Young Widow Forum

Socializing => Relationships/Remarriage => Topic started by: daysofelijah on December 21, 2016, 07:37:57 AM

Title: Well, this sucks.
Post by: daysofelijah on December 21, 2016, 07:37:57 AM
Sorry for the vent, but just wanting to put my thoughts down.

BF and I have been together for going on 2 years now. He's always wanted to move slower than I liked, but I've been patient and learned to let things progress slowly. It took him a looong time to even say "I love you". But things the past few months have been really great, and we seemed to be moving forward. I thought we were moving in the direction of getting married or at least moving in together this coming summer. I in my foolishness apparently thought a ring would be forthcoming for Christmas or New Years.

This last weekend things came to some kind of strange halt and are crashing down around us now. I let my expectation of how things were progressing out Thursday and we talked more about it Saturday, and he has immediately back tracked and shut down. He denies that looking at houses together, and planning for the future with our kids. He has even been negotiating his son who lives with him about how us moving in together would work. He denies that any of that really meant anything and has all but shut me out since Saturday.

He says he's scared to death to do anything right now, and can't tell me if he will ever be ready to. I'm trying to give him space. I'm willing to call it quits and move on if that's what he wants, but he doesn't want that either. I guess he's happy with how things are, but I don't know if I can be anymore without expectations.

I'm lost on what to do. I don't want to give up on him, I love him, and I feel like we need each other. But I know I will be fine if I move on too. I'm just so confused how he seems to have completely backtracked on what I thought was happening.

There's nobody else, he really just seems to have emotionally froze and locked me out.

This relationship stuff is not a lot of fun right now. And I thought things were going so well until a few days ago :(  Now it looks like I might have to start all over again.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: serpico on December 21, 2016, 09:25:58 AM
I'm willing to call it quits and move on if that's what he wants, but he doesn't want that either. I guess he's happy with how things are, but I don't know if I can be anymore without expectations.

Sounds like he's getting cold feet for some reason.  I bolded the one section because I think it's important to how you proceed.  Do you really want to give him the power to decide when it seems like he's more of an inertia kind of guy?  I'm not sure an ultimatum is in order, but... well, maybe it is.  You've got the leverage in knowing you would be okay on your own and you know where you want this to go.  Maybe it's time that you forced the issue?
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: Trying on December 21, 2016, 10:12:09 AM
Vent away!  It really does suck if you two are not on the same page.  I think the important thing is for you to be clear on what you want, what you can and can not accept before trying to have a calm discussion with him.  He may or may not even know why he is having cold feet and talking it out may make things more clear.  I'm not a fan of ultimatums but if you decide that you don't want things to continue the way they are then I would tell him that while you respect his reluctance to take the next step, it's no longer enough for you as it is now. 

The holidays are an emotional time of year so maybe that is contributing to the unrest in the relationship. I hope you are able to work things out in a way that is good for you.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: Mizpah on December 21, 2016, 10:41:57 AM
I'm lost on what to do.

Same here, and I feel for you.  My boyfriend has told me that he doesn't want to ever get married.  And I do.  I have a hard time imagining ending a relationship I want to be in, with someone who doesn't want to end it.  But I also don't want to be with someone who doesn't WANT to marry me.  I have been stuck in my head for a few months in a stalemate over what to do, feeling paralyzed, and like it's a lose/lose option setup.  I either have to sacrifice what I want from a relationship, or my relationship and the person I want to be with.  Ugh.  It's a hard call.  And it must hurt that he's withdrawn.  I'm sorry. 
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: daysofelijah on December 21, 2016, 10:52:48 AM
Thanks Serpico and Trying. I think there is an element of seasonal depression for him here. He actually brought up the possibility of getting himself some counseling to figure out why he feels paralyzed by the thought of moving forward in his life. I also gently suggested yesterday that maybe a different antidepressant med would help. He made the step to go to the doctor and they are changing up his prescription. So I am proud of him for doing that.

I made him feel in our conversations this weekend that I was giving him an ultimatum "either get me the ring or walk away" is what he said. I didn't feel like that was what I was saying, but I see why he felt that way.

