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Jane680 01-03-2007 10:25 AM

Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
My situation is really messy and Iím desperate to get my life back on track.

I was married for 16 years before I divorced and the last five years were very unhappy Ė my ex-husband worked away from home all the time and didnít want to be with me or our three children when he was home. He also became very abusive to me and our children. I was desperately unhappy and couldnít think of a way out of the situation.

Having been totally faithful throughout my marriage, I met a married man at evening classes and we became friendly. He was unhappy in his marriage as his wife had already had two affairs and he suspected that she was having another. Rightly or wrongly we started an affair and fell in love. I felt happier than I had in years and ended my marriage and moved to a new home with my children.

My new partner, who had also been married for 16 years and never been unfaithful, was consumed with guilt, told his wife and she confirmed that she was having an affair. I also wrote to her (with my partners permission) telling her that I didnít want to be the instrument in breaking their marriage and offered to end things if she wanted to make another go of things with him. She never replied.

My partner left his wife and children and moved in with me. He was devastated by the situation as although he loved me, he adored his children and really missed them, even though they stayed over several times a week and at weekends.

In hindsight it was a mistake for him to move in with me straight away and we should have waited until things were properly resolved. When he took his children home after each visit (they only lived around the corner) he would not come home for two or three hours and when I asked why he was gone so long he would say that he had helped to bath and put them to bed. I was insanely jealous knowing that he was spending two or three evenings with his wife. When I asked him questions he would admit that she wanted to get back together for the sake of his boys and when I asked what he thought of our future he would say that he couldnít think about our future Ė that although he loved me, he missed his children. I started to drink far too much wine on the nights that he went to take the children home to try and blot out the pain and worry of what was happening. I started to feel ill and mentally unstable. I know that drinkking was wrong and to this day I am filled with regret Ė it caused really horrendous arguments between us when he came home and he even walked out and slept in his car a couple of times.

Finally, after almost a year together (and despite the arguments we still loved each other very much and had many happy times together), he decided to go back to his wife and we agreed not to have contact with each other anymore. I had a minor breakdown after he left and had counselling and took anti-depressants for a couple of months. Several months later, I was introduced to a new man by friends and started to date him regularly. Shortly after, my previous partner (who I still loved very much) started to contact me by text, confirming that he still loved me and that things werenít working out with his wife. Consequently, I ended my new relationship and started seeing my partner again.

To cut a very long story short, my partnerís wife moved out and brought a house near her family several hundred miles away. She took two children with her, but the eldest son stayed with my partner. This was almost two years ago and not wanting to make the same mistake and rush into things, we still live separately. His children come and stay with him regularly and we all get on really well including my children, who adore him. He and his son come to my house three or four nights a week to eat with us and occasionally stay overnight.

Five months ago, I fell pregnant completely by accident. We were both initially upset, but decided that as we were happy and stable in our relationship we would move in together. We spent several months planning and I was ecstatically happy as things seemed settled at last. Then at three months I miscarried and my partner decided that without the baby he would prefer for us to stay living separately.

We have been in a relationship for almost six years now and I really want us to live together as a family. We both love each other very much and I want to settle down. He says that he has niggling doubts about us because of things that happened in the past. I canít change past, the arguments and upset but that was over two years ago and things have been wonderful since then. He says he is unable to make any commitment to me until he feels that it is right Ė but he canít explain what will make it right. He also mentioned that I make him feel guilty about his children - because he spends a lot of money on presents for them and does everything for them (we just parent differently) I have never critiscised or said anything to him at all - he says he just senses it.

I've tried to talk to him about it. I've said that if he doesn't feel that he knows me well enough to make a commitment after six years then he probably never will. Iím frightened that Iím going to end up living on my own for ever and Iím so unhappy on my own. I hate going to bed alone everynight and waking alone every morning. We do have a fantastic relationship, we have lots of fun together - but should I accept things as they are? Iíve thought of ending things on several occasions but I love him so much I havenít the strength to see it through.

