This topic contains 25 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by AngieBaby 1 month, 4 weeks ago.
July 26, 2021 at 4:35 pm #899062
It seems like he ignores any message that addresses our relationship. After 3 years together, I don’t worry much about whether my messages make him cringe, so I understand some may think I should’ve not sent this message, but I felt like I had to.
I met his kids 1 year into our relationship, as he did mine. We did things together, went on weekend trips, etc. Not only does he not do anything with me outside of us hanging at home with takeout and watching TV/movies, but he has completely shut me out from being around his kids this past year. So now when we have our kids, we do things separately. That was ok, and I’m totally fine with that as we only did things together with the kids every few months or so. But it’s been a year. I’ve suggested a day at the lake, I suggested going to a trampoline park, the beach, the fair (which is closed now), a new fair that just opened this weekend… He says he’ll ask his kids but then tells me they don’t want to go. I suggested just hanging out at the house, I’ll barbecue, just anything and it’s always turned down.
He works 6 days a week and we are both tired early in the evening so we’ve gotten comfortable just seeing each other at home, and by 9pm he’s falling asleep so I know he’s exhausted. But I’ve asked him if he and I can even do something outside of the house. The beach, a local weekend trip, even just somewhere overnight. He keeps saying “yeah that sounds good!” But it never amounts to anything.
Yesterday before he left, I suggested going somewhere with the kids for my son’s birthday and he said he asked his kids if they wanted to go to that place and they said no. He just didn’t suggest anything else.
After he left, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being left out and just “not good enough” to go anywhere with or my kids to be involved with anything anymore. In a nonaccusatory way, I texted him saying I loved my time with his this weekend and couldn’t wait to see him next. I also mentioned I felt like I needed to tell him that I feel he may be getting bored. He responded with “why do you think that?” I mentioned all of the above, and… nothing. Nothing since yesterday. I get he may not have wanted to address that when he was already picking his kids up. But since it wasn’t a superficial text, it wasn’t worth replying to, I guess.
I’m extremely hurt and as the day goes on, I feel like I’m getting angry. I would like to send another text saying I wish he didn’t ignore me, that it was wrong to not even respond when I shared my feelings with him.
After 3 years, I’m actually finding myself confused on what to even say. I’d love some advice please. Thanks!July 26, 2021 at 8:17 pm #899115
Texting about relationship issues doesn’t work and is rather cowardly. Don’t send another text. He didn’t answer. That actually says a lot.
This is nothing less than a face to face conversation. Either he’s gotten complacent or he’s withdrawing to make you do the dirty work of breaking up with him because he doesn’t want to go on but doesn’t want to be the bad guy.
Get centered and calm before you bring this up. And get out of feeling hurt. Ask him how he thinks things are going and then be quiet and listen to what he says and watch his body language. Just be prepared – given what you’ve said about how he’s acting, he may want out.July 26, 2021 at 10:28 pm #899142
Unfortunately I agree with AngieBaby’s assessment. Your kids already know each other and what child wouldn’t want to go to a trampoline park?
He’s the one saying no and putting it on the kids. For some reason after three years he’s separating rather than blending further.
Be very centered before you meet with him. And be strong in case this conversation doesn’t go well.
It sounds like your needs are being met, so be prepared to walk away.July 27, 2021 at 12:02 am #899165
Thank you both so much for the replies. I still haven’t heard from him, but this is typical. We don’t really communicate when we are both tied up with our kids, especially since both of his kids are in sports so his days can go from 5am-9:30pm. Although I thought after a text like the one I sent, a good man would at least reply since it takes mere seconds to do that. Even just to quell my anxiety- “I’m not bored, let’s talk on Wednesday”, or even just “no, that’s not the case”.
My kids are now asleep so naturally my mind is wandering off into a really bad space right now. I’m just getting angry and now not sure if I even want to see him on Wednesday so I guess I’ll have to see how I feel then. Luckily work and my kids are keeping me busy.July 27, 2021 at 1:20 am #899173
His non-response to your text is likely one of two things. One, you caught him at a bad time. He’s tired, busy, whatever and he just doesn’t have the emotional cycles to respond. Remember, men compartmentalize. If his head is somewhere else, he may struggle to shift gears to think of something to say (this comes naturally to women so we don’t understand why they can’t do it. Their brains are wired for one thing at a time; ours are wired to multiprocess.)Or, two, he can’t quell your anxiety because he wants out.
Calm yourself. There’s nothing to be done tonight. Shut off and relax.
You really need to see him on Wednesday to TALK about this face to face. And you cannot get in his face with “you’re not meeting my needs” either in words or vibe. You want to understand where his head is at. Start with general questions… how’s work, how are you doing with the kids, etc. That may give you clues. If he’s stressed about something else that will affect his behavior with you. Ask, how are we doing, not where is this going when you get around to being specific about your relationship.