I need to at the very least see him through the next couple weeks while he works on trying to get the depression element figured out. He's helped me through a ton of emotional sh!t, so I will absolutely be there for him, if he'll let me. If I leave him now, even though he's pushing me away, I know he will just crawl further into the cave he's hiding himself in. It's hard to know how to love someone through something like this. He keeps saying he needs to figure things out alone. I know guys do that, where as women/moms we want to talk through everything and find a solution right now!
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: daysofelijah on December 21, 2016, 10:58:24 AM
Mizpah I'm sorry your going through this too! Though it is good to hear I'm not alone in this kind of situation. It's such an extremely hard position to be in. I totally get how you feel you are at a stalemate, lose/lose position.

He got his heart tore out, crushed, and stomped on by his cheating wife and now he's so damaged he doesn't know if he'll ever be able to completely trust again. And it doesn't help that two couples we know closely have marriages that are being affected by affairs right now. It's just driving him further into his cave.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: Bunny on December 21, 2016, 11:45:49 AM
This is a good thread for me to read, as I'm probably closer in feeling to your boyfriend within my own relationship. I'm totally committed to bf emotionally and physically, but uninterested in marriage. It's been 2 1/2 years and I love where we are, am perfectly content. He's made it very clear he wants to get married- he's an over 50 bachelor so I honestly didn't think this would ever be a problem I'd have to face. I'm beginning to understand why men get married when their girlfriends give them ultimatums- even though I'm not interested/ready, I'd do it to make him happy, especially since he's never been married. For now, knowing how I feel, he tells me I am the one who will have to do the proposing. He makes 'when we're married...' kinda statements- always in a light-hearted manner, but how long can a person be patient? You ladies are making me think I need to figure things out sooner rather than later...(yikes!) Thank you all for the food for thought.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: MrsDan on December 21, 2016, 01:42:54 PM
I feel for you, because I went through this, not with my boyfriend, but with Dan. He just plain didn't want to get married, and to be perfectly honest, I kind of had to push him into moving in together. And it hurt. I knew he loved me, but then if he loved me, why didn't he want to take that step. I think it came down to the fact that his parents' marriage was very rough for a time, and my parents was for the most part pretty good. His fought all the time, mine maybe a couple times a year. My boyfriend's parents are divorced, and I worry about that impacting his thoughts on marriage. And I'm not even sure where I stand on marriage. He's never been married. It's funny, we've talked vaguely about "the future", but not marriage or living together, although we have talked about the possibility of more kids, and we've worked on cultivating relationships with each other's kids. It's possible I may find myself in that situation again, and I remember how hard it was.

My first thought when reading this was that the holidays are hard when you've been through all different kinds of difficulties; they just have a way of dredging up shit. And then you mentioned seasonal affective issues. You know I think it's possible he's feeling particularly emotionally vulnerable at this moment and anything that involves making decisions that are so weighty might just be too overwhelming right now. That, plus the fact that he's going through a medication adjustment make me think that maybe this isn't the best time to be making these decisions right now. Maybe it's best to give it a few months and see where things stand. Although, at that time it may also be worth examining whether this kind of withdrawal is something he can work through or if it' something that's just going to keep recurring, and if that is something you can live with.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: tybec on December 22, 2016, 08:28:35 AM
Daysofelijah,

Big hugs! This situation would be hard anytime of the year, but Christmas.  Ugghh......   No words of wisdom, just support.  I could be in your shoes tomorrow, so I appreciate you sharing, though it is a difficult share.  Warm thoughts and prayers your way to work out the holidays as best as you can and find a working solution to this sooner than later. 
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: daysofelijah on December 22, 2016, 08:52:35 AM
Thanks everyone. He asked me to come over last night and we spent some time together. It's definitely depression because the stuff he is saying isn't even really making sense as far as why he is so sad. He thinks he's a failure, etc. Nothing even to do with "us" really.

