Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

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Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby joannelouise » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:48 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm writing in this forum because I genuinely feel so lost and hope that someone can give me some objective advice on my situation. None of my friends can even come close to relating to my situation so I wont even try and talk to anyone close to me about it ..

I'm a 25 year old girl from London and I've been living in southern France for the last 2 years with my boyfriend. Long story short - we met 3 years ago on holiday in Spain and fell in love. He's the most generous, caring, affectionate, loving and supportive boyfriend who I love with all of my heart. After we first met, he drove 11 hours from France to Croatia (where I was on holiday with my girlfriends) to surprise me and turned up at the festival we were at .. after organising this with all of my best friends without me knowing! This is just one example of how amazing and romantic he is ..

We did long distance for 1 year - me flying to France every other weekend and him to London the others, until we decided we couldn't live without each other. There was no option for him to move to London because he has a 10 year old daughter here and plays professional rugby, so I upped my life in London, learnt french and landed myself a decent job in marketing here that allows me to travel the world (. I love my job, which is great, but with a huge salary cut!).

Fast forward 2 years, and I've started to feel so alone. I'm 25 and have spent my early twenties living in France while my girlfriends have been partying and enjoying being young and thinking about no one but themselves. I make a lot of effort to go back to London every month so luckily I've remained close with my friends and family, and they come and visit a lot. But something is always missing. I love the big city and the buzz of London and the money, but I'm tired because I feel like I'm living a life older than I should be. I have a great relationship with my boyfriend's daughter, too (and also the mother of his daughter which is great) but I've noticed that the last two years have been spent supporting his rugby and limiting my weekends because we often have his daughter.. Yet I adore the beauty of the south of france and the weather. Maybe I should be happy we have a garden with a pool , the beach , etc... I dread the grey grizzly weather of the UK.


The subject of marriage came up a couple of months ago and my boyfriend told me that he doesn't believe in marriage. He pays the mother of his daughter around 500 euros a month (he has 50% custody and is a wonderful dad) and is VERY resentful of this, and I know that the thought of him being legally tied to yet another person worries him. However I explained to him that for me, marriage is very important and something that I value as a sign of commitment and that I was quite upset he didn't believe in marriage.. but that I respect it if it 's something he doesn't want.

It's been a few months and we've had a few heated discussions about it. I started to feel resentment towards him. After all I have given up to move to France - my friends, my family, my salary, my youthful early twenties I could be having in London. I'm also SO understanding for the weekends that we are sometimes tied down to staying at home when it's his weekend with his daughter, when I'd much rather be off doing something spontaneous like 20 somethings do but I understand because I love him .. all of this for someone who doesn't want marriage? I feel like it's all been a waste. He explained that he loves me forever and wants a family with me, but marriage he just doesn't see the value in . When the discussion got more heated, he even said that he likes his freedom and would feel "chained" by marriage and that he believes that wanting to buy a house with me and have family with me in his view shows he is 100% committed to me.


So... I told him 2 weeks ago that if we have different beliefs on marriage, then maybe we aren't right for each other because I will not have children in France, away from the support of my parents (who I'm very close with), without getting married one day.. ESPECIALLY because he already has a daughter with someone else. I will not give up that one value and if he wants children with me, he'd need to prove that I'm different to his daughter's mum and that would , to me, be by marriage.

The worst part is that 2 months ago , his mother died suddenly from a heart attack. I've been there for him the whole way and helped his family through a hard time which they were really appreciative for. His sister even asked that I speak at his mother's funeral. However he's explained that because of this, in addition to the fact that he lost his dad at such a young age, he's too scared to make me "family" in case he loses me.

He was very upset after we had the discussion because I was pretty set on leaving. I know the timing is awful after his mother, but I have a huge job offer in London for double my salary offering me a HUGE career opportunity and I just feel like I can't put my life in hold for thi .... I've put him first for so long and understood his situation for so long, I'm totally in love with him.


That night, I left for Las Vegas (for a business trip) and it obviously left him thinking. When I returned a week later, he told me that he would marry me one day to make me happy because he would do anything not to lose me. Ever since then he has been the most loving, caring lovely man and I'm just so lost on what to do. Deep down I feel like he would only get married so that he doesn't lose me.. and he has so much resentment towards daughter's mother due to money. He's also mentioned a few times (non-related to our conversations on marriage) that marriage is very complicated in france because if you divorce, a big pay out is made to the woman by the man each month for living costs. So I know 100% that he is very concerned about that already being tied legally to his ex. They were never married, but he pays for his daughter.

