I have a beautiful four-year-old son. His father was initially a "rebound" for me.
I stayed because he treated me well and I ended up falling for him. I got pregnant and everything changed.
I was forced to go to doctor's appointments alone. He made ridiculously stupid decisions and I had to clean up his messes, with the help of our families.
He put me under huge unnecessary stress and I can't let that go. I’ve resented him since.
Overall, he's got a great heart. He loves our son and me. He's a decent father and he's never cheated on me.
We've had ups and downs, make-ups and break-ups.
I want to be head-over-heels for my partner, and I'm not.
Everyone wants his or her family to work, and I’ve certainly tried. The thought of my family breaking apart breaks my heart.
However, he's been bringing up marriage and the thought makes me ill.
He’s incredibly immature, insecure, and controlling. We bicker about nearly everything.
His femininity turns me off, yet he thinks he's entitled to sex whenever and wherever he wants (it’s not all that great, either).
Lately, I’ve been the sole provider and I’m TIRED.
I love him, but I can’t give him that fiery, intense love that I want and feel we both deserve.
I make mistakes as well. Do I stay because he's a "good guy who doesn’t cheat?"
Not In Love
Lots of people have good, solid, lasting marriages without fiery, intense love. But you’re not likely to be one of them.
You hold too much resentment, he remains insecure and controlling (partly because he knows you’re not in love with him), and sex with him isn’t a strong bond for you.
So unless there are constructive changes, you won’t stay together.
However, there’s a mutually loved young son. And a family sense that matters to you. Abandoning that scene without a serious joint effort would be foolish.
Counselling’s your only hope as a couple - IF you’re both open to recognizing your own parts in maintaining the current negative dynamic.
Read my blog on www.ellieadvice.com on How To Find a Therapist and see a professional who feels like the right “fit” for you two.
That’s when you’ll know if you’ve both really tried enough or can do more to boost your love, respect, and sex life.
FEEDBACK Regarding the brother who’s flirting with the new hire in the family-owned business (July 29):
Reader – “I agreed with your advice 100% and want to add another side:
“A family member in a family business, either is, or appears as, management, especially to a new hire, in her first job.
“There’s a power imbalance in the relationship.
“In that case, any sexual relationship will never be truly consensual. That's the basis of sexual abuse and harassment.
“The instant the brother crosses the line, he’s in danger of creating a complaint against himself.
“If his hand drops too low on her back, or he stands too close to her – any of these things and more can create a toxic work environment.
“It also affects other employees who see it.
“It’s not the girl's fault. She likely feels she has no choice but to go along with Mr. Big Brother’s suggestions, like “touring the workplace together,” which his sister who wrote you noted.
“People in management positions need to understand the impact their behaviour has on employees.
“Your writer fears her brother’s about to start an extra-marital affair. I see a workplace complaint building.
The love of my life and I now live together.
Yet I can’t be honest with him.
I’ve never had someone care for me so much.
I’d lied about some big things and it blew up, so I stopped. But I'm still dishonest about little things.
Why do I this? I don't want to go to counselling. I want to be honest with him.
There are pathological liars, and compulsive liars. But you’re neither.
Your ability to refrain from big lies, and your acknowledgement of lying, are healthier signs.
But your gratitude for his love and caring signal past insecurity.
You may be trying to look better in his eyes, to keep him loving you.
Put simply, you may still fear rejection. So you exaggerate some good things, and fudge the truth on other things.
If this feels even close, try to catch yourself before lying, by saying, “I have value as I am.”
Tip of the day:
Breaking up is only easier if you know you’ve really tried.