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This topic contains 23 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Peggy 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #316425

    Natalija
    Participant

    So…I’m 35, he’s 40. We met on tinder, had a nice chat and got out on a coffee soon.

    I’ve never been married, no kids…he has two and was separated 2 years ago. But, they decided to stay and live together because the kids are still small (5 and 10 years) and didn’t want them to move all the time from one parent to another. Or have a trauma because of their separation. They have separate rooms and live like roommates. Not quite a story I liked. But, I understand his reasons.

    They had a bit rough separation and she hurt him badly. It seems he didn’t completely get over that when he is talking about it. Like he is still hurt. That’s why I was careful and hesitant about the idea of us. He surprised me and fell in love fast.

    We have a beautiful connection, he is funny and caring and interesting and honest. All the things I would like from a man. And something I rarely find. But…of course, there has to be a but…even though we are dating for about 2 months…and he slept over few times…we still didn’t have sex. At first he said he had some problems before at the beginning, till he relaxed. And everything was great after that first or first few times. But now, this seems to last a bit longer. And since we talked about it yesterday, he came to the conclusion it probably has something to do with how hurt and rejected he was at this last breakup.

    He said he can start something leading to sex and suddenly feels some blockage, like he was stopped suddenly.

    I don’t know what to do, and honestly, sex was extremely important to me…still is. So my waiting is a proof I like him a lot. But I’m not sure how to deal with it and how long could this problem be here.

    On the other hand…this living situation of his…could become a problem if this relationship gets serious. He’s planning to stay living like this till the kids get older…and I know I would want more from it than that in a few years. And that scares me.

     

    #316471

    Valora
    Participant

    You’re right that if he’s still talking about it, he isn’t over it. At the very least, he’s holding onto it tightly as part of his story. It sounds to me like he has some issues that he needs to deal with and should probably have some counseling to help him figure out why he can’t let go of the things that happened and what might be causing his blockages.

    I also wouldn’t like the living situation if I were you. I had a couple friends who tried to do that while dating other people and it just did not work out well at all and they ended up worse off because of it, basically hating each other. With his kids being only 5 and 10 years old, there is a LONG time to live together before the kids become adults (and separating when the kids are “older” like as teenagers isn’t any better). Are they planning to live together this whole time? I’m not sure that’s a healthy situation for the kids either, and it’s definitely not conducive to either one of them dating, especially if the people they’re dating ever get introduced to the kids. To me, it seems like it would be healthier for everyone to separate, as that’s sort of a weird example to set for the kids too unless they both commit to not dating anyone else while they’re living together… which would leave you out.

    If this is his plan that he is bound to stick with and if I were you, I’d probably heed the red flags and back out before you get too attached.

    #316533

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Natalija,

    I don’t know how your boyfriend is supposed to get past hurting whilst he is still living in the house with his wife.  The children are old enough to know that their parents are sleeping in separate bedrooms.  This is just prolonging the agony of separation for all concerned.  The children will pick up on the atmosphere of home life and ultimately it will be detrimental for them.

    Your boyfriend is suffering from anxiety which is making a sexual relationship difficult.  I suggest he starts practising ways to reduce his anxiety levels and find somewhere new to live.  If he doesn’t accept this as a way forward, then give some serious thought as to whether you want to be the one standing on the side lines waiting for time to pass and changes to happen.

    Best Wishes

    Peggy

    #316571

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Natalija:

    “It seems he didn’t completely get over that when he is talking about it. Like he is still hurt’- I don’t see this at all as a deal breaker. We do carry hurts from our pasts, but it doesn’t mean we can’t form honest and loving relationships in the future.

    “they decided to stay and live together because the kids are still small.. have separate rooms and live like roommates”- possibly a good situation for the kids if their parents display no aggression, verbal  or otherwise, against each other and/ or against the children. If there is a significant financial advantage in this living situation, such that affords the children their basic needs, it makes sense.

    “we still didn’t have sex… He said he can start something leading to sex and suddenly feels some blockage”-

    if you are okay with dating a man in that living circumstance, willing to not visit him at his home and to not meet his children until they are grown (what age, did he say?), then regarding the sex- if the two of you remain in that step of “something leading to (intercourse)”, not aiming at intercourse, he is likely to not feel pressure and therefore, no blockage. After repeated such no-expectations experiences, he may relax and finally proceed to the next step (if the two of you do desire that next step).

    anita

     

    #316665

    Natalija
    Participant

    Thank you all for your answers.

