Menu

Am I nervous for no reason ?

HomeForumsRelationshipsAm I nervous for no reason ?

New Reply

This topic contains 12 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Peggy 2 days, 17 hours ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #303027

    mandy
    Participant

    Thank you all in advance for your support.

    I was married to a narcissist for 12 years. He was a chronic cheater , liar and leaned towards crazy making tenancies.

    To say im scared of a healthy relationship is an understatement. as i dont really know what healthy feels like.

    Ive been in a new relationship for 5 months now. From the beginning ive known he is a very private person. He doesnt have a lot of friends. His work and his daughters take over most of his life. Neither one of us was ready for a relationship in the beginning but then we found we really started to care for one another.

    3 months in we introduced our children (we each have 2) and started to spend more time together.

    by the 4th month his ex-wife said she doesnt want me around the kids because she is having a hard time with another parental figure in the girls lives. he agreed i wont be around the girls for 6 months. he is spending time with my children bonding etc. so i feel like this isnt right. but i have no say in the matter.

    He will not add me to social media. said he barely uses it and that very well could be the case. But uses the excuse the ex-wife might snoop me and he is a private person that isnt ready to share with the world he is dating someone. Is this ok ? I feel like if you care for someone youd want to share your happiness with the world.

    i feel like im always making first contact, making plans, and it wasnt like this in the beginning. he was very attentive at the start but it has dwindled down. our intimate life is very active but a little one sided.

    we cuddle, talk so easily, go places together, have taken trips together and generally have a lot in common. I have seen a future of sorts with this man however are these red flags? im scared to death of being in another relationship with someone who doesnt value me.

    he lied about a couple things in the beginning. so im finding it hard to repair that trust afterwards. im an open book. ask me anything and i will tell you. he on the other hand isnt. hes very quiet and i always have to ask a ton of questions. I planned a trip, emailed him the itinerary and he didnt say a word about it. am i over reacting?

    is all of this normal for only being in 5 months in our 40s?

    #303035

    anita
    Participant

    Dear mandy:

    Him being “a very private person, not having a lot of friends, his work and daughters making most of his life doesn’t read to me like a red flag, not at all.

    His dislike of social media and not wanting to advertise his relationship with you doesn’t read to me like a red flag. “I feel like if you care for someone you’d want to share your happiness with the world”- I don’t. This is why I don’t do Facebook.

    His concern, brought about by his ex wife, regarding you being involved in his daughters’ lives reads reasonable to me, and his ex wife should do the same, not involve a new partner with her daughters’ lives, not for a long time, anyway.

    The fact that he was very attentive in the beginning and initiates less now-

    Questions: is it possible that he doesn’t initiate contact because you initiate so often that he doesn’t get the opportunity to initiate himself?

    Or that he initiates less as a result of arguing and discord in the relationship of late?

    Also, what did he lie to you about in the beginning?

    anita

    #303043

    mandy
    Participant

    When we first started dating he didnt tell me his wife still lived in the house. After we were serious i asked and he said yes she does because of combined debt.

    after that he moved out of the house shortly after. He swears up and down they were not still married and im trying to believe him. the amount of lying my ex did has really jaded me into being very skeptical.

    We dont argue but we do have a lot of discussions as we both have been hurt and dont want to be in the same boat that we were in before. So we talk a lot. we had one strong argument a couple months back because his family friends etc dont know hes dating as they are still trying to accept him being separated. They are a very religious group that do not believe in divorce specially with kids involved. so he doesnt want to be judged.

    and yes i do initiate the conversation quite a bit. he isnt used to having someone that “wants” him. The attention i give him hes never had so he doesnt know what to do with it. hes never had emotional support, always told to suck it up. so we are both trying to work through emotional triggers.

    #303045

    Valora
    Participant

    When you say he won’t add you to social media, do you mean he won’t add you as being in a relationship with him or he won’t accept a friend request from you?  My advice pertaining to the social media thing will depend entirely on that answer because one is really okay and the other isn’t so okay.

    As for the ex-wife having a hard time dealing with another parental figure… I want to preface this by saying I have 2 kids with 2 different men and I have had to deal with new girlfriends and now wives for many years now, so I have experience with this…. his ex-wife is really just going to have to get over that, and your boyfriend needs to stand firm and tell her as much, because the sooner she accepts it, the better. As much as she wants to have control over who her kids are around, she cannot control whether or not the children are around dad’s girlfriend and she has to trust that their dad has their best interests in mind.  You two waited a good amount of time to introduce each other to your children, and I feel that was responsible. It doesn’t make sense to then pull back, once you’ve already been introduced to them, to not allow them to develop a relationship with you, especially if you two plan on staying together. So I think I would be upset about that, because he is basically allowing his ex-wife to have control in his life. Would she allow him to tell her she can’t bring a boyfriend around their kids?

