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Thinking ending things with my BF

Old 11-28-2016, 10:07 AM
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Thinking ending things with my BF

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.

As my thread title suggests, I am thinking of ending things with my bf. I love him. Actually, I love him dearly and am completely smitten with him.

Unfortunately, I don't feel that he loves me or is on the same page as I am. I honestly just don't want to drag someone along in a relationship and ask them to be on the same level as me. I want someone who is in love with me, not someone who loves me just enough to keep me around and is happy with the fact that I don't ask much of them emotionally. Because, the time will come when I will need more emotionally and I can already see that my man will not be able to deliver the goods.

The last conversation we had about 'us' was about 4 months ago where he basically said that it takes a long time for him to fall in love, that he is more reserved now after his divorce, and he wasn't always like this. Ok, red flag right there but I was willing to let it slide because I kept asking myself why.
Why commit to me and talk of a future together for years to come if you didn't love me? Why bring me into a role with your children, who you would protect with your life, where I can influence them and develop a bond with them if you didn't love me?

I was trying to make sense of it, and of course, I am in love with him so it's hard to think clearly and you hope that things will change or that the other person will at least try to catch up.

I know that he can live with us like this for a long time, which, again I don't understand. He is a good looking man, he 's courteous, gentle, caring, supportive, generous with his time, isn't a cheater and doesn't have any mental health issues or addictions. But, what I'm seeing is a man who was burned by his ex-wife, who couldn't understand why she would walk away from a family scenario just because her needs weren't being met and his attempts to fix it weren't enough. I'm seeing a man who is guarded and is giving me just a portion of himself. And, i have to decide if that is enough or if I need more.

Obviously, I have to talk to him again about this. I need to get my questions answered from the source without projection from my own twisted thinking. But, based on our past interactions, I can't imagine things will be much different. I'm becoming more edgy and I'm feeling myself pulling away from him in anticipation of the outcome that I fear, which is that he will admit he isn't capable of fully loving me (and most likely anyone anymore).
I could settle for what we have. I could enjoy our family situation and just continue to focus on my career and enjoy the fact that I have a warm body next to me, regular sex, a man who takes me out on dates still, a man who pulls his weight around the house, etc. But, I guess I want more. He doesn't have to meet all my emotional needs, but I can't let myself fall more in love with a man who isn't ready to be ALL in with me. All I see is heartache and pain all over again and I am getting resentful and ticked off at myself for choosing poorly once again.

I have no idea how things will unfold. I plan to enjoy the holidays with he and his kids and my son. We all had a lovely Thanksgiving honestly. I just wish I didn't love him as much as I do now. UGH. I'm so tired of working around other people's defense mechanism. I mean, damn, I've got to work through my own at this point, as well, I don't have time to try to read minds or interpret the fact that his actions say he loves me, but he just can't say the words. I mean, come on, what man can't say I love you to his woman after over a year and a half together? So freaking tired of relationships.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:28 AM
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I'm sorry you are feeling this way Liz... but I gotta give you Big Kudos for keeping your focus on you & your needs throughout all of this.

I know that he can live with us like this for a long time, which, again I don't understand. He is a good looking man, he 's courteous, gentle, caring, supportive, generous with his time, isn't a cheater and doesn't have any mental health issues or addictions. But, what I'm seeing is a man who was burned by his ex-wife, who couldn't understand why she would walk away from a family scenario just because her needs weren't being met and his attempts to fix it weren't enough. I'm seeing a man who is guarded and is giving me just a portion of himself.
I've always wondered if your BF has unresolved/unrecovering Codie issues, or maybe is an ACoA? High-Functioning codie, lol?

I could completely understand your need for more & desire to not settle - why SHOULD you settle after everything that you've been through to get to this point?!!? I'm also with you on the love vs. in-love thing, it must be unsettling to be living together & not ever hear the words "I love you" spoken to you. Best of luck in your decision!
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:33 AM
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My heart goes out to you, I've been in the same place and it hurts. Maybe a conversation will help, but if not, you seem very focused on your own needs and feelings. A big hug!
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:38 AM
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but he just can't say the words. I mean, come on, what man can't say I love you to his woman after over a year and a half together?

