Can this relationship be saved?
March 25, 2014 9:42 AM Subscribe
He's a doll ... who mocks religion, has a lazy, entitled child and is impatient.
Warning: Brevity has never been my strong point.
I am 3 ½ years into a relationship (FWIW: We are an interracial couple, me (43/f); he (55/m). We’ve been living together for the last year and a half and have actively discussed marriage. If we can survive the situation I’ll describe below, we’ll likely get engaged by the end of the year.
Pros: My boyfriend is the kindest man I’ve ever been with. I don’t mean “grand gestures” kind. I mean he makes and packs my lunch for me every day and puts it in my car. He’ll bring home a couple of my favorite French mints when I least expect it. He’s doting when I’m sick. He’ll write a grocery list and right between “Brussel sprouts and “hot sauce”, he’ll write “I love you.” He is egalitarian when it comes to house work and cooking. We are both liberal, social justice-minded and careful with our money. We have similar goals for the future (travel, volunteer projects, etc.) I’ve learned to really love movies since being with him. We’ve both learned a good deal from each other. He gets along well with my extremely dysfunctional family and friends to a one tout his good energy and sense of humor. He’s incredibly supportive of my career goals.
Cons: So, what, you say, is the problem?
1. He has disdain for organized religion. I mean REAL disdain. He mocks people who are believers and says disparaging things about the Bible and believers (in front of his 14-year-old daughter.) Recently, we were all on vacation and were in the hotel room. He pulled out the “yup, you know it’s there” Bible from the drawer and proceeded to mock-read a scripture while his daughter laughed. Though I was raised Christian, I am agnostic at best now. Nonetheless, I have real respect for people who live their faith and do my best to be respectful of everyone. I find his behavior immature and disrespectful and I have asked him not to say or do things that mock other people’s religion. Clearly, he ain’t listening.
2. The daughter: I’ve previously written about her. At 14, she has no chores whatsoever. Doesn’t clean her room. Doesn’t wash a dish. Leaves clothes everywhere. When she wants her laundry done, she puts the basket in the hallway and Dad does it. She doesn’t separate her clothes, fold them or put them away. She plays her parents against each other, causing conflicts between the two of them. I have never seen her do homework (though she gets OK grades.) If she is sitting in the living room and wants something from the kitchen, it’s “Dad, can you go get me a fork, a napkin and some ketchup?) If she is taking her medicine in the morning, she’ll stand two feet from the refrigerator and say, “Can somebody get me some water?” Her diet is atrocious and her doctor has recently told her parents that her cholesterol is too high and she needs to lose weight. She’s now on fish oil at the recommendation of the doctor. I have told my boyfriend that he needs to make her eat better and be more responsible in daily life. He uses food to gain her approval and to treat her – daily. Nothing happens. I’m afraid that when it’s finally time for her to leave and … do whatever, she won’t be prepared. She literally just learned how to use a microwave six months ago after I insisted that the child can’t be in high school and not know how to warm up an after-school snack.
3. He is extremely impatient. Not with me, of course. But we can’t go anywhere at all where there is greater than a five minute wait before he’s huffing and puffing. He’s also very easily frustrated with anything new in his life. (Windows 8 damn near gave him a stroke.) When he gets frustrated, he’s short-tempered and ugly. I’ll call him on it (He gets the temper from his father and does not like this aspect of his personality but at 55, I just don’t see him changing it.)
Despite all this, I love this man to pieces. I recognize some of what he does as insecurity. This is my longest relationship (Yes, at 43). We enjoy each other on a daily basis. Sex is great, we laugh a lot and agree on most of the “big things.” I am worried that the three issues mentioned above won’t change and that I won’t like it and will become increasingly frustrated. I know some of this is me. I’ve been single and independent for a long time and the compromise thing for me is very, very hard. I’d appreciate any advice here.
Apologies, again, for the length.