I am in a relationship of 14 years and I have lost interest. I sometimes feel like he stays for our 12 year old daughter. He has 3 other kids from another marriage and — needless to say — he doesn’t treat our daughter the same way or equal. As a matter of fact, I feel she gets short-changed. I have lost interest in bed and just in normal life. His mother died a year and a half ago. The more I try to split up the more unruly he gets, crying for me to straighten up. I can’t just tell him it’s over because it just gets worse. He has got big time insecurity and jealousy issues! And, someone is calling his phone in private mode. Please help me! What should I do?
Martha in Nicholasville
Looking at your relationship, each of you has a certain level of responsibility as to how things have gotten to this point. It’s been a spiral of chaos and repeat patterns for many years now. What you very much need to decide is do you really want to be on your own?
He has issues of jealousy and insecurity, but you aren’t squeaky clean in those two arenas, either. There are major communication issues that seem to start the same old arguments that determine nothing, change nothing. I know you are tired, and tired of it. But there is still this little piece of you that holds on to the hope that things, HE, will change. I don’t think you are aware of it, but he feels almost exactly the same when it comes to you.
While therapy would do wonders for this relationship as well as the both of you, I don’t see it happening. As bad as things are there is still some kind of beat-up love bond that remains between the two of you. It is strong enough that it could be nurtured back to a point of reasonable health, and yet frayed enough that a good whack with a semi-sharp knife can sever it the rest of the way.
If you decide that this relationship no longer serves you and your daughter, then you must be one to take the action to leave. He will not go, nor will he make it easy for you to go. I don’t see you as one who wants to involve the police, but that is one way to get gone with less drama. Your situation looks like you can’t give him any notice that you are going, you just need to be gone. To avoid the drama, you will have to leave a lot of material things behind. Hire a crew to get what you need, and schedule it for when you know you have at least four hours of opportunity. It will take you a couple of months to prepare for and line up everything needed for this coup. However, if you are serious and secretive, it can be done.
I know that it will be challenging for you to get out. But the harder challenge seems to be you staying out. He will try and win you back, woo you home. And it looks like he could be successful. The good news is, this would be some kind of wake-up call that could assist the two of you with working on your relationship. Seeing that, before you create a dramatic scenario of your own, you may wish to just go away for a few days, just you and your daughter. Visit friends or family. Rent a cabin. It doesn’t really matter what, just get away from him, the home, the situation – and give yourself a little time to really think.
As far as the private caller goes, he’s not going to leave you for another woman. Truthfully, he doesn’t want you to go.
I can’t tell you what to do, Martha. I can only tell you what I see. And what I’m seeing is you are not ready to make that final decision to pack your bags and go. It’s a fantasy, but you fear the consequences too much right now.
The best thing you can do for the moment is take your time and really sort through your emotions and your thoughts. Try and make the circumstances in which you are living as peaceful as they can be for now. Do what you can to plan for the “what if’s”. Stop feeding into the chaos and just focus on you and your daughter.
When you are strong enough, truly ready, you’ll know your answer. It will no longer be a question because the confusion will clear. We all have the answers to our questions inside of us. Sometimes we just can’t access them until the time is right. But when the time is right, we just KNOW, and the conclusion just feels right. And it all becomes very simple, even if it’s still ugly.
I see you leaving, coming back, and then leaving once more. That is based on here and now. Anything about that, you can change. It is your life, and your choices. The when’s and how’s are in your hands. I would be more than happy to help you work through some of this chaos and confusion. Ultimately, the final decisions and actions are up to you.