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Rhea's picture

Hello everyone,...

So I am here again and so unsure what is going on...after my last post ...we spoke and resolved that we had each other and he assured me that I would never be alone and that I would always have him...I knew that I had made the right choice....we began to talk about how much we could afford for a home as both of us had wanted one for a while and we had this talk with his son who has been with him for the past year...he asked what I wanted for a wedding and we both agreed small, intimate and all was great....

Here are the other facts in the pic...several years ago his family was hit by a DD and his Father died, around the same time his wife left with the kids and he found out who his birth Mom was....I don't think that my BF completely dealt with the death and here we are now....within the time of us being together...almost 3 years..I have watched them wait for some closure with the civil suit ...painfully seeing all the old memories about the accident have to be relived....this Spring there was talk that the suit would finally be settled and that was much relief to the family. When I asked the BF about how he felt --he just said "numb"...and he would believe it when he saw the money....

That is when I started noticing changes in him...he became distant near the time of the settlement, anxious, irritable, repeating himself, forgetting things like we would drive by a park that we had visited many times and he would tell me how pretty it was inside-like we had not been there....he started panicking that he was in fear of losing his job and then the worst....his son came home one day and asked him if he was going back to the Mom's to live at the end of this summer....he told me if that happened he would die,...and I looked in his eyes and I knew he meant every word......he started to knit pick about things with me and the kids that were never issues before.....he seemed to not be able to focus OR he became fixated on a certain thing and became obsessed with finding something or fixing things....

He was not himself.

I have seen him try to make up for lost time with his son this past year and he is an amazing Dad....but in the process I have seen that he has NO time for himself....his other kids come to him every other weekend ,and he never can even go out with a guy for a beer....son's activities are almost everynight....I have tried when I am there to encourage him to go and do some "ME" things that he enjoys, but he feels guilty and does not go...

Four weeks ago in the middle of a stupid fight about me getting locked out of the apartment in the hallway where it was over 100 degrees, I panicked and could not when I was finally inside I tried to calm myself down and went to the was a stupid fight and in the middle he asked me to pack my hobo bag and go home for a few days.....he needed a break he said...

When I asked him what he was doing, he had no response, his eyes were vacant and he made a comment that he knew he had been mean to me the past few weeks and that he had been like that in his first marriage and should have stopped it, that it was wrong and I did not deserve it....When I tried to explain to him that whatever was on his mind was a bump in the road and we could talk it out he just sat there....

I have helped raise his son this past year and love him...and I am very close with his other kids...they always ask about me and we get along so well....that day I had to lie to his son and leave,....leave him asking me why I was not staying to spend time with him...Something in me died a little that day...

When I went to leave I asked for the computer I had brought a couple of weeks prior for his was not working so I figured I would take it back with me and get it fixed for them...he accused me of wanting it back to get online and find someone else.....

In the past few weeks we have spoken a few times and he once said that everytime he gets into a relationship he screws it up,..the last two GF left him...He has not told anyone in his family about this and nothing to the kids....his family always asks about me so I just don't understand. He has told his family that I am the best thing in his life and that he loves me so much and is happy....his family has told me that since meeting me he is a different person and I have gotten further with him than any other....funny, all I did was love him...

I know there is no other woman in the pic, and there has never been any wrong doing on my side either....this man is the love of my life and I am falling to pieces.

In my heart I feel that the settlement has brought back old demons about the death of his dad, and I know this is NOT about the money...he paid his debts and is using it for his was not a large amount as thank-god he was not in the accident..

When we saw each other a week and half ago he was seeming to be his old self...but when I went to leave, he became very withdrawn and quiet....I asked him to please help me understand what was going on, and I have from the beginning tried to reassure him that I am here for him and will not desert him....He just said that he knows it makes no sense, but he just needs "me" time and he kept repeating that...he said he knows that I like to have answers and times and such but he could not give one right stuff is all still there, and in my heart I am thinking that he is just overwhelmed and overloaded,...throwing himself into his job doing overtime and worrying about where his son will be in the Fall...worrying about things that he is CREATING in his head and are not REAL.