    It seems that this looks worse than it is in some ways. He did get over the breakup at least on a conscious level. And he was talking about it at the beginning of our relationship to let me know about his situation. It’s not like he is talking about it all the time. So…basically it sounded all right…but…there is obviously some problem if he cannot get intimate now.

    About the living situation, yes, they decided to stay and live together until kids would both be 18. That’s a long long time. And they probably didn’t think about how this will affect their dating life or possible relationships. It’s like they decided to sacrifice all that for the sake of the kids. Which sounds fine…but…like some of you said I’m sure kids will get to understand something is not right since they sleep in different rooms.

    However, they are very mature about everything and decent with each other. They communicate normally and the breakup was handled quite well. So the kids are getting all the love and care from them. That’s probably a good thing.

    I’m not sure how this can develop…if he would reconsider his decision if this relationship got serious. I’m not sure how long should I wait for him to get comfortable being intimate. We talked about him getting some counseling if needed. So that is an option if nothing changes with time.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  Natalija.
    #316691

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Natalija,

    It would be unthinkable to me to wait such a long time for a man to leave his wife and children with no guarantees at the end of it that he would be with me.  How can there be?  There might always be a situation at home that keeps him there.  Although on the surface it all seems very caring and responsible, he won’t be the first man to hide behind his children instead of moving on with a new relationship.  It seems to me that the only person who loses out by all of this is you.

    My personal feelings around all of this is that I would make a hasty retreat and get out of there as fast as I could instead of wasting my time on someone who is unable to give any form of commitment to me.  That would be my first consideration.  If you don’t have an issue continuing with this relationship knowing what the deal is, then I don’t think you should wait any time at all for him to be comfortable with being intimate with you.  Make that appointment today!

    Best Wishes

    Peggy

     

    #316729

    Valora
    Participant

    It seems that this looks worse than it is in some ways. He did get over the breakup at least on a conscious level. And he was talking about it at the beginning of our relationship to let me know about his situation. It’s not like he is talking about it all the time. So…basically it sounded all right…but…there is obviously some problem if he cannot get intimate now.

    Okay, I think that makes the difference, if he was just going into detail to explain the situation to you, although I do think he has some underlying anxieties or pain that he might not realize he has if it’s affecting his ability to be intimate, so he might still need some counseling or at least some major self-reflection to figure that out.

    About the living situation, yes, they decided to stay and live together until kids would both be 18. That’s a long long time. And they probably didn’t think about how this will affect their dating life or possible relationships. It’s like they decided to sacrifice all that for the sake of the kids. Which sounds fine…but…like some of you said I’m sure kids will get to understand something is not right since they sleep in different rooms.

    However, they are very mature about everything and decent with each other. They communicate normally and the breakup was handled quite well. So the kids are getting all the love and care from them. That’s probably a good thing.

    No matter how mature they’re being right now, I just can’t see this not blowing up in their faces, especially when relationships with other people come into play. Is his ex-wife in a serious relationship, yet?

    Also, are the kids supposed to know they’re dating other people or are they going to hide this from them until the kids are 18, and if the kids know, will they be building relationships with the other significant others? It’s just a really weird example to set for the kids, if you think about it.  On one hand, it’s nice that they won’t have to go back and forth between houses and will see their parents being fairly amicable in the same house, but it’s also sort of setting unrealistic expectations for how well people can work together and I will be surprised if the parents will be able to live together so amicably once they both get into serious relationships, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about stepparents when having to deal with my kids’ dads’ wives, it’s that they like a certain amount of control, too, and you’re not always going to agree with them. It can turn into a mess.

    It might be okay to continue to live together for now, but I can see this not working for that long, definitely not for 13 years. And think about that number… because the youngest is 5…. would you want to be with someone who lives with his ex rather than you for 13 years??  And who’s to say they won’t fall back for each other again in those 13 years in such close quarters?

    #316733

    Natalija
    Participant

    Dear Peggy, I understand what you are trying to say. Believe me, I have the need to run as fast as I can…and as far away as I can from it…while I still can. Part of me knows I’m already too deep…but part of me is not willing to sacrifice my goals and wishes over somebody else…that is something I did in a way once.

