Am I asking too much?
December 2, 2011 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Help me sort through my relationship issues. Am I asking too much?

Anonymous because co-workers are on metafilter, and I don't want them to know my personal issues.
A little background: My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years. He is in his early forties; I am in my late twenties—not living together. We work together so we see each other everyday and hang out every weekend. For the most part, our relationship is good. We laugh a lot, we’ve traveled all over, we give each other space, our sexual chemistry is great, we talk about our future together, but there are 2 nagging issues that leave me questioning if this is all just a waste of my time.
For starters, he has all but refused to get to know my family. He met both my mom and my sister once very early on in our relationship (the first 6 months of dating), but I have been unable to get him to attend a single family event or dinner since then. He has never spoken one word to my dad, brother, niece or nephew and it bothers me especially since I go to a lot of his family functions (mom’s retirement party, sister’s graduation dinner, dad’s birthday dinner, etc.) To be fair my family does live 2 hours away while his is in the same town, but every now and then, it’d be nice if he bit the bullet and made the drive with me. I told him that I don’t want to be the only “single” at the family holiday parties anymore and he responded with “We aren’t married, why do you think we should spend holidays together?” He doesn’t even like his family and despises spending the holidays with them so its not like he has the huge desire to do so, he just doesn’t seem to want to spend them with me. I invited him to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving, he said he was going to his mom’s. He did not invite me. I’ve suggested making an attempt to hit both familes’ homes together so that nobody is left out, I didn’t get much response. I did finally get him to agree to spend Christmas day with my family, but he has reneged on this kind of thing before so my hopes aren’t that high. Am I asking too much out of him?

The second issue is a bit more complicated: When we first started dating, we were both friends with our immediate exes (my ex boyfriend of 7 years, his ex wife of 10-12 years). This became an issue when both his and my ex tried to destroy our relationship. We agreed that we would no longer have contact with either of them and we moved on. It recently came to light that not only has he continued his friendship with his ex behind my back, but he is entertaining the possibility of going into business with her by which he would move across the country to the city that she lives and operate the business from there. He wants me to be apart of this as one of their employees. Let me be clear, I know he isn’t interested in rekindling anything with her—she is engaged, anyway. That’s not what bothers me. It bothers me that he is still making plans with her, building dreams with her. He and I have talked about moving many times, but always to one of 2 cities---Never to the city that she lives in. My position is that I will absolutely not be a part of this, and I don’t want him to be either. She has been bitter that he and I are dating and has said horrible things about me in the past. He says he feels sorry for her and wants to help her, but what about me? He says that he isn’t on board if I’m not on board, but he still hasn’t told her no. When I said its me or her, he told me to think on it for a week. Also, he still pays her cell phone, car and health insurance years after their divorce. His reasoning is that he has been too lazy to take her stuff off of his bank account. He promised he would do it by the end of the year so I guess we’ll see what the next 30 days brings. He just seems to refuse to cut her off. Yet, he says himself that he doesn’t think men and women can be friends if they have been romantic in the past, he says he doesn’t think men and women should remain friends after a break up, but he is completely contradicting himself with all of this. Am I missing something? Another perspective would be great on this! Thanks in advance.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (82 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
“We aren’t married, why do you think we should spend holidays together?”

This guy is a waste of your time.
posted by crankylex at 7:55 AM on December 2, 2011 [115 favorites]


You are missing the giant red flags that are waving here. He wants nothing to do with the people that are important to you, he's going behind your back to make plans with his ex-wife, he still pays for her bills, and now he's thinking about moving to live near her to start a business with her? Why are you with this guy? What does this relationship give you?
posted by crankylex at 7:59 AM on December 2, 2011 [43 favorites]


I don't like him. I don't know what you mean by saying your exes tried to destroy the relationship, but if the two of you agreed to cut of contact and he, instead, is making serious long-term plans with his ex wife, that is a colossal abuse of your trust.

You are expecting too little.
It really sounds like he enjoys hanging out with you doing the thing he like to do with you, and he is utterly inflexible and selfish when it come to things that don't interest him - visiting your family, following-through when he does agree to visit your family, making plans to move to another city without bothering to tell you.

If this is actually how he behaves, please end it.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:01 AM on December 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


What exactly is the future together that you two talk about? He can't be bothered to get to know your family. No grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins if you have children? He's deceptive about his ex and making plans without discussing them with you. He doesn't seem to have much regard for you and do you really want to have always nag him to get him to give an inch on petty stuff. He's too lazy to stop paying his ex-wife's bills. Move on. He's inflexible and thoughtless and is the only the second person you've dated as an adult. There are other and better men out there.
posted by shoesietart at 8:01 AM on December 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


He sounds like a jerk. Guess what five-letter acronym is going to come to mind here.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:02 AM on December 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


OP, issue #2 is WAY ridiculous. WAY WAY WAY. Both issues reveal a (serious) lack of commitment to you and your relationship. And this is a relationship that the best thing you say about it is that it is good for the most part? Uh-uh. DTMFA.
posted by pupstocks at 8:02 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I asking too much out of him?

After two years, it sounds like you are asking for the bare minimum of cordiality and you're not getting it. This dude is openly keeping you at arm's length, and has no bones about doing so. Now, I'm going under the assumption that your family isn't a bunch of pig-people, and that you're not asking him to go over there every weekend. Two hours a few times a year for something that is important to you isn't exactly the Oregon trail. He is not acting like a good person in this situation, and it doesn't seem like he intends to any time soon. And that "we aren't married" thing is a load of crap as well.

I know he isn’t interested in rekindling anything with her—she is engaged, anyway.

I don't mean to be rude, but you don't know shit. This is a dude who got out of a marriage, saw the person he was in that marriage try to destroy his new relationship and proceeded to think "well, she might be terrible, but her business acumen is on the mark, I think I'll go move to her town." It's absurd and goes far beyond what people do out of sheer pity, especially to someone who has been openly antagonistic to them.

This dude is a fucking mess. Bail. Bail now.
posted by griphus at 8:02 AM on December 2, 2011 [61 favorites]


I have been in the first one of those two situations that you find problematic. Eventually, I decided that my family was really important to me and I wanted to date/partner with someone who would be happy about that and be willing to be included in it, and vice versa. My family is also really kind and welcoming, so it became apparent to me that I was not expecting too much. Additionally, I kind of think people who are resistant to family are a red-flag more generally, but that is my own personal bias and I know some people have good reasons for feeling that way. I just decided those types of people shouldn't be my lifetime partner, because I would always be unhappy.

