Relationship advice needed
I've been with my fiance for just under 4 years. Things were almost picture perfect for 2 of those years until my insecurities started. He did everything in his power to make me feel secure and proved me wrong a thousand times over. It's from a previous relationship and unfortunately, I brought it into this one. It's like a switch just turned on and I was back to being unsecure. This man has done back flips for me. He even fathers a child not biologically his for the last 13 years. We started not agreeing on things we use to agree on such as parenting our children. I moved over an hour away with my children because we were that serious. The feelings we had together were never experienced before.. And when I say almost perfect relationship, I wholeheartedly mean that. I blame most of our problems on me. I fully admit to that and regret it every single day because I ruined something so great.
About 9 months ago, he broke down in tears and said he couldn't take it anymore. He finally had enough of me not trusting him. He use to leave me notes every morning before he left for work and called me everyday on his lunch break. That all stopped. I started to trust him and I have ever since. I haven't shown any reason for him to think I don't trust him. About a month ago, he was still trying to get over the trust thing but we started arguing more about his teenage daughter. Sometimes I don't agree with the way he parents and I have no filter. He wants to parent her the way he wants and nobody will tell him otherwise. I feel he gives her way too much freedom. Never tells her NO and pretty much gives into anything she wants but within reason. She's looked up to me like a mother since I entered her life because her mother was a drunk that paid no attention to her daughter. I have a teenage daughter also so I treat her like my own. I crossed a few boundaries unintentionally and we fought about it until a month ago. I have a lot of built up anger towards her for one.. She told her father that I thought she had "a thing" for him 2 years ago during a conv her and I had. I was hurt by that because no normal loving human would ever think their child has some kind of crush on their father. Granted she's not biologically his but to us, she is because she doesn't know her bio father. He asked why she would keep that in for two years if it wasn't true. He trusts her every decision and believes everything she says. Mostly. She's a good kid for sure. Hardly ever gets in trouble. We had a really close relationship until recently. My fiance started to lean more towards his daughter than me because of our fighting. I'm left out of everything such as going for dinner, hiking or just spending time away from home together. Again, I know the cause is mainly on me but I have feelings too ya know. A month ago, everything stopped. I don't question anything anymore. I legit changed my whole attitude. Side note - I lost my almost 16 year old daughter to parental alienation over a year ago so I learned more towards my step daughter. I do have my son full time and he sees his father every weekend but lives with me. We started talking yesterday about feelings and he lost the strong feelings he once had for me due to everything taking a toll on him. I love my fiance more than anything so I'm taking this hard. He's been a mess, crying and not feeling himself. I took my engagement ring off over a week ago because he did lose feelings and doesn't love me "as much" as he use to. I regret taking it off but felt I shouldn't be wearing a ring from a man that no longer feels the same way about me. I feel you can't marry someone you don't love with all your heart. He says he needs time to see if he'll get those feelings back. He says he's hopefully they will come back but how he's feeling right now, seems unsure. I told him today that he only says I love you unless I say it to him. He says he will try to do better with me. I said it when we went to bed last night after I kissed him goodnight. He said he didn't hear me after I asked if he did. He does say I love you back but sometimes it does seem authentic but that could be my insecurities too. I'm lost. He's lost. I went thru an awful marriage and divorce to my sons father. My fiance was the one to get me out of a bad situation and made me feel secure and loved more than I ever had been. He made me life better. We made our lives better. I hate seeing him like this. I hate knowing how much he's hurting inside where he cries and hardly ever sleeps. I'm sorry if this seems all over the place. I'm just wondering what I can do. I hear it's possible to regain love and feelings you once had. We just don't know how to get there again. He has not a clue what will work. He's at a road block not knowing how to get out of his depressed funk. He was a laugher, loved to joke around and overall fun guy to be around. We use to laugh so much together. We also had the best sex life. In the past 3 months, it's only happened maybe 4 or 5 times but it feels awkward now. Especially knowing how he feels about me like he may not be really enjoying himself. I have always fears rejection but says he'll never deny me a hug or a kiss. I'm finding it hard to make any moves in fear it won't be reciprocated. I just need some help. A fresh set of eyes to read my dilemma in hopes someone will be able to help me. I don't at all want to hear leave him or break up because I do feel it's not to the point that that's what it will end up being. I love this man more than anything and I can't see my life without him, especially not after everything we've been thru together in a short time. What can I do to get him back? What can we do together to get "us" feel to each other? Thank you for reading this.
