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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm a first time user of this site. I do know that everything I'm about the say with garnish various opinions from everyone in hopes of helping me understand and deal with the problems I am having. So lets begin: I'm so confused and don't know what I am doing wrong, other than few very obvious things.

Problem: I'm 33 and I'm in a whirlwind of a relationship.
The Good: We were very close friends before we got together. We have common interest; music, movies, dancing, family, being successful in our careers, dining.
The Bad: We don't share main interest, which is for her going out, mainly likes the bar scene. Whereas I would like to do things a little more fun than that. We aren't always the best with our money, but a lot better now then when we first got together.....We don't struggle, but we could be better savers. We view appearance differently. I don't shop for clothes all that often. She loves shopping for clothes.
The Ugly: In our 11 years together, she has cheated a few times, which would cause us to breakup. Currently we are on a 2 -3 pattern for breaks, 3 of which were for infidelity and this final one because she says she's just unhappy. However, I've taken her back......I always want to believe she wants to do us better than that.

That's not the entire story, but certainly a basic summary. We are great together, when her head is in the relationship. But, we've lost sexual intimacy since the infidelities. We still love each others company, enjoy doing things together and over time we have found ourselves doing more and more. But, I also feel like its always my fault for us not doing anything. I used to say because our kids were young and had no resources to help us get a way for awhile. I no longer say that because our kids are older and can be left alone to take care of themselves for a few hours. Not surprisingly, we've found a lot more time to do different things together.

But, I don't know what's an excuse and what's reality. I'm there for her, supportive in nature. I would always try to help her when it came to household duties, but I admit, I get caught up in my own BS and don't do a great job keeping up with it. I used to be a sloppy dresser, but those years are long behind us, although I think she still holds that against me.....rightful so? IDK.

I'm a good father, we have one child together, she adopted one and I've helped raise her daughter since she was 4 months. I have respect for her and try my best to support her feelings, what little she shares. I remember taking relationship inventory last year, as we had just gotten back together in 10' and it was a year later and I wasn't sure how she felt towards me. As usual everything is fine, she's happy and nothing to complain about, but I've heard that song and dance before. I knew deep down there's stuff she won't tell me. Again, I am not perfect, I can be stubborn, I don't always brush(yes, I'm really laying it all out), I second guess myself(that is something new, never used to do that). But, I make good money, put a roof over everyone's head, trustworthy, good looking, committed, ambitious, good father and I feel like I am a good husband\BF....(Yes, I want to marry, in particular her, but I've also never thought she was ready for that level of commitment, but was willing to hold out while she came to that decision). I've also never know her to stay with anyone, but me for any real amount of time. She always talks about not finding the right guy, and even now contends that she doesn't think I'm right for her. Previous BFs: a drug dealer, jobless dude living at home, a BF from 13 years ago when she was 17(he's the one that always gives her butterflies), some guy who had a motorcycle.........I remember how she used to fall over herself for the drug dealer and the old BF just seems to always light her fires for like a month and then she's done with that. I know all this because we have mutual friends and whenever we do rekindle things, we share our past with each other.....unsettling.

So she expressed her unhappiness in the relationship about 6 months ago while we were on a vacation from the kids. We don't fight too often, nothing a normal couple wouldn't have. But, she was distant the entire trip and critical for seemingly no reason. I've dealt with this behavior in times past, but at this point its just overwhelmingly exhausting. We fought on the way home and it was all about me and what I was doing to make her unhappy, which was I just don't keep up with my appearance enough. Group, I've never been into fancy dressing our anything like that. I don't have go out clothes and stay in clothes. I have 3 mouths to feed, a house, a car, and my own music producing interest which I've let lapse into depression, so yeah I don't think about clothing. When I asked her to help me, such as I'll give her money and she can buy what she likes to see me in. She said "well how long am I supposed to do that for." I suspect she wants independence when it comes to that scenario? IDK

In my mind, appearances aren't the end all be all, when you consider everything else we have to take care of. But, she always wants to look beautiful, even if its just to go to the corner store. We're both good looking people, but I could careless whose paying attention to me as I'm only committed to one woman. When we go out, I have nice things, but my wardrobe can get stuck on repeat pretty easily.

When I talk about my good qualities, she says "any woman would be lucky to have you. All my friends have losers or getting divorced." That doesn't make me feel good, but is she trying to say that my qualities are meaningless to her?