I don't have personal experience for the second half, but my gut feeling is that if you feel it's not good, trust yourself.

You don't have to put up with things you find uncomfortable to an extensive degree. That's the most freeing thing to learn about relationships. You can find a partnership where you do things you don't like but without all these huge deal-breaker type situations where you feel like a little piece of your self-respect is dying.

In most of these situations, I think you have to take what is in front of you, assume it will not change (people can change, but you should never bank on it), and decide that if it does not... can you be happy long term? And if not, maybe it's time to reconsider.

I wish you the best, I know these decisions are tough.
posted by araisingirl at 8:03 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another perspective would be great on this!

This person is not planning their life with you. While I know a lot of relationships where people live more or less independently but also have a partner, that does not sound like the sort of situation this is. I have a partner who was also extricating himself from a long complicated relationship when I met him, to the point where he was also paying many of the bills for his ex. There was a lot, an awful lot, of baggage with him stopping paying those bills and it took a lot of time to work it out, but I put it solidly into "dealbreaker" territory [i.e. you do not pay your ex's cell phone bill anymore. You have a month to wrap this up] and he stepped up. So.

1. he is entertaining the possibility of going into business with her by which he would move across the country to the city that she lives and operate the business from there.
2. he still pays her cell phone, car and health insurance years after their divorce
3. We aren’t married, why do you think we should spend holidays together?... he has reneged on this kind of thing before

All of these are Level 1 dealbreakers for me. You will have to decide if they are for you as well. The guy I am dating took a little prodding to get to the point where he was planning his life stuff with me and not sort of "organizing" around his ex and her whacked out demands, but once I outlined it as a problem, he was very receptive to and understanding of my feelings. I'm not getting that vibe from what you say about your guy. A good relationship should be about compromise to a certain extent where, for example, even if he doesn't really want to hang out with your family he'll do it once in a while because it is important to you, because you are a team and that is sort of how this stuff is supposed to work. I'm not really seeing that in what you have outlined here, and I don't think he's likely to have a real big change of heart, but I'd suggest a "come to jesus" talk about it before the holidays are in full swing and if he's not willing to step up then yeah I'd look elsewhere.
posted by jessamyn at 8:03 AM on December 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


“We aren’t married, why do you think we should spend holidays together?”

After two years the "we arn't married so I don't have to deal with your family" argument loses its power. No, you are not married, but you are in a committed long term relationship, thus, dealing with each others families is not an unreasonable expectation and is par for the course.

Also, his argument is a slap in the face as it suggests that your relationship is not serious enough to warrant getting that invested in your life (apparently people's families are only important after you are married, WTF?).

We agreed that we would no longer have contact with either of them and we moved on.....It bothers me that he is still making plans with her, building dreams with her.

Assuming that you are correct that he has no intention of getting back with her, he still:

1) Constructed a long term lie that you are only now finding out about, and has been activly going behind your back a lot.

2) Has brought an ex to the forefront of his thoughts and is making plans with her without any regard for your feelings.

I don't care if this guy is the smartest/kindest/funniest man you have ever known who works at the homeless shelter on weekends and adopts stray puppies and kittens, he is screwing you over.
posted by Shouraku at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'd like to address the first problem you're having which is the issue with him not wanting to be involved with your family. Out of curiosity, is there anything your family could have possibly done or said to make your boyfriend feel uncomfortable? That's the only thing I can think of in terms of giving him any sort of slack. But that being said, at 2 years it's expected that you guys should be spending time with each other's family. Even more important, you should DEFINITELY be spending the holidays together. It's one thing if you just met or you live hours(8+) away from each other. He should want to be with you on the holidays...this is not asking for too much. My wife and I are still getting used to having in laws. And while we both agree that our parents can be somewhat challenging to deal with, we both tolerate our in laws because we love each other. And it's one of the strongest ways you can show your love to your SO. As for the second issue....that's just a whole mess waiting to cause a lot of problems. The biggest thing about the second issue is that he's still paying for his ex's cell phone, car and health insurance. Unless he has a court order to be doing so...this is just a huge red flag for so many reasons. Obviously the fact that he's going behind your back is the biggest. But lets say you were married to this guy...how would you feel if he just happened to be paying his ex's bills then? What about your family? While you say you have a good relationship with this guy, I think these 2 issues are huge and big enough to make or break things. If he's not willing to spend time with your family and is still having major contact with his Ex....I would end the relationship. He's not worth your time.
posted by ljs30 at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2011


I guess we’ll see what the next 30 days brings

I will wager you a year of her cell phone bills that he continues to pay.

When you ask for a compromise, and the person is unwilling to AT LEAST BEGIN to compromise, they are not truly committed to your relationship.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I missing something?

Yes. You're missing the chance to be with someone who is true to his word and who cares about making you happy.

When I said its me or her, he told me to think on it for a week.

That means he chooses her. I'm sorry. Please get away from this guy.
posted by argonauta at 8:08 AM on December 2, 2011 [51 favorites]


The deal is that you are not really all that important to this guy. You're important enough to be worth staying around, but not important enough to change his routine or make any allowances or accommodations. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that this is something I occasionally see in people who divorced after a long marriage: He's a little wiggy about committing emotionally to a person any more than a slight amount.

I'm not saying he's not into you at all, I'm not even saying he doesn't love you, because probably he'd say he does, and probably he'd mean it. I'm saying he's conducting all his business with one hand on the doorknob.

Sometimes the question of "Am I asking too much?" is a messy one. You wouldn't be asking too much of someone who was even relatively unselfish, but yes, you're asking more than this guy is willing to give. The optimist in me says that you should try to make it clear to this guy exactly how problematic this behavior is for you, and give him a chance to change, or to even want to change, but at the same time I'd be remiss if I didn't say that this might be a pretty good time to start looking at that doorknob yourself.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:08 AM on December 2, 2011 [14 favorites]


For starters, he has all but refused to get to know my family. He met both my mom and my sister once very early on in our relationship (the first 6 months of dating), but I have been unable to get him to attend a single family event or dinner since then.