I just think, is this too much baggage? Should I just return to London and enjoy my last few years of being young and enjoy my twenties, and find someone who doesn't have a daughter and a messy relationship with the mother of his child?

I'm feeling completely lost and anxious. My friends at my age are starting to settle down with their boyfriends and I'm petrified that I'll move back to London and not find someone else (not that I can even imagine being with anyone else right now). But I've been with him for so long, I'm also so scared to be alone. I feel like I've wasted my early twenties

The company who offered me the job have said they will wait 8 weeks for me to start so that I can travel Thailand and Vietnham for a month.. part of me just wants to do it but the thought of telling him this is just heartbreaking! Then the other part of me can't imagine living without him! I'm very ambitious and I know that by staying my France, I won't excel in my career like I want to.. and I don't know if I can have family with someone away from my family, without that support being in a foreign country.. we also do argue a lot, even though we love each other, I don't feel 100% secure here not being married.. I just feel so lost.

Any advice would be so appreciated on what direction to take. And sorry for the long post
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby Tarantula » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:10 pm

Short answer: it's time to go.

I know you have history, but it sounds like you're motivated to stay more by fear than love. If you're having these doubts now, just imagine what it'll be like in another three years. At some point, you'll feel so resentful towards him for 'holding you back' that you'll leave... and wish you'd done it sooner.

I think deep down you already know which way to go and are looking for validation/permission/clarity. I hereby give you permission to put your own life and development first and to boldly go in the direction of your longterm goals, including marriage.

This guy probably won't marry you, he's made his position quite clear and, if he does, then yes, you will know it was only because you had to drag him up the aisle. I'm sure that's not the kind of story you want.

I find it interesting that even when he conceded to getting married 'one day'... you still remained unsure. I sense that you're saying the marriage issue as a headline, when really, there are other issues. You're looking for justification to leave, because you can't imagine leaving such a genuinely good person, and the marriage thing makes sense as an objective red card. I'm sure he is lovely - but you don't have to justify yourself to nobody. If it's time to go, and you feel the relationship has run it's course, then know when to gracefully let go, before things get nasty. And don't take the coward's way out and cheat.

I also sense there's a lot of comparisons going on between you and your peers. Forget all that. You do what's best for you, and let the chips fall where they may. That's not selfish. Remember, when you're happy and authentic, EVERYONE benefits. Not just you. Your boyfriend, for example, may not see it this way yet, but he doesn't wanna be with someone who's second guessing the relationship. No one does.

You will never get this time back. Money, jobs, boyfriends come and go - but time is permanently decreasing, never to return. Make sure you're honouring yourself in all your decisions.

I think this has been a good relationship where you've no doubt learned a lot and had a horizon-broadening experience of living in another country - none of this obliges you to stay for your entire life. You've done your time and invested as much as he has - possibly more. Now you're free to go.

Also, don't worry about timing. Whilst I get that you're compassionate about his mum passing away (how horrible for him), there will always be a timing-related reason not to leave. There will never be an ideal time to let someone down and move on, save for one time: now. Now is a good time.

I relate to you in some respects because I'm 26, and moved out to Austria a few months ago from London and am currently in the thick of sometimes-lonely ex-pat life. Plus I don't yet speak German, so am relying heavily on my man for pretty much everything which is... a barrel of fun! It's beautiful here too, in the mountains... but of course I miss London and sometimes wonder if the grass was greener there after all. Luckily, for my work, I go back often, at least once a month.

Anyway, back to you. It seems this isn't just a spur-of-the-moment feeling and that your thoughts have been headed this way for some time. I also totally understand why the daughter/mother-of-daughter issue is problematic because you are at a different stage in your life and will always have to compromise for the daughter's sake. Incidentally it also means her mum will permanently be in your boyfriend's life to some extent or other. You say you have a good relationship with her, but then you also made a comparison... which sounded like, essentially, you want to be reassured and one-up her by being the one your boyfriend decides to marry. Hmmmm.

All in all, if it's gotten this far, I think it's a matter of time before you get the courage to face your fear and go... oh, and I can promise you, you WILL meet other men back in London. Of course! So so so so many, the pool is never ending, don't worry about that for another second.

Want some inspiration? Watch Eat Pray Love, the movie.
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby David020549 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:44 am

Hi it seems to me that you have chased after your " celebrity" boyfriend for 3 years, looked after his daughter and he still won't commit, the reasons he gives you are just excuses, he is not in love with you. It's time to pack your bags and leave, you are still very young, concentrate on your career for a while, a new man will turn up for you to build your life around.