    But…he really is the only person in my life who looks at me like…I’m some kind of miracle…and acts with complete respect and care for me. That’s pretty big thing for me…and letting that go…just doesn’t feel right. If there is any hope for things to turn out better.

    I’m very well aware that the current situation is everything but good for me.

     

    Valora, of course…his situation has some impact on his ability to be intimate with me and that is a real problem. I hope he will figure out a way to fix that.
    About their relationship…I know…this could turn out badly at some point. She has a long distance relationship so it’s not serious because they can see each other like once a year. Don’t know why she’s even trying to keep a relationship like that alive. I see she has a bit of a hard time now since she was the one ending their relationship…and loosing his support (which was huge in financial and every other way)…and now seeing he is moving on and happy in something close by…while she has such a complicated long distance relationship.

    One thing I’m sure is that he has absolutely no intention in ever getting close with her again (she truly betrayed him and his trust), so that’s something I’m not worried about… but this 13 years…is just not something I would be ready to wait for our relationship to be…public and that we could live together than. If this would be heading in some serious direction.

    So…it seams I only have two options…give up on everything…which would make me really sad…or accept the fact it’s a half relationship that can only be like this for a long time. Since I’ve had one similar for a number of years…but still did’t regret it…that is an option. But… I feel I’m too old now to be…spending so much time in a relationship that…honestly has no real future together. Yes, sometimes it can surprise you. But I can’t count on that, can I?

    #316767

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Natalija:

    I was wondering if something from our August 2016 communication in your thread titled “Codependency” can be relevant to your current situation:

    1. You wrote then: “There was a lot of bad relationships and friendships where I didn’t feel appreciated, where I was giving and giving and in return got even more demands and less respect“-

    -I can see how more than three years later, you are very impressed by a man who “is the only person in my life who looks at me like… I’m some kind of miracle.. and acts with complete respect and care for me. That’s a big thing for me”.

    2. Three years ago you wrote: “setting a boundary of any kind, or saying no feels really uncomfortable. Like I’m expected to do what someone is asking of me because I love them. Like you need to prove it that way”- notice this inclination in your current situation, you feeling that you are expected prove your love for this man by waiting 13 years for him to date you publicly and make a home together.

    3. Three years ago you wrote: “I see it was easier to me to live a life just trying to  fit in other people’s picture of who I am, than figuring out what I want or need to begin with”-

    – It may very well be that more than three years later, it is still easier for you to fit into his life, into how he sees you, than it is to figure out what you need (beyond fitting into his view of you and receiving his approval).

    4. You wrote August 2016 about finally getting your driver’s license,  “this fear of driving came from fear of taking control in my life’- I suppose waiting for him 13 years makes it possible for you to postpone taking control over your life, at least in the area of relationships.

    5. You wrote Aug 2016: “I think that the most important thing for me would be to find ways to change things I’m not comfortable with earlier than I did. I usually find the courage to make big changes at the moment when things become bad enough, almost unbearable”-

    – I wonder what you think about this quote here, how it may be relevant to your current situation (as well as your thoughts about 1-4).

    anita

    #316789

    Valora
    Participant

    One thing I’m sure is that he has absolutely no intention in ever getting close with her again (she truly betrayed him and his trust), so that’s something I’m not worried about… but this 13 years…is just not something I would be ready to wait for our relationship to be…public and that we could live together than. If this would be heading in some serious direction.

    The thing is with intentions… they aren’t always what happens. He may not have intentions in the present, but a lot of change and growth can occur in a person in 13 years, and he will be right there with her to witness all of it. The feeling of betrayal tends to get less over time, especially if they are on good speaking terms and continue to make new positive memories/experiences. I’m not saying he’d go back with her either, but what I am saying is it’s much more likely for them to fall back together when they’re living with each other than it would be if they weren’t.

    Also, are you the first one he’s dated since they split or have their been others, and has she seemed jealous in any way if there were others?