He doesn't want to become part of your family. It's going nowhere. Drop him if you want anything beyond what you have now.
posted by xingcat at 8:10 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Yeah. The holiday weirdness. I remember that. He pulled the whole "if we're not married, we shouldn't spend the holidays together" thing. I thought it had to do with family issues. I was all understanding - especially since my relationship with my family is tense, so I don't usually bring boyfriends home for such a high-stakes event.

I guess I disregarded, at the time, that I wouldn't bar him from a quick family hello, or from spending the holidays with me after I saw them for quick pie. But I still rationalized his actions in terms of my situation.

Usually, he spent the holidays with family members who never knew I existed (he could never confess that he was dating someone as young as me; he thought it was shameful), or with the girl he was cheating on me with.

I'm not saying this is what is going on here, but he isn't really integrating you in his life. My current (awesome) boyfriend? He hung out with my grandparents at a party I was having. We took his mom to a dinner and musical this last weekend. There is none of this compartmentalized weirdness. It is so much better.
posted by sock puppet of mystery! at 8:12 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


When I said its me or her, he told me to think on it for a week

Yeah this guy is not good for you. With all of the reasonable needs you mentioned (him spending time with your family, him cutting off contact with his ex, etc.) he has been either oblivious or actively dismissive of them. It's fine if there are issues in your relationship that you have to work through, but if when you tell him that something he does is negatively affecting you and his response is to completely blow you off, then you are never going to be able to fix any problems that require even a minimum amount of effort from him. A relationship can only work if both people respect each other's needs and are willing to compromise about things.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:12 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sounds like he enjoys having a young piece of ass around. A significant other should be present in anothers family.

Move on, dtmfa.
posted by handbanana at 8:15 AM on December 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


This guy is a liar, a douchebag, and a hypocritical asshole. Flee.
posted by elizardbits at 8:17 AM on December 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


So you've been together for two years and you're serious enough that you are talking about moving across the country together but he won't see your family and be a sport and attend functions with you? He has serious problems. He hates his family and is transferring that shame or hate or whatever onto yours. He is not committed to you. Don't get hysterical (sorry, hate that word but you know what I mean) or angry in an unproductive way when it comes to standing firm about this going into business nonsense. Don't allow yourself to go with the flow or leave things unsaid if you feel like you are being walked over. You have to say something and it has to be different. You can't just fight/argue/discuss it and hear and say the same things over and over and maintain the status quo. Nothing will change and you'll stay angry and feel like you are not a priority and become angrier and angrier.

You need to come up with a mature response that lets him know your feelings on the subject are very firm. "Sorry, I'm not going to think about it further. I have thought about it and I'm very uncomfortable with the idea and frankly it makes me feel like I am not important to you. If you feel like it's something you want or need to do, that is your prerogative, but I won't join you in this venture."

Your boyfriend is still attached to his ex-wife. He feels "sorry" for her? Why? She's a grown woman that is engaged. Maybe he feels sorry for her because he was a jerk to her and has some kind of guilt or maybe he still loves her and has regrets. Who knows but this whole thing is weird and do not doubt yourself or think you are the crazy one and do not allow your boyfriend to tell you to think about it. He can ask you to think about it. He can take your feelings on the subject for truth the first time and not try to convince you otherwise. It sounds like he has you wrapped around his finger. He can take you seriously but it doesn't seem like he is. Don't get caught up in thinking you are being unreasonable or immature or unreasoned. You deserve better. Please know this.

Good luck.
posted by Fairchild at 8:23 AM on December 2, 2011


He won't go two hours to spend a day with your family, but he'd move across the country for his ex-wife? That's awfully fishy.

I read a comment here, some time back, that said "Never make someone a priority in your life when you are only an option in theirs." That's your situation here. Two years in, it's not going to get better.

And find a new job so you don't have to work with him after you dump him.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:25 AM on December 2, 2011 [38 favorites]


You are better off with no-one than you are being with him.

Nthing DTMFA.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:32 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I said its me or her, he told me to think on it for a week

Here in the moment, you can't even sense the damage that this kind of response does to your self esteem. But someday later on, you will look back and know, and thank god you got out when you did.
posted by hermitosis at 8:34 AM on December 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


you deserve to get the love you want.
you deserve to get the love you want in the ways you want it.
that means honesty and strong family/partnership building.

he has been dishonest with you about his ex-wife. i am not saying cheating necessarily, but you had an agreement and he more than violated that agreement in terms of maintaining AND building a connection with her.

you're speaking of building a family with him. yet he does not include you in his family events and will not join you at your family events. that seems highly problematic to me.

you make your own choices in your life, of course, but again, you deserve to get the love that you want in the ways you want it, and that does not seem to be occuring here.
posted by anya32 at 8:35 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


You have to decide for yourself if these things are dealbreakers for you, if he refuses to compromise.

There's some degree of understanding where he's coming from on the family side of things. If he doesn't like to be with his family and it's a forced event, well of course he doesn't want to add another family to the obligations. But that's a discussion you have to have -- it's important to you to see that he will make an effort to spend time with your family. Is your family hard for him to get along with?

With the ex-wife, I'd say the biggest problem there is that this is all being done behind your back, big plans are being made and you're not included. You already have a point of contention with this woman from her earlier behavior, so his hiding this stuff from you doesn't look good. If he says it's none of your business, well then yeah it's a case of who's more important to him - you or his ex-wife? If you're less important after 2 years, then yes you're wasting your time.

He needs to make you feel more respected in this relationship by at least compromising on these two points, or that's the dealbreaker.
posted by lizbunny at 8:37 AM on December 2, 2011


This guy is just not committed to you. He isn't integrating you into his life and he's making long-term plans that exclude you. And he's unwilling to change that. Show him the door and find someone else.
posted by orange swan at 8:42 AM on December 2, 2011


To paraphrase Iron Maiden: "Run to the hills, run for your life"
posted by dgeiser13 at 8:43 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Am I asking too much out of him?

If you'll forgive me, you're asking the wrong question. There's no baseline or standard for this kind of thing. "Too much" compared to what?

It's not whether you're asking too much, or too little, or not enough; it's that you're asking for something he doesn't want to give you.

