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Am I asking for too much?

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Hi, could really do with some fresh perspective on this, will try to keep it as brief as possible!
I have been dating my boyfriend for over 2.5 years now (3 years in June). We are both in our forties, divorced and have kids; mine are 20 and 15 and live at home with me, his are 13, 11 and 6 and live with their mother 150 miles away.Up until around 6 months ago, his kids lived close to him and he shared custody of them 50/50, this ended when their mother moved away (which was for relationship and family reasons). He now sees them alternate weekends and some of the school holidays. The weekends involve around 600 miles of driving split between the two parents and he gets to spend around a day and a half with them.

We have been talking about moving in together over the next year to 18 months and that is where the problems lie; My son is coming up to GCSE age and will be taking exams over the next few years so I don't want to move him to another location at the moment. My house is not big enough to be able to accommodate my family plus his on an alternate weekend basis, my kids visit their father but not that often as he also has another partner with a child and his house is also not very big. He has suggested that we both rent out our houses and rent a bigger house with the income, in my town which my kids are not happy about as they like living where they are. I have agreed that I would sell up and move to his location (25 miles from me) after my son has finished at school in another 3.5 years and this would be a permanent move.

The issue that I have and which has caused a big argument is that I feel that everything seems to revolve totally around my partner and his kids. I have always had to fit my plans around the times he has had his kids and I've never complained or asked him to change these plans (their mum has changed plans many times in the past and that only ended when I pointed out to him that it was'nt fair as she would never change her plans for him!)

He is determined that the distance will not come between him and his kids, and while I admire him for his dedication to his kids, I am concerned that he is not taking anyone else's feelings about it into account, his kids included. They are already complaining at the amount of time they are having to spend travelling at weekends, and as they get older, this will only get more so as there are other things they will want to do with their friends etc.

I have suggested cutting the weekends down to one in three for a while as my family could work around his kids being here that amount of time, until such a time as we buy a bigger house together jointly, then they could visit more often as they would be more room. He gets very angry and defensive when I suggest things that mean him having to make changes, but he's more than happy for me and my family to change our lives for him.

If anyone has managed to read to the end of this, kind of gets what I'm on about and has any advice, I'd be really pleased to hear from you :)

Am I asking for too much?

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"The issue that I have and which has caused a big argument is that I feel that everything seems to revolve totally around my partner and his kids."

It's now my issue with him as well. (:-p - to him)

Watch my lips: "Noooooo-wuh".

Copy it.

The fair thing to do is move HALF that distance away from where you currently reside. That would be a fair compromise. But not exactly sensible if, as you say, his kids have reached the eve or are already at the threshold of being teens who'd rather hang out with their mates than 'boring and uncool dad'. So given that that's the situation, moving location is obviously pointless. I don't disagree with both renting out and using the income to rent a bigger house, though, because his kids will still want to come stay with him occasionally, like on important occasions. But cutting his visitation when clearly already he's panicking about losing time with them before HE'S ready to, isn't a sensible solution.

If he gets angry at the idea of him ever having to meet you halfway then this doesn't bode well in terms of his being ideal long-term partner material, does it, because it means not only isn't he willing to compromise but is also willing to use bullying/cowing tactics to stop you from ever *expecting* compromise.

Never mind the nitty-gritty event specifics and details - why haven't you simply asked him straight why he seems to think a partnership that involves accommodation and compromise only on the part of ONE of the so-called team could possibly lead to SuccessVille?

Is that why she divorced him, do you suppose? Or is he just not thinking straight because he's panicking?

Am I asking for too much?

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Oh, and by the way: do not TOUCH your house until you and he are *married*! If he wants you to start considering his needs like and to the extent of a wife, he can damn well MAKE you his wife! But even then, marriage means takesie-turnsies or swapsies or 50/50 compromise.


Am I asking for too much?

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Thanks for the reply Soulmate, I've been questioning whether I'm being unreasonable alot lately but keep coming back to the same conclusions, pretty much what you said about compromise and meeting each other halfway. I think it does'nt help that for most of the time we've been together I've fitted around him without question. It's only more recently when we've talked about long term living together plans and I've started to stand up for myself that things have nose dived.
He would argue that if he lived at my house, he would have to travel 25 miles to work every day, whereas now he lives a mile from work and that would be his compromise. He has moaned about getting stuck in traffic on the journey to my house before, but when he's been stuck on the 300 mile round trip to pick up his kids in heavy traffic on Friday afternoons, it's not a problem!It makes me feel like I'm not a priority in his life worth making the effort for.

What it boils down to is that he does'nt seem ready to make temporary changes to his life in a year or so but is happy for me and my kids to make permanent ones (if we were to move to his location in the future)

His wife cheated on him and as far as I know that's why they divorced.

Am I asking for too much?

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Not sure if I can say this man is selfish or the situation itself is a lil selfish, I don't know him so I really can't judge but if I were a judging person I woul have to say he is being selfish. I have dealt with ppl like this also, as long as it's something that makes their life easier and their happy with the outcome that's all that matters to them. You said it seems to have gotten worse since you started to stand up for yourself, ofcourse it would, these types of men like to be in control of every situation, and that the only realavant opinion is their own. Most women don't see a problem with controlling men until they sound their own voice. Good luck. Just let him know that you are making your kids happiness a priority just as much as he does for his own children and if he has a problem with that then you obviously have different paths ahead of you, embrace it and don't dwell on the time you feel has been wasted on a relationship that was meant to go nowhere, embrace the fact that by this realization look at the time that can be used on being with someone less selfish..!!!

Am I asking for too much?

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Couldn't have put it better myself!

It's put your foot down on superglue time. He might well try matching you considering you've basically trained him to expect you to do all the bending over backwards (because who *wouldn't* want to keep that cushy status quo?) in order to see if Ms Softy will crack and fold under pressure, but if he sees you're dead serious and this time won't, and he *does* want to spend the rest of his life with you and not lose you, then do his own share of bending he will. It's that simple.

As for your future: if this man/relationship isn't the one, at least you can console yourself with the fact you came very close, meaning, the next one will be 'it'... and you'll be able to apply the lessons you learned. That's how it works. But dare to test it out first.

Am I asking for too much?

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Thanks for the replies; As things stand at the moment, we haven't been in contact since Sunday afternoon when we had a heated discussion about our issues, he stormed off and I'm wondering if this could be the end of the road as I don't intend to go grovelling to him and he is notoriously stubborn!
Am thinking it would make life alot simpler if that is the case and no I don't intend to go dating again, had enough, always attract dubious guys one way or another...I might write a book about my dating disasters, it would make other people feel so much better about their own lives!!

Am I asking for too much?

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Stormed off? Since Sunday afternoon? IT'S NOW WEDNESDAY NIGHT! Ugh, that's not mere male emotional floding, that's manipulation. What is he - five?

Three whole days... Wow, he's REALLY not used to not getting his own way exclusively, is he!

Well, if it comes to it (ending), I hope he and his spoiled-baby stubbornness will be very happy together. Not so sure it'll be holding his hand on his deathbed, though. As for you, you're obviously a very kind and thoughtful lady (perhaps a bit TOO much where you might benefit from turning the dial down a tad?) so, again if it even comes to it, you'll be snapped up again in no time by someone who's automatically ready to meet you halfway, like you are. And LOL to your reckoning that you'll have any control over whom you unexpectedly 'bump into' or how you'll find yourself mutineered, feelings-wise. On that score, I could definitely write a book about those best laid plans of mice and men! "That's it, I've had it with relationships, I'm never-never-never-never-never-WHOOPS, I'm married, how did THAT happen?!" :-D (He's an utter diamond, btw.)