Work that involves a lot of travel may be exciting and well paid but it does not help form a strong relationship, you need to be home based most of the time, so if your work continues to involve a lot of travel don't invest too many expectations on a relationship lasting.
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby joannelouise » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:46 am

Hi David, thank you so much for your advice. The main problem I'm facing at the moment is the fact that he turned around after I returned from Vegas and said that he would marry me one day, if it's what would make me happy. And that if I leave to go back to England, I should leave knowing that he would have done whatever it took not to lose me.

If he had stuck by his word and said "I don't ever want to get married" my decision would be a whole lot easier because we clearly just didn't want the same things.. but now that he seems to have changed his mind, I'm so lost! I feel that it doesn't change his original feelings about it.. how he used to say that he likes his freedom and that he would feel "chained" getting married. Now all of a sudden that doesn't bother him anymore?
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby joannelouise » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:54 am

Tarantula, thank you so much for your advice. You don't know how much it means just to be able to talk to someone who relates to how I feel. How are you finding being in Austria? It's not too tough being away from friends and family? I completely understand on the language front. It took me a while to learn French but the more you immerse yourself, I guarantee you will pick up German very quickly.

I miss my mum terribly. She's like my best friend and I miss being able to just catch up with her over a coffee at any time I want. I worry about not being able to spend time with her (she's mid 60s ) and I don't know if I could ever have children here without her.... my boyfriend has lost both his parents now so my children would have no grandparents in the same country!! Then I sit and wonder if I'm being stupid thinking about this stuff when I'm only 25.. but at the same time, it's so hard. I know how lucky I am to live in the south of france with the beaches, beautiful sun, the work life balance.. everyone says in London that it's so horrible and changed so much that I dread the thought of going back!!

I also realise how lucky I am. I have the same luxury as you, my work allows me to travel back to London every month too, so it's not like I don't get to see my friends and family. But I feel that it's not really the same. I can't just finish work and call up my best friends and go for a glass of wine. The culture isn't quite like that here in France either. People tend to spend time with their families in the evenings - I feel like it's not so social. Definitely not with work colleagues anyway.


I really feel like he is the love of my life. I've been with him since my university years and I'd feel like a part of me has been cut out if I lose him. That makes me think that maybe a great job in london with double the salary wouldn't help how I'm feeling. Is marriage really that important when you love someone? I don't know

Tarantula wrote:Short answer: it's time to go.

I know you have history, but it sounds like you're motivated to stay more by fear than love. If you're having these doubts now, just imagine what it'll be like in another three years. At some point, you'll feel so resentful towards him for 'holding you back' that you'll leave... and wish you'd done it sooner.

I think deep down you already know which way to go and are looking for validation/permission/clarity. I hereby give you permission to put your own life and development first and to boldly go in the direction of your longterm goals, including marriage.

This guy probably won't marry you, he's made his position quite clear and, if he does, then yes, you will know it was only because you had to drag him up the aisle. I'm sure that's not the kind of story you want.

I find it interesting that even when he conceded to getting married 'one day'... you still remained unsure. I sense that you're saying the marriage issue as a headline, when really, there are other issues. You're looking for justification to leave, because you can't imagine leaving such a genuinely good person, and the marriage thing makes sense as an objective red card. I'm sure he is lovely - but you don't have to justify yourself to nobody. If it's time to go, and you feel the relationship has run it's course, then know when to gracefully let go, before things get nasty. And don't take the coward's way out and cheat.

I also sense there's a lot of comparisons going on between you and your peers. Forget all that. You do what's best for you, and let the chips fall where they may. That's not selfish. Remember, when you're happy and authentic, EVERYONE benefits. Not just you. Your boyfriend, for example, may not see it this way yet, but he doesn't wanna be with someone who's second guessing the relationship. No one does.

You will never get this time back. Money, jobs, boyfriends come and go - but time is permanently decreasing, never to return. Make sure you're honouring yourself in all your decisions.

I think this has been a good relationship where you've no doubt learned a lot and had a horizon-broadening experience of living in another country - none of this obliges you to stay for your entire life. You've done your time and invested as much as he has - possibly more. Now you're free to go.

Also, don't worry about timing. Whilst I get that you're compassionate about his mum passing away (how horrible for him), there will always be a timing-related reason not to leave. There will never be an ideal time to let someone down and move on, save for one time: now. Now is a good time.

