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    Advice needed in 8 year relationship and still not married
    dmr35 posted:
    I have been with my fiance for 8.5 years, we have been engaged for 6. my fiance is 55 and has 2 children 27 and 25 and has been a widower for 18 years. I am 51 and have 3 children 23, 21 and 16.
    When we started dating, his mother was living with him to help raise his children and she did not want him to get married. He btw has been retired since I met him. I was very up front with him and told him that I was seeking a life partner and wanted to eventually marry again and share my life with someone. we both own homes, I however, have been struggling for years, just getting by, working very hard to maintain stability for my children. He did not have to work and had 2 adults home, raising his children. The children needed that, as they did lose their mom.

    He proposed to me 6 years ago, his mother became upset and he kept stalling the plans. We were going to add an addition to my home, because it was larger and I even offered to put in law set up in. HE WOULD BECOME DEFENSIVE every time I spoke about plans. I was resentful, angry and ended our relationship several times, only to go back to him after he made promises that we would move forward. I was struggling and he hardly ever helped me, did not work and I guess I feel he did not care enough because he watched. I even mowed my own lawn and he didn't, work, never offered financial help and we were engaged and I was struggling.
    Fast forward... his mom passed away 2 years ago and we are still not married. At this point, his kids do not want to move in with us and it is understandable, after all, they are grown ups. I have so much resentment because I feel like I put my dreams on hold and I am still waiting. I am not sure what to do. PLEASE! ANY ADVICE
    I feel like, he has been selfish and just did not care about my needs. I put what I wanted on hold and as a result, struggled and worked extra jobs while he sat home and watched. I wanted a partner to work together with life goals. Am I unreasonable?

    Amy advice will help

    Thank you
    dfromspencer responded:
    It sounds to me like you are engaged to a "Mandolescent"? You know, one of those guys that never really matured inside, in their heads? He is also very selfish, do you really want a man like that? Any "MAN" that can sit there and watch while you mow the lawn, or struggle with whatever, is no man at all!!!

    I'm sorry, I get upset every time I hear of someone acting like I did! It took me a long time to finally grow up, both inside and out. This mandolescent you are with is 55? I would say RUN!!! RUN away from this person as fast as you can!!! After all that with mommie, you still want this little boy? NO, RUN away as fast as you can!!!

    Ok, once again, I am sorry you are mixed up with a man/child. You will have to decide how to procede from here. I gave my two cents worth.

    Good luck, you are gonna need it!!!

    fcl responded:
    I think you know what you need to do. It comes through fairly clearly in your post. I don't blame you for feeling so much resentment. Frankly, when you met him, his children were already grown up (OK, so the younger one was only 17, but still ...) and he was already retired so why did he need his mother to "raise them"?

    He lied to you. He accepted your hopes and crushed them. He waited until his mother was gone before proposing to you (that alone would have been a dealbreaker for me ... along with watching you struggle for years when a decent man would have helped).

    I really don't know what he wants from life. I suspect that if you DO eventually marry and move in together that he will expect you to do everything in and around the house.

    Your desires are not undreasonable, far from it. However, I think your chances of him fulfilling them are slim to none. Remember that you can't change other people, you can only change yourself. Are you willing to give up on your goals? Can you let go of your resentment? Or is it time to chalk those 8 years up to experience and move on?
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    dmr35 replied to fcl's response:
    Thank you for your response. I am leaning toward this. We were engaged 2 years after we met, his mother was still alive. She then depended on them and became depressed and sick, he felt guilty because she raised his children. The kids were young adults when we met. I am emotionally drained and tired of hearing myself talk about it. He is willing to get married now, but, has no answers for our living arrangements because he does not want to push his kids out of their family home and my children are younger and still home with me. I also, would not feel right about him pushing the kids out as, children come first but, he broke too many promises and he is comfortable and I struggle.

    Thank you for listening and responding.
    fcl replied to dmr35's response:
    I see your point but ... at 27 and 25 his children should already be standing on their own two feet.

    He is not helping them by encouraging them to stay at home. They are grown adults and should be leading their own lives, not being treated as children and staying with their parents.

    Don't you see that he is reproducing the same cycle as he went through with his own mother? Do you think it's fair to them (and their future spouses) that they are not learning to be independent and taking care of themselves?