So never say 'never'. That's how you end up still wearing nappies in your 20s and 30s, LOL.

Meanwhile, back at the Violet Elizabeth ranch, DO NOTHING. You're allowed to expect a relationship to accommodate your needs as well, particularly as you're not wont to push, ordinarily; you're allowed to have a discussion over a contentious issue, heated or not...So you've done nothing wrong and aren't asking for anything unreasonable or untoward. Quite the opposite. So if that's his reaction and if he doesn't come back with his tail mightily between his legs, you're better off out of it. I mean, you've got two kids already, right? You don't need a third. You need a MAN ("Urrr!").

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It's still only Tuesday here in the UK, so does that make him not quite so bad? (lol)

It's not great is it; I've seen him behave like this towards his ex wife, giving her the silent treatment, refusing to answer calls, texts etc and I have pulled him up on it; They have 3 kids together and it's not constructive to feel so hateful towards the other parent even if she did cheat on him, it's nearly 5 years ago now and I think he should have moved on but what do I know?? (I moved on many years ago with my ex hubby and he cheated on me), it takes alot less energy to let go of your pain and resentment than to hang on to it year after year.
After reading all this back, I'm thinking I must be abit of a sucker and you're right that I probably do need to be abit more careful from now on!

Am I asking for too much?

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Oh, yeah - Tuesday night. LOL. I'd better bring the bin back in again! :-D

Well, you still don't expect a man-sulk (usually due to having been'out-barristered') to last more than a couple of hours at most, do you, so the point still stands and, yes, not great. And yes, I agree he should keep his feelings towards his ex-wife entirely separate from those concerning his co-parent whenever that's the role she's acting in. Doesn't stop her being a tw*t, of course. And being able to let go does depend - like any relationship that relies on 50/50 cooperation - on the ex LETTING you move on from it...only, the silent treatment achieves nothing but adding fat to the fire. Short-term win for longer term resentment eating away at everything.

Here, when he eventually comes round and rings you, say, 'Sorry, what's yer name again?'. Nah, don't. Just joking. Or AM I? [insert evil cackle]. Tempting, though, isn't it.

Don't make that typical mistake of thinking you're a sucker, though. If you'd got with a bloke who was as 'over'-giving as you - who would be the over-giver and where would be the problemo? So no, despite you INITIALLY should turn the dial lower, just until you've received enough signs to know he's a giver as well, don't alter yourself in any permanent way. It's Right Qualities (yours), WRONG RECIPIENT, that's all. If we all discarded our generous qualities in reaction to others having taken advantage of them rather than appreciating and reciprocating them - where would be the world be?

I rest me case... and the Green recycling bin back in its spot. Or is this week the turn of the Grey one? I can't keep up, me!

Am I asking for too much?

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And so the silence goes on which leads me to my next question, how long do I sit this out for? I don't feel inclined to contact him since he was the one who stormed off after our heated exchange (now 3 days ago!) and I'm of the opinion that after 2.5 years of dating, if he thinks it's acceptable to end things like this, then I clearly meant nothing to him anyway, so a future together was always going to be doomed!

I really do feel that I'm getting too old for all this stress, I just want to live a peaceful life, be happy, feel loved, it never quite seems to happen to me though :(

Pleased to hear that you're luckier in love than I am Soulmate, it's reassuring to know that some relationships work out, but it certainly does seem to get so much harder with every passing year, dating in your 60's and 70's must be a total nightmare, will definitely be giving that a miss!!

Am I asking for too much?

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Don't you DARE contact him! You do that and he'll pop that nasty little manipulation tactic into a jar labelled Magic Worm and get it out at the drop of a hat again and again and again and AGAIN... until you reach the end of your tether, suddenly can't even stand to look at him, and dump his arse.

You've done nothing wrong because you had the (overdue) right to insist on your needs being taken into equal consideration over something so life-affecting for all concerned. In fact, I'd say you're back-owed so many bendings-over-backwardses [scuse crap English] that if he were to this time be the one to let you have YOUR way it would, despite being a biggie, still count as suitable recompense for the bucketful of drip-drip concessions you've thus far given *him*. However, you're not even ASKING for him to give way totally, are you. So - precisely... he was the one who needlessly and unacceptably founced off like a big girl's blouse, he's the one now deliberately sulking like he'd have you believe he were really just a powerless, petulant toddler, so the onus for getting back in contact is his and his alone.

Saying that, 3 days and counting is SO unacceptably over-the-top given the actual 'provocation' that you could be forgiven for having decided it was over once the tally had hit THREE HOURS. But, okay, you haven't. You're obviously new to this. So! What's your deadline? Where is your line in the sand in this regard? Four days? Five? One week?

It's this simple: if there was genuine chemistry and love between the pair of you, SOMEONE has to say something, because we're talking equal drug addicts (the drug being chemistry, etc.). So if you're not cracking (quite right!) then he has to. Because there's no third party. If he doesn't, what does THAT tell you? It would tell me that getting his own way all the time, his wanting a relationship all on his terms, is far more important to him than any love addiction OR, put another way, that his addiction was not deep-set and strong enough to compete with his [wait for it] EGO!

Saying THAT, it could be that all his past exes were traditionally the ones to fold and beg. That would certainly have trained him into believing that this kind of move was not only a great tactic but not really anything for the woman to get her knickers in a twist about, certainly not long term. In which case - THE FOOL! It's called backlogged resentment (and re-refer to your inexorably reaching the end of your tether and dumping his arse).

My rebound ex used to do this. Two weeks was his maximum. But it got shorter and shorter. No doubt because, the second or third episode, once my mental deadline had passed (half a day), I'd think, 'Right! This is deal-breaker behaviour so the relationship is, by your own hand and choosing, OVER, meaning, I'm now single again!', and would immediately re-activate my profile on the same dating website I'd met him on and start seeing other men. I'd long worked out he'd always (paranoically) been spying on my (inactive) profile using a false profile (yawn) so it going active would immediately put a firework up his bum. Not that it was a counter-manipulation manoeuvre on my part, I genuinely considered myself single and able to do whatever I damn well pleased at that point, regardless of him, but it was a handy side-bonus.

Hubby sulks sometimes, too. Albeit nowhere near as frequently as the ex! Plus we're talking 10 minutes to 3 hours at the most. He did once try to take it further - three days, if I recall correctly - so I chucked him out. His sulks are far briefer these days, can't think why, LOL. Sometimes the power struggle phase is like poker. You've got to be prepared to lose in order to win where winning is your right.

Seriously, you cannot CANNOT fold or you're just reinforcing bad, bad behaviour. Keep telling yourself you don't WANT a prat-in-a-hat aged 10-and-a-half, you want a MATURE, SENSIBLE *MAN* who deals with things like one.

In fact, thinking about it, I can't think of one single boyfriend who HASN'T tried that manipulation tactic! Where have all the cowboys gone, eh? Answer: we women have in recent decades stroked and pampered the cowboy out of them. Berbom. So basically, if/when he does come back, you must make him sweat BLOOD to get you to agree to take him back... make his mega-sulk not worth HIS while. I call it Boomeranging. His sh*t that he's thrown... you duck... it comes back full circle and hits only HIM in the face. Is he going to do it again with that the outcome? Nope.

