Break up - have I done the right thing?
To give context, I am a single mother to 1 child. Have been living separately from my child's father for years, but things are still complicated between us. The relationship is never going to work between us. He lives in another country and does not contribute to my daily life financially or otherwise except by video call. I don't know how receptive he'd be to maintaining contact with our son if I "ended" things officially, hence why I have let things continue as they have been for so long. That's a long way of explaining that I'm not technically "single and available" but also not part of a committed relationship.
I'd started been seeing someone (completely in secret) for 3/4 months. He's much older than me - twice my age. Lovely lovely guy. I honestly didn't know how lonely I was until I met him and felt a connection. He is supportive, appreciative, reasonable, financially stable, loves his own child and provides well. All the things that my child's dad is not.
Things were escalating fast.
He could see and wants a future with me and of course my son. For real and officially, marriage etc. This freaked me out and I dumped him last night. Here are some reasons:
1. Though we have loads in common we do have some pretty major differences of opinion. on how to deal with certain things and politically, that i just cant see it having worked as a marriage.
2. He is twice my age, would be unrealistic not to consider this. don't know how my family/friends would have felt about that either and I do not need any rifts with them.
3.neither of us is actually available (as explained) so very messy. I obviously have baggage but he brings an equal quantity of that.
4.the sex wasn't mind blowing or even satisfying. Maybe that could have improved though? He was receptive and communicative, but i cant imagine committing to someone i don't feel sexually compatible with. Take away the sex at this early stage, what are you left with? A platonic relationship.
I was up front from the start that I didnt want something long term, but he couldnt stick to that plan. Have i made an awful mistake? I feel absolutely awful and can't stop crying. What if I never meet anyone else as loving and reasonable as this guy again? I know it's not all about passion and having complete alignment, maybe i'm being unrealistic to expect all of these things from a relationship?
It doesn't help that when I ended it he was extremely decent. For it to end with no argument/fall out is just so confusing. All of the loving feelings on both sides are still there, and i still want to see him and desperately miss him. I just dont think thats fair to continue when i dont see us ending up together. It would make it so much harder to break up at some subsequent point, especially if he had taken steps to make himself available for a full blown official relationship.
Have I thrown away something I will never find again?
I think #1 is definitely enough of a reason on it's own. Your other reasons could be overcome. I am currently in a marriage where we both overlooked our differences in the beginning and regret it now, but have children. Politics, religion, child rearing, ethics. It helps for all of those to be in sync. Short term, it's no big deal, but long term, it can make for some major discord, but that's just my experience.
I hate that feeling of breaking up. So sorry.
You have your reasons for not wanting to continue with the relationship but you need to ask yourself if you really have the need to continue it, because if you did have the need, then all the reasons that you listed wouldn't exist. You also need to understand that none of us can successfully go into another relationship before we are well and truly over our previous one. While we work through the hurt, misery and the loneliness of a broken relationship over a period of time, we need to keep other people's hearts (and our own) safe and we need to be tough enough on ourselves to achieve this.
You need to be happy and secure for your child to be as well. You need love and respect as well as trust and predictability, but first you need to get over your previous relationship and actually be available to someone else who shares your values and ideals.
does your kind man know everything you feel and why you broke up? what you are saying sounds very complicated for a lot of different reasons so I'm sure its not going to be easy to sort out, but i hope you get some useful advice from people online and can get some practical help from outside professionals. your problem is complicated but not impossible. there are a lot of single parents that will be able to identify with your problems whether it is a single dad or single mum.
maybe if the good man doesn't know where you are coming from it might be a good idea to have an honest and lengthy chat with him about everything. get it all off your chest, i think you will feel better than keeping it inside (if you haven't spoken to him about this yet) it might help with closure or at least let him understand a bigger picture.
