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    Hi everyone.

    Thank you all for your responses and kind words.

    Lucinda Wolford, I’ve often asked myself that exact question. Moreso, I’ve wondered “would I want this man to be the father to my children?” I don’t. And that should be the biggest red flag, but of course it’s never that simple.

    BruceWayne, you hit on a lot of my major concerns: fundamentally, we don’t compliment each other, and our relationship doesn’t make me want to be a “better person.” In fact, I find it so stressful that my performance in other areas (work, social life, etc.) has actually taken a backseat to my relationship. That’s not healthy at all, and it doesn’t better me in my overall quest for happiness and fulfillment. But then, like you say, I hold onto that hope… the loyalty that is, like you say, inherent like DNA.

    Jade: Thanks for sharing the article! It’s funny that, in striving to make this relationship work, I truly have compromised my relationship with myself.

    Chad: I agree with Cherrymom, I found your response really insightful and dimensional. I’d like to build on it, by saying that I’ve tried communicating multiple times. It couldn’t have gone worse… it truly is like speaking two different languages. I don’t think our problem is a lack of communication; I think our problem is a lack of action taken after the problems have been communicated. Like I touched on briefly in my post, we’e had candid conversations where he’s told me, point blank, he doesn’t see a future, isn’t in love, doesn’t see us working out or having the elusive “spark” to make it last, etc. These conversations always end in the decision to “keep trying” and “see what happens.” Well try, we do, but it turns out it’s really hard to “try” to progress when you feel like your partner has sucker-punched you in your innermost emotional soft spot. Sometimes I find myself falling into the old trap of “if I lose weight, if I put more effort into looking the way he likes, if I cook or clean more, if I dote on him more, if I treat him to dinner more, if I had a better job, if I…” the list goes on. It’s a destructive cycle, and one I’m ASHAMED to admit. (Yes, ASHAMED all caps). I never thought I’d be that kind of woman, yet here I am, trying to be perfect for a guy that is so obviously WRONG for me… and yet I feel powerless and terrified at the thought of ending our relationship.

    Linecrosser: I feel like “any relationship worth having is worth fighting for” has been my mantra for the last few months. When I look at things objectively, I see how I can be so baggy and whiney and clingy… I feel like my worst traits are a response to his worst traits. And I have to believe that, if somehow we could both just STOP pushing at each other’s soft spots, that we could actually WORK this thing out. But how do you do that? How do you be the bigger person, and take the pain long enough for things to get better?

    Kaykei: I am so sorry to hear about your experience… but I can also really relate. My boyfriend and I are “public” now; I’m friends with his friends, on Facebook, and what have you. But what hurts is that I had to fight for it. You’d think a guy would want to bring me home to meet his family or hometown friends, right? Or that he’d be proud to be in a relationship on Facebook? (Ok, that was a pretty juvenile sentence to type.) What I’m getting at is that I know, from relationships he was in before me, that this guy brings girls home and shows them off. I just can’t figure out why he doesn’t do that with ME.

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