Failure to progress in relationship...is it time to give up?
on Mar 4 2014 at 00:15
I'm not sure where to start to give background without blabbering on too long. I'm a disabled mother of 3 and my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years has 2 children of his own. We have both been married before though him only once. My first husband cheated multiple times and the last I left because he developed a drug addiction. His wife left him for another man. His sister introduced us. We talked via text and online for months before I agreed to go out with him. It was difficult for me to get someone to watch the kids and really his persistent attempts all hours of the day made me iffy. I finally gave him a chance to really talk to me via text. He wanted to hear about my life and when I was having problems he wanted to know and would try to reassure me about things. When I made the first date with him I expect just a one time date. I really didn't want a relationship since I had been so hurt and I was actually comfortable being single. But the first date I was so amazed with him. He talked about his children all the time and I could tell how much he loved them. I agreed to another date and we talked about our children more. He met mine but said he wanted to wait a while before I met his. He didn't want them to see someone that might not be permanent. Another reason I started to fall for him. Months into our relationship I finally told him I love him. He changed the topic. My youngest said it to him and he acted like he didn't hear him. We had already talked about taking things slow because of the baggage we both have and to keep our kids from becoming attached to anyone just in case. We slowly integrated both sets of kids and at little increments. By the next summer him and his kids were spending the night with me very often and I frequently made family meals for us all. We've never been invited to stay at his house. Rarely invited to dinner. And when we are there my kids are forbidden to touch most of his kids toys. I'm very uncomfortable at his house as I feel like I constantly have to be on guard with my kids to make sure nothing happens and they don't get blamed for absolutely everything. I have to be extremely careful how I word things. We went for a camping trip and I had no way to transport bikes for my kids. His kids were taking theirs and I asked him to come pick up the ones for mine so they would all have one. He refused. When I said it wasn't fair for them to be able to ride bikes and mine not he completely went into a fit on me. I'm very anxious if yelling starts. I've been hit too many times by a man once he started yelling. So when my boyfriend started screaming that I was telling him to pick my kids over his because I didn't want him to take theirs if mine couldn't I completely shut down. He basically told me I could take a hike if I thought my kids were more important. To this day I still can't get him to accept I didn't want favorites I just wanted it fair. Almost anything I bring up involving his children he freaks out saying I want mine more important. Honestly, I just want all the kids treated equally. I treat his just like they're my own. We went on a family trip last summer and I paid for the food, we split the gas, I bought all the beach toys, extra sunblock, towels and things we would need to prepare the food, store the food, and clean the dishes. We split the gas and he paid the room fee. We seemed to be in a constant squabble before the trip. He was touchy about everything. It was the first real vacation for my kids and I together in almost 9 years so I sucked it up and we went. He didn't speak a word to me the entire 4 hour drive. Mind you, I was also driving with a severe sprain with my ankle in a splint and using crutches. He never even offered to drive. When the kids would act up I was the one who tried to control it. The kids and I had a wonderful time, even if I did end up spraining my knee too, but he and I spoke only one time during the week. My oldest had to help me in and out of the old conversion van we were driving and help me around walking on the sand. The day we left he drove. I was in awful pain, his youngest was squalling just because he didn't get the seat he wanted. Instead of calling him down like he does my kids he just consoled him. He started making odd comments about the gas. Turned out he was accusing me of not filling the tank when we stopped and only he was. He eventually started watching me every time I pumped gas...yes even with all my injuries he didn't pump it for me. He just stood there watching. We get back and he drops off my stuff and leaves without a word. The next time we talked all I said to him was I felt like I was the only one who thought of us as a family and tried to act like it. For the trip I bought things for all our kids. We went to an arcade and I bought them all slushies and paid for all of them to play games. I had no problem doing it either. Like I said...I treat them like they're my own. The things he brought for the trip were only for him and his kids. I'm happy when I can afford to do it. He went off on me again yelling at me about everything he's ever done for me. About his having to pay the room fee even though I paid for everything else. How he spent twice what I did even though most of it was on toys and souvenirs for his kids. And this wasn't the first time he had thrown in my face what he did for me. I helped him with things beyond even what was safe for me physically and until he brought up what he did I never even thought about it. I was just happy to help him. He's horrible to take things I say to him and twist it into a reason to scream at me. It came up not long ago that there have been multiple times he said he would help with something and he always waited until it was too late in the day to do it. That if he didn't want to help all he had to say was no instead of saying he would do something then making it where he didn't. At that point he slung my door open, knocked everything over in my hall and started screaming I was ungrateful. That he would never lift another finger to help me with anything. Though I could count on one hand the things he has done. But we're not married, we don't live together so we aren't his responsibility and I didn't actually expect him to. I finally got him to calm down enough to talk and it turned from me being ungrateful to him being mad that I did things myself and wouldn't let him help. I don't understand it at all. Anyway, finally after 2 years