Author Topic: Relationship advice/help please  (Read 4382 times)

Broadway2019

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #50 on: July 31, 2019, 08:07:19 PM »

I'm sticking out out because I love her and we do still have good times together.  We had lots of sex early in our relationship and we hold out hope that the intimacy will return with work.  With regard to her age, she has been in consultations with her assisted reproduction clinic for about a year now and they see no issues with her giving birth; she tried IUI a few times but that did not work so she is now proceeding to IVF.  They feel she would give birth to a very healthy baby; they said many women in their late 30s and early 40s give birth to healthy babies.  Her mom had her last child when she was 42 years old.

I don't mean to be a jerk but I'm brutally honest so here it goes..

#1 Good times in the past are in the past, it's about the here and now

#2 I hold out hope for Megamillions, hope is not enough

#3 You really don't want a child so staying with her makes NO SENSE at all given the state of your relationship

#4 You love her and she loves you but you are not IN LOVE and as someone else said LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH

#5 Go out, find a  a group of people with some kind of shared interests, book club, cooking class, painting, something, ANYTHING and meet some people

Also, again not to be a jerk, this isn't all about her, this is about you, what you want, where you see this going and how it affects your future. Do you really want to be a pseudo father to this child that she is having not caring about your thoughts/wants/needs while you are in a 'relationship??'

You don't really seem to have a life together I think you probably just need to be completely done or at least admit you're just close friends and nothing more.
You are not being a jerk and this is stuff I have thought about.  I wouldn't mind maybe separating for a bit and trying things out as being really good friends instead.  I would still like to support her in her IVF, still see her and her family, and if she has a child still be involved; I'm just not sure I'm set out to be a full-time father, and having a child with her scares me.  And I am not sure she would go for that; being just really good friends and living separately.  I mean I think she would be a great mother and she would love her child more than anything; but I am not sure how my life would look in that scenario and whether I would be happy. 

I get it with the "pseudo" father comment, but I really see it as no different than meeting a single mother and dating her.

This is awful. Just break it off with her. She doesn't deserve a really good friend to go through with this at the age of 40. If you are not ready to step up, then step out. I am sure if she saw this statement from you, she would be out immediately. Don't string her along and don't be a half father to some kid. That is not fair to anyone.

I am so sorry but you don't get to try out being a father.

AliEli

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #51 on: July 31, 2019, 09:06:32 PM »
You really have to do extreme emotional acrobatics to make this scenario feel ok.  If you think this is ok, I can see that you will have a rude awakening after the baby arrives. She will not have the time or emotional space to work out things so you get what you need. She is probably feeling pretty vulnerable and really hurt by your behaviour now, so I can see why it would be hard for her to back away. She wants a baby, you've had 10 years to see that she is worth having a baby with... stop kicking the tyres and accept that she isn't for you.

The bottom line is that there is no way that this scenario can play out and you will both be happy together through pregnancy and early baby-hood. Deal with your own issues in whatever way you need, but let go of the glimmer of hope you seem to be clinging to. She will have no time for emotional complexity. You need to work out for yourself why you are open to having such a complex relationship.

Fru-Gal

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #52 on: July 31, 2019, 10:26:02 PM »
The thing that stands out in reading about your troubles and that of the guy who had the 7-year relationship with no sex but also had a girlfriend who wanted to have kids, is a crucial biological indicator: In both cases, the woman wants to be a mother -- just not with you. A lot of people get pregnant accidentally with the wrong guy. A lot of couples waffle and argue and despair about having kids.

But NO woman who loves one guy (who is fertile) intentionally gets pregnant with another guy's sperm.

ysette9

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #53 on: August 01, 2019, 04:00:06 AM »

I'm sticking out out because I love her and we do still have good times together.  We had lots of sex early in our relationship and we hold out hope that the intimacy will return with work.  With regard to her age, she has been in consultations with her assisted reproduction clinic for about a year now and they see no issues with her giving birth; she tried IUI a few times but that did not work so she is now proceeding to IVF.  They feel she would give birth to a very healthy baby; they said many women in their late 30s and early 40s give birth to healthy babies.  Her mom had her last child when she was 42 years old.

I don't mean to be a jerk but I'm brutally honest so here it goes..

#1 Good times in the past are in the past, it's about the here and now

#2 I hold out hope for Megamillions, hope is not enough

#3 You really don't want a child so staying with her makes NO SENSE at all given the state of your relationship

#4 You love her and she loves you but you are not IN LOVE and as someone else said LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH

#5 Go out, find a  a group of people with some kind of shared interests, book club, cooking class, painting, something, ANYTHING and meet some people

Also, again not to be a jerk, this isn't all about her, this is about you, what you want, where you see this going and how it affects your future. Do you really want to be a pseudo father to this child that she is having not caring about your thoughts/wants/needs while you are in a 'relationship??'