 Are these signs of depression, ...????I know he needs to talk to someone to help him, but I was always that someone...we are each other's best friend and support, and how can he talk about these things with a young boy????

I am so afraid that he is running from all the good and love in his life .....but he isn't running TO anything....

I do not believe that he is ending things, but I just feel so helpless and so unsure ...I don't know the demon I am fighting....and what's worse...we had planned our vacation this week together with his kids...I am here-he is there, and I am so sad and alone.....I want to honour his request because there seems to be alot swimming in that head of his,.....but I am dying inside...I don't think he has any idea because he mostly sees the strong side of me that can tackle anything....he would see a very different girl....I feel like I have lost my best friend, and it just hurts so much ... 

For the record, we have a great relationship with much respect, trust and love,...sure we argue now and then, but things are always resolved and we have moved on....there is no good reason this should be happening and if this is some kind of sick test from above, I am hanging on by a thread ...  

I am not ready to throw in the towel on this man and just give up...we have worked hard for what we have and we have stuck by each other through it all.....why am I so afraid now???

I know it is not the best way that he has handled this situation and yes, there is a part of me that is so angry,...but my love for him and his kids just tramples that anger and I just want to wake up and think this was all a bad dream...

It took me 20 years to meet this wonderful man and I just can't think that it was all just a cruel joke...

Edited 7/27/2008 3:27 pm ET by Rhea

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

kathymcmo's picture

(post #50584, reply #1 of 35)

Hi Rhea,

I am very sorry that you are going through this. It sounds like you are feeling a lot of pain and confusion about the relationship and what your partner is feeling and thinking. You're concerned for him too, and wish you could do more to help him.

I hope that things get better soon. I can tell you that when I have felt in pain and confused and scared that something I treasured might be slipping away, it really helped me to find a good therapist I could talk to and talk through what I was feeling. Maybe that could help you too?

Be kind to yourself, I think you are being a good partner in trying so hard to understand what he is struggling with, Just be sure you don't lose track of your true needs in the meantime.


TracyK's picture

(post #50584, reply #2 of 35)

Rhea -- He needs to see a therapist, now. And it would probably help you to see one too. Possibly couples counseling, possibly individaul sessions for both of you.

If he doesn't agree to that, then as hard as it would be it might be best for you to tell him you love him and you're there if he wants to reach out to you, and then leave him alone. No contact. Go see your own therapist, start rebuilding your life without him as a guiding factor, and see what happens.

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #3 of 35)

....I have already put that call in,...funny thing was that I had an appt in his city to see someone for couples couns. I was going myself first for my own issues and he was going to join in later....I am very Dad suffers and has come out of depression, but seeing some of the same signs has brought back so many hurts...the other night I thought that there was consruction outside my house where I live because the room was shaking...

It was me shaking so badly that the bed was banging against my wall....It is hard for me to feel so out of control with this situation,....and many people have just told me to run away from this all, but I just can't do that......if the tables were turned what kind of person would he be if he deserted me?

It is just so painful to think of my life without him in it, I knew he was a great part of my day, and never took it for granted, yet now I really see just how much my day was filled with joy when he was part of it....I miss the family stuff with his kids,...that is very important to both of us, so this being apart is even more hurtful.

I remember how my Dad was and how he said hurtful things to my Mom when he was ill......sometimes it is just so hard to separate the person from the illness or stress....

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

TracyK's picture

(post #50584, reply #6 of 35)

I'm not suggesting you "desert" him. I'm telling you that he needs to get help. You suggesting that he get help is the best thing you can do for him right now.

And if he refuses to get help, then you need to protect yourself and start building your life without him. There's only so much you can do, and then he has to do the rest. It's not a character flaw to recognize and walk away when you've done all you can do.