to his defense, some guys just don't run around saying I Love You every five minutes. i know this cuz ME Miss Touchy Feely got herself one of those. hank is NOT demonstrative, not into PDAs, no flowers, no cards - EVER. and i had to decide whether i was going to be ok with that. if that would be "enough" for me.

actually the only time i really ever hear I Love You is when i'm leaving on a trip, or ON a trip - as in not in the same state. maybe because that is truly the only way he can convey his feelings, but i get about a year's worth in a 3 day trip.

i know you have been "at odds" with this relationship for awhile. it is also your first relationship post-divorce, and while your bf is NOTHING like your ex, which is a good thing, the whole dynamic is different........calmer, nicer, maybe a dash of vanilla.

it is absolutely perfectly 1000% ok for you to say I Want More. and it's ok for this perfectly nice man to not BE that More. for this to not be ENOUGH.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I could enjoy our family situation and just continue to focus on my career and enjoy the fact that I have a warm body next to me, regular sex, a man who takes me out on dates still, a man who pulls his weight around the house, etc. But, I guess I want more.
So Liz... I responding before reading other responses here so as not to taint my response... but what if that IS all there is? Sounds pretty darn good to me. My husband and I are best friends and haven't had sex for years and are only in our 50's. It is our 2nd marriage for each of us and we are very happy. Are you sure your priorities are straight? Are you sure you aren't too needy?
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
[I]calmer, nicer, maybe a dash of vanilla.
My dash of non-sex/best friend vanilla is JUST right for me. Sometimes we have to give up the soap opera love stories and drama to really enjoy life as it is supposed to be. Being intimate in non-sexual ways really works for us.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:29 AM
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But, what I'm seeing is a man who was burned by his ex-wife, who couldn't understand why she would walk away from a family scenario just because her needs weren't being met and his attempts to fix it weren't enough.
History doesn't repeat itself - people repeat history. Maybe you and his ex-wife are woman who want more then he'll ever be able to give. He didn't change for her, I doubt he'll change for you.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:45 PM
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Hey, lizatola. It seems that the longer I live, the more I observe people--often men, but not always--who are just emotionally closed off. It's as though they would prefer everything to be even keel, no highs or lows, but no joyfulness either. This is a fine state if they are in relationships with similarly-minded others, but when one partner wants more and doesn't feel their emotional needs are being met, it's eventually trouble. Only you can judge what is acceptable in an SO, but it's perfectly okay to want more than you feel you are getting.
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:48 PM
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Beware of high expectations when it comes to a romantic relationship. People are only human and will simply never be able to meet or be everything we want. When they fall short, as they will inevitably do, it can cause serious resentment and resentment is poison.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
My dash of non-sex/best friend vanilla is JUST right for me. Sometimes we have to give up the soap opera love stories and drama to really enjoy life as it is supposed to be. Being intimate in non-sexual ways really works for us.
Well, I'm ok with no flowers or cards or romantic poetry, lol, but I'm not giving up sex unless I'm physically incapable of doing it!

The good news is: we have a sex life that works for both of us in terms of frequency, desire, compatibility, etc. I have no complaints in that area. I went 3 years at the end of my marriage without sex and the 5 years before that were completely dysfunctional. And, I truly believe it's the best way we find connection for us because he's way more in tune with me than my ex or others before have been.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:34 PM
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I have another confession to make regarding my issues with my bf and most of it comes down to how we view finances. I wasn't going to insert this into this thread but maybe it will help people see that it's not just about my 'needs' not being met.

My bf has recently put $$ down to order a new Tesla. He did not discuss it with me, he didn't tell me he was even thinking of buying one honestly. He literally just sent me a text a few months ago that said, "Hey I put $$ down on the new Tesla but it probably won't be in until 2018." Great. Good for you. Congrats. He also currently drives a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and owns a 16 year old Audi.

I have a 2012 Toyota Venza that I still owe $15K on. I was thinking about selling it and the bf wanted me to drive his Audi for a bit. It has recently been revealed to me that he wants me to pay for repairs that may come up when I drive it. Ok, fine, but why drive a 16 year old car that is bound to have issues instead of driving my 2012 reliable Toyota that still has a factory warranty until it hits 125K miles or until August of 2018 (I bought an extended warranty program when I purchased the car before my divorce)? I then asked him what would happen if the Audi's repairs were beyond the replaceable value of the car and he said we'd scrap it and I'd have to buy another junk car or get something else until the Tesla came in. Hmmm, what about the Tesla??? That was not on my agenda nor on my radar.

