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arneal

Starting to Tread the Deeper Waters ... between budding and fully committed ...

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I too wish I'd had this conversation sooner. I know he's thinking about marriage. I know he wants o keep moving forward. I also sense that he wants to ask. But I also don't like the loss of agency on my part that comes with that. I say I want more, and he says he does too, but I'm about ready to say, we are not on the same page with this because if we were we'd already be married. 

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Well-said, tybec. Your comment about Valentine's day cards made me smile as I had the one I wanted for BF ready ahead of time. My presentation of it (and the associated set of candy) was so un-romantic (the card didn't have an envelope -- it wasn't a traditional store-bought card; I put the candy on his armchair table with the card on top before he got up that morning LOL). but he liked it and it's still sitting up, next to his work table.

 

On the 'what do I want' question. I haven't answered that re: the daily business of living because I guess I've always been independent. Life does what it does ... I work or I don't, I take care of the house or I don't. I get up early or I don't, I stay up late or I don't. I decide to do something new or I don't (I signed up for a new gym yesterday and am hoping to take a pottery class this spring; I started serving in new areas at church). The first marriage was so restrictive and LH knew that; we talked a lot while dating because he pursued me but I was so angry. When we got together, I made sure he understood it had nothing to do with him personally but I was finally in a place to look for my own freedom. He was very clear that he wanted nothing less for me, that he wanted me to learn how to have that. He encouraged my independence and I think it made him sad in our later years that I was not doing as much creative stuff as I had been. Nonetheless, he encouraged me to go back to get my doctorate and post-doc, to move our family cross-country and follow my heart. With our almost 16 years together, I gained an appreciation for being a whole person. As far as BF, and to quote the movie 'Oblivion', I believe we make an effective team :) Honestly, part of what I want is someone willing to do for me what I did for my LH: in the event I got sick, they wouldn't run. They would take care of my dogs. They would enjoy the house -- whatever that looked like (keep it, remodel it, sell it ... just don't let it get taken by the state). They would make sure my wishes were kept. I also want to pay it forward, to give someone else what LH gave me as far as that personal peace. Yeah, sort of esoteric, but that's just how it is ...

 

Mrs. Dan, I don't know about the 'we would already be married' ... people are often more skittish than animals LOL. I was reading something the other day. The writer suggested that some men won't speak on such matters first, even if they have the same feelings, because they are afraid of being emotionally hurt by their partner. If we say where we are, it helps them. I have really been thinking about that and am looking to 'present my case' for BF and I moving forward. 

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2 minutes ago, arneal said:

If we say where we are, it helps them. I have really been thinking about that and am looking to 'present my case' for BF and I moving forward.

 

Both men and women are not mind readers. That is why we have language. Tell them what you want. Let them tell you what they want. Move forward. 😝

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Works well, this language that you speak of? 🤣 I've just been better at writing things out, working it out in my head. Only child who spent lots of time alone here ... just starting a regular conversation means I've already spent at least a half hour thinking about doing it first 😅

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Hey all. So quiet on the board. I am on here.  I hope more folks will share.  

 

Doing well with NG. We have worked through some things.  Soul searching, communicating.  We are talking by the end of the year being together in the same home.  9 months.  Good time to work on all.

 

Still no court decision regarding his kids. 5 weeks. He has had another school yr. go by without an increase in time with his children. Really quite sad and inexcusable considering he did have them 50/50 in another state.  Since in court us marrying was brought up, there is no secrecy.  I like it is out in the open that we are serious. 

 

He had a lady at his church I now have met ask when he was going to marry me.  I had to laugh. He said he told her his kids' custody was all he was waiting on.  But that he was ready to move forward, regardless of the judge's decision. He is working through about his current living situation. He seems to like being part of family with me and my son. He does not need the "man cave home" anymore, he states. He is very logical about some things, but told me I am growing on him to increase his EQ.  Funny he even came up with that. 

