Starting to pull back - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Starting to pull back

I had a conversation with the beau last night, in regards to being cancelled on on Valentineís Day. Long story, short: he didnít have his daughter that week, so we made dinner plans which I got way too excited about. Daughter got upset, so he made plans with her and her sister, then cancelled on me with the thoughts that I wouldnít think it was a big deal. It was, and it hurts, and it made me realize that this relationship means way more to me than it does to him, and so now I need to take the steps of pulling back a bit. How does one do that without resentment and going to the extreme of pulling back too much?


Valentineís Day has always been kind of a painful day for me, and certainly nothing worth celebrating, so when I noted that he was kid-free that week (yay), and that was not only down to go out for a nice supper, but heíd been the one to suggest it (double yay), I was over the moon. I asked him last night if he had considered that I would have been more than happy to alter our plans and do a family dinner rather than a coupleís dinner, and the answer was no, he hadnít considered that. Iím mostly upset that I wasnít considered past the thought of, ďoh, she wonít mindĒ. It makes me feel really unimportant, and Iím pretty upset about this realization. I just wish Iíd have been considered, but I guess heís not as considerate as I had thought. Am I making too big a deal out of this?

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post #2 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:20 AM
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Re: Starting to pull back

I'm not a big "holiday" person, so I don't get too excited - or too disappointed - about much of anything related to Valentine's Day. That said, I would still be upset about my guy canceling plans with me without discussion, regardless of what day those plans were for.

You say this made you feel unimportant. Is this a one-off instance of him being clueless, or does it fit a pattern of actions that leave you feeling like you're unimportant to him?

I'm not saying he's wrong to put his children first. That's an admirable thing for a parent to do. But if this is an ongoing pattern of behavior that leaves you feeling like you're not being considered, then it might mean that you two simply aren't compatible. He might just not be able to offer you the level of consideration you want from a partner, either in general or because he has other primary commitments right now. It may just be that you aren't both at a point in your lives to be able to build a relationship that's going to work for both of you.

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post #3 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:27 AM
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Re: Starting to pull back

When a person shows you who they are, believe them. He has shown you that he doesn't consider you important enough to even consult about the cancellation of plans he initiated. He lets his daughter call the shots. Welcome to the rest of your relationship with this guy.

I think it's kind of creepy that kids expect their parents to be with them on Valentine's day. I don't understand why parents encourage this.

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post #4 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:36 AM
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Re: Starting to pull back

Ursula, I wonder if you can relate to this sentiment... typically when I feel annoyed or upset with an interaction, is usually when I have not presented myself in a congruent way. When I catch myself with that feeling, I try to consider what is bothering me about it and what I could do differently. This is usually about what, or how, I have communicated something (or sometimes, not communicated). The intention then, is not about changing an outcome, but instead learning more about how to get right with myself.

So then, the flip side to this is that when I have responded with congruence, through communication and/or actions, I feel more grounded within myself and less swayed by external influences. And from that place, I am more open, confident, and aligned with what I'm about. The outcomes of an event may not change, but it's incredibly freeing to realize there's a choice (mentally/emotionally) with how we navigate them. These choices and experiences occur multiple times throughout our day with various interactions, so we're constantly encountering these opportunities to try out different ways of being. It's a constant, evolving cultivation of self.

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post #5 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:39 AM
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Re: Starting to pull back

You are not making too big a deal out of it. He was very inconsiderate of you to make those changes without talking to you first. You are not demanding that he put you over his kids. Quite honestly, he owes you a true apology.

This biggest thing at this point is to determine if this was a one off (hey we all make mistakes, especially when it come to our kids) or a pattern. If the later, you might have to evaluate your relationships with him. Not your love. It's possible to love someone and not be compatible.

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post #6 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:42 AM
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Re: Starting to pull back

His daughter and family come first. Now you know. It seems to me you two are a bit incompatible personality-wise.
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post #7 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:42 AM
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Re: Starting to pull back

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Originally Posted by Ursula View Post
I had a conversation with the beau last night, in regards to being cancelled on on Valentine’s Day. Long story, short: he didn’t have his daughter that week, so we made dinner plans which I got way too excited about. Daughter got upset, so he made plans with her and her sister, then cancelled on me with the thoughts that I wouldn’t think it was a big deal. It was, and it hurts, and it made me realize that this relationship means way more to me than it does to him, and so now I need to take the steps of pulling back a bit. How does one do that without resentment and going to the extreme of pulling back too much?


