I’m 45, with my Significant Other for 18 months. We agued from the start, during his slow, eight-month process of selling his home (co-owned with his ex-girlfriend).
I noticed then that he was a heavy drinker. Later, he moved some things into my apartment. I soon realized that the drinking was worse than I’d thought.
I said it was affecting our relationship deeply.
Nothing changed. I set a timeline to end the relationship and got into therapy.
I also realized that I’d developed feelings for someone else.
After a nightmare Christmas party, where he got drunk, and embarrassed me before my colleagues, I ended it.
He begged, cried, and promised that he’d change.
I told him that I had feelings for someone else and he still begged for another chance. He went to Alcoholics’ Anonymous.
Meanwhile, the other man expressed feelings for me.
I ended up staying with my SO for the wrong reasons… some feelings for him but no trust.
I lost weight and stopped the breakup only because it was making me sick. I drifted from the “other man.”
Several months later, my SO seems to be doing well. But everything about him is different.
Some things aren't "right" still. I don't feel we’ve gotten any closer through all this.
We enjoy the same interests. But he's not good at "sharing." His three-months in AA ended and he never mentioned it to me.
I haven't gotten back to any physical intimacy; it’s something I don't want to give anymore.
I still miss the "other" man.
I’m just seeking some wisdom. What do I really want?
Still Together, Still Doubtful
The “wisdom” is within: You need time on your own to define what you need in a relationship.
You rightly gave him a good second chance. But if you feel no desire for intimacy, no closeness, then staying together’s pointless.
Your feelings for the other man could be escapist, sparked during difficult times.
You might repeat the mistake of getting together too soon with someone you don’t yet know well.
Focus awhile on getting to know yourself better.
My 40-something daughter has a successful career, a baby, and a husband in Los Angeles.
I’ve had past emotional problems and have suffered marital emotional abuse and other traumas. I’m seeing a psychiatrist for anti-depressants and panic disorder.
Previously, I raised two children and held a full-time job as an Emergency Room nurse.
I visit my daughter periodically and enjoy doing so.
But I’ve had a couple of meltdowns while with her. And she believes passionately in psychotherapy.
Currently, my son, his family, and seven animals live with me and my mother, who’s 93. It’s exhausting but I manage.
Now my daughter’s threatening and blackmailing me that I cannot visit her unless I get counselling for my emotional problems.
I’m not a danger to others. She’s trying to "fix" me before I go out there. This is hurtful and disrespectful. Your thoughts?
A baby and successful career have likely brought out her own anxieties. She’s worried about you for your sake (you do carry a load at home) and for her sake too.
Yes, it’s disrespectful to threaten your visit, but she may feel it’s the only way to convince you that you need more than anti-depressants.
She wants you to deal with your own stresses, and that’s not a bad thing.
Panic attacks do need to be addressed or they’ll constrict your life.
Later, tell her there was a kinder way to show her concern.
Recently, one of the grades of my children’s elementary school, held a parents’ social night.
It wasn’t my child’s grade so I heard this from someone who attended: Everyone got really drunk and two mothers started kissing each other passionately, publicly.
Both husbands were present.
Everyone was shocked, there’s even a rumour that the two couples later went off to a hotel.
It now feels so awkward for everyone who was there, and I feel awkward too, when I see those two mothers.
The story may well be exaggerated, even if partly true. Since you weren’t there, it’s best to put it out of your mind when you see those women.
You don’t know the background to whatever took place.
If your child isn’t involved with any of theirs, there’s no need for any reaction from you.
Except to tell the gossipmongers to zip it. Innocent children could suffer from the rush to judgment.
Tip of the day:
Take time alone to discover what you want/need from a relationship.