It is all messy.  Life is messy. I can never go back to my simple nuclear family of three, and I have decided the risk is worth it, to have my son in a larger family than us 2.   It has evolved into that over the years, as I am the youngest on both sides of the family and my nieces and nephews are growing their own families, now. We lost a hub years ago, and I want to have more than just us 2 for many reasons.  NG does, also. He, too, is looking at he will still be alone most of the time with sharing his children. And he wants more, also.  Same page, finally.

 

Second Mom's group this week. And I might volunteer to go on the missions trip this summer with my kid's senior high group at church.  😃

 

Have a great week.

 

Edited by tybec
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Glad you and NG are doing well. Life is going well for me and mine also.

 

I have been blessed with a woman who understands that I can be overjoyed that I have found her and still miss my late wife.

 

She and I are working out the details of our wedding and honeymoon. Going to drive around Ireland for two weeks.

 

We found a house recently, and had to outbid 17 other offers. But I will be breaking my lease and moving there in two weeks with my youngest son who dropped out of college because of failing grades. I am thinking it is depression, and have seen improvement in his emotional state since he moved back home and started taking medication for hyperthyroid, so I am tentatively hopeful he will find his path again.

 

My sons both really like my fiance which is a blessing. Her extended family likes me and my extended family including my in-laws all like her. She came out of a long term abusive marriage, and her 2 of her 3 adult children are not happy she is in a new relationship. It is very painful for her. We are hoping with time they will come around.

 

Excited about the house, excited about the coming marriage, excited about seeing Ireland, excited about several concerts we have lined up this summer. Worried about my youngest and wishing his mother were here, it always seems like she would know what to do better than I do. Hoping my fiance's children will see that joy that she and I bring into each other's lives and take the time to get to know me.

 

Not much choice these days but to chose to live the best damn life I can. So that is what I am going to do. 😀

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Happy for both of you, tybec and LF! 

 

Oh, the issues with coming out an abusive situation ... that was my first marriage. My poor second husband. He was persistent, which is how we ended up going on a first date in the first place LOL. He was very patient with me and my son, who didn't ever really know his dad; the special needs of my son and the abuse by the husband kept them distant (I was mama bear through it all and did what I could to take the hits so my son wouldn't), but that angry streak is certainly in my son. He acted out in so many ways over the years, but my LH handled it so much better than I. I never discounted my son's dad to him but since he never knew him, he was 'first dad' and my LH was 'second dad'. I got a letter from my son last week (it's getting close to his 24th birthday, so he wants to make sure I notice ... he has no qualms about being obvious if there is a chance he can get something from someone; he wants us all to never forget his birthday or Christmas but he never remembers my birthday or my mom's for example). He likes -- or at least puts on appearances of doing so -- BF. He wrote about him in the letter, make sure you tell him I asked for him and am praying for him' etc. I let BF read it; he chuckled because my son referred to him as Mr. [his first name]. I wasn't one of those parents who thought it okay for a child to call an adult by their first name without some sort of prefix and he hasn't forgotten it :)

 

My mom is really wanting me to come back east and visit sometime this year. I came up with a plan on how I might slip back for a weekend in a couple months; BF's sister lives not far so I suggested he check to see if she would be available for a quick visit. He liked the idea, even though she isn't very communicative (none of his family are ... I mean, my family is small so I don't think about it, but he has siblings and others who just don't engage). Like you said, tybec, it's all messy. I don't get into it other than to express my lack of understanding because I don't have a larger family, I have no siblings, and what family I do have I've never been close to anyway so I don't feel it like he does. I am hoping we can pull it off as I'd like him to meet my mom. As time goes by, you just never know. Tomorrows are never promised ...

 

It's interesting, now that we've been under the same roof for just over a year. Even though I wander off to other parts of the house to do my thing with work and so on and we aren't under each other's feet all day, he seems to get a bit sad when I take off. For two weekends in a row there have been events at church; last week, one of the ministries I volunteer with celebrated people who completed a six-week employment training; they wanted all the volunteers to stay for three services to congratulate those who could come. I did, so was gone for most of the day. Yesterday, we had a concert in the evening -- I went to late service and stayed to volunteer. When I said I wasn't sure what time I'd be home, he looked all sad. I think I shared that he felt hurt by church folks and his ex was supposedly an evangelist but never acted like she held a solid faith system when they were home, so he's tainted. He has a faith practice but doesn't attend; I am prayerful that he will come to Resurrection Sunday service with me this year. We'll see ...

