Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to provide you with a fuller reply. What I'm going to do this time is copy and paste your entire last reply and then reply in all caps. I wish I could do this with different font/colors; but our system at this time only allows one font and size. So I will leave several spaces between each point and add a number in front of each of your paragraphs and then my response will only be a space below in all caps. Again, I know this is not the easiest to read; but hopefully it will help and it's about the best I can come up with now. And we have to work within our system. :-)
1.) Firstly, let me say that the behavior where he abandoned me in the car park is not at all typical. He prides himself on being a good man, and he is. He would be totally humiliated if his mates or family knew he has done such a thing. But he has too much pride to apologise to me for it.
THANK YOU FOR CLARIFYING THAT THIS BEHAVIOR IS ATYPICAL. HOWEVER, HE DID IT. AND WHETHER YOU ARE DEFENDING HIM INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY, HIS BEHAVIOR DESERVES NO DEFENSE. IT'S NEVER OK TO LEAVE SOMEONE LIKE HE DID. I WENT BACK TO YOUR ORIGINAL POST--YOU DON'T INDICATE IF HE WAS INTOXICATED OR NOT, BUT EITHER WAY, IT DOESN'T MATTER. THE ORIGINAL INTENTION WAS TO DRIVE YOU HOME SO THAT YOU COULD DRINK, AND HE DID NOT HONOR THAT.
BAD BEHAVIOR NEVER GETS BETTER WITHOUT INTERVENTION. THAT IS, ONCE A RELATIONSHIP IS ON A DOWNWARD SPIRAL, LIKE WHAT I'M INTERPRETING, IT WILL ONLY CONTINUE UNTIL/UNLESS THERE IS INTERVENTION (I.E., COUNSELING, RELIGIOUS CONVERSION, ETC.) THINK OF IT THIS WAY--NOTHING OF VALUE EVER INCREASES WITHOUT MAINTENANCE. HOUSES, CARS, ETC.--EVERYTHING WEARS OUT/DETERIORATES AND WE CONSTANTLY HAVE TO CHANGE OIL IN OUR CARS, REPLACE PARTS, AND FIX AND REPAIR BROKEN THINGS IN OUR HOMES. I DON'T KNOW WHY WE BELIEVE THAT RELATIONSHIPS CAN JUST GROW AND BLOSSOM WITHOUT WORK. IT'S NOT TRUE, ESPECIALLY NOT FOR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS. WITHOUT EFFORT INTO LITTLE ROMANTIC EXCHANGES LIKE DATE NIGHT EVEN AFTER BEING TOGETHER FOR YEARS OR COUPLES RETREATS OR WHATEVER YOU DO TO HELP REKINDLE IT, RELATIONSHIPS WILL DETERIORATE AND EVEN BURN OUT.
2.) Well, I have been hard at work actually getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper to analyse.
From my perspective I put into the relationship more than I get out of it. I believe he sees it as the same for him - puts more in than he gets out.
I also made a list of what I want from the relationship that I am not getting (long list) and did same from his perspective (another long list).
AS YOU HAVE SAID, WHEN THINKING ABOUT AND ANALYZING YOUR RELATIONSHIP, YOU ARE COMING UP SHORT AND YOU HONESTLY THINK HE PERCEIVES THE SAME. THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO BE, AND YOUR STRUGGLES AND DISSATISFACTION ARE GOING TO CONTINUE UNTIL/IF/WHEN AN INTERVENTION OCCURS. ARE YOU WILLING TO CONTINUE ON THE SAME PATH? I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE BEHAVIORS YOU HAVE DESCRIBED ARE ONLY GOING TO CONTINUE/ESCALATE BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING PROVIDED TO CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.
MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, CAN YOU LIVE WITH THIS? I KNOW THAT IF I THINK OBJECTIVELY (WHICH I KNOW IS HARD TO DO WHEN YOU ARE DEALING WITH LOVE AND OTHER FEELINGS AND INVESTMENTS OF TIME AND COMMITMENT AND ENERGY, ETC.), I WOULD NOT WANT TO LIVE THAT WAY...
3.) So on paper it appears that it's not a satisfying relationship for either of us. However, there is a real biggy on the plus side for me that I want to believe outweighs all the other stuff. I am physically scarred very badly from burn injuries when I was very young that have stopped me from being totally physically open with any past relationships, including marriage (father or my children). This man genuinely loves me physically despite this and is the first person that I have allowed to touch me in those places. I feel that he has freed me from a life time of feeling and looking damaged and has enabled me to accept my own body and accept that he is not disgusted by my physical scars (in fact in a funny sort of way makes me feel that he loves those scars as they are part of me and what makes me who I am).
IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT THIS ONE FACTOR (AND I'M NOT DOWNPLAYING IT AT ALL OR BEING SARCASTIC IN ANY WAY--I JUST WANTED YOU TO NOTE THAT SINCE IT'S SOMETIMES HARD TO UNDERSTAND TONE IN WRITING ALONE WITHOUT HEARING VOICE) OUTWEIGHS THE BAD, AND YOU ARE WILLING TO FORSAKE ALL THE BAD, KNOWING THAT THINGS COULD GET WORSE...THEN YOU MAY HAVE YOUR ANSWER.
MY BEST TOOLS FOR LOOKING AT A RELATIONSHIP ARE WHAT YOU HAVE TAKEN TIME TO DO--WHICH I APPLAUD YOU FOR--AND I BELIEVE YOU TRULY HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT ALL KINDS OF ASPECTS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP. HOWEVER, YOU ALSO NEED TO CONSIDER THAT IF YOU MAGNIFY THIS ONE ASPECT ABOVE THE OTHERS, THEN YOU ALSO JUST NEED TO REALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU MAY BE GIVING UP OR KEEPING YOURSELF FROM. THAT IS, SOME SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORIES I SPOKE ABOUT EARLIER ENCOURAGE YOU TO THINK NOT ONLY ABOUT THE COSTS VS. REWARDS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP BUT ALSO ABOUT SATISFACTION ITSELF.