Again, you may hear something you don’t like. Be prepared for whatever.July 27, 2021 at 9:05 am #899269
“he has completely shut me out from being around his kids this past year.”
Just to clarify, you haven’t seen his kids in the past year, ever? Or you just haven’t done activities as a group with all your kids together?
I’d be very concerned about this situation. It’s basically a demotion as far as the relationship goes. Have you ever discussed marriage with him? Blending families? It sounds like he’s pulling back rather than trying to move the relationship forward.
I think you’ve received excellent advice here. I totally agree that texting is not the format for discussing relationship issues. Talk to him tomorrow in person, in a calm way, not an accusatory way. Hopefully he’s not “too tired”. From what you’ve written here it sounds like he’s checking out of the relationship, sadly. Not only because of what you said about the kids, but the fact he never takes you out or does any activities with you. Just be centered and focused tomorrow and see what he says.July 27, 2021 at 10:29 am #899287
This makes me so sad to think about, but thank you all. It does make perfect sense. It’s odd because while some of this behavior is indicative of someone withdrawing from the relationship, he still is very consistent in seeing me and will have a nice dinner laid out before I get to his house, and after a long day at work, he still comes to mine (we live an hour apart- sometimes takes longer with traffic), so I take that into consideration that it requires some effort.
I know it’s just dinner at home and many can say that requires very little effort, but I see first hand what he deals with and I appreciate what he does. His kids’ sports also takes up a large chunk of his time, even when it is not his day to have his kids, he will still be the one to take his son to practice and acts as an assistant coach 5 days out of the week straight after work.
As for me seeing the kids, not only have we not done activities together since October of last year, no, I really haven’t seen them. I did see them once only back in March but I don’t count that because he HAD to bring them around me. I dog sat for him so he can take his kids out for a weekend and he dropped his dogs off at my place, and his kids were with him. After the trip, after he dropped off his kids ay their mom’s he came to pick up his dogs when my kids were home and he saw them briefly as well. That was it.
I probably should’ve mentioned that I have no idea why or what I even did, but he monitors his daughter’s phone (she’s 12), and she did indicate in one of her texts to her friend, that she did not like me or my kids. He told me this, and it was back in February I believe. I was the complete opposite of an invasive girlfriend, and never smothered him, kissed him or got inappropriate ever in front of the kids. As a matter of fact, whenever she was around, I kept my distance when she would sit in his lap, I would always cook when we would all be together, or order nice meals. She always seemed happy. So this was a shock to me. He said that text also indicated she was no longer happy at his house so this was likely a factor, but I thought these issues would’ve been resolved by now. And that he would try to encourage a relationship rather than shut me out. It’s just hurtful.
It’s not like I’m a new girlfriend, although I’m the first he’s introduced since his divorce 7 years ago. Their mom also has a boyfriend she’s been with for the whole 7 years so it’s also not a matter of kids adjusting to a new partner. Sorry I’m rambling guys, I feel like this helps just getting it out. He’s also the type who would straight up end it rather than be a coward and withdraw so I can end it. This doesn’t make sense to me.
Any advice on what to say? What are some conversation starters that do not come off as nonaccusatory? I also feel a bit weird knowing there has been no communication since Sunday and all of a sudden, I just text him out of the blue tomorrow saying I’m on my way? This is what we do just to let each other know as a heads up so we expect each other in an hour or so.July 27, 2021 at 12:31 pm #899313
This additional information gives a clearer picture. If his kids don’t like you and your kids, there’s the rub and that’s why things are stalled.
It’s likely his daughter would resent anyone in his life. Doesn’t matter that you’ve done nothing to offend her, doesn’t matter how long they’ve been divorced. Sounds like she wants Daddy all to herself.
If that’s the way it is and he’s trying to walk the line between you two instead of saying to her, this is my GF and she’s part of my life, you really need to consider if it’s in your best interest to keep seeing him. If this isn’t going to progress past you two hanging out here and there and you want it to, I don’t feel like this is your guy. He’s too busy with his children and that’s certainly fair. He may need to hold off on having a GF until they’re older.
I’m sure he likes you and doesn’t want to break up, but this seems like a stalemate situation and as it’s now bugging you, it’s time to have a heart to heart. I gave you suggestions of how to approach having the discussion in my previous posts.
Sorry this is happening to you, must be hard after all this time together.July 27, 2021 at 12:34 pm #899314
I would text him tomorrow morning and say, are we still on for tonight? Do not get into anything in text!July 27, 2021 at 12:36 pm #899317
Finally – please get out of “I”m hurt” mode. This is not about you. He and his kids have an issue, nothing to do with you. People’s behavior is never really about you.July 27, 2021 at 3:01 pm #899356
You dogsat for him so he could take his kids away for the weekend. So he IS capable of organizing an outing, or going away for a weekend trip…just not with you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that he took his kids on a weekend trip. But he should be bringing a similar effort to your relationship, and he’s just not.