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33 minutes ago, arneal said:

Oh, the issues with coming out an abusive situation ... that was my first marriage. My poor second husband. He was persistent, which is how we ended up going on a first date in the first place LOL.

 

She decided to drop out of the online dating site 3 days after she joined. I convinced her to let me keep emailing her which we did for several weeks. Long daily emails. I am thankful for C.S. Lewis because my quoting him in one of those emails made her decide she wanted to meet in person. That first meeting was very awkward for both of us. She couldn't eat and had a hard time looking me in the eye. While I ate, she had a tea she did not touch. She started opening up about her past--talking about how her husband treated her and the kids. He was a covert narcissist. She didn't used that term then, but I have a brother who is estranged from the family and I recognized the things she was describing and asked if her ex was a narcissist.  We went for a walk side by side, I really wanted to hold her hand but could tell that she was not ready. Bought us some chocolate, which she did not eat. Then took her home hoping she would go out with me again as I could see the woman she was under all the hurt.

 

She almost didn't agree on a second date but I am charming, attractive and very very humble.🤣 And a few days later we went for a walk along Lake Michigan, then dinner and a second walk along the pier. It grew from there. It was not always easy early on. But we are both very good an understanding each other and letting each other grieve. Her for the marriage she thought she had that never really was, and me for the marriage and woman I lost to death.

 

I watched her heal and grow back into a strong vibrant woman. She was ground down by the man who was supposed to love and cherish her and I am angry at him for several reasons. Because her hurt her so deeply. Because he hurt her children. And because he had a living wife and casually sacrificed their marriage on the altar of his ego.

 

But yes,persistencee was needed in those early months, so that she could see that I was genuinely who I appeared to be.

Edited by Leadfeather
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Thank you for sharing, LF. If there was a way to have read this post, back when I was in the throes of the situation, it might have opened my eyes to some things. So much of this resonates now, well after the fact. I often have said I buried the person I was, to keep her safe, during those times. It took a caring and persistent person who could see I was more than the shell I had built for her to come out again.

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Leadfeather, my new wife was married to a narcissist.  I met her after she had done a whole lot of work, and so I met a self-confident, happy women and had no idea for the first while.  She opened up to me about it, and I am grateful she found her way out of that marriage and rebuilt herself.  There are still things that throw her back into some of those emotions.  Her sister-in-law is in the early stages of divorcing and disconnecting from a narcissist, and it is difficult to watch him try to keep controlling her, and try to keep her isolated and dependent.  I wish that this phenomenon was better-known in our culture; we are learning some things now.

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On 3/13/2019 at 11:15 AM, Leadfeather said:

 

Both men and women are not mind readers. That is why we have language. Tell them what you want. Let them tell you what they want. Move forward. 😝

Oh I've told him some time ago. I just wished I'd been more direct sooner. He knows. He just doesn't want to marry me. 

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Slow here, it's good to read the latest activity.  

 

MrsDan   Sorry that you had this response.  Knowing how he feels, you have a choice to either move forward in the relationship knowing that you won't be married to him, or break things off and find somebody else.  It's a harsh reality, but I'd prefer to know early on where I stand with somebody.   I told NG awhile ago that I'd most likely not marry again - and we still are together as he seems to be okay with this.  Whether it will become an issue between us later on - I don't know.  

 

This past weekend NG and I looked at houses for sale, anticipating that we might at some point (?) move in together.  He's pushing it, and I'm not - there are still kinks to work out and kids to get on their independent way before I want to live with him.  He says that the idea of moving in together makes him happy, and preparing for this down the road is enough right now.  I'm pretty sure that I don't want to marry him, and am trying to reconcile this with the idea of living together.  I have nothing morally against cohabitating, just a nagging thought that maybe I would marry again should the circumstances be right, and whether or not he's the one that I want to be with long term. It's the messiness of being together that makes me doubt us - his reluctant daughter that doesn't like us together, some of his crazy and needy siblings, my Dad that doesn't approve, the in-laws that I won't introduce him to. I like simple and there's nothing simple about any of this.  It would be much easier to be by myself.  I know that I've always been one to doubt my relationships.  I had doubts about LH before marrying him, and we ultimately were happy together but it took a long time to get to the point of marriage with him.  It doesn't seem fair to keep going with NG if he wants to marry and I don't.  Sigh ..... 

