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I am 62 years old and have been dating a 61 year old

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building contractor for almost 2...
I am 62 years old and have been dating a 61 year old building contractor for almost 2 years. He had a severe neck injury 7 years ago and has flare-ups from time to time. He hurt himself again in Sept. while working and has been so DOWN since then that there is a very noticeable difference in his personality. He has 2 people in his immediate family who are terminally ill and I have just gone through the death of my father. My mother remains and she has dementia. So---we both have our share of sad personal problems. My question is --- he is not as attentive as he once was and during these last 2 weeks when his physical pain has been so geat, he has hardly seen me at all, even though we do talk on the phone almost every day. Should I just be patient with this lull in our relationship and try to get past these issues with him or should I just quit seeing him entirely. Neither of us sees anyone else and I really care for him. I don't know if he cares for me as much. He has never told me he loves me, but I did tell him one time when my father got really sick. I think that just scared him more than anything and I have never mentioned it again. He did sign a Christmas card "Love" this year. It came with a beautiful bracelet and earrings. I just need an opinion from someone who doesn't know either of us.
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Health
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
1/10/2011
Health Professional: Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner replied 7 years ago
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 890
Experience: Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Verified
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

Hello

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

How are you?

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

I think we should talk about this.

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

Hello?

Customer:

ok

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

Well, I have read through your posting. The first thing I think you should do is take pause. Women tend to be emotional and overthink things a bit. It's natural. He is going through a tough time right now. Men do tend to withdraw a bit when faced with challenges, even physical challenges, such as pain. I think a couple of weeks should not diminish the entire relationship experience.

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

However, I do think that at some point, there needs to be more open dialogue. WHat do you think?

Customer:

We have been accustomed to spending every Sat night together and going to church on Sunday and spending all day Sun. I did spend all day Thurs with him and went to dr appt with him, but dr , my ortho, would not treat him since the neck injusry is not his specialty. T, my friend, very disappointed by this, but managed toget appt with original back surgeon. T has not had the kind of childhood I was lucky enough to have and withdrew alot as a child toavoid wrath of his mother. I think this still has an effect on him and the way in which he handles emotional problems.. Do yu think I should continue to hang in there? I think if he lost me, it would be a huge mistake for him. He says I'm the only person who has ever cared for him as he is!!

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

I have dealt with many personality types over the years personally and professionally, some people are just not very comfortable expressing their emotions very well. Also, with T, it shounds like he may have had some history with cutting himself off from others when things get tough. Old habits are hard to break. You mention that he signed "Love" but hasn't said it. He may be more comfortable writing it than he is saying it. At any rate, if you care about him and you've had a satisfying relationship up until this point, I think that you should look at the whole picture. This may just be a bump in the road. If you really care about him, he may just need a little time. However, you also have your needs, and you should be realistic about those as well. We can talk about this for a bit if you would like. What do you think?

Customer:

I think you are "on the money" with him, but I do think I should be more important to him than I feel I am/ Like when he left on Thurs he said he needed to be totally alone for a couple od days and didn't want to takl to anyone, even me or his son. I said OK, that I understood. Then got a Text from him on Sat saying he had gone on a brief ridewith a male frined to check rental property. I was mad that he wold send me a text---so impesonal and disrespctful in my estimation. I plan to discuss this with him when I see him, but not until. Don't want to put the kind of pressure on him that will cause him to leave, but want him to know how I feel.

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN :

I think you should be open and honest about how you feel. I think it would be appropriate for you to let him know that you are trying to respect his need for space; however, I think your needs are equally important. I think you do need to let him know that you feel he is not be as attentive and that's not fair to you or the relationship. You may want to be frank and ask him how he feels about you and the relationship. You may want to ask him about your future together. At this point, based on your postings, I can tell that you want and need to know these things. The more you talk the better the relationship is defined. People tend to push things under the rug and ignore the tough questions, but the most healthy relationships are couples that have open and honest conversations. Now, with this being said, you have to be realistic and be prepared for the consequences. He may not tell you what you want to hear, but, based on your posting, it sounds like you know your worth and value. If you do move on, you will know it's his loss. However, he may actually tell you those things you do want and need to hear also.

Customer:

Thank You. I think I've told you enough that you have given sound advice and I don't want to take up all your time. Thanks again. ***** knew you!!!!!

Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 890
Experience: Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Verified
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Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
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