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I have been with my common law partner for almost 7 years. We met at work, we have had our ups and downs and even split but reconciled a few times over the years. He was going through a process in life. We are very committed and function as a married couple, he is an active stepfather to my teenage children, and we even own a business together.
However, when we first met he was just separating from his wife. Less so than I had been led to believe, hence the processes he went through for the first few years. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have gotten involved knowing what I know now but its irrelevant now.
The problem is that he won’t divorce. He has one son with her who is almost 26 and lives with her (he won’t leave home). She is several years into a relationship and runs a family business with her new boyfriend from the matrimonial property. He has taken small steps like asking her to list the house for sale but closes his eyes to it when she refuses. He pays mortgage and debts for her. He once wrote a separation agreement and she edited it asking for very high spousal support and he filed it away unsigned and unfiled. He kept her on medical benefits until just recently so he has done a lot to ease the transition.
We are looking at some changes in our lives or moving and new jobs that I hesitate to commit to without feeling secure in my relationship, plus I want to get married one day. I’m close to 40 now, my kids are close to leaving home, and I can’t help but wonder if I’ve wasted my 30’s, if my relationship is a farce, or it will …
I just read your post on emotionally unavailable men.
Mine is a weird story but I’m thinking now that my guy falls into this category. He broke up with me over text, first of all. We’re both in our later years so this, in my opinion, is very rude at any age.
He came on strong at first, started betting busy with his life, then texted me he can no longer date as his 17 year old is going through issues that he would not discuss. He said something about depression and suicide counseling.
We had only dated for 3 months and I get the issues but he claimed to love me and that I was the “woman of his dreams”.
My question is would you dump the girl of your dreams if your life got hard and your kid needed some guidance and support? I would have expected some down time but dumped? I got a sweet card that said nice things about being in his heart and I ran into him the other day and he seemed sad but I just don’t get it. Am I being selfish? Was he simply emotionally unavailable or is this a normal response?
I’m sorry you’re hurting, Eve. Getting unceremoniously dumped is an awful feeling and receiving the news by text certainly doesn’t make it any better.
However, I would encourage you to step back from this situation — as I’m attempting to — and refrain from making it about you for a second.
This is what dating coaching is all about — stepping out of your own shoes and attempting to understand the thoughts and behaviors of someone else.
I don’t know your ex from Adam, but then, I’m not sure I need to, given this one piece of information: …
It did take him 2.5 years to say he loves me, and it was in the midst of me leaving because he hadn’t said it. A few months after he said it, I moved out because he said he wasn’t sure he could marry me. He fell completely apart after I left, couldn’t eat or sleep and begged for me back 3 weeks later with a promise to marry me. He had some things he wanted to work on for himself but he was definitely going to marry me soon. Fast forward 8 months… we’ve been in couples’ therapy since we got back together and have gotten to know each other on a deeper level than I could imagine.
But come to find out he isn’t attracted to me and he isn’t sure he can marry me because of this, and is nervous how our kids might look. He didn’t tell me this directly, but I came across notes he had written that said these things. I’m not ugly – I definitely don’t have the most adorable face but I do the best I can with what was given to me. I keep my hair highlighted and choose light makeup that accentuates the good features. I’m 5’5, 130 lbs, very active
I like Sophia Benoit from GQ. Her prose doesn’t descend to the levels of most first-person journalism you’d read in EliteDaily or Elephant Journal.
This piece, simply called “When to Walk Away From a Bad Relationship,” is something I wholeheartedly endorse as one of the few dating coaches who believe it’s better to find an easy relationship than it is to double down on fixing a broken one.
With the exception of at the altar, or during sex, there’s no wrong time to break up with someone.
Money quote: “Let me set you straight: With the exception of at the altar, or during sex, there’s no wrong time to break up with someone. Everyone feels pressure to pick the “right” time, or even a good time…There’s no magical time when your partner is going to like being broken up with. Within reason (e.g., don’t call them at work or tell them while you guys visit their parent in the hospital), once you decide you want to break up, your best bet is as soon as possible.”
Yup. I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had who told me that they are in the process of breaking up with someone and that this process may take a few months.
