How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Paige Your Own Question
Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr. Paige is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I am in a situation that I cant quite figure out how

Customer Question

Hello, I am in a situation that I can't quite figure out how to deal with.
I met my....him... 5 years ago and he wanted us to get serious right away, was talking marriage and commitment but I was hesitant for about 6 months because I wanted to get to know him first. Then we started dating seriously and we both wanted to start a family since we are both older, mid 30s and late 40s. He's 13 years older. We were both happy when I got pregnant and he supported me 100% throughout the pregnancy, never missed a doctor's appointment, treated me like a queen but I also later learned (when I asked 'now what') that he wasn't ready for marriage 'right now' anymore. This completely shocked me and I was hurt. He said marriage was not off the table though. A few months after the baby arrived, I decided that since our longterm relationship path was not clear, I would stop sleeping with him and treating him like my boyfriend. He lives 2 hours away and we have never lived together so there was no 'moving out drama' involved. I do not depend on him financially and never have.
The issue is ... 2 years later, he still refers to me as his girlfriend, continues to be a great dad, albeit part time (he takes our son for a week every month), is supportive of me, declares his love for me, refers to our son and I as 'his family', treats my side of the family with respect and acts like a son in law around my parents whenever the chance arises (gifts on birthdays, tries to fix things at their house). He makes remarks about us growing old together but I am quick to remind him that we aren't quite together. He says I am so negative and only focusing on the short term issues but I tell him that the reality is my relationship needs are not being met.
His side of the family, especially his mom has been pressuring me about why we are not getting married and when we are having more kids. Obviously, they are clueless about our complicated? non existent? relationship. I recently told his mom to ask him the same question and she later called and apologized for pushing and also asked me to be patient with her son.....whatever that is supposed to mean.
He keeps asking me to have more kids with him and I keep telling him my plan was never to be a single mom. And that I will not be a single mom to more than our son. He empathizes and says he understands. Only to ask me again 2 weeks later.
I am considering dating again but right now I feel that I would just be doing it to prove to myself and to him that we are not together, and also to make a statement that we need to move on. On the other hand, I am also very conflicted because ideally, I would rather have kids with one man. My son adores his dad and it hurts when I imagine how he would feel if I were to end up with somebody else.
Help please. I need someone impartial to tell me what they think.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
Hello. This certainly does sound quite confusing. As simple as it sounds, have you had a deep conversation with him about his reasons WHY he has changed his mind about marriage and what his own plans are for the future? I know you said you have made yourself clear about your intentions, but have you asked him about the whys of his? I'm not certain what else you have tried with him and I don't want to assume how much communication you have had with him or if there have ever been any ultimatums of any kind. I know you said your relationship needs are not being met, what is his reaction to this? Obviously HIS relationship needs are being met! I would be curious as to his reaction if you started seeing other people and I think it's something you should consider doing if for no other reason, to see what else is out there and to have a good time, with no additional expectations. This man obviously does not understand the seriousness of the situation and how much you are hurt by his lack of full commitment. I understand how painful this is for you, he seems completely oblivious to the ramifications of his actions and how it effects you and your son on some level as well.
I would spend my time figuring out what would make you happy that you have control over and work towards that goal. The key is that YOU have control over. I would also keep pressing him for the why answer from him as well, mostly for closure for yourself. Try to think about yourself and your son and make goals based on those things that you find.