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need advice about a long term relationship

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lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 11:03 AM

Been on and off with my highschool sweetheart since 2014. 7 yrs. we are both in love with one another but do to my divorces and traumas and his own he wont see or grow in, we have been on and off. when its great, its great. we are both very happy. But he struggles with being a perfectionist at work and choosing that over me and the kids he has helped me raise for 7 years.

Here is the issue. He has been with me thru many losses and hard times. we have had miscarriages and I lost my dad in a fire right before we got together. this last year has been hard on pretty much everyone on earth and I have traumas that triggered me and Im too impatient for him to be late, not grow quickly enough etc. The thing is, I have had sexual abuse as a child and he IS the ONLY person I feel safe with and I have loved him since I was 15. we are 45 now.

I went on a trip for work and was gone a month, prior to that we saw each other but no intimacy. we werent "together" but in a relationship. while there he let his guard down, started reading a book on growth and change and said he will seek counseling again. He told me he loved me and I felt he was beating around the bush he wanted to make it work with me.

He got me from the airport, with my kids... he made us dinner and he had planned to stay but didnt. Like my norm, I let him walk vs asking him to stay. I felt sorta rejected. in a weeks time, I decided I needed to feel good so went on a dating site to see who was out there. ok great options. made me excited but I really just want this man,to show up and not be unavailable emotionally.

To get a response from him, I say Im going on a date, he gets pissed and decides to do the same. Well I wasnt going on a date. I flipped out and realized im gunna lose him. how on earth can you go on a date if you are still in love with me? he doesnt have many notches in his belt and I was his first so we have many deep connections.

Fast forward and Ive been home a month. I did a 180 and changed everything, I have been in counseling for PTSD for 20 yrs. I want him, Im crying constantly, feels like a divorce. He goes out with a 24 yrs old. I have 2 kids that age and Im disgusted. I warn him and he had to make his own mistake. in only 2 weeks of time he does all this and I told him if he is trying to figure things out with me he should not bring a 3rd person in to muddle it. BTW the girl knew were were together for ages and shes been trying to get him to go out with her for a year. (His roommates friend)

She turns out to be nuts, is stalking me, him... so he had to call me last and tell me that he had slept with her and it was a huge mistake and now he had to warn me. He lied to my face in the last 2 weeks and said he was NOT with her. I had NO clue but my intuition told me. He is remorseful and he has counseling set up for next week (he has been seeing him on and off for 2 yrs)

where would you go with this? Im numb. I have a long history. I am raising 2 young children by myself. Parents gone and I have been meshed with his family for 30 yrs. they are my parents and family. He is my family and a father figure to my young kids. Im not sure if I feel betrayed or just disgusted because of her age but I actually laughed when he told me. I didnt cry. I had the opposite reaction, like good you got your karma.

I thought I wanted to end it but we never can. we both love one another and he used a girl to feel better about himself (his trauma is a parent who belittled him) And Im no peach. Been divorced twice because I always wanted a guy like him. He is the only one I feel safe with but not sure if I told him to never lie or sleep with this girl or Im done for sure... if he did it to leave fully or just cause he wanted to boost his ego.

Help me. I was a mess last week but got this told to me last night and just dont know how to process it.
I can forgive him to move forward. I dated someone else while he was living in another city for several yrs and I still loved him. so Im no better. no one really cheated but to feel love for someone and try to move on by sleeping with another feels really wrong and thats what we both struggle with.

I dont want to get "divorced" again. Im too old for this crap and I now know, with every ounce in me, I love him and I could have also been better to him. Im successful in my work and Im happy with everything else, just not this. I want to fix this.
so in the meantime, Im waiting for guidance.

asc1226 posted 4/1/2021 11:30 AM

To get a response from him, I say Im going on a date

Iíll never understand why people think tossing such emotional hand grenades into a relationship is going to improve anything.

lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 11:35 AM

because we are human. I wanted to know if it would bother him and it didnt. and he wanted it to. so it opened up a lot. Im just being honest.

My traumas are abandonment so wanting him to choose me is huge. My parents didnt do their job, I was left all the time and nearly died several times.

asc1226 posted 4/1/2021 11:49 AM

Iím not clear if the relationship was exclusive, but if it was the Iím going on a date statement ended that. Since both of you would have to agree that the relationship is exclusive again (if it was before) heís not cheating.

Really, you both need to decide what you want. Having a successful relationship under the circumstances you described will be like trying to play chess on an active battlefield.

lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 11:59 AM

It was not exclusive no, but I know how he would feel if I was with someone while with him and it would be a hard no. we weren't together or dating since late Dec. We still love one another though and were both hinting we wanted to try again.

[This message edited by lifestoshort at 12:00 PM, April 1st (Thursday)]

HellFire posted 4/1/2021 12:02 PM

Let him go. And get some therapy, to deal with your issues of abandonment, and the sexual abuse. This man is not your cure.

Work on yourself, so you become healthy, then you will attract a healthy man.

lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 12:22 PM

20 yrs been in therapy. It will never fully go away. I just know I can only be truly intimate with him.

