrible behavior in me. Itís not that I didnít try (and Iím trying now), or want to try, but I never stuck with it. . .why? I donít know how Iím going to get through the next 2 weeks here with him. I still love him, and want to be strong for him because I know this is what he wants and itís the best thing for him. But itís killing me!! I still want to try. I believe I can change, and I want to be the person for him that he has been for me. . .the person that he always wanted and needed me to be. I have not tried, nor do I intend to try to get him to take me back. I want him to have a happy and healthy life. Right now he has stress in all areas of his life and I just want to help him. Iím having a difficult time being strong and that makes me feel selfish, which as part of our problems.

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent and tell my story! Thank you for any helpful insights, constructive feedback, and thoughts. And sorry for the length of this post!

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 11:54 AM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

I am sorry you are here. As you said in the other post, focus on this moment (read my tag line).

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 12:07 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

It could be that he's not a good match for you because he has so much baggage and you don't. You don't mention how old you are but if you're young and he's older you might be better off finding someone with less baggage.

I'm 19 years younger than my hb and we've been together almost 12 years. In my view what gets a lot of age differences isn't the age as much as the baggage difference. Well that and the resulting parent child dynamic that can happen if you're not careful, but I digress.

Someone without much baggage may not be emotionally able to deal with one who has baggage.

He has baggage and you don't.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

Thank you for your response!

I'm 41 and he's 45. He does have a lot of baggage. He says I have a lot of emotional baggage. I think he's right, and I'm trying to work through that. He had a difficult childhood and worked through his emotional baggage when he was in his 20's. It took him a long time to work through those things.

He says he doesn't like drama in his life, but I think drama is subjective and what one person defines as drama another may not. He says that my reactions to things are drama for him, and he just can't help me work through this anymore. I get that and respect it, but it still hurts like hell!

I never thought, or wanted to be, with someone for the rest of my life. In all my other relationships I always knew they were temporary, and that was what I wanted. With him it's different. I wanted to be a part of his life for the good and the bad. . .and for the long haul. I was trying (and still am) to figure my stuff out with the things I consider to be drama or difficult. I never thought he would give up on us. I get why he is, but I never thought that would happen and I'm in disbelief. I'm finding it so difficult to let go and give up. I feel like I'm betraying him and myself by doing that.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 01:34 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

He says he doesn't like drama in his life but he appears to be not only allowing it but in fact creating it.

He should have clear boundaries with his exes and his son. That would prevent the drama.

You have normal reactions to his "drama" but he is clearly saying that if you don't like his loose boundaries and his inability to cope with conflicts, then get out.

There is a reason he was married and divorced twice.

Imo you would just be #3.

To be clear, this is on HIM, not you. He manipulated you into thinking this is your fault. It's all part of his drama.

He never was a good match for you.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 01:39 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

If you can't deal with his drama he's a poor match.

And how much you have to go through to even deal with his kid coming over suggests you either aren't able to deal with it or he isn't willing to do what you need him to do.

The ex baggage is an extra issue. He claims he doesn't like it but the fact is that while he complains he goes along with her. "To keep the peace" means poor boundaries, and this would be your life with him.

Frankly he's going to have trouble getting a lot of women to go along with these crappy boundaries to keep the peace.

I totally get what it's like to deal with poor ex boundaries.....my hb had terrible ones. We dealt with it mainly because his daughter was grown. If she was younger I'm not sure we'd still be together, because my hb is also the type to want to " keep the peace".

You'd be better off letting him be someone else's problem. I know it hurts but it'll pass, just make sure you go no contact on him.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:06 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

I don't see why being un happy with the way things have turned out makes you a horrible person, in my eyes that just isn't the case. The man you have brought into your life has turned things upside down for you, after being single and independent for the last twenty years suddenly your life isn't your own anymore. Don't even think of trying to make yourself change for his sake, you would just be miserable and resentful.

If his life choices are making you unhappy then you are not a good couple, it is honestly that simple. He seems to bring a lot of drama into your life, no one wants that, no need for you to feel guilty about it, you had no part in ruining his life, and there's certainly no sense in letting him ruin yours.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

Thank you blueinbr and lifeistooshort! I appreciate you guys talking through this with me, and your words of encouragement!

You are right about him and boundaries. Boundaries were finally set a year and a half ago, but that was only because I insisted. He seemed (and seems) to resent me for that, and tells me that Iím being controlling and that he isnít allowed to do things the way he would do them. And he feels this way in all areas of his life because of me.

He did admit the other day that his not wanting to deal with drama did get him in trouble Ė we were specifically talking about child support Ė and that it had always given him heartburn that he was paying her so much money. Long story short she lied to him about her employment status. She told him she wasnít working and needed more money. Turns out not only was she working, but she was making more money than he was (she was also living with her parents and not spending money on the kid), and she had several rental properties, that he didnít know about, that were generating income.

I always felt that the way I was dealing with things was not ďnormalĒ; that I was somehow being selfish. If I love him wouldnít I just let him be who he is and do things the way he needs to do them?

Itís funny you say I would just be #3. His mom said those exact words to me.