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #8 of 35)

I know that I can only do so much and he has to do his just hurts alot right now when we had been working on plans to have a great life together and all the pieces were coming together ,finally after alot of the end of our day we were always the soft spot for each other to fall,....I guess when I started to see the signs of needed help I could have done something sooner...I stupidly just thought it was stress from work....maybe I was just afraid of what I was seeing because of my dad....

It's just too painful today to think that I have lost him and his kids from my life...I wish he could remember what that felt like when she left him and took the kids....

This was the pic we took for his Father's Day card...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

SallyBR1's picture

(post #50584, reply #12 of 35)

I don t think I had ever seen a photo of you - first of all, you are gorgeous. Period. No other way to put it. The boy is adorable, you do look great together in the picture

NOw, Rhea, it seems to me that you want this relationship to work no matter what. That is good and bad. It is good to try hard to make something work, to give it a fair chance. But there is a limit to the "no matter what". I have the feeling you are making a ton of excuses for his behavior, when in fact what you need to do to help him is to tell him to look for professional help.

It could be good for you to do the same, maybe, or to do it together - but he definitely needs help.

I am sorry you are going through this, it is way too painful....

Research is to see what everybody has seen and to think what nobody else has thought.

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

(through MadMom, March 2008).
Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #13 of 35)

Thank-you for the compliment, althought I am sure you can understand I feel far from that the last weeks...I have had a hard time finding that smile and it hurts remembering how much we laughed that day the photo was taken and how his son and I spent time making a funny card just for him...

You are right, I am making excuses,...and that won't help me or him get through's hard watching someone you love so much spin like a top....I know that if he does not get help then our relationship will not have the foundation it needs to survive and I am smart enough to know that life is tough enough....I guess I cannot walk away just yet...

In my heart it feels like he wants to push everyone away who loves him and it's hard watching that, not being able to do anything....I am going to speak with someone just to help me get through, because quite frankly I am and have fallen apart and am a mess....the other day a nice looking man smiled at me and I gave him a look that would have sent a knife into his eyes......ugh.... 

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

kathymcmo's picture

(post #50584, reply #14 of 35)

What Sally said was very wise. And she's right, you are stunning!

And I am very very sorry that you are feeling so blue. I just encourage you to take it one step at a time, get someone skilled to talk to about what you are feeling and worrying about, and the right answer about what to do in the long run will come in its own time.

But right now you sound like you're in a lot of pain, as does he, and I don't think either of you is in a position to help the other, at this moment. You can only control what you do and what you feel, he has to help himself and deal with his own feelings on his own.

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #16 of 35)

Thank-you for the compliment :)

I do know that what everyone says is true and I am not taking care of myself , I have always been the type of person that was strong and independant...I had to take care of everything myself for the past 20 years.....he was the first person who gained my trust and I let myself rely on him for lots of emotional support. I know that is how it should be when you are with someone ,but now I feel empty and it is hard to feel good about things and myself...I know I am very sad because I have not stepped into my kitchen since it happened.....

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

kathymcmo's picture

(post #50584, reply #18 of 35)

Well honestly it would be kinda weird if you felt "good" right now, you're going through a tough time and the loss of the closeness you had, so it's perfectly understandable that you feel sad and at a loss. But you do need to put your needs first, and find someone else who can give you that support that you need--he can't do that now.

And maybe a stint in the kitchen would be a good thing, make some soup or something? Take good care ...

TracyK's picture

(post #50584, reply #19 of 35)

I'm so sorry Rhea, I know how terribly painful it is. I hope that he can get the help he needs and that you can have the strength to do what's best for you. I have a friend going through the beginning stages of what I'm afraid is going to be a very similar situation to yours, and she's just a wreck about it.

Take good care of yourself -- if talking to a therapist helped you before, it would be a good idea now. Hang in there.

And PS -- You are gorgeous!