You can't make someone give you what you need in a relationship. All you can do is clearly and honestly communicate your desires and expectations. It sounds like you've done that—and he's said no. The ball's back in your court.

You want an honest, generous partner. You deserve an honest, generous partner. This guy ain't it. So you have two options: give up on what you want, or go get it.
posted by Zozo at 8:45 AM on December 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


You are expecting too little.

One million times this. You're in a relationship with someone who seems to have a very different idea of what that relationship should be, and doesn't, from your description, seem interested in changing that. Why are you in a relationship with someone like this?
posted by rtha at 8:46 AM on December 2, 2011


Leave him now or leave him in 10 years. He's not going to change.

Is this the type of lying,manipulative person you want as a partner? No? Then ditch him.
posted by 26.2 at 8:46 AM on December 2, 2011


No, you're not asking for too much. He just doesn't care about you. Move on.
posted by uans at 8:49 AM on December 2, 2011


He wants you to be an employee of him and the ex that treated you so nasty?

That is bad-cable-TV-movie-WhattheFuckness right there.

And there are so many red flags here, it's like Mayday in Moscow. Please find someone who treats you like you want & deserve.
posted by pointystick at 8:56 AM on December 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


When I said its me or her, he told me to think on it for a week.

This is the most astounding sentence in an astounding post. You gave him a choice, and he suggested that it was actually your choice. As some else said, this means he chooses her.
posted by OmieWise at 9:00 AM on December 2, 2011 [20 favorites]


My answer had a Freudian slip. I typed "mayday" (help!) when I met May Day (the holiday). Even my subconscious knows this is bad news.

And one more thing. Even if your family is odious or made him uncomfortable, he is an adult. He can say " Your Gran's house smells like stale cigars" or "Your brother Eddie's racist comments make me uncomfortable" but he hasn't said that, or anything. My bet is he just isn't interested in going.
posted by pointystick at 9:02 AM on December 2, 2011


He's not making you a priority in his life. Why are you making him a priority in yours?
posted by MsMolly at 9:05 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow.

You are asking way too little of this guy.
posted by LeanGreen at 9:10 AM on December 2, 2011


Hey, by the way I am totally sick of how often older men somehow manage to get vastly younger women to run in circles trying to please them.

Don't you know, OP, that as the young beautiful one, you have all the power? He should be thanking his lucky stars every day that someone over a decade younger than him is taking a relationship this seriously, thereby saving him from the middle-aged dating pool. Dude has basically won the lottery and he is still making everyone else pay for shit.

Seriously if someone that much younger than me wanted to plan a future together, I would treat them like gold. I would do whatever it took to win their family's approval. Etc. etc.
posted by hermitosis at 9:15 AM on December 2, 2011 [28 favorites]


I didn't even have to read issue #2. I lived through issue #1 with a few guys; now it would be a signal to me that there's no future in the relationship.

Also, seconding hermitosis. :-)
posted by Currer Belfry at 9:19 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


OP, if you'd only written the first problem, I'd have been inclined to offer you some analysis of why your boyfriend might be avoiding your family (his own family hangups, his fear of building intimacy, etc.) and might have offered suggestions regarding how to approach the subject and make him feel comfortable and how to help you deal with his lack of interest/willingness.

But, oh...that second problem. Listen to everyone above and try to keep yourself from shouting at the people on the screen, "But you don't know him like I do..." Once you are out of the relationship for a while, you will absolutely realize that this is someone who does not put your interests first, or even equal to his own, and that makes him a bad candidate for a relationship. If she hadn't tried to break the two of you up and were just an ex to whom he was a little too stuck, I might have given advice opposite of everyone here, but this is someone who is an antagonist to you. And he LIED about his relationship with someone who has been an antagonist to you. Hiding that fact shows that he's more concerned about what he wants that what is good for you, or for the two of you as a couple.

He simply had to choose between his (bad) past and his future (you), and his unwillingness to make a decision is a decision in and of itself. His willingness to trust her for his financial future is one thing; expecting you to do the same is where he crosses the line. Moving to where she lives would require you to have to interact with someone who has been unkind to you in the past; expecting you to work in such an environment is so beyond the pale that even you, deep down, know that it's wrong. Hopefully, all of the validation people are giving you here, that you are expecting far, far too little, will encourage you to walk away now. Don't let him paint you as selfish; you'd be self-preserving. Good luck.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:26 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I didn't get to issue #2...sorry.

I've been dating my current boyfriend for 6 weeks. We are spending Christmas together with my family. Seriously.

You are young and have the world at your fingertips, ditch this guy and find someone who treats you well and wants to be around your family. Your family is part of who you are, whomever you are with should want to be with all of you, not pieces.
posted by floweredfish at 9:29 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


As others have said, you are not asking too much -- you are asking far, far too little.

But you're not just asking too little from him (though that's true); you're asking far too little of yourself. You deserve more than this, no matter how good the sex is or how much fun you guys have had traveling. Good sex and enjoying traveling together are reasons to stick around in a relationship in the first few months to see if it's got long-term potential; they are not good reasons to stay in a relationship with someone who blatantly doesn't prioritize you in his life.

Forget this guy; he's already shown you that if you ask more of him, he'll let you down, over and over again. Move on. And (lovingly, respectfully) ask more of yourself and your relationships, so that you can find someone who will treat you lovingly and respectfully down the road.

One of the best things I ever read about relationships was this: "once we love ourselves, people no longer look good to us unless they are good for us." He's not good for you. But there are potential partners out there who are.
posted by scody at 9:34 AM on December 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


This relationship would make a lot more sense if you were both older, settled people, who wanted a relationship of affable companionship without major life changes. You would be divorced or widowed, kids in college or maybe grandkids on the way, each own your own home and not want to move nor give up independence. You would have someone to go to dinner and a movie with every week, but holidays with your own respective families would be perfectly fine. And even then the secret carrying on with the ex-wife and making of business and moving plans should raise your eyebrow.

But you're in your late twenties?

What are you getting out of this? I hope he's loaded and is the world's greatest lover because otherwise you're selling yourself far, far short.
posted by 6550 at 9:34 AM on December 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Liar. And worst, a liar who doesn't even bother to hide his lies from you. Does he think you're stupid? That you wouldn't find out that he didn't cut his ex off? Or does he just not care if you think he's a liar? Are you supposed to trust him at his word anyway?