I relate to you in some respects because I'm 26, and moved out to Austria a few months ago from London and am currently in the thick of sometimes-lonely ex-pat life. Plus I don't yet speak German, so am relying heavily on my man for pretty much everything which is... a barrel of fun! It's beautiful here too, in the mountains... but of course I miss London and sometimes wonder if the grass was greener there after all. Luckily, for my work, I go back often, at least once a month.

Anyway, back to you. It seems this isn't just a spur-of-the-moment feeling and that your thoughts have been headed this way for some time. I also totally understand why the daughter/mother-of-daughter issue is problematic because you are at a different stage in your life and will always have to compromise for the daughter's sake. Incidentally it also means her mum will permanently be in your boyfriend's life to some extent or other. You say you have a good relationship with her, but then you also made a comparison... which sounded like, essentially, you want to be reassured and one-up her by being the one your boyfriend decides to marry. Hmmmm.

All in all, if it's gotten this far, I think it's a matter of time before you get the courage to face your fear and go... oh, and I can promise you, you WILL meet other men back in London. Of course! So so so so many, the pool is never ending, don't worry about that for another second.

Want some inspiration? Watch Eat Pray Love, the movie.
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby reckoner » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:30 am

I had always considered marriage irrelevant to love. So had my last ex. Then we broke up, met other people and both suddenly changed our minds. He's married now and I'm engaged. It turned out for both of us that our views on marriage were both based on never having found anyone we actually wanted to marry. We had to find that 'special someone' to find out how we really felt about marriage.

Though your partner's situation is different as he's already been married and got burned, your line that he doesn't want to feel "chained" by marriage is a bit of a red flag to me. It's like saying he doesn't want to be "chained" to you. And your future shouldn't exist under the cloud of his past.

I understand how horrifying the prospect of leaving him must be, but these are relationship fundamentals we're talking about, like having kids. It doesn't matter how perfect someone is as far as being an individual or being compatible goes; if these fundamentals are not aligned between you, you don't have a solid foundation on which to build your lives together.
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby joannelouise » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:38 am

Hi Reckoner,

Thanks so much for your message. Just to clarify, he never was married before. His ex got pregnant and wanted to keep it when he was only 21 years old, and he didn't have much choice in the matter and now they have an awful relationship because he resents having to pay her child maintenance every month when he has 50% custody of the child.

The reason he's so against marriage I believe is because of the legal money side. When I mentioned one of his friend's divorces, I asked if he has to pay his ex wife maintenance for her personal living costs as well as a separate child maintenance.. my boyfriend replied with "yes we does" and when I asked if he has to do that with his ex girlfriend, he said "no thank god, I pay just child maintenance, so thank god I never married her or I'd be having to pay her personal maintenance too! "

That stuck with me.. because I know deep down he has a HUGE resentment for being "chained" financially and legally to her because of the child.. and I can understand why it can be hard for him..

It's taken a lot for him to tell me that he would marry me one day. We love each other very, very much and I'm certain of that. I know he doens't want to lose me.. but as you can see there's a lot of baggage involved here. It's so unbelievably hard :(
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby Tarantula » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:05 pm

In that case, I would spend some time thinking about why the marriage thing is so important to you. When you marry someone, you're asking them to do something they're incapable of doing - giving a guarantee, that things won't change. But life is change.

So what is it about marriage that's so important? The status? Not feeling inferior to any of your engaged friends? Security in the relationship? How much do YOU really want it... and how much of it is Disney conditioning? I don't know. Just stuff for you to think about. Also I think you can adapt a marriage contract to exclude maintenance payments in the event of a divorce... pre-nup? Do they have those in France?

I miss my brother sometimes, but still speak on the phone and see each other a couple times a month, so it's not that bad. Well worth the compromise for the life I'm getting here, plus he gets free holidays. :)

You asked 'now all of a sudden that doesn't bother him anymore?' Well, yes, it does still bother him, but he's willing to deal with it if the relationship hangs in the balance.

At least... that's what he's saying now. When the time comes to actually do it and SIGN the thing, well, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts to resent you for 'forcing' him into it. Meanwhile you'll always wonder what might have been if you'd put your career and life first.

I assume the prospect of him moving to London for you is absolutely out of the question.

