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What sort of a relationship do I have? I'm going crazy!!


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Hi, firstly I'm new to this forum so I want to apologize if my topic has been covered before or if its in the wrong place but I urgently need advice...


I'm almost 25, I have been with my boyfriend for nearly 8 years and we have a 6 year old child together. My boyfriend is a lovely guy, a wonderful father and I had always thought that he is my soulmate, however recently I am questioning everything about our relationship. I want to spend the rest of my life with him and I always thought that he wanted the same, but I now realise that he doesn't know what he wants.


We have talked about marriage and getting engaged on numerous occasions in the past and I really thought that it was on the cards...well he always led me to believe that it was...he proposed to me in the past (spur of the moment thing so no ring was purchased)...about a year and a half ago ..I said yes...but he changed his mind a few days later...I thought I owed him more time to decide what he wanted so I decided to just enjoy being with him as a couple. We discussed it again on and off, but he always had some sort of an excuse lined up...need to save for a ring (currently trying to finish his house that he built and its costing a lot of money)...wants to wait until the house is finished...not ready to settle down..etc, however during the summer he said that we should get engaged this christmas..he even seemed interested in finding out what sort of ring I would like & asked if my best friend would go shopping with him as we have similar tastes. I was really looking forward to christmas this year until about 2 weeks before xmas we had a stupid argument over something small and he used it as an excuse to criticise every aspect of our relationship and said that he doesn't want to get engaged to me. He has told me that he doesn't see himself marrying anyone other than me, but to be honest, I don't think he ever plans on getting married. I, on the other hand want to get married and have more k but only with him.


During the argument he said some really nasty things about us not really having a relationship anymore and that we haven't really had a proper relationship for the past few years (I go away to university during the week, so we only see each other at weekends..i'm in my 3rd year)...I was totally gutted as I thought we were happy. He encouraged me to go to college as I received a place on an excellent, really sought-after course. I have tried to discuss our future as a couple but he always changes the subject...I am really hurt by what he said...he has also told me since that "if we got engaged, his life would be f*****!"...I asked what he meant by this but his only explanation was that "he would have to settle down forever"....I'm outraged...I have been settled for the past 8 years...that is the whole point of being in a long-term relationship...I now feel that I have no option other than to break up with him as I know deep down that its going nowhere fast...it will kill me to see him with other people (he has been faithful as far as I know) and I dread the possibility of other people entering our little family unit...but to be honest, he has taken away all my hope and optimism for our future and I'm not sure I can wait around any longer for him to decide I'm good enough for him...I have mentioned breaking up to him and asked him if thats what he wants but he said we should just continue on and see how things go....I'm trying to stay optimistic but I really can't as even though I have enjoyed his company over the holidays, I can't help being really conscious of every move I make around him, in case he isn't enjoying spending time with me (he said that he does enjoy my company) and I can't carry on like this for much longer!


Sorry my post is sooo long, but my relationship is such a complicated mess right now and I desperately need advice fast!

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Sounds like he wants to be with you but doesn't want to at the same time. It sounds like you have been dating since a pretty young age. Maybe some time apart will bring things into perspective a little better for the both of you. Yes it will be hard, but at this point I don't see where you would have any other options.

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well...this is a doozy isn't it?


i'm not a commitment-phobe (quite the opposite unfortunately) so i don't even have a clue what his motivation might be. it sounds like you're getting fed up with the game he's playing and you're justified based on what you've said. it's reasonable for you to expect to settle down at this point and it sounds like he's not ready for whatever reason.


ultimately, it comes back to what do you want to do? you could be waiting another 8 years.

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Its such a difficult one..we could take a break for a while, but because of our daughter, it will be awkward as we will see each other so often. A big part of me feels that if we take a break, I will never trust him again, as if we take a break, he will probably take advantage of that break and be with other people. For me, if we are to take a break, it will be a permanent break, as I will need to force myself to move on, as its taking too much out of me to carry on like this. He really is my world and without him, I will be lost. He has already broken my heart by telling me he's not sure about us! I think it is now make or break time for me...if he doesn't want me...I will have to push him away as I don't want him to hurt me anymore!

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the house is his...I am at college studying to be an architect...so firstly, being a student, I didn't join him in paying a mortgage...because of my course choice, he usually looks for my opinions on everything he has to choose for the house. he claims i'm not interested in the house, but at the moment, it is his house, legally, physically, everything...and because of his indecisive nature regarding our future, i can't get excited about the house anymore as although he refers to it as "our house" and talks about us being in the house as a family...his words have lost all meaning or promise for me...


we are currently living apart..he is between his mum's and the new house (stays there when working on it in the evenings) and i'm between my parent's house and college accommodation...don't have much of an income at present..savings, parents and he helps me out!

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my parents...my mum is a homemaker and my boyfriend is self-employed plasterer so he goes to work really early and works long days...my college course is extremely hectic and stressful so it wasn't viable for my daughter to come to college with me. she is soooo happy and settled at home with my parents. college is in a city & parents live in a really quiet rural area. i will be taking a year out from college next year to gain work experience so should be able to move home for that year.

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Thanks for all the information.


So when do the two of you get a chance to spend time together? What about as a family, the three of you together?


Things are starting to make more sense.


Did you live together previously as a family? Did you ever sit down and talk these things through as a team, or say, get any sort of pre-marital councilling or anything?


From what you are saying so far, this seems to be a lot of lack of communication and plain old organization and planning. A lot of it, anyways.


Does he spend close to the same amount of time with his child as you do, caring for her and all that? Or is the bulk of his responsibility thus far been financial?