But you never know...Maybe this guy was shoved onto your path in order to act as gym equipment and expand your mental muscles because you're too soft? I mean, soft is great. But you've got to be able to balance it with a hard side. Maybe you're meant simultaneously to train the tw*t out of him OR limber yourself up for the real deal, a man you HAVE to play it spot-on correctly with in order never to find yourself in the underdog position again because he and you are destined to be the ultimate, til death relationship, meaning, you need to ensure it's as happy a lifetime as it CAN be? Certainly these things happen for a reason. In my case it turned out to be very simple: had ex prat *not* forced those practise runs on me, no WAY could I have endured the constant, immense emotional suffering of enforced separation courtesy of the fact now-husband and I were long-distance lovers (he's from France, half French, half Italian). Said regular separation periods were as long as - wait for it, WAIT FOR IT - ......


Not only that, but before meeting me, he had a female version of my rebound ex, including the max. 2 week sulk episodes!

That is too spookily spot-on to be a mere coincidence, don't you think? So hold on and hold out and trust in Fate. If you're in the right, it'll have your back.

Lastly (for now) but not leastly: relationships are NOT a pain in the butt when you're with the best soulmate out of all available soulmates. Yes, it's still hard work. But of a totally different ilk. It's FUN AND HAPPY WORK. Diff/all the diff.

Hope that inspires you to grit your teeth. Meanwhile, try to keep yourself as busy as poss. And yes, if he hasn't rung by tomorrow night, GET THY ARSE ONTO THE DATING WEBSITES. Not least because where ultimate soulmate is concerned, timing could be of the essence.

Am I asking for too much?

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It's starting to get tough for me now; I was all fired up earlier in the week, but now I'm starting to feel deflated and pretty wrung out like an old dish cloth. I've thought about it all until my brain hurts but still come back to the same conclusions, being that he needs to grow up and behave like someone I would want a future with, not some emotionally stunted, manipulative creature who's into mega sulks and mind games!

That said, I am starting to miss him rather a damn lot; Wondering if he's missing me or just the convenience of me? I've told him many times that he makes me feel like something that's there for his entertainment that he can pick up when he pleases, ie when he's not got work, his kids or being a scout leader to occupy him (don't get me onto the scout thing, I've already put my foot down over that but probably not soon enough into our relationship!)
Then the phone calls, keeping me on the line every evening when it's getting late and I want my bed, just because he gets lonely and sounding offended when I cut it short to go for some shut eye! I'm now starting to wonder if it was me in particular he wanted to talk to or just anybody who'd listen to him!

coincidentally, we met on dating website too, but can't say I'm feeling an urge to dive back in there, I have friends on there now and they keep reminding me how many unsavoury types are lurking in there, looking for their next victims to devour...yikes no way, I'd prefer to be single I think and I've never really wanted that before!

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It's SUPPOSED to get tough for you. How else would you crack? This is an arm-wrestling match, but using mental arms and muscles and determination. It shouldn't be happening but, thanks to him it is. It's what he's forced onto you to deal with, so deal with it. Women are far emotionally stronger than men (had more practise AND are programmed that way in order to deal with kids without snapping and killing the little darlings). Use your power or lose your power.

"but still come back to the same conclusions, being that he needs to grow up and behave like someone I would want a future with, not some emotionally stunted, manipulative creature who's into mega sulks and mind games!"

Well, I could have saved you that trip because YES, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S GOING ON. However, for a grown man, being grown up or acting like a spoiled baby is a CHOICE... one he's not going to make if he doesn't have to. You fold and he'll lose all respect for you, to boot, whereas if you can get the better of him his sensible side will fall adoringly at your feet.

Of course he's bloody missing you. What do you think you are, chopped liver?! Chopped lover, maybe (hur-hur). You've got to be prepared to lose. Even losing isn't really a reality, you've still got to be willing to. That's how to win in this situation. So remind yourself that you 'got a-looong I metcha, gonna geddalongwithoutcha now'. There are LOADS of blokes you could share incredible chemistry AND same breeding with out there! So many if I told you the number it'd make your head spin!

You're going to feel like crap whilst arm-wrestling, that's par for the wrestling course. But it's only the first time that's hell, after that - especially with success encouragingly and inspiringly under your belt - it gets easier and easier. You've got to fight for what you want in this world. NOTHING worth having comes for free or pain-free, nothing!

If he got to make you feel like a toy in his toybox, just waiting to be taken out and played with before being put back in again, then you had to have met him halfway on that, i.e. LET HIM. Think about it.

News for you (and this'll up your confidence): Chatting is just a side bonus to men when they call you. They call you to check you're not going near other men on the prowl, that 'their woman' is safe from being charmed away. I value you is as I value you *does*. So he obviously - OBVIOUSLY - values you. But he values his spoiled baby way, too. Turn his spoiled baby way from his friend into HIS ENEMY. See what I'm saying?

Trust me on this: a despot is a weakling trying too hard to avoid identification and weak and powerless situations. And whatever weapon of intimidation or coercion a bully uses on you is the one same weapon HE FIRST-HAND KNOWS HURTS TOO MUCH! So turn that weapon on him and, voila!

Tell me you haven't cracked since yesterday.

Am I asking for too much?

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Thanks again Soulmate, still totally spot on with your observations and advice! (Was reading through another thread on here, where you and a few others are helping "moody" sort his life out and I have to wonder how you find the time to actually live your own life while trying to assist others on here so I won't take up any more of your valuable time than I need to!!)

You will be pleased to know that I haven't cracked at all and I don't intend to...go me!!!

I'm not expecting to hear from him until this silence has topped the one week mark (Sunday evening). I know his schedule for the next few days and it involves his kids, driving his kids home (300 miler) and scout related stuff which will keep him busy until about Tuesday.

After that he will be faced with many long evenings of nothingness. Next weekend we had plans for Friday and Saturday evening, which I intend to do without him anyway as they involve friends (my friends!) We always meet up mid week, usually Wednesday and do something too, although I've decided if we do manage to get past this situation, I'm going to say no to most of these mid weekers as I find it too tiring on work nights and have only put up with it this long to keep him happy!!
Getting together with him nearly always has to involve going to the pub, drinking too much (in his case) and staying up far too late, leaving me feeling wrecked for days to come!
If I suggest staying in and watching TV I get accused of being old and boring! Yes it does make me sound like a total ruddy doormat doesn't it?! Well no more!!!

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I and hubby run our own company, he's the work executer ('im outdoors), I'm the work-getter ('er indoors) working mainly from my PC doing quotes and correspondence with clients and suppliers, meaning I'm chained to this desk. Plus, being a classical pianist used to 'typing' 10 characters simultaneously, often veryveryveryveryveryfast, actual typing, only one character at a time, is childs' play. "Work, eat, shag, repeat,, eat, shag, repeat..", to play on that annoying techno track. LOL I'm also a speed-reader. So don't worry about me, I'm fine. :-) If it got too much, I'd say so.

"You will be pleased to know that I haven't cracked at all and I don't intend to...go me!!!"

WELL DONE! Nerves of steel.

Am also pleased to hear you're not intending to stay in, moping. Dat's der way der do id, Dudy!

"I'm going to say no to most of these mid weekers as I find it too tiring on work nights and have only put up with it this long to keep him happy!!"

Careful, though. One step at a time. His poor brain won't cope with a whole rush of changes all at once... not unless this voluntary separation of his drags on so long as to have basically ended the relationship as means it'd have to start over from scratch.