This guy is exploiting your trust and goodwill, and he's going to keep doing it until you absolutely don't trust a man to say the sky is blue without looking up. It's a damn shame.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:37 AM on December 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry but you sound like his mistress without the perks. No bueno.
posted by misspony at 9:43 AM on December 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


I guess we’ll see what the next 30 days brings.

Nope. You already know what the next 30 days will bring. Your boyfriend has shown you who he is over and over. Waiting another 30 days will not reveal a different person.

It sounds like you keep trying to communicate in healthy ways, accommodate his feelings and preferences, and set your own boundaries--and then he just walks all over you. You cannot grow and nurture a healthy relationship with someone who doesn't care about you. He has shown you, repeatedly, that whatever fun you two have together is on his terms, and where you and he differ in feelings, preferences, expectations, or boundaries, he'll do what he wants without concern for you.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:49 AM on December 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


OP,
I am sorry to have to say this. You may be in a relationship with him, but he doesn't appear to be in one with you. By lying to you, he has chosen his ex. And even if you would argue that he hasn't explicitly chosen her, he has definitely not chosen you. Two years is a long time for him to make steps to put you first in his life and he has yet to take any significant steps to do so.

There's virtually no chance that his behavior is going to change should this relationship progress toward engagement/marriage. From his perspective, why should it? If he disrespects you while you're dating, he's not going to turn into a family-time-loving, truth-telling dude once you walk the aisle.

This relationship is likely to result in continued disappointment and frustration for you. I am sorry.
posted by heathergirl at 10:02 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


saving him from the middle-aged dating pool

As a middle-aged woman I resent that remark. I'm not single but if I were I think I'd be totally dateable. However, I certainly wouldn't date anyone as immature and dysfunctional as your boyfriend and neither would most women my age.

Here's the thing about much older guys dating younger women. A lot of them know they couldn't pull the shit they want to pull on a woman with the maturity to call them out on it. Therefore they target young ones, some of whom don't know any better than to put up with poor treatment.

Yes, sometimes it's true love and meant to be despite a large age difference. But in many cases, and in your case, it's a question of one person taking advantage of another person's naivete.
posted by hazyjane at 10:30 AM on December 2, 2011 [32 favorites]


There have been several questions this week that highlight the ways young women are culturally groomed into accepting lousy and harmful romantic behavior as appropriate.

This man is pathetic. You do have all the power. You do have wonderful years ahead of you.

Dump him now and embrace your life! You have so much more opportunity ahead of you than staying with this creepy user affords you.

Choose to have a fulfilling life. Dump this guy. NOW.

(PS. I'm so sorry! This isn't your fault! I'll try and post back here, someone in another thread made an excellent comment I think really really applies here!)
posted by jbenben at 10:32 AM on December 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Would early forties you put up with this shit?

Why is late twenties you putting up with this shit?
posted by whimsicalnymph at 10:40 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kick this lying asshole to the curb before Christmas.
posted by rhizome at 10:42 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Agh. Supposing I said "If I shake hands with a man, it's tantamount to sleeping with him!" Never mind how inane you think that is, I've stated it as part of my value system; it's what I think.

Now, after all I've said about hand-shaking being an act of venery, I shake hands with your bf. What kind of statement have I just made? What do you know about my attitude towards him?

Okay. Now your bf says that men and women can't be friends, exes can't be friends. But, he's been friendly with his ex-wife. What statement does that make?

He's also been making plans for you without consulting you. It's cute that he's decided you're going to be their "employee". Then they will control your livelihood and career. You'll be like a pet.

I haven't even met this guy and I'm already sick of him; I say that not to be rude but because it's quite unusual for me to react to a third-party description of a stranger with just immediate gut-level weariness and revulsion. And you have been putting up with it for goodness knows how long.

This may not be what you want to hear, and I don't want to be all knee-jerk DTMFA, but he and his ex not only demonstrably haven't got your best interests at heart but they are planning to subordinate you to them economically as well as emotionally. I guess you could talk him/them out of that particular thing, but if it wasn't that it would only be something else, and you said yourself the guy is totally stubborn and insists on his own way all the time.

Nothing good's coming, and he's already damaging you in ways you don't know about. Please dump him, right away, and feel free not to mention it to him because he doesn't consult you when he makes a decision, does he? (Okay, kidding, no need to answer evil with evil.) Please just dump him, now, tonight.
posted by tel3path at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2011 [23 favorites]


Just wanted to add, you see the overwhelming support for you to GTFO. I hope you learn from the mistakes of others. Relationships do not need to be one sided, nor taxing to the degree of bullshit you are putting up with. I dont even know you, but you can do much better than this douche. What grown ass divorced man pays for his ex's bills? Why is the new sugar daddy doing this for her? Shits fucked!
Be single, evaluate what you want in a relationship, where shit was wrong in this one, and what you want to seek out in the future. You will be much happier, I promise!
posted by handbanana at 10:55 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to add that a good relationship is not defined as mutually enjoying laughing, sex and travel. Most everybody enjoys those things and you can do those things with lots of people that you do not love and have a great old time.

When someone loves you, they sometimes sacrifice their own situational comfort on for the larger good of your relationship as a couple, and you as an individual. They put you first and try to see things your way. They also aim to outfox you all the time and get away with things; they respect your feelings and intelligence too much to do things like that to you. They wouldn't feel good about themselves if they lied to you; they'd know such a thing would make you feel bad and compromise your hard-won trust. They don't trick you into thinking they feel one way about something (or someone) when their actions clearly say something else. If they did that, they'd feel unethical, immoral and lacking in all integrity. They'd feel badly about themselves because your opinion of them would naturally be compromised if they dealt with you in bad faith. They would feel this way because their happiness and contentment are inexorably linked with yours.

There's a score of other things that have nothing to do with stimulating the most basic pleasure centers involved in a good, loving relationship with the promise of years of more love to come. It doesn't sound like you're enjoying those more ephemeral things. Break up with this emotional infant and go out and find somebody who's open to the possibility of real intimacy and not just trips and sex.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 10:59 AM on December 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


don't aim to outfox you, obviously
posted by TryTheTilapia at 11:00 AM on December 2, 2011


It sounds like you want a partner who is invested in having a future with you. You want someone whose first priority is you and the relationship you built together, not the dreams of some other woman. In other words, you want a serious, monogamous relationship. There's nothing wrong with wanting one. Most people date in order to find one. Why do you think it's too much to ask?

