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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21380
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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Confusion in my relationship

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I've been engaged to my now ex for the past 4 years and we've been together for 6. We now for the past 2 years have bought a home, cars, and have our own son and fought for years to get my lil brother out of foster care, whom we now have. As far as i was aware everything was ok, she told me about a month or two ago that she wasnt happy and wanted a break, and hasnt been happy for about two years (my brother moved in a year ago whos 7) and i was ok with a break cause i respect her and love her, and she wanted to find her self since she says she lost who she was and wasnt sure she wanted what we have. Shes harped about me goin to school and makin a career, even though i make decent money and everything is taken care of. (i pay all the bills, except groceries) Shes been unemployed for 7 months and finally found a job, then decided she wanted a break. I've known shes been talking to another man the next town over, for over 6 months now, but she says its friendly, even though from what i've read he's just tried to convince her im no good for her, etc... Even though were apart now, mainly cause i didnt see the point in being together if she couldnt stay in the same house as me and work things out. She moved to her dads, yet every night it seems when she doesnt work were together, we went through 3 weeks of not being able to stay at home cause of no heat, and i would go to her dads have dinner, put the kids to bed and i'd leave after they were sleep, then she started askin me to stay, and i would till 11p or so and oddly to me.. she'd initiate sex by doing things shes always hated doing throughout our entire 6 years, even going so far as to after doing that, she told me i could try whatever i wanted and we actually tried something she's NEVER wanted to. But maybe i look too much into things. Then when i asked why the sudden interest in doing it, she tells me she thinks it turns her on and makes things better that theres no strings. I think its cause thats where everything started when we first started to know each other, and the fact that her dad is right upstairs as we're doing all this and also that we dont smoke pot anymore either, she doesnt. Im not sure what im asking, i guess for some kind of advice on what the hell is going on. Shes telling me that i need to grow up, go to school and some other things shes told me that i can never seem to recall, and then she'll come back home. I find the more i leave her alone and the more i act like it doesnt bother me the more she calls me and sees me. I dont want things to end or go bad, i know the kids are effected and even her family is questioning what shes doing but i cant seem to open my eyes and see what the plain and simple problems she says are there. All i keep thinking is, everything she wants in a guy and relationship is all there with this other man even if he is over 10 years older than her, and they still talk on the phone, online, she says shes never met with him and its purely friendship but my instincts say otherwise, specially when he tells her he misses her big time, wants to see her and in more ways than one and a wink, which implies sexual reference. I know i shouldnt be mad cause we've been apart for almost a month now and i shouldnt be snooping in anyway, but when my gut says otherwise i cant help it. To me it shows shes been workin this all along and just stringing me cause i take care of everything and "doesnt want to hurt me", as she says. She still comes by and makes dinner, takes care of the house, the kids and gives me mixed messages. Sorry for this being so long, and it probably makes no sense, but im lost and afraid of losing everything cause i cant see the big picture. I need some advice and i've no friends anymore and my family isnt trustworthy. Any different view from a professional would be appreciated, i feel like a child and thats just not right. thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

I'd like to help you with your situation, but first it would help me to know:

What are your ages?

You say that she's your 'now ex', so does this mean that you're no longer engaged? When she said she wanted a 'break' did that mean the engagement was off, for the time being?

Are you living together or separately, at this time?

If you're living separately, how often do you see/speak to her?

If you have a son together, with whom does your son live? How old is he?

How do you feel about continuing this relationship?

Do you suspect that she is seeing this other man and having an intimate relationship?

Thanks for all your additional detail.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
What are your ages? im 25 and she'll be 24

You say that she's your 'now ex', so does this mean that you're no longer engaged? When she said she wanted a 'break' did that mean the engagement was off, for the time being? Well im unsure of it, she cant seem to give me a straight answer other than were not in a relationship other than involving the kids.

Are you living together or separately, at this time? another i dont know, shes been sleepin at our house for the past 3 nights, was supposed to go to her dads last night but ended up comin to my house after work, around midnight.

If you're living separately, how often do you see/speak to her? everyday, every morning usually cause she brings my brother to school and takes care of our son till she has to go to work, which is only thurs-sat either 3:30-12, or 11-7

If you have a son together, with whom does your son live? me cause thats where all his things are and we felt it better that way than to distrub things anymore than they are. I do notice the kids happier and more well behaved when they see us together or wake up to see us inthe same bed. How old is he? he's 3

How do you feel about continuing this relationship? I want to marry her, we've been building this up from nothing to what we now have, and i had every intention of spending my life with her. Shes wanted to get married for the past year and have more kids, but because of finances and times getting very tough i cant afford a nice wedding i want to give her nor a decent ring, and another kid would make things even harder. I feel shes abandoning everything, but shes not like that so again confusion.