You don't really seem to have a life together I think you probably just need to be completely done or at least admit you're just close friends and nothing more.
I'm just not sure I'm set out to be a full-time father, and having a child with her scares me.  And I am not sure she would go for that; being just really good friends and living separately.  I mean I think she would be a great mother and she would love her child more than anything; but I am not sure how my life would look in that scenario and whether I would be happy. 
I may be misunderstanding your comment here but are you saying that she would not be happy with you just being really good friend and living separately?

Because isnít that the situation you are in now?

mistymoney

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #54 on: August 01, 2019, 04:51:26 AM »
I feel sorry for both of you, OP, but this isn't going to work out.

There isn't anything left, really. Make a clean break, and get a therapist to help you navigate that and build a life afterwards.


Imma

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #55 on: August 01, 2019, 05:54:43 AM »
Have you already talked about what your relationship to the baby would be? You're not the bio father, I assume you're not going to be named on the birth certificate and won't have custody. Will the baby call you dad? Or uncle?  Or will you be mum's special friend Garrett? Would you be named guardian of the child in mum's will or would her family take the child if something terrible happened to your girlfriend? What if you guys split up? The child will be attached to you as one of the primary carers in their life, you can't just walk away if you don't like it.

The difference between dating a single mother and this set-up is that in the first case all these questions are fairly simple to answer. The mother is the primary carer (and the father if there's one) and you're the stepparent which comes with a lot less responsability/attachment in most cases.

Noodle

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #56 on: August 01, 2019, 06:48:20 AM »
There is a difference between a relationship and a partnership--in a relationship, the participants may provide various things to each other such as companionship, intimacy, emotional or logistical support, etc...but in the end the individual person's needs take precedence over that of the couple. In a partnership, the participants agree to put the interests of the family unit above their individual needs. (Of course, a healthy partnership accounts for the wants and needs of the individuals, too). Think a civilian spouse who follows their military spouse's career around, or a family that decides one parent will work outside the home and the other will stay home with the kids.

There's nothing wrong with either of those types of connections--I have an acquaintance who just bought a house with a romantic relationship that he had known only a few months, and I'm pretty sure his family and friends wished he had not gotten involved with "partnership" obligations quite so early--but when people muddy the waters by occupying the ground in between, that's when trouble starts. It seems like your GF is operating on the "relationship" level--she's making her own decisions about her future--but you are feeling the obligations that come with partnership--to share your space, to possibly support her if she can't work after the baby, etc without the input that a full partner gets. But has your GF actually asked for that, or is that something you've imposed on yourself? If you really want to maintain some kind of connection (I share the dubiousness of a lot of other posters, but hey, it's not my life and you get to decide what's important to you), I think you will be happier if you look at this from a relationship perspective too. Really think about what you want and need and how GF and her obligations fit into that, instead of fitting yourself around someone else because all your emotional eggs are in one basket.

It also seems like you are carrying around a lot of fear about things that *might* happen. She might get pregnant (IVF is not guaranteed). She might have mental health issues exacerbated by a pregnancy. She might not be able to go back to work. Outside of the specifics of this situation, I would recommend talking to your counsellor (or getting a referral if he/she doesn't do this) about anxiety and how to cope with it effectively. You're going to have enough to do coping with what's in front of you (your GF wants to make a big change in her life and thus yours) without coping with a lot of maybes.

dcheesi

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #57 on: August 01, 2019, 09:10:00 AM »
I think the OP might simply be terribly lonely. This "relationship" is the only thing masking that and making it bearable, which is why OP fell into sadness/depression when they were apart.

In that context, I get the idea that bringing a baby into the situation might help with the loneliness; however, as others have said, it's unlikely to work out in the long term. Either the baby will disrupt the current comfortable situation and drive the two adults apart, and/or OP will indeed get attached to the child, only to be devastated later when the mother decides to take a different path in life (even just kicking out her family and moving back home).

OP, my advice to you would be to start now making an effort to make new friends/acquaintances, and also perhaps consider getting a pet.

On the former point, there are outlets such as Meetup.com that allow you to sign up for social events without already having to know people, or commit to a long term club membership, etc. I know it can be painful for a strong introvert, but some degree of social interaction is necessary for all of us, and can lead to unexpected benefits. Look for events and groups that involve your interests; it makes conversation easier, and you're more likely to find people who are fellow introverts and understand where you're coming from there.

In any case, having other social outlets and connections can make it easier to separate your feelings for one particular person from your general need for *someone* in your life. I think you need this extra perspective in your life right now.