To use a common millennial vernacular - YOLO. If you KNEW for a FACT that you would end up in another decent, stable relationship with a good man in a few years time if you leave now, would that be enough to make you do it?
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby David020549 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:30 pm

Joanne Louise

You say he is a Professional Rugby player at best his playing days will last until he is 35, until then he can be bought and sold or scrapped, you are always going to be second to his career, his weekends are going to be dominated by matches. If you were based with him and prepared to move with him, the relationship would be much easier, and have a better chance of lasting.
The other consideration is what happens when his playing days are over, what are his aims, if you stay together and have a family what will the prospects be, not all sportsmen are high earning stars there are plenty of ordinary players on meager wages.
As you are at a crossroads so to speak do consider the big picture, at 25 you have a good 10 years for your career, if you want a family you will meet another man and fall in love again, when you do base yourself with him.
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby reckoner » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:32 pm

joannelouise, sorry that I didn't read your first post carefully enough.

If it's taken a lot for him to say he'll marry you 'one day', my concern would be how much more it would take for him to set a date and plan an actual wedding.

I do understand where he's coming from regarding marriage. I think it probably does take a certain amount of naivety and perhaps mindless optimism to want a wedding given the capacity life has to not go to plan and that people and situations inevitably change as time goes by in ways that are impossible to predict. I can see that he's being 'sensible'. But I don't think there is a right or wrong here, it's just about what people do and don't want to commit to, for whatever reason. His past has exposed him to some harsh realities of life that have understandably robbed him of the optimism it takes to want a wedding, which is very different to agreeing to one because it's what the partner wants. How much fun is planning a wedding going to be knowing that only you want it?

If you do get married, you might feel pressure for things to work out so that his fears that marriage was a bad idea are not realised. That you want marriage more than him sows seeds for his resentment in the future at having done something he never wanted to do should he think at any point that things are going wrong. You've already begun to feel resentment, understandably I'd say because you've changed your life to make things work more than him. Even more seeds will be sown if you then give up a fantastic career opportunity to maintain the relationship on top of what you've already given up. Relationships are hard enough work as it is without the added pressure that only one of you really wanted to formalise the commitment, and the potential for resentment that I think might well arise from it.

Sometimes relationships are fantastic until a situation happens that exposes a vulnerability that wasn't noticeable before. I feel that's what has happened here. It seems to me that your present situation is great but that your visions of the future are clashing and exposing the fact that you want different things. However good things have been until now, I can't help thinking this is a turning point.
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby joannelouise » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:33 am

Hi Reckoner,

Thank you so much for your kind advice. I think you may be right.. I told him last night that if we just have different values on marriage, then maybe we just aren't right for each other. I told him that I would never want him to do something he doesn't want to do.. and he should never expect me to give up my dream and values of marriage either for him . Sometimes people want different things. And he got terribly upset and said that we don't want different things - we want exactly the same things in life (a family, our lives together), just that marriage isn't a sign of commitment to him. He feels that children and a house together are committment.. as he wants to buy a house next year together.. but this is after living in the countryside for 1 year and a half while he builds 2 houses that he plans to sell. We have to live in them for a while and coming from london, I HATE living in the countryside in France, I much prefer the city in Montpellier, but I dare not bring that up because he gets really annoyed.

Anyway.. I spent all of last night crying at the thought of being without him. All of these years of happy memories - the thought of being without him makes me feel genuinely sick. Is that not a sign that I should just let go of marriage being the be all and end on and just live in the moment?

I just feel that being a woman, living in France with a man and his child, I feel very vulnerable. All of my support network is in London - my mum, my best friends since I was young, my brother, my dad. I feel honestly not comfortable living here with him and having children with him (when he already has a child with another woman) without marriage. Maybe its me with a traditional mindset.. but being married would make me feel SO much more at ease having family with him away from my family.

I guess I wonder if marriage really is that important.... is it ?

P.S. * he is also 100% certain that he won't make it past 60 ( I know, how morbid.. but not in a depressing way. He believes in completely living life to the full because he doesn't know how long he has until he gets it. He loves to travel and be constantly spontaneous) because his dad died when he was only 17 and his mum passed away at 60 - both from cancer. So he's very protective over his daughter and making sure she is protected if he dies. It sounds awful I know, but in my gut I feel like its all to protect his daughter
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby reckoner » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:20 am

Hi joannelouise,

Personally, marriage has never been a big deal, and I've had a kid out of wedlock. I want to do it now for my son's security and the advantages of various tax breaks. Also, my partner and I are looking forward to a fun day celebrating our family with our loved ones. The point is, we feel the same way about it. I just don't think that putting aside your desire to get married for your partner means that you have really put it aside. I think it'll just be another thing you've given up for him.