I agree with AngieBaby 100 percent. It sounds like he’s not in a place right now for a serious relationship.July 27, 2021 at 5:35 pm #899399
This is all great advice and very insightful. Thank you so much! It’s hard to digest but great points and it allows me to look at the situation from different angles.
So as the day goes on, I have yet to hear from him. Sometimes he will call once his kids are picked up, which would be in a few hours, but since he hasn’t even responded to the text I sent, I doubt it. And the more I feel I shouldn’t even bother asking him tomorrow if we’re still on because I hate to jump to conclusions, but his silence speaks volumes. I know in the past when I wouldn’t be sure if we we’re seeing each other due to schedules, I would reach out to ask and he would respond with “yes, I thought it was already assumed. I’ll see you in a bit.” Even if we didn’t talk for a couple days based on his busy work/kid schedule. I don’t want this to be one of those cases, where I just assume, not reach out to ask, and just not show up. Then it may look worse. But at the same time, I feel a bit awkward this time around asking if we’re still on, after 3 days of silence following a text I sent that he never responded to.July 27, 2021 at 7:26 pm #899429
T from NY
Im so overly cowardly men. I don’t give a shiste if he’s busy, tired, over worked, blah blah blah. We all are. I don’t care if you panicked and sent a text instead of waiting to have a face to face convo. HE has made you feel insecure. HE has put in minimal effort. You have nothing to be sorry about for being human, being invested in someone, and having some expectation that your “bid” to him would be answered. At this point he has done even less than answer – he hasn’t even acknowledged your bid for – connection, confirmation you’re on the same page, reassurance his feelings have been sustained. If you’re aren’t needy and a pain in the arse in general – than you have every right to ask for what you need – even if the timing is off.
But I will point out – this man is showing you who he is. He may very well be stuck in the middle with his kids and his daughter and their sports – but he’s a grown a__ man. What has he done to brainstorm solutions with you, make attempts to make it better? Oh ya wait. He hasn’t even acknowledged the problem and continues to tight rope the situation hoping you’ll just play cool girl. I know you’ve just been trying to appreciate what he’s giving out – women are so nurturing to others – most times we completely FORGET ABOUT OURSELVES. You deserve, if not better treatment, definitely better communication. It’s unkind, immature not to answer at all.
I also agree that he very well may not be walking a fine line at all with his other life, that his actions portray what he actually FEELS. That he likes you casually. Wants the guaranteed sex and companionship and your ardor – without having to put in the effort because you’ve accepted it for this long. I am not judging. Just about all of us have had that instance where we wake up and realize the relationship we thought we were in, is actually not the one we’re in at all. But once we listen to our inner voice women have all the power. We choose the type of people we give our love and affection and energy too. Only you know if it’s enough for you. Truly enough. From what you wrote – it doesn’t sound like enough to me.July 27, 2021 at 7:27 pm #899430
Sorry for double posting, I’m just home from the office now and of course my mind is racing since I don’t have anything to focus on. Getting anxious and now wondering if I should give him a call tonight when I assume he’s done with work and kids’ sports and they’re back with their mom. Or should I just wait until tomorrow to text if we’re still on? Or perhaps since he’s been silent, just to assume he doesn’t want to see me so leave him alone and not plan to go visit him?
I know after 3 years the answers should just come naturally and I shouldn’t be waking on eggshells but I’m actually stumped because since there hasn’t been any communication, I’m not even sure what he’s thinking or if he just thinks everything is fine and expecting me after all.July 27, 2021 at 7:33 pm #899432
Thank you, T from NY. Your post just showed up as I submitted my double post. You actually touched on what crossed my mind- that he may be seeing this as casual this whole time with no intention of ever making this a deeper connection. Things were better back then, as I mentioned we brought each other around our kids, my mom even babysat his, just little things that did not exactly scream casual when now as stated in a post above, it seems I’ve been demoted.
I think now looking at it, I may just forego tomorrow’s plans and not reach out.July 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm #899461
You should do nothing. Wait for him to make a move. If he does nothing, I would end it.July 27, 2021 at 10:07 pm #899470
One of my friends suggested I just reach out to say hello (text since he’s still likely doing sports right now), so in a moment of weakness, I did. Knowing him, he would reach back out afterwards, probably in an hour or so and usually the day before we see each other, he acknowledges it and says “can’t wait to see you tomorrow!”. Guess I will wait to see if I receive that acknowledgment, or even just a response. I think that’s when I’ll decide based on that response whether or not I’ll be heading to see him. I can usually gauge his level of enthusiasm so time will tell.July 27, 2021 at 11:17 pm #899481
I was wondering, have you heard from him yet?July 28, 2021 at 12:40 am #899502
Hi Sophia, yes I did hear from him, exactly at the time I thought I would when he was done with the kids’ sports. It was a text back acting like nothing had ever happened just saying he was Hoping I had a great night, too, that the game went well and he was heading for a run before going to bed as he had an early meeting tomorrow morning. And said he couldn’t wait to see me, and he loved me.