On the latter point, owning a pet is a much less costly commitment in terms of lifestyle compared to a baby, and in this situation also carries less potential for heartbreak1, since the pet would be yours. Obviously you would want to research and decide which type of pet is most likely to work for you. One particular benefit is that pets offer companionship without the need to talk and be overtly social, so they shouldn't drain your energy the way people (even little ones) might.

1 except of course, when the pet eventually passes on, but for most companion animals that's a distant prospect, and the intervening years of joy and companionship are well worth it.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 09:12:05 AM by dcheesi »

KBecks

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #58 on: August 01, 2019, 09:20:40 AM »
Let's be clear.  If your girlfriend has a child via IVF, you are not the father and you do not have to play daddy. 

You have said that you do not want children, and she is going forward with IVF out of her desire to be a mother.  But you do not want children and that is OK.  You have concerns about her mental health and that is a very good reason not to have children with this person.

Children are stressful. Being a parent is great but it is also a LOT of sacrifice.

Is she just planning on having a child and assuming that you are going to come along for the ride in co-parenting?

You have to decide if you are going to parent her child or not.

I think, since you don't want to have kids with her, you have your answer.  Now it is just a matter of whether you have the strength to break up. 

I would not just let someone force you into a parenting role. 

I think you should try dating other people. Get out there.  See the world.  And maintain your early FIRE plans -- you are not Daddy and you have zero financial obligation, and if you go along without objecting, she will assume that you're along for the ride. 

Put a stop to that idea.

KBecks

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #59 on: August 01, 2019, 09:30:46 AM »
And if you decide that you want to be the dad and she is the one, then propose.

Not feeling good about that?  Then you should break up.  You have lived in limbo for 10 years.

Garrett B.

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #60 on: August 01, 2019, 01:30:08 PM »
I think the OP might simply be terribly lonely. This "relationship" is the only thing masking that and making it bearable, which is why OP fell into sadness/depression when they were apart.

In that context, I get the idea that bringing a baby into the situation might help with the loneliness; however, as others have said, it's unlikely to work out in the long term. Either the baby will disrupt the current comfortable situation and drive the two adults apart, and/or OP will indeed get attached to the child, only to be devastated later when the mother decides to take a different path in life (even just kicking out her family and moving back home).

OP, my advice to you would be to start now making an effort to make new friends/acquaintances, and also perhaps consider getting a pet.

On the former point, there are outlets such as Meetup.com that allow you to sign up for social events without already having to know people, or commit to a long term club membership, etc. I know it can be painful for a strong introvert, but some degree of social interaction is necessary for all of us, and can lead to unexpected benefits. Look for events and groups that involve your interests; it makes conversation easier, and you're more likely to find people who are fellow introverts and understand where you're coming from there.

In any case, having other social outlets and connections can make it easier to separate your feelings for one particular person from your general need for *someone* in your life. I think you need this extra perspective in your life right now.

On the latter point, owning a pet is a much less costly commitment in terms of lifestyle compared to a baby, and in this situation also carries less potential for heartbreak1, since the pet would be yours. Obviously you would want to research and decide which type of pet is most likely to work for you. One particular benefit is that pets offer companionship without the need to talk and be overtly social, so they shouldn't drain your energy the way people (even little ones) might.

1 except of course, when the pet eventually passes on, but for most companion animals that's a distant prospect, and the intervening years of joy and companionship are well worth it.
Funny you should mention that...I had the best cat ever and we were best friends for 14 years.  She just passed away a couple months ago.  It happened suddenly as she had heart disease and developed a blood clot.  I've thought about getting another cat but not quite ready yet.

Ponderosa

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #61 on: August 01, 2019, 01:40:00 PM »
Well your definitely will feel depressed if you break up. It's normal. Doesn't mean you didn't do that right thing.

**If you have other persistent depression issues best check with the counselor and doctor. Sometimes that doesn't go away without extra help like medication. Take care of yourself.

panda

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #62 on: August 01, 2019, 02:35:07 PM »
OP - your relationship is over, and you've been riding inertia for years because it's easy and comfortable. Please stop flogging a dead horse. Your roommate needs to move out and back into her house. If she doesn't want to live with her family, she needs to evict them.
Another vote for this and there's not really much to be said either. Find a time to sit down with them and pre-plan what you are going to talk about and don't go off topic. Like this person said,

The thing that stands out in reading about your troubles and that of the guy who had the 7-year relationship with no sex but also had a girlfriend who wanted to have kids, is a crucial biological indicator: In both cases, the woman wants to be a mother -- just not with you. A lot of people get pregnant accidentally with the wrong guy. A lot of couples waffle and argue and despair about having kids.

But NO woman who loves one guy (who is fertile) intentionally gets pregnant with another guy's sperm.

More so than anything else, that defines what type of relationship this is.