he did start saying he loves me. I reminded him what I had said after our first month "I won't just date forever. I don't want to get married but I need to know things are moving forward and there's a future." Even with all the squabbles that ended up being talked out...though not forgotten and still eat at me because several times he said things just to cut into me and make me feel like crap. We can talk and discuss things. We do goof and laugh and have more good times than bad. I lay my head on his chest at night and I feel calm and peaceful and that's rare for me. We hold hands when we're out and we have one night every other weekend and go on a "date." I told him first of the year I would like not an engagement ring but a commitment ring. Just a sign that he plans on being with me forever. Because even with everything else I know I love him and want to be with him. He freaked and no he wouldn't do it. I told him if by now he wasn't sure he wanted to spend forever with me he needed to just go and not waste both our time. But he didn't go. Later on I talk to him again and say I need to know we have a future. And he avoided it. He went to look at a couple houses but all of them fit for just him and his and close to his dad. I find a house close to my family in case I have an emergency with my health and it was big enough for us all and he refused to even look into if we could afford it. He keeps talking about what he would be paying and how it would affect him and like it was all him. I kept telling him I have an income. It's not much but he wouldn't be paying everything alone. The house I found would only be at most $600 a month and that was applying towards the property tax too. But oh him paying the mortgage and everything was too much. I said ok I would pay for the mortgage and he could pay the utilities. And out came his snide side "Good luck with that. Lets see you go apply for a loan and see if you get it." He knows my credit file is "too thin" according to most finance places that don't have insane interest rates. I told him that he said the problem was he couldn't afford the mortgage then we'd just switch what we were paying if I was coming out so much cheaper. Then it became "Well I have other bills too. Granted I could make some of them cheaper but I have bills. And I'd have no money left to go do things when I want to." Right now when he drops $700 on guns he doesn't think twice. He decided he wanted a new mower and he paid almost $1000 for a new riding and another $400 for a push. His kids want something and they get it. I'm on a limited fixed income and I've cut out almost everything to be able to have money left and I'm willing to give that up to make us a family. He says he will not get pushed into a mortgage and he rented a place that was $300 a month, this was about 5 years ago and from a friend, and that's all he would pay. I told him there was no way we could find a house in decent shape and big enough for us all for that amount. He starts his yelling again that what's he supposed to do and he's not going to be pushed. I tell him several times "If that's all you say you can afford then that's that. There's no argument about it that's what you say so that's the end of it. I'm just saying that for that amount we won't find anything. If you can find a place that doesn't require thousands to repair, big enough for us all, and not so far out I don't have help if I need it for $300 please tell me. Otherwise there's nothing to fight about." And still he's screaming at me that I'm trying to push him into it and he didn't like the house anyway and I'm fighting with him. I finally just refused to say anything else but that there was nothing else to say. I didn't think we'd find something in that range that's the end of it. He finally just said he had to go and bye. Now, tonight, he sends a message he's eating at home because he wants to look up parts for his Jeep. I was already making dinner and he's never had a problem using my computer for that stuff before. I sent him a message back saying just that and I knew it would end with him just staying home. And that's one issue I have...he gets mad he just stays home. I never know if he's going to cancel coming over. I have to ask him on his usual nights if he's coming, if I need to make enough for him, if he is coming is it going to be really late and I need to leave him a plate. It just feels more and more that he doesn't actually consider a future with me. That it's too comfortable for him to just come over, eat my food, use my computer, use my electricity, me wash his clothes and him able to do whatever he wants. That it's never going to progress into a real family for him. I think I've resigned myself that it just needs to end. I need someone who is there for me and I can depend on. That will share my life. And, to me, 2 1/2 years is long enough to decide, even if you end up wrong, that you want to try for a future with someone. Am I wrong? Is it just that I'm a woman and think differently than a man? I just need another opinion.
on Mar 4 2014 at 02:10
I stopped reading about half way down.
Turn on your heel (not the sprained one) and walk out of this man's life!!! ASAP
He has REAL issues. He is selfish, unable to accept anyone's kids, rude to you, cheap, pouting , etc, etc - there's no wonder he's divorced.
You and your kids are a package and anyone you join with has to accept this.
Sorry, but this is not the one for you.
on Mar 4 2014 at 02:17
Tygg, you're right, two and a bit years is long enough for someone to decide which way to go when it comes to a relationship.
You're doing the right thing by attempting to establish and stabilise some sort of relationship with him but he's stymieing you with his actions.
If you re read your post, you'll find you've answered your questions yourself because, going by your post, there is no way ahead with this guy.
Take two steps back and ask yourself if you can see any future with a guy who constantly argues with you (conflict), verbally abuses you with unexpected anger and then emotionally isolates you with silence. And on top of that, treats your children selfishly and disrespectfully, even if they've become attached to him.
Trust, honesty, respect and communication need to be there to make any relationship work. You children need you to be secure and happy. Do you have happiness and security with this guy?
His actions have spoken since day one, all you need to do is take a good hard look at them. He is an abuser, a controller, a user and a very insecure individual.