I wanted to add, that we had talked about seeing a therapist and finding out if it was salvageable. he agreed to not sleep with her or involve her. he told me 3 times in a row, I wont sleep with her. then did sometimes in those 2 weeks after this agreement. He was at my house from 10-230am talking.

He said mid March, if he walked away he would have regrets but he also didnt know if he could be the person I need him to be. I just wanted to try the counseling. He agreed. then he lied. He has never had kids (except miscarriages with me) and he has never been close to marrying except with me. Im his longest relationship. His last 5 yr one ended with her overdosing. she did live.

He didnt cheat but he entertained time with this girl, he put himself in a scenario that would hurt me vs protecting or following through on his word to see if counseling would help and make a decision with me. Thats where I am confused. Is this the silver lining to make him realize I am worth fighting for or do I finally let go cause I told him if he slept with her, it was absolutely done? Im numb, so Im not sure how I feel. Im just laughing at how insane this chick became. She meddled constantly and he didnt kick this roommates friend out. Instead, he started a fast relationship that ended just as quick as it started.

Can one move on from this? My intuition is still saying, stay. This was our wake up call.

[This message edited by lifestoshort at 12:24 PM, April 1st (Thursday)]

lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 12:30 PM

Hellfire, I have been on my own and pretty ok with that for a long time. BUT this last year has been hard. Im homeschooling my kids, working from home. Im thankful that my self employed job is paying well. But I am ready for my partner to be here and really with me. I have not asked him to move in. I have owned this giant house for ages... he doesnt own anything and also has past abandonment issues so were so similar in that area and stubborn. Ive been waiting for him to say something, hes been waiting for me...

I will never be healed. at 45 and 20 yrs of counseling the realization is, I will always have PTSD over this stuff and while Im happy with everything else in my life and well known for my work, I cannot get this love crap down.

If I do not stay with him, I will not date again. I have decided its not for me. I have had so much loss, I'm not willing to do it again and my city if full of drunks due to sports revolving around it. I am a simple girl, I dont drink or party. I like my small natural, farm life. I dont trust to be alone with someone else. its very hard for me to be intimate and vulnerable. at this age, it wont change.

[This message edited by lifestoshort at 12:32 PM, April 1st (Thursday)]

annanew posted 4/1/2021 12:43 PM

His commitment was pretty fragile if the date threat was enough to end it.

You have had trauma and so has he, you say. But, what matters is the future. Trauma is real, but also irrelevant. Don't excuse someone's actions because of past trauma. That's just setting a pattern for the future where they can do whatever they want, in the name of trauma.

Trauma means - you are going to be triggered, your knee-jerk reaction is not going to be perfect, you are going to need extra care and reassurance sometimes. So with the date threat - yes that should have been a big deal, yes it should have scared him, yes he should have needed to work through it. But that's not what he did. What he did was decide to go and date a psycho 24 year old. That's not a knee jerk reaction.

I think perhaps now is a good time for you to step back and think about what you want in a relationship. Not WHO. Just what. Once you have a list of must-haves, see if you think your guy can live up to it. You probably know him well enough to make a pretty good guess. By the behavior you described in your post, I'm not sure he's the one for you.

This0is0Fine posted 4/1/2021 12:50 PM

You *seem* to want committed monogamy. This guy clearly isn't cut out for that.

HalfTime2017 posted 4/1/2021 13:47 PM

to get a response from him, I say Im going on a date,

This right here is all your fault. You were trying to manipulate him. You're playing games. You say that you're 45 years old, and too old for this, but you're the one playing games here. Seems to me that if you were an adult about things, you would just sit him down and have a real conversation about your relationship instead of playing all that drama.

In addition, after reading your post. I think you would benefit from doing extensive IC. It'll be good for you. YOu've got 2 kids, but they're 24 now. he may have helped raised them, but that would mean they were 17 at the time, so really, he didn't really help you raise the kids. They were near emancipation at that age, and they don't need much raising from an outside source by that age. I suggest alternative IC for you. I think you've got things to figure out on your side, with the PTSD and if youve been in IC for 20 yrs with the same counselor it may be time to switch to another, or use other techniques.

Good luck

lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 13:55 PM

great points. Ty.

after highschool he wasnt with anyone for 9 yrs.
in the past 10 yrs he has only been with me and now this girl. He is a committed person and doesnt cheat. I even tried to sleep with him several times in the past month since I needed to feel loved and connected that way to him and he refused. (probably because he had lust for her)

He isnt a cheater nor am I. but the lying is a betrayal.

I get that we cant use this as an excuse. I do. But we are also pretty messed up just due to covid restricting us. no normal activities, he is working constantly (which is right next to my home) and we are not communicating well. I know that part needs major work.

so yes for the past 2 months (while in solitude on my trip) and while back home, I have had time to think then, and I wanted to try with him and I wanted to make it work fully. I didnt feel this way fully until she came in. It made me see things differently. I just dont want to lose the 7 yrs we already put in.