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

helena1's picture

(post #50584, reply #15 of 35)

Rhea, you're drop dead gorgeous!

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope you're not offended by my saying this, but it sounds as if you're not taking care of yourself as you should. You can not continue to put his needs for your own. You don't deserve that, and the good part of it is that YOU can change it. I understand you want to make sure he gets the help he needs, but some steps can only be taken by the person with the problem. One has to acknowledge the problem before one can be helped, you know? And while you're trying to take care of him, your needs are neglected. That's not healthy. Please, please, take care of yourself first. You can't help someone else if you're not strong and helthy yourself. Many, many hugs and good wishes to you!!!

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #17 of 35)

You are very kind and thank-you for the compliment..:)

I am trying to take care of myself-just hard as I said above...I swear that I have not prayed so much and asked for help from above as I have these past weeks...I am going to talk with someone and the funny thing-well maybe not so funny is that a while back his Mom had called me and asked me if I noticed a change in him...I had, but I guess at the time I was still trying to figure out what the heck was going on in his head....Thngs only a Mother can see.....his kids noticed too...

He is very kind,but stubborn as a bull when he digs his heels in......I know the nature of that beast, because I am similar.....It's hard to not be so angry with him right now because I know that I do not deserve this, but then I remember how my Dad was with my Mom when he was ill and I am trying to separate the two...This is a man that has never gone out of his way to hurt me in any way in the past, and I know people can change, but I know the best in him..

I just wish that food tasted better to me so that I could actually enjoy eating again...

I wish we all lived closer because I could use alot of hugs in person.....

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

helena1's picture

(post #50584, reply #21 of 35)

You are a kind soul and I can see that you truly care about him. Just remember you need to be kind to yourself now. You cannot help him at this point, but please, try to be good to yourself. Just take it as it comes, try to relax and remember you have a lot of people rooting for you. You're strong, stronger than you know!!

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #22 of 35)

Funny thing is that it was not easier knowing that I am not the cause of the problem here...but just the one on the recieving end of the behaviour.  My friends who know me,know that I am a kind and compassionate person and he has always brought out the best in me and I did the same for him.  I don't want to be anything but. I finally got my arse out of bed and bought some groceries....funny thing is that people at work told me I have never looked better....wondering if it is the 14 pound weight loss, the HUGE dark circles under my eyes, the rash on my neck, or the zits that have come from the stress????? I just wish I knew why I am waking up with a soaking, and I mean SOAKING wet pillow and sheets and me feeling 1000 degrees???? This morning my hair was wet when I woke this stress?

I took my neighbours doggie to the park for a walk and tried to clear my head of all the rumblings going on.

My neighbour and friend who's doggie I walked said something to me the other day that I just cannot get out of my head...she said, simply,

Be kind to each other

If we all thought that in our daily actions wouldn't the world be so much better???? 

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Edited 7/28/2008 6:20 pm ET by Rhea

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Gary's picture

(post #50584, reply #23 of 35)

"Funny thing is that it was not easier knowing that I am not the cause of the problem here"

I have seen this a lot in medical students who get their first taste of the real world. We have an aphorism for this "Remember, the patient is the one with the disease".

Best wishes working through things.

The people who gave us golf and called it a game are the same people who gave us bag pipes and called it music and haggis and called it food.

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #24 of 35)

Many thanks:)

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

msm-s's picture

(post #50584, reply #25 of 35)

it wasn't easier knowing you are not the problem because that means you aren't in control of the change that needs to happen in him.

you know he needs professional help, don't be fooled that he agrees with you to get it if it somehow never happens. He may not vocally refuse to get help, but he can string you along for a long long time by never managing to get it.

Listen to the voice of experience: when it comes to your relationship with him, forget what he says; pay attention to what he does.

helena1's picture

(post #50584, reply #26 of 35)

Being kind seems to be a forgotten art these days :o/.

