replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for sending me those emails and filling in some important information about your relationship with Matt.
What I'm hearing from these emails is that you both basically want the same thing, and I think there has been a breakdown in communication, so you're either not talking when you should be, or when you talk, you're pussyfooting around the major issues.
It's not unusual for men, more than women, to keep things inside and not let their emotions out or not want to talk when something is on their minds. Women, for the most part, are better at this.
You need to sit down with him, under calm circumstances, and tell him exactly what you're thinking and what you said here, re: wanting a secure future, involving kids, etc., but you have no desire to be a 'single parent', and the way things are going, that's what you feel you might end up being. Ask him, if he barely helps with the dogs, housework, packing, taking care of 'business' at home, now, why you shouldn't think he will exhibit the same behavior if/when you have kids. Tell him that you don't want him to 'be' someone else for you; you fell in love with him, for all good reasons, but even though he feels stress/anxiety from his final days at work and this upcoming move, he didn't 'just' start acting this way, he's never pulled his weight at home, and you want an 'equal partnership' in this relationship, not 'I'll do everything, you do nothing, while you relax/relieve your tensions by 'escaping' with the video games.
Remember also, that men of the same age, are typically less mature than women, so it can take him a while to 'catch up' to the level of maturity you're showing now, which I think is VERY mature. You've undertaken a big move, and have single-handedly packed up the house, while also caring for the dogs, and doing your 'everyday' stuff, which he has taken for granted. Part of the problem is, that you are doing things for him or in the household, which he doesn't realize need doing, because you're so efficient. Now, I know it can be hard to 'leave' things undone, until he decides to do them or realizes they need doing, but sometimes, this is how he will learn.
If your relationship is in such great flux, why are you making this move together at this time? Are there more opportunities for work for you both, in Maine? Are you moving to be near your family? If you're busy looking for a job there and a place to live, he should have been sending out resumes or looking in local papers, to find himself a job or at least know what's out there, BEFORE the move, too. I wouldn't want to see you working and him staying home all day playing video games. He KNOWS you need two incomes, right?
Right now, because of all the transitions, I don't think it's a good time to have a major discussion; however, once things are more settled, you're back together, in the same State, and hopefully youu are both working and setting up your new home, you can have this serious discussion with him about how he acts and about your future. No, I don't think he has any inkling that you may be thinking of leaving him, either. He sounds like a basically nice guy who is just in some need of guidance; I realize you don't want to act like his mother, and you are very right to think that way, but not all men, especially of this age, are mature enough to 'know' to do things on their own....so, if you 'remind' him to do something, but don't 'nag', and/or if you set up some sort of understanding as to who is to do what, in the house, re: the dogs, etc., he will know more specifically what his responsibilities are and what jobs are expected of him, at home. A curb MUST be put on this gaming. I know it's like an 'addiction', and it's perfectly fine to play it as a form of 'escapism' from the daily stresses and realities, but it should be a 'reward', AFTER he's done his part around the house and spent quality time with you. Instead of reading a book or watching tv to relax, he's allow to play his video game, while you do something YOU enjoy and do, to relax. Unfortunately, you WILL have to treat him like a child, in this way (without him knowing it), and only allow him to do his gaming after his chores are done. If you try to maneuver the situation in this direction, without saying anything to him about it, it might just work.
I think he might realize, as he becomes more mature, that you do require more help and you do require him to do/say things without being 'prompted', but keep one very important thing in mind: a tiger never changes his stripes! If you hope against hope that he will suddenly change and start acting more like you would like him to act, this won't happen. I'm not saying he's not capable of change, to a degree, but his personality is already ingrained in his being, and this is who he is. So, if you would like to give your relationship another try and see how things go, once you move and get settled in Maine, try to be a little more patient with the things he does now, which bug you, and ask him to be a little more patient with you, regarding the same things. We all know nobody's perfect and I'm sure there are things about you which he wishes you wouldn't do, but as I said before, communication is the key to a happy relationship, and if it comes to it, marriage. If you don't know what's bugging the other one, how can you 'modify' it? I'm very glad you had the opportunity to exchange these e-mails, while you're apart, because sometimes, it's much more difficult to say these things in person, face to face. You both got out important thoughts and messages for each other to be aware of, re: your feelings, and that's a very good first step.
It sounds like he definitely does appreciate you, as evidenced by him saying, he looked around the house and couldn't believe everything you organized for the move, etc. At least he recognized what you did. Yes, he should have helped more, but don't be afraid to ask for help, and don't make it 'nebulous' (unclear)--ask him to do something 'specific', and I think he'll react more favorably to that and it will get done. For example: 'Honey, can you please wrap those glasses in newspaper and pack them in that box?' Instead of: 'pack the glasses'. Some men need this--give him the box, newspaper, and glasses and he'll do the job. Don't be afraid to be more specific with him, to get him to help or do things around the house. Also, put a time limit on his gaming. Say it with a laugh: oh, honey, you you did such a good job with the packing (unpacking), you deserve a break, go play your game and I'll call you for dinner in an hour, or something like that. ASK him to do things. If he knows how to cook certain simple dishes, ask him to make something for dinner or a lunch or a breakfast. Make him feel more like 'part' of your 'partnership.
Of course I can't tell you what to do regarding a decision to stay together or to leave him; only you can make that decision, but weigh all things carefully, give him another chance, once you move, if you'd like to do that, and see how it goes. He most likely will never turn into the type of man you fantasize you'd like to be with, and maybe there IS someone more 'attuned' to you, out there, but if you decide that this relationship is worth 'trying' to save, give it a go, and take it from there.
I wish you both much good luck!
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