Quote
You need to move on with your life, independent of this woman. Given that you had a depressive episode last time you broke up, sounds like you really need some mental health support (THERAPY) to get through this period and figure out how to live independently.
Quote for context but this is really directed at everyone, please knock it off with the arm chair mental health diagnosis. You really can't tell anything an internet post and a lot of people confuse depression with a long list of normal responses to major life events. It also makes things difficult for people with major depressive episodes since they have to explain that they are not the same as getting sad about a break-up. Most people can benefit from having a counselor to talk to on a infrequent or regular basis, but that's not the same thing as seeing a therapist to address long term mental health concerns.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #63 on: August 01, 2019, 02:42:03 PM »
I'll toss in my two cents:  You know how when ppl talk about thier finances and all their dumb decisions and we all jump on them and tell them they are making excuses and what they are doing is dumb and won't work and it's clear to everybody except the OP who still thinks his crackpot scheme can work and still thinks that borrowing money to buy a 60K truck that he may end up living in is a good idea and he's hoping for the best but we ALL know that even the best is crappy and the worse is catastrophic but all we can do is shake our heads and it's a shame?  That.

AMandM

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2019, 03:09:37 PM »
And if you decide that you want to be the dad and she is the one, then propose.

Not feeling good about that?  Then you should break up.  You have lived in limbo for 10 years.

This is a really efficient way of figuring out what you should do, OP. Fish or cut bait.

Garrett B.

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #65 on: August 01, 2019, 04:37:38 PM »
Some good advice here but some of you are very mean in your delivery. I'm just a good guy, like any of you, who is struggling with a relationship. I appreciate the advice but please have some compassion.

LilTazzy

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #66 on: August 01, 2019, 04:58:52 PM »
OP, it appears that you are a very sweet, kind, thoughtful, loving man. To be in the situation you are in shows an enormous amount of empathy and understanding to your GF. I agree with you that some of the responses have been harsh. It is always easy to criticize another's situation when one is looking from the outside. However, I believe all of the respondents have your best interests at heart. I think only time will tell if the decision you made/will make was the right one. But, I can say that, speaking from the female perspective, you sound like a sensitive man with a big heart. These are both wonderful traits that become more valued as time goes by. If happiness is not to be found with your current girlfriend, you will eventually find it. It may take some time and it will likely hurt like hell. But you will find it. Good luck to you.

AliEli

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #67 on: August 01, 2019, 05:17:20 PM »
Some good advice here but some of you are very mean in your delivery. I'm just a good guy, like any of you, who is struggling with a relationship. I appreciate the advice but please have some compassion.

So you came to the internet, described an incredibly complex relationship scenario that sounds pretty yucky and doomed to fail, and everyone can see it, and everyone has explained this to you in their own way. But you expected a response that feels compassionate to you?

Have you considered that you might have a problem with your expectations not matching the reality of your actions? I'm sorry, but there have been no rude words, nothing troll-like, nothing reportable to the mods... isn't that excellent and the best you can hope for when you are interacting on the internet?

KBecks

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #68 on: August 01, 2019, 05:20:10 PM »
Given what you've said, I think you should end this relationship, take some time to get out there and socialize, and work on finding a person that you truly want to be with for the rest of your life, and who is enthusiastic about a romantic relationship with you, if that's what you want.

Also, I'm sorry about your cat.  I have always adopted cats and maybe volunteering in a rescue would be a nice way for you to get out a bit. 

Best wishes. 

KBecks

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #69 on: August 01, 2019, 05:36:34 PM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.

Prairie Gal

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #70 on: August 01, 2019, 06:46:41 PM »
Garrett, it's true that some of the responses have been blunt, but they are trying to get a point across.

You aren't in a real relationship. Your gf is moving ahead with a major life decision without you. She is bringing another life into the world despite your misgivings, and without your participation. How is that a relationship?

mistymoney

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #71 on: August 02, 2019, 07:57:35 AM »

I'm sticking out out because I love her and we do still have good times together.  We had lots of sex early in our relationship and we hold out hope that the intimacy will return with work.  With regard to her age, she has been in consultations with her assisted reproduction clinic for about a year now and they see no issues with her giving birth; she tried IUI a few times but that did not work so she is now proceeding to IVF.  They feel she would give birth to a very healthy baby; they said many women in their late 30s and early 40s give birth to healthy babies.  Her mom had her last child when she was 42 years old.

I don't mean to be a jerk but I'm brutally honest so here it goes..

#1 Good times in the past are in the past, it's about the here and now

#2 I hold out hope for Megamillions, hope is not enough

#3 You really don't want a child so staying with her makes NO SENSE at all given the state of your relationship

#4 You love her and she loves you but you are not IN LOVE and as someone else said LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH

#5 Go out, find a  a group of people with some kind of shared interests, book club, cooking class, painting, something, ANYTHING and meet some people

Also, again not to be a jerk, this isn't all about her, this is about you, what you want, where you see this going and how it affects your future. Do you really want to be a pseudo father to this child that she is having not caring about your thoughts/wants/needs while you are in a 'relationship??'