    When two people love each other and want to get married and spend the rest of their lives together they usually can't wait to move in together. He is finding excuses not to. Why not let them have his house and have him move in with you? You're starting a new life together - not simply replacing his mother... His children are quite old enough to fend for themselves (I'm assuming neither of them has special needs).
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    dmr35 replied to fcl's response:
    FCL, thank you for your response. His son earns a better living then me and his daughter is working on a second degree. I have thought of him moving in with me but, I I know he would be resentful living with my children and not his. He told his children that they can live home as long as they want, a promise he made to them when their mom passed away 18 years ago.I realize he makes excuses and am not even sure if I still want to marry him. I broke up with him 4 times over the years, and each time, he told me that we will figure it out. I am now at 8.5 years and swore I would not pass 4.I am now miserable and cold to him. Not sure how much longer to wait or if I want to. Unfortunately, we just found out that he has a tumor, yes the c word. He is scheduled for surgery and I need to be there for him even though, he has not been there for me. I believe he likes his freedom. I am expected by all to go to all DC. Appointments and handle all of this, while I work full time, raising family and fully maintaining home. Job does not see him as immediate family because we are not married. I will be there for him but, need to make some serious decisions when he is better. Thank you for listening.
    fcl replied to dmr35's response:
    You're welcome. I suggest you read over what you just wrote several times over. You have your answer. When you want to marry someone you should want that with all your heart. Is that your case?

    I'm going to suggest something that may seem harsh but ... well, I'm going to say it anyway. I suggest you get out now. He's just been diagnosed. He's a big boy and he has a support network. If you stay around just to "be there for him" you could use up the next 20 years - who knows? Do not wait "until he is better". Imagine your level of resentment then? I say you stop caring about appearances and start caring about YOU.

    Tell him that, as you are not married, you have no say in his treatment and you might not even be informed of any problems because you are NOT HIS WIFE. Then tell him you got tired of playing second fiddle to his mother, now to his children, and now you've had it. Wish him a speedy recovery and leave. He's used you and your good nature for far too long.

    Grab this opportunity for what it is.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    dmr35 replied to fcl's response:
    FCL, Thank you again for your advice but, I could never leave him in his time of need. I am trying to figure out if I still love him or if I am just emotionally attached. There was a time I wanted to marry him with all my heart but, years of resentment building has changed that. Forgive me for the length of my emails but, you need the whole picture. When I met him, I was financially sound. I had my lawn being done and money for home maintenance. As the years went on, my job had a freeze on salary, my home taxes went up as well as bills, my child support went down and all bills went up. I am very good with money and do not over spend. I learned to do all my own yard work and house maintanence but, had several repairs, That were costly, I could not afford. I took on a second job, btw, we were engaged and he was retired. He did help a little but, not much. I feel that if he truly loved me, he would not want to see his future wife work so hard and would have worked a little to help me as he was only 45 when we met. He would have done my lawn weekly, handled the house repairs as my hands were full, with working and raising my kids. While we were engaged, I had to borrow money from my mother for a major repair which is something I hated to do. If we had gotten married and combined resources, I would have never been in that position which I blame him for now. Am I wrong to feel this way? I make a good living but, the rising costs have made me struggle and I am not living a life that I wanted to be living. I set out dating 9 years ago for a life partner to share everything. I fell deeply in love with him, and we enjoyed wonderful times but, I am worn down, tired, hurt and resentful. Again, I ask, Am I being unreasonable or are my expectation too high?

    Any advice would help me, I am struggling so hard with this.

    fcl replied to dmr35's response:
    Yours is a difficult situation.

    You were up-front about your expectations. You made things very clear. Quite honestly, I would have not have pursued the relationship when I learned that, in his late 40s, he wouldn't marry because his mother didn't want him to. That was very telling. If I somehow overcame that and he proposed but then backed down because his mother was upset ... I would have run away then. He listened to your expectations and he ignored them (or did he lie and say he wanted the same things?).

    He was married to his mother and now he's married to his children. I'm getting to my point now Your expectations are not too high nor are you being unreasonable ... under normal circumstances. However, he has shown you that he has no intentions of ever meeting your expectations, repeatedly over a period of 8 years. THIS makes your expectations unreasonable because you know you will never have them. Do you follow my reasoning? Either you lower your expectations or you change your partner...