Turns out, he thinks I should help pay for the Tesla when he gets it because it's silly for us to have more than 2 cars. So, I got mad and basically said, "You aren't allowed to spend my money! I never agreed to a brand new car or splitting those costs with you nor did you ask me if that would be something I'd be interested in!" He looked shocked and felt that it was a mutually beneficial arrangement. Umm, for who?

Now, mind you, he makes 3x the amount of salary that I make. I am starting a brand new career(currently studying for my licensing exams for my series 7 to become a financial advisor). There are no guarantees that I will succeed. I only have so much in savings and I'm getting more and more frustrated about his attitude regarding MY money. I felt that he made a unilateral decision and didn't consult me and he felt that I was overreacting.

Also, I pay half the mortgage here even though our incomes are vastly different, but I know I agreed to it and I'm working hard to accept that I should have negotiated things differently or got a written lease ahead of time to make sure I was covering myself properly and taking care of my finances better. I still save about $400 a month vs what i was paying when I was renting my old house, but I still feel like he could have made a more fair offer to me.

Sigh......so this was part 2, lol!
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:46 PM
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aha!!!! kidding, but i'm glad you added part II here, because it's very important.

i think i told you before that my spidey senses went off any time you shared his suggestions on how you should X, Y, Z. i believe i went so far as to call it controlling and almost parental. and i took umbrage with anyone treating you like that!!!!

this Tesla thing sort of sums it up, in many ways. he has ideas for what he wants and how he thinks you should play along, for his benefit. i don't think he is quite as altruistic as you have claimed him to be. i find his Tesla moves manipulative and deceitful. insulting too!
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:49 PM
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You have a right to your boundaries, lizatola. If you didn't agree to it, or offer to help him finance the purchase, what reason should you feel bad if you decline to contribute? Better a lesson for him to learn now about communication and not assuming things about you then later on, when there may be more at stake.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:50 PM
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You are not married. Please do not mix finances. Keep YOUR car.
Just my two cents
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:59 PM
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I'm guessing his first wife not only didn't get her needs met, she grew tired of his controlling and inconsiderate ways. He's one sided and seeing he already lost a marriage and still has those qualities, change doesn't seem forth coming.

My ex husband was a selfish control freak and even thought he didn't drink or drug like my exbf, they shared certain qualities. The bf was far more kind, caring and loving and extremely considerate in the beginning of our relationship so I didn't see them at all of having some of the same qualities but as soon as drugs entered the picture that level of selfishness and inconsideration were equal and it was all about him, and sadly for a long time I allowed that, but I will never ever again.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:06 PM
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Does sound like he has a plan that isn't including your input or what you want. Also agree with Lilro that keeping finances separate is the way to go right now.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:36 PM
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Yeah, strikes me as rather controlling in a lot of ways. Some people might be just fine with a guy who makes all the decisions "for everyone's benefit." It wouldn't be MY cup of tea, for sure. I'd rather struggle along on my own at this point in my life.

I'm not suggesting he's malicious, but he does seem to sort of patronize you. He probably thinks you don't appreciate his wisdom and foresight. Whatever.

Great sex is fine, but that's only a small part of day-to-day life. I don't think it makes up for other areas where you are less compatible.

Look, there are a lot of people out there who are basically good guys but still don't really allow you to flourish as you could or should. I think you have some pretty valid concerns.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:32 PM
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I'm going to skip the second post and just talk to the first one.

Required reading:
The Man Who Didn't Believe in Love from Miguel Ruiz

It sounds like you might be trying to put your star in his hands. If you make him responsible for your happiness with the relationship, there will be unhappiness. You need to decide if all the good things that he does for you make up for what you perceive to be shortfalls in the relationship. The worst thing that you can bring to a relationship is the hope of the other person changing to meet your needs, it undermines the foundation of respect for the other person's right to live life according to their own level of comfort. And I say this from the position of having been guilty of this exact thing.