You don't really seem to have a life together I think you probably just need to be completely done or at least admit you're just close friends and nothing more.
You are not being a jerk and this is stuff I have thought about.  I wouldn't mind maybe separating for a bit and trying things out as being really good friends instead.  I would still like to support her in her IVF, still see her and her family, and if she has a child still be involved; I'm just not sure I'm set out to be a full-time father, and having a child with her scares me.  And I am not sure she would go for that; being just really good friends and living separately.  I mean I think she would be a great mother and she would love her child more than anything; but I am not sure how my life would look in that scenario and whether I would be happy. 

I get it with the "pseudo" father comment, but I really see it as no different than meeting a single mother and dating her.

This is awful. Just break it off with her. She doesn't deserve a really good friend to go through with this at the age of 40. If you are not ready to step up, then step out. I am sure if she saw this statement from you, she would be out immediately. Don't string her along and don't be a half father to some kid. That is not fair to anyone.

I am so sorry but you don't get to try out being a father.

WTF?

I agree a clean break is recommended - but what the hell do you know about what she may or may not "deserve"?

She is 39, wants a child, and OP - her BF of 10 years  - doesn't want to pitch on this, but also weirdly - won't let her go.

It is kind of now or never for her on motherhood, so she is doing this on her own. And very above board about it too. I don't see how that make her less deserving of friendship.

Garrett B.

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #72 on: August 02, 2019, 08:38:27 AM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question. 

LifeHappens

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2019, 08:47:18 AM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone". Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question.
Oh, Garret. That absolutely is abuse. Please talk with a counselor about this. Healthy relationships don't include these types of verbal attacks, no matter what mental health issues a partner struggles with.

former player

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2019, 08:48:36 AM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question.

I'm sorry.  What you are describing is emotional abuse.  And if it were a matter of your friend's mental health issues that sort of abuse would probably come up randomly, rather than being a programmed response to your attempts to stand up to her - one which gets the results she wants. 

Even if this behaviour were a matter of her mental health issues you are not her medical professional and should not attempt to deal with her health issues by giving up your own interests to keep her stable.

And when she says "you are going to die alone", and you say you have no other friends, it makes me wonder whether she has used your introversion and your nice-guy status to engineer your social isolation so that you don't have anyone else to turn to and are more likely to stay tied to her.

I'm sorry if you find this harsh: it is not intended to be.  I hope you find a good counsellor to talk through these issues in real life.

Best wishes to you.

panda

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #75 on: August 02, 2019, 08:50:15 AM »
But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.
Those are all examples of abusive statements.

At the end of the day, you need to do you, but it doesn't sound like she wants to have a partnership with you per se. Even married couples break-up over the question of children and you are allowed to be sad about that prospect. However, the relationship you have sounds more like it developed into a close friendship over the years and you deserve a solid partnership in your life. You could always offer to be a pseudo-uncle to their child.

Garrett B.

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #76 on: August 02, 2019, 08:53:13 AM »
But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.
Those are all examples of abusive statements.

At the end of the day, you need to do you, but it doesn't sound like she wants to have a partnership with you per se. Even married couples break-up over the question of children and you are allowed to be sad about that prospect. However, the relationship you have sounds more like it developed into a close friendship over the years and you deserve a solid partnership in your life. You could always offer to be a pseudo-uncle to their child.
This is something I think I would be MUCH more comfortable with and I would really enjoy; but I doubt my GF would go for it.  I really do like kids and my GF's brother and sister have kids of their own and they love me, and I really love them.  But in spurts ;)

Garrett B.

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #77 on: August 02, 2019, 08:55:30 AM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question.

I'm sorry.  What you are describing is emotional abuse.  And if it were a matter of your friend's mental health issues that sort of abuse would probably come up randomly, rather than being a programmed response to your attempts to stand up to her - one which gets the results she wants. 

Even if this behaviour were a matter of her mental health issues you are not her medical professional and should not attempt to deal with her health issues by giving up your own interests to keep her stable.

And when she says "you are going to die alone", and you say you have no other friends, it makes me wonder whether she has used your introversion and your nice-guy status to engineer your social isolation so that you don't have anyone else to turn to and are more likely to stay tied to her.

I'm sorry if you find this harsh: it is not intended to be.  I hope you find a good counsellor to talk through these issues in real life.

Best wishes to you.
Definitely not the case.  She is a beautiful person and she just isn't doing that.  I just prefer being alone most of the time and that simply my preference. Too much social interaction and I get exhausted. 

