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I am 26 years old, and I feel like I am in my mid-thirties. I know I shouldn't feel this way. I have a wonderful 3 year old daughter. I am in my first semester of grad school after an unsuccessful summer of job hunting. I have a decent part-time job. But I have 4 and 1/2 years of baggage with my daughter's father. We're on the outs right now, on the verge of breaking up over his drinking, etc. Whatever. I just looked at his old myspace page from years ago. And it made me realize, he's really aged. He's 30 now, he was 25 when we got together, but he looks and acts like it's been 10 years instead of 5. I feel like I look the same as I did at 22, but I feel about 10 years older too. I think it may be because we both did a lot of partying in our younger days, and then had to deal with the fall-out of that in our twenties.


Anyway, I don't know. He was so much more vibrant then. Now he is dull and depressed. And I feel like it has sucked the life out of me. The thing is, looking back at those pictures and his comments made me realize, it's me that has caused the change in him. I am like a big blinking ADULT RESPONSIBILITIES sign, because I hold him sooo accountable, and he's miserable. That's his own fault, though! I didn't get myself pregnant all by myself. And yes I do hold him accountable, but it's been to his great benefit. I always worry if we break up, he won't be able to hold himself accountable. Scratch that because we have broken up for months, and even then I still hold him accountable. I'M TIRED OF IT. If I ever started dating someone else, that might be the only way he'd cut the control I have over him. I know that sounds screwed up, but it's true. He sees our daughter as much as he does even when we are broken up because I tell him to. He does family events and holidays with his daughter when we are broken up because I plan them and make him. While that's all well and good for her, and he enjoys doing it, he wouldn't know what to do without me telling him to. This weekend we were supposed to have family pics made, and we were arguing so I said maybe we should just cancel them. I said you decide whether to postpone them or not because I don't want to tell you what to do (which is what we were fighting about). And he says, "I want you to tell me what to do as far as activities go."


???? Sooooo, even if we are broken up, I'm supposed to plan this man's social life for the next 15 years? I don't want to feel this old. I"ll be 27 in 2 months and I'm scared to death of wasting my youth on this crap. I'd like to be able to have fun sometimes too! But I'm always having to be the responsible one, reigning him in, setting a good example. I don't want that.


Now my question is not about whether or not to stay with him. And from this and my previous posts, I know I would even tell myself to leave him be. My question is, even if I do that, do I deserve to NOT feel old? Or am I at that stage? Am I doomed to be the responsible, homely single mother forever? Is it just wishful thinking to think if I leave him I will find someone who makes me feel my age...someone who's not divorced and bitter and depressed. I never got to have my dream wedding, or any wedding for that matter. Since I have a child, is that just a pipe dream? Or should I get to have a night off from being the responsible mother/student sometimes? because I don't feel like I deserve it. It's almost like he's made me feel like if he has to halfway responsible when he doesn't want to, then I should have to be completely responsible all the time.


I just want to kiss somebody and enjoy it. I want to wear a sexy skirt out to an adult dinner, and have a few drinks with a man who knows his limits....and then go home. I want to NOT feel like I've been married to this man for 20 years and have too much invested to leave! Because that's not the case! I want my guy to make me feel good and relaxed, not anxious because I know he's trying his best, but he's still unhappy.



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I really think after reading back over this post that I need to be like, "Not an ultimatum, dude, but we need some time to take care of ourselves. You take care of you and I'm gonna take care of me for a while, and we'll both take care of her." His weight his depression, his general appearance, and his attitude all need a lot of self-help. I can't make him take care of himself. And I can't change the circumstances of his life. He really just needs therapy, but he has no insurance and can't even afford his anti-depressants, much less therapy.


My life's not great, but I take pride in my appearance, and my health, and my education, and of course, my daughter. I stay on top of that stuff so that it doesn't get out of hand.


I could be like, "You deal with your stuff, you still get her on your days, but we don't interact with each other as a couple anymore." Not that we would date other people, but to like take time to see if he couldn't get it together without me. And as for me, I'm supposed to move out of my parents in January, so let me get there, get settled and see how we both feel then? What do you guys think?

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Wow. You seem to be projecting many things onto him. Sure he has got his issues but you are dealing with your own stuff. As for you feeling old, what are you really trying to say? At nearly 27with a kid, you are not the same carefree person you were at 20. Stop playing number games like, I feel 22 but he looks 35.... what is the sense in that??


You need to take a hard accounting of your life. Yes, you currently are a single mother living at home with her parents. But that does not have to be your future. However, the time has come to set aside childish things like wanting a dream wedding or needing to wear a sexy skirt out to dinner. You decided to take the gamble and become a single mother with a guy who hasn't stepped up in the way you had hoped. Yes, now it is up to you to provide for your daughter. I am sorry if that makes you feel old but it is time to put away the dancing shoes and get busy with securing a future.


Perhaps there is a future romance down the road but that should be the last distraction you focus upon. Decide now on some appropriate boundaries for your child's father. He can assist you in her care, provide money for her needs but you do not need to raise him as well as her.


I think you need to put aside your dreams of someone on a white horse who will rescue you. Your baby's father is who he is and will probably not change. Give up on trying to change him and make a plan for yourself and your daughter. You cannot move forward without acknowledging the mistakes and miscalculations you have made. The feeling of "being old" is more the exhaustion from repeating the same errors over and over. Make a new plan and see how your energy returns. Good luck!

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I have to say that I agree with Paint that you will never go back to your carefree childless days. That doesn't mean you are doomed to never have another night out with a sexy man or to get your fairy tale wedding. I would just not set in those thoughts for your immediate future, or else they will bring you down.

It's easy to set yourself in a depressive mood, so you have to look out for yourself and become conscious when it's too much. No one is going to pick you up, you are responsible for that yourself.


I don't think that you should remotely feel responsible for the time he spends with his daughter. Let him miss a few holidays, if he genuinely cares for his daughter, he will come back around on his own.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Are you guys MARRIED?

Cause if you're not MARRIED you haven't said an OATH or anything, you are not BOUND together just because of a child. You CAN breakup with him and be happy ya know Don't be a self martyr...


He is the childs' father -- she is bound to him, in a sense, for a long time. They have to co-parent. Nothing more....nothing less.

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Personally I think you should just break up with him. It sounds to me like you aren't committed fully and that you are tired of him. You don't live together. He can't make decisions for himself and you are miserable.


Go make a life for yourself. One that you can enjoy.


And by the way......you're not old. I'm 42 and I feel awesome!!! Better than I did at 27. You wanna know why I think that is?? I think it's because at the age of 27 I was in a miserable marriage....before that, I was in a miserable relationship with another man. Not until I turned 35 did I meet the love of my life....and guess what...he was 13 years younger than me. lol


Do the right thing by this guy and cut him loose. You'll be glad that you did one day.

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