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  1. I just wanted to post a bit of a follow up. In hindsight, re-reading my own post carries some enlightenment, and having done more self reflection since posting, I have come to understand some additional inner work I need to do surrounding relationships and especially marriage. We are still together, but after taking a vacation in early May, things have changed a bit. We had a wonderful time, and complemented each other very well as far as travel. However, upon our return, things seemed to cool off a little. He admitted to needing to “work on himself”, as he struggles with anxiety and/or depression and low self esteem. To me, this sounded like the end, but he insists he is committed to doing this work for himself, me, and us so we can have the future we talked about. At first, I really struggled with this “step back”, but I have since come to realize that I really needed to work on my own issues, specifically, why I want him to commit to living together or marriage while being scared to commit myself, among other things. I have been taking a lot of time for self reflection and healing, refocusing on making some repairs and updates to my house, all while observing his actions to see if he is truly working on the things he said. I think this step back will ultimately be good, whether we both work through issues that will bring us closer together, or we realize we aren’t on the same page at all. Thank you all again for giving compassionate advice, even the hard advice that we naturally want to resist.
  2. Thanks for all the helpful insights. I realized that feeding this sense of unrest (maybe better described as a feeling of being stuck in a waiting period or between “phases” of my life) was the fact that my life plan of downsizing now that my kids are grown had become uncertain. This planned move is tied to my future financial security, as I needed to make a decision about moving to a smaller home to redirect more income to savings and retirement. This man has come into my life and altered my plan, leaving me feeling “stuck”, not wanting to sell, go through another home buying process, and move only to potentially move again in a year or two, but also not wanting to just “wait and see”. We finally had a talk about this, as a house had come on the market with great downsizing potential. He was very clear that his plans for the future include us being married and living together, wherever that may be. That relieves the pressure I was feeling around needing to decide my next step. I know we have the same overall goal. Meanwhile, I have been refocusing on and staying in my home more, which has helped me find balance.
  3. This says everything that I have realized myself...that I am failing to just let go and see how this unfolds. It is more of an emotional “need” that really isn’t his to fulfill. What I have failed to mention (I think) is that he told one of my friends he is “working on” a ring. This seems to have unleashed the sense of urgency to figure it all out, and likely also the need to take a step back to reevaluate what I truly want for my life. I am independent, and my previous marriage was one of dependency. I moved into his house, sold mine, he made sure he always needed most of my income for some bill that popped up, he drove new vehicles while I drove junk, etc etc. Fast forward several years, and I took a second job. He fought me every step of the way, probably knowing it was my step to freedom. A year later I moved out and since then have bought my own house, a newer vehicle, new job, and have discovered a love for traveling. I love having my own space. I know I need to untangle “marriage” from “oppression”. My boyfriend has never had an issue with me coming and going as I please. In fact, I went on a solo vacation to Mexico at one point, just announced that I was leaving in 4 days, and he was just happy for me, yet I feel like I am about to be forced to make a choice I am not ready for, so I am looking for reasons why it won’t work. Damn. The things “needing a drawer” can bring out when you start talking through it 🤷🏻‍♀️
  4. I feel like “we need to fix that” and then moving on is a way of giving the “right” answer while not inviting more conversation. It wasn’t said with any sort of anger and frustration, and in fact felt like a positive response at the time - that we will work together to find a balance. However in hindsight, it feels like there needed to be more conversation about HOW we plan to “fix” it, and his response didn’t invite that conversation. I will talk to him again before I just decide on my own to start staying at home more. Initiating these conversations is hard for me, and it is a practice I have to keep coming back to. I think the entire thing stems from lack of open communication about our needs, and maybe some lack of clarity on my part about what exactly his part is in this, if any. I know my past has caused me to feel pressure to know “the end of the story” and part of it could be just wanting to know he does have plans in the future to make permanent space for me in his life, even though I am not currently ready for that. Thank you for being compassionate. That last statement brought on the tears, so I think “talking” through it has helped me start to understand the root of the problem.
  5. I think what has complicated things a little is the fact that it is way more convenient for us to stay at his house than mine. Without giving too much potentially identifying info away, he has obligations associated with his home and job that I don’t have.
  6. You’re being pretty judgmental about someone you know nothing about. I work. I work out. I hike. I hang out with friends. I travel a lot with my job. I didn’t ask or push my way into staying at his house. It gradually happened over time and now I find myself feeling unsettled, like I am not really living anywhere, and I need to change gears. I only go over at his invitation, never once have I just dropped in, or stayed when he didn’t specifically ask. He just asks all the time. I am looking for advice, not criticism or judgement. I spoke to him yesterday and told him this almost verbatim, and his response was that he was sorry he has left me feeling this way and we need to fix it. I told him that it was also my fault for not telling him that I was feeling displaced. However, as I often do, I feel like he effectively shut down the conversation, which is likely the root of the problem...communication. I plan to start staying at my own home more, which is what I have been needing. I realized that a drawer at his house isn’t going to make me feel any more “at home”. I need to BE at home more.
  7. He is an absolutely wonderful person. He has past hurts that make him unsure of himself as well, and he also struggles with communication. He welcomes me into his home, cooks for me, and is very kind and gentle. I really think we have a future together, and we have both spoken about a future, we just haven’t had a conversation about exactly what it looks like for us.
  8. I think you have touched on how I am feeling...we seem “stuck” in this phase. I am also aware that I struggle with just asking for what I need, as several others have pointed out. I have been working on speaking up more. I know I need to talk to him about how I am feeling, but I think (like the first reply points out), I am not 100% clear about what I want. “Home” hasn’t always been a safe place for me, and I finally own my own little place in the world. I am struggling with the thought of letting that go, so I guess I am feeling really torn right now.
  9. I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year. We are both in our 40’s with secure jobs, and both homeowners, but live only a short distance apart. We are currently in this weird stage where I sleep over at his house basically every night, and usually stay 24 hours a day a few days a week. Lately I have been feeling frustrated, because he has made no move to make any space at all for me, yet wants me there. Is he just being a “guy” and not realizing the need for me to have a little space of my own as much as I stay there? He has never been married, but has been in at least one very long term relationship, which I don’t think involved the same arrangement (nor actually living together) according to his family’s comments about his “different” behavior with me.
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