After living together for 10 months, my 60-year-old partner asked me to move out because she needed "space."
We’d been exceedingly happy together after both coming from long-term relationships – she was widowed three ago, I’d legally separated two years ago. We dated for nine months before I sold my home in the "boonies" and moved to live in the city with her. We traveled, golfed, and enjoyed each other’s company. We talked about building a home 75 km from the city, and from her family.
Days later, she asked me to leave, obviously persuaded by her family that I was controlling where we were to live.
I now live 80 km away in my old town near my family, friends and mother, but I miss my former partner. We have a weekly "sleepover," but that's it. I’m giving it a year to see if I can adapt, but doubt I will.
My partner confesses that "she likes her space" but still wants to travel and do many of the things we did before. But I want a soul mate in my life daily; I want to kiss her goodnight and good morning, and I want to be there for her in good times and bad!
What should we do, Ellie?
- Dismayed and Hurt
You’re never too old to compromise on behalf of a relationship. Her family was naturally worried about their her security – you haven’t divorced yet, so she’d be giving up her home and their proximity for a move that didn’t promise long term commitment.
Moreover, the plan apparently took her back toward your old territory, rather than a halfway distance that could’ve satisfied both you and her relatives.
These are now the “bad times” in which you say you want to be there for her, so show it. Put on your problem-solving cap, work it out together, then go to her family with assurances of your future intentions.
We’ve been married for two years; I’m 10 years older, with four adult children from a previous marriage; he has one teenage child.
Before we married we agreed we’d not have a baby because I had a tubal ligation 20 years ago. A few months after we married, I had to have a partial hysterectomy due to a medical condition. We discussed the surgery because I wanted him to understand that it would destroy the possibility that I could bear his child.
Recently, whenever he sees a baby, he states how much he really wants one - HIS baby, not adopted, one we’d have together.
I’ve said I understand his pain, but we had a mutual agreement. I’ve explained that it hurts that I can't give him HIS child, but he persists in voicing his desire.
He won’t consider counselling.
I asked if he wants out of the marriage, so he could meet someone that can give him a child. Because I love him, I don’t want to deprive him. He says no, he loves me ~ but I'm willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
- Considering Walking Away
Stop accepting the martyr role. He knew your limitations on child-bearing; if he’s now having serious second thoughts, he must assess his deep-rooted needs for a baby of his own versus adopting one, and own up to his decision about what to do.
Currently, he’s unfairly pushing you to make this “sacrifice,” so he can appear blameless if you part.
I'm 25, with my boyfriend, 35, for five years.
When we met he had a girlfriend; I didn't find out for months. They broke up and I forgave him.
Recently, I’ve discovered secret emails and text messages from two different females. He said they were both “nobody” and he’d end communication.
My company’s soon transferring me to another city for a year. I’m distrusting him.
We’ve talked about getting married in two years. Our relationship has always been wonderful otherwise but I can’t accept his private contact with other women. I don't understand what his problem is, since he says he loves me.
He’s gotten away with it before and thinks he will again. If you accept this job move, it’s at risk of the relationship. Decide, first, if he’s more important, and, second, whether you can commit to a future with someone whom you’ll long be suspecting.
Tip of the day:
A relationship at any age has many of the same needs as previous ones, especially for compromise.