Do you think he will ever make a commitment to me, or should I give up? Weíre both in our early 40s.

daylight568 01-03-2007 04:02 PM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
Maybe he really just wants another kid.Hes already stated the only way that he'll live with you is if you both have a kid.Maybe talk to him about you both adopting a child together?:D

daylight568 01-03-2007 04:02 PM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
repeat post

Larrylou'smom 01-04-2007 12:04 PM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
It's hard to say just how commited he is to you, but one thing's for sure, the way things are right now, there's really no reason for him to commit to you. He's got the best of all possible worlds, and he has everything he wants. He has all the power and is calling all the shots. But look at it this way, you don't want to break up with him for fear of being alone, which is understandable, but sticking it out with him won't guarantee not being alone either. He could string you along another 5, 6 years and then find someone he would be willing to move in with, would be willing to get over all his baggage and issues for and you'll be 5, 6 years older and still alone and having to start over. 6 years is long enough for him to know whether he wants to build a future with you or not.

opple 01-04-2007 04:22 PM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
I always say, if a woman has to wonder if a man will ever commit, there's plenty of room for doubt that he will. I am so sorry for what you've been through. What a rollercoaster.

I agree with Larry'smom that he has things his way and somehow that happened with you in the lurch. I can only hope he will at least recognize the longevity of your relationship and take things very seriously before it's too late.

vintagegirl 01-04-2007 06:42 PM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
The fact that he moved out on you after you miscarried is a very bad sign.
Doesn't THAT say it all? It may not be the way you want to look at it, but you need to stop looking for false hope. Actions are actions. They don't leave much room for interpretation.

Laylah 01-07-2007 09:01 AM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
"Actions are actions. They don't leave much room for interpretation"

I respectfully disagree with the above comment. Every action is prompted by a feeling, and there is no end to the various combinations of feelings that can prompt a particular action. I think what you need to do here is identify the feeling that prompted this one. I suspect the primary feeling here may be fear; fear of a repeat of what he had to go through the last time you lived together, the excessive drinking and the arguments it resulted in; nobody wants to walk back into a situation which, last time round, proved to be emotionally volatile.

Dont get me wrong, I'm not attaching the blame to you for how things went, I think any woman would have been very very upset and stressed in that situation, it certainly wasnt all your fault. But I think what you both need to do here is identify his fear and then address it. Maybe you should tell him that, at this stage, after six years, you want the relationship to move forward and since you are having problems sorting this by yourselves it might benefit you both to see a relationship counsellor. You obviously love eachother if you are still together after all you've been through, and as you've said, you've shared some very good times in the last two years.

I think you should also make him aware that you are finding it very hurtful that he obviously was prepared to move in with you for the sake of the baby, but not for the sake of the relationship alone. That would hurt any woman, and I think you need to voice your hurt and upset in a calm and rational manner, because, as you've already experienced, if we dont do this the hurt and upset will find a way out anyway, and often in a damaging and volatile way. Let us know how you get on, and good luck.

alleycat2 01-07-2007 12:04 PM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
This is always tough because you never know what he was telling his ex or if the things he told you were true. For example how do you know he was never unfaithfull to his wife, because he told you so! You fell in love and sometimes love is blind but I think he is using you. He keeps running back and forth. I he really wanted to leave his other wife and stay clear he would have divorced her right away. The hours he spent supposably there bathing the kid and so on, he just saw them why spend hours there after that? I think you should have stayed with the other guy you dumped to go back with him. This guy keeps doing this because he know he has a hold on you. Especially when you dump a guy to go back with him. I say kick him to the curb! I know it's going to be hard but you are worth more than that as a person! He should be allowed to use you or anyone for that matter.

Jane680 01-08-2007 03:27 AM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
Thank you to everyone for your opinions and advice. :)

I have talked to him about why he changed his mind about moving in together after the miscarriage and he said that he wasnít ready to live together but was happy to bring plans forward for the sake of the baby. He said that now the baby isnít an issue, thereís no need to rush into things.

Itís so hard to make a decision. On paper it all seems black and white, but this weekend for example we had a great few days together. He took me out for a meal, we went for a long walk with the dog and heís always telling me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. Heís in the process of re-fitting his kitchen and we were looking at cookers. I said that I thought he only needed a very basic one because he doesnít cook very much and he said ďYes, but if youíre going to be living here, it needs to be one youíre happy withĒ Ė so I suppose he must be thinking that weíll live together at some point.

I know heís worried about his kids too and whether they will feel pushed out when they come to stay if my children are living there. He worries that they might choose not to visit so often. I suppose another thing I hadnít considered is my children and how he feels about them Ė my teenage son can be a bit of a handful at times.

I wonder if I should just be happy living separately. My kids would rather live in our house as itís in a much nicer area than his. Maybe the reason why we all get on so well is because we have our own space.