We decided to go to couples therapy, finally after so many years of saying we needed to go. Years ago she suggested we go, but I didn't think we needed it...stubborn. Now I felt we needed to go, got on the phone and made some appointments and got that ball rolling.

Therapy seemed to be going in a positive direction. But, that changed and we were no longer allowed to be treated. She later expressed to me that she had feelings for this ex AGAIN and she didn't know what to do. She claims to not want to have these feelings, but she has them. I suspect cheating, but unlike before I couldn't prove anything, so I'm trusting her when she says nothing happened. She also says that the feelings for him don't affect her decisions in our relationship. It's not like she wants him or anything like that. What do you think? Sounds like BS to me, especially if you are worried about these feeling she has. When we got back together 2 years ago, she said she was scared of hurting me again, but wanted me to trust her and so on. So this was kind of a shock to me, that 2 years later we are right back where we started.

She says she has been on the fence for a while and just didn't know what to do about everything between us. While all this nonsense is going on, we have our kids in after school programs, we were trying to get a house together....interestingly enough for a while she we were house searching....she hates the house we live in, as do I, but its really affordable living a great place to make grander moves from. When that new house didn't fall through, she really started the whole unhappy thing and spoke with our therapist not to long after that, which is the day we got "kicked out."

She claims that our relationship is more like a friendship, I would assume because we do things together, enjoy each others company, but she has never been that affectionate. She doesn't really like cuddling and as great as sex was and as frequent as we use to have it. She has always been very very submissive, she just wants to lay there and have things done to her, so she herself can get into it. IDK....fear of intimacy? I have a high sex drive I know, she did at one point, but its waned. She is BI, which I had no problem with, and never thought it would affect our relationship because that just seems to be about sex and nothing else.....as in she likes to give.....just not to me....not anymore....not like she used to. So yeah, I guess its a friendship now. Could we have fixed that?

She claims I don't pay enough attention to her. When in reality it that's all I ever do. I spend too much time with her and not enough time on my own projects. But, our first breakup 7 years ago was because I was spending so much time learning to be a music producer and the time I used to spend with her became a lot less. She never expressed her dissatisfaction, instead she started seeing her ex on the side again. To this day, I think I've felt like I needed to spend physical time with her in order to keep her happy, as once I would say 5 years ago we got into a fight because I was spending too much time studying for school and not spending enough time with the family. But, the reality of that situation was, I hadn't been studying a whole lot and was spending most of my time with her.

Her claims are that I don't notice the details. Rather than say I do notice them, I'll just say I don't notice them ALL the time. But, I know I share with her why she's beautiful to me. Some days its one reason other days its another and on other days I'm silent unless she was looking for a compliment. I feel like she resents me for not always being able to her things on her birthday. There were a few birthdays where I just couldn't afford anything. And not that this is an excuse, but a few birthdays were around breakup time........was she really expecting something then? But, I know I ****ed up one Christmas and got her a bad gift. To this day, I don't remember how I failed to get that one right, but its 5 years ago, so I don't remember. But, she does and did let me know about the incident and said its one of the reasons she feels like I never pay attention to her. She was jealous that her ex BF and his girlfriend were getting tattoos and she wasn't getting anything on her birthday. Even though days before I told her that I wouldn't be able to get anything. She had just quit her job, we had just moved and the money wasn't there. I could've gotten her a card, I feel like I did, but I don't remember. I did, however, make her breakfast, took care of the house and the kids....she didn't have to lift a finger.....anyways....

So we are getting separated....she's looking to move out and on. However, she wants to remain close and doesn't want to give up on a relationship with me, but feels she needs to discover who she is and what she wants because what she has doesn't make her happy. She says she loves me, but isn't in love with me.

Now things seem obvious here.......But, that damn L word keeps me from doing what I think I should be doing, which is leaving her. But, its all the good times we have that I don't want to throw away. As I've said, throughout all this, we've always been able to very close and enjoy spending time with each other. Yet our intimacy has waned and we never did anything about it, just looked at each other like why is this happening.