Ive gardening today to think about what this all means... his descretions with this girl and if he did it to piss me off or he needed to sew some oats to also wake up. For the 1st time in weeks, I havent wanted to run to him for reassurance and I know he needs time to let this hit him hard and to deal w the crap he put himself in.

I also feel bad for thinking about dating someone else and entertaining it and then that gave him the open door to do it. Gah. its both of our faults.

HellFire posted 4/1/2021 14:25 PM

On and off for 7 years. Why off?

newlife03 posted 4/1/2021 15:12 PM

He didnt cheat but he entertained time with this girl, he put himself in a scenario that would hurt me vs protecting or following through on his word to see if counseling would help and make a decision with me.

He didn't put himself in the scenario of hurting you because you're the one who said you were going to start dating. You were basically asking him to do the "pick me dance" and that's not cool. I'm sorry, but playing games in a relationship never works.

That being said, is your question whether or not to continue seeing this man? It does not sound like he's emotionally available based on what was posted. You've known him long enough to recognize his actions. Were you together when you told him you'd start dating? Or when he took on the 24-year old? I'm confused and would like to help but don't understand what you're looking for.

Catwoman posted 4/1/2021 15:25 PM

This doesn't sound like a relationship to me. It sounds like you're taking hits on the hopium pipe trying to make this something it isn't.


PS: Low blow to tell him you were going on a date.

HalfTime2017 posted 4/1/2021 16:00 PM

Do agree with the other posters. This doesnt sound like a true relationship, maybe more like you're hoping he does step up to the plate at some point and become your full fledge husband/BF. If you've allowed this to happen for the past 7 yrs, b/c you're too afraid of him abandoning you, and are just willing to have this quasi FWB type deal, again, you need IC work.

I've dated a couple of girls that have abandonment issues. They always test you, by pushing you away to see if you stick. You're so afraid of being abandoned, that you often act out, and one of those ways is to push the boyfriend away for fear that he will break up with you first, causing you even more pain. That is what I see when you say I'll go date someone. You were really hoping he wouldn't, and that he would glom on to you, but it backfired.

Again, whether its with this guy, or the next. I suggest IC work, and maybe a new one since you've been seeing one for 20 yrs now. It may never all go away, but is should improve after that amount of time.

I think you would be wise to just have a true conversation with him and see if he wants a full relationship. It will be healthy for you, and if he does not, at least you can move forward with your life. There isn't just 1 person out there for you. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and if you're stuck on this one, you're not able to see all the other ones out there. But first, work on yourself.

Cooley2here posted 4/1/2021 17:20 PM

Ask him. This calls for complete honesty. Ask if there is a monogamous future you you two. If he is on board then both of you need IC. Your abandonment issues control your life. His belittlement by his mother controls him. Neither of you appear emotionally mature. This is not blaming you. Itís explaining you. Childhoods are the building blocks for the rest of our lives. Both of you got short changed. Therapy will help. I suggest EMDR.

rugswept posted 4/1/2021 19:12 PM

There are a lot of viewpoints on this site and many posters who give very good advice. Get the best mix of it, from what the seasoned ones say, mix it with what you want and how you feel and make the best decision for YOU. That's what we really want.

He flipped out (and you pointed that maybe he wasn't self confident), ending up scoring this 24 YO and he probably thought he hit the jackpot. Enough of his silliness. But it was something like that and did lead to his admitted serious betrayal.

Most of us here, in our experiences, would consider all of that abusive and selfish but, realistically, minor in comparison to what many of us had to forgive to realize R.

I, personally, from the beginning had to endure much much worse but I didn't want to change what could and might be. In other words, for R, the shortest road to recovery is acceptance. Only acceptance that it happened, and nothing to do with accepting what the hurt and the ugliness of the feeling did to us. That we live with.

If all that floozy stuff from him is over and he still cares about his life with you, it just doesn't seem right to just end all of that. And yes, there is a whole lot of accepting the suck that comes with it.

lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 20:31 PM

woah great responses. I thank you for being so honest and harsh with me to see my issues. I will always have ptsd, the counseling has been with different counselors in the past 20 y and the recent one has been with me since before him. she saw me through the death of my dad in a fire... some pretty horrific stuff I have only told her. No one else could crack me.

I see that I cannot hold a grudge over him if I want it to work. I have to process and move forward. I walked in the woods today and cleared my mind.

We have had many conversations about emotional availability and me saying why i get so over worked. for the record I did want to maybe date someone if he was pushing me off or being blazee. I just didnt expect his response or that he would actually have a date in 24 hours. so, not everything adds up. He will have to come clean. But considering he had to call me as a heads up cause this girl is coming over and I have kids here... or that shes threatening some stuff, he had been caught in the lie so he is feeling pretty shitting. the worst is him lying about nonsense.

I am still sure I want to be with him and see this through. I want to know for sure in counseling with him. I have spent so many years with him. basically nearly 10 in total. lots of connections and love left.

sigh. (how do I quote you all)

[This message edited by lifestoshort at 8:34 PM, April 1st (Thursday)]

lifestoshort posted 4/1/2021 20:38 PM

rugs swept, your words are like my manual right now. perfectly said. thank you!

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