I met a man back in 2002 on a personal line. We hit it off great. We have children the same age and I accepted his boys. But he has had a hard time with my son, because my son just won’t accept him. So, I am put in the middle a lot.
We began living together about three years ago. Our financial arrangement has been that he pays the rent and I pay everything else (along with buying groceries). I end up spending a lot more. He is a workaholic, and now puts work before anyone. We don’t talk much any more. The communication is not there any more and when it is, we are usually fighting about his work. I have strong feelings for him but am very confused.
He has been asking me to marry him for two, but I keep putting it off due to his obsession with work, and the fact that after almost five years, he still gets all his mail at his mom’s house and his mom is on his bank accts. Things have not felt right, and I have a strong feeling that there might be another woman, but I can’t prove it. I check his phone for voicemails and have heard a few suspicious messages, nothing concrete. Am I being paranoid, or is my gut telling me something I should investigate? The trust level is at zero now with him, because I am catching him lying about jobs…
What should I do? This is driving me crazy……
Peggy in Charlotte
It seems to me that you are looking for an “acceptable” reason to end this relationship. Another woman in the picture would definitely fill that need. But it’s not going to be that easy.
Your lover definitely is a workaholic, and while he does receive emotional support and an ego boost from women other than you, he is not sleeping with anyone else. He does, however, use work and work excuses to avoid you and the kids.
The lack of communication between the two of you is feeding contempt on both sides. He feels that he is pulling his weight because he pays the rent, comes home at night, and is being faithful. While he doesn’t think the relationship is perfect, he is accepting it as it is, and wants it to continue. He is somewhat oblivious to the fact that you are emotionally starving and feeling like you are being taken advantage of. I know that you have tried to tell him what you are going through, but because the conversation seems to turn into an argument, you are not getting through to him.
Oddly enough for a man who has yet to cut the umbilical cord from his own mother, your man is troubled by the fact that he feels he is a constant second to your son. In his mind, the fact that you won’t marry him reinforces his feelings.
Your gut seems to be telling you that things need to change or end. While love is one of the most incredible forces in the Universe, if not properly nurtured and tended to, it can fade. Between your loneliness, the fighting, and feeling like you are doing all the giving and getting nothing back — the love you once felt for this man is being sucked right out of you.
You have a couple of choices. If the two of you continue on as you have been, things are not going to improve on their own. You can resign yourself to accept the relationship as it is, (which is not a happy thought for you) or you can try to get some professional counseling assistance to see if outside intervention can bring the sparkle back into your life and this relationship. While I can’t say that counseling will do the trick to save your relationship, I do see that it would be very positive for you. Not only would it be helpful to you in dealing with your own frustration and depression, but it could reopen the doors of communication and partnership with your man. The worst case scenario is you would know that you did everything you can possibly do for this relationship, and if he fails to uphold his part of responsibility for improvement; you can walk away clean.
This relationship can be saved, but I’m not sure it should be. That is something only you can decide.
I’m truly sorry you are in such a tough spot. It’s going to take you a while to sort all of this out. Just remember, when you follow your own spirit and are true to yourself and your own needs; any decision you make will be the right one.
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