SATISFACTION IS MEASURED ACCORDING TO SOME RESEARCHERS BY COMPARING THE PAST RELATIONSHIPS YOU HAVE HAD, WHICH YOU HAVE INDICATED HERE YOU HAVE DONE, AND YOU COMPARE THEM WITH YOUR CURRENT ONE. YOUR SATISFACTION INDICATOR ON THAT LEVEL SEEMS TO FAVOR YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP. THE SECOND PART OF THE SATISFACTION INDICATOR FORCES YOU TO THINK HYPOTHETICALLY ABOUT POTENTIAL RELATIONSHIPS; THAT IS, THINK ABOUT THE POOL OF PERSONS YOU INTERACT WITH AT WORK, IN YOUR SOCIAL CIRCLES, IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, IN ANY OTHER CIRCLES (RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL, ETC.). ARE THERE "FISH IN THE SEA" THERE THAT MIGHT BE POTENTIAL PARTNERS? I KNOW THIS IS SO HARD TO CONSIDER BECAUSE IT'S ALL A BUNCH OF "MAYBES" OR "WHAT IFS." BUT EVEN SO, THINK ABOUT YOUR CONTACTS. ARE THERE PERSONS YOU KNOW WHOM YOU FEEL YOU MIGHT BE MORE COMPATIBLE WITH RELIGIOUSLY, POLITICALLY, PHILOSOPHICALLY, PERSONALITY-WISE, GOAL-WISE, ETC.? THEN AGAIN COMPARE AND REVIEW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP. ARE YOU SATISFIED?
4.) So I have that absolutely wonderful gift he has me, but I am not certain that it is enough to accept all the wrongs in the relationship. Maybe I am expecting too much in any relationship because of this need to be accepted physically. But that's a whole other issue!
YOU DO MAKE AN INCREDIBLE POINT; AND LIKE YOU INDICATE, IS THAT ENOUGH TO COMPENSATE FOR ALL THE "BAD"? ONLY YOU CAN ANSWER THAT. PLUS, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT UNLESS THERE IS INTERVENTION, IT'S ONLY GOING TO ESCALATE IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.
5.) But from his perspective I don't know if there is any wonderful thing that he sees in me that makes all the negatives worthwhile. There's nothing obvious that stands out to me and he has never expressed anything to me.
I KNOW WHEN YOU ANALYZE YOUR RELATIONSHIP, IT'S ALL ONE-SIDED OF COURSE. AND YOU ARE PERCEIVING WHAT YOU believe TO BE HIS FEELINGS. DO YOU THINK IT'S TIME TO JUST SIT AND DISCUSS THESE THINGS? IT MAY BE PAINFUL AND HUMILIATING AND NOT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO ON A FRIDAY OR SATURDAY EVENING, BUT IT IS PROBABLY THE ONLY WAY TO GET HIM TO CONFRONT HIS TRUE FEELINGS AND BELIEFS. UNLESS YOU ARE HOUNDING HIM EVERY WEEK ABOUT THE STATUS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP (SOME PEOPLE, MOSTLY WOMEN, DO DO THIS AND IT ONLY SOURS THE RELATIONSHIP VERY QUICKLY), COMMUNICATION IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, ESPECIALLY AT THIS JUNCTURE.
I guess I want him to feel that I am giving him something he has always longed for, but I don't know what it is, and I don't think it exists.
Just in response to some other points you made. Regarding my personality, he always says he is attracted to my personality, but that seems to be as long as it is not in public. The car analogy is a very good one and actually says a lot about him. He doesn't look after his car, he doesn't look after his house, he doesn't look after his pets (all the things that are of value to him). He lets it all just take care of itself, which of course it doesn't. He lives in chaos. He is not an acquisitive person, has not accumulated anything of value over his 47 years (he likes to drive a bomb, and the house is his parents). He works hard, pays his bills, and never asks or takes help from others, but has no ambitions or aspirations to achieve more or attain more. He just accepts things the way they are. So that's probably his perspective on relationships as well.
LIKE YOU JUST HAVE ANALYZED, YOU HAVE A LOT OF INSIGHT INTO HIS INNER FEELINGS AND BELIEFS. I REALLY THINK A CONVERSATION--ONE THAT LASTS FOR MORE THAN 5 MINUTES--IS NECESSARY AT THIS POINT. IF HE WOULD REFUSE, THAT WOULD LIKELY INDICATE A WILLINGNESS TO KEEP THINGS STATUS QUO, WHICH YOU JUST HAVE INDICATED THAT HE SEEMS COMFORTABLE WITH LIKE WITH HIS CAR, HOUSE, PETS, ETC.
IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT FOR ANOTHER 20, 30, 40 YEARS? I THINK THAT WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW IS SOME DEEP COMPARISONS AND A NEED FOR HIM TO VERBALIZE WHAT HIS PERCEPTIONS ARE.
I HOPE THIS HELPS A LITTLE, AND I'M WILLING TO CONTINUE RESPONDING. I HAVE SOME UNIVERSITY CLASSES TODAY BUT AM IN AND OUT OF CLASSES AND APPOINTMENTS AND AGAIN, WILL TRY TO RESPOND TO YOU IN A MORE TIMELY FASHION. I REALLY WISH YOU WELL AND HOPE YOU CAN MAKE THE DECISION THAT IS BEST AND RIGHT FOR YOU.