 

It's good to hear of relationships going well, and helpful for me to hear that it's work to get through the messiness.  

 

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Hey there trying2 ... if you don't mind my .02? It seems like it's everyone else that's dictating what is simple and what is not about your and your NGs relationship. Would his daughter live with the two of you if you moved in together? If so, yeah, that could be awkward but if not ... same for his siblings and your parents and (former?) in-laws? I guess it's the 'been by myself' part of me that says always, 'if they aren't paying the bills, their opinion doesn't matter'. Granted, it sounds like from your side the in-laws and your dad are important in your life so it's not that easy. My son seems happy but he doesn't and won't live with me now or in future (today he turns 24, which is a whole 'nother thing). My mom likes the idea that I have someone and that I am not alone. Of my three uncles, only one knows I am with someone and he too is happy. My closest real friends are happy. None of these people live near me and don't in my mind have a say in how I create my spaces. Like you mentioned to MrsDan, what is it that will make you happy? Or at least content :)

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Thanks for the 2 cents, arneal, don't mind it at all.   Family is important and I probably give too much attention to their opinions.  None will live with us or pay the bills, appreciate that it's good to remember that it would be just us.  I'm not used to not having approval, it hurts that together we're not accepted and welcomed by some.  There's a divide right now, and it bothers me.  It's messy and uncomfortable and I want it all to go away.  In my past simpler life, I continued in a relationship because nothing was telling me to not continue.  With NG, there are reasons that tell me to quit, and I don't know the difference between what is important and what is not.    

 

What tells you to stay with somebody?  What obstacles are you willing to overcome to stay together?  Does it mean that I don't love him enough to not want to deal with conflict?  Need to soul search on what will make me happy, or at least content.  

 

Happy 24th Birthday to your son, arneal!

Edited by trying2breathe
to add birthday
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Trying, We are experiencing a similar resistance with some of my fiance's adult children. A simple rule of thumb she is applying is that if her children are not willing to allow her to dictate who they are in a relationship with, then they have no right to dictate who she is in a relationship with.

 

I have met her children a few times. I really like them. I hope someday to relationship with them, but at the moment that is not how things are playing out. I have faith that time will make it better.

 

I wish you all the best.

 

 

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Hi All!  Happy Friday!

My son is gone all weekend on a church retreat.  Ropes course, rock climbing, zip lining.  And learn more about his faith. Win/win.

NG has his kids. So, I am looking at what I want to do.  Had my Mom's group for the 2nd time. Met another mom. It is slowly coming together!

 

MrsD.  Not understanding your circumstances.  One post sounds like he wants marriage, and you are still exploring it. Then your next is he does not.  I hope you are okay. It is difficult, no matter.

 

Trying2breathe,

I don't know what is the line to decide for each person. Only you know. I know I have invested myself and see myself with NG long term, despite the children's custody situation.  I realized all new coupling will have challenges. Pick what you can accept, I guess.  I have a faith that has brought me through all trials. Not perfectly, but carried me, so I believe in that. I don't believe in coincidences.  I should have never met NG.  I was not in his parameters on the dating site. I reached out to him.  We both planned to retire to the same city some day where we both have a family hub!  He has traits of my LH I l adore and are uncannily similar.  AND then he has these amazing traits that are all new, and I love.  He tries to relate to my son, and I see it working.  My son seems to like him!

 

My goal was to find a man a bit older, like my LH, divorced or widowed and who likely had grown kids as LH and I started late with our family.  It didn't happen. AND from reading here, that does not guarantee  any challenges, either. 😉 I have read the threads here and taken in a lot to help me. I have prayed and reached out to others, too.  We all have to find that line which is difficult.