Valentine’s Day has always been kind of a painful day for me, and certainly nothing worth celebrating, so when I noted that he was kid-free that week (yay), and that was not only down to go out for a nice supper, but he’d been the one to suggest it (double yay), I was over the moon. I asked him last night if he had considered that I would have been more than happy to alter our plans and do a family dinner rather than a couple’s dinner, and the answer was no, he hadn’t considered that. I’m mostly upset that I wasn’t considered past the thought of, “oh, she won’t mind”. It makes me feel really unimportant, and I’m pretty upset about this realization. I just wish I’d have been considered, but I guess he’s not as considerate as I had thought. Am I making too big a deal out of this?
Does he have any explanation of why he did not consider you? Does he think your relationship is more casual at this point? Or maybe he feels really comfortable with you, is that possible? I can think of a few reasons why a man would do this, but I don't know anything about your relationship so I can't say much about why he did.
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post #8 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting to pull back

Hey @Rowan, no, this isnít a one-off thing. Along the way, there have been a few situations where heís needed to cancel/reschedule. He has always been sorry to do so, and Iíve always been understanding because heís a Dad with Dad-priorities, too. I would also say that feeling like a little less or a priority has always kind of been a thing. Example: when weíre together, and his cell phone gets a notification, heís on it immediately most of the time, seeing whatís up or responding to a text. So, when I text him, I know he sees it right away, but he chooses not to reply sometimes for many hours. You arenít wrong when you suggest that we might not be compatible at this time though. Something to chew on for now.

@Blondilocks, yeah, I know heís showing me who he is, and itís something that Iím going to monitor closely. He said last night that he knows he has to put his foot down with his youngest. I thought it was a little strange that she was so desperate to spend whatís more of a romantic day with her Dad. However, she probably just doesnít want him to spend it with me.

Hereís something too though: recently, something happened with his youngest daughter, and he doesnít want to tell me yet, and she doesnít want me to know either. Heís been highly stressed out about this, too. There were 2 instances where both his Mom and his oldest daughter started to tell me, and I stopped them, stating that beau and daughter didnít want me to know at this time. His oldest let a little too much slip, and so I now know that the police were involved. I told beau this, because I wanted him to know what I was told so that he wouldnít be surprised later (things have a way of being found out). He let me know then that his oldest brother was also involved and that he wouldnít be speaking to him for a very, very long time. My first thought: some kind of assault. Beau has confirmed that this absolutely ISNíT the case, which is a relief. SO, all that being said is a reason why beau wants to keep his youngest close and why he tends to really cater to her, which I understand to a point, but canít understand fully because I really donít know whatís going on. I do know that his youngest is now in therapy.
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post #9 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 11:50 AM
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Sometimes even if your SO doesn't make you choose between you or the kids it can feel that way. I don't know how long he has been a single dad or how long you have dated but maybe chalk this up as a stupid mistake. If you approach this with kindness and understanding he will be more likely to hear you and get that he screwed up.

He definitely owes you an apology and I don't write this toet him off the hook. I know as a single father I did everything for my girls and never wanted them to feel less then the most important thing in my life.

I am remarried now and still struggle but am much better about balance in our lives.

I hope this helps. Remember it most likely was totally about his insecurities and not anything to do with how he cares about you.
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post #10 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondilocks View Post
When a person shows you who they are, believe them. He has shown you that he doesn't consider you important enough to even consult about the cancellation of plans he initiated. He lets his daughter call the shots. Welcome to the rest of your relationship with this guy.

I think it's kind of creepy that kids expect their parents to be with them on Valentine's day. I don't understand why parents encourage this.
Well, I'm totally with Blondilocks on this.

Ursula, I think you said you have been dating this man for almost a year. You aren't someone he just met. This wasn't an evening your boyfriend usually has the kids, they weren't supposed to be with him on Valentine's Day (it's not like he was blowing them off to have dinner with you). The child didn't say anything about Valentine's Day until she heard YOU were going out to dinner with her father. Cue crying, and him showing her, and you, and the mother of the child-- that because she didn't want him going out to dinner with you, he'd cancel on you and take her instead-- which also included a schedule change with her mother. Add that this is a romantic holiday. It's not like it was her dad's birthday or Christmas or Thanksgiving or something. It's a couples holiday!

This is bad news. There are a few different ways this man could have handled the situation. That he chose this way, after dating you for so long, and that it's not the first time these kinds of things have happened do not bode well. Honestly, I'd be on my way out. Too much going on for this to be a healthy relationship for you anytime soon.

Note: this is my opinion as a divorced mother who had children that age after divorce. I DO know what it's like.

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post #11 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 12:59 PM
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Adding: I hope you cancel the flowers you were going to have delivered to him.
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post #12 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting to pull back

@heartsbeating, yes I relate to that, and I think thatís partly what happened. When he mentioned dinner out a week ago, I showed genuine surprise and excitement, but did mention that I donít usually do anything for V-day. Mostly, itís because itís generally been a depressing/painful day for me, and thereís no reason to celebrate that. I didnít actually SAY that though. However, what he took out of that conversation wasnít my excitement; it was my saying that I donít usually do anything for that day, which is why he thought that cancelling wouldnít be a big deal. So, itís really both of our faults: me for not communicating well enough; him for not hearing my excitement.

@maquiscat, itís not a one-off; this has happened before, just not on a special day. I do feel love for him, but have no idea how he feels about me, as we havenít communicated that at this point. But yes, we simply may be incompatible.