So for now I guess I just support him and be patient. I'm willing to do that and give him some time to feel better, not indefinite, but for now I can. I guess it's just another bump in the road.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: Captains wife on December 26, 2016, 07:23:31 AM
So sorry this has evolved - and especially around the holidays...The "roller coaster" ride of relationships is never pleasant and is unsettling. And as you wrote, your relationship had evolved to a very good place so this must seem out of left field. I was in a situation that was similar in some ways but different - the man I was seeing for 18 months would do and say things and our relationship would seem great and on a great track (he even mentioned marriage at one point) then he would turn around and be very cold/distant. He had real trouble with the "L" word although I know he cared for me a lot. Over time, it became apparent that he was so damaged by past things in his life and his broken marriage that our relationship was never going to evolve into anything more than it currently was (i.e. Monogamous dating, living seperate lives). I am not sure I want to remarry but I also realized I wanted more togetherness and wanted that as a potential option. Although very difficult, I am happy I extricated myself from that relationship...although it wasn't easy to let go. One key difference was this guy wouldn't communicate with me and it is very good that you two are communicating and he is being open about his feelings/situation. Good idea to give him some support as well as space - and see how you can work on the relationship. Agreed that the holidays can bring up all sorts of emotions. Would he consider couples counselling? I honestly think it's a good idea - even for unmarried couples who hit a bump in the road. I have found in this Chapter 2 dating life that a lot of men have emotional baggage from round 1 of being married so true recoupling is tough for them - I was surprised the number of men that just want to stay in dating mode. Wishing you all the best and sending widow/Chapter 2 solidarity.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: daysofelijah on December 26, 2016, 11:40:16 AM
Thank you Maureen for sharing your experience. I'm afraid that that is where he will be, stuck and unable to move anywhere forward, content to just be in a monogamous relationship, but still keep a lot of life separate. That won't work for me much longer though, unfortunately.

I'm not sure about couples counseling? It might be worth looking in to.

Christmas turned out okay. We're limping along. He did give me a beautiful diamond heart necklace, and he was happy with the Harley stuff I gave him. I had to be a little firm with him Christmas Eve morning that he needed to stop the negative self talk, and try to put on a happy face for the day so he didn't ruin it for me/my kids. He did pretty well. Yesterday we stayed separate and spent time with our kids. One day at a time right now I guess.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: arneal on December 26, 2016, 12:32:35 PM
So sorry to hear, days. I started dating again after about 25 total years of not being out there. I knew I had no clue :) I started researching and reading about connecting with men and read that the commitment conversation is often met with the reaction you got from your guy. It's not unusual and can happen in either direction. What it often boils down to is that one person sees a future and the other person is enjoying the moment. It doesn't automatically mean that one is more or less committed than the other (although that does happen) but that they see the experience differently.

I hope you are okay and send you lots of love and light {{{hugs}}}
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: Christopher on August 15, 2017, 04:19:06 PM
Thanks everyone. He asked me to come over last night and we spent some time together. It's definitely depression because the stuff he is saying isn't even really making sense as far as why he is so sad. He thinks he's a failure, etc. Nothing even to do with "us" really.

So for now I guess I just support him and be patient. I'm willing to do that and give him some time to feel better, not indefinite, but for now I can. I guess it's just another bump in the road.


So he feels inadequate and like he doesn't measure up to his expectations of him as a husband.

I too felt this at one time.

I needed support. Emotional support and reinforcement, mental collaboration, friendship and confidence building.

He could really use a mentor; a male role model that isn't his dad that he can talk to and get solid advice from.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: jgib on August 16, 2017, 05:01:09 PM
I believe this is often where we see the difference between divorced and widowed.  Divorce is usually because if irreconcilable differences or infidelity.  That usually means hard feelings!  Widowed is often a working marriage with two people that have learned to work it out and have a deep love and commitment but death ends it.  This means the fears and feelings connected with commitment are very different.  Not saying all for each but just the averages....
I have spoken to many men that seemed to be damaged by the women they have been with.  I guess we, as a gender, can be pretty ruthless....
I prefer to be kind and compassionate as opposed to nasty, vindictive and heartless, but that is a personal choice.
I hope it is running smoother for you days, whichever route you have chosen.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: arneal on August 16, 2017, 05:57:18 PM
It is interesting that you say that, jgib. I've noticed that there have been so many good relationships here that were separated by death and that has touched me deeply! My first husband was the ruthless one and while I never wished death on him, I suspected it would be him or me one day because of the abuse. A heart attack took him when I was 30 and my son was still 3. My second husband was very loving, but as I was sharing with one of my dear friends yesterday (who is 25 years or so into a relationship though never married but who was widowed the first time and who over the past couple of years cared for both of her parents who have since passed on), when a beloved dies after a long illness, we often don't mourn the same way. She and I went through similarly: I have not had many 'moments' since my second LH died because I mourned for many years about his health and mourned hard for what was our final year together. My NG has had two very difficult deep relationships -- one with his children's mother and the other with his ex-wife. Yes, divorce does bring out such pain that is so different in many ways and similar in others ...
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: fairlanegirl on August 16, 2017, 06:02:50 PM

I have spoken to many men that seemed to be damaged by the women they have been with.  I guess we, as a gender, can be pretty ruthless....
I prefer to be kind and compassionate as opposed to nasty, vindictive and heartless, but that is a personal choice.