 

I wish all the best. We didn't ask for this, but we keep moving, and that is a significant! 

I am going to read Gottmans "The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work."    NG said he would also. I had a good functioning marriage, but imperfect, too. Plan to be more intentional to make this work as remarriage/recoupling is so much more than a first marriage, especially when young.   Always learning.

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PS  All my reading (I research) says remarriage and blending families  is a marathon, not a sprint. Keeping that in my head.  Why I didn't think about all this with my 21 yr old marriage I'll never know? I was just secure in it, I guess. And the rug was pulled out when my husband died. So, as other's here trust and take the risk, I am on that path.  😉

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Thanks so much trying2. I hope it was a good one for him. I haven't talked to him in a while. He tries to be casual by reaching out close to birthday and holidays but it's all about making sure someone sends him something. He doesn't think about anyone else. This year, his house mom and I decided I would lay low. I didn't call and won't send him anything, probably for a couple months. I am interested in touching base with her to see how his day was. His behaviors have been pretty awful so I am not trying to act like I'm rewarding in any way. Sad but true.

 

We all have different dynamics to deal with in family situations. I tried my best not to connect with the first husband's family; he had one cousin who I really liked and who seemed to like me. She died young and I felt like I didn't have anyone in his family. LH's dad was great -- we all lived together for a year or so before he died and LH and I got married. BF's daughter didn't seem to feel any sort of way about me until they had a falling out; then I suspect she saw me as taking his side. She and I never really talked; suspect it was one of those complicated dad/daughter things. 

 

tybec -- marathon, yes. It is hard to remember that sometimes. It sounds like you are making your way in style :) I have sort of found my groove as well. Back to the gym, doing things at church ... it's good in its own way, right?

 

Happy Friday and weekend, all!

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1 hour ago, tybec said:

 

 

MrsD.  Not understanding your circumstances.  One post sounds like he wants marriage, and you are still exploring it. Then your next is he does not.  I hope you are okay. It is difficult, no matter.

 

 

Tybec it's confusing for me as well. He says he wants to get married, and i think he does in theory but the reality is we are not married or engaged. I do feel like he wants to ask, and i don't want to take that away from him but it kind of rankles me too. I would prefer us to have a sit down and just decide it together. But when i try, it's clear that he's still in the exploratory stage.

 

I'm aware that i could go find someone else if marriage is that important. But it's not like i want to be married for married sake; in fact i really didn't want to get remarried at all but he changed my mind.  I also don't think that's realistic; it's hard finding love like this. Besides Dan didn't want to get married either.  So who's to say anybody else would feel differently? At some point sometimes you have to say, it's not them, it's me. It's fine. I'm generally getting to be pretty accepting of it, except when I'm out of sorts.

 

I do wish i had broached the subject earlier. I spent too much time early in our relationship not wanting to scare him off and i think much of that was informed by my relationship with Dan and his addiction.  

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MrsDan -- you mention you try to sit down and decide together ... does he outright say he doesn't want to? Maybe you can just ask him if he is still considering marriage and if he says yes, tell him something like 'Oh, because you haven't talked about it or asked me so I thought you changed your mind'. If he says he no, maybe something like, 'Oh, you seemed to want to before. What changed your mind?' It seems like you are at a place where you want to know where he stands. Never too late to ask ...

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Hi, everyone.  I just wanted to weigh in on blending families.  We've been together for nearly 5 years (both widowed) and the "blending" is very much a work in progress, even with adult children.  I've not handled it as gracefully as I wish I had but I keep working at it and I also know it is a three way street in our case and no one else has handled it much better than I have.  It takes a level of patience and commitment that I was not expecting and was not prepared for.  It is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.  Wishing you all the best. 

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I appreciate the responses - I'm out of sorts, and letting the feelings settle.  Yeah - it's a marathon, I'll keep going and see how this plays out.  We communicate well, but I don't want to be completely honest with him on my hesitation.   I'm grateful that he's in my life, it still amazes me that I'm now in a committed relationship when I think of how it was a couple of years ago.  

 

Happy Weekend All ~

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