Our therapist suggested that she seek professional help, which she is and expressed to me that she has deep seeded commitment issues. Meanwhile I spent Christmas alone, and while I could've went with her to celebrate, that would've been just too painful. The kids already know its the last Christmas we'll all spend together and they are sad, but they remain strong. She tells me that the kids will be fine as they are resilient. She's also in school, and I knew when that started I was going to have to pickup all the family responsibilities while she did her schooling. So for about 4 months, all cleaning, cooking, homework has been on my shoulders.....it feels great to be depended on. But, she's unhappy to the point where work, school and kids being managed alone is going to make her happier. When I didn't have a drivers license, she once said "I would rather you were cheating on me, but could drive instead of being faithful and can't." I just don't understand this woman. What I think is the right thing, isn't.........So do I move on? She nuts or not, but I know she wants to remain together, I just feel like she's holding herself back. What am I doing wrong?
 

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"The Ugly: In our 11 years together, she has cheated a few times, which would cause us to breakup."

That was all I needed to read. 1 time would be enough. Why in the hell would you stick around with a serial cheater? Sorry if that sounds harsh, but wake up.

Learn to 180, learn about manning up and move on to a better life.

I wish you well.
 

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I am going to be harsh. You apparently need it.

You are being a doormat! She does not love you. She's cheated on you multiple times. She now has feelings for an ex. She's worried about looking beautiful going to the corner store because she wants men to notice her. She's less affectionate with you because you don't interest her.

I don't think counseling is saving this. It's time to move on and find someone who does love you.
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From your post, all she does is complain about you, cheat on you, thinks about old loser b/f's, create drama, tells you she doesn't love you, wants bigger & better homes, clothes, loves the bar scene, etc.

I think she's just using you until her Prince Charming comes along.

You're not married, cut your losses & move on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I feel like it. I wasn't always this way, but I just can't my mind off her. I'm trying to get over this though. We are still living together as keeping it civil for the kids, but I feel like as soon as she leaves I'll be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does it matter that she has had some pretty messed up childhood issues? For those that say they are being harsh, you aren't.....Remember I agree that I should call it quits and move on, but I have my reasons for dealing with some of this. 2 sides to every story and while I tried to give both sides, I guess it still seems one sided.
 

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No, it doesn't matter. If she had a bad childhood, does that mean you should put up with all this cheating and drama? No way. Do you have self-respect? Come on, man up. Discuss when she is going to move out and get the process started. Why would you want anything more to do with this woman except for dealing with her when discussing your children?
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Now is the time for you to build yourself up body, mind, and spoirit so that you do not weaken and take her back when she crashes and burns.

You have weakened several times in the past so now is the time to help yourself so that you will not have your life ruined.
 

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Sorry for your pain brother,

Save yourself some heartache....move on

I know exactly how you feel. I had a woman do me the same way. I worked a full-time job, paid the bills, put her through beauty school, cleaned the house, and took care of our 6 month old son. I did all this while she stayed out late at night with her girl friends from school, cheating on me.

There are women out there who claim to want good men like us, but in the end, all they end up doing is taking advantage of us. Just be grateful that she's moving out soon. At some point you have to be able to look in the mirror and find some self-respect. There is a woman out there waiting for you that will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. This is not the one for you brother, let her go.

Good Luck
 

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I don't think you really have a question here. You know who this woman is and she has been like this ever since you have known her. You should not take the ending of this relationship as personal, as she hasn't been into you for awhile. Also don't feel down on yourself as she is not into the biker dude, ex-boyfriend, etc, they are just the flavor of the month. She is and has always been into herself, there is no way you can compete with that option. You are a nice guy, stable, likes you, trustworthy with the kids, but she is too worried about herself to spend her efforts on you. It is a shame that she has chosen that road in life, as she will miss out on a much more meaningful life.

In the meantime concentrate your efforts on your child and becoming a better you. Best of luck to you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I beginning to see it all much clearly now. Last night, she basically expressed that she never thought of me as their father to her other two kids, basically because I wasn't walking around calling him my son, even though I treated him just like the son we have together. Cutting my loses will be the best thing, but gotta find the strength in my head to fully commit to it. After committing the other way for so long, its just not easy to tear away. But, I'm done sacrificing.......

@VFW, taking it personal makes it easier to hate her in a sense. Her and I were best friends long before we went this route and now both are lost, that's a tough pill for me to swallow, regardless of her BS. I normally don't hold grudges, but I just won't forget this one and the lessons learned.
 

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SoConfused,

I'm seeing hints of borderline personality disorder in her. You didn't mention why the counselor "kicked you out" but I'm thinking that this played a role. The counselor may have felt like there's no hope of helping the two of you reconcile.