Do you suspect that she is seeing this other man and having an intimate relationship?
I do suspect that, i dont have proof just conversations i've seen between them and as a guy who used to do what this guy is doing, i know what hes about. I've noticed a decline in everything since they've started talkin and when i asked her to stop cause i've noticed a change, she said she would and then i felt bad and told her it was ok if it was friendly that i trusted her. It came to a point where she'd be workin and talking to him all night, texting, whichever rather than talking to me, evenwhen home with my son, she'd be chatting it up. Thsi guy only lives literally less than 10 miles away.
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your replies with additional information.

From your description of all the circumstances, I think your intuition correct, in suspecting that something is up with her and this other guy, besides email, texting, and phone calls.

Unfortunately, it seems that she's getting her cake and eating it too; in other words, she's playing both ends against the middle and receiving benefits from two relationships at once.

You were engaged, planned to be married and have a life together; you have a child together and are also caring for your younger brother, who is part of your family. She's entitled to change her mind and decide that she no longer wants to be engaged to you and take her life in a different direction, but it seems that she hasn't made up her mind completely, yet, and this is what's causing your confusion--SHE'S confused, giving mixed signals, and taking you along for the ride.

I realize you're allowing her to come over and do whatever she wants, because you don't want to scare her off; you want her to keep coming around and if that happens, you think there's always more of a chance you'll get back together. However, I feel she's interested in maintaining this relationship with the other man (whether it's online, texting, by phone, and/or she's physically seem him), because it's something 'different' and exciting. Not that she doesn't find you exciting, it's just that this is something different which takes her away from her every day life, routine, and responsibilities. She can be a different person when she's relating to him. She's not a fiancee, she's not a mother, she has no responsibilities for houskeeping, etc. I think that's what she likes about this other relationship. In addition, after being with you for 6 years, she might have felt something was missing, as she told you she wasn't happy and didn't know if she wanted this anymore. I don't know how she came to be in contact with this other guy (was it online?), but he represents someone to talk to who is NOT related to her 'real' life and real responsibilities. She's quite young and doesn't sound as mature as you. However, she DOES have responsibilities, mainly to her son, and she needs to make a decision.

Of course, you don't want her to decide to stay with you and be unhappy or blame you for her unhappiness, in the future, but either you're together or you're not. I think it was very kind of you to change your mind and tell her it's okay if she continues to talk to this other guy, after asking her to stop, but by doing that, you removed any guilt she may have been feeling over talking to this guy and possibly hurting you.

You have to do some serious thinking about still wanting to be in a relationship with her and/or possibly married to her, considering her current behavior. You will ALWAYS be tied to her, in your life, because you have a child together, and if you should decide not continue on, you should speak to an attorney specializing in family law, regarding your arrangement re: who your son is living with, who will contribute to his support, etc., so that there is no confusion regarding those facts and arrangements.   

I understand that you don't want to lose her, and if there's a chance you could get back together for good, you'd be very happy with that; however, I think she's demonstrated that she's not as mature as you, does things on the spur of the moment, and is basically 'cheating' on you, with this other man. You need to sit down, without the kids present (have them spend time at her dad's, or with another relative or friend who will take them out for a few hours), and have a serious discussion with her, regarding the future of your relationship. She's going to have to make a decision whether she wants to stay with you or see this other man, and/or date other people, and you have to tell her how you truly feel about her seeing this man while she's still with you. It's hurtful to you for her to come to your house, make meals, sleep with you, yet obviously be involved in another relationship at the same time. You're doing everything right, and giving her her 'space' to decide what she wants to do, but I feel that she's taking advantage of your good nature. Every relationship is different, of course, but I don't think any other man or woman would feel comfortable with their ex-fiancee spending time with another person, while still 'partially' living the life they had before, with them.

Try to speak to her about this, be honest, don't argue or yell, don't 'accuse'; just tell her that for the sake of your son and the both of you, in order to be happy, you need to know her intentions for the future, because this is not an acceptable way to live and will eventually adversely impact your son, as he gets older and is more aware of things going on around him. Tell her your true feelings, that you still love her and planned on building a life with her. Ask her how she feels about that.

After you have this heart to heart discussion with her, you'll know better, how to proceed. You BOTH have to be happy in this relationship, or what's left of it, and know if it's salvageable at this point. Don't sacrifice your own happiness to try to hold onto what you had with her, if she's moving in another direction which will end up being hurtful to you.

I hope things work out the way you want them to, and please let me know if you would like to discuss this further.

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