He is still committed to and emotionally invested in his ex-wife. He has shown you that he will not change this. He has chosen her over having a future with you. You want different things. I'm sorry.

Well, actually, I'm not really sorry. This guy doesn't deserve you. It's probably breaking the hearts of your friends to see you with someone who treats you like this. The sooner you leave him, the sooner you'll find someone better.
posted by millions of peaches at 11:10 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is the answer from another thread I think you might benefit from, even if that question is unrelated to your situation.

Because you wondered, "Am I asking too much?" I'll highlight the part I think might be most valuable to you...

"Women in particular are generally socialized to not trust their instincts, to devalue them, and to consider them irrational. This only serves one purpose, to make women more vulnerable and manipulate-able."

You are asking the right question. The right answer is to dump this guy.

From now on, expect everything you want and then some. I guarantee you'll get it. You'll never ever get it if you stay with this guy, though, so throw him out. He's cluttering up your life and taking up space that could be utilized by the relationship you truly deserve. Make way. Make way.
posted by jbenben at 11:10 AM on December 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


It sounds like you suspect something is very wrong here, and you're looking for outside perspective to validate your feelings. When I was in an abusive relationship, outside perspective was what saved me, so let me echo the chorus of O HELL NO. Trust your instincts. This is WRONG and you know it. This man is not your partner.
posted by Lieber Frau at 11:21 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


In all seriousness, if a gameshow host offered me a choice between a) your relationship with your bf or b) a DVD and a bag of Cheetos, I would choose B without even stopping to think. I literally don't see how this guy is worth as much as one evening of your valuable time. I am not exaggerating or being sarcastic in any way.
posted by tel3path at 11:23 AM on December 2, 2011 [20 favorites]


It can be difficult to answer 'am I asking too much?' yourself, because it's so tangled up in your (generic 'your', I'm not singling you out here) insecurities and worries and doubts. But it can be useful to imagine it was the other person asking that question, and think about how you'd answer that.

In this case, I imagine it would sound something like this:

"Me and my girlfriend have been together for two years. We get on great and we've had lots of conversations about the future. She's also really happy to spend time with my family for dinners out and special occasions, which we do regularly. However, here's the issue: she wants me to spend some time with her family, and for us to spend some holidays together, but I don't really want to be bothered with spending any time with her family or going to any of their occasions. I haven't even met most of them and don't intend to. Also, I don't see why we should be spending any holidays together, since we're not married.

Another issue is about exes. We both had some issues in the early stage of our relationships with our exes trying to break us up, and we both agreed to end contact with them as a result. I also made it clear to my girlfriend that I don't think men and women can just be non-romantic friends anyway. My girlfriend totally kept to this arrangement, but I didn't really want to cut things off totally with my ex, so we carried on being friends without my girlfriend knowing. I guess I feel sorry for the ex or something, and I'm also really lazy so I haven't bothered taking her insurance and phone bills off my account.

I would like my girlfriend to be okay with this now she's found out and is mad, especially because I'm thinking of going into business with the ex, which would involve moving to her city (somewhere I've never discussed moving to with my girlfriend). I would also like her to be okay with me never meeting any of her family while she spends time with mine, and with us not spending holidays together at all. However, she's not happy with this arrangement.

Am I asking too much of my girlfriend?"

And if the answer to that question is "yes, you are," then the answer to your question is "no."
posted by Catseye at 11:39 AM on December 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


“We aren’t married, why do you think we should spend holidays together?”

My boyfriend of five years and I are not married, but we have spent every holiday but one together with family since our first Thanksgiving together. I would not want to be with someone who showed no interest at all in my family. Even if this were the only red flag, it would be a fairly insurmountable one. That there are multiple other red flags should give you more than enough reason to rethink your involvement with this inconsiderate and self-serving man. He's not serious about you - but he is manipulative, as the secrecy and the little mind-game about thinking it over indicates, and wants to continue getting what he wants out of you, when he wants it, with little contribution from him. He's not a full partner in this relationship and he doesn't want a full partner in you - he wants a convenient accessory. It's time to start insisting on things changing to better support you in the real relationship which you clearly want, but that this isn't. And if it doesn't change, and it seems like it might not, it is time for you to move on and stop wasting your precious time.
posted by Miko at 11:41 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


He's also been making plans for you without consulting you. It's cute that he's decided you're going to be their "employee". Then they will control your livelihood and career. You'll be like a pet.

Seriously, your boyfriend seems to treat you with about that degree of regard. You're his younger plaything to keep him occupied while he patches things up with his ex wife, and hey, if he can talk you into moving with him he gets twice the pussy.

You are worth more than that. Get out. Go find a man who respects you and treats you like an equal, not a fixture he can more around or ignore as he sees fit.
posted by Jilder at 12:12 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It sounds like you're fuck buddies. Do you want a fuck buddy? If so, carry on. If not, move on.
posted by looli at 12:24 PM on December 2, 2011


It recently came to light that not only has he continued his friendship with his ex behind my back, but he is entertaining the possibility of going into business with her by which he would move across the country to the city that she lives and operate the business from there. He wants me to be apart of this as one of their employees.

He's a liar and has been going behind your back. With his ex. And making life plans with her. Which he'd love to include you in.

When I said its me or her, he told me to think on it for a week.

That's funny, didn't he say before that he wouldn't be in contact with her? We agreed that we would no longer have contact with either of them and we moved on. Yeah, that's what you said.

Also, he still pays her cell phone, car and health insurance years after their divorce. His reasoning is that he has been too lazy to take her stuff off of his bank account.

He's still entangled with his ex financially. Why didn't he disentangle himself financially when he agreed to go no-contact? How. . . I mean, how is it even conceivable to be in no-contact with someone whose health insurance you are paying?

This guy goes back on his agreements, and presents the broken agreement as a fait accompli, and now -- when you've invested two years of your life in this relationship -- NOW he is saying that he "has to think about it"?

