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LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 672
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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I've been in a relationship with a man for 6 months now. I

Customer Question

I've been in a relationship with a man for 6 months now. I am recently divorced with 2 kids and this is the first relationship since my marriage. He too was in a long term relationship that he ended shortly before meeting me. He does not have kids nor has ever been with anyone with kids. When we met it was an instant connection and we fell in love immediately. Everything was great. Couldn't be better if it had been written in a Nicholas Sparks novel. Then things started to get bumpy. Kids got involved. There were a few arguments about stupid stuff. His ex kept poking her head in the picture but we got passed our issues. My job became an issue bc my boss was sexually harassing me and so my boyfriend told me to quit and that he wanted me to be a stay at home mom anyways for my children. Great! I thought. A few weeks ago we decided to move in together. My children are very excited about this. They now have their own rooms, a pool to swim in, they're excited about the new school, ect. It's a great house in a great neighborhood full of kids and they could not be happier. I could not be happier. After we moved in, my boyfriend thought it would be a good idea for me to cut my really long hair. I did. I hate it but I'm dealing with it. Now he doesn't like me to wear makeup. WTF? I am still wearing makeup bc this is ridiculous and there has to be a line somewhere. Next I'll have to cover my entire body up. The affection from him has stopped. Unless he wants sex. I feel so alone when I'm supposed to be feeling happy and excited about this new life. I asked him last night if he was still in love with me and he said he doesn't know. Of course I got really upset by this and he acted like it was a huge inconvenience that he was even having no this discussion. I have no job, no where to go, no family here, and the man I'm in love with doesn't know if he loves me back. Then he says he's trying to work through it and not to worry about it. How can I not worry about it? I don't know if I'm going to be packing my stuff again In the near future or not. I know we moved in together really soon. It just felt so right and he said he felt the same. I have never felt this way about anyone and I went with it. I know living with someone with 2 kids has to be a huge adjustment for someone who isn't used to that. I don't know if that's what he problem is or if he just fell out of love when things got a little bumpy. I just don't know what to do or how to go about doing it. I want this relationship to work but I'm not a doormat either and know I deserve to be loved. I just would like to get an outsiders opinion. Thanks for reading...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for writing to us. My name is***** am really sorry to read your description. it sounds like things started off so well and it was very easy to make this commitment to him even though it was fast. Now that things have become more settled, it sounds like he is starting to question his own decisions. And of course, making this additionally confusing and scary is that the well-being and stability of your children is a factor.

It sounds to me like perhaps you got yourself a little wrapped up in the Nicolas Sparks ideal of this relationship before actually fully knowing the man who you are now living with. His surprise control over your lifestyle and appearance raises some flags, as it may mean he is more controlling then he originally allowed you to see. And the fact that he is withdrawing intimately and willing to tell you point blank he is unsure about whether he loves you, despite you only moving in a few weeks ago and the still relative newness of this relationship, is definitely concerning. While I agree this has been a big adjustment for all involved, i think his treatment towards you recently sounds mean, unfair,and also worrisome for the future.

I would suggest that you do not allow yourself to give in easily on pushing him for answers about where this relationship stands. It will be important that you set expectations for good communication right from the get-go. With good communication, you can ensure you both are having your thoughts and feelings heard, but also understood and respected. It is possible he is simply apprehensive about such a big commitment that got real very quickly after his last relationship, and it is also possible that the meddling of is ex has left him with confusion and doubts about what is the best for him. But regardless, he owes it to you to explain these things to give you a chance to work through them together. So stay strong with high expectations about what you need from him. if he isn't quite ready to commit to this new lifestyle with a new stay-at-home girlfriend and a suddenly expanded family, then the options always exist to take a step backwards and slow down the pace. I know that does not sound ideal given you moved in with him and are watching your kids thrive, but as of now, it does sound like this isn't heading in a great direction.

If he remains closed off and unwilling to help give your the answers and promises you absolutely deserve, you could urge him to see a couples counselor with you to explore what is going on. And if he dismisses that or overall is dismissive of your pressure to understand how he feels and where things stand, then you may be in the difficult position of reevaluating if this was the right thing and what options you have.

I know this is really tough and i do think some time is needed for everyone to adjust. However, like you said, you are not a doormat and absolutely don't deserve to worry about whether or not there is a future with this man and if he actually loves you. So continue to push for communication and answers, and absolutely, continue to put your own family's needs above all else. it sounds like you are a great and caring mother and your entire family does really deserve someone who is unwavering in their willingness to show you love and commitment.

I hope this helps! i look forward to hearing back from you,