    If he seems to be backing off a bit, he may feel conflicted over the drama with his ex-wife and maybe doesn’t know what to do. I would just have a calm, open discussion with him about how this is making you feel and see what he says.

    #303053

    anita
    Participant

    Dear mandy:

    Reads to me that you are indeed “nervous for no reason”- of course it is not a good thing that he lied about that fact that he was living in the same home as his ex wife when he started dating you, but if they don’t anymore, and his ex wife knows about you, and if he doesn’t have a pattern of lying, maybe that one lie can be forgive… I suppose he was under great stress starting to date, liked you very much and didn’t want to spoil the opportunity.

    Most men, especially private, quiet men do not like those serious conversations with their girlfriend/ wife about feelings, and have learned to dread those. It could be a reason for him initiating less. Probably a good idea to talk in a different way, more pragmatic, less feeling- focused.

    Reads like he had a difficult life/ unhappy marriage and that he appreciates the relationship with you as something different and way better than what he had before.

    anita

    #303061

    mandy
    Participant

    He will not add me to facebook as a friend because then his ex , friends and family will know who i am and snoop me. He doesnt want the drama that goes along with it he said.

    we have had that talk and he wants to respect her and her choices. she cried and said its broken her heart to hear from her girls how nice i was and how i played with them. so she needs more time to adjust to him dating. Then he said last night she is starting to date. Ive said all i can about the issue , he doesnt want her drama so hes agreed and asked me to respect his decision.

     

    #303069

    Valora
    Participant

    He will not add me to facebook as a friend because then his ex , friends and family will know who i am and snoop me. He doesnt want the drama that goes along with it he said.

    See, this sounds odd to me, and I can see why it raised red flags for you. It’s one thing if he doesn’t want the “in a relationship” thing with your name connected to it because that would single you out to everyone, but he won’t even add you as a friend? If everyone knows your name and they want to snoop on you, chances are they already have. You don’t have to have a friend connection to find someone on Facebook. All you really need to know is their first name and then the autofill does the rest, starting with names closest by location. They don’t even need to know your last name if they know what you look like…. so I think that would raise a red flag for me too that he doesn’t even want you added as a friend, but who knows. I don’t know him at all and you do, so I would say just use your best judgement on that one based on what you know if him… but his feelings are sounding a little one-sided, and at some point soon, I hope he starts taking your feelings into consideration rather than just trying to avoid drama with an ex all the time… he’s divorced now and shares kids and that isn’t easy, so he’s likely going to have to learn to handle the drama and won’t always be able to just avoid it.

    we have had that talk and he wants to respect her and her choices. she cried and said its broken her heart to hear from her girls how nice i was and how i played with them. so she needs more time to adjust to him dating. Then he said last night she is starting to date. Ive said all i can about the issue , he doesnt want her drama so hes agreed and asked me to respect his decision.

    It IS nice that he is wanting to respect her wishes, and that will keep smooth sailing in their co-parenting relationship. Hopefully as she starts dating, she gets to a point where she also wants to introduce a significant other to the kids and then manages her expectations with her ex-husband.

    Did he decide to leave her or was it mutual? If he left her, I can see where her feelings are coming from with him dating someone new and the kids being around another motherly figure and also wanting to avoid the social media drama so as not to rub salt in the wound, but I still think it’s odd he can’t even add you as a friend.

    #303071

    mandy
    Participant

    It was all mutual as far as i know. A year ago she told him she wasnt attracted to him anymore. but because of the girls they kept it going. had a talk back in august to separate HOWEVER, still did things as a family.

    his family, friends work mates do not know about me. they know hes dating.

    his ex knows about me but as much as he has told her. so as far as i know he could have said im a friend.

    he keeps saying all the right things, but the “hiding me”. i dont understand. if they have been separated as long as he says i dont understand the issue. My girlfriends think im crazy staying with someone that wont even friend me on facebook. and he doesnt see an issue with it. he says the 79 friends he has and the last time he posted anything on there was a year ago. but he uses messenger to keep in touch with people

    #303075

    Valora
    Participant

    Yeah, I don’t understand the hiding thing either. When you add someone as a friend on Facebook, it’s not like it alerts everyone that you just added someone, although it does show up for a bit sometimes when you hover over someone’s name as “____ added so and so,”  so maybe that’s what he’s concerned about… and if he only has a few friends and doesn’t ever add people and someone is paying close attention to his account, then it would probably be obvious if he added you (unless he accepted a bunch of other requests at the same time), but I don’t really understand why he’s so worried about them checking you out if you aren’t even worried about them doing it. I guess if he doesn’t use it, it’s a nonissue, but why not just deactivate the account then? That’d solve the problem all the way around. You don’t have to have a FB page to use Messenger now. It’s a separate app as long as you have a cell phone number.