Bit off topic but women are no more 'ruthless' as a gender - some humans are, some aren't. One is after all, only getting one side of the story from these fellows... All these nasty, 'crazy' exes we seem to hear about, must have had something pretty darned attractive about them initially, or for many years even, if the guy had several children with them! People change of course, but women are no more or less likely to than men.

And Bunny, I might be similar to you. New bloke now for 5 years, committed in every way but not in a hurry to cohabit or marry. Kids happy the way things are, logistics, and just emotionally don't feel I need it/am ready for it. But like your fellow (mine is 54) he has never been married, so we have discussed it and he would like to one day, and I'd be happy to for him, just don't feel the urgent need. Funny how we change over the years.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: calimom on August 17, 2017, 12:16:59 AM

I have spoken to many men that seemed to be damaged by the women they have been with.  I guess we, as a gender, can be pretty ruthless....
I prefer to be kind and compassionate as opposed to nasty, vindictive and heartless, but that is a personal choice.

Bit off topic but women are no more 'ruthless' as a gender - some humans are, some aren't. One is after all, only getting one side of the story from these fellows... All these nasty, 'crazy' exes we seem to hear about, must have had something pretty darned attractive about them initially, or for many years even, if the guy had several children with them! People change of course, but women are no more or less likely to than men.

And Bunny, I might be similar to you. New bloke now for 5 years, committed in every way but not in a hurry to cohabit or marry. Kids happy the way things are, logistics, and just emotionally don't feel I need it/am ready for it. But like your fellow (mine is 54) he has never been married, so we have discussed it and he would like to one day, and I'd be happy to for him, just don't feel the urgent need. Funny how we change over the years.

I think it has less to do with gender and more to do with whichever wronged party you're talking to at the time. Not saying that anyone would outright say an untruth, but can a lot easier to portray oneself as a victim than as  quite possibly an equal component in the breakdown of their previous marriage. More fun to do a "why me" than take ownership.

And I think I'm in the same camp as Bunny and fairlanegirl. Longtime gentleman friend, no immediate or longterm plans to marry, or even cohabit at this point. It could change someday‚Ķ.maybe  :P
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: trying2breathe on August 18, 2017, 09:06:22 AM
Agree that ruthlessness is less about gender, believe that it's more about how a person, man or woman, handles adversity.  My NG has been divorced x2 - often I hear from him how nice I am, and it makes me think of what he was dealing with in his marriages and subsequent divorces.  He may be forgetting how nice his spouses were at the start of their relationships.  With NG, I deal with minor trust issues and a bit of defensiveness about what I consider trivial things.  Nothing so far to break up the relationship, but I'm becoming aware of how different it is to date somebody with a significant divorce history.
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: momof2obs on August 18, 2017, 05:10:52 PM
I believe this is often where we see the difference between divorced and widowed.  Divorce is usually because if irreconcilable differences or infidelity.  That usually means hard feelings!  Widowed is often a working marriage with two people that have learned to work it out and have a deep love and commitment but death ends it.  This means the fears and feelings connected with commitment are very different.  Not saying all for each but just the averages....
I have spoken to many men that seemed to be damaged by the women they have been with.  I guess we, as a gender, can be pretty ruthless....

Exactly!  I see this with a guy the I have been seeing on and off.  One our first date he told me about how he didn't believe in successful marriages (even though he was the only to get divorced in his immediate family).  I told him that I had a great marriage and that's how the subject of my widowhood came up.  As we have come to know each other I can understand where he is coming from as his ex is trying to sabotage his relationship with his daughter.  There is a lot of bitterness.  It has been tough trying to show him that I am not out to get him but, then again, I am coming from a place of no hard feelings (except maybe against the cancer that took my LH)
Title: Re: Well, this sucks.
Post by: marriedwithkids77 on September 08, 2017, 03:19:32 PM
I'm willing to call it quits and move on if that's what he wants, but he doesn't want that either. I guess he's happy with how things are, but I don't know if I can be anymore without expectations.

Sounds like he's getting cold feet for some reason.  I bolded the one section because I think it's important to how you proceed.  Do you really want to give him the power to decide when it seems like he's more of an inertia kind of guy?  I'm not sure an ultimatum is in order, but... well, maybe it is.  You've got the leverage in knowing you would be okay on your own and you know where you want this to go.  Maybe it's time that you forced the issue?

So true