I usually correct them by saying, “You can hang up on me right now, call him, and be broken up in less than a minute.”
To which, of course, there is no defense – only the shameful silence of someone who knows she CAN act, but won’t do it.
Continues Benoit, “Until you two are married with kids, you can leave at any time. You can leave even if you’ve only been dating for a month. It’s very easy to convince yourself that you haven’t given someone a “fair chance,” but …
I’d been in what seemed like the perfect dating relationship with a man for a couple months until just last week, when he broke up with me out of nowhere. I know a lot of articles tell people who were blindsided by breakups that just because the relationship seemed great to them, it doesn’t mean their partner had been feeling that way, too. In all honesty though, it had appeared to be great on his end, too…
The day he broke up with me, he’d left my place to go to work, kissed me goodbye, and said he couldn’t wait to see me that weekend. The day before, he’d texted me at work just to say how much he missed me, and told me just two days before that I was meeting all of his relationship needs and he was so lucky to have such a sweet girlfriend like me.
Every aspect of our relationship seemed great… The communication seemed strong, we had so much fun together, our goals for the future matched up, the sex was great, and we both showed our appreciation for each other through gestures (he’d surprise me with flowers and gifts, and I’d surprise him by cooking his favorite meal and remembering to check in with how he was doing on the anniversary of his mom’s death).
The night he broke up with me he’d called, and just sounded like he was in such a bad mood. Things just sounded so off compared to the night before, when he’d been at my place getting tickets for a show we were planning to go to that weekend. We got off the phone and I decided to call him back later, saying something had just seemed off and I was worried about him, and did he have …
“Among other attempts at self-healing, I have tried: casual sex, dating apps, uppers, downers, day drinking, and sobriety. I also tried somatic healing, boxing, Buddhist meditation, Ayahuasca and finally, because it was offered to me for free by a publicist, Botox. “A few pricks may ease your blues,” she wrote in an email last March. Well, I thought, at least I wouldn’t look so sad.”
That was a strong opening paragraph for this piece on a high-end break-up boot camp in upstate New York – a getaway for women who can’t get over it.
I can see why it sounds appealing:
“A multi-day program that includes sessions led by the top psychologists, behavioral scientists, coaches, energy healers and meditation teachers. All meals are cooked by an on-site chef using organic and local ingredients.
Each retreat has under 20 people so that we can keep an intimate atmosphere that feels safe, calm and supportive. You will meet others who are also going through the same feelings and stages of mourning and detaching, and a psychologist with a Ph.D. in behavior will lead sessions on how we can detach and let go of the past that no longer serves us. Renew’s Chief Heart Hacker will provide group talks on the psychology of our attractions and how we can start rewiring our patterns to create healthy love. There will be yoga and meditation sessions, and a tantra expert will show you how to connect to your body and harness your feminine energy. A professional dominatrix with a Ph.D. in human development will lead sessions on power dynamics and sexuality. There will also be private, one-on-one sessions with either an energy healer or relationship coach available.”
Wow. It really does take a village.
Wow. It really does take a village.
Things like …
I have been dating a man on and off for 3 years. We have decided to move in together and blend our families. We both have children. The issues I am having is that we argue over the smallest things and they turn into huge items that result in him calling me names and accusing me of infidelity, ignoring me and so forth. When we disagree, I feel like I am defending myself, and thus do have a tendency to talk over him in an effort to prove my innocence. He has indicated he will always one up me whether it is negative or positive. I feel we have more negative interactions than positive ones lately. There has been trust and insecurity issues in our relationship on both our parts and now I feel we have lost all respect for each other. My kids aren’t overly happy for the most part either because they do not feel he treats me well. I love him with all my heart and do not want to be without him, but I don’t feel our communication will change. What should I do?
When I write this, there are generally two objections:
- “I don’t want to live with a man because if I live with him, he won’t feel any incentive to marry me.” It’s true that men who don’t want to get married will live with you indefinitely and waste your time. However, nobody said to move in with a man who doesn’t want to get married. What I’m saying is that if you DO want to get married, start by dating