    It certainly is a tricky situation, and only you can decide what’s right for you. But just know there are a lot of other guys out there who treat their ladies with respect and care, so I would think carefully about the emotional turmoil you might experience from this guy years down the road, when you’re tired of living apart and ready for the next step in your relationship, but you can’t get there because he told you right from the beginning that he will be living with his ex-wife for the next 13 years. If you think you’ll get to a point where this will be too much for you to deal with, it might be better to look elsewhere for someone else who will show you the same level of respect and care. They’re out there.

    #316869

    Natalija
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you. I can tell you that a lot of the issues that were a problem back than don’t exist any more. Now I do know what I want, which is the reason I’m saying I couldn’t agree to this 13 year long waiting period. And a lot of changes has been made till now, some relationships ended in the beginning because I saw it won’t fit me. So I’m sure I’m better of now than then.

    That doesn’t change the fact I’m afraid where this might be heading, since it’s such an unsure ground.

    Valora, I get you. But the thing is, they spend most of the time not together, even when they are with their children. So there is less chance for them to feel closer. I’m the first person he is dating. She doesn’t seem jealous, but she isn’t happy about it either. Important thing is, she is not making it complicated at the moment…probably could do that.

    I know there are other guys…but…the thing is…I want this one. And those other are hard to find. I’ve spent this year on a bunch of odd and boring dates with guys who…hated woman, hated this country etc etc. I really don’t like having to go through that.

    I think I’m going to give him a bit more time. Maybe the problem with intimacy resolves…and we talk about things that worry me. So I can see what he thinks about that in the long term. And I’ll try to be decisive about leaving it if I start feeling uncomfortable about it.

    #316887

    Valora
    Participant

    Hi Natalija,

    I’m 37 and single, so I get what you’re saying about dating (although I’m really not looking and have a lot of guy friends that treat their girls very, very well), but I would still definitely look at this situation as objectively (and nonemotionally) as you can because it’s likely to blow up on someone (or all of you) in the future if it doesn’t change, which would mean he’s not actually much better than the other guys you’ve been out with if you’re still ending up in a bad or hurtful situation. I think it’s a good idea to give it more time, though, if you’re truly unclear. I’m sort of just hoping they will change their minds, and I’m sure you are too, but there are no guarantees with this, and 13 years is a REALLY long time. Maybe he isn’t thinking in terms of just how long that is either and isn’t fully grasping it.

    If he does get counseling, it might be good to talk to a counselor or psychologist about the effects on children in situations like this, if it’s REALLY better for them for the parents to stay living together while dating other people or if it’s actually healthier to really separate. I’d have to wonder if any studies have been done on this.

    #316893

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Natalija:

    You are welcome. I re-read your original post and noticed something I didn’t notice before:

    You wrote about your boyfriend and his (living like roommates) wife: “They had a bit rough separation and she hurt him badly… he is still hurt… he came to the conclusion it probably has something to do with how hurt and rejected he was at this last breakup”-

    – that last breakup is living with him in the same apartment. How can he possibly recover from being “hurt.. badly” if the one who hurt him is living in the same apartment as he does, being present there every day and night.

    I didn’t connect before that the Hurt of “this last breakup” is Living-with-him.

    Of course he can’t recover from a live-in breakup!

    I’d say, not a good situation for him or for the kids, because they have a very hurt father day after day and who knows the emotional trouble their mother is in.

    anita

    #316915

    Natalija
    Participant

    He says he doesn’t feel anything anymore toward her…he is indifferent now. Not hurt openly.  So living like this isn’t something he sees as a problem. But I believe it could be. And I believe some consequences still linger in his life since we have a problem now.

    #316919

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Natalija,

    It is my belief that the more time you invest in this person, the more reluctant you will be to leave.  It seems to me that you are still very much fitting in with his situation.  He has stated his intention to stay with his wife long term and, for some reason, you are refusing to take this at face value.

    You don’t actually have any control over the current situation other than to walk away, which you have already stated is not something that you want to do.  If you have a deep need for his adoration and you feel that it might be healing that part of you, then you will consider staying for this reason alone.  It attracts and endears certainly in the short term.

    I remember a conversation that happened between two men when I was in my teens.  One of them referring to a colleague and his relationship with his wife remarked that “he kept her on a pedestal”.   The second man retorted “he keeps her on a pedestal because it keeps her out of the way”.  There is so much truth in that.  Are you effectively being kept out of the way?

    Peggy

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