As a man, here's my male opinion on the matter. I can understand very well where your man is coming from when he says he is more reserved than in the past. See, society as a whole teaches us (in a wide variety of ways) that in order to be a man, we must be stoic, strong, immovable rocks amidst the turbulent ocean that is the craziness of life. Men are discouraged in a lot of ways from expressing emotions other than 'manly' ones - happiness or anger - and that definitely encompasses speaking about them openly for that matter. The thing is, even though we (men) tend to appear often emotionless or lacking in emotion, we're still very much feeling them. Most of us simply never took the time to learn how to express them fully, because society discourages it and we're likely to receive criticism from our peers about being overly dramatic crybabies.

As a man, let me also state that nothing, and I mean nothing, can break down a man into a shell of himself more than the pain of being abandoned by a long term partner who he loves. It's an evolutionary biological response that is hardwired into men's brains across tens of thousands of years of reproduction. The loss of a partner meant that the man's genes would not be propagated throughout future generations, and whether we understand this or not, we (men) are built with an extremely strong drive to guarantee the continued success of our genetic composition amidst a competitive and hostile environment, where up until quite recently, death was always lurking around the corner and the only way to guarantee the survival of our genes was to reproduce as much as possible. This genetic 'survival competition' is the subtle foundation of racism, the foundation of tribal warfare, and also the foundation of a man's pain at the rejection from a long term partner. It is a very powerful force, indeed! And it punishes us quite severely when relationships break apart.

Various studies have been done on the subject of infidelity that back up this statement. When asked whether an individual would be more hurt by emotional infidelity or physical infidelity, women tended to be more hurt by emotional infidelity whereas men tended to be more hurt by physical infidelity. And that reflects the different roles in society that men and women have historically played - an emotional connection with another woman represents a threat to the sanctity of a woman's relationship with her man, and that is why she would be more hurt by emotional infidelity. A physical connection with another man represents a threat to that man's genetic survival, which is why men are more hurt by physical infidelity. It all comes down to biology.

Coming from the position of being broken down by a failed marriage, I can unequivocally state that I am already beyond the extreme with regard to caution in letting myself be vulnerable to another woman. The thing about being hurt is that it naturally makes you more cautious. Personally, I abhor the phrase "I love you." I can't stand it. That doesn't mean I don't feel love for a person, but I've heard that phrase spoken through lying teeth far too much to place any value in it. A great deal of men aren't likely to tell a person that they love them, they're far more likely to show them through some kind of action of appreciation. Buying them flowers, washing the dishes, making a surprise dinner, going out to a fancy restaurant, giving a back massage. It's how we were taught growing up, we didn't talk about our feelings, we acted them out. For a lot of men, especially ones who have been burned in the past, words are like clouds in the sky - intangible, and passing just as quickly. It's the unnecessary gestures a man makes that measures his appreciation.

So to summarize this long-winded post, let me just state that coming from a man's point of view, I wouldn't want a partner to expect me to be their primary source of emotional fulfillment, because I don't want a partner to be my primary source of emotional fulfillment. It's my job to make myself happy, not anybody else's, and I can't make myself responsible for somebody else's happiness. If I find that some aspect of a relationship is undesirable, I have to make a decision as to whether the good outweighs the bad, or the bad outweighs the good, and act accordingly.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:15 AM
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Hi lizatola, about the "I love you" issue: I'm with Anvil, I very rarely hear this and when I do it's likely to be in connection with travel without each other. Once in a while I'd like a bit more romance. But for the most part this does not bother me at all. My guy *shows* me he loves me and this is a zillion times better than other relationships. Particularly what I think of as my "soul mate" relationship that was super intense on passion and romance but sorely lacking in trust and emotional stability.

But that's me. It seems the lack of romance bothers you a lot and your feelings are completely valid.

The car thing - I agree with the others, that is rather controlling and unfair as is your financial arrangement. Perhaps you need to re-negotiate finances. IMO he should be open to this. If he isn't, it's up to you to decide if this is a deal point or not.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:14 AM
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Liz....your feelings are valid (all feelings are). You have a right to them....and, I am glad you aren't stuffing them.

I have a hunch that there is a bit more, under the surface than JUST because he can't say "I love you".....
An intimate interpersonal relationship is complex..with lots of nuances. Only the people actually in the relationship can know what they all are.....

In my own experience, anything that is "niggling", early on, in the relationship--doesn't go away...it just gets bigger, over time--especially, in times of stress.....

Liz...be true to yourself....
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