I can't really answer your title question, because I'm not even sure what you've been asking for that might be "too much". Basic truthfulness and respect, maybe, which this guy has FAILED on.

But as to what you're missing: HE HAS NEVER BEEN OUT OF CONTACT WITH HER.
posted by endless_forms at 12:40 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I said its me or her, he told me to think on it for a week.

Okay, I misread this. I thought he was saying he had to think about it. But you're the one who is supposed to be doing the thinking. Like what, a naughty child? Think about what you've done, calling me on my shit? That sounds like a threat to me -- "If you don't let this go I WILL choose her."

This is a trick I am familiar with -- my ex would do awful things, and then HE would threaten to leave the relationship. I spent so much energy chasing the relationship, it distracted me from the question of whether I should be leaving him.

So go ahead. Think about what standing up for yourself would feel like.

Good luck.
posted by endless_forms at 12:55 PM on December 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


He's also been making plans for you without consulting you. It's cute that he's decided you're going to be their "employee". Then they will control your livelihood and career. You'll be like a pet.

SO MUCH THIS. Leaving aside all the rest of this dude's BS, the fact that he thinks this plan is reasonable is kee-ray-zee.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 1:10 PM on December 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Please, please, please, DTMFA. You're worth better, much, much better. Please, run, do not walk, to the exit.
posted by cool breeze at 1:58 PM on December 2, 2011


“We aren’t married, why do you think we should spend holidays together?”

Spending holidays together before marriage is so ingrained in our cultural expectations that the United States government demands proof that you've done so before they will issue a fiance or marriage visa.
posted by joannemerriam at 2:23 PM on December 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


My ex-husband and I are really close. To the point where it can sometimes be difficult to explain to people that, no, really, we are over and done with romantically, it's just that we're still family, still like each other, still care about each other's welfare.

Yet I can't imagine my ex putting me ahead of someone he's seeing (nor would I want him to). Neither of us pays the other's bills in any way. He certainly wouldn't ask a girlfriend to make any sort of sacrifice on my behalf. We are also not making any life plans together, business or otherwise--if we were going to do that, we'd still be married. Giant red flags here from your guy, as others have said.

That's regarding point 2. Regarding point 1, my last boyfriend didn't introduce me to his parents. (Well, I happened to run into his mom once when she was staying at his house and I was picking him up for an evening out, but that was it.) It was incredibly painful for me, since he was close to them and, as I explained to him, keeping me away from them made me feel like either a dirty little secret or irrelevant, neither of which was exactly a pleasant feeling. Despite his claims that they "knew how much I meant to him," whatever that was, this issue alone probably would've been enough to break us up eventually even if other factors hadn't intervened.

The upshot is, you are not an integral part of his life. After two years, that's not expecting too much, that's just the bare minimum.
posted by Superplin at 2:51 PM on December 2, 2011


He's a jerk.

There have been several questions here where I've thought that a relationship did not seem right, and that the question indicated some problems that the asker needed to be resolved (possibly by ending it). But, normally I don't have this kind of reaction. Here, I had a strong visceral reaction that he is a major jerk and you need to cut him loose.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:00 PM on December 2, 2011


I'm trying to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. Trying to imagine this post as something like the "5 things Laura could say about Rob" bit in High Fidelity, that out of context this stuff would make anyone look bad...

But no. I'm having trouble putting it into any reasonable context. Here's what this looks like to me, put into the frankest language I can come up with:

Your value to your BF is primarily in that you are willing to take enormous amounts of shit from him, while questioning whether the problem is that you aren't taking more. Your self-esteem appears to be tragically low. When you get out of this relationship, which you need to do as soon as possible, you also need to look into therapy about that. Please. I don't know you but I know you must be better than how you view yourself and what you deserve right now.

Here's a story about two friends of mine, who I have known throughout their entire relationship and who I lived with for about half of it. I will call them Jake and Katie for this exercise. See if any of this rings a bell.

Jake is older, Katie is younger. Katie suffers from low self esteem, and did so especially at the beginning of the relationship, due to a lifetime string of bad-to-abusive relationships and an almost comically awful family. Jake is super-stubborn, flatly refuses to take part in anything which he does not feel strictly obligated to take part in, has an alarming lack of empathy for others in the abstract, and oftentimes in practice as well, and has a "room-presence" which blows out anyone else around (in D&D terms we'd say he has an 18 Charisma.)

I bring these people up firstly because neither of them are bad people - I'm just listing their most glaring personality issues for the most part. And based upon the above description most would consider this to be an awful pairing in the making, begging for Katie to be a doormat to Jake.

But it isn't. Because they adore each other. From the very beginning, it was clear that Katie didn't like her family very much and that Jake detested them, but every Sunday they would go to visit her family to play Mah-Jong together, because Katie's family came with her, and that was worth it to Jake. And also because he knew that his being there helped her deal with them, and that if they were going to be causing problems for her he needed to know about them inside-out.

As they dated, he got to know her interests and force himself to take part in them, and she his. She became more assertive about the times when he could be a dick, and he began to listen and take stock about those things. They have been married for a year and a half and are very, very happy together, the way only two people building lives around one another can be.

And that's what it seems like you are missing here, and what cannot be taught, forced, created out of thin air. Jake and Katie are the center of one anothers' worlds. When they go to work, it is for the other. You are decidedly not the center of your boyfriend's world, and you deserve to be. But you will not ever be, with this guy.

People don't need to be perfect. Nobody is. And even people with profoundly mis-matched flaws can make things work beautifully. But they have to be devoted to it. Your guy is not, and it is harming you. Get out, get therapy, and find what you actually deserve.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:01 PM on December 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Jeeeeeeez. DTMFA. Now!! You'll get to spend the holidays with your family and friends celebrating your new, happier life without him.

This coming from someone who tends to hate other people's families and can thus (slightly) empathize with that part of issue 1. But really, everything you reported to us is just CRAZYTOWN.
posted by mokudekiru at 6:06 PM on December 2, 2011


Concur with consensus. Get out of there.
posted by ead at 9:46 PM on December 2, 2011


Please move on and find someone who loves you for who you are, family and all. This man is a selfish pig, and he and his girlfriend deserve each other. You deserve better.

DTMFA
posted by BlueHorse at 9:47 PM on December 2, 2011


No, you are not asking too much. Please get rid of that bag full of shit.
posted by Think [Instrumental] at 11:55 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to bring up a little story in contrast to Navelgazer's.