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It is a very complicated situation. You've been with him since you were about 17, so I'm sure it's very frightening for you to think of moving on without him. He's probably very confused as well...the two of you haven't really had a chance to get to know yourselves as adults without the other one. It does sound that you are both responsible people and working towards promising futures (building the house, university, etc.). If he's unsure about a future together, you can't force it on him, otherwise you will both be miserable and so will your daughter. Since you have a child together, it's worth working on...have the two of you every discussed joint counselling to discuss some of this? Even though you're not living together, it could be very beneficial. It could help you both discuss your doubts and expectations of eachother with the assistance of an impartial third party.

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I don't want to insult your man but he is being absolutely ridiculous. Sorry, but you don't have a child with someone ,date them for eight years and then decide you're not sure? What? That's crazy.


I think you're being entirely reasonable in both your feelings and you expectations. This knitwit needs to grow up.


I think you first need to decide what you can live with. What are you willing to accept and what do you want right now? How long are you willing to give him in order for him to make up his mind?

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During term..we only have weekends together and holidays. We try to spend time together with our daughter and time alone...however, of course our time together is limited. Prior to university, we lived apart as it was an unplanned pregnancy and we decided it was best to avail of the support our families were offering. Instead of moving out and renting somewhere, my boyfriend has been building his house slowly over the past few years. We should probably have moved in together back then but we didn't as we were both young and inexperienced on the whole parenting front. we live about a 20 minute drive from each other so before i started college, we met up every evening anyway. my boyfriend is a fantastic father...my daughter has him wrapped around her little finger...he has been very hands on from day one...nappy changing, feeding, bathing to now going to pony riding and swimming lessons..i cannot fault him as a father in any way! he has even said even recently that he would like us to have a boy next (well in a few years) as he has already got his little girl but that "we will probably have 2 more girls first before we have a boy" so he has obviously thought about the future in some respects.


I totally agree that there is a lack of communication between us lately...probably because we have so little time together that we usually don't end up making time for proper discussion and conversation...foolish i know, but its the truth. I have suggest a counsellor before in the past after his last attempt at getting engaged...either jointly as a couple or him on his own..I suspect he has a lot of unresolved issues since he was little...his father died when he was only 5 and he was really close to him! his mum took his older brother and sister for bereavement therapy at the time but didn't think he needed any! I think this was a huge mistake!

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I assume the child was not planned?


To me it sounds like you guys started dating REALLY young, and due to the circumstances (a child together) you ended up being thrust into being "bound together" in some sort of fashion.


To me he sounds divided between wanting to do the right thing & loving you, but also feeling he has missed out on something that he did not get to do while having to "grow up so fast" and wondering if this is really what he wants in a relationship.


When you get together so young, you just can change SO much in those years, this is not uncommon.


Also sounds to me you are living apart, so I can see why he still feels he would be "settled" if he moved in together with you as right now he can still have his "family life" and his "kinda single life" in a way.


I think as you do have a child, some joint counseling would be beneficial, but you can't "push him" to do what he is not feeling ready for....I honestly think he feels like he is not ready for the circumstances he finds himself in...even if he adores his daughter, and loves you, and needs to sort that out in himself.

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P.S. PLEASE do not regret going to school - it was the right thing for YOU and for your daughter, no matter what happens. I know you may kinda feel "what if I hadn't" - I know my return to school has been tough on my relationship too...but don't feel one bit guilty for that, you sound like you are doing the best you can, and have something arranged so your daughter knows she is well loved and cared for too.

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P.S. PLEASE do not regret going to school - it was the right thing for YOU and for your daughter, no matter what happens. I know you may kinda feel "what if I hadn't" - I know my return to school has been tough on my relationship too...but don't feel one bit guilty for that, you sound like you are doing the best you can, and have something arranged so your daughter knows she is well loved and cared for too.


RayKay is so right. You'll need that education to support you and your child, whether you stay with your boyfriend or not.

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I am glad to hear that you are making something of youself with you degree. Cheers to you!


As far as the father of your child is concerned....he sounds very immature and undecided. I would suggest you let him go and see if he comes back to you. Don't worry about it being awkward in seeing him because no matter what happens you have to remain amicable for the sake of your child. In all honesty is sounds like you two entered into a very serious relationship at a very young age. I will bet anything he is just wanting to get out to taste the world since you already gave him everything a wife could have given him (sex and a child) so in his mind, what is the point in marrying you. Just focus on your daughter and your education and let him do what it is he is going to do. Life is too short to worry about being with someone who really doesn't want to be with you in the way they you deserve.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i think he is probably still wrestling with the fact that he became a father sooner than he wanted to be, and probably now still sees the grass as greener, as in 'what else might be out there for me?', and feels that as soon as he is married, he doesn't get to experience that...


BUT the reality is you two have a child together and have been working at being a family for years. so he is doing no good at all trying to have one foot out the door and the other in the house. i don't think he wants to give up the family, but he doesn't want to give up the idea that maybe someday if he really gets the urge he can go off and have the unfettered life he missed as a young father.


It is not fair to you either for him to be half in and half out of the relationship. You have your priorities of school and your daughter, and i think you should focus on making sure you complete school so you can support yourself.


Then you might have a strong talk with him to let him know that you need to either REALLY commit to being a family and he has to accept that is the path he has chosen, or else you both choose others paths and free yourself to find someone who DOES want to make a family.


it is very difficult to be with someone who is half in/half out like this, and he needs to understand that option is not open to him permanently. so pick your own timeframe for when he needs to make a decision on this, then talk to him about it, and help him see that it is not a good life to be hanging around waiting for him to commit himself, so he either makes that choice, or you make a choice to leave and find someone who wants to be with you.

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