I’ve been seeing a lady for over a year. We were colleagues and friends before, and have known each other for ten years.
I’m recently divorced, and have just ended a 25 year marriage with a spouse who was very difficult and confrontational.
This lady has never been married, is in her mid 50s, and financially secure.
We’ve both had to take medical retirements due to acquired brain injuries.
On the positive side: She’s been supportive of me, and a good sounding board. She’s very intelligent, and we have some deep and meaningful conversations.
She’s also good with money - something I have never been good at. The physical side to our relationship has been very nice for both of us.
On the negative side: I’m really bothered by her appearance, which I describe as looking "butch.” She’s tall, but has no sense of style.
Her clothes and hair style are both very plain and don’t really suit her.
When I worked with her, she was always smartly dressed and cared about her appearance.
She’s also very hairy (facial and other places) which I don’t find very feminine. She doesn’t use makeup, perfume, or nail polish.
Sometimes, she smells of body odour.
I’ve given her gifts of clothing, gone shopping with her, and recently gave her an expensive birthday gift certificate to a hair salon /beauty parlour for hair, waxing, and a manicure.
She hasn’t used it so far.
She can also be somewhat socially awkward. She doesn’t give out a warm and friendly vibe when she meets my friends and family.
I’ve also sometimes found her to be critical of me, and she rarely says anything positive to me.
We are also directly opposite in our beliefs – she’s an Atheist, I’m a devout Christian.
She’s Pro Choice, I’m Pro Life.
She’s a socialist with very liberal views, and I’m more of a social conservative.
We have talked about taking a holiday together and even mentioned moving in together.
So far, I haven’t been able to directly tell her what bothers me about her.
I don’t know whether this is because of my past unsuccessful marriage, and I’m fearful of a confrontation. I also don’t want to hurt her.
I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into and where this relationship is heading.
Unsure How to Proceed
Do this woman a favour and break off the relationship, gently.
You are far too critical of her appearance and manner, and will insult her if you state all of the above.
You also seem to want someone who never criticizes you.
And your core beliefs are completely opposed.
She’s provided you with company and sex during the transition time from your divorce, but I hear neither love nor even affectionate caring on your part.
It’s good that you don’t want to hurt her, but it sounds like you haven’t really gotten to know her well, during a whole year of dating. Example: She’s changed her appearance, likely related to her changed lifestyle and medical issues, but you haven’t discussed this with her.
Like I said, do her a favour… she deserves more respect for who she is, and how she chooses to look, even if it’s not your ideal.
You don’t like confrontation and difficulty from your ex-wife, so hanging in with a woman about whom you already have a list of “negatives” seems a poor choice for both of you.
Our three-month-old first granddaughter can’t visit with us at our house as we have a dog and two cats.
Her mom’s afraid that the baby will be left on the floor for the dog to lick and play with like a toy.
I’m not an idiot; the dog has all of its shots, and my husband and I did manage to raise three adults who have good jobs.
Remember your own protective feelings and fears when you had your first baby.
Then drop your outrage at a new mother experiencing those same worries.
Respect the parents’ concerns, visit your granddaughter often, and be the loving extended family she needs and that they’ll appreciate when they’re more confident.
Most pets are gentle with children, but youngsters need to learn basic rules e.g. baby not pulling a tail or poking eyes, by accident.
And the pets need to be watched carefully, till there’s comfort on all sides.
Tip of the day:
The question, “how did I get myself into (this relationship)” is a sure step to ending it, so proceed gently and respectfully.