@In Absentia, yes his daughter comes first, and I actually commend him for that. However, if he wants to be in a relationship, he needs to put that first every once in awhile too. Not all the time; thatís not what Iím asking for. I just simply want to be a consideration, and I want US as a couple to be a priority sometimes.

@leftfield, yes, when he suggested we go out for supper that evening, I showed surprise and excitement about the idea, but did mention that I havenít celebrated that day for a long time. He remembered the latter part, and thatís the reason why he didnít think it would be a big deal to me. Given your choices, Iíd guess that he thinks our relationship is more casual than I think it is at this point.

@Rushmore410, I understand what youíre saying, and I hope that he doesnít feel that way. Heís been a single Dad for almost 2 years now, and weíve dated for almost a year. When we talked last night, one thing he said is that he usually makes stupid decisions/mistakes. I approached the subject in an upset manner, but not with my guns-a-blazing. He gets that he messed up, and apologized numerous times to me. We were both crying on the phone last night, but Iím not sure he was upset about us; he started crying when talking about his youngest daughter. He said that things will get better, and that he has to put his foot down with his youngest. I just wish he would do that sometimes. Honestly, I do think this was just a stupid and innocent mistake on his part, and he really had no clue as to how this would affect me. He knows now though, I think and hope.

@Livvie, I do hear you, and your post struck a chord. I know this isnít great news, and itís hugely disappointing for me. I think that I think this relationship is way more important to me than it is to him. Iím not going to kick him to the curb just yet; I would like to see how the next month or two play out. I know heís going through a LOT right now, but that doesnít mean that he can just blow me off. I would love to know how he views this relationship and the position that I play in his life. I called the florist this morning to cancel the order, but am going to see how tonight goes (weíre seeing each other tonight unless the road conditions totally suck like they did last night. But, tonight will tell the tale of whether or not he gets his flowers on V-day.
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post #13 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 01:19 PM
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Re: Starting to pull back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursula View Post
Hereís something too though: recently, something happened with his youngest daughter, and he doesnít want to tell me yet, and she doesnít want me to know either. Heís been highly stressed out about this, too. There were 2 instances where both his Mom and his oldest daughter started to tell me, and I stopped them, stating that beau and daughter didnít want me to know at this time. His oldest let a little too much slip, and so I now know that the police were involved. I told beau this, because I wanted him to know what I was told so that he wouldnít be surprised later (things have a way of being found out). He let me know then that his oldest brother was also involved and that he wouldnít be speaking to him for a very, very long time. My first thought: some kind of assault. Beau has confirmed that this absolutely ISNíT the case, which is a relief. SO, all that being said is a reason why beau wants to keep his youngest close and why he tends to really cater to her, which I understand to a point, but canít understand fully because I really donít know whatís going on. I do know that his youngest is now in therapy.
How long have you been dating this guy?

Within an exclusive and committed relationship, I wouldn't be okay with being so very pointedly excluded from some (apparently) huge family secret. It's one thing to not tell you something that's none of your business. But this has evolved into you having to police everyone else's boundaries to keep from finding out something he doesn't want to share with you. For me, the red flag wouldn't be the desire for family privacy, but the extravagantly dramatic lengths you are being asked to go to in order to maintain that family privacy for him/them. Is there always this much drama with this guy?

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post #14 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting to pull back

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How long have you been dating this guy?

Within an exclusive and committed relationship, I wouldn't be okay with being so very pointedly excluded from some (apparently) huge family secret. It's one thing to not tell you something that's none of your business. But this has evolved into you having to police everyone else's boundaries to keep from finding out something he doesn't want to share with you. For me, the red flag wouldn't be the desire for family privacy, but the extravagantly dramatic lengths you are being asked to go to in order to maintain that family privacy for him/them. Is there always this much drama with this guy?
Rowan, we just passed 11 months, so not a short time, but not a long time in the grand scheme of things. His daughter was adamant that I not know what's going on, and he doesn't want to lie to her, so if she asks him if he's told me, he can honestly say "no" at this point. She's said that if I find out, she doesn't want to see me again. There's not usually a ton of drama no, but his divorce and the woman he's divorcing are quite the thing (heavy drinking, drugs, a divorce that's stalled). I'm not OK with being excluded from this secret, especially since it's obviously something that is dealt with on a daily basis. However, I had wanted to remain in this relationship and continue getting to know his daughters, so I complied. I'm going to have to see how the immediate future will play out at this point though.
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post #15 of 94 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 01:31 PM
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Re: Starting to pull back

I don't like Valentine's Day, but even I was disappointed reading about your change of plans in the other thread. You are not overreacting at all. You are allowed to be upset and disappointed and you are right to be skeptical.

He says that he needs to put his foot down and stop letting his daughter call the shots, but he doesn't seem to be doing anything about that. He could tell his daughter that he had plans with you first, cancelling those was his mistake, and that he needs to go back to the original plans but will see them the next day (or whatever). There is nothing wrong with a child learning that A) The world does not revolve around them, and B) That parents make mistakes too and have to clean up their mess. I'm guessing he won't, because he seems like he's all talk, but he does have options here.
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