"drinking too much (in his case) and staying up far too late"

1. Ah-hah. Not too good with the self-discipline, then?

2. Define drinking too much and staying up far too late.

" leaving me feeling wrecked for days to come!"

3. Sorry? His drinking too much and staying up too late wrecks YOU? Tell me, do you also "really love" football? ;-p I think it's time you dared to be yourself a little more, don't you?

"If I suggest staying in and watching TV I get accused of being old and boring!"

4. "If me wanting to act my age 90% of the time makes me old and boring, I think I can live with that, actually, thanks very much. CAN YOU??? Clearly that is the question."

How old is he anyway, and how old are you/are you older than him?

"Well no more!!!"

Say it in capital letters and I might believe ya. No, actually - YOU might believe ya. Diff/all the diff. And then you'll feel it enough to say it in front of him whereby HE'LL believe ya. Capiche?

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Ah I don't feel quite so bad now, knowing that you're not having to fire up your PC every time you hear from the sad and needy on here!!

Ok to clarify, he's 44, I'm 49...he behaves like a middle aged student most of the time! Yes the mid weekers wear me out as I get dragged along to pub quizzes left, right and centre, and he's even got into bingo at my local on a Sunday night more recently! His need to drink enough booze means we stay up until 1 or sometimes 2am! I'm a very light sleeper so no point in trying to get to bed earlier and leave him to it as I'd never get to sleep anyway, plus feel duty bound to keep him company seeing as we don't (didn't) see each other every day.
I've tackled him about the drinking many times but he doesn't see it as a problem; he also drinks when he's home alone and when his kids are there and have gone to bed. He doesn't seem able to relax without a good few drinks inside him, he paces around like a caged tiger when he's sober!!

This has largely contributed to me feeling like his drinking buddy rather than a girlfriend...he doesn't have many friends, lives in a small village and keeps himself to himself so I have had to fulfill that role too.

He also has been living in a pretty grotty rented house since he first split from his ex wife; he has finally bought his own place with his divorce settlement and the plan was to rent that out when we moved in together.
He has never cleaned his toilets in the whole time I've known him, I do them for him as couldn't face them filthy any longer!! He only changes his bed covers when I point out that they've been on for weeks and he hoovers about once a month or less!

What does this all mean? I honestly don't know but the more I type on here and read it back, the more annoyed I'm getting with myself for being such a mug!!

I play the piano too, although mine is in serious need of TLC at the mo and is virtually unplayable :(

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At this point, Katie, I can see you don't really need me for advice, just moral support (which is fine by me), because your rose-tinted glasses were overly thin to begin with, meaning, you can now too easily (as in, speedily) see how this man wanted you to slot into HIS lifestyle and not in yours, meaning, this whole relationship, moreover, has been on his terms. So it was unhealthy from the start, wasn't it, meaning it couldn't possibly go anywhere that YOU wanted to end up. I mean, sure, things like where you live, etc., can be compromised over. But not such chasmic differences in all that comprises the kind of life you want to live.

However, you still have't quantified the amount of alcohol he gets through in one sitting or in a week. Is it that bad that you don't even want to say?

Irrespective, he sounds like an early 20-something in his first home (and not coping very well with those adult responsibilities).

What does this - you writing all these finally-unbridled feelings out - mean? Easy. You're in the mental process of dumping the dud.

I imagine that if you do, you'll suddenly have the time and energy for sorting out all those things that need attention, not just your piano.

Keep writing out your complaints, don't stop there. Whether it aids you in ending that relationship in order to now or eventually find a better model OR ending that relationship so that it can begin again on a new, fairer, more mature basis (i.e. him vowing to BE a better model rather than lose you from his life) - clearly either outcome is what vitally needs to happen.

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Any update, Katie?

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Yes a development yesterday, a huge breakthrough for mankind...he sent me a text!!!

Before you get over excited, let me tell you, it was a one worder, he must have agonised over it for said...."Hello" !!

Anyway, I replied (after an hour or two delay for him to sweat it out slightly) and we had a lengthy chat on the phone. He must have been thinking hard about things and we were able to agree on how we would both be willing to compromise over future plans. He did say that the reason he hadn't been in touch sooner was because he thought he'd been dumped, but because I hadn't changed my facebook status, he thought he'd test the water!

He is now apparently willing to compromise where his kids are concerned and agreed with all the points I raised. My only concern now being that he's just saying what he thinks I want to hear to keep me where he wants me, I guess only time will tell on that.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated and thanks for remembering me!

Am I asking for too much?

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Let's recap WITHOUT your over-gratitude in the mix, shall we?

1. He flounces out unnecessarily.
2. He leaves you high and dry, heartbroken, disillusioned and not knowing where you stand or what to do for TEN WHOLE DAYS.
3. And then despite he and you have been having a relationship of the most intimate variety known to man, all he can dare or be arsed to do is send you a PIDDLY TEXT.... OF ONE WORD.

And you think making him wait one hour is suitable negative consequence for that huge bucketful of shite?

Sorry, what happened to 'not taking this sh*t anymore'? Don't you realise you've just REINFORCED his entire behaviour of the last 10 days and beyond?

A pathetic little one-word text on the back of everything else in the run-up, is NOT a huge breakthrough for mankind, either seriously or tongue-in-cheek-ly. Sorry, Katie, but if you want to become a sassier woman, aka a goddess for whom a man in love will do bloody anything, you've got a heck of a way to go, still.

Also, 'I've been thinking hard about things' is as 'I've been thinking hard about things' *does*. And it certainly doesn't show itself via an wholly inadequate, inappropriate, downright insulting and person- as well as relationship-de-valuing, SINGLE WORDED TEXT. That one says either (or both), EGOTISTICAL COWARD and CAN'T BE ARSED. I would expect a man who'd known you only ONE WEEK and had only ONE DATE with you to send that one-word text!

Nope, you cracked. One tiny nudge of provocation - the tiniest possible that anyone could muster - and you fell into his arms.

"My only concern now being that he's just saying what he thinks I want to hear to keep me where he wants me,"

Yup. You may not have A1 willpower but there's nothing wrong with your intuition, eh.

"I guess only time will tell on that."


People don't change their tune genuinely to the depth of their very being WHERE IT BECOMES PERMANENT and then demonstrate it via a one-word text. Because HAVING experienced an epiphany, they cannot wait to proudly show it off! This means, epiphany is as epiphany *does*. Which is either turn up on the doorstep with a huge grin and massive bouquet of flowers or at least phone and THEN come straight round with said bouquet and grin.

Still!...The good news is, if he goes on to demonstrate that although he let you 'win this one' he's hell-bent on deliberately compensating himself by refusing to back down in OTHER areas, ones he used to compromise over...or goes on to commence trying to wheedle out of said alleged re-agreement with 'but, but, but' about this new development or that new extenuating circumstance... you'll feel that much more justified and convicted in next time making him sweat FOR *FIFTEEN* DAYS!

Sorry. I know I'm a hard taskmaster and you're new at this. But I promise you, once the relief has worn off, you're going to feel MIGHTILY ANGRY about this. At him *and* at yourself.

I'll brace now, shall I? ;-)

Am I asking for too much?

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Actually, to be fairer to you, you DID hold out for the entire 10 days and it WAS him who cracked (er, mini-cracked from behind a ruddy great shield) so I guess that's the main thing.