I can imagine he must feel pretty sad to to lose you, but maybe instead of looking for a lover, why not have him around as a friend? I think just cutting someone from your life is going to hurt both of you, especially if he was a such a good and decent person; its sounds like you could do with someone loving around just to support you. is there any harm having another friend in your life for the moment.
is that an option for you? having his friendship? if you are worried about falling again too quickly for him or him for you, then maybe have a friendship that isn't so full on but is still strong and platonic enough to do things together every now and then.
sexual attraction, it can grow, but also if you dont feel sexual attraction it is not fair as you say or right to force it or lead someone on who you know really likes you.
have you spoken to the childs father about what might happen regarding your child if you end things officially? I think it might be a good idea to get to talk to him and find out what he is prepared to do (or not) regarding your child and his/her future.
are you and the childs father married? (it will make a difference to the answers you are looking for in the long run) as it it seems as though you are not getting any support from the childs father and are pretty much alone anyway so would it make that much of a difference to officially ended it with him if he isn't bringing any love, financial assistance or support to you? I appreciate there may be other financial struggles so of course its a big deal if you have schooling and a home to run if financial responsibilities change or become a strain; but maybe you could get some proper advice from your local authorities, professional advisors about being a single mother if you don't already know what help is out there.
I agree with others about we cant know your situation and that you have to do the best for your child and of course your security for you both.
I wouldn't let the age thing worry you too much if it is only family and friends you are concerned about more in this than the immediate future. yes, you are right to question age because it will influence some things as you age in terms of health if you get with the kind one in the future , but not everyone older is a steryotypical older person.
there are many age gap relationships that can and do work; its about the peoples personalities, compromise, maturity and love, amongst other things. but the biggest thing that will break any relationship is not sharing your feelings openly!!!! politics is not easy to answer, it depends whether you mean extremes or not? that might be difficult.but love isnt that straight forward as you already know when you say the kind one didn't play by the rules when you broke up from him without the drama you are used to and you still have some emotional feelings for him.
you seem (and I don't mean this to be rude so please don't take it that way) you seem to be finding it difficult to talk to people and I wonder whether you are putting your fears into situations before you have spoken of those fears to the people concerned and are looking to the worst outcomes because you obviously have been in a relationship that wasn't too good for you.
I think first you need to talk to both men. what does your childs father see happening as your child ages or reaches teenage years, do they want any contact, can they let you go etc.
does your kind man understand all that has gone on and could he accept a friendship with you, not full on, but still seeing you occasionally as a mate.
did you tell your new man you thought things were going too fast or did you panic and dump him?
hopefully once you start to get some idea of what these men want, and will or wont do then you can start to get a better idea of what you can do further to help yourself and to a healthier point.
ps, am I right to think that your points 1,2,3,4 you are talking about your lovely man?
bottom line is talk to both of these men. I think it could really help you; and then if you feel you need it, you could look for professional advice to deal with things on a deeper level or legal later in the future if you need it.
your making a start so that's a good thing.
Thanks very much for all of your responses.
Firstly, I'm not married to my child's father thankfully. Things ending with him officially wouldn't change my daily life, financially or otherwise, I am worried about the backlash. Impact of my child's relationship with him and his side. There is a language barier so without his co-operation contact could be difficult. Not impossible, but not easy. I also don't know how they would react to it all.
I realise that those are not reasons to continue a hopeless relationship with a useless loser, but I am trying to explain why I haven't ended it already.
Also, until meeting the lovely guy I was still embroiled in this fantasy that things were going to work out with my child's father. It's really only been my relationship with the new guy that's illuminated how lonely I am and mistreated I've been.
I explained to the kind man my situation and that I wasn't strictly available, he is not either (btw), he is also in a loveless and stagnant position with the parent of his child. I explained right from the start that I wasnt looking for a commitment or serious anything, but he "fell for me". This is mutual to a certain extent, but obviously I feel that there can't really be a future for the reasons listed. But that doesn't mean I don't miss him terribly or want to see him.
The way and the frequency he was talking about "our" future freaked me out. I just cant deal with that right now and it gives me a feeling of bein trapped. If things between us could have been more casual, and I didn't feel as if so much was riding on it, I wouldn't have ended it.
I don't think it is possible for lovely guy to keep things distant or temporary though, because he feels too strongly now. I can't stand the thought of being trapped and unable to break up down the line because it would utterly destroy him. Which is why althought I was enjoying things and care for him very much, i felt i needed to nip things in the bud.