KBecks

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #78 on: August 02, 2019, 09:04:10 AM »
Garrett, I'm sorry that you are in such a tough position.  It seems clear to me that you have decided that having a child with your friend is not what you want, and she is determined to have a child.  So you have separate points of view on that.

When your friend moves forward and we assume she will have a baby, you also need to decide if you are allowing her to raise her baby in your home.  Is that her current plan? 

That puts you in such an awkward spot, because you are not the father, you are not married to the child's mother, and it's just difficult.  You life will be significantly disrupted by a newborn.  I have three children, I can speak to that! 

It seems that there are no boundaries in your relationship, and I am very concerned for the fear that you are feeling about putting some boundaries in place.  It is as if she is forcing you to accept her and the baby as your roommates without consulting you or considering your feelings.  That is wrong.

Personally, I think that she should plan on living in her own home with her child.  I understand that is a very difficult ask for you, but let me assure you, it is reasonable!  It is appropriate!

How did it go with your counselor?  I think you should talk to a counselor individually about how to stand up for your own interests, and how to manage your friend's emotional attacks when she does not hear what she wants to hear.

Stay in touch.  We care about you.

former player

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #79 on: August 02, 2019, 09:25:59 AM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question.

I'm sorry.  What you are describing is emotional abuse.  And if it were a matter of your friend's mental health issues that sort of abuse would probably come up randomly, rather than being a programmed response to your attempts to stand up to her - one which gets the results she wants. 

Even if this behaviour were a matter of her mental health issues you are not her medical professional and should not attempt to deal with her health issues by giving up your own interests to keep her stable.

And when she says "you are going to die alone", and you say you have no other friends, it makes me wonder whether she has used your introversion and your nice-guy status to engineer your social isolation so that you don't have anyone else to turn to and are more likely to stay tied to her.

I'm sorry if you find this harsh: it is not intended to be.  I hope you find a good counsellor to talk through these issues in real life.

Best wishes to you.
Definitely not the case.  She is a beautiful person and she just isn't doing that.  I just prefer being alone most of the time and that simply my preference. Too much social interaction and I get exhausted.
You are allowed to think that she is a beautiful person but at the same time I think you are doing her and yourself both a disservice if you do not recognise that some of the things she says and does to you are not beautiful but damaging.  And whatever the origin of those damaging words and actions might be, that origin does not change that they have a negative effect on you and that you are entitled to live your life without ever hearing words like those again.  I hope you find a way to do that.

mistymoney

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #80 on: August 02, 2019, 09:39:08 AM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question.

at the very least - you two are bringing out the worst in each other.

Please make a clean break, and you can be friends eventually if you both wish. But take at least 6 month/year to readjust before trying friendship.

Villanelle

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #81 on: August 02, 2019, 10:31:44 AM »
Garrett, if you had a sister or deal friend who was being spoken to like that, would you consider it even remotely acceptable?

Please, please, please do find a therapist for yourself.  I'm so sad for you that you think it's even sort of okay to be spoken to like that, and that you think that's better than the possibility of being single. 

Maenad

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #82 on: August 02, 2019, 11:16:10 AM »
This is awful. Just break it off with her. She doesn't deserve a really good friend to go through with this at the age of 40. If you are not ready to step up, then step out. I am sure if she saw this statement from you, she would be out immediately. Don't string her along and don't be a half father to some kid. That is not fair to anyone.

I am so sorry but you don't get to try out being a father.

WTF?

I agree a clean break is recommended - but what the hell do you know about what she may or may not "deserve"?

I'm not the person who posted that, but I read it as "she doesn't deserve a really good friend, she deserves a partner", due to the scope of responsibilities in parenthood. That, I could agree with.

I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace.

Oh yeah, that's really not OK. And as said before, mental health issues aren't an excuse for that kind of treatment of others. If one's mental state leads one to say things like that, the next step needs to be immediate visits to mental health professionals. Even if you don't agree that she's abusive, this is an incredibly unhealthy dynamic. I think the two of you may be at a place where you're bad for each other, no matter how much you love each other.

mistymoney

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #83 on: August 02, 2019, 11:20:43 AM »
This is awful. Just break it off with her. She doesn't deserve a really good friend to go through with this at the age of 40. If you are not ready to step up, then step out. I am sure if she saw this statement from you, she would be out immediately. Don't string her along and don't be a half father to some kid. That is not fair to anyone.

I am so sorry but you don't get to try out being a father.

WTF?

I agree a clean break is recommended - but what the hell do you know about what she may or may not "deserve"?

I'm not the person who posted that, but I read it as "she doesn't deserve a really good friend, she deserves a partner", due to the scope of responsibilities in parenthood. That, I could agree with.

I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace.