I think a lot of the problem is that I just feel rejected and that Iím not Ďgood enoughí. A friend of mine who is divorced met a new man just a year ago and he recently proposed to her and they are buying a house together and marrying in the summer. Iím really happy for her, but feel so jealous. Itís like her partner is making a statement to the world that he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her Ė and my partner isnít willing to do that. Maybe Iím just a silly romantic and should be grateful for what I have. Itís helpful to hear other peopleís opinions though, so thank you for posting.

vintagegirl 01-08-2007 06:38 AM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
Does it really matter how many great times you have? When he said he wasn't sure [I]what[/I] would make him know that it was "right"....that was a screaming red flag. If HE doesn't know, how can he EXPECT you to hang around indefinetly? Well, he can expect it if you repeatedly show him that you will. Throwing out statements about the kitchen decor and you living there at some point is incredibly unfair to you. These mixed messages are a manipulative way of him buying some time, hoping you'll calm down. If they were sincere, he'd put his money where his mouth was, so to speak. Using some past fights as an excuse for not being "sure" is also ludicrous. Those past fights or bad experiences haven't kept him from sleeping with you, have they? Thought not. Your story is not so different from the hundreds on here where women of every age hung onto promising comments for years, finally left, only to be devastated when the very man who had seemed SO indecisive about them, suddenly up and MARRIED someone they'd just started dating! Sometimes, things are just not meant to be no matter how much we want to believe they are. It's natural to feel that after taking part in such a long term investment that you want to be there for the return, so you are willing to hang in there, come hell or high water until you get what you have coming to you. Unfortunatly, men like yours can stay in an indecisive mode forever. If you love him that much, then you're just going to have to get over what your friend is doing with her fiance and be content to live separately, never bringing up the subject of moving in together as a family again. If you can do that, you should stay with him. If you can't, you should free yourself to meet someone who has a better sense of himself and where he wants to go in life.

Laylah 01-08-2007 07:32 AM

Re: Will he ever commit - or do I give up?
Oh hi JaneKaye, I didnt realise you were the same person who'd just posted on my thread! Everyone's entitled to their opinions and with us all being individuals with varied perspectives you're going to get some very different advice on here, but I stand over everything I said to you earlier and have some further points I'd like to add:

You said;

1 - "I know he’s worried about his kids too and whether they will feel pushed out when they come to stay if my children are living there"

2 - " He worries that they might choose not to visit so often"

3 - "I suppose another thing I hadn’t considered is my children and how he feels about them – my teenage son can be a bit of a handful at times..."

4 - "My kids would rather live in our house as it’s in a much nicer area than his"

5 - "Maybe the reason why we all get on so well is because we have our own space"

I think you brought up some VERY valid practical points here and they're not issues you ought to push to the back of your mind. For a start, teenaged sons are notorious, me and my man have three between us from our past relationships and their behaviour caused some big-time problems while we were living together. But any ONE of these points could be the downfall of the relationship, so disregarding them ALL together for the sake of the conventional ideal of living together would be utter madness in my book!

I also think it is a legitimate fear of his that you may ruin what you now have by going back into a situation that proved volatile for you both last time round. It's human nature to have apprehensions based on past experience. Think about it; if you shove your finger into a fire it's going to burn and hurt. What's your natural inclination? Are you going to sit by the fire and get the benefits of it, i.e. the heat (which I would equate as the analogy to his continuing the relationship with you for the sake of the benefits you both enjoy from that) or are you going to get too close for comfort based on past experience and shove your finger back in the fire and get burned again? It is easy, as a woman, to allow your emotions take over and feel a sense of rejection and hurt so all encompassing as to block out all logic and rationale. (I know this as well as any women and anyone who doubts it only has to read my posts of late November!)

I think your feelings towards your soon-to-be-married friend are a perfect example of this, here's why: In the three and a half years before my partner and I moved in together most of the couples we know were cohabiting, whether married or not. I never felt that they had a more elevated relationship status than us, in fact, I often felt the opposite, because my rationale was; how much effort did their men need to make to see them? They needed to turn their head at a 90 degree angle while sitting on the sofa! In order to see me my man had to travel ten miles and he saw me every other night of the week. Who's to say their men would have seen them nearly that often were the same effort required? I suppose, since they are living together, those women will never know… Sometimes there is clearly MORE quality in a non-cohabitating relationship, but because that flies in the face of conventional ‘wisdom’ some women find it a very difficult fact to accept.

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