I'm comparing what you did to what I'd have done, see... which is, texted this: [ugger all]. I don't do opening my basement window to let them climb in, in response to a pathetic little tap, see. It's front door with huge bouquet and uck-off box of chocolates or nothing. And even then I make them sit outside (in the rain, preferably) and try to persuade me through the open window. :-p Certainly when it was them who spat the dummy. But I'm a pro and you're just starting out.

Well, stick around and I'll get you there. And then YOU, TOO can constantly have a houseful of flowers! LOL


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So how's he behaving so far, Katie? Is he stepping up more?

Am I asking for too much?

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Not been around much for the past few days as been assisting the above mentioned to move into his new house! Yes I know I'm an A1 soft touch but am also a firm believer in karma, so somewhere and at some point I should be due a shed load of good stuff being chucked at me :)

I have to say at this point though that in all my 49.4 years, I have never encountered anyone quite so disorganised. He knew for weeks that he would be moving around this time, he had loads of boxes given to him for the job, but when we all (6 of us) turned up to help on Saturday, not one single item had actually been packed, so basically we had to pack up before shifting the stuff, all pretty stressful and not to mention knackering!

He invited me over for a Chinese this evening but I politely declined as I had a very strong hunch that the Chinese would follow on from several hours of cleaning on my part, and I have decided this relationship is now going to be conducted more on my terms. He has his kids this weekend which will be interesting as the place will resemeble a warehouse and he won't even be able to prepare a sandwich, but hey ho, not my problem!!

I think at this point that I have shelved any plans to live with him within the next 5 years at least...all this has made me reconsider my position on the whole cohabiting thing and I'm not sure I actually want to live with anyone (apart from my kids, the dog and our fish!) for the forseeable, thus removing the pressure that scenario brings with it.
I had similar thoughts about my ex who I dated for 5 years prior to this one so I'm now asking myself, do I actually need to live with a partner again, ever as my current set up works very well for myself and my kids?

On the alcohol front, I forgot to answer your question; If we go out to the pub, he downs around 6 or 7 pints over the course of the evening on average, whereas I would average about half that and not in pints either!

If we stay in, he'd happily down 2 bottles of wine in an evening, and I'd probably have 2 or 3 glasses and fall asleep...his recycling bin is always full of empty cans so you tell me, is that acceptable?

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'The above mentioned'. LOL. Is that like, my right honourable gentleman?

You won't get any argument from me over the karma bit. And although it smacks a little of pre-reward, I do appreciate how it's difficult to strike that balance between showing your disapproval and continuing to be your generous and encouraging self up on the usual high road. So I'd say that's fine as long as THE MINUTE he does something to pee you off, something he now knows full well not to, you withdraw, withdraw, withdraw.

"I have to say at this point though that in all my 49.4 years, I have never encountered anyone quite so disorganised. He knew for weeks that he would be moving around this time, he had loads of boxes given to him for the job, but when we all (6 of us) turned up to help on Saturday, not one single item had actually been packed, so basically we had to pack up before shifting the stuff, all pretty stressful and not to mention knackering!"

Where've you been all that time - in a nunnery? ;-p Eezaman. Multi-tasking means being able to scratch your **lls and clear your throat at the same time. [ducks rotten tomatoes]

"He invited me over for a Chinese this evening but I politely declined as I had a very strong hunch that the Chinese would follow on from several hours of cleaning on my part, and I have decided this relationship is now going to be conducted more on my terms. He has his kids this weekend which will be interesting as the place will resemeble a warehouse and he won't even be able to prepare a sandwich, but hey ho, not my problem!!"


Keep that attitude up...until such time as you get distinctive, MEANINGFUL, REPEAT/SUSTAINED encouragement to bit-by-bit relax your new-found guard.

That, truly, is all this takes. It's no different to puppy training (for both parties). Puppy chews your slippers? Puppy sees you turning your back and getting on with other stuff. Puppy remembers to go outside to do a poo? Puppy gets a choccie drop. Woila! Not TOO many choccie drops. Because you don't want to spoil him and make him arrogant. But neither too little to make him feel despondently like giving up and letting his bad behaviour all hang out. But the great fact is that meanwhile, the one you're REALLY training - to point of second nature - is yourself. :-)

"I think at this point that I have shelved any plans to live with him within the next 5 years at least...all this has made me reconsider my position on the whole cohabiting thing and I'm not sure I actually want to live with anyone (apart from my kids, the dog and our fish!) for the forseeable, thus removing the pressure that scenario brings with it.
I had similar thoughts about my ex who I dated for 5 years prior to this one so I'm now asking myself, do I actually need to live with a partner again, ever as my current set up works very well for myself and my kids?"

There ya go. As it SHOULD be. After all, it's not for you to decide you WANT to live with a man. It's for him to PERSUADE you that you do (diff/all the diff) making you fall in total love and trust with him... which is NOT by chewing your slippers and sitting on your chest! (He can sit, COUGH!, somewhere else, though, lol)

Re the drinking: No, that's OTT. However, it's not exactly uncommon among your freshly divorced. So that's the thing to watch and wait for - whether it naturally starts to decline. If it fails to, then you can conclude it's an ingrained, much longer term habit, and think again. Depends, though... on the person. One man's 7 pints is another man's two halves. Depends also on whether and then how much and in what ways it affects his behaviour and decisions.

Just start watching and marking the scoresheet more - on all of it, not just the drinking. Think of yourself as Simone Cowell. If you'd been doing that from the start instead of flying off with the Honeymoon Fairies, you probably wouldn't be IN this mess, Stanley! (Yeah, I know...Easier said than done.)

Am I asking for too much?

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A little something has come to light in the past few days which I'm currently working on and naturally I'd value your input too!

He was round at my house the other night and left his tablet lying about and for some reason (I don't normally snoop about) I felt the need to check it out whilst he was in the shower and guess what I found in his dropbox?? A selection of photos of him, some which had originally had me on and he'd cropped me out and all placed in a folder named "POF", which any seasoned online dater will immediately be able to identify as Plenty OF Fish!!

Naturally I confronted him straight away and he told me that he had got pretty drunk one night when we were'nt talking and thought he was single so decided to get some photos ready for launching himself into the dating world again...he assured me that he was'nt planning on actually doing it until he'd been in touch with me to find out for sure...I also found in his search history that he'd been looking at f buddy dating sites which is'nt something I had him down as being into (my ex yes, this one no!)

He promptly deleted the photos and as far as he's concerned, that's that. For me it's not quite so; trust is a very big deal for me and somehow I feel abit betrayed by this even though he had'nt actually done anything in the real world. It sort of tells me that if I'd told him to bugger off, he'd have been back into the dating scene asap, whereas it would have been the last thing on my mind for a long time.

Does this mean he does'nt give a monkey's tush about me or that I'm being overly sensitive and over thinking (as I very often do)?

Do i now need to watch him like a hawk, waiting for signs of dodgy behaviour?

Do relationships ever get any easier??

Am I asking for too much?

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Men don't leave their *anything* lying around at your place or in your path unless it's because, whether on or under their own conscious radar, there's something they want you to whoops-discover. They're all actions-talk, they are...although I can't talk because so am I (in my personal life, I mean). Also, it's not snooping if he's your teammate because there's no such thing in that context. Or there shouldn't be if the relationship is about two individuals becoming one as Nature decrees, albeit like Lego pieces that CAN separate as and when needed. Su tablet? Tu tablet. Especially if he SAYS SO by leaving it right in the middle of your territory, unlocked. After all, remember how precious men's gadgets are to them and also note how incredibly many times he's FAILED to ever whoops-leave it. Actions, actions, actions - he wanted you to look.