He knows what he did. He swept this under the rug as if it meant nothing to him and he has no idea it affected me this much.July 28, 2021 at 2:03 pm #899685
T from NY
I would be very wary. He reached out to say he loves you – while also saying I’m not gonna talk to you anymore tonight because I’m going to exercise and go to bed early for work. That’s a very not-so-subtle declaration of where he places your needs versus his own. Most men are a lot smarter than women give them credit for. And women get confused because those same men will keep engaging, being consistent and reaching out trying to maintain the casual connection/traditions/hang outs already established but ignoring the woman stating her needs or any changes. Healthy relationships have good communication. I would meet up if y’all have something planned. I would be calm and enjoy it – and see if he brings it up while you are in person. If he doesn’t I would before you part. If he doesn’t plan anything I would definitely end it.
I’m sorry and it brings me no pleasure to have this opinion, but he is not treating you like a real partner.July 28, 2021 at 2:56 pm #899706
Stop reacting to him and decide how you want to handle this. By just waiting and seeing what he does until you decide what to do, you’ve handed him all the power and it’s keeping your head in a constant whirl.
This has been going on way too long, you’re unhappy and he’s glossing over it. You’re on the back foot right now. Step up and take command.
Once again, after 3 years, this is a face to face conversation.
I get the feeling you’re dancing around that fact because you don’t want to have that conversation because it’s going to lead to a break-up. It’s really important you learn to communicate. I get that with COVID maybe this not seeing the kids and not going out was necessary but it’s been way too long and as someone else said, it feels like you’ve been downgraded in his life.
Are you prepared for this to end, or are you going to continue to take whatever time and energy he wants to give you on his terms? It’s entirely fine either way. Just make a decision.
You haven’t said anything about what you really want from this man. Do you want to get married again? Do you want to live together?
What do YOU WANT from this relationship and for your life in general? Get clear on that and operate from that from now on. You’ve been operating on his default way too long. It’s on you to know what you want in your life and communicate it and set boundaries around it.
Best of luck tonight, assuming you go see him.July 28, 2021 at 8:04 pm #899785
My brother was in a relationship like yours. It was convenience. She didn’t know that. He finally ended it after she “demanded” more (his word — I doubt that’s how she intended to come across). But it wasn’t about her at all. He wanted to do his own thing and be on his own. Our family didn’t meet her (nor did his children) and he dated her for two+ years. She was … wait for it… a RELATIONSHIP THERAPIST.
Don’t ever doubt your gut. He has not addressed (nor have YOU) the elephant in the room — children, merging of families, how this relationship is moving forward or whether you both even want the same things. You need to own up to what you want. If it ends because of that, then at least you were able to say what you want. I feel like that’s the bigger lesson here.July 28, 2021 at 10:44 pm #899820
I thought more about this and I think given his hectic schedule he’s fine with casual. Either it’s all he has time for because he’s focusing on himself and his kids or he isn’t ready to move into a serious relationship because he’s not personally ready. Or… and I’m sorry, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings… he feels you’re Ms. Right Now and you fit the bill for the time being and he has already determined you’re not Ms. Right Forever.
After 3 years things should be accelerating not de-accelerating. A man who knows what he wants steps up. He talks about blending your lives or talks about marriage. You’ve mentioned none of this. This ignoring you is sweeping the issue under the rug hoping you’ll stop pushing. I think he’ll say that he likes the status quo and doesn’t want it to change.
Again, I get that with the pandemic in the past year things were weird. But still.
I hope you can get some clarity on this situation, either tonight or soon.
Please do keep us posted.July 29, 2021 at 8:12 am #899931
very insightful thread. thanx guys.. hope these give the OP some insights on her relationship.July 29, 2021 at 8:34 am #899935
I agree there are some great insights in this thread. A couple of people have mentioned the pandemic may have been a factor in the distancing, but I myself doubt it. The OP has said nothing indicating that, and from what she’s written about her bf, I don’t think that was a concern– his kids were still involved in team sports for example– so I don’t believe he kept his kids from her because of that. In my experience, I found my bf and I spent MORE time together and with each other’s kids because we kept our social bubbles small. He and I were each other’s only social contact for months (and by extension our kids). So we actually had increased contact, not decreased, due to the pandemic. Just my perspective.
Anyway, I’m sorry about this OP! Please update when you can.