As for the age gap, it isnt only the health considerations. I desperately want more kids, but not for at least 5 yrs+ Until I am established career wise. His age has to be a consideration in that..
I would LOVE to have him as a friend, I just dont know how its possible to navigate that because we are in love. Is it cruel and confusing to expect him to be okay with that? He texted me today saying he missed me, I replied the same. Because it's the truth, i miss him terribly and have been tearful all day, but Maybe it's giving him false hope to even respond to these messages? This is so hard.
ah, good luck with it all. I think as long as you are honest with the lovely guy then it is all you can be. if he's not free either then maybe there is a kind of stalemate here. well for a while anyway.until he is free and you are too.
I understand your anticipation and intimidation at a backlash if you separate, but you are practically separated anyway, do you live near the relatives of your not so nice guy? if not then maybe its their problem if you are not even married to the man.
if you are worried in a bad way, get legal/police advice or advice from the c.a.b. if you feel there may be unhappy people giving you a hard time over your decisions, no one should be intimidated because of other peoples inability to deal with relationship failings or break ups!!!! you have rights too, so find out what they are if you are feeling threatened by other people or by those wishing to stir up trouble in the background.
don't feel bad for crying, in a funny way it is probably doing you good to release some of the pent up emotions the last years with the not so nice guy and pressures of your situation have brought.
you know your feelings and these people so maybe for now, you need time to reflect alone. I think outside advice from professionals might help you talk and get other perspectives.
maybe work on getting stronger again, think about things that will empower your mind, body, and spirit...get rest and maybe think about taking a small break away with people you are safe with, when maybe when you feel stronger tackle the not so good guy and his relations (get advice in between good stuff for yourself about breaking away from the no good guy). how do you feel about phoning Samaritans or some other confidential advice line? it might give you another chance to talk and hear different views if you don't have time for councelling or are nervous about it in any way.
I wouldn't ditch the good guy just yet but keep talking to him, and stress that you are fragile and need time out and maybe in a month or two or in the new year (as you might be in danger of having and maybe enjoying a serious fling with Christmas coming up!!!!
(and you might feel vunerable after it or feel that he has fallen again for you ) but maybe if you see if he could arrange a get together with you once every few months when the emotions are a bit less raw/hot and see if he does seem to be able to handle seeing you or if you are just too much for his heart.
I guess if you meet up even occasionally and he still is mad for you and you cant be with each other it is better to let him know that things are still going too fast for you, and it might be better to say goodbye.
I don't think whilst you are both tied to others it will be easy.
at least you don't have the addition of a messy divorce on top of everything else. do you know if your nice guy would ever leave his stagnant relationship? if not, then maybe there are other reasons to be cautious, I'm not sure getting into an affair after you have sorted your problem out will help as you will only be worried about the affairs relatives and wife etc.
so if the nice guy isn't going to leave his situation then perhaps see this as an opportunity once you are strong to get yourself back out there and find a man without the baggage. once you know where you stand with the not so nice guy i think it will help you move forward, there seems to be a lot of fear surrounding him and his relatives which is not healthy for you and therefore not your child.
I'm not sure I am helping you really, but I wanted to reply to your post as I feel for your situation. good luck with it. maybe your nice guy needs to do a bit of work too if he really wants to show you that it could work (if you did decide later you actually do want him and could see a way to be really with him without all the points of 1-4 you mentioned bothering you so much).
I think your emotions are all over the place at the moment which is not suprising at all, so maybe if you can step back from it all, get yourself strong and stable again, then get proper professional views about leaving your old lover it may help.
if your child is old enough to have an opinion on any of this, its not something we need to know of course or but its something to think about if they are old enough sometimes a childs voice can make you realise so many things that adults overthinking can miss.
i think the person you need to think of first is YOU....set yourself some goals as to when you want to have talked to not so nice guy by and when you are strong i think you will find your voice and it can help you get back to where things were before you got with the first guy. it will take some time, but as i said before, you are making a start. plan your small steps and learn to dance to the beat of your drum again. I'm gonna leave this topic for others to give their help if they wish to. i don't think i can think of anything else.id love to read how you are in the new year and hopefully you will be in a calmer better place then you are in at the moment.