The day the relationship died.

Dear Annie: My boyfriend is 48, and I am 39, and we have been together since May 2015. We haven’t made too many public appearances since being together. I have two children, a 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. They love him dearly. He has one child, a 14-year-old girl, who barely communicates with my children and me.

When we met, he was six months out of a two-year relationship, and I was eight months out of a 12-year marriage. We met on a dating site. Neither of us was looking for a relationship at the time. My children met him in June 2015, and I met his daughter the next month. My kids and I are adventurous and like the outdoors. He and his daughter, not so much. He works in engineering, and I’m a nurse. We are similar and opposite at the same time. I love action, comedy and dramas, and he likes zombie movies and action.

His daughter’s mom and I have had an altercation. The cause of the disagreement was that she wanted to ruin our relationship, and he did nothing about it. I then had to step in after being frustrated. We bumped heads quite a bit, due to his daughter’s mom. She ended up living across the street from us after we moved in together.

My concern is that we are not talking about marriage or even an engagement. More than a year after buying a home and we’re still playing house, without moving forward. I have brought this to his attention because I want to know what’s next. Each time I bring it up, I feel as if he blows me off and does not want to talk about it. He always says, “When I marry someone, I want to make sure they’re the one.”

I have mentioned marriage at least five times, and now I’m ready to give up on this relationship. He always wants me to tell people that we have three children, but he’s not changing the status legally. I don’t think that I should wait on him to make up his mind to decide our future, as it’s been over five years.

I think it has a lot to do with his money; maybe he thinks I’m after it or something. That isn’t the case. The proof is that I would have stayed with my ex-husband. I feel as if I’m wasting my time and living a lie. The lie is that he’ll probably never marry me and eventually I’ll move on. I have asked him to see a therapist with me over and over, but it hasn’t happened yet. I was going to pick a therapist, but he said that he would, but again, nothing. — Tired of Waiting

Dear Tired: Divorce can be traumatic. It sounds like your boyfriend might need time before he is ready to tie the knot. His comment about marrying “the one” is hurtful. You might be correct that it’s time to move on. However, before making a decision, you need to tell him all that you’re feeling. People are not mind readers, and so much of a healthy relationship is communication. Rather than waiting for him to decide what he wants, decide what you want and then tell him exactly what that is.

Therapy is doubly important because the lives of three children are at stake. His ex-wife living across the street is something that a professional should be able to help you and your boyfriend sort out. (c) Annie Lane @ Creators.com

Medic, we’ve got incoming. There’s been a train wreck. 

I can’t even clarify if I’m talking about the letter or Annie Lane’s advice in my above paragraph. Both? Double train wreck!

We met on a dating site. Neither of us was looking for a relationship at the time.

So… then why the dating site?

[…] we have been together since May 2015. […] My children met him in June 2015, and I met his daughter the next month.

So… this relationship dragged the kids onto the fast track?

My kids and I are adventurous and like the outdoors. He and his daughter, not so much. He works in engineering, and I’m a nurse. We are similar and opposite at the same time. I love action, comedy and dramas, and he likes zombie movies and action.

These details really don’t matter. Whether or not you like the outdoors or prefer comedies isn’t crucial to a relationship succeeding. Not everyone involved needs to go on every camping trip or watch every movie.

His daughter’s mom and I have had an altercation. The cause of the disagreement was that she wanted to ruin our relationship, and he did nothing about it. I then had to step in after being frustrated.

Really? You went there? Called her out, did you? I’m sure that fixed everything.

We bumped heads quite a bit, due to his daughter’s mom. She ended up living across the street from us after we moved in together.

Uh… This is concerning. She’s living across the street? I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but is it possible she’s still got something going on (to whatever extent) with her ex? And look at how it might tie into this comment:

We have been together since May 2015. We haven’t made too many public appearances since being together.

Oh my. I get that they’re living together, but her boyfriend is still hiding the relationship from the public eye, while one of his exes is living across the street? Yikes. This is epically disastrous.

Each time I bring [marriage] up, I feel as if he blows me off and does not want to talk about it. He always says, “When I marry someone, I want to make sure they’re the one.”

Okay. Bad news. Are you sitting down, letter writer? I don’t even want to type it.

I don’t think that I should wait on him to make up his mind to decide our future, as it’s been over five years.

I have to agree.

I think it has a lot to do with his money; maybe he thinks I’m after it or something.

No… I don’t think that’s it… I wish that were it…

So now we have Annie Lane’s brilliant advice:

Divorce can be traumatic. It sounds like your boyfriend might need time before he is ready to tie the knot.

First of all, the boyfriend didn’t get divorced from his last long-term relationship. The letter writer told us that he was six months out of a two-year relationship, with no specificity that it was a marriage/divorce situation.

Second of all, divorce can be very upsetting, but for us to believe that the boyfriend “needs more time” would be for us to sit back and allow him to keep calling all the shots. He doesn’t want to get married. This is fact, and the letter writer needs to accept it, not hope that there’s a fixable reason for it like divorce trauma.

You might be correct that it’s time to move on. However, before making a decision, you need to tell him all that you’re feeling. People are not mind readers.

True about mind-reading, but she has told him how she feels countless times. I’d say that at this point, they need to discuss how to arrange the breakup in a logistical sense–money, property, etc., etc. If she’s not represented fairly (e.g., if her name’s not on the lease but she’s been paying the mortgage), then she should consult a lawyer before dropping the breakup bombshell to this guy.

Therapy is doubly important because the lives of three children are at stake. His ex-wife living across the street is something that a professional should be able to help you and your boyfriend sort out.

It’s kind of funny, because I’m picturing your average therapist hearing about how the ex lives across the street and politely murmuring, “I’m not taking on any new clients at this time. Can I refer you to a colleague?”

But anyway, therapy is a stupid suggestion unless the letter writer can use it on her own to make the decision to leave this guy and to have therapeutic support in doing so. But here we have Annie Lane saying how helpful it would be for both of them to see a therapist, and the letter writer’s boyfriend refuses to go to therapy.

An epic fail for Annie Lane… and I hope this letter writer takes legal and decisive action soon. This relationship is dead. If a man were to tell me under these circumstances that he wanted to make sure he was marrying the right person, I’d be crushed. That alone… yeah.

4 thoughts on “The day the relationship died.

  1. I agree that the relationship is done, but something seems off about the letter writer, and I suspect she’s played a bigger role in the trainwreck than is apparent on the surface. Part of it is that there’s some funny math going on, that Annie Lane doesn’t seem to have picked up on. If he’s come out of a 2-year relationship, there’s been at least one ex in between dude and baby-mama, and who knows how long ago they split. So why is letter writer picking fights with baby mama?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was wondering about that too, and I wondered if the mother of his kid is in the habit of destroying all his relationships! Now that she lives across the street, you have to wonder! I bet you’re right, though, that the letter writer herself is playing quite a role in this. It’s all very odd! I think it would make for a great Lifetime movie!! Or an episode of Dr. Phil?

      Liked by 1 person

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