No, you're not wrong because your inner voice is talking to you...and it's usually right whether we can see the writing on the wall or not.
on Mar 4 2014 at 14:58
Thank you for the responses. I knew what I thought but I wanted to get second opinions. I was afraid I was only looking at it through my personal bias. He did end up coming over last night but he only spoke to me 2 times and both about parts for his Jeep. He acted like nothing happened. I was still in a state of being afraid to say anything because I didn't want an outburst to occur with my kids around like the last time. He brought his laptop over for the first time ever to keep looking for parts. What was funny is he sat down in my computer chair at my computer to do it even though I was using my computer when he first walked in but had gotten up to do something. I turned off what I was doing and told him to use mine because the screen is bigger and easier to see and he just didn't say a word. I eventually just laid down and went to sleep. I don't sleep very well at night. I have a severe apnea but CPAP machines cause me to wake up in panic attacks so I endure constantly waking up. At one point I laid back down and he was in bed asleep and I thought and I thought about MANALONE's response. I don't know if it's because I've been abused by two different men in my life verbally and physically that I refused to see it but....he is verbally abusive. It's not even just that he yells, which does send me into a panic and I've told him how it makes me feel, but the things he says. I've been called ungrateful, told to "nut up and go" when I disagree with him, put down because I get assistance, told I just like to make myself a victim and it's always me in the wrong. He's called me a child when I tell him something he said hurt me. He's called me down like a child when his family is around. When the van needed to be repaired before the beach trip my dad and I spent from morning until late in the evening working on it. My bf was supposed to help but didn't show up until that night. When he brought it up I said my dad and I fixed it and he responded "I doubt you actually did anything it was all your dad." So last night it hit me...I would want to live with this? Have this happen around my kids and probably more often? So I woke up to get the kids ready for school and the disappointment about the house and the ring were gone and I was thanking my lucky stars he didn't even look into it and that someone had pointed out a vital problem I had refused to see! My driveway had been so destroyed by the neighbors that share it that sometimes my bf would drive my kids down the mountain to my parents for school. I could drive down it but usually ended up walking back up. This morning I intentionally didn't get up until late and didn't start getting the kids ready until about the time my bf usually starts complaining he should be out the door and my kids were going to make him late. Mind you, it was late for him. He gets to work a half hour early. I didn't think with him still not speaking he would want to drive them down anyway. This way I wasn't having to rush and he would know I didn't expect him to and he could go. But he just stood in the kitchen with his hands in his pockets watching me get them ready. I asked "Oh were you going to drive them for me?" He said "I guess I could." Turned out he was standing there waiting on me to give him the usual kiss, I love you and have a good day at work. I'll admit that I was in no mood to be affectionate. I have accepted him for his faults. I've tried to explain to him how it makes me feel when he says hateful things or start yelling. And I've been met with "I'm not changing." But when he's complained about something I do I've felt it not "changing" but compromising because when you love someone and something you do hurts them...you don't do it. My first sign should have been when my oldest, daughter, refused to come around when my bf is here. It took her almost a year to want to be around him because she's protective of me and doesn't trust easily. But eventually she got to the point she liked sitting to talk to him and being around him. But that last maybe 6 months or so she's gone back to having nothing to do with him. She'll listen to how he talks to me and ask "Momma why don't you just hit him when he talks to you like that?" My middle child who the therapist already has emotional issues because of his dad has gone from interacting with him and asking him to play with him to retreating into his shell again and politely passing on offers for him to do stuff involving my bf and/or his sons. Even my youngest who thought my bf hung the sun and moon has started telling him to stay home. I thought maybe they were just getting jealous but in my reviewing events last night I realized it may be a little of that but they're starting to pick up on how he's making me feel and seeing what he does and they're over it. The only real attachment anymore is my youngest and his oldest. My youngest idolizes his oldest son and wants to be just like him. The oldest had more years while their mom was still around and he really is a really great kid. He tries hard even to include my oldest boy who has a lot of developmental and emotional problems. His youngest, who is the same age, picks on my son to get things started then runs crying and is the one who sets almost all of his toys as off limits to my kids. I would go through his house before we left picking up toys, not sure if they were ones my kids had out or not, but just picking up toys. Cleaning up drinks and trash. One day my bf went nuts, to the point of his face red, that his boys were having to clean up after mine. This was back in the early days when we actually would go over. Except after meals when his boys will put their plates on the counter beside the sink his boys have never picked a single thing up they've had out here. His youngest won't even pick a blanket he used up from the floor. But I was always in the thought of they were guests and I cleaned up after my boys anyway. My bf now often leaves his dirty clothes in the floor. I tripped on them one night and fell into a tile step up to the bathroom and ended up with soft tissue damage in my back. Sorry I know there was no point to blathering on more. I guess I feel like I just need to get it off my chest and I'm actually scared to mention most things to him. But again, thank you for the responses and the help.