    Also, if his ex-wife told him that a year ago, it seems like she would have had plenty of time to get used to the idea of him dating someone else, and you’ve also been dating for 5 months already and that’s plenty of time to get used to it.  As a mom, I get how hard it is to let go and be okay with someone new having influence on your kids, but it’s something you HAVE to do as a co-parent. Otherwise, it ends up being more about having control.  If you’re okay with it for the time being, I’d just let it go for a while and see if she changes her mind as she dates more, but please be aware that if he gets into the habit of just giving her whatever she asks for just to avoid drama, that’s going to be a huge issue for you guys later on and it really does create a lack of boundaries with her and tension for the two of you. At some point, it will start to feel like your feelings and needs always come second… but being that you are still in a somewhat new relationship, I wouldn’t worry about it too much at the moment because he might just be trying to learn how to navigate the waters and it may naturally get better and easier with time.

    #303077

    mandy
    Participant

    Ive expressed that i feel like im coming in second. she is trying to control how often he sees the kids, money, etc.So in a sense i get it and he has promised me *que anxiety and trust issues* that it will not be forever. just until the waters calm a bit and she figures herself and the situation out. what ever that means.

    TBH , ,its a lot of drama and i keep questioning if its all worth it. his separation/divorce ducks are not in a row even though he thinks they are.

    #303083

    Valora
    Participant

    Yeah, it almost sounds like he should be on his own until he gets things figured out, because it’s an awful lot for a significant other to have to deal with, and it can be damaging to the relationship long-term, especially if there’s no real time frame for how long this is going to go on, because what if it takes years?

    If you do decide that your relationship with him is worth it, I would set a time frame for yourself for things to change. I don’t think this is something you have to discuss with him if you don’t want because it would probably add pressure to an already delicate situation for him, but it would just be something for yourself and your own boundaries… set it for however long you feel comfortable waiting for things to settle, and if things are still the same after that amount of time, I would move on.  I’m afraid that him allowing her now to control things is setting a precedent in the co-parenting relationship that will be very hard for him to break later on.  I am speaking from experience here. haha. If you are not assertive right away, it tends to blow up in your face when you finally decide to be assertive. Those who feel they have the control do not like to lose any of that control and will do anything to keep it. So saving himself from drama now may just be creating a ton of drama later on. Time will tell.

    #303085

    Mark
    Participant

    mandy,

    You are experiencing a relationship with someone who has not finished his last relationship yet.  What I mean by “finished” I mean that he and his ex have not quite figured out the co-parenting, the total emotional separation, and the time to figure themselves out as individuals rather than husband and wife (hence you coming in second).  As you see that there is still drama.  Therapeutic wisdom recommends a year after the divorce is final before starting dating.  There is not time to individuate, to learn how to be one your own, and for friends and family to get use to the breakup (hence not adding you to Facebook).

    Mark

     

    #303169

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Mandy,

    I’m not really sure what your problem is here.

    Firstly, you have met someone with whom you can talk, you go places together, cuddle, have trips and generally have a lot in common.  This is wonderful.  Focus on these positives.  There are no guarantees with relationships – it may not be forever but surely there is enough here for you to enjoy in the moment.

    You have no control over his ex-wife.  She holds all the cards with regard to the children and how much power she wishes to exert.  I think you are probably going to need lots of patience and understanding on this front and you may need to accept your place in this whole scenario.  There can be no winners in this situation and only you can decide whether it is worth taking part.

    Just because he hasn’t added you to social media, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for you.  I think you are giving this too much importance especially as you say he is a private person.  All he needs is to share some of his time with you.  If the amount of time he is or isn’t spending with you is becoming a problem, then you may need to consider your options.

    I agree with Mark that it takes time to come to terms with the end of a marriage.  However, you are already in this relationship. I would say that 5 months is a relatively short amount of time to be with someone and perhaps you should hold off making too many plans.  If you can, carry on dating and enjoy his company for a few hours a week knowing that it may not last forever.  If you look for red flags, you will find them.

    Peggy

     

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.