Am I surprised at this patent provocation of his? NAO! Why not? Because you two are in the Power Struggle wherein you're both trying to shape what the relationship will be like from now into the future. Here's the fact: men have a sensible side and a wanton side and the two are constantly in conflict. So he's in a battle with two other entities, not just you.

If his wanton side wins by manipulating you into being a permanent soft touch or downright doormat, that side will feel very pleased with itself in the very short term, followed longer term by this: "Yawn, I'm bored with this woman because there's no challenge, no excitement, no being kept on my toes". If his sensible side wins WITH YOUR INFLUENCE, in the short-term he'll be pissed off but long-term will fall at your feet for having proven yourself to be a challenging task-master type GODDESS. Why? Because men can't get up in the morning unless they have someone to be doing it for who's worth doing it for: "Everything I doooooo... I dooo it fo-ooor..yoooooou" (Bryan Adams).

"She makes me want to be a better man". That's what all grooms more or less say when asked why this woman in particular. So see it for what it is when the two sides are merged into one resultant objective: him TESTING you as wife material. It's the WAY they go about this natural instinct to test a woman that has her wanting to whack him senseless with the frying-pan, but at least there's method in their madness. Saying that, you have a wounded, still-paranoid and -insecure soldier doing the testing, hence this rather unsophisticated element of seeming over-insult.

What does he secretly most want you to do? Answer: REAR UP AND SMACK HIS ARSE! But in a way that's more dignified, mature, self-assured, self-tempering QUEEN than nagging, screeching, soap-opera-harpy peasant. Make the minimum of fuss, just state your objection and feelings of this sort of thing being a deal-breaker, like Spock (never like Cap'n Kirk)....which you moreover sound like you did (well done!).

The message he was trying to communicate to you was a veiled threat that says, 'If you ever make me feel that insecure, that rejected again, this is what I would do in DON'T (sob!)'. Ignore it. If he's issuing warnings like that, it means he's feeling VERY vulnerable. That's not your problem. It's up to him to be brave about that situational bog-standard state of uncertainty and to remove it by (wait for it) wooing you to point of superglued. He's trying to be lazy and take wooing short-cuts (cos he's post-traumatised and ti-yered, mew-mew).

His egotistical, wanton side wanted you to get all panicked. Because then you'd be ego-bound to try to make him love you more, more, more, and that manifests in (wait for it) BEING MORE ATTENTIVE EVEN TO THE POINT OF ANXIOUSLY CLINGY, whereupon he gets the reassurance he so badly needs without even having to just ask honestly and nicely (as would reveal his neediness). If you're insecure, he feels less so. Geddit? HE'S the one who feels precarious so is trying to level the playing field so that by comparison he 'won't be so insecure'. Probably because you 'weren't doolally with in-love-ness' enough to have failed (like most women in the first flush of love fail) to have had the mental wherewithal to NOTICE his previous attempt to get his spoiled way as well as put paid to it in such no-nonsense fashion. He's clearly not used to women who can self-assert with the minimum of fuss so equates that with, as I say, their not being smitten enough ("Eeek!").

Blame his dad and his exes. They 'pimped your ride' with things that made his engine go clonk and gave him dodgy steering, which you now have to correct. Well, you don't have to but it is in your interests to if you think about it. It's that or go get another model, one that's been better educated.

Overall, it's a plea for greater mercy next time he pisses you off so THAT he doesn't ever (cough! *have to* go seek comfort from a dating site. But it's not wholly genuine. It's what I call the 'Pityyy meee, mummy' card. For if they can activate your mummying instinct toward them, you're going to be that much more liable to let the poor wickle bubby off the hook like you would a real child of yours.

Always respond to and address solely his sensible, long-visioned side. Taking this as a prime example, you just say something like, 'Thanks to you actioned invitation to look, I saw your entry on POF the other day' AND NOTHING ELSE. Stay schtum so that he has to go, 'Er...buh-buh-puh' and talk nine-to-the-dozen to fill the ominous and discomfiting silence that he was SO NOT EXPECTING. Don't whatever you do ever TELL him what he's up to. That's *his* grown-up responsibility. Just hear him completely out and, then, if ever you're not satisfied, say so and add, 'I think you should leave because I need to be alone to think about what to do about this'.

So your secret, internal reaction to it all - feeling less than impressed - is actually very healthy and no-nonsense. You don't need a chicken and you're not about giving concessions and leg-ups. He can either bust a gut to impress you with courage and a hard-work ethic or he can step aside so that a man who CAN can take his privileged place. INNIT. AFter all, is anyone making this whole testing and disconcerting process easier for YOU? Pffff, is the answer to that one.

...Well, alright - I am, but... HE doesn't know that, does he. LOL

In summary, no, it means he's utterly fruit-loopy over you and screaming, raving wobbly about you ever "corrr-RRRECT-ing him, Mr Torrence" (heart- and ego-wise) like he thought was happening last time.

No, you just need to watch him like Simon Cowell and react like Simon Cowell. If he half-arsedly sings like a parrot and/or acts like a high-maintenance diva, he puts his chances at making it to the judge's house in peril.

"Do relationships ever get any easier??"

Yes. But only AFTER the super-hard work phase... which is what it's there for. It's additionally a really scary roller-coaster ride BY DESIGN.. because fear is one of the mechanisms that increasingly bonds you both. Ever played "Saved ya!" when you were little? It's that. Basically. Grown-up version with lots more complicating detail.

Anyway, you're doing really well. LOL, can't say the same for him, though. (Don't worry, he'll get back in his cage soon enough.) (until the next time, ROFL!).

Look, this is basically your mission: Men when in relationships are prats. So are women but less so. You're trying to find the LEAST pratty specimen you can... one you fancy the pants off of (- your compensation, LOL). If you can go one better than that and find a diamond of a prat? Then you're laughing!

As for you, by the way he's here and there almost losing the plot, it's obvious you're the whole package - looks AND brains AND wit AND style AND well-dressed AND capable, etc. So stop trying so hard. If Superwoman actually tries then she can end up making Superman feel inferior. And if he feels he can't compete with you, he'll feel naturally compelled to try to pull you down a peg or two. I'm not saying dumb yourself down, just don't try to impress him. Be yourself. That's impressive enough. If you're NOT trying to be impressive but he is - because that wooing/impressing phase is still running alongside the power struggle - he'll feel you NEED, meaning you're home and dry. You have to let them feel needed and to want to constantly show off. Berbom. And that results in their trying to always impress you becoming a hard-set habit. Game Over, You Win...and so does he. Capiche?

Am I asking for too much?

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PS: Don't whatever you do forget to give him size-appropriate rounds of applause when he DOES do things impressively, though. If you get him hooked on praise, not only is the reassurance he needs automatically in there but, again, that habit of his sets for life.

Did you remember to tell him how secretly turned-on it made you feel to witness him coming clean so readily and (cough!) honestly followed by immediately deleting his 'almost-crime'?

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Thanks as ever Soulmate for taking the time and trouble to reply, much appreciated and if I can ever do the same for you, please feel free to ask, I'm so much better at seeing other people's issues for what they really are than my own, although I think I'm moving forward in the right direction on that.

Have concluded that myself and the "above mentioned" who I will now start referring to as "Paul", are both suffering from more than a little stress, which has probably helped things come to a head more so than they normally would, although I do agree that I need to take a much firmer stand with him and that is exactly what I'm doing now (not sure whether he's worked it out yet but he soon will!) It's all part of the me not wanting to feel more useful to him than actaully loved by him scenario.