Oh yeah, that's really not OK. And as said before, mental health issues aren't an excuse for that kind of treatment of others. If one's mental state leads one to say things like that, the next step needs to be immediate visits to mental health professionals. Even if you don't agree that she's abusive, this is an incredibly unhealthy dynamic. I think the two of you may be at a place where you're bad for each other, no matter how much you love each other.

Oh - wow - yeah that would be a totally different interpretation of that sentence!

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #84 on: August 02, 2019, 12:10:31 PM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question.

You have to do quite a few mental cartwheels to not see that this is clear emotional manipulation and abuse.

Garrett B.

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #85 on: August 02, 2019, 01:26:12 PM »
The thing that stands out in reading about your troubles and that of the guy who had the 7-year relationship with no sex but also had a girlfriend who wanted to have kids, is a crucial biological indicator: In both cases, the woman wants to be a mother -- just not with you. A lot of people get pregnant accidentally with the wrong guy. A lot of couples waffle and argue and despair about having kids.

But NO woman who loves one guy (who is fertile) intentionally gets pregnant with another guy's sperm.
She does want me to be the father.  I'm the one who does not want to be the biological father.  I thought that was clear. 

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #86 on: August 02, 2019, 01:31:49 PM »

She does want me to be the father.  I'm the one who does not want to be the biological father.  I thought that was clear.

It's crystal clear!!

There are a lot of things that are crystal clear and I am really confused as I read more and more of your responses why it's not crystal clear to you what NEEDS to happen here.

If someone approached you and told them what you have told us think about what you would say to them. If that's also not crystal clear and reading these responses don't make it clear then I am not sure why you asked for advice


Garrett B.

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #87 on: August 02, 2019, 01:38:21 PM »

She does want me to be the father.  I'm the one who does not want to be the biological father.  I thought that was clear.

It's crystal clear!!

There are a lot of things that are crystal clear and I am really confused as I read more and more of your responses why it's not crystal clear to you what NEEDS to happen here.

If someone approached you and told them what you have told us think about what you would say to them. If that's also not crystal clear and reading these responses don't make it clear then I am not sure why you asked for advice
That's what I said earlier it's easier said than done.

Sibley

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #88 on: August 02, 2019, 01:57:09 PM »
Quote
You need to move on with your life, independent of this woman. Given that you had a depressive episode last time you broke up, sounds like you really need some mental health support (THERAPY) to get through this period and figure out how to live independently.
Quote for context but this is really directed at everyone, please knock it off with the arm chair mental health diagnosis. You really can't tell anything an internet post and a lot of people confuse depression with a long list of normal responses to major life events. It also makes things difficult for people with major depressive episodes since they have to explain that they are not the same as getting sad about a break-up. Most people can benefit from having a counselor to talk to on a infrequent or regular basis, but that's not the same thing as seeing a therapist to address long term mental health concerns.

That was my quote. And let me very clear: you do not need to have a mental illness to be in an unhealthy, codependent fucked up relationship. But a therapist can be very helpful in getting OUT of said relationship and figuring out how to do relationships better. You don't have to have a mental illness to be able to benefit greatly from visiting a therapist, one time, short term, or long term.

No, I don't think OP actually had depression when he broke up last time. I do think the relationship is screwed up enough that when they broke up, he wasn't prepared to be an independent person and fell apart. I was being nice enough to not say that.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #89 on: August 02, 2019, 02:01:45 PM »

That's what I said earlier it's easier said than done.

It's really not. I get that nothing is ever easy but go re-read some of the things you've wrote in response to peoples questions and responses, that should give you the motivation to end your non-relationship and move on.

ZMonet

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #90 on: August 02, 2019, 04:07:57 PM »
Please do what you know is right.  If you stay, what percentage chance do you give it that this resolves favorably with you both together?  Just curious.

You can be happier.  You know that.  You just need to go make that happen.  It will be hard.  You will be depressed.  You will have moments of doubt.  But I assure you that if you work through it, you'll be better for it and will be in a better position to accept what so many other women have to offer.  Been there, and, after hemming and hawing for too long, finally took the steps I needed to take.  And one sad casualty was that I waited so long I tarnished that relationship so much that it has taken years to see any of the positives in it.  Don't do that...

All of the above will be easier if you have a therapist who can guide you.  You don't seem opposed to therapy -- something you don't see all that often in 40-year-old males, so you have that going for you too.  Another cat, at some point, would also be great.  As would other's advice, like attempting to go to a Meetup or two (maybe they have a Meetup for  extreme introverts?)




Villanelle

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #91 on: August 02, 2019, 04:42:48 PM »

She does want me to be the father.  I'm the one who does not want to be the biological father.  I thought that was clear.

It's crystal clear!!