Sorry for the typos.
Have you tried some couples counseling? You said you wanted a fresh set of eyes and it seems like you definitely need someone to help in terms of communication. It's the most important part of any relationship. You won't know what's wrong or how to fix it until you talk. If you really want to make it work then take the leap and create action.
I understand your anxiety, I have that too so it can be super crippling but if you want something bad enough, you will go and get it.
I feel that most relationships go through these rough patches and that they're normal. It's just a matter of how both of you can go past it.
As for the ring, do what you feel is right for you. No one can force you to wear that ring. Is it a symbol of your love? Do you want to keep wearing it? Follow your heart. It's hard not to think too much but sometimes that's where the problem lies... From thinking too much.
Thank you for your reply. He actually suggested couples counseling awhile back but I was the one that didn't think we needed it. I've since suggested it but he's adamant that talking to someone won't help. I'm not sure if he means some or together. My therapist suggested that also. As for my ring.. I'm the one who took it off. I told him yesterday that I think I know why he's not giving it back to me. I said because he's unsure and you can't marry someone you don't love with all your heart. I wish I hadn't taken it off but I was upset. We had a couple long hugs yesterday and cried together. I notice little things like him resting his arm on my leg. He did kiss me goodnight and said I love you on his own in quite some time. I'm just not sure what to think. I hate thinking negative.
I'd echo the recommendation for counseling.
I feel like there are a *lot* of issues in your letter, from trust (both of you distrusting each other - I'm not sure why, but it seems to come up fairly often) to how you parent your own + each other's children.
I think figuring out all these issues are critical for the two of you if you want to move forward. (The step-daughter issue in particular may be a sore spot as you both seem to have very different opinions as to what her place should be. Some thoughts on that...)
1. You seem very concerned about the biology/not biology aspect of children. That might be worth looking into. (Esp. as it's clear that you can love someone who isn't biologically "yours" as can your fiancee. Why does this then matter so much?)
2. You seem concerned that he's spoiling his daughter, yet also speak of her as good girl. (Unless I'm confused somehow?) If so, it doesn't seem like his "spoiling" of her is doing any harm. So what is the problem?
3. You seem to be putting a lot of emotional weight into your step-daughter/son/etc. That concerns me. These are adolescents who likely aren't able to carry the emotional weight of their mother's problems. I'd recommend putting the emotional load on your therapist, instead. (Who *is* trained to handle these issues.)
I think you're misunderstanding what I wrote or maybe I worded it incorrectly. I never had an issue with her not being biologically his. I praise him for doing that because not many men out there would. I'm not concerned about him "spoiling" her. It's more of the never telling her No even when she does things wrong. She will treat me like crap sometimes so when she gets her way, yeah it aggravates me. She is a good girl however, she lies right thru her teeth sometimes and gets away with it. We use to be a team parenting her but since she got a boyfriend, he refuses to let anyone tell him how to parent even if things bother me.. Such as a 14 & 17 year old laying in bed together watching TV with the lights off. That's not even our issue currently because I am learning to let him do what he wants with her. I'm learning to let things be even if it bothers me. How am I putting emotional weight on the children? I never said or ever thought you can't love a child that isn't "yours" - I love his daughter dearly. He's the only father she knows.
I do talk my therapist every week. The emotional load is put on her. She even spoke with my fiancé last week. I never ever talk to the kids about my issues with my daughter. I wouldn't say I have problems. I haven't seen my daughter in over a year for something I didn't do.
My son is with me full time.
I vent to social media on all my platforms to raise awareness for PA. Nobody understands parental alienation and what it does to you and the children.
Update - he gave the ring back to me. He wants to see if time will heal everything but says he feels time will get him back to how he use to feel. He never wanted me to take off my ring.
As far as trust issues and parenting our children different.. That needs to change for everything to work out.
That's one thing I dramatically changed over the last month. I don't say anything anymore.