Back to the stress thing; the source of his stress is pretty clear, he's just moved house, it's all chaotic, the place needs loads of work doing to it (he bought it for a bargain price!) and he's on his way back there now with his kids for the weekend!

For me, there's another source of stress which is eating away at me, in fact I could start a new thread with it on here but to be honest, I'd prefer not to as it's particularly painful for me :(

I have my two kids living at home ages 20 and 15 but I also have another daughter who will be 30 this year who I haven't seen for nearly four years. To keep it as brief as I can, I had words with her partner and now she has nothing to do with any of her family, not just me, in fact none of her old friends have heard from her in years either. Make of that what you will, I could tell you plenty more but keeping it short for now. My other daughter discovered on Facebook just after Christmas that her sister had a baby boy around Christmas time and decided to tell me.

You might wonder why I haven't attempted to contact her for all this time, but like I said, there's more to it than just the falling out bit.

Anyway, that's all got sod all to do with my orignal posting but it's not something I share with many folk and again an impartial opinion counts for alot.

Just for the record "Paul" is damn gorgeous, if he didn't resemble a 1980's rock god with the lush locks, sunglasses and tight jeans, my tolerance levels would have been set much lower from the outset, but hey I'm a sucker for a hunky almost toyboy...shoot me now someone...ahhhhh!!

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PS. If he ever stumbled across this site and read all this stuff, he probably wouldn't be too impressed, but the last sentence would cause his head (and ego probably) to swell to the size of a small keep it all under wraps me thinks!!

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Cheers for the offer but I'm annoyingly issue-free. My issues are with my 'other lover' - life. Just niggly practical stuff, nothing emotional, like what part of the house to spend money on doing up next or whether I should get a couple of tooth implants instead (had two extractions a while back, luckily out of sight on my lower jaw, different sides). Nope, my life's completely tickety-boo and boring, drama-wise, LOL...touch wood!

Yes, you're definitely on your way, no worries.

"not sure whether he's worked it out yet but he soon will"

No, he HAS worked it out - hence the accidental-on-purpose little 'frightener' on his tablet. He's trying to lower your confidence a bit so that he has more room to be naughty or lazy in.

Re your daughter. So you had words with her about him, as the family's spokesperson? Hence she's not talking to any of you?

"Anyway, that's all got sod all to do with my orignal posting"

Er. Wrong with a capital W! Think about it: if your mind has this 'weight' on it then, if anyone adds any normally supportable weight it'll feel so much heavier than it is. The reason for this is that your OLD weight has become largely unnoticeable, meaning you end up unfairly attributing that total weight to the NEW incident/problem. You might not SHOW that you're overreacting, but that is what'll be happening on the inside.

Start a thread. Even if there isn't any practical solution, at least if you can come to better terms with it you'll be able to file the thing away in a mental cabinet rather than it taking up valuable space in your in-tray, meaning everything else from then on will feel so much lighter and easier to tackle. I mean, bad enough you've got this situation going on without letting it mar unseen the smooth-running of your promising new relationship, right?

"if he didn't resemble a 1980's rock god with the lush locks, sunglasses and tight jeans, my tolerance levels would have been set much lower from the outset"

Yep, Nature's clever like that, isn't she. As I say, it (chemistry) is compensation as well as incentive to stay sat on the oft bone-rattling ride. Without chemistry, the human race would have died out by now because past men and women would still have been saying what we originally used to say in the playground: "Ugh, BOYS are yucky" / "Girls are cissies".

Ovaries and testes have a lot to answer for! :-p

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I wish it was as simple as me falling out with her over him; yes there's an element of that but it's more complicated.
He's jealous and insecure (she's given him reasons to be in the past), she's told me stuff that's lead me to conclude that he's a control freak, and a highly skilled and manipulative one at that.

She would moan to me about him, tell me she was having a fling with someone from work but then turn things back on me if I told her she'd be better off without him, making it very difficult to help her.
She also bought a house with him a few years ago, just before the property market crashed (his idea), even though we all told her to hang on and wait as it was a bad time to buy. Then sure enough, within a couple of months they had negative equity on the house, around £10,000 worth, and she was telling me she wanted to leave him but she'd never be able to manage financially; she had a job and had been to uni, but he was earning nearly double her wage and he'd also told her if she left him she could take half the debt from the house with her.

I had a minor issue with him over my dog; he's anti pets and made a big deal out of the fact that we have a dog (a very clean and well mannered one at that) and he managed to use this as a wedge to drive between her and us, making her choose between himself and her family. (I told him not to bother coming round if the dog was such an issue to him and caused him to have bad ashma attacks, made worse by the fact that he always seemed to either "forget" or run out of inhaler whenever he came round!!)

So there it is, she made a decision to stick with him because he could give her the lifestyle she wanted; "what kind of place could I afford to rent on my wages? I like my 3 bedroomed house and having money to spend on clothes and shoes".

Friends have asked me why I haven't contacted her since, but I think it's something she has to do because she wants to, I may be wrong, time will tell!

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If it's more complicated then that is all the more reason to start a thread. I'm not talking about, with a view to fixing the rift, necessarily. I'm talking about sorting YOU out so that the situation no longer upsets and discombobulates you and leaves you (potentially) extra needful, relationship-wise, either now or later down the line at increased closeness, whereby that extra appetite has any effect on your romantic relationship. Understand?

But in the absence of a dedicated 2nd thread, try this: your daughter is LEARNING. She has chosen a study mate. You don't have to worry that she can't ultimately take care of herself or come out unscathed and you CERTAINLY shouldn't interrupt that vital coursework because it's the very thing that'll enable her to improve her romance-contextual shortcomings OR her ability to spot a marriageable (as in, lifelong) diamond.

Some people read or pick up the theory and can apply it to their personal situation. But some can't understand the theory on the level that matters (emotional) unless they go through the action motions (which in a romance requires a partner to dance that dance WITH). She's just studying. Leave her to it. In the end, that man will be GOOD for her. See what I'm saying?

You cannot stop your kids from trying risky or seemingly self-harmful experiences if they happened to have been born with a practical rather than theoretical bent. Nobody, but NOBODY can live a life via nothing but a manual written by any human being not they their very selves. Your lessons are your lessons. To become hers, she has to REPEAT them. Capiche?

This is why you seemingly-strangely get an hostile response when you BASICALLY tell her, stop studying. Now does that reaction make more sense? When she's whinging at you, she's not asking for help, she's just a pressure cooker that needs to let out steam so THAT it can continue cooking up the recipe within to plate-readiness.

If she places that much importance on her eventual lifelong romance (like mother, like daughter ;-)) to the point where becoming an experts even costs her MONEY, then, that's a cause for joy, not ire, because the romantic relationship is the BEDROCK to a happy life. Not your job. Not your social circle. Not your bank balance. Your CAVE AND EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IN IT. (Innit.)

People don't "want" to leave. Same as people don't have to TRY to phone you. They are GOING to leave and they are GOING to ring you, definitely next week albeit can't say exactly which day for certain. There's the difference that makes all the difference. She "wanted" to leave him. Translation: "PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! (that's better)." She uses you as her venting hole. You're meant to just sit there going, 'Tsk, oh, dear....Tsk, what a git....Tsk, poor you'. If that's not you then, fine, she has something ELSE to learn, doesn't she? Namely: my mum is solutions-orientated, she is not a There-There merchant.