Let's call them Sara and John. Neither of them are bad people. I knew Sara from the first, although our friendship has died since; John and I are now good friends.

From what I've pieced together of their relationship from their respective accounts...Sara very clearly shut John out emotionally during their 1.5 year relationship. When Sara and John were out, she'd never tell anyone about it. "Oh, I'm going to the park on Sunday." Later on, I eventually find out she actually went to the park, with John. She'd never say it if you didn't press her (although she wouldn't lie if directly asked).

Save for a single chance encounter when out, John was never introduced to any of Sara's friends, much less her family. John and her family have never even caught a glimpse of each other. John and Sara always hung out alone (or on occasion, with John's friends). As you can probably imagine, they never spent holidays together either.

Turns out, that entire time, some part of her never really thought of him as her boyfriend (although there was no cheating, emotional or physical, involved. There was just no emotional commitment either). You can imagine that their relationship did not end amicably.

Just chew on that for a moment. Now, think about it:

If your boyfriend's ex asked him, when they were out at their "business ventures" (assuming that's what they are), what he had done on Sunday, do you think it would be "I was hanging out with Anon" and giving you the acknowledgement you deserve?

If you voice your well-deserved objections about being their employee, particularly as the ex has treated you so poorly, would he agree, and stand up for you? Or would he dismiss them, since he's decided this is the best course already?

If you bring up his extended communication (!) and financial ties (!!!) to his ex as a point of discontent, would he listen to you and try to understand your perspective, or be totally okay that his and her relationship are the sole exception to his "men and women can't be friends after a breakup" rule?

Do you believe, at the core of your being, that he is doing his best to love and cherish and support you? Do you believe, at the core of your being, that he is treating you as his girlfriend?

I don't think so. Do you?
posted by Hakaisha at 12:05 AM on December 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


We laugh a lot, we’ve traveled all over, we give each other space, our sexual chemistry is great, we talk about our future together

I am so sorry to pile on, but I really think you need to break up with him. It took me a very long time to realise that the criteria quoted above is the absolute bare minimum for a relationship. Getting along with each other should be taken for granted.

OP, I don't know who you are, or if you are anything like me. I only click with a few people. I have tended to take the feeling that "OMG this person GETS me" as evidence that someone is worthwhile in my life, when really it is only a sign that we have similar tastes and a similar sense of humour. I have "clicked" with people who turned out in time to be sociopaths, and I do not use that term lightly.

The extra bit is the shared values. The absolute respect for each other. The "I have this persons back no matter what".

Your boyfriend does not seem to have this attitude about you.
posted by arha at 2:06 AM on December 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


What everyone else said. Just DTMFA.
posted by jayder at 5:45 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


joannemerriam: "“We aren’t married, why do you think we should spend holidays together?”

Spending holidays together before marriage is so ingrained in our cultural expectations that the United States government demands proof that you've done so before they will issue a fiance or marriage visa.
"

Wait, seriously?

Also, it doesn't matter if it's visiting family for the holidays or going out for burgers. If it's important to you, it should be important to your boyfriend of 2 years.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:44 AM on December 3, 2011


It sounds like his ex wife is very dependent on him in several ways - financially, emotionally. And he enjoys that dependency so much that he refuses to sever it. Take a step back. Is he that way with just her? Or does he have all the power in your relationship as well? (It sure sounds like he does, since he always gets to do what he wants to do and you get to feel like there's something wrong with you and what you're asking for). Do you really want to put your life in the hands of someone who sees love as an opportunity to accumulate power over people? Who wants a weak partner? Stop letting him push you down and make you weak. You have all the power you need. Just start using it by walking away.
posted by prefpara at 8:56 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


She has been bitter that he and I are dating and has said horrible things about me in the past.

He wants me to be apart of this as one of their employees.


Seriously? She says horrible things about you, and he wants to make her your boss? Really?
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:12 AM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


joannemerriam: Spending holidays together before marriage is so ingrained in our cultural expectations that the United States government demands proof that you've done so before they will issue a fiance or marriage visa."

Wait, seriously?
posted by Deathalicious at 9:44 AM on December 3


Sorry, just saw this. Yup - or at least they did when I went through the process in 2004/5/6. They allowed that you might not have proof that you've met and spent time with each others' families but you have to explain your lack of proof and from what I understand it can be quite difficult to convince them you have a bona fide relationship in the absence of this info. Our attorneys advised us to get as many photos as we could from as many events as we could, and to start taking pictures if we didn't already (luckily I'm a shutterbug so that wasn't an issue). We provided photos of each other at family weddings (me at his brother's, he at my cousin's), Christmas and in his case Thanksgiving family gatherings, vacation shots with each other's families, and since ours was a marriage visa, wedding shots with our families all together. Since we really do have a bona fide marriage and neither of us are estranged from our families or anything like that, it was trivial, if time-consuming, to put together that proof.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:56 AM on December 7, 2011


How long was he divorced before the two of you got together? It sounds like this man isn't ready (or maybe just isn't willing) to have a relationship with you like the one that he had with his wife - he is enjoying being with you and maybe you made him feel good after the divorce. If so, there could be a lot of reasons for him not being ready or willing to have that kind of relationship with you. Maybe he had to do things he disliked (like hang out with other people's families) and he just feels done doing that and doesn't want to get in a situation again where he has those obligations. Or, maybe he was extremely bonded to his wife, or just feels like their relationship was extremely special and not replaceable. Or maybe the end of the relationship left a scar and he just doesn't want to "go there" with someone else and potentially deal with detaching again. Or, I am sorry to say, maybe he doesn't want to go there with you, maybe he doesn't see himself having a relationship with you that's on the level of what he had with his wife (especially since there is an age difference between you so you are less of a contemporary to them and maybe seem more like a kid.)

It is impossible to say but ultimately the reasons don't matter. This doesn't sound like the kind of relationship you want, it sounds like you want more. And, I would also find it hard to continue as well after what you say about hiding contact with the ex from you and making plans to move to her city (?!). So to answer your question, I would say you are not asking too much at all. But this man may not be the one to give it to you.
posted by cairdeas at 7:47 PM on May 7, 2012


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