Good for you for taking the dog out and doing some grocery shopping! Just try to do a little something for yourself everyday and take it from there. You will be fine, I know for sure. Many hugs to you!!

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #27 of 35)

I just wish the hole in my heart would go away...I knew early on that I was so in love with this man , but the last weeks have shown me that it was so much more than I thought possible....I miss his kids a great deal....

The best I know is that with all our talks between the two of us and his son about wanting to buy a home and at some point getting married, it seems that he is overwhelmed with the possible financial worry that a home could bring...I just don't want to lose him to fear,....but I know that with all that has happened in his life that he would be an even BETTER man by finally coming to terms with all the past stuff...

In the meantime, I am just trying to hold it together....the nights are the hardest....I feel like a baby admitting that I just miss being held and hugged before I fall asleep....there is no price I can put on how I miss that...:(

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

msm-s's picture

(post #50584, reply #28 of 35)

OMG. It breaks my heart to hear you sounding so much like i was, for about 19 years before i finally got wise and filed for divorce. He's a wonderful man, deeply troubled, I am his world and he loves me, and I KNOW I can help him conquer his demons...

I hate to be so blunt, but it sounds like you know that what's right for you is to sever the relationship, yet you are clinging to what could have been and what might be. Don't.

Take care of yourself. Email me if you'd like; i really feel that despite some details that differ, we are/were in similar cages. (((hugs)))

helena1's picture

(post #50584, reply #29 of 35)

Holes need time to heal :o( It will get better, even if it doesn;t feel like that at this point.

The first thing that popped into my head when you wrote about how you;d talked about buying a house and getting married before he backed away was that I thought he might be afraid to commit. I might be wrong, but that was just the way it sounded to me. If that is the case, you are headed for years of trying to convince him otherwise, being unhappy in the proces. You deserve a man who is eager to share his life with you Rhea. You're a good person, and beautiful to boot, and you deserve so much more than what you are getting now..

Please be good to yourself!!

MadMom's picture

(post #50584, reply #30 of 35)

Please, Rhea, look at what you've written.  You have a hole in your heart.  You knew early on that you were in love with the man.  You miss his kids.  You miss being held and hugged.

You two talked about getting married and having a house...or did you talk about getting married and having a house?  If you both discussed it, then he has obviously changed his mind.  If he merely sat passively while you brought it up, then maybe he never intended for it to be that way.

Run, don't walk, to get help.  Stop living in this dream world that you have built and see life as it really is.  This man is so obviously not interested in a life with anyone.

Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #33 of 35)

I know it seems that he is an awful person, and yes, this is not how I deserve to be treated right now, but our talks were always initiated by him....he told me he wanted to marry me and we were doing all the things you do to make our lives better and build a future with one or more of his kids with us. We talked about therapy to find the ways to make the transition when his other child may come to us. Our communication has always been on of the strongest parts of our relaitionship, and got us through some tough times ...

It was not me that ever pressured or demanded or gave ultimatums that he had to buy us a home and marry me.....that is just not me, and it was always a positive and happy discussion when we did talk about moving forward. Many of those talks were very recent and with his son. 

His past marriage was with a woman who had no money sense and they lived from pay to pay...only his and a mortgage...I know from him and his family that  during that time it was horrible and he has never forgotten how it was to live like that....he had expressed to me that while he wanted us to have a home for us and his kids, he was so scared to fall back into that place again.....He has always tried to make sure that in all the craziness there was time for me or us....

I don't believe that his man does not want to be with me..., and I don't think that he has changed his mind about a future.... I know this man inside out and all I see ,is him running away out of fear.  I am going to give him the time he thinks he needs to sort out whatever is in his head, but I do know that at some point without any answers I will have to make a's just today I just can't go there.....

God, after all this, if things work...and he ever comes to a FC get together...he may get stoned .....LOL

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

msm-s's picture

(post #50584, reply #34 of 35)

".It just feels that now is some kind of test or something and if his past behaviour was like this I would have left a long time ago...."