It's all good. We live and learn. Not read and learn. LIVE and learn.

He won't last. Mere study aids never do. Just grit your teeth and wait for the inevitable. Once she's finished doing the practical coursework, she'll put him back on the shelf, take the exam and live happily and very loved-up ever after. She just doesn't know it herself, that's all, hence why she tries to appeal to something she thinks is meaningful to YOU - financial stability/security.

Nope, YOU have to contact her. The reason is very simple: YOU'RE THE ADULT. So you can't be acting like you're the kid and she mum, can you. Tell her, 'Listen, I've decided it's your life. I have every faith that you do underneath it all know what you're doing and will come out of this wash clean and sparkly, one way or another, so let's NOT fall out over stupid men, let's not even TALK about the uggers, let's just go shopping and sod the lot of them - whaddaya say?'.

As for Mr Controller, he's just jealous and possessive but lacks any cleverer charm or sophistication in going about persuading her to commit herself psychologically closer to him to the full 99% because he can tell she's still overly 'married' to you. Common stuff. But put it this way: she's your daughter. Study exercise or no study exercise, no WAY would she stay with any guy if he were an actual nightmare-on-legs more than 30/40% of the time, would she. But if she WOULD, if he's NOT just a study aid, then, she has to learn the hard way. It's the fastest there is, anyway, in terms of never, ever again repeating the same one.

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Any update or are you back to happily flying solo in terms of managing things?

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Feeling alot more positive about everything this past couple of weeks; don't know if it's a change in the weather, hormonal or just

Paul is now settling into his new place and is also less stressed; I know I soak up other folks' stress like a sponge and I'm thinking I've been doing alot of that just recently without really being aware of it or why I felt so crappy!

The issue which caused me to post on here in the first place doesn't seem like a big deal at the moment (not saying it won't again!)and as for the second issue, I'm not stressing over that either; what will be will be; I have two other kids who are just great so focusing on being thankful for that. Also decided I need to throw myself back into doing more stuff with Paul's kids, as I've backed off alot in recent months. This was mainly because when they first moved away with their mum, he was acting very strange around them, over protective, possessive etc and I decided they needed to spend their times together without me and my lot getting in the way. That's six months ago now and I'm thinking it's time to get more involved (what do you reckon as a matter of interest?) It was so bad a few months ago, he was totally blanking me and my family when his kids where around, even on days out, not good :(

Right, time to go and kick some ass!!

Am I asking for too much?

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It's probably a combination of all those elements; usually is, considering we're holistic as well as empathetic, pack animals.

You need to tell Paul not to walk on eggshells with his kids. I know it's a normal insecurity reaction of the estranged father but they need to know he loves them even when he wants to wring their necks, i.e. warts 'n all, so that they learn that love never switches off, it just steps one place behind the queue after anger or whatever negative emotion, ready to take prime place again after the spat's been resolved. It's not a proper, as in full-blown, relationship otherwise.

Also, to make him see that a dad (or a mum) can't BE replaced. Doesn't matter how nice or how laissez-faire any new bloke of the ex's is - from a kid's POV, you know ONE dad and mum and that's that for life. Anyone else is just, well, what they are - older friend, stepdad, whatever.. The umbilicus is invisible as well as attached to the most primitive, ever-running, human programme. It can't be touched, let alone cut or ignored for long. They only time it can be stretched father than it's meant to, as in, staying away from you (and here's where your daughter's reaction came in, which is only very temporary anyway) is if that parent seems (emphasis in your case of seems) to be anywhere between trying to impede a survival & prosperance side-programme (life-experiment/exercise) or, worst case scenario, threatens your very chances at survival (the badly abusive and/or neglectful parent) where it becomes, in said survivalist programme, a case of Her/Him Or Me. Other than the latter extreme, a kid is a magnet and you the great big slab of metal. "Rrresistance eess futile!"

What 'I reckon' as far as you're concerned is: try never (as per the above) to 'be mum' to his kids. It makes kids feel guilty, like they're cheating on their own mother, which comes out in resentment (towards you) for "MAKING" them feel that way. You are an adult of the house, though. So for that reason alone they have to do as they're told and respect the house and general operational/etiquette rules. And it's very good for them and their future mental flexibility if they come to realise that rules differ, even chasmically, from one abode to the next, meaning just because "mum lets me, nyeah-nyeah", that doesn't mean you have to. More sweets, later bedtimes...doesn't matter WHAT they're allowed to get away with at either house, those things aren't nearly powerful enough to affect the magnetism.

Really big sister is always a good role tack to take. But it's also advisable to let the kid come to you in his or her OWN time when it comes to getting close, meanwhile just putting out signals of receptivity. Smile at them a lot but frown and tick them off when you need to. Berbom. Normal. Makes them FEEL normal..which is EXACTLY what they need during a time of such uprootal. Lots of really firm routines and boundaries, but perks and rewards, tangible and/or emotional, for adhering to the (equal carrot to stick, in other words). They need to realise their anchor hasn't shrunk, with the other half having gone for good, it's just turned into TWO anchors. You manage that, you and he, and they'll feel they're BETTER off for having, now, two of everything including two sets of cushy stuff (double the Xmas pressies, etc.). Compensation, innit. Nobody minds ANYTHING if they're well compensated.

If Paul shows his fears, particularly in the form of possessiveness, the little darlings - who, not being bogged down with adult complications, see things far more straight - will think they have leverage for emotionally blackmailing him so as to get perks without the corresponding work....and will end up spoiled little despots who think THEY rule the roost(s) and all it takes is flicking dad's insecurity and paranoia nerves. "Instant Vending Machine, anyone?".

No, it's not good that he was showing them blanking. But what matters is they see that's been speedily tackled and resolved and that the MINUTE they try it, say, on each other, either of you (preferably him first, you standing there going, 'I agree!') say, 'We do not send to Coventry in this house..and even if ever WE give in and do that sort of silly thing, we then spank our OWN bums, because it's what only toddlers do'. Always try to use 'we' because kids are (again, the survival programme) very concerned about never being excluded from the very pack they depend on. 'This house' then stands for THIS PACK.

I think that about covers it?

Am I asking for too much?

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Thought it was time I popped back on to update as not been on for quite some time. On the relationship front, all is running smoothly...Paul is getting his new house decorated and I've been helping him, although not as much yet as I planned to as have had a few health issues to deal with :(
Am normally a very healthy girl, rarely get ill at all but last month I had some heavy bleeding (of the lady variety) to deal with, which lead to me becoming severely anaemic! Have been taking high strength prescription iron tablets and feel alot better now but am due to go into hospital for the day next week to undergo some tests, including a biopsy to find out what's going on. My doctor referred me as an emergency two week urgent appointment and that has put the fear of God in me!!
Paul is being very supportive and is taking me to the hospital, it just seems an endless wait until next Thursday!

Hope everything is well in your world Soulmate (and anyone else who reads this!)

Am I asking for too much?

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Hi Katie!

I'm really sorry about your health problem but do try not to panic because you could simply have fibroids. These are usually benign but the medical profession know to act fast on the OFFCHANCE, not likelihood, of their being malignant. They're particularly paranoid when it comes to eliminating them or their malignancy from the enquiry in the first instance. Fibroids are one of the "lady problems du jour" in other words, with 40% of women in the agegroup 30-50 suffering them.

Glad to hear Paul is being your rock, that's excellent news. :-)

Keep keeping us posted.

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