    As I said above, you can't change other people, you can only change yourself. Therefore, you either accept him with all his shortcomings or you leave him. He's not going to change now.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    fcl replied to fcl's response:
    Ps - Do not take what you believe your friends opinions to be into consideration in your decisions because:

    1. You might be surprised at how many of them have the exact opposite opinion to what you fear. you might be surprised at how many of them didn't understand why you were still with him after so many years but never dared to tell you.
    2. Their opinion does not count in your situation. Only you and your bf matter here.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    dmr35 replied to fcl's response:
    FCL, I get your point and understand it. His mother moved into his home when his wife passed away and helped raise the children. After we became engaged, she became sick and he felt obligated to take care of her as he is an only child and she did raise his kids. After she developed mental problems, there was no way we could combine families, we would not have survived and she then started to hate me , and did not want me around their home, but, I still went there, I guess she felt threatened by me and was afraid of what would happen to her. It is such a complex situation which is why I stayed but, I have lost my 40's, and do not intend to lose my 50's to him. It is just one excuse after another.

    Thanks again

    Thanks again
    fcl replied to dmr35's response:
    I wish you peace and serenity with whatever you decide to do and hope that you find a path that will bring you happiness.

    Keep us posted, will you?

    Wishing you well,

    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    I can understand your dilemma -- wanting very much for the 'happy ending' that you were clear about wanting from the beginning and questioning what to do with the situation you actually have. With long term relationships, it is important for people to really weigh out the relationship as it is and has been. To be happy in a relationship, you must feel cared about. It's not so much that your partner must meet your every desire, but you must feel that they want to do their part to make you happy. If you don't and haven't seen this, then you will be unhappy with the relationship. And, harsh as this might sound, the options are relatively clear. You can continue to live this way, persistently assert your need for change, or choose to move on. And whatever problem exist or arise are best handled with good communication between the two of you and honest efforts on both of your parts to make it right. You might work on this just between the 2 of you, or seek out professional assistance.

    Keep in mind that relationships are healthy when both people feel respected, supported and loved -- none of which are too much to ask for. Just as you would support anyone else in aspiring for these in their lives, please expect nothing less for yourself!
    dmr35 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    Thank You for your advice. We actually did see a counselor a few years back, she saw us together and separately, he felt she was blaming him and stopped going. I continued, ended the relationship and the counselor seemed pleased that I did so. In all honesty, I left the relationship mentally but am still in it physically. I am sure he feels neglected. I am not happy and each time we reconcile, he makes promises and then comes up with very viable excuses. When I talk about moving forward he will say o.k, but, I feel deep down he is content living the way it is. His actions never match his words. If he wanted it, he would have moved mountains to make it happen. He talks about our future, but, the future never seems to come, just more reasons of why it would be hard at this time.
    I just ordered the book To good to leave, too bad to stay, I am hoping this will give me some clarity.

    I think my major issue is he watches me struggle and has sat home all these years, I can't get past it. I do not believe that a man that is truly in love would watch and not insist on helping.

    Thanks again for listening and responding
    sluggo45692 replied to dmr35's response:
    50 year old man here: I just read thru all the postings and I'm sorry you have gone through this. My mother raise 6 kids. 5 by my father and one by her 2nd husband. Dad drank his check and didn't pay any child support. Her 2nd husband stated his check was for him and her check was for the kids. She didn't get anything, but grief. She divorced him after 5 years. She worked and scrapped for years. When she was married to the 2nd, he worked, fished, drank and played in a band. He didn't mow the yard or fix anything.
    From this, I can honestly tell you to stop wasting your time and love on him. "OMG he has cancer, Now I can't leave him." That's BS, Sounds like he would drop you like a hot rock. Let his adult kids take care of him. Your number one priority is you and your kids. He can't keep promises, he won't help, and he wants someone to feel sorry for him.
    Who cares what other people think? If they know the entire story, they won't say anything, If they still want to talk, let them. They weren't your friends to begin with. Friends supports another friends decision, if they disagree with it or not. I may sound cold, but I seen the crap men do to women. I always bothers me when I hear "oh he'll change". NO HE WON'T.
    Do what your head and heart tells you. We here on the site can't live your life, but we can offer advise. What you do with it is your choice. Make the choice that is good for you and yours. Good Luck

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