There are a lot of things that are crystal clear and I am really confused as I read more and more of your responses why it's not crystal clear to you what NEEDS to happen here.

If someone approached you and told them what you have told us think about what you would say to them. If that's also not crystal clear and reading these responses don't make it clear then I am not sure why you asked for advice
That's what I said earlier it's easier said than done.

Of course it is easier said than done.  Nearly everything is.  No one (or few of us, at least) are saying it is easy.  But it is right, and necessary, and simple.  Simple is not the same as easy.  It's like losing weight--simple, but not easy. 

Ending long term relationships is painful and trying and emotional and taxing and awful.  But so is staying in them even longer, especially when you are almost certainly going to have to go through that break up anyway. 

It's is hard.  But it is still something that needs to be done.  I hope you can see that and find the strength. 

KBecks

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #92 on: August 02, 2019, 05:27:37 PM »
The best timing for you to let her know that you don't want her and her future child to live with you is BEFORE her first IVF placement.  Then she knows where she stands.

I am still concerned for the fear you are feeling regarding communicating with her.  She will be angry and disappointed, but she will move on with her life too.

She needs to know that she is choosing to be a mom and you are choosing not to be her roommate/partner/whatever in this relationship. 

If your fear is holding you back then please work on this with your counselor, family or anyone you are close to to work on your exit plan.

OtherJen

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #93 on: August 02, 2019, 05:34:29 PM »
Last,  is your girlfriend abusive toward you?  When you said she attacks you, and she has low lows, and you are describing your fear -- is this person verbally or physically abusive to you?  If yes, or maybe, please look into getting help in getting out of this relationship, and it is a clear signal that you need to end it. 

I hope that's not the case, but we have to look out for you.
I wouldn't say she is abusive.  But sometimes when I tell her things she does not want to hear during an argument he will verbally attack me with things like, "you've ruined my life", "you are going to die alone", "you don't deserve to be with anyone", "you'll never find anyone".  Things like that and she is yelling and crying.  I blame it on her mental health issues as when she gets emotional it can sometimes get really bad.  It just breaks my heart and then I tell her what she wants to hear to keep the peace. 

I am by no means a saint in this relationship, but just answering the specific question.

I'm sorry.  What you are describing is emotional abuse.  And if it were a matter of your friend's mental health issues that sort of abuse would probably come up randomly, rather than being a programmed response to your attempts to stand up to her - one which gets the results she wants. 

Even if this behaviour were a matter of her mental health issues you are not her medical professional and should not attempt to deal with her health issues by giving up your own interests to keep her stable.

And when she says "you are going to die alone", and you say you have no other friends, it makes me wonder whether she has used your introversion and your nice-guy status to engineer your social isolation so that you don't have anyone else to turn to and are more likely to stay tied to her.

I'm sorry if you find this harsh: it is not intended to be.  I hope you find a good counsellor to talk through these issues in real life.

Best wishes to you.
Definitely not the case.  She is a beautiful person and she just isn't doing that.  I just prefer being alone most of the time and that simply my preference. Too much social interaction and I get exhausted.

I say this with all kindness. Those statements are textbook examples of emotional abuse. A stronger, more legally binding commitment will not fix the abuse. It will just make it harder and more expensive to escape.

It doesn't sound like this relationship is particularly healthy for either of you. Children don't fix already damaged relationships, especially if one partner doesn't actually want the child. I'm so sorry that you're struggling in this situation, but I implore you not to take on fatherhood if you don't want a child.

Zamboni

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Re: Relationship advice/help please
« Reply #94 on: August 02, 2019, 05:50:20 PM »
It is understandable that you are very upset about all of this.

It seems like you are worried that, if things are ended with your current girlfriend, you will have trouble finding another person you love as much. Please accept my reassurance that this is not the case.

You sound like a kind and generous guy, and there are lots of women your age who would love to meet you. A lot of single women your age don't want children (either because they just don't, or because their children are already grown or nearly grown.) So, as hard as it is, based upon all you have written I think you need to end this relationship. It will be painful, yes, but the pain will not be eternal, and from it will grow new opportunities to find the love and life you deserve.

Then take some time to grieve and focus on yourself. Once you are ready, but not before, sign up for speed dating, meetup events in things that interest you, and anything else you can think of to meet new people. Don't worry about being shy. Speed dating and meetups are specifically designed for new people to join. I have met tons of people through my volleyball and hiking meetups, and some of them are very shy and they are still warmly welcomed as part of our group. Also, since you need a lot of time to recharge, one of the nice things about the types of events I list here is that there is no expectation of regular attendance. You can go once a week, once a month, a couple times a year, drop in whenever you feel like it, etc. You can recharge as much as you need in between . . . I totally get that!

Good luck to you!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 08:04:58 PM by Zamboni »