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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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I have been with my partner for 6 1/2 years, i am 38 and hes

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I have been with my partner for 6 1/2 years, i am 38 and he's 54. He was married for 6 years and he divorced 20 years ago. He is depressive and has a history of anger issues, mainly verbal, he looses control and shouts or swears. He was sexually abused as a child, he also had trouble with law. He's unemployed and lives and cares for his elderly father. I fully understand the ordeal he's been through but it is a situation hard to handle. Firstly he has a buggage, apart from his troubled past, he has a family (ex wife, 2 grown up children aged 26 and 29 respectively plus a grand daughter) I feel they are not exactly excited that he met a younger woman. I can say that because i feel left out or not looked straight in the eyes or even avoided in family reunions or meetings. The funny thing is that my partner, whenever i attempted telling him anything, has declined any possibility and even shouted to me: what is the matter and you are accusing my family?! He goes and visits his daughter regularly in their old "family" house, and in the 6 and a half years i 've known him we haven't seen each other many times. I have been to their house a couple of times but the reception was a bit cold, his daughter is always ill or something and his ex in a hurry. His son also talks to me because he has to, and in reunions he will say hello to everyone else and will notice me in the end. He has a daughter of 5 years of age and my partner is all excited he's a grandfather, maybe because he left and broke off the marriage, now he feel he has another chance to make it up and be there, which i understand. But i am young and would like to have kids and start a life, and i don't see him making any move to shake things up a bit, start a family or get a job. He has argued with my family, he had an argument with my sister and was rude to her, my parents think he's not for me and i should go. I have found myself stuck, depressed and unable to make any decision. I work as a carer but my income is not that good to afford a flat of my own with my cats(!). I am saving money though and will get there. The problem is i still have feelings for him that he keeps on destroying day after day. I have tried to support him because i thought that he suffered a lot during his life, but now it seems that i am like a scapegoat for his suffering. While i have become increasingly isolated and often argued with my family in order to defend him,he, instead of trying to mend things up and help our relationship move on, he just likes to do his thing without counting me at all. He obviously likes to involve his ex wife and daughter to our lives. They are the ones he will ask for cat sitters, in the occasion we are out or on holidays. His ex wife will come to the house to cut her father's in law hair (she came and if i had not said hello she would have ran straight in the old man's room...) Is it bad that i am not comfortable with people coming in our house and especially people who don't bother to know me and become freinds? Ok we can be civil in social occasions because obviously we have to, but do they have to come in the house while i am not there, and when she comes will be faking a smile in front of him because she has to and then turn her back? Are there not other hairdressers around? He will give his ex wife lifts to the airport for her holidays, in the middle of the night, he will give his son's and his mates lifts from the club home on a saturday in the middle of the night, he's like a taxi driver, a private chauffeur. He will run in their house to fix sth if needs repairing, go out for shopping for his grand daugher's Christmas presents exclusively with his daughter, as if she owns the kid (they also despise the mother of the little girl, the son's ex girlfriend). He also drove his ex wife and daughter up North for a funeral (her brother died at 60 recently). He thanked me for staying behind to look after his father while he had to travel to support his family. You see i wouldn't mind for any of those things if i could see any light or willingness to build any kind of relationship, but i don't see it coming. And the best for the end, he just told me that he will travel with the ex wife and daughter again on Saturday to go up North again where the son lives, for the grand daughter's birthday. When i asked why i was not told earlier so i can arrange my shifts to go too, he insisted he told me weeks ago, which i don't remember. Even so, he could have reminded me so. The son will be out with new flame, so it will be him ex wife and daughter looking after the child. I said that i don't find it appropriate to go there without me but without demanding him to stay, i just said that he doesn't deal with things properly and he doesn't discuss matters with me before deciding and planning things. He just announced to me that "we are going to Coventry this weekend for Olivia's birthday". I feel frustrated they are going together, in the same house like they are still a couple, playing happy families.

Hello. It definitely sounds as thought this relationship is going nowhere. You have a lot of differences, the most glaring, your future. This is one of the major issues with being with an older person. They have already lived their life and done the things that you want to do. Age differences that much are very difficult to navigate through.
I'm glad you are saving some money and seem to be at least thinking in the right direction. You are not happy and it doesn't seem as though you ever will be. You need to think about all of these things you have put down here and look at each issue individually. Is he going to be willing to change in all of these ways? Probably not. You have every right to be upset about some of the things he is doing, driving his family around int he middle of the night, etc. but you have to understand that to him, his family comes first. He obviously does not respect you, your family or your relationship. He is making no effort in putting you first in any circumstance and that is worrisome. Of course he is always going to have an attachment to his ex, they have a bond with their children together and that will never end.
YOu need to ask yourself what you want in life right now. What will make you happy? You are young. You should be with someone who shares your vision for the future, not living in the past.
it sounds as though you have a supportive family. Is it possible for you to lean on them if you want to leave? There is no shame in asking for help. Maybe you can stay with one of them for now until you get together enough $ on your own? Of course your cats are a priority, all animals are family :)
In my opinion, I think you need to leave and find your happiness elsewhere. I don't see this relationship ever giving you what you need.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for your reply, yes my family is supportive but they live in Greece. They want me to move back there and live with them, at least for some time until i get well, if not permanent. They say i can take my girls with me (my cats). But i managed to find this job as a carer after a certain time of being unemployed, and we all know how things are in Greece now...Of course i care for my family and they need me too, so i am really torn apart.

The problem is i keep on thinking that deep down he has a kind heart. He adores my cats and has supported me financially and emotionally in the past. Of course this is no excuse for allowing him to offend me with his actions. I feel he betrayed me, i just had not imagined being expected to swallow all this and say thank you as it's my duty.

Is it normal to be upset that they will spend the weekend in the same house together or am i pathetic? Because this is what he said. I believe he could have arranged for us to go to the birthday together as a couple and maybe stay somewhere else for the night. I understand they have ties together because of the children but there is a certain extent to the things and the intimacy of those things you are allowed to do in those cases. There must be a limit. To drive together all the way up there and stay in the same house just doesn't feel right.

I he loved me he would have thought of my feelings, of me feeling excluded and could arrange the visit for a different time. You see her birthday is XXXXX even on the day they are visiting. It's the following week, but they go earlier because the son's ex-girlfriend has a birthday party arranged for the girl, which obviously they don't want to attend.

You can be upset about anything you want to. There are no rules about how e feel. If it doesn't feel right, then it doesn't feel right. Listen to your gut.
As far as feeling bad because of how he has been with you and the girls, you have to remember that you are a woman and we are blessed (and cursed) with the natural instinct to nurture and empathize. You should not swallow this, as your only duty is to be true to yourself and to seek happiness. Maybe moving back to Greece is a good option for you?
If he loved you, he would respect your feelings. At least listen to your side and even if he didn't agree, he would be able to communicate about it properly.
As I said before, listen to your gut feelings. You have a responsibility to yourself to be happy. Think about the future.
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