I'm stubborn too, and when i remember all the times i felt exactly like that, like i was being tested because this dark behaviour was "new" and i could help exDH get past it, i could just kick myself.
Don't ride it out when it makes you feel so bad you can't eat or sleep and you tremble so violently you rock the walls.

Please step back and see how his effect on you is unhealthy. I'm sure you've been loved before, but does that mean they are right for you? not necessarily. You are pretty and caring and generous; of course any man wants to hang onto that.

I don't think anyone is saying that this man is a bad person. It just sounds like a bad situation for you.

It's good that you keep talking through this. It's a healthy process and i hope it eventually leads you into the clear.

bunnycook's picture

(post #50584, reply #35 of 35)

No advice, just wishing you the best at a rough time. 

Except that when I was crying my eyes out over my first boyfriend, my drama teacher told me, "do other things--he won't be interested in coming back if you stay like this."  Which was the only way to get thru to me at the time.  And I lived. <g>


Biscuit's picture

(post #50584, reply #31 of 35)

Rhea, I've really tried to stay out of this, because I know that nothing I say to you will really make a difference.  But -

Listen to me, really listen.  If you don't love him EXACTLY as he is now, and can live with him EXACTLY as he is right now, no changes, no nothing, then you need to walk away.  Because if you only love the man you know he CAN be if he changes a few things, then you will spend the rest of your life disappointed and piffed as you wait for him to change - something he will never do for you, no matter what he says.  People don't change for other people - they change only for themselves (as it should be, actually).

You can't spend your life with a person waiting for them to change into the person you want them to be.  Accept him for what he is right now, warts and all, or walk away, even if it hurts. 

Frankly, I'd rather be alone than be with a man who makes me as miserable as this guy makes you.  Come on, Rhea!  Don't you think enough of yourself to believe you deserve better than this?

That's all I have to say.  You have to make your own choice. 

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
- Mark Twain

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

Rhea's picture

(post #50584, reply #32 of 35)

He is not perfect, and I fell in love with his faults along with the many more positves...I know better than thinking you can change someone into what you want them to be....It may not sound like we had a great relationship or that is was not strong, but this man has ,since we met made my life full and we were  happy.....It just feels that now is some kind of test or something and if his past behaviour was like this I would have left a long time ago....

I am prepared to ride this out and see how it plays didn't go down the way we would usually talk things out, but so be it....In the past I was not strong enough to have respect for myself and would have stayed with the man who treated me like a mat.....that changed many, many years ago and when we found each other, I knew that this was how I was SUPPOSED to be treated.

I do not think that these are true colours coming out and I am just blind to them,.....I know his faults and can accept them. This behaviour now is very new and so that is what is confusing....I can still love him now, and obviously I still do, but I am not blind to know that without help we could never move forward and be happy....


I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

dorcast's picture

(post #50584, reply #20 of 35)

You are gorgeous!

At the risk of repeating everyone else.....he truly needs help, and you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself through all this.

It sounds like you both could benefit from talking to someone separately, as well as together.
If you remain together, it will hopefully be with more solid foundation and perhaps better tools to deal with each other. If you don't, you will know that you tried for both of your sakes. You will NOT be deserting him, if you don't stay together.

I've been there, and it's painful, and it may take a long time to heal if this doesn't work out.
But, it's not worth ignoring some obvious signs now, just to wind up with someone later.

Sending hugs....

MadMom's picture

(post #50584, reply #4 of 35)

My sentiments exactly.  This man is deeply troubled, and not the man Rhea wants to spend the rest of her life with, unless he gets some serious help, NOW.

Edited to add, after reading Rhea's post, that this man does not seem to have brought her all the joy she thinks he has.  If depression is a problem on both sides, they both need to get help.  And, getting help does not make one a lesser person, nor does saying "You need help" make anyone a deserter. 

Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Edited 7/27/2008 4:24 pm ET by MadMom