People with BPD develop a lifelong pattern of pulling you closer then pushing you away. You may feel like you're losing your mind when you're dealing with them. While I have had some interactions with BPD folks, Uptown provides an excellent view of them and has studied the disorder more than I have. Her childhood probably did play a role in developing BPD, as sexual abuse is a frequent element in BPDer lives, but you need to know that you are not capable of fixing it, and you're not responsible for it.

She is unlikely to ever be able to settle into a relationship and just be happy with it. You're not the only man who will never, ever live up to her unrealistic expectations - none will.

I think if you can get it into your own mind that you deserve better and will hold out to find an appreciative, cooperative woman who enjoys you, you'll find much more contentment in your life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Satya - I completely understand. The reason I came to this site because I knew there were people out here who has been through it too. I feel stupid for putting up with it for as long as I have, but then.....KathyBatesel is pointing to something I've always wondered about her. Specifically because that sexual abuse was in her childhood as well as divorce. I researched BPD years ago and we even discussed it too, because she does have quite a few traits of someone with BPD, but neither of us are doctors and it just went by the waste side.

During a one on one conversation with the therapist, she shared with her something, whatever she shared, caused the therapist to tell her that she was only here for the both of us and that she couldn't continue to treat us and that she recommends she get help. The therapist shared with me that she believes she had deep commitment issues and was going to require help for her to get to the bottom of it. She also had ambivalence towards me, but I shouldn't blame myself, because I was very committed to the relationship.

So to me it just sounds like there is more to it, than just she's a cheater and what not...BUT, I do need to take care of me first. I do fall back on our friendship as a reason to want to keep working things out. I would feel bad if all this is the result of some mental illness such as BPD which is serious.....But, she's not suicidal which I've read is common among people with BPD, so I wonder if she's just selfish and shallow. I tend to analytical, so I just like to find the reason and not justify things with just my emotions.

But, I do deserve better and that's what I want at the end of the day. Its a one day at a time kind of thing, but joining this forum and talking helps a great deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Whoa! Read some of Uptown's post and while I can say some of those things are her, not all of them. She might just be a self centered, selfish person.....but I think I'm going to do what Uptown suggest anyway. I've had rose colored glasses for a while and so maybe there's more to it than just normal relationship ebb and flow. That caregiver role, is such a double edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Remember that there are varying degrees of BPD. What you've described is well past "normal ebb and flow" for a relationship.

While the caregiver role is admirable at times, be smart and care for people who actually appreciate it.
Interesting perspective......as it seems BPDer is a victim of their own mind and so is it their fault they can't appreciate it? Is she choosing to be this way or IS she just this way due to the damaged childhood?

But, I know what you are saying and I don't have any diagnoses to back things up, but after reading these stories. They do describe her moods, the anger with me & others.

But, I can't help her at this point she's already going to therapy only one session. Any attempts by me to point this out, would just cause her to flip out because I'm just trying to win her back in her mind.

Cutting my loses for now though, working on getting into a new place. But, if I can help her indirectly I'm going to try.

What really stood out was the early stage of things with a BPDer. We were inseparable.......then within 6 months we moved in together, our first argument a week into living there was about "Ketchup." To her and I we call it the Infamous Ketchup argument.

I put the groceries away and put the ketchup in the fridge. She went ape$hit when she found the bottle in there and screamed at me because it was stupid place to put it. We were screaming at each other and things went crazy. She said it needs to go in the cabinet. Her explanation was that no one wants cold ketchup on their hot dogs. I said that its what we did when we grew up and I'm just used to it. Mentioned how my grand mother would leave it in the cabinet and it would get runny and not taste as good. Well, she thought that was just stupid. Of coarse now that doesn't seem to matter anymore, I can put the ketchup where I please. So maybe that is or isn't BPD......all I know in the beginning, she was arguing about everything. Flipped a 3 game of monopoly over because she was losing and thought our friend was cheating.....he wasn't, but she swore he was.

IDK.....I wish I had been more decisive about getting this investigated, because I really do feel like something is there with the BPD. If she does have it, she's a high functioning one for sure.
 

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@VFW, taking it personal makes it easier to hate her in a sense. Her and I were best friends long before we went this route and now both are lost, that's a tough pill for me to swallow, regardless of her BS. I normally don't hold grudges, but I just won't forget this one and the lessons learned.
Hating her is part of the normal grieving process of the loss of your relationship. However, I hope that in the near future that changes to indifference. You won't care one way or the other about her. You will never forget this experience, but hopefully it will be a learning experience. Best wishes to you as you continue to heal.
 
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