The other big thing for me is the importance of your salary. In any job interview, you'll be asked what your last job was paying you. Right now, you have a big pay increase on the table. If you refuse it, you are not guaranteed another one. That you were offered one and didn't take it will not count in any future interviews. It's like the crazy steps at the funfair - get the timing wrong and you could limit your earning potential for far longer than you realise, especially given these times of austerity. It's not just a single job at stake here, it's your future earning potential, in the prime of your life. It seems like this relationship is being far more demanding on you than it is on him. And if I thought your visions of the future were clashing before, your last post makes me think it even more.
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby joannelouise » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:39 am

Hi Reckoner,

Without having told you the full story.... we hadn't really been sleeping together often the past year. Since he told me he didn't believe in marriage, I felt totally heartbroken and almost disengaged from him in that department totally .. because subconsciously I felt that after all I've done to commit to him by moving here to be with him, he wouldn't commit to me by marriage and I just felt rejected. He physically can't understand this and told me that how can I expect someone to want to marry me if we don't sleep together.. but my answer to him is that he made me feel as though he isn't committed to me at all so it hurt me and threw me off in that department.

Then we go round in circles because he says that until I engage in that department like it was before, how can he even think about marriage.. Last night he said that it's no life to live not sleeping together and that he wants this to be "the last time we have this conversation " because if I don't do something about it, our relationship will be over.

Maybe he has a point.. but to be it's so much more than that
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby Tarantula » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:40 pm

Yeah, it sounds like you are essentially punishing him for not wanting to marry you by withholding sex. I understand the temptation to play that card, but it is manipulative and he can see right through it.

It seems that, according to you, either he wants to marry you or he's not committed to you at all. There is no middle way. And I get that, I mean, I tend to think in quite black and white terms too because it's clear and straightforward. But the downside is, you've got to follow through and if he can't/won't give you what you want, leave. Otherwise you're just imprisoning yourself in this grey zone of a half-relationship, neither leaving nor fully investing in it yourself. No wonder you're tired! It is tiring, isn't it? Having to lower your expectations gradually over time.

On the other hand, I did feel uncomfortable about the 'last time we have this conversation' bit... you're not obliged to have sex with him either, if you don't want to. So a part of me wants to tell you to tell him 'that was the last time... because I'm leaving.' I hope he isn't the kind of guy to use your lack of sexual availability as an excuse to cheat on you. 'Well, I did tell you I wanted it, so....'

The more you tell us, the more I can see that this is a matter of when, not if. He will end up holding it against you, if you get married, for 'making' him do it... and even withholding sex to get your own way... or the other option, if you carry on and he never quite gets around to the getting-married part, then you will hold it against him that he didn't follow through on his word, and you will hate the fact that you gave up an awesome career to live in the 'someday but not today' zone. All the time looking more and more desperate in his eyes.

So either way you look at it, it doesn't make sense to stay, and that's before you factor in the other things like missing your family/London life etc.

I know you want him to spontaneously become keen on the idea of marrying you, and I can see how you don't feel 'good enough' because he's staying fairly firm in his stance... but he isn't going to change. You can't change a man, not really. They're as-is merchandise. You wouldn't hang out all day in Ikea stuck on a blue sofa going 'it's perfect BUT if only it was red' - your job is to accept reality as-is, not as you would prefer, and make a decision based on the facts.

Easier said than done I know. If you are around in London this month, let me know and maybe we can have a coffee. :)
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Re: Love or career. Heartbroken and tired

Postby reckoner » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:48 pm

I had a completely different take, actually, which was condemning of him rather than you because I took your response to be instinctive and emotional, rather than a deliberate withholding of sex, and I also didn't like the 'have sex if you want to marry me' strategy (to paraphrase). But now I can see how easily it could be taken as manipulative, no matter how much you might protest.

What's clear, though, is that if the marriage question has affected you to that extent for that long, no amount of reasoning about whether it isn't or isn't important is going to change your heart, whatever your head decides. It's a deal breaker and apparently already has been to a degree for the past year.

I've often thought there should be a pre-date checklist with 10 vital questions to establish basics before proceeding further: 1. Do you want to get married ever? 2. Do you want kids? 3. Do you snooze your alarm? etc. so you could eliminate horrible surprises that change everything having already invested a lot of time, love and emotion. It seems that an adversarial atmosphere has set in with no line of resolution available that doesn't involve a capitulation by one party or the other. I just can't see a happy ending.
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