Lifeistooshort Ė Iím sorry your hb is like this with boundaries, but Iím glad things are working out for you. . .at least I hope they are!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:18 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

deleted.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

Thank you Cooper!

I guess I question myself because I feel like I could've tried harder. If I'd have tried harder I would've been able to make this work. I would've been able to let him be him. I know relationships are give and take, and I feel like I took more than I gave. . .I don't know if I compromised enough. If I had he wouldn't feel like I was trying to control his life and make all the decisions.

It was difficult for me to let some of the things he was allowing to happen happen. I felt like his ex was taking advantage of him/us and that made me angry. I was also angry at him for allowing these things to happen. When I would ask him how he let these things happen he got defensive (and I totally get that), and later he would say he felt stupid. He made a mistake and we need to just move on. But things like this would keep happening and I would get mad and bring these things up all over again. I didn't mean to beat a dead horse (or a live one for that matter), and I don't want to be the person who can't let go of things, but I just couldn't understand how these things happened and keep happening. I just wanted it to stop and for us to go on with our lives.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:43 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

Thanks for your kind words niffer, they are working out. But it's not only taken a lot of work, I suspect hb was more ready to do this. My feeling is that he may have had issues in relationships before me due to this and was ready to admit and deal with it with me. I eventually threw a fit about boundaries and he didn't want to fight with or lose me, and his daughter was older so there was no more reason he had to deal with his ex regularly.

I'm happy he did because I love him.

He did admit that he hadn't done a good job seperately himself from the ex and her family, he just claimed to be a nice guy. But he also unknowing set me up to be the bad guy as I'm sure I'm talked about for insisting on boundaries he should've had in the first place.

But are you a nice guy when you hurt your current partner with unwillingness to have good boundaries because you don't want to argue? I say no, you're really just taking the path of least resistance, and that's cowardly.

He can deal with his ex however he wants but you can and should decide what you'll live with.

Why is having your own boundaries selfish? Why does he get to decide how things that also affect you are handled? That makes HIM selfish.

Fortunately my hb ultimately decided that my happiness was worth more than the status quo and him being a "nice guy".

Yours isn't ready to do that.

My position has always been that things that don't affect me aren't my business but things that do are very much my business.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

You make some excellent points lifeistooshort. I'm glad that things worked out for you, and your story gives me hope for the future! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. . .I appreciate it more than you know!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:56 PM
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Trying to find the strength to move on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niffer View Post
If I love him wouldnít I just let him be who he is and do things the way he needs to do them?



Itís funny you say I would just be #3. His mom said those exact words to me.



!

The answer to your question is No. Loving someone doesn't mean you give up your life for them, surrendering your wants and needs. In marriage you are partners. Equals.

Couldn't the same be said of him? If he loved you he should fix his drama.

He is the way he is. He won't change his core personality. He is not bad. He's just himself.

If you married he and you might struggle for money as a couple while he overpays his ex. Over paying her cheats not only him but YOU too if you are married.

Trust his mother. She has known him longer than you. :-)

Yes, it sucks. You do love him and it hurts you two are not compatible. But NEVER make the mistake of thinking the breakup is your fault.

Last edited by blueinbr; 02-26-2017 at 03:28 PM.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:58 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

Glad I can help!

One more thing: mine was older than yours when we met.....50. And his daughter was 16.

I still put up with it for longer than I should have.....that's on me.

I think if we'd met a few years sooner not only would I have been in my 20's, which would have been enough for things to not work out, but his daughter would've been younger and he probably wouldn't have been ready to deal with the boundaries.

So yours may get there, but I don't recommend wasting your time waiting around to find out. Not only is it going to make you miserable it may not happen.

He's not a good prospect for anyone right now.

FYI, we're about the same age....I'm 42. I recommend you find a guy a that has older kids and good boundaries.

How old is his kid? I have the impression he's young.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 03:06 PM
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Re: Trying to find the strength to move on

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueinbr View Post
The answer to your question is No. Loving someone doesn't mean you give up your life for them, surrendering your wants and needs. In marriage you are partners. Equals.

Couldn't the same be said of him? If he loved you he should fix his drama.

He is the way he is. He won't change his core personality. He is not bad. He's just himself.

If you married he you would struggle for money as a couple while he overpays his ex. Over paying her cheats not only him but YOU too if you are married.

Trust his mother. She has known him longer than you. :-)

Yes, it sucks. You do love him and it hurts you two are not compatible. But NEVER make the mistake of thinking the breakup is your fault.

Good points about the overpaying. IMO mine paid too much for his daughter's wants (not needs, wants) and paid child support to his ex until his daughter was 19 (while contributing to her college) because the ex based her lifestyle on the child support and his boundaries were too poor to realize that wasn't his problem.

I didn't get involved because we weren't living together at that point, were not that serious. and he didn't hit me up because he was paying her and paying for his daughter's wants.

If we'd been further along in our relationship, living together, or he was hitting me up to contribute more I wouldn't have tolerated